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Posts from the ‘Financial Security’ Category


Money Management Basics: Balancing Your Budget, Savings, Spending and Bills


payday loanSome people just seem to be good with money and make the rest of us look like novices but don’t feel too bad if you are not amongst that elite number, as the majority of us could do with some extra money management skills.

Here is a look at some of the basics, which will provide a solid foundation to help you become savvier and confident with your money.

There is an overview of the importance of budgeting, how to keep on top of your monthly bills, why clearing your credit debt is a no brainer, and how to change your attitude toward saving.

You can’t expect to get far without setting a budget

You only have to mention the word budget when talking about personal finances and you can almost see many people glaze over with a disinterested look, but boring as it might be, setting a budget is at the very heart of good financial management.

You just have to accept that sometimes the most useful advice is not exactly going to get the pulse racing. The main thing is that you need to sit down and work out exactly how money you have coming in each month and exactly how much money is going out, and where it is being spent.

Once you see your finances laid out in front of you will then have the opportunity to see where savings can be made and start developing a strategy for managing your money more closely in the future.

Keeping your bills under control

Another important tip to follow is to remember to regularly review your monthly payments to see if there are any better deals available elsewhere.

If you have older kids and need to insure your teenager for their car, you will know that this is a cost that can easily blow a hole in your monthly budget unless you manage to find a good quote.

Once you have secured a decent deal don’t automatically accept the renewal invitation without checking whether you can find it cheaper elsewhere. The same rule applies to your deals for broadband, gas, electric and mobile phones.

Always be on the lookout for a better price so you can save as much money as possible to help your budget.

Prioritize your debts

It feels good to have some money set aside in savings but what so many people don’t realise is that a better long-term strategy would be to prioritize clearing your most expensive debts over having some money in a savings account earning very little interest.

With average instant-access savings account rates well below 1% and credit card interest rate charges heading north of 12% for most consumers, it would be smarter to pay off this expensive borrowing and be able to keep more of your money to yourself in future, which could then be invested.

Little and often

It is also worth saying that you sometimes need to change your mindset to become successful at saving regularly.

Many of us are dissuaded from saving because we can’t commit to putting away a reasonable amount of money each month. Even small amounts set aside regularly can add up to a tidy sum over time, so starting to save with even modest amounts is better than doing nothing.

If you get to grips with the money management basics everything else should start to fall into place.

Isobel Carter writes about money matters for a selection of personal finance related blogs. She works in the banking sector and is a Mother of two daughters.


How to Become a Credit Card Pro


How to Become a Credit Card ProHello, everyone. Some people can live with, while others can’t. Credit cards can be good for helping you manage your finances. If you use them the right way, they can be useful for building good credit. Even though I wouldn’t do this, they can also be used as a backup plan if you have an emergency. Keep reading to get more info about credit cards and their use.

On time payments

Pay your credit card bill on time each month. If you are the type of person, who may forget the due date, set up a reminder or two. If something happens that doesn’t allow you to pay your credit card on time, don’t freak out. You should call your credit card company as soon as possible and let them know your situation. There is a chance that they may be able to help you out. They might be able to delay your due date, set you up with a repayment plan or work with you in other ways that won’t mess up your credit as much.

Pay the credit card in full

The next thing that you should do is pay the credit card in full every month. I’ll be the first person to say that I haven’t been able to do that. I’ve had credit card debt for years. There were times where I had to use my credit card when I didn’t have a job. It wasn’t possible to pay it in full. Now, I’m doing much better. I’m able to pay more money on it. If you use your credit card for ordinary expenses such as for gas or paying a utility bill, you should proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. Doing this will help you build your credit. You will also gain rewards from your card. Lastly, you won’t be getting any debt because you paid off the card.

Watch out for free

Credit card companies target people with freebies. I’ve seen different companies give away shirts, bags and even beach towels. I can’t lie, I’m a fan of free, but you have to be careful and pay attention to any free offer. The freebies that you are offered can be considered traps. The credit card company may lure you in. That could end up costing you a lot of money down the line.

Practice Discipline

It can be easy just to swipe that credit card without thinking. Don’t fall into that trap. Many folks lack the discipline to handle credit responsibly. The world tells you to spend, spend and spend again. Heck, you can get a “Black Amex Card” which is seen as a status symbol if you use a credit a lot. By having discipline, you can avoid getting into debt and possibly messing up your credit score.

Multiple credit cards

If you have multiple credit cards, you have to pay attention to them carefully. You don’t want to mix up the due dates. When you have a moment, review the balances and figure out which credit card you want to pay off first. Paying off the balance of the card with the highest interest rate is a good way to save more money in the long run. If you don’t want to go that route, you can also pay the credit card with the smallest balance.

