Credit card debt is easy to get into and difficult to get out of.
Prior to heading off to college, my mother told me that credit cards could be my best friend or worst enemy. She continued by saying that keeping the balances low and making timely payments was the sound thing to do.
Unfortunately, I ignored the warnings and found myself in more credit card debt than I wish to admit only a few years later. Even worse, I figured that only paying what was required each month couldn’t possibly do any harm.
Did you start off 2015 with high hopes of making significant life changes only to end the year with guilt that nothing actually materialized?
You aren’t alone.
The number of Americans that set out each year with resolutions in hand is high – varying reports place the number at somewhere between 40-50% — but the number of people that are still sticking to their resolution past the first rough patch are much smaller. Forty-six percent say they were able to hold strong for at least six months, but a whopping 25% weren’t able to make it past the first week.
Yes, that’s right – the first week.
You spend hours perfecting your resume and cover letter for your dream job. The interview goes smoothly and the employer wants to offer you the position. But there’s one more hurdle to pass: the background check, which includes a credit screenings.
To your surprise, the employer is forced to pursue other candidates because your credit profile doesn’t quite check out. Bummer.
Fortunately, understanding how employer credit screenings work will help you better maneuver the application process if your credit profile is subpar.
It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is over. A new year has started that’s full of opportunity. Whether you call them goals or New Year’s Resolutions, it’s exciting to consider the potential for 2016.
There’s one small problem. You had a great Christmas, but it was funded largely on credit cards, thus the problem – the rolling in of credit card statements over the next few weeks. If you’re how I used to be, you’ll dread opening those statements. Here’s how to handle that temptation and have a fresh start this year.
After dedicating a good chunk of time to mapping out my goals for the year, fully covering both my professional and personal life, I noticed a trend. Everything I hoped to accomplish for the year – from meal planning to implementing a better filing system — revolved around creating a more streamlined, simple life.
The biggest pain points I identified in order to craft my goals – like spending hours looking for lost paperwork and scrambling for forgotten passwords – can all be tied together with one theme: organization. And as I decided the steps I needed to take in the first quarter of the year, I noticed something else – accomplishing these tasks will have a major impact on my finances.
We often think of people living paycheck-to-paycheck as those who earn a lower income or struggle with debt. It makes sense as living paycheck-to-paycheck results in little to no money left in the bank at the end of each month. Surprisingly, the former issue isn’t always the case. A recent survey conducted by CNBC reports that 25 percent of those making over $100,000 a year are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
I know income is somewhat relative, but $100,000 is a good salary. Remembering back to my days of this lifestyle, I wasn’t making anywhere near that amount. Ultimately, it doesn’t come down to income. It’s the mindset that matters. If you’re currently living from paycheck-to-paycheck, here are some ways to break that cycle.
I discovered the wonders of frugality when I was paying off debt. In my previous life, I spent money on any whim that surfaced. Whether it was large or small, I made the purchase with little thought to how I could pay for it. After a few years, my spend crazy ways forced frugality into my life.
All of a sudden I had to live by a budget. I had to find ways to save money on virtually everything. While a shock at first, I learned to embrace frugal living and all the benefits it brings. What I’ve learned over the years is that frugality can often be a fool’s errand. Here’s why.
Last month my wife and I finally got rid of our final budget killer – our DirecTV subscription. At $105 per month, I’m glad to see that bill go by the wayside and am dreaming of the ways we can better use that savings each month.
We can all be guilty of budget leaks on occasion though this was a budget killer. Although the number of cord cutters is on the rise, a recent study reveals that 83 percent of American homes still have some form of pay television. As has been our experience over the past month, you don’t need to spend much to enjoy quality content. The benefit of cutting the cord on cable TV for us is that it brings our family one step closer to a major goal we want to reach.
As a parent of three young children, I want to do all I can to provide for them. That’s as simple as providing food and shelter to more long-lasting needs. In every case, we want to do all we can for our kids, which includes sacrificing our own needs or wants as parents. There comes a point, however, when you need to let your children fly solo.
A recent study from a professor at North Carolina State University reveals 40 percent of adult children (those aged 25-32) still receive some kind of financial assistance from parents. While not really surprising, given the recent economic climate, it begs the question of when to cut the cord on your adult children. This is an issue far larger than a single blog post, but consider some of the following as you think about when your adult children need to be on their own.
New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad wrap over the years, but for good reason – according to studies, the success rates for some of the most commonly made resolutions are dismal.
One such study conducted by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, found that, out of 700 participants, only 22% managed to see their resolutions through to the finish line.
“Of the 78% who failed, many focused on the downside of not achieving the goals; they had suppressed their cravings, fantasