How to get out of debt

Car loan payments, credit card bills, mortgage payments, bank loans, rent payments…Sometimes it feels that almost all your money is going toward paying off your debts. But, even though it may seem that being in debt is just another part of adult living, this definitely doesn’t need to be this way.

If you manage your money well, living within your means, and even saving for purchases instead of getting them on credit, is absolutely possible. By managing your money well, you can not only pay off some of your debt, but you also will learn not to rely so heavily on borrowing.

Bear in mind, though, that there are forms of debt, for example a home loan, that are pretty much acceptable. Most houses will be increasing in value as time goes by, but what’s more important, the interest you pay on a mortgage is tax deductible, which will save you money on taxes.


Living on a budget – Live within your means

Most probably You have heard this phrase: ‘live within your means.’ But what exactly does this phrase mean?

Very simply put, when you live within your means, you are able to pay for all the things you need in your life without taking on more debt than you are able to handle. Yet many Americans are believing that there’s only one way to get nice things, and that is to get into debt and get them.

Now that could be true for larger purchases like a home or a car, but it certainly does not to apply to many other things that we are needing in life. When you purchase a house, for example, you take a mortgage loan which will put you in debt for maybe as long as 20 or 30 years.

Sure, that is a long period of time, but this sort of debt has also many benefits. Interest paid on the mortgage can be deducted from your annual taxable income, and the money that’s yours in the house (the equity) can be applied for other loans. If you make regular mortgage payments, you will also build up a strong credit score.


How to save money and live within your means

This is part 2 of our tips on how to live within your means and save money


You can learn that flea markets and garage sales can be great sources to get quality clothing at modest prices. You can also establish a sort of clothing exchange with your neighbors or friends to trade, for example, your children’s or adult clothes. What may seem old to you or your friends may seem like new and exciting to other people.

You can also go to thrift stores on a regular basis where usually the inventory changes frequently, and start checking out clothing sales organized by service groups or local churches.

You may also check out so-called ‘consignment stores’. These stores are accepting and selling used clothes and they can give you money for items that you bring in. You may find clothing for both adults and kids in these stores.

Another advice is to stick with classics when and wherever you can. Classics are usually staying in style longer than trendy outfits and are generally made of longer-lasting materials.

Though it could be difficult to find good used children’s shoes, you may be successful if you look for sales, but don’t make the mistake that your child needs $75 running shoes, even is that is the sale price tag. You should instead help them to learn to distinguish between needs and wants. (more…)

How Much Debt Is Okay?

Debt has all too often become a normal element of life. Sometimes we are not realizing that we really have too much of it. Until it begins to eat us alive and rob us of the way we are used to live.  Keep in mind that being in debt for the bigger things in life, for example a home or an education, may have some considerable payoffs.

The problem is in consumer debt! The problem lies in the department store and credit cards, and things alike. On this we really should cut down. Generally speaking, you should use no more than 15 to 20 percent of your after-tax income for consumer debt payments. Take a look at how you can determine how much you can be affording to use for paying consumer debt each month.

Lets look at your annual income, after deductions and taxes. (more…)

How to find a job

Looking for a good job can be quite challenging. You should regularly check all the available resources, but also inform your family and friends that you’re looking for a job. You never can tell when or if anybody may hear about a job opening which could be your perfect fit.

You may also be attracted to a company you would like to work for. If you happen to know somebody who works there, you can ask him who would be the right person to contact and see if you can use him as a reference.

Then you can get in touch with that person and express the interest you have in working for his company while stressing that your acquaintance recommended the contact.


Solving Mortgage Problems

When Should You Talk With The Mortgage Company

When you get into a situation that you can’t make your monthly mortgage payment, get in touch with the mortgage company as soon as you can. You really should make that call before you start falling behind in your payments. Quite a few mortgage companies are accepting partial payments, and some may even let you skip some payment(s) and not even charge a late fee.

Of course you’ll still owe for the skipped payment(s), but they let you pay it off more gradually. Keep in mind that mortgage companies (just as landlords) will be far more likely to cooperate with you when you contact them before you fall behind in your monthly payments.

In case you are not able to come up with a plan, you should immediately get in touch with a housing counseling agency. The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) operates a housing counseling & referral telephone line that will direct you to low- or no-cost resources (1-800-569-4287).

You can also get in touch with your city, county, or state housing authority. You can find their phone numbers on the government pages in your telephone directory. You may also want to get in touch with a nonprofit consumer credit agency to help you restructure all your debt payments. Check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (1-800-388-2227). You can also go to the website of the NEFE (Smart About Money Economic Survival Tips) for advice on how to best protect your home from foreclosure. (more…)

Paying Rent Problems. When Should You Contact Your Landlord

The moment you know that you will have trouble to pay your rent, you should go and talk to your landlord. The longer you’ll wait, the more the landlord will be thinking that you’re not willing to come up with the back rent. And then, your landlord could begin the eviction process.

Another aspect is that, in case you come to an agreement with your landlord before he sets out on the eviction path, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money, as there’s quite some legal cost associated with eviction procedures. In case you’ll pay the back rent after he already started the eviction process, the landlord may very well demand that you also pay for those legal costs.

What Should You Tell Your Landlord

When talking with the landlord, try to explain your situation as clearly as possible. Don’t waste much of his time by describing all your troubles, because you just want to inform him that the problems are of a temporary nature. Bear in mind that for your landlord, you are merely a customer, and not a friend.

On top of coming up with a decent repayment plan, you also can indicate that you have taken steps to avoid a similar situation in the future. One more way to fulfill  your back payment obligations is to see if the landlord has any work to be done on this or another property. Lawns may require some attention or the hallways may want some fresh paint. In case your landlord will agree, you could spend weekend or evening hours performing these tasks, thus decreasing the amount of owed back rent.


My Home as a Wealth Builder

Owning your own home comes with quite a few benefits. Maybe the most important is that you have the chance to create equity in your real estate, a great asset. Equity is actually that portion of your house that would bring in cash for you if you would sell your house today. When you pay do a mortgage payment, a portion of that payment is for interest on the loan, while the rest will add up towards your equity as the loan amount is reduced.

There will come a time that you could borrow money against the equity of your home to fund one of your kids’ education or, if you want, to remodel your house. Owning your own house is a great investment in you, your family, and your future. Beware though, that even though your house or condo will generally increase in value, there is no guarantee.

We all have seen during the past decade that houses may actually lose a good deal of their value, but this really depends on where you are living, your state’s or the national economy, and several other factors. When that happens, you couldn’t sell your house for what you paid. (more…)

How Much Money Do I Need if I Want to Buy a House?

In case you are enjoying a steady, good income and if you don’t carry much debt, there’s the rule of thumb that says that you are able to buy a house that costs between 2.5 and 3 times your yearly gross earnings. If, for example, you (or your spouse and you together) are making $40,000 annually, you probably are qualifying to buy a house or a condo that’s costing between $100,000 and $120,000.

Closing Costs & Down Payment

If you can buy your own house, you’ll be faced with several up-front costs. The amount of money that you will need in total is depending on a few factors, such as the price of the house and what mortgage type you will get. But there are also standard costs such as earnest money (deposit), down payment, and closing costs. Let’s take a look: (more…)

How Can I Own a Home?

Housing Tips & Options

One of the important things in life is having your own place to live. A place that you can call your own, where you feel safe and your family too. Feeling comfortable in your own place is crucial for your well-being. There are times that having a place you can call your own will help to make other problems in life more bearable. Usually, the cost for housing take out the biggest chunk of a family’s budget, and even in times when money is tight, the majority of people will cut all other expenses to be able to pay for the mortgage or rent every month.

There are times, however, that events happen that are not in our control. For example, an emergency may lead to huge medical bills, or maybe a divorce or a layoff is threatening housing payments. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some very useful home owning and rental tips, and also what the consequences are of owning and keeping your own home. This article provides several ideas for support when you are in the situation of risking to lose your housing.


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