Month: December 2015

Financial Resolutions

Financial Resolutions
What are yours?

 

As we are gearing up for a new year, some of us make resolutions. Some of those resolutions may be to lose weight, become more spiritual, read more, or even spend more time with the one’s we love. Whatever your resolutions are, I don’t want you to forget about your finances. Let’s make some financial resolutions and make our 2016 the best financial year yet. To get you started, I have included five, and I want you to think of five more.

  1. Reacquaint Yourself With Your Finances. Check the status of all of your account’s, take stock of your debt’s and evaluate your monthly cash flow. This helps you identify particular areas that need improvement, as well as evaluating of upgrading or eliminating an account would be beneficial.
  2. Make A Budget. Only 39% of adults have a budget. If you are unsure of how to create a budget that works, then I invite you to sign up for my FREE 30 Day Budget Bootcamp, beginning January 1, 2016. Making a budget ensures that you do not spend more than you bring home, and a budget is step one to financial freedom.
  3. Improve Your Credit Scores. The best way to improve your credit score is to maintain an open credit card account that is in good standing. The card will then report positive information to the major credit bureaus each month, either building out your thin credit profile or helping to devalue mistakes from the past.
  4. Increase All Saving’s. Most people are pretty good at wasting money, I know I used to be.  Many of us don’t have budgets or emergency funds, we rack up expensive credit card debt by the billion, and we prioritize short-term desires over long-term needs. After all, 1 in 5 people nearing retirement age have absolutely no money saved up, according to the Federal Reserve, and 55% of people say they will have to save more for retirement later in life in order to make up for not putting enough away now. Well, lets take some steps to change that in 2016.Retirement obviously isn’t your only savings need. You also may need to save for college, weddings, vacations, etc. The best approach to meeting all of these savings needs is to establish separate accounts for each, which you fill with automatic monthly contributions from a bank account. This gives you some useful perspective on each of your goals and enables you to better track progress. Your goal for the year should be to boost the value of each of your accounts by 10-15%. This will obviously take hard work and sacrifice, but figure out how much you’ll need to put away each month.
  5. Stress Test Your Finances. People are generally optimistic in nature, which means it can be difficult to imagine and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Responsible financial management is all about preparation, though, which means it is very important that you put your personal finances through the paces – much like banks and other financial institutions are required to do in order to verify their stability.For example, you may wish to determine if your finances are equipped to handle job loss or the death of the family’s breadwinner. This clearly isn’t an uplifting exercise, but it will enable you to determine if you have the savings, insurance policies and contingency plans necessary to overcome potential hardship.

I hope these five financial resolutions get you started on your own list of resolutions unique to your own financial need’s. I would like to hear from you. What are some of your your financial resolutions? Comment below and let me know.

Your,

Money Make-Up Artist, Tracie Threadford

Contouring YOUR pocket’s, lifting your bottom line and highlighting your future.

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9 Way’s To Raise Your Credit Score

9 way's to raise your credit score

One of the things I feared when I filed my bankruptcy was that my credit would be shot forever. That was as far from the truth as the east is from the west. I could still do things like get loans from onlinecreditusa.com but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to get my score back up. Whether you have filed a bankruptcy plan, debtors court plan or credit counseling plan or not, here are a few tips that can assist you with improving your credit score.

1.ORDER YOUR CREDIT REPORTS

First things first, order your credit report from the three credit bureaus: Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. Your credit report will contain a list of accounts that are hurting your credit score. You are entitled to a free credit report from each bureau once per year. To save time you can go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com and order all three for free. If you want to see your score there may be a charge to upgrade to include the score. You won’t know your credit score unless you order your credit report. You will need to have all three of them, because each report differently and you will need to see how your accounts are being reported on each one. Don’t just assume that each report contains the exact same information. Remember, you can’t improve your score if you don’t know exactly what you need to work on!

2. DISPUTE ANY ERRORS

Now that you have your credit reports review them for errors, such as, accounts that are closed but are still being reported as open, any erroneous accounts that may not belong to you, or anything that you know to be incorrect. Write the credit bureau or the creditor and have this information removed. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT!! Errors hurt your credit report more than you think. For example, payments that are reported inaccurately can bring your credit score down anywhere from 60-110 points.

3. REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DEBT THAT YOU OWE

The amount of debt you are carrying makes up 30% of your credit score. You will need to start paying off your debts in order to improve your credit situation. Come up with a payment plan that will put most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest credit card or account first, while paying the minimum on the remaining credit cards or accounts.

4. PAY BILLS ON TIME

I know that should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Paying your bills on time will only have a positive effect on your credit score. As a matter of fact, paying your bills on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Write down all of your bills and their due dates. Keep them posted where you can see them and make sure that you paying on or before the due date.

5. AVOID NEW CREDIT APPLICATIONS

Since you are in credit repair mode, you should avoid making new applications for credit since some inquiries hurt your credit score. New accounts can hurt your credit score as they lower your average credit age. So stick with the accounts you have and work to improve their standing.

6. ALWAYS PAY SOMETHING

Make every effort to keep your account’s in good standing. This may mean that you have to make a partial payment one month, but that is better than not making a payment at all.

