You Can Get a Mortgage after Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the effect of a debtor not being able to pay off their growing financial obligations. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not a bad person if you have to file for bankruptcy and each person that does so has their own personal reasons for taking that step. In a lot of cases, it becomes the only option one has left to go with. Sometimes all it takes is unemployment or a medical emergency to push one into crippling debt. Bankruptcy is not a quick fix to your money problems and you’ll definitely be feeling the effects of it for a number of years to come. Your credit will be affected in every way. It can be enough to affect the transactions you’re able to make for ten years at the most. You might run into automatic rejections simply because there’s a bankruptcy on your file and it makes you look more liable to default again in the future. All of these things are part of the process, but you will come out on the other side having learned a lot. If you’ve still got dreams of owning a house after all is said and done, you can manage to get a mortgage after bankruptcy.

Get a Mortgage after Bankruptcy

If you’re trying to get a traditional mortgage after bankruptcy, you’re going to have to wait more than three years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is cleared and two years after a Chapter 13 has been cleared. If you can somehow prove that your filing for bankruptcy was due to a situation beyond your control that isn’t likely to happen again–like sudden sickness or death of a spouse or job loss–you might be able to have the waiting period after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy shortened to two years instead of four. In short, it’s very possible to acquire a mortgage after bankruptcy so long as you’re intending to keep your affairs in tight order.

Applying for FHA and VA Loans

The Federal Housing Authority guarantees loans to millions of prospective homebuyers that just can’t seem to get a loan taking the traditional route. They set shorter time restrictions on those people trying to get a mortgage after bankruptcy or some other hard-hitting credit event, like a foreclosure. If you’ve experienced a foreclosure or short sale, you’ll have to wait three years and if you’ve filed for Chapter 7, you’ll have to to wait two years. The Veteran’s Administration has the same exact rules and they both allow those that have filed for Chapter 13 to apply for a mortgage after 12 months of good payment history as long as they’ve got an “OK” from the bankruptcy court.

“Back to Work” Program

There’s another way you can obtain a mortgage after bankruptcy as early as one year after a bankruptcy has been discharged. This program is known as the Back to Work program and to qualify, one must be able to prove that situation which caused their bankruptcy was unexpected and out of their personal control: like being fired or laid off or contracting a life-threatening illness of some sort. To be viewed as a successful applicant, you have to be able to show that you’re recovering well from the blow and working hard to turn your situation around. You also have to be able to show that your credit was in a good place before the financial incident took its toll. Housing counseling is one of the requirements of this program and it should help you find ways to avoid a bad situation again.

If you’re looking to get a mortgage with several negative credit lapses under your belt, you’re not likely to get the answers you want. You could end up facing very long waiting periods up to five years since you’ll be viewed as a much bigger risk for all of the negative credit situations on your history.

Getting Back on the Right Track

If you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit, you should expect to wait a while before you can get your hands on any kind of credit cards or the like. You’ll have to prove to these institutions that you’re worthy of their time and efforts before they’ll give you any kind of benefits. It’s not difficult to get in their good graces again. You have to be committed to making all of your payments on time, getting a secured credit card, having your on-time rent payments reported to credit bureaus and monitoring your credit with a fine tooth comb.

It might seem impossible now, but there are ways for you to manage a mortgage after bankruptcy. You will definitely have to work hard to make sure you stay accountable for your actions and history. As long as you make an effort to stay in the positive, you will be rewarded for your consistency, especially if it wasn’t your fault to begin with. That mortgage after bankruptcy can be yours!

Spend Less on Valentine’s Day: Part 1

Valentine’s Day is most certainly a commercial holiday that prompts consumers to spend excessive amounts on the ones they love. A lot of people care about it simply because it’s another “holiday” to be pampered and gifted things. If you’re trying to find ways to spend less on Valentine’s Day, you’ve come to the right place. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on Valentine’s Day to show your loved ones how much you care and trying to spend less on Valentine’s Day might allow you to spread that money around in other more important areas of your life. All you need is some creativity and thriftiness to create a memorable Valentine’s Day for you and the one you love most.

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Make the Day Special For Cheap

·         Stay In For The Night And Make Dinner For Your Other Half.

It’s no big surprise that the people turn out in droves when a holiday is in full swing, especially Valentine’s Day. Everyone wants to be out showing off home much they love their husbands or wives. There’s really no reason to go out for a meal when you can make one at home that means so much more. Taking the time out to prepare a meal at home for your significant other will make them feel really special with no questions or doubt. Spend time putting together a good menu with a few courses if you want: even make their favorite meal! Set the intention and atmosphere with candles, a nice table setting and good music. After meal, you can follow it up with a nice movie or drinks by the fireplace. You won’t believe how important and meaningful this nice in together could be. If you’re not much of a cook, you can find apps that walk you through the entire cooking process. You could always spring to hire out help to cook, but you’ll definitely spend a lot of money going this route. Staying in will keep you away from the crowds while also keeping a few extra bucks in your wallet.

