Here is the key to your Financial Toolbox

Friday, June 24, 2011

Getting a Grip on Your Financial Reality

In the last post we showed you some of the options to get a budget together and get financially organized. Now you have come to some of your options and realities. With some belt tightening, getting rid of club memberships, services and luxuries you know you can do without for the moment you can find a way to be solvent every month. You even may find some money you can start stacking away in a savings account. This is good but if you cannot find a way to at the least break even every month you have some tough decisions to make.

Never get the impression that this blog will be about saving the BMW or Mercedes from repossession because I can tell you to cash out on them now while you can find some money to get adequate transportation. We are talking about owning the transportation you need to get your daily routine taken care of. If you are that caliber of person perhaps you should read The Millionaire Next Door to understand what I am talking about. The Millionaire Next Door gives you an idea of true wealth amongst high income people and that you do not necessarily need a big income to become wealthy. You will find nothing in this blog that will tell you I have any sympathy for those who have the need to keep up with the Joneses. It is a part of American Society that is more of a fable than the American Dream. In fact this is only the dream that advertisers and big banking want you to believe. I am tired of falling for their myths and tricks how about you?

Ok! You have gone through everything that you owe with the pay-off dates. Then look at your budget and think of what you can do without to pay back your debt and become solvent. Look to see if you own property and if you have some equity you can cash out on. When I say this forget about what your banker told you. Get banks and bankers out of your head. They only tell you what they want you to hear. Get an estimate of what your loan to value is on your property. If you have no property you can still follow this plan so please read on what I am going to tell you may surprise you.

Federal Credit Unions are for the regular everyday person. When the banks tells you they can do nothing for you means they lend to people that can secure their debt (wealthy people). Banks lend to the rich and big business and any unsecured debt is where they make their money by charging more for their services. Big banks are not interested in helping you pay less your debt unless you can secure these loans. Big Banks mean only secure loans with individuals yet they will take chance with big business investments as we saw in 2008.

Enough of that! If you can benefit from a lower payment and you are willing to sacrifice some credit card accounts a Federal Credit Union may be able to help you. If your credit score is at least in the high 600s you may qualify for an unsecured loan through a Federal Credit Union. You do have to prove that you can pay the money back. The criteria for Credit Unions are different from regular banks as far as lending. If you do have some equity in your property and a bank will not let you cash out again the criteria is different with a Credit Union. Credit Unions will go up to 90% loan to value on your property where banks will go only to 80% Loan To Value. Banks charge you processing fees for your financing where Credit Unions do not. This can make a big difference in what you receive in the funding you get in your loan. Not to mention all the loan programs with credit unions are fair with their interest rates and more tailored to the individual.

This again is where My Shopping Genie will help you. Credit Unions are regional and the best way to find one is calling and asking what the membership requirements are for the Credit Unions in your area. My shopping Genie will help you find the Credit Union Suitable for you by using your favorite Search Engine.

Remember the My Shopping Genie is a free to download and My Shopping Genie will help you save time and money on all goods and services you may need in these hard times of recovering financially.

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Here is where we have exhausted all options. At this point you want to stop the financial bleeding and the constant badgering from banks, creditors and debt collectors. These are the measures you can take to basically tell all those who have badgered you to do something anatomically impossible and start over at the same time.

When all options are exhausted you may want to consider Debt Settlement. Debt Settlement at this point may or may not be better than bankruptcy. What you have to consider with Debt Settlement is the time it takes to get the negative entries off your credit report. Even if the accounts you settle are marked paid and current they will also be marked as settled and prevent your credit score from going up. It will take an additional seven years from the time all your accounts are settled to successfully get them off your credit report.

When accounts get settled through Debt Settlement you also may be liable for the difference between what is settled and what you paid. This will be considered income to the IRS. Please note when you settle debt, the financial Institution may send you a 1099 with the unpaid balance to you as income so they can deduct it as your income from the IRS. This sometimes is overlooked by individuals seeking debt settlement and can further hurt you in your financial recovery process. If you are in debt the last thing you want to do is get into debt with the IRS. The fines and penalties are far worse than dealing with creditors.

