Budgeting For Emergency Funds?

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Emergency funds are considered to be a necessity as far as financial security is concerned, since it can provide one with financial resources that one can resort to and depend on when an emergency arises such that when one is sick and have the burden of paying huge medical bills, or unexpected home or major car repair.

When one has no emergency fund, one can be obliged to acquire debt on your credit card that might take several years to repay with interest that would late…

budget, family budget

Emergency funds are considered to be a necessity as far as financial security is concerned, since it can provide one with financial resources that one can resort to and depend on when an emergency arises such that when one is sick and have the burden of paying huge medical bills, or unexpected home or major car repair.

When one has no emergency fund, one can be obliged to acquire debt on your credit card that might take several years to repay with interest that would later cost so much more.

However by putting an extra thirty to fifty dollars every month in an individual “emergency savings account?one can be secured with what emergency the future may bring. In doing this, it is recommended that one regards the emergency fund as an additional bill, to be punctually paid each month.

Yes, one can and should budget and allocate the extra money for emergency fund, as this is very significant when one refers to his “financial future? Here, the goal is to create savings from budgeting your income; the emergency savings should ideally be equal to at least three months your living expenditures.

What’s important is that you should steadily put a certain amount of money aside, and only use it for real emergencies.

Not like an investment, the success of one’s long-term savings funds does not really count on the amount of return or interests but on placing a fixed amount of money away constantly and steadily so to have immediate access to it at all times.

In spite of one’s financial status, the initial step in the process of constructing an emergency fund is by knowing where your money is presently being consumed or spent.

When one recognizes and determines where one’s earnings are spent, then it will be easy for one to choose and make a decision where to trim down expenses. In other words, budget.

Budgeting is putting or setting aside money for anticipated and unanticipated future use. It is here that one sets up a goal so as to save. So set an emergency fund as your goal.

Checking, savings, money market accounts and “certificates of deposits? are great places to keep one’s cash that might be needed on quick notice.

The amount saved from budgeting can either go to your savings goal, emergency fund or both. One could utilize the money saved from budgeting financial expenses by saving half of it to your savings account and half of it for emergencies. This way, you achieve your goals in savings and at the same time put in funds for emergency use. It’s your choice.

Earn While You Shop: Find the Right Reward Program for You

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Point-based reward programs are proliferating. You can earn enough miles to fly to Paris just by using your credit card or you can accumulate points that can be spent like cash merely by shopping at your favorite stores.

Earn While You Shop: Find the Right Reward Program for You

Point-based reward programs are proliferating. You can earn enough miles to fly to Paris just by using your credit card or you can accumulate points that can be spent like cash merely by shopping at your favorite stores. But with so many options available, how do you know you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck?

The following tips will help ensure that you pick the right program for your needs.

* Know your lifestyle. Choose a reward program that fits your priorities and lifestyle. If you travel a lot, try air mile travel reward programs like www.milesource.com.

Similarly, if you like outdoor activities, look for a credit card like the Cabela’s Club Visa, found at www.cabelas.com. You can earn points, in the store and online, that can be redeemed for all types of hunting, fishing and camping gear.

* Reap your rewards. Select a reward program that doesn’t add an expiration date to your hard-earned points. If it does, make sure you know the date and use the points before you lose them.

* Look for flexible rewards. Avoid choosing reward programs that tie you into redeeming points only at specific vendors. Look for more flexible options like FreeStyle Rewards, found online at www.freestylerewards.com. It lets you build points by shopping online at more than 175 participating merchants. You redeem your points for a debit card that can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, online or offline.

* Click ‘n’ save. Select online shopping reward programs that provide gateway access to your most frequently visited stores. You’ll find everything you need, save money while you shop and build points as you go.

* Share the wealth. How would you like to make point donations to family, friends or charities? Select a reward program that allows you to do so.

* Compare. Just like you would compare merchandise prices, compare point-based reward programs by considering what’s important to you and determining which ones will fit your needs.