·         If You Have To Go Out For Dinner, Get The Best Deal!

If you want to try your luck at getting out for dinner and you still want to spend less on Valentine’s Day, you should see what deals are available on Groupon, LivingSocial or other dining deal sites. Sometimes, you can save as much as half off your entire meal. There could be a downside with this though if the restaurant has blackout days that are blocked off. Valentine’s Day might be one of those days and it wouldn’t do you any good to buy a voucher if it’s not a restaurant you frequent regularly. Make sure you read the terms and conditions completely before purchasing! You’ll also want to make sure you book reservations as early in advance as possible. You might want to plan an activity that has you close to the restaurant before you’re set to dine so you can walk or get over to the restaurant without worrying about traffic. It should be easy to spend less on Valentine’s Day.

Let That Creativity Flow

·         Make A Special Gift At Home To Give.

Handmade gifts are so touching and heartfelt and unless you’ve got a very materialistic partner, it will always be appreciated. A handmade gift could be anything from a scrapbook to a dessert you prepared yourself. Think hard about what your partner likes and would appreciate. This should give you a ton of ideas to work with. Sites like Pinterest are chock full of sweet, inexpensive gift ideas. A “Book of Affections” that details sweet little things you can do for your significant might be a good idea that keeps the spark alive. Trying to spend less on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a pain.

·         Get Some Things Done Around The House For Your Lover!

Has your wife been hinting at a kitchen remodel for a year or so now? Are you tired of looking at the basement in its unfinished state? Why not get some home improvement projects done around the house as a Valentine’s Day gift to your lover? They’ll certainly appreciate the effort and you’ll both be happy to see your house in a better state: let’s not even mention the value of your home increasing. Even if you’re just going to paint a room or replace some tiles yourself, it will mean a whole lot.

·         Have A Movie Or Game Night.

Nothing is better than cuddling up with the one that you love to play a fun, sexy game or watch a good movie. The only thing that could enhance the experience even more is some cute themed snacks that get you in a loving mood. Anything with chocolate is a good idea and cookies aren’t ever a bad idea. You might find some good ideas with a quick Google search.

·         Go Out For A Cheap Date.

Hitting up an arcade or taking a walk through the park to a picnic is simple and sweet enough to be effective. Going on a hike to watch the sunset is another good idea they’ll love. It won’t cost you much and you’ll get to spend valuable time together that’s really what defines Valentine’s Day.

The Upside of Debt Consolidation over Bankruptcy

Debt is not a new issue on the American conscience and it continues to affect more people every single day. When you combine the poor economic climate with the constant rise of the cost of living, it’s no surprise that things are spiraling further out of control. More people are being buried alive under a mountain of debt that seems endless and they have no viable options for paying down what they owe. Although it might seem easier to hide out from the debt collection calls, you’re not doing yourself any favors by ignoring the reality of your situation. You’ll be much better off trying to have your debt consolidated and it can be done. Choosing debt consolidation over bankruptcy might be one of the best ways to get your finances under control so you can breathe a little easier again. If you’ve been wondering about why you should spring for debt consolidation over bankruptcy, it’s time for you to get the facts.

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Key Points of Bankruptcy

Some people might think that bankruptcy is the only way to be “free” of those overwhelming debts and they don’t even consider the possibility of debt consolidation. Declaring bankruptcy is the most common method but it’s bound to be harmful to your financial state for many years to come. When you compare the two, it seems that bankruptcy has more downsides than debt consolidation and for that reason, debt consolidation over bankruptcy is a serious thing to consider.

  • If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to liquidate any assets or properties that you’re not expressly entitled to retain because they are not protected by state law. These assets and properties are then used to pay off your creditors.
  • You can expect your credit rating to be troubled for quite a few years to come. If you might need to apply for a loan in the future, you can be sure that your chances of approval are diminished since bankruptcy damages your credit so severely. You can have a bad credit rating for as long as an entire decade.
  • Bankruptcy must be filed for through the federal court system. You’re essential given federal protection when you decide to go through with bankruptcy and thus, you must petition the federal court to be granted such protection. You’ll most likely also have to hire a bankruptcy attorney that could cost you quite a bit.
  • If you have retirement savings, they’re not automatically “off limits” when you file for bankruptcy. You are allowed to keep your 401k account intact and you’re also able to keep up to one million dollars in an IRA account if you have one, but everything else can be seized to cover your accumulated debts.

Is Debt Consolidation Better?