Credit cards can be great to have. You just have to make sure that you don’t abuse them. They can help you build up credit. They can also make your credit horrible. Practice common sense and discipline when using them.


What Credit Score Does Everyone Start With?


What Credit Score Does Everyone Start With?Hello, everyone. Good credit is something that everyone strives for. Whether yours is good or bad, you had to start somewhere. Have you ever thought about what credit score everyone starts out with?

What is your beginning score?

Everyone starts out the same. No one has a credit score at all. Nobody starts out with a credit report. Credit scores are based on the info on your credit reports. Those reports are not created until you have had credit in your name for at least six months. Some people think that you magically get credit once you turn 18 years old. It doesn’t work like that, though. However, you can apply for a credit card once you 18.

Build from scratch

Since everyone starts with no credit score, we all have to build it from scratch. You first credit report will have information on the initial amount of money that you borrow. When starting out, you should get a credit card with a low limit. You also need to use it responsibly.

Your first account

When you apply for your first credit card or loan, the lender may pull your consumer report. If they do that, they will find nothing. Everyone will experience this the first time that he or she applies for credit the first time. Once you get that first credit card or loan, there are a few things that you should do to make sure that your credit score goes up.

Watch the amount

If you are taking out a loan for the first time, don’t take out too much money. You don’t want to start a debt cycle that you are not ready for. The same goes with your first credit card. Try not to get a credit limit that is too high. My first credit card had a limit of $500. That was alright with me until they started raising it higher and higher. It went from $500 to $3000 within a couple of years. That’s one of the ways that messed up my credit. That leads me to the next step.

Use your credit card responsibly

I didn’t do that back in the day. I used my credit card for things that I shouldn’t have. I don’t regret it because it was a heck of a learning experience. If this is your first credit card, you should only charge a small amount to your credit card. Then you should pay the full balance each month. This will speed your credit building process. Doing that shows the lenders that you can use the credit that has been offered to you in a responsible way.

Pay on time

Make sure you pay your loans and credit cards on time. Your payment history accounts for about 35% of your credit score. That is more than a third of it. You can see why paying on time is important. If you think you may miss the dates, set a reminder on your phone or in Google calendar.

If you practice good credit habits, your score can go up after six months. If not, it can go as low as 300. You’re in charge of whether your credit goes up or down.


Pico Financial: A Customer’s Dream


moneyPico Financial has been making waves in the California finance industry ever since its inception at the beginning of 2016. The San Diego based debt consolidation company has experienced a wealth of success during its first year of operation.

Pico Financial is a debt consolidation firm that primarily assists customers with high-interest credit card debt. The firm pays the customer’s debt off, and then reissues it at a much lower rate over a fixed term of repayments. These types of programs have proven to be an effective option of escaping credit card debt; they allow the consumer a definitive timeline for becoming debt free. Pico Financial has aimed to use streamlining and operational efficiency to provide lower interest rates for their customers.

When asked about his firm’s unique approach to the industry, CTO Neil Blake stated, “When we started this firm we wanted to have a look at ways that the we could improve customer experience without having to sacrifice the quality or price of the service on offer. For years the debt consolidation industry has relied on its necessity to bring customers in for business. We took a different approach by creating an easy to use online interface that would allow customers to receive a quote quickly without the lengthy process of talking to numerous customer service representatives. This enabled us to create a hassle free experience for the customer, while simultaneously keeping operating costs at an industry wide low.”

Blake’s gamble seems to have paid off – the firm has increased its quote request volume significantly compared to when a customer service representative had to be approached directly. In addition, the streamlining of this part of the business means that operating costs are kept low which allows for low-interest rates to be passed on to the consumer.

Blake is no stranger to innovating within firmly solidified industries. The young entrepreneur is the same man who has played a critical role in the success of San Diego’s Vertical Direct Marketing Group (VDMG). Blake was brought in by the ad agency’s CEO Bryan back in 2009. The pair went on to California’s ad industry by storm; their firm had over $3m in revenue by 2013, according INC. where they specialized in providing its clients data analysis and online marketing strategies, amongst other things. Blake spearheaded the firm’s direct marketing and sales department, he was made a working partner of the group after only two years.

“My time at the Marketing Group here in San Diego was full of exciting challenges and projects,” said Blake regarding his old firm, “but it was time to move on to something within a different space. The past year has been an entirely new ball game for myself, but the levels of customer satisfaction that we are receiving is making me think the risk has been worth the reward.”

If you’d like any additional information on Pico Financial or their services, please head to their URL at :