Bankruptcy Attorney: Questions To Ask

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If you have tried every way imaginable to avoid bankruptcy but find that you have no other way out of the situation, the first step you should take before filing is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

bankruptcy, bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy law, avoid bankruptcy, filing bankruptcy

If you have tried every way imaginable to avoid bankruptcy but find that you have no other way out of the situation, the first step you should take before filing is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can be hired or appointed by the court systems to help you through the court proceedings. If you decide to select your own attorney, make sure to select someone with previous experience in bankruptcy law, preferably someone who works specifically with bankruptcy.

No matter which bankruptcy attorney you select, you should always be prepared to ask the attorney questions regarding your own case. Here is a list of questions you should always ask your attorney to make yourself more aware of your bankruptcy proceedings:

* What type of bankruptcy is right for me?

Keep in mind that the Federal court system in the United States has eight different types of bankruptcy filing available. Of course the two most popular are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, but there are a variety of different details and rules that apply to each type of filing. A good bankruptcy attorney will be able to sift through your financial difficulties and recommend the best type of bankruptcy for you.

* How do I file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy will need to be done in the state where you currently live. If you plan to remain represented by a bankruptcy attorney, their legal staff can help to prepare all of the paperwork that is necessary to present to the court system. If you simply want to use the bankruptcy attorney for a consultation, make sure you don’t leave the attorney’s office without the necessary paperwork to begin the bankruptcy process.

* What type of fees will I owe?

This is important to ask in regards to your bankruptcy attorney as well as the court system. Most bankruptcy attorneys will give a free consultation but any remaining time on the proceeding or in court will cost a fee. Some attorneys charge by the hour while others charge a flat fee for bankruptcy services. As well, the court systems usually charge a court fee connected with filing the case, administrative charges and extra Chapter 7 fees to pay a trustee in charge of the bankrupt account.

* Where do I go to file my bankruptcy claim?

Bankruptcy cases are handled by the federal court systems in every state. This usually means that the bankrupt party will need to give the bankruptcy paperwork to the state courthouse, usually in a state’s capitol city. Your bankruptcy attorney should know the address and rules regarding whether or not paperwork can be sent by mail or if paperwork needs to be given in person.

* What happens after filing for bankruptcy?

Immediately after filing for bankruptcy, the court system will send out notification to creditors of the pending bankruptcy case. From this point on, creditors are considered to have a “restraining order” by the debtor and are not allowed to contact the debtor requesting payment. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, a hearing will be scheduled and deadlines will be set for creditors to file a claim and attend the hearing. Of course, all of the proceedings from here are dependent on the type of bankruptcy filed, so it is important to be in contact with your bankruptcy attorney who can more readily answer these questions.

Five Steps to a Comfy Retirement

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Building a comfortable retirement nest egg is easier than you think. Here are five steps to help you build a comfortable retirement.

retirement, financial planning, retirement planning

You’ve probably heard about the Nebraska meatpackers who won the largest lottery jackpot in the United States last week. One winner replied “I’ve been retired for about four days now?when asked what he would do with his winnings. His response did not surprise me; I’m sure my reaction would be similar!

What does surprise me is that many Americans believe that they cannot retire comfortably unless they win the lottery. A survey by the Consumer Federation of America shows that 27% of Americans believe that their best chance to gain $500,000 in their lifetime is to win a sweepstakes or lottery.

Fortunately, building a comfortable retirement nest egg is easier than you think. Here are five steps to help you build a comfortable retirement:

1. Start early! If you started saving $100 a month beginning at age 18, you would have over $500,000 by age 65. The power of compounding is great, and the earlier you start saving, the greater the benefit.

2. Have a plan. The best way to ensure that you will have a comfortable retirement is to plan how much you will need to retire. You can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going.

3. Participate in company sponsored retirement plans. Many companies offer matching contributions to your 401K or other retirement plan contributions. This is free money ?take it!

4. Invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, that fits your goals and risk tolerance. Studies show that your investment return is determined primarily by the allocation of your assets, not the individual investment selections you make.

5. Keep your costs down. Invest in no-load, low cost mutual funds (or other investments). Lowering the expenses in your portfolio by just 1% can equate to 20% more money in your portfolio after 20 years.

Although winning a large lottery certainly can’t hurt, following the steps above should send you well on your way to a comfortable retirement.

Cash Advance Loans Online – The Real Truth

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So you have found yourself in a bit of trouble and are looking into cash advance loans online. This may not be such a great idea as many cash advance loan companies are…

cash advance loan online,cash advance loans

So you have found yourself in a bit of trouble and are looking into cash advance loans online. This may not be such a great idea as many cash advance loan companies are not completely truthful in the details of the loans that they offer.

First of all the fees associated with getting cash advance loans online can be outrageous. To begin with, you will pay unusually high interest rates with these types of loans. Either you will pay a percentage of the total amount you plan to borrow or you could be charged anywhere from $10 to $50 per hundred dollars that you are going to need. Should you need to extend your cash advance loan you will end up paying additional fees each time you do so.

The majority of people who take out a payday loan get caught in a snowball effect of sorts Basically when a loan comes due that a borrower is not equipped to pay in time they usually end up having to extend the loan and incurring more interest charges. Additionally you are likely to rack up bounced check fees at your bank if you do not have the money ready when the withdrawal happens.

Instead of getting involved with a cash advance loan you may want to consider any one of these other options. You could see if your boss would give you an advance on your pay, or you could ask a friend or family member to loan you the money. You may want to check with those you have debit with and see if there might be a way to gain a little extra time to pay your bills and also check what the late fees would be involved with this.

There are many great options that you can utilize when looking to pay some bills. Applying for cash advance loans online should be at the bottom of your list of possibilities.

Correcting Four Common Money Mistakes

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If you feel as through you keep making the same mistakes when it comes to money, there’s good news.

Correcting Four Common Money Mistakes

If you feel as though you keep making the same mistakes when it comes to money, there’s good news.

By making a few small, practical changes in your behavior, you can often correct financial mistakes and make some positive changes that are likely to last. Here are four examples.

• Eliminate emotional spending: Before you head off to the mall, take a minute to note what you are feeling. In a recent study by moneycentral.msn.com, people who had just watched a sad movie clip were willing to spend more than those who had just watched other types of movies.

Remember, if you are feeling sad or frustrated, there are ways other than shopping to make yourself feel better.

• Pay off credit card debt as soon as possible: Take a long look at how much you are paying to borrow money from your creditors. Think about consolidating debt with a single loan that has a lower interest rate that’s fixed.

• Start planning for retirement now: If you are not saving money for retirement, you should be. A recent study in USA Today showed that currently, 53 percent of people in the workforce have no pension and 32 percent have nothing set aside for retirement. If you’re planning on relying just on Social Security, you probably should think again. The current average payout is just $955, or $11,460 annually-and could be even less, depending on your work history. You should consider working with a financial professional and completing a personalized financial profile. This can help determine how much you need to start saving in order to reach your financial goals, such as retirement, education savings for your children and other goals.

• Prepare for the unexpected: Don’t use the “it could never happen to me” excuse when dealing with something as critical as your family’s financial future. Sudden accidents or unexpected critical health problems happen every day to those who least expect it. If you are the breadwinner of a young family, according to the experts at Kiplinger’s, life insurance protection of eight to 12 times your annual income is recommended. Most experts agree that the most affordable form of insurance is term insurance. According to Kiplinger’s, “Dollar for dollar, term life insurance gives you the most protection for your money. Period.”

Be Cautious When Using Your Nest Egg as an ATM

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If your home truly is your nest egg, be smart about how use its equity. Make sure that it fits in with your overall financial plan and golas. Otherwise, you could be left without a nest and just the egg!

About five years ago I moved from the ranks of being a renter to that of being a homeowner. Now, not a week goes by that I don’t receive some type of offer through the mail encouraging me to refinance my mortgage, open a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or apply for a home equity loan.

Payoff High Interest Credit Card Debt! Lower Your Monthly Payments! Buy A New Car! Refinance And Get Money Now! scream the slogans splashed across the envelopes.

The promotional letters inside point out how easy it will be for me to “get the extra cash you need NOW!? They promise “no out of pocket costs?with a newly refinanced 30-year loan.

Could I use some extra cash NOW? You bet I could! Who needs high interest credit card debt? Not me, no way, no how! Buy a new car? Hmmm, I like that new Pontiac G6 I’ve seen on tv, maybe in a sleek titanium color with black trim?

For thousands of U.S. households “Home Sweet Home?is rapidly being replaced with a new sentiment – “Home Sweet ATM.? According to the latest Federal Reserve study, 45% of homeowners who have refinanced their mortgages pulled cash out and 74% wound up lengthening their mortgage by about six years. Only 17% shortened their loan term opting to downsize to a 15-year mortgage.

In a period of six years, Americans have more than doubled the amount owed on home equity loans and lines of credit, nearing $766.2 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.

If you’re in your 40’s and you refinance on a new 30-yr. loan, you’ll be in your 70’s by the time your loan ends. Even if you shave off a few years by paying down your principle, you’re still risking not owning your home “free and clear?as you approach retirement age.

What happened to the era when your home was considered your nest egg to be used only for life-threatening or life-changing events like paying for a child’s wedding or for a medical emergency? And worst of all, many new homeowners are using their home’s equity as another source for financing new debts.

Think twice before using home equity to pay off credit card balances. If you’re already overspending on your credit cards now, what makes you think anything will be different after you pay them off with a loan or line of credit? Many people just wind up deeper in debt or facing bankruptcy because they couldn’t resist charging their cards up again.

Keep this in mind before tapping your home’s equity – Your loan or HELOC is secured by your home. Default on the loan and you could lose your house, even if you declare bankruptcy!

The best use for home equity is to make improvements that add value to your home. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, adding an extra room or creating a master suite are just a few of the “hot?improvements that can really pay off when it comes time for you to sell.

If your home truly is your nest egg, be smart about how use its equity. Make sure that it fits in with your overall financial plan and golas. Otherwise, you could be left without a nest and just the egg!

Cash Advance Loans – Online Financial Help In A Hurry

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Everybody at some point in their lives gets in a tight spot with money, which is where finding cash advance loans online can become helpful. A cash advance loan can have money in your hand in less then 24 hours, many times even the instant that you are approved.

cash, advance, loans, online, loan

Everybody at some point in their lives gets in a tight spot with money, which is where finding cash advance loans online can become helpful. What is a cash advance loan you might be asking and how will one help me?

A cash advance loan is also commonly referred to as a payday loan. When you have applied for a cash advance loan online you will need to have an active checking account or savings account, as this is the method that the loan company will use in order to collect the money that they are owed.

The term of cash advance loans online are normally between one to six weeks and usually no more then two or three months.

How can a cash advance loan help me?

A cash advance loan can have money in your hand in less then 24 hours, many times even the instant that you are approved. This can be very helpful if you have a dire need for money. You don’t need to have stellar credit in order to qualify for a cash advance loan. Most all cash advance companies will only require and active checking (or savings) account and that you have proof of how much money you make in a month. Many companies additionally require that you have been at your current job for at least six months. Cash advance loans can also help you bring your credit score up if the company happens to report to any of the three major credit reporting agencies.

Why would a cash advance loan not be a good idea?

There are large fees associated with getting a cash advance loan. When you get your loan the loan company will be requiring you to pay anywhere from $15 to $50 per hundred dollars that you plan to borrow. If you need to extend a payday loan for whatever reason you will be charged additional fees each time you do so. You can end up paying more in fees then the amount that you wished to borrow in the first place.

Do thorough and complete research and make yourself well informed about how these types of loans will work. Then you will be able to be absolutely sure that cash advance loans are the best option for you to choose.

Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit- Facts

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Credit cards for bad credit are certainly not going to be the best credit deals, but credit cards for people with bad credit might the only options available.

credit cards for people with bad credit, credit cards for bad credit, bad credit credit cards

Credit cards for bad credit are certainly not going to be the best credit deals, but credit cards for people with bad credit might be your only option available. The interest on credit cards for people with bad credit are usually much higher than on a regular credit card. These types of credit cards are especially designed for people with a bad credit history and don’t qualify for a regular credit card. If you are a young person just starting to build credit, or if you’ve had circumstances that has damaged your credit history, you usually can qualify for credit cards for bad credit.

Bad Credit Deals

Bad credit, credit card deals are readily available online with easy, secure applications. Bad credit deals are often divided into secured credit cards for bad credit that need a deposit and bad credit unsecured credit cards, a bad credit card with much higher fees. These types of bad credit offers people with a poor credit score or no previous credit history a quick and easy way to re-gain a good credit history with bad credit cards. If you keep your credit balance under the limit and make your payments on time, you’ll become eligible for much better deals on your credit card rates and improve your credit score.

Interest

There are many temptations by having credit cards and while using bad credit cards to hold you over in tight situations, remember it is only temporary relief as the interest rates on credit cards for bad credit are extremely high. Shop around and look for credit cards for bad credit with an interest rate that you are absolutely sure you will be able to pay. Probably the single most important part of picking credit cards is the interest rate, especially for people who will be rolling over balances from month to month.

Tips

A person must always keep in mind that credit cards for bad credit are very easy to use so don’t go overboard or you might find yourself in a much worse situation. Check out the interest rates and fees before you start applying for credit cards for bad credit. Don’t apply for every bad credit card there is as this will effect your credit score, only choose two of the best bad credit deals you can find.

Energy Tips To Help Your Pocketbook And America

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According to the Department of Energy, household energy costs have increased a whopping 12 percent from 2004.

Energy Tips To Help Your Pocketbook And America

According to the Department of Energy, household energy costs have increased a whopping 12 percent from 2004. Even more startling is the price of natural gas, which rose by 23 percent.

The good news is that there are many actions Americans can take to lower their energy bills, and at the same time help the nation become more energy independent.

Keep Your Cool This Summer

• Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional oven.

• Use a power strip to control your electricity use. A large number of electrical products-especially home electronics-can’t be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day. Plugging them into a power strip to shut them off will save you money.

• Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 115?and take showers instead of baths.

• Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.

Landscape For Efficiency

• The shelter from three trees, properly planted around a house, can cut annual heating/cooling costs up to $250.

• Grow vines on trellises to shade windows, the side of a house or AC units.

AC, Appliances And Lighting

• Open windows, when conditions permit, and use fans instead of air-conditioning. Use a fan to maximize and spread the cooled air from air conditioner units.

• Use a programmable thermostat with the AC to adjust the unit at night or when no one is home.

• Keep lamps and TVs away from the thermostat. Heat from appliances and lamps could cause the air conditioner to run longer.

Shade The Windows

• Install white shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat. Close curtains on southwest-facing windows during the day. Sunny windows can make an air conditioner work three times harder.

• Replace single- and double-paned windows with Energy Star-labeled windows to save energy and money for years to come. Install them before December 31, 2007, and qualify for a tax credit.

Weatherize

• Caulking and weather stripping will help keep out hot outside air, thus keeping indoor air cool. If you see holes in ducts, hire a professional to repair them.

• Add insulation around AC ducts in attics and crawl spaces.

• Consider investing in insulation for the whole house.

Whenever possible, purchase products with the Energy Star label. The label means you are investing in energy efficiency, value, comfort and high performance.

Homeowners can save an estimated 30 percent (about $450) a year on their home energy bill by using Energy Star-qualified products.