It’s true that bankruptcy is a legitimate option to take to cover your debts, but it should be utilized as a last resort whenever possible. There are costs associated with both bankruptcy and debt consolidation, so you want to weigh all expenses before choosing to go with one option or the other. If the majority of your debts are from credit cards, debt consolidation over bankruptcy is probably the better way for you to go. Debt consolidation has less of an impact on your credit report and you also get in the habit of being more responsible with your finances once you begin making payments. Only when you have very sizable debts like repossessions or foreclosures should you really consider bankruptcy, because it stops creditors from claiming rights to your assets as payment.

Make the Right Choice

You might want to go with debt consolidation over bankruptcy because of the control you’re allowed to have over your own personal finances. Debt consolidation is the act of compiling all of your debts and making them into one single loan. That loan is used to pay your monthly bills while the debt consolidation company works to get you lower interest rates from your creditors. When you choose debt consolidation over bankruptcy, you get a few different benefits.

  • Picking debt consolidation over bankruptcy allows you to lower your monthly payments so that you can meet those payments every month without worry. Using a single loan to pay down multiple debts at a time makes it so that you can stay grounded enough to continue bettering your financial state. It also makes it easier since you don’t have to worry about paying multiple bills all at different times.
  • More of your earnings will go into paying down your debt instead of trying to cover interest charges. Securing lower interest rates will ensure that you get your debts down in a more timely fashion.

Bankruptcy will without a doubt affect your credit negatively while debt consolidation could only help better your situation as long as you’re committed to staying on track with it. Debt consolidation will also help you stay on track with bill payments and this will make it easier to get better interest rates on loans you might want to apply for in the future.

How Internet Web Advertising Works

During the last decade, marketing tactics have changed as technology has advanced greatly. The print advertisements and commercials that were part of the 20th century are no longer relevant. The internet has provided advertisers with new ways to promote their goods and services. The internet reaches a wide audience. Gannett Company estimates that newspaper advertising dropped by more than $1 billion dollars in 2013. This represents a 5.3 percent decrease from 2012. There has been a shift from print advertising to digital and web based ads.

Online marketing has experienced a tremendous surge in finding tools to reach potential customers. Advertisers use search engine optimization, social media marketing, and internet web advertising. While the goal of marketing is to promote sales, it is important for companies to reach the highest rank on the searches using Google. Google has created Goggle Adwords and Adsense to help in the marketing process. This Adwords and Adsense with other strategies can be used to create a dynamic marketing plan for a business.

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What Is Google Adwords And Adsense?

Most of Google’s earnings is made through internet web advertising. Google’s internet web advertising programs Adwords and Adsense earned $50 billion of $57 billion in revenue in 2013. In order to reach a larger audience, Google created Adwords which is an internet web advertising strategy designed to optimize marketing efforts. The main idea is to use words that appear in Google searches the most often. This gives marketing executives a chance to see how consumers think. It is a good plan for established and new businesses.

Adwords gives companies a chance to bid on the placement of an advertisement and keywords within Google’s website. Anyone doing a Google search in relation to the business will pull up the company’s ad and their website. Google only earns money if these search results are clicked. This is called a cost per click and it is designed to direct web traffic to the company’s website. This is a win win situation for Google and the company.

Google Adsense is another great marketing tool offered to companies. It helps the company reach a larger audience. Google puts the company’s ad on other website in order to generate click and increase web traffic. Google has the reputation of being the popular search engine. Because of its popularity, Google can offer these internet web advertising strategies to generate revenue. In return, the company can expect an increase in web traffic which will help its sales.

Let’s Talk Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

While Adwords and Adsense produce some great results, there is a way to improve your internet web advertising game without spending money. Search Engine Optimization is the key to organically increase the web traffic to a website. It analyzes all the search queries to come up with the best words to advertise the business so that it will be seen. Google has the most hearty market share in search engines, advertisers use this to their advantage and customize their SEO efforts to fit with Google’s search algorithms.

Because optimizing a website for SEO is not an easy task, a majority of companies outsource this task to an SEO expert. An SEO firm audits and analyzes the features of a website. They look for keywords and links. To improve the website, a company may have to do more coding, link building, and redesign the website design. Digital internet web advertising continues to grow and marketing strategies will change again. Maybe search engine optimization may not be the best method to obtain the highest search results.

Now Let’s Get Social

One can measure of internet web advertising by counting the clicks on a link or how much traffic is directed to the company’s website. Social media connects individuals that wish to share their experiences. Social media is an important driver in web traffic.

Facebook is the primary social media platform for private and public entities. Twitter and Instagram are the next two popular platforms. One huge advantage of advertising on social media is that you have a built in audience who is constantly connected to each other. Advertisers can use a low-cost tweet or Instagram photo or Facebook post with incredible results.

Social media marketing is built on customer opinions and customer engagement. Customer impressions give us how many times the advertisement was seen but it does not necessarily have to be clicked. Marketers also need to know the level a customer is engaged in the business. It does this by reading the Facebook post, tweets, and looking at Instagram photos. An important target demographic of 20-30 year olds are highly involved in social media conversations. This can lead one to believe that social media is the most productive form of digital internet web advertising.

Now Let’s Get Mobile

Over the past 10 years, mobile phone technology has improved the design, innovation, and service for mobile customers. Pew estimates that 90 percent of Americans own a mobile phone and 58 percent own a smartphone as of 2014. Because of the improvement in the mobile phone business and the huge growth in mobile phone use, this opens a new door in digital internet web advertising.

Mobile phone advertising now includes display, videos, social, and search. Different websites are advertised on display and videos. Display ads are presented as banners and video advertisements that are similar to television commercials. Mobile advertising is increasing faster than the other forms of digital channels. This is because the customer has a chance to search and go on social media on the smartphone. Thus, this generates revenue for the search provider and for the company.

Now Let’s Talk Bottom Line

Widespread internet access has allowed to reach more consumers faster than thought possible. Google Adwords and Adsense help to increase search rank for a cost. There is also search engine optimization, social media advertising, and mobile advertising that can be used to reach consumers. How do you measure the success of your efforts? You have someone run the analytics which measure the impressions and engagements. The growth of online marketing is continuing to expand with revenue exceeding $42.8 billion in 2013. This represents a 17 percent increase over the prior year.

Finding the Right Health Plan

The enormous selection of health plans for consumers in most states can be very intimidating. After the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) came into session, Americans could now choose to sign up for a policy directly through a carrier or they could choose their state’s insurance. With these new options, Americans now have a lot of health plans to sort through. To make sure you get the best option out there, you’ll need to take a lot of time before you choose your plan and prioritize your needs. Do a little research on the different types of plans before you make any hasty decisions. Follow the following steps to help you get through the scary buying process:

Determine Your Insurance Needs

That may seem like an obvious step, but most consumers actually forget about this step and just look for plans with the lowest premium. You may have heard the saying: “You get what you pay for”. Don’t forget that this applies to buying insurance as well. Cheap insurance looks very appetizing when you don’t have an emergency, but when that inevitable emergency comes, your cheap insurance will quickly become expensive because it doesn’t cover the hospital visit. It is strongly advised to write a list of things that you need in your health plan before you begin to do research on specific plans. Maybe you want to keep your doctor because you really like him, or maybe you want a certain elective procedure and want to select a health plan that could help pay for it. Either way, you’ll probably want to select a plan that has both a good monthly premium and deductible.

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Know Your Options

Consumers who buy individual coverage have two alternatives: they could buy a policy through their state’s marketplace (Health Insurance Exchange) or they could buy plans through a supplier. You may want to keep in mind the following characteristics of buying: Plans that are sold through the health insurance exchange have to cover “essential health benefits”. This includes maternity care, hospitalization, emergency services, and ambulatory care. This might mean that they are a better deal than other plans, which are sold separately, but it could also mean that you are paying for something you may not use (maternity care). Also, the only way to use income-based insurance subsidies is purchasing a health plan through the health insurance exchange. If you make under $95,400 as a family of four, or $46,680 a year as an individual, you are qualified for relief in the form of a tax credit. As an added bonus, filling out the application for income-based insurance subsidies will also tell you if you are eligible for Medicaid, which provides affordable care for low-income Americans. Keep in mind that all of these benefits don’t naturally mean that plans sold outside the exchange aren’t a better deal. Because of the federal guidelines that include all of the things that the health plans have to cover, health plans sold separately can be cheaper because they don’t offer things that you may not need. If you are too intimidated by all of the choices of health plans, you may want to take advantage of an insurance broker. Insurance brokers are compensated by the insurers, so you can use their services for no cost.

Find out What’s Covered

Health plans offer very different services and you’ll need to have an understanding of what you need and what is covered before you decide. Exchange-based plans offer essentially all the same health benefits, but even with them, you’ll have to pay for additional services. Health plans also differ in which doctors and hospitals they will allow you to visit. Many health plans are restrictive in which doctors they want you to visit while some policies will let you choose any provider you wish. If you really like your current doctor, do a little extra research and see if they are fully covered by your health plan.

Look At the Complete Cost

If you choose a health plan purely because of its low monthly premium, you won’t have as many things covered and it will actually end up costing you more because you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any emergency or tests you’ll need done. If you’re young and healthy, you may be willing to take that chance, but you may get peace of mind if you pay a little more monthly to know you’ll be covered in case of unexpected health problems.

It’s probably worth your time to look at plans sold both on and off the exchange to see which is the best value and what offers what you specifically need in a health plan. Keep in mind that the marketplace’s open enrollment period is just three months long, so don’t wait too long and be sure to take advantage of it.

Affordable Health Insurance for College Students

Being in college is already a hectic and taxing period for all students, but one thing a student shouldn’t have to agonize about is paying gigantic bills for healthcare. Students can find they have further alternatives when looking for affordable health insurance, with the Affordable Care Act.

If you are enrolled in college and searching for affordable health insurance, here are some options following.

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Remaining on Your Parents’ Insurance Plan

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare or ACA), it is possible to enrol or continue as a dependent on a parent’s insurance policy, which usually proves to be the most affordable health insurance alternative. The plans that are able to cover dependents as well, are bound by law to allow children to stay on the plan up until the age of 26 years old. There is a possibility that it will not cost a father or mother any additional costs to even keep their child on their plan, because certain plans cover the whole family for one set price.

Even if you are a student and not even living at home with your parents, it is still possible to stay a dependent on their plan—and it is not required to be a dependent for tax purposes. On the other hand, it gets a tiny bit complex if you are enrolled in an out of state institution. It is wise to confirm with the insurance company if they have in network suppliers nearby the school that you are attending. Also it depends on the plan whether it is possible or not. If you do not check with the insurance company, your parents may be dishing out extreme amount of cash if you ever need to be hospitalized, etc.

Considering a Student Health Plan

For the most part, a lot of the post-secondary institutions also offer affordable health insurance plans, which is usually a great choice over applying an individual policy on your own. The plans that are offered by the colleges are usually group-based. What this means is since many students are purchasing policies as a group, the costs are basically significantly cheaper than a normal individual policy. Moreover, if you are taking out student loans, you can pay for the premiums using the loans. This is a great option for the students who are struggling with paying for their education.

Though, one disadvantage to this type of plan, is they are more often than not a little more limited when it comes to what they are able to cover. With that, it is wise to research your college’s policies in great detail before you proceed to sign up.

Buying through Your State’s Exchange

Each state in America has a “health exchange”/marketplace, which was born through the Affordable Care Act. These health exchanges are where private insurers are presenting plans similar to normal policies and an option for affordable health insurance. An advantage to this type of plan is it may be possible to be eligible for income assistance, which can decrease your insurance bills considerably.

Those subsidies would be taking the form of tax credit, which essentially means you are required to report a tax return to test if you meet the criteria. Therefore, those that carry a low income, and not enough to file a tax return, they now have a motive to attempt at one. So when filling out the application for the insurance exchange, when you are asked if you are covered by health insurance, choose “No”. You can even do this if you are presently on your college’s plan and are expecting to surrender that plan.

Medicaid, which makes affordable health insurance available to lower income residents, has also been spread through many states. If you are to fill out a marketplace application, you can see if you qualify to get additional savings under this federal and joint state program.

Catastrophic Coverage

More often than not, health exchanges and health plans through colleges can offer adequate and reasonable coverage at an inexpensive price. Nevertheless, the students that are especially in need of financial assistance can turn to catastrophic coverage.

Catastrophic coverage are intended to supply support if one goes through an extreme medical “catastrophe”. The exchange plans can be purchased by those under 30, as well as people under hardship exemption. They will also have to include 3 primary care visits annually. Other than that, healthcare costs are considered out of pocket until the deductible is reached. This can be around $6,000.

But one must be aware that catastrophic coverage isn’t always the best option. If one is fairly healthy, they can gain easily through low premiums. And if something unanticipated occurs, one will realize something more complete would have been more helpful.

The Bottom Line

Nowadays, it is not difficult for college students to find many options for affordable health insurance. In order to get a decent deal, one must research all possible alternatives.

Why You Should Be Weary of Financial Advice from Anyone

Maneuvering through treacherous financial times can be stressful and difficult to undertake. With anything in life, we sometimes find that friends and family alike want to give us their “best advice” as a way to help us through hard times. Most of the time though, that advice doesn’t help and instead leaves us feeling even more confused about our situation. Just because everyone has an opinion about your situation doesn’t mean that any of their opinions or ideas will ring true for your problems and you might wonder if you should be weary of financial advice you receive. Want to be able to better recognize a time when you should be weary of financial advice? Keep reading for a few key signs to look out for.

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Be Weary of Financial Advice!

Usually, you can be weary of financial advice from someone for a few different reasons, especially if:

·         You’re In Different Stages of Your Life.

Your grandparents or older aunts and uncles might not have the best financial advice to share with you. If you’re in your 20s, you’re in the heights of your prime and your grandfather’s advice that you should invest in money market funds and certificates of deposit might be useful, but you can certainly stand to gain a little more. For your grandfather being in his 60s or 70s, it probably makes the most sense for him to invest in these ventures to avoid losing everything when he has to focus on staying afloat during retirement. You on the other hand have at least 20 to 30 years to play around with more aggressive markets before you have to worry about taking less risk. There’s no doubt that the advice comes from an honest place, but it’s advice you probably don’t need to be worrying about until you’re nearing your years as a senior citizen.

·         There’s A Commission Involved for the Person You’re Talking To.

The general assumption that’s made when you walk into a professional money management company is that the person behind the desk is always operating with your best interests at the forefront of their mind, and this is just not true most times. Be weary of financial advice that entails communicating with a salesperson who works on a commission basis means that their top priority is most likely persuading you into the investments that secure the biggest commissions for them. Instead of the low-fee mutual fund that will probably suit you best, the sales representative could be trying to talk you into a different investment that serves them better than you. Make sure you’ve thoroughly studied your financial advisor, their merits and certifications before deciding to work with them. At the end of the day, you’re the only one that’s bringing your assets to the table, and you only want them to be used in a way that’s going make you feel most comfortable. A financial planner might try and size you up with physical cues based solely on your appearance and if they don’t try to understand where you’re coming from or the breakdown of your financial needs, you’re probably better off going another route. Be upfront and clear about the kinds of financial decisions you want to make and what you can afford.

More Reason to Be Weary

·         They Don’t Sound As Educated As They Try To Put On.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you get the sense that they can’t really know too much about what they’re telling you? It’s completely okay to be weary of financial advice that comes from someone too eager or misinformed to know the truth of the matter. Fast talkers and quick movers most likely don’t know too much about what they’re actually saying. You should definitely think twice and be weary of financial advice that doesn’t seem to make much sense when you take a moment to think it through.

·         They Seem To Be Talking Just To Have Something To Say.

You should definitely be weary of financial advice that gets casually discussed in social settings: around the water cooler at work, at a cocktail party or holiday gathering. Sometimes friends and family members really believe their tips and tricks can help you in your situation, but if you’re not getting all the details up front, the situation could be too good to be true. Most of the time it’s coming from a meaningful place, but relying on the advice of friends and family too often proves to be more hurtful than helpful. Small talk is great when it’s destined to be, but you can’t take most of the things that people say at face value.

·         They Don’t Seem To Have A Scope Beyond Their Own Viewpoint.

It’s easy for your uncle to tell you not to buy real estate because it’s a hassle, but what if he lives in a much different market than you do? There are certainly things he won’t foresee happening in his own picture.

Start Now to Make Your Budget Better

You may already have a budget set in place. If you do, there are always ways to make your budget better. All financial woes can be fixed with a budget plan set in place. Keep reading for tips on ways to make your budget better.

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The Beginning Stage

·         Get The Urge To Budget.

Budgeting takes a lot of work, and if you want to make your budget better, you must have the drive and motivation to do it. You must be willing to try your hand at a variety of ways to save money. Not one way is suitable for everyone. You must find the method that works best to your advantage.

·         Start With Goals.

It is difficult to start saving money when you have no specific goals set in place. In order to make your budget better, you must have set goals and plan to stick to them. Having these goals written down will allow you to keep in mind why you are on a budget and will keep you focused on completing that goal.

·         Find A Supporting Partner Or Group.

Find someone to budget their finances as well. You both can work together to keep each other on track. Even consult a financial professional for help if you need it.

·         Relate Your Financial Goal To A Personal Goal.

If your financial goal is to save up $1,000 a month to finance a new car, have that goal to get a new car be your motivation to save that money.

Spending through Your Budget

·         Record All Money Spent.

Part of a budget is keeping track of what money is made and what money is spent. To make your budget better, you must record every expense, regardless of the amount of money used. It may seem easy, but it is hard to keep track of expenses just by using your head. Keeping a record will allow you to go back and examine your spending for the day.

·         Incorporate Days With No Spending.

While on a budget, you will find it unnecessary to spend money every day. But before that happens, incorporate days where you spend no money at all. Gradually, let your non-spending days be more than your spending days.

·         Allow Yourself Room For Back-Tracking.

It is often that people mess up while on a budget. They relapse and end up overspending. But, the only way to make your budget better is to make mistakes along the way. Once you make them, learn from the mistakes. But make yourself able to recover if ever you backtrack.

·         Stay Clear Of Temptations.

Willpower is something that every person must have when on a budget. It is easy to go in and spend money that you have readily available. However, to make your budget better, you must avoid all situations where you will spend money carelessly. If you are a shoe lover, it is wise to stay clear of shoe stores.  If you enjoy eating out, you may need to start cooking at home instead of dining out or ordering in on a daily basis.