7. DON’T BE AFRAID OF CREDIT CARD’S

Being credit poor, in other word’s, having no credit at all, is just as bad or worse than poor credit. The best thing to do is to have one or two card account’s open and payoff what y0u charge each month. This is how you will build an excellent credit score without having to owe anyone anything. Credit cards can be a dangerous business, which is why you need to ensure that you have a credit card plan that is right for you. Comparing credit cards is probably the best way to get the right deal, and you can navigate here to compare different balance transfer credit cards

8. KNOW YOUR LIMIT’S

Know exactly what your spending limit’s are on each account. This keeps you from going over the limit. Going over your limit will lower your credit score and you will incur over-limit fee’s as well.

9. BREAK OUT AN OLD CARD EVERY NOW AND THEN

Old dormant account’s, in good standing, can help your score. So pull out that old card an use it at least 2-3 times a year.

For 10 ADDITIONAL way’s to raise your credit score, click the image below for a free printout.

9 way's to raise your credit score
Click The Image For FREE Printable

Be patient and persistent during this process. You didn’t ruin your credit overnight and you can’t repair it overnight. Continue to make your payments on time each month and watch your credit score improve over time.

Your Money Make-Up Artist,

Tracie

Helping YOU Contour your pocket’s, Lift your bottom line and Highlight your future

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4 Simple Way’s To Build Wealth On A Low Income

4 simple way's to build wealth on a low income
Build Your Wealth

Let me ask you a simple question- is building wealth important to you? If you answered yes, it is important that you realize, it is a mindset to form a habit, no matter where you are on the financial ladder. Start today to form the habit to build wealth.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that wealth building strategies are best left for those with cash to spare. When in reality, anyone on any income level can create wealth. You have to start somewhere.

By incorporating these 4 habit’s into your life, you are guaranteed to be on track for financial success no matter where you are starting from.

1. Every little bit counts
This is true whether or not you are going through a financial feast or financial famine. While this may seem simple; it is a method of thinking that will payoff. Many of the worlds richest people make it a habit to save when and where they can. Here is an interesting fact, Price Rainer of Monaco used to buy all of his socks in the same brand and color. Seems crazy right? Wrong! The reason he did this was because he would always have a matching pair if one sock became lost or worn out; there was no need to buy a new pair for replacement. Basically he was following the old adage, take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

2. Invest in yourself

The old adage, “pay yourself first,” is a great rule to live by, however, many of us fail to do so. I actually pay myself second, because I pay my tithe’s and offering’s first. After that, my necessary bill’s are paid, what’s remaining, I use to pay myself, in the form of saving’s and investment’s. Warren Buffet said it best when he said, ” Don’t save what’s left after spending, spend what’s left after saving.”

3.Don’t sleep on a bargain

Understand the difference between price and value. The price is what you pay but the value is what you receive. When making purchases, always buy quality item’s when they are marked down. When you learn to spot true value and invest wisely in it; this is a skill that will help you make smart financial decisions.

4. Think and plan ahead

In an perfect world, a plan for what you want to achieve in the long-term should form all of your financial decisions. That’s in a perfect world, but in reality, we know that is not always easy or necessarily the case. Forming a clear understanding of what you want to achieve in the long-term is an excellent way to start building wealth. Plans and goals provide the necessary context to focus all of your financial decisions with purpose. Taking the time to write your goals and craft a step-by-step plan to achieve them is an investment in your future. It will decrease wasted effort, increase efficiency, produce amazing results and most of all it is FREE.

Finally, even if you are starting from a low financial base, just spending one hour a week working toward your financial goals, and becoming financially literate, can help you gain the financial freedom you so desire. I would like to hear from you, what is one financial goal you would like to achieve in order to build wealth?

Your Money Make-Up Artist,

Tracie

 

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Spending Freeze Results Are In

must read spending freeze update
Spending freeze update

In case you were wondering, I spent a grand total of $519.84 last month during my spending freeze. I gave a mid-month update that you can read here, to see what I spent money on. I did achieve my goal of saving $1500 for my grandkids to take three vacations next year.

Here is the list if the rest of the money I spent.

$22.00 on dinner for me and my husband. Now do you see how frivolous that was? I could have easily cooked, but I just didn’t feel like it.

$51.00 on Thanksgiving dinner. I had a free turkey as well. The crowd was larger than expected and I did not have time to cook anymore turkey and dressing, so I bought it. This is why it is important to R.S.V.P. for events b the requested deadline. Had it not been for these last minute straggler’s whose other plans fell through I could have kept that money in my pocket.

$284.00 (downpayment) for a branding coach. This is vital to my business, as I am taking my business to another level in 2016. I know that I can’t do it alone and I have no problem investing in myself. Yes, I could have waited until the freeze was over, but something in my gut told me to act fast. It really wasn’t that fast, however, as I had been studying this person for about a year and I knew that she was the coach for me.

As you can see, you can meet any financial goal you set. Could I have done better? Of course I could have, I could have had $2000 for my grandchildren and it’s still not too late. I can still save more money directed to their vacation account. I am happy with my outcome. Thanks for joining me.

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