Discover 5 Practical Credit Repair Tips

For today’s guest post on credit repair, please welcome CFA and fellow blogger Steven Millstein.

Putting good credit after bad is the best way to improve a credit rating over the long term. The fundamentals of putting good credit after bad include paying your bills on time and limiting the amount of credit that you rely on. However, there are other, lesser-known ways to practice effective credit repair. To help you build a stronger credit rating which makes it easier to access affordable credit when you need it, I would like to share 5 practical credit repair tips. Use one, a few or all of them in order to get the type of credit rating that lenders want to see!

If your credit has taken some dings, you need to work on restoring it. Here are 5 practical credit repair tips to get you started.

1. Dispute Negative Credit Report Entries

If you’ve been getting hassled by a collection agency and you think that the collection agency may have inaccurate information about your debt, you should take action. Under the stipulations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it’s your right to dispute a credit entry which is incorrect. In order to find out exactly why a collection agency is bothering you and harming your credit score, you should send the collection agency a letter. Ask the collection agency to provide you with proof that the debt is rightfully yours. Continue reading

Perm versus Term Life Insurance – Why You May Need Both!

Usually, the most frequently asked question when people consider life insurance is, “what’s the price?” That question can’t easily be answered simply since there are just so many variables involved such as age, health, face value, and the type of the insurance which then results in widely differing premiums. That’s a good reason to first ask this question: “which kind of insurance is best for me, perm or term?”

In the perm versus term life insurance debate, most experts will tell you to buy term. But there are reasons you may need both.

The Perm versus Term Life Insurance Dilemma

When you are looking for a low price, quite often term policies are most attractive and most purchased. You may be assuming when purchasing that policy that you will never have to purchase another insurance policy again. That’s not necessarily a good assumption. Continue reading

17 Weird and Wacky Ways to Save Over $7,000 A Year

When times are tight, and that seems to be just about all of the time these days, it’s important to search for ways to stretch your dollars. While everyone seems to know the obvious money-saving strategies, like clipping coupons or online shopping instead of spending extra for gas and driving everywhere, there are plenty of other options to cut your costs. Some of you may have heard some ideas whispered in a back room at the office, but you may have never even imagined that people spend a lot of their time looking for new and even extreme ways to save their money!

As prices go up and incomes rise slowly, it's time to look toward weird and wacky ways to save money to help balance your budget. Here are 17 ideas for you.

Don’t be afraid. If you are really serious about saving money, you can get pretty creative with your saving strategies. Those willing to think outside the box can save some serious cash. If you’re willing to do just about anything it takes to add some extra room into your budget, try these 17 crazy, weird, and even extreme ways to save money and cut your expenses! Continue reading

How to Prevent Identity Theft with a Security Freeze

We live in a world of technology and while we can really benefit from that, there are some aspects to technology that can rain on your parade and really cause damage to you and your personal finances. That side of technology is most damaging when your information is hacked and your identity is stolen. Learning how to prevent identity theft will go a long way toward protecting you.

Technology adds convenience, but it is also subject to hacking. It's imperative that you learn how to prevent identity theft and protect yourself.

It seems that there are an awful lot of really smart people who use that intelligence for evil instead of good. All you need to do is just listen to the news and you’ll hear quite often of the hacking of accounts from mega-giants like Sony, the DNC, and lots of retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus. It even happened to me about a year ago when my online banking account was hacked and it caused a lot of anxiety and grief and tied my money up for weeks and weeks. I was fortunate that I didn’t suffer any permanent loss. So what can you really do about this threat? Continue reading

8 Ways We Try to Save Money That Can Backfire

Have you ever heard the expression “Penny wise, pound foolish”? It’s not an original from me (it’s Robert Burton’s – one pretty smart guy), but it’s something I heard a lot growing up from my parents. I’ve said it a time or two to my family and friends ever since.

Sometimes when we try to save money, we end up spending even more. Check out these 8 scenarios where savings can backfire and let me know some of your own.

It’s absolutely true that I and just about everyone loves to save money. Heck, I spend a lot of my time looking for ways to do it and I usually it’s time well spent. But, have you ever made some really bad decision to save some money that ended up backfiring on you later on? I know I have and it’s not at all uncommon to do something to save money now, only to have those savings cost you further down the road. It’s pretty easy to fall into that trap. Here then are a few ways that you try to save and that can actually cost you a lot more than you ever dreamed. Continue reading

Join Me in the Spirit of Giving Back This Thanksgiving

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe

Thanksgiving is just two days away, and many of us are focused on two things: preparing for Thanksgiving dinner and the shopping onslaught that begins after that. But not all of us get to do that. Some of our neighbors won’t have a turkey and all the trimmings. Some will be struggling to feed their family at all.

As Thanksgiving approaches, giving back is even more important. Join my Virtual Holiday Food Drive to support the food bank or try one of these other ways.

At this time of year, when it is so important to give thanks for what we have, I’ve decided to hold a Virtual Holiday Food Drive for the local food bank. For those of you who are able, I’d like to ask you to share what you have and donate what you can. Continue reading

Why You Should Christmas Shop All Year Long

For today’s guest post on Christmas shopping all year long, please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—unless you leave all your Christmas shopping until November and December. The long lines, the rush to get to the mall on Black Friday, the stampede to pick up this year’s hottest toy—it’s all part of the game, and it’s a game that can make you very, very tired.

Black Friday to Christmas Eve may be prime shopping time, but it's better for you & your wallet if you do your Christmas shopping all year long. Here's why.

What happens when you don’t put off your Christmas shopping until November? Does it matter? It actually does, and you’ll be a lot less likely to encounter the emotional dumpster fire that ignites as the clock steadily marches closer to Christmas. Not convinced? If you need more reasons than that alone to start shopping sooner, here are five more reasons to start picking up presents year-round. Continue reading

Frugal Ideas for a Cheap, Low Cost Weekend

Have you ever sat down and figured out how much you actually spend during a weekend? The results could shock you. From errands to entertainment, the money you shell out every Saturday and Sunday can really add up over time. And if you have financial goals like getting out of debt, saving for a large purchase like a house or car, or building your retirement nest egg, your weekend spending could be hindering those goals.

It's easy to let weekend spending spiral out of control. Here are 10 frugal ideas of how to spend a low cost weekend that's productive or enjoyable.

 

A good way to revamp your weekend spending habits is to try to avoid spending any money at all—at least for one weekend. Think that’s impossible? With a little advance planning, you can do a lot without big spending. Continue reading

How “Bargain Brain” Can Tank Your Finances

Bargain hunting can save you money, and who doesn’t love a bargain? Of course, we all do. But for some people, looking for the next “great deal” becomes an addiction. The call of the clearance rack wins out over practical matters like common sense and whether you need or want what you found. You may not even have a place to put it. I’m almost positive you have some things hanging in your closet right now that still have the tags on them from way back when you got “that great bargain”.

If you're addicted to bargain hunting, you may have what is known as Bargain Brain. Endlessly shopping for bargains you don't need will ruin your finances.

 

Getting a “bargain” on something that you will never need or use is a complete waste of your time and money! Continue reading

5 Easy Steps to Save Up to 50% on Your Grocery Budget

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News flash—food is expensive! But I bet you already knew that. Suzanne and I are pretty proud that somehow we manage to keep our food expenses under control and since I track it all to the penny for the past 10 years, I actually have the evidence that we have done a great job of saving (and patting ourselves on the back!).

Your grocery budget is one of the most important places to save money. Use these five tips to tame your spending and save big.

According to the USDA, the typical family of four spends about 10% of their household budget on buying groceries for their family and that’s well over $7,500 on the low side to an unbelievable $16,000 on the high side each year depending on income. For our family of two, our grocery budget lies somewhere between the thrifty and low-cost food plans. All these numbers don’t include the money a family spends dining out which is about one third of total food expenditure itself. Continue reading