·         Direct Deposit Your Savings.

If you do not want to be responsible for adding money to your savings by yourself, allow your payroll to deposit the funds for you.

·         Use Everything To Motivate You.

Anything that can be used to motivate you to make your budget better, use it! That could include writing down your financial accomplishments, like saving $50 on your weekly groceries or doubling up on a credit card payment. Even use visuals so you can see your reasons to keep up with your budget.

·         Don’t Be Afraid To Speak On Your Finances.

You do not have to broadcast your financial issues all over the place, but talking about your debt and want for financial progress is a good way to get advice and help with your situation.

·         Lessen The Burden Of Making Sacrifices.

If you want to make your budget better, you may think that you have to make sacrifices. If you do, try to replace what you are sacrificing. For instance, if you enjoy going to the movies often in a month, try replacing that $15 movie ticket with a $3 movie rental.

·         Reward Yourself.

The more you save, the more you will be able to spend the extra money on yourself. Budgeting does not mean that you have to cut out spending your money for fun completely. By rewarding yourself monthly or bi-monthly, you will further encourage yourself to make your budget better.

There are many more ways to make your budget better, but with each method must come hard work and determination. Being on a budget is a good thing when managing money, but make sure you are doing the method that works for you.

How Millionaires in New York Can Increase Their Net Worth

Are you somebody that wants to increase their net worth? If so then we are of the same persuasion. The pursuit for wealth starts at an early age, starting with school, learning and trying to get good grades and eventually graduate and get a job that will keep us in the manner that we are either accustomed to or aim for, and all of this is because we believe we can increase our personal assets with the more we earn.

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Those that want to be super rich, could take a look at New Yorkers and how they progress through their lives. In accordance with a recent study there are a large number of millionaires in New York, so what exactly is their story? Why are they so advanced in comparison to other areas of the U.S? Could it be because they are one of the largest financial cities in the country?

Ranking 4th Are Millionaires in New York

In a recent article that was published on LATimes.com it was revealed that in every 25 New Yorkers one person is a millionaire. Taking these statistics it would be correct to make the assumption that there are on average 389,000 millionaires in New York. With figures such as these you can guarantee that just walking down a street in New York will mean that you will rub shoulders with at least one millionaire.

Wealth Insight a consulting firm recently revealed that New York ranks 4th worldwide in regards to cities with the most millionaires, and this does not include the value of the individuals home. The figure of $1 million is the combination of investments, bonds, cash and other assets, this means that there are in the region of 389,0000 millionaires in New York with far more than $1 million in value. When looking at those with properties in the city it can be assumed that there are far more people that have excess wealth in their bank accounts. The article in LA Times confirmed that not only are there a wealth of millionaires in New York but it is also where many billionaires reside.

Data that was printed by SpearsWMS.com showed that there are two other US cities in the top 20, however they are far lower in the actual rankings.  In 18th is Houston and 19th San Francisco. The top ranking areas with regards to population of millionaires sees Monaco with 29.21% as the leader, followed closely by Zurich with 27.34%, then almost 10% lower is Geneva at 17.92%, then dramatically lower is New York with 4.63% and in fifth place is Frankfurt with 3.88% of the population having millionaire status.

The Spears article reported that most of these places are major financial cities within their countries or continents. With both Zurich and Geneva being Swiss banking centers and this is obviously contributory to the distribution of wealth in these cities. There are other cities not shown above that are in the list and attract wealth and tourists such as Hong Kong and London.

The Spears article also looked at the taxes, location and political regimes as these contribute to attracting millionaires to take up residence in these areas. Should one of these factors become negative the millionaires may decide to leave.

Therefore it could be that just taking into account the location could see you increase your net worth, however it takes a lot more to become a millionaire.

How To Increase Your Personal Wealth

Personal wealth is not really about the place you live but is how you use the money that you are earning, although it is not about how much you earn a month. People that are earning an income in the range of six figures may not actually be millionaires and this is due to the burden of debt that they are living with. To be able to increase your net worth and join the millionaires in New York you should follow the habits shown below:

Live Below Your Means

The only way to live below your means is to budget. This is the first place to start when growing your personal wealth. Your budget should show the income that you bring home every month and the payments that you have to make and by following this you can take control of your money. From this point you can decide on ways to cut spending and increase the financial amount that you have left at the end of each month, as the only way to increase your net worth is by increasing the amount that you can save, and this leads to greater wealth meaning that you will be richer.

Create A Financial Safety Net

The financial safety net is your savings or emergency fund. Your savings can be used to setup your finances so that they make you an extra income, and the emergency fund will always save you from any financial disaster. The emergency fund will also save you from having to borrow money if something unexpected occurs and minimizes the stress of the disaster as this can be immediately fixed.

Invest Your Money

Investing your money is one of the best ways that you can increase your net worth. Your financial safety net is where you will have the funds to invest. This will teach you how to invest to grow your personal wealth. You have a number of choices including:

  • Mutual funds
  • Equity funds
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

Any or a combination of the above is how you can grow your money without having to work too hard.

Be Debt Savvy

By increasing your wealth it doesn’t have to mean that you are debt free. The fundamental point to understand in relation to managing your credit is an understanding of exactly the amount you can afford to borrow. As published SmartAboutMoney.org, any debt that you have should fall under 20% of your monthly income, and this should encompass your credit card debt, student loans and car loans. For those needing a home loan in order to purchase their home should make sure that your other debts are controlled rigorously.

Get Educated

Finally make sure that you are educated when it comes to making decisions about your money. It is paramount that you are financially literate and this is one quality that all millionaires share. They are knowledgeable and au fait with all of the options to put them in a better place with regards to their finances. They are very aware of debt and the implications that it brings.

So, if you want to join the millionaires in New York these are all things that you should strive to complete. Those that are unaware of the financial management are those that end up spending their wealth unnecessarily, and any effort that you have made will be in vain.

Canceling Credit Cards: How Is Your Credit Score Affected?

Some people that find themselves working with credit counselors, advisors and money gurus will sometimes get the feeling that the only answer they arrive at for solving their debt issues is canceling credit cards. This is a very misguided belief that can bring about the creation of new, worse habits when dealing with money and this kind of drastic action can do more harm than good when it comes to your credit score. Keep reading about more of the facts that come into play if you’re considering canceling credit cards.

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Balance-to-Limit Ratio Really Matters

30% of your FICO credit score is tied to your utilization rate, or your balance-to-ratio limit. This means that you never want to have a very high balance on your credit card. Say that you have a $5,000 limit and your current balance is sitting somewhere around the $4,800 range. This illustrates a very high ratio of your balance to your credit limit, and your credit score will definitely drop for this reason. Canceling credit cards will set your available balance to zero and send your ratio off-kilter. In reference to your credit rating, the best idea to handle credit cards that are into the upper limit ranges is not to start canceling credit cards: just discontinue using them and start paying down the balance and interest as soon as possible. Over time, the available credit on the card will increase and your FICO credit score will get a nice boost.

Canceling credit cards straightaway might serve some positive psychological needs for certain people, but from a credit perspective you’re only hurting yourself in the process by doing so. You score will suffer for a while and you might develop even worse habits with credit cards and money in general.

Your Unfavorable Payment History Still Stands

Even when you start canceling credit cards thinking you’re saving yourself some stress, the payment history tied to your credit card will still stand in reference to your FICO credit score. This means that while a good payment history will of course help your score, a bad payment history will still affect your credit score negatively even after the account has been closed out. If you have various lines of credit open, each different payment history will constitute 35% of your overall FICO credit score. The impact that a closed account’s payment history has will decrease with time because it will eventually fall off of your report and no longer affect your score.

Negative payment histories usually stay in play for about seven years and positive payment histories stay intact for about ten years.

The Length of Your Credit History Helps and Hurts

Fast track your thinking to ten years after you’ve closed a credit card account. It’s about the time that a positive payment history is about to fall off and no longer be a valid indicator of your credit history, so your FICO credit score is going to change in one of two ways. The length of one’s credit history constitutes about 15% of your overall credit score. You can only be hurt by a positive payment history falling off of your credit report if this was the oldest account you had on your credit report because it will cause your length of credit history to be recalculated: and it will with no doubts come out shorter in length without your longest-standing positive history.

As long as the positive payment history that’s falling off of your credit report isn’t your longest-standing positive history or it’s only the oldest positive history you have by a year or two, you won’t lose too much benefit of its age when it “dies out”.

A Good Mix of Credit Looks Good

If you’re planning to cancel your only credit card, you will certainly hurt your FICO score. A mix of diverse credit types will do the most good for your credit score and that criteria will make up about 10% of your FICO score. Only when you have a mix of about seven credit accounts will your score begin to be negatively affected, so canceling credit cards and other lines of credit that are newer and more superfluous would be ideal at this time. Even if you’re meeting payments and building positive payment histories on all of your accounts, you’ll begin to see negative effects down the line.

At most, three to four credit cards and lines of credit should be more than enough, so long as you’re keeping all of your balances very low.

In most cases, canceling credit cards will give off a neutral or negative change but there is at least one instance that can create a positive change. Make sure to keep in mind the best way to close a credit card account before doing so and remember: taking control of your credit score and credit cards can be easy as long as you have a good strategy in place.