View More Consequences of Debt Settlement in the Videos Below This Entry.

The Last Option Is Bankruptcy

The threat can be worse than the solution. There is a lot to consider with bankruptcy however, do not rule it out if you are over your head. With debt settlement depending on how swiftly all the debt is settled it can take nine or ten years to get your credit history or report in good reporting condition. With Bankruptcy it takes ten years. With both you can obtain credit in that time, but at what expense to you as the consumer? The answer to these questions really lay in a lawyers hands. He will actually tell you how you can protect some of your assets where if you waited until forclosure let’s say the result could be completely different. With the help of a lawyer and if bankruptcy is done right it can help you save you from losing your car or transportation if they are paid for in full and you have title to them. Bankruptcy means protection from creditors because of financial hardship. I can write paragraph after paragraph on why or why not to go bankrupt and only you can make that financial decision. Only you can make that decision to stop the constant phone calls and the financial bleeding. If you do not take action the problem will never go away. All you are doing is letting the big financial institutions rob you of your dreams, your peace of mind, your relationships and worse your health and wellbeing. They call it civil law but there is nothing civil on how they treat you when you cannot pay your debts.

We have resources to help you find a lawyer or again My Shopping Genie will help you using search engines.

1 Look Into Legal Match by Clicking Here!
2 Look Into Rocket Lawer by Clicking Here!

This Weeks Rant

After reading book after book and article after article on banking and consumer rights concerning debt I can’t help but to be angered. The reason we all take on debt is to get the things we want faster instead of saving for the things we want. Since I was young how the flow of credit has infiltrated the poor and middle class with people being victims of credit misuse. Do not kid yourself big financial instutions do not want to see you succeed they just want your money when you fall behind. They rock you and sock you with late charges topped with default rates that make you fail instead of helping you find an equitable solution. These financial institutions have lawyers on their side. If you are bleeding financially seek help. Go back and read the past entries and stop the bleeding now! Or, find a good bankruptcy lawyer and get your life back. There is plenty of help out there and there is plenty of help in this blog with more to come so get going and help yourself today to start living a happier more prosperous life.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Getting Set With A Budget

Getting set with a budget is more a matter of discipline than knowhow. There are many Self Help books you can use or courses you can take to help you learn to set up a budget some you may find online. With one search I found spreadsheets 1 2 3 free budgeting worksheets with My Shopping Genie.

For Free Budgeting Spread Sheet From Spread Sheets 1 2 3 Click Here!

The deciding factor on this is do you want to self-educate yourself, do you want to seek some education or have someone professional get you started. With this entry we are going to offer some suggestions on what to follow. What you need to remember it is up to you and to what standard and time frame you set your goals. Remember with last week’s entry we just wanted you to get a general Idea of what you would like to accomplish financially. We were not trying to suggest you be too harsh on yourself and be realistic on the goals you set for yourself. Try to take the blame away from yourself. It may not be your fault. Look at your total picture before becoming too hard on yourself. You want concentrate on what you are going to do to change your financial future. In the coming months your outlook can change to the positive when you actually see your future improving as the debt goes away.

If it is as simple as just organizing your finances you can start with this e-book. Click Here!

If your finances seem more complex and you want to learn to get and stay out of debt these Ideas may help.

I am in the process of personally using the debt to wealth system. John Cummuta has some great ideas using leverage in teaching this system. With this system you learn to pay off debt by making each account at a time eliminating one account at a time and then using the funds from the paid off account to pay off the next. This is a great concept however, when you do your debt analysis you still have to be able to live after you set up your payoff budget. That means you still have to have the money to leverage and be able to pay your living expenses without taking on more debt.

What John does do is give you a strong education in setting up and maintaining a strong financial ethic that will help future financial decisions and difficulties. All this is done through video seminars, work books and work sheets. If you are going to build a strong financial foundation this course is one of the best out there. I am sure you have heard the ads over the television and radio.

The Initial package is all most people need to help them determine there daily finances. When you fill out the auto responder you will be offered an advanced course which you pay extra for. The advanced course is a course and an MLM program. I am an advocate of MLMs however; I do not know much about this program and find that getting into a MLM is a personal decision. It would be in my opinion if you are in financial distress this will be a hard program to start knowing you are in financial distress and will require some real salesmanship. If you feel you can achieve with this MLM try it. If it is going to sit in a closet you own an overpriced financial management program so do not get involved and opt out of the e-mails and the calls after you are secure with the original downloads. There is a money back guarantee on the original downloads.

Just to remind you that the initial seminars and workbooks you can use over and over again will help you keep focused in your debt goals. Remember being debt or financial free is the first step toward true wealth. As you get there will be opportunities out there with easier and more inexpensive MLMs or other programs to start. You will find out by continuing to read this blog in future entries.

Debt Goal is an online service I have given special attention to. To use Debt Goal runs along the same lines as the Debt to Wealth system but you set up an account online to pay your debt back. Debt Goal is easy to use and easy to set up. You just have to have a true goal in mind when you set your account up.
Debt Goal unlike the Debt to Wealth System uses the leverage of all your accounts to pay them off. This is a real simple method. Say you have three credit cards and a personal loan to pay off. You start off with the three credit cards with the minimum payment on each. As you pay down the credit cards that same payment stays the same using the extra money you have by not paying a minimum every month to leverage and pay down your debt faster. As with a personal loan you may want to pay it off in three years instead of four years, your payment get figured out on an accelerated scale leveraging the payment against the interest. Debt Goal thoroughly describes its program on its website.

To Look Into Debt Goal Click Here!


Here is where you can get free budgeting help. But when I say free budgeting help that means Consumer Credit Counseling will sit you down and help you with a budget and give you a financial analysis and proceed to give you advice. This is where you need to be careful. I am not saying that their advice will be wrong. That is quite the contrary. The advice they give you can be very beneficial. What I am saying is make sure their program is for you.

If you have more than $10,000 in unsecured debt and you are pay the default rate on that debt. This means you were a day late on your credit card payment more than twice I a calendar year you most likely are paying the default rate at around 30% annually. This means you are paying about $270 on that $10,000 each month in interest before even paying on any of the principal. This is why you feel like you are not getting anywhere in paying down the debt.

Here is what is special about Consumer Credit Counseling. With most of your unsecured debt they will work out for you a payment plan that reduces and / or eliminates the interest on that debt which helps you pay down the principal on all that debt for a lower payment to Consumer Credit Counseling. They take care of every creditor you listed with them for you monthly.

Here are some of the drawbacks; you have to prove you can pay the monthly payment. If you are late you can be removed from the program and be responsible for all unpaid interest because you did not follow the terms of the contract Consumer Credit Counseling agreed to on your behalf. Another drawback is you credit score will remain in the low 600’s during the time you are paying back the debts. You have to pay a $35.00 a month service fee to distribute your funds to Consumer Credit Counseling. And lastly you cannot apply for or obtain any unsecured credit from any sources or you will also be removed from the program, and you again will be responsible for any unpaid interest by defaulting on the promises made on your behalf by Consumer Credit Counseling.

If you are carrying debt you can afford you are most likely better off using Debt Goal or The Debt to Wealth System. If you feel you can live in the guidelines of Consumer Credit Counseling that is a good Choice also. I am a graduate of Consumer Credit Counseling of Delaware Valley and I have no regrets. Being a graduate proved to me with some discipline you can achieve financial freedom. However, If Consumer Credit Counseling is suggesting bankruptcy we will be discussing that and other alternatives in the next post.

Consumer Credit Counselling Main Site Click Here!
Consumer Credit Counselling Of Delaware Valley Click Here!

Do not forget to get you My Shopping Genie to help you with your search for credit counselors. My Shopping Genie lists all the Best Credit Counseling Locally in your search making your search faster and easier using your favorite search Engine. The best part about My Shopping Genie it is a Free Download with no strings attached.

This Week’s Rant

Filling out but being careful with using Auto Responders Part 3

If you do not like phone calls try not to fill out auto responders that ask for phone numbers. Try only to do the auto responders that only add your e-mail address (remember the Commercial e-mail account Idea from last week’s entry). Just remember if that auto responder has something that you are interested in and you do not want to give up your phone number you could be missing out on an opportunity. What you want to do is only try to fill out auto responders that truly have something to offer you. If this is a product or service you commonly use and you benefit by saving money, it helps you with your employment or helps you with your conquest to become financially free I can only encourage you to use that auto responder. If it is something you are just curious about and it has no real purpose in your life you are best not filling the auto responder out.

The one thing you have to remember. If because of auto responders you are getting bombarded with unwanted calls. Stay on the phone. At the point where the person who is calling takes a breath you be prepared with.

Here is your script:

I am sorry but I am not interested in your (product or service). I do not know how you got my phone number and I do not care. I am taking your number off my caller ID and if you call me again I will call the do not call list and seek to have action taken against you. Please take me off your list. Thank you!!!

That is your Verbal Opt Out and It Works!!!
If you keep on ignoring the calls they will not go away. Memorize that script and be firm with these sales associates. If they do not comply with your wish call the do not call list and report them. It is your right use it!
In coming entries we will give you some ideas on how you can do the something to deal with Debt Collectors. Below we do have a video that can help you in the meantime. We also have an E-book that may help you.

Beat The Debt Collectors Ez Forms Click Here!

View Some Helpful Video Below This Entry!

If You Are New To This Blog Go Back And Read These Posts:

Getting It All Back Together Again Click Here!

Let's Talk About Jobs Click Here!

Better Financial Planning Means Setting Goals And Better Time Management Click Here!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Better Financial Planning Means Setting Goals And Good Time Management

When you have made up your mind to make that change in your finances it is important to remember that even if you go with some kind of credit management service your success or failure is going to depend on the goals you set and the time management you keep. In the coming week we are going to talk about budgeting but first we need you to start setting some goals with a general time frame to accomplish what you set out to do. However, for this week we want you to list and set reasonable goals of where you want to be financially and in life in the next five years. If you are going to have all your debt paid back in five years that’s fine but, be realistic. If you want to have your debt three quarters of the way paid, and maintain a seven hundred plus credit rating that is reasonable too. Just do not go wrong by thinking the Fairy Godmother of finances is going to save the day you will not find it in this blog or if you are real lucky you win the lottery but, chances are that will not happen either. There is no miracle software or miracle cure for repaying your debts. Just careful planning and if you need it some professional help.

Do yourself a favor and look at your total situation and list your debts and expenses. Just do that this week. Set that list aside and we will talk about how to set up a budget, and if you need it where to go to get help with budgeting next week. In the meantime here is a little guide I wrote about setting goals and time management.

“When I grow up I want to be like my wife!!!”

Multitasking is not one of my strongest assets. With the Easter Holiday so late in the year, a location change for the weekly business meeting I attend, and Memorial Day Holiday I have not been keeping up with everything I want to accomplish. During the winter months I have a little more time on my hands because a most of my regular work is seasonal. The business opportunity I have been working on is not at the point where I can leave my job and work on it fulltime. That is the plus side of this business I am working on is the ability to start part-time. The tough side is always finding enough time to work on my business without it interfering with family and my regular job. Here is where I need those lessons from my wife.

The first thing I need to do is get better about using my calendar. What I need to do first is duplicate the needs and events off the family calendar my wife posts for us. This way I can plan what I want to attend and what I can skip so I do not interfere with important family tasks and events.

I am good about using my calendar but for some reason or another I step away from keeping up with it when time seems more manageable. When the time seems manageable is when I should plan more and strive to get ahead. Sometimes it seems easier said than done.
I know I need to spend more time setting and managing my weekly goals. We all know we all have to start with the ultimate “Goal” or “Why” with anything we want to achieve. As we define the larger goals we need to break them down into smaller tasks. This means if I am not going to lose track of my ultimate goal I need to break it down into monthly, weekly, and then daily tasks. This way the ultimate goal will not seem so overwhelming. Here is where the business plan or the game plan comes in. You have the master list of those goals you want to achieve with the approximate deadline you want to achieve that goal. Keep them separate from your monthly tasks. After you have made your monthly list of tasks you bring it out to your weekly list of tasks. This is where you make your weekly list of tasks. Those tasks should be categorized by their importance and then scheduled in your calendar.

One thing you have to remember that you need to keep your master list of goals where you can see it frequently to keep you excited and ambitious about achieving those goals. During the week you want rely on your calendar to keep you directed. Once a week you want to pull out your weekly and monthly goal list and mark off what you have accomplished and re post on your list and calendar what is important to you. If you find a step or a task was not that important to you anymore or as you originally thought, forget about it and if it comes up later then accomplish it.

Take time monthly to develop your monthly list. Put a date and a time on your calendar to add your monthly tasks to that list. Make this appointment to yourself each month without exception. This is where you schedule your time weekly to work on your weekly list. The key to all of your lists are keeping a small notebook handy for your tasks and your thoughts. I need to get better with listing the tasks. I always seem to put down my thoughts when possible. The reason I said this is. No matter how strong or weak my time management can be at times, taking notes and getting things off your mind is essential to helping you relieve the pressure of not having enough time. With the demands of our daily lives if we take the time to write something down there is less of a chance you will forget something important, help your productive time go further in life, and keep the anxiety level down.

This Week’s Rant

We are not going to have a rant this week instead we are going to offer another suggestion about last week’s rant. People complain about their e-mail boxes becoming full of junk and spam e-mail. There is a cure for this. Open a second e-mail account. Designate one account for whenever you fill something out on line. That way you just manage the junk mail with the junk mail and the mail that is more important to you get managed in your regular e-mail box.
Let’s call one mailbox your commercial mailbox and the other your personal mailbox. When you fill form or direct an offer to your commercial mailbox you have control over whether that individual or company is going to sell your information to another list. I say this because when you have too much junk in your commercial mailbox you can just delete the entire contents without fear of losing something important. On the other hand if something interests you or is safe to you, you can forward it to your personal mailbox box and you will not have to worry about all that junk and spam. Eventually if you discover that you want that mail going straight to your personal e-mailbox go to where it says to remove your e-mail from this list (opt out option), you can reassign that particular auto responder directly to your personal e-mail in most cases there.

Filling out some auto responders can save you money. Last week we added Groupon to our sight. This week we added discounts from Kellogg’s. Guys this is like free money. You do not have to spend money to save money with these auto responders. They send the savings to you directly to your e-mail box. There is no hunting down bargains. You will not have to pay taxes on that money you save, and it is like additional income. If you are going to spend money on that product anyway get it at the biggest discount possible. The key is if you are not shopping for it or planning for it don’t spend it. A coupon or a sale is not a sale if you do not want or need it! Think of it as stretching the money you have instead of saving it at the register. When you have stretched your money so far as you have some extra put it in a savings account. Now that is saving. You just need to be able to invest some time into saving (stretching) money. It really can enhance your income if it is done right.

With a commercial e-mailbox you can also work on surveys. Surveys again as I said last week, people actually make a part-time income from surveys tax free. With a separate e-mailbox is where you can separate the products and services that mean the most to you from the ones that do not. Your commercial e-mail box where you can delete unwanted e-mail cancel the auto responders when you get time. You will find this extremely true with surveys. But, you can acquire some pretty nice stuff by taking surveys and there are some good ones to follow.

Take Some Time And Look Through Our Video Below.