A New Year, A New You

Posted on Thursday 31 January 2008

The start of the new year is the perfect time to start a new savings plan and make sure you have your financial house in order.

  • Take the time to determine whether you’re sufficiently insured – health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners/renters insurance. Consider increasing your deductibles in order to lower your premiums.
  • If you haven’t done so already, start contributing to a 401(k) or IRA.
  • Find ways to save money around the house – install programmable thermostats, add weatherstripping around doors and windows, utilize or install ceiling fans, install a water heater blanket and use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • If you haven’t done so in the last six months, get credit reports from all three credit agencies. (You can do so at www.annualcreditreport.com) Check for errors or accounts that don’t belong to you.
  • Tally up how much money you spent on holiday gifts and work to save that amount over the course of the year so that you don’t go into debt or bust your budget next Christmas. Many banks and credit unions offer ‘Christmas club’ accounts.
  • Last but not least, remember to give yourself some fun money. Saving money can be a lot like dieting. If you restrict yourself too much, you’ll be tempted to splurge and undo all your hard work.
savvy @ 8:00 AM
Filed under: General Finances
Eight Steps You Can Take to Eliminate Debt

Posted on Wednesday 30 January 2008

Debt reduction is a concern for many people. Here are eight steps you can take to get your debt under control.

 

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  • Don’t accumulate new debt! Cut up those credit cards or file them away in a drawer. Put them in a bowl of water in the freezer if you have to. The first step in eliminating debt is not adding to the existing balance.
  • Get rid of the temptation and reduce the amount of junk mail you get. Opt out of new credit card offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • Ask your creditors to reduce your interest rates. If you always make your payments on time, your creditors may be willing to work with you and lower the interest rate on your debt.
  • Always pay more than the minimum amount due. A $1000 balance at 0% APR will take over FIVE YEARS to pay off if you only pay the minimums.
  • Use an automatic bill payment service in order to avoid incurring late fees.
  • If you anticipate a tax refund, consider using the lump sum to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt.
  • If you have a good credit score, consider consolidating your debt by taking advantage of balance transfer offers.
  • DON’T trade unsecured debt for secured debt. Resist the urge to use a home equity loan to pay off your credit cards.
savvy @ 10:02 AM
Filed under: Debt Reduction
Welcome!

Posted on Tuesday 29 January 2008

Welcome to Ms. Money Savvy. Think of me as the angel on your shoulder guiding you through the pitfalls of personal finance. Please come back often.

savvy @ 6:01 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized