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Budget Advice: Guidelines on What You Will Need and How to Set It Up to Manage Your Finances Better

Budget Advice: Guidelines on What You Will Need and How to Set It Up to Manage Your Finances Better

Many people go about their lives without budgets and they do just fine. However, they could probably be doing better if they had a budget. Setting up a budget for yourself is a very handy tool to help you stay out of financial trouble. It helps you keep track of what you are getting in and what you are giving out. That is after all the basis of it all. You need to get more in than you give out. We have compiled a basic guideline of how to get started on setting up your budget.

Gather all your information

Get bank statements and payslips that will give you information on what money is going out and what is coming into your accounts. From these statements, you need to compile your expenses and income once you have a spreadsheet set up. Write down all your debit orders, rent, car payments, etc.

Use software or Excel

Consider getting software that will help you set up the budget. You can also use Microsoft Excel if you have it. They have basic templates to get you started. This is also handy in creating a spreadsheet.

Star compiling

Once you have your software set up and you have written down your expenses and income, compile the data into the software or spreadsheet. If you are using a template or software, it should calculate your totals for you.

Study your results

Carefully look at what the spreadsheet is telling you. Are you spending more than you are earning? Where can you cut spending or increase income? The spreadsheet will show you all this information.

Set up your budget

The next step is to set up your budget. All your recurring monthly expenses need to be covered. You also need to remember to include planning for groceries, gas, entertainment, and other extra expenses. Once you have all this up, you should be able to see where you need to cut expenses if you are not breaking even or going over budget. Adjust until you are happy.

Once your budget is done, the golden rule is: Stick to it!

Smart Credit Card Use: Tips That Will Help You Avoid Falling in the Trap and Becoming Part of the Credit Card Debt Support Group

Smart Credit Card Use: Tips That Will Help You Avoid Falling in the Trap and Becoming Part of the Credit Card Debt Support Group

Credit cards are very handy when we need to charge a large amount. Many of us say that it is only for emergencies, but it hardly ever stays that way. Next thing you see, you have maxed out your credit card and now have no back-up for your rent or other expenses. To prevent this from happening, we have a few tips on how to make your credit card work for you and not the other way around.

Pay your bills. Make sure that you pay your credit card bill in full every month. Try to only charge amounts that you will be able to pay in full the next month. When you cannot pay it up, it is the start of the downward spiral into credit card debt.

Use your account. Using your credit card leaves a trail. All your purchases are recorded on your account. Today most people have access to Internet banking which makes checking your account so much easier. Just log in, see what you purchased where, and where your balance is at. It is really easy to keep track of your money this way.

Big stuff and emergencies. Avoid making a lot of small charges on your card. Rather stick to charging big things like a new washing machine or microwave. It is very handy for emergencies when you need to pay for something and do not have cash. By emergency, we mean your friend was in an accident and does not have medical cover.

Use your rewards. Most credit cards come with rewards like frequent flyer miles or loyalty points. If you can meet the requirements for reaping these rewards and still pay off your balance in full every month, you have the right card.

To use your credit card effectively, you need to set limits for yourself about what you can spend and can pay in full. You need to be strict with yourself and stick to your own rules regarding the use of your credit card. It is easy to fall into a habit of charging everything and only paying it later. Try to avoid that trap.

6 Steps to Start You on Your Way to Improve and Fix Your Credit Score and Develop Healthy Money Habits to Keep it Fixed

6 Steps to Start You on Your Way to Improve and Fix Your Credit Score and Develop Healthy Money Habits to Keep it Fixed

Your credit score is an important score to make your life simpler. A poor credit score can cause problems and get you into trouble. It can also prevent you from buying that house you want or getting a study loan when you decide to go back to college. The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your credit score. It is always wise to get professional advice, but these steps should get you on the right track.

1. Open a bank account. This might be a bit tricky, but if you do your homework, you will find a bank that will let you open an account. Some banks are willing to allow people with bad credit scores the opportunity to fix it.

2. Get a credit card. Get yourself a secured credit card and use your bank account as collateral. Ask about the fees and benefits of different cards. Choose the one without an application fee and low annual fees.

3. Pay your loans. If you have a personal or study loan, make sure to keep paying the installments on time. Any missed payments will reflect poorly on your credit score. Loans that you repay will always be on your record.

4. Become an authorized user. Ask a friend if you can become an authorized user on their credit card. The card will show on your credit report and improve your score. Make sure that your friend’s bank gives permission and is aware of the arrangement.

5. No prepaid cards. Prepaid debit and credit cards have high fees and interest rates. Try and avoid getting these cards. They might sound like a good idea, but once you start charging to them you will find that the fees are not worth it.

6. Healthy financial habits. You need to develop and foster healthier habits when it comes to your finances. This includes having one or two cards that you mainly use, keep your credit card limit at 30% usage or lower, and never miss a payment.

These steps will get you started on the road to improving your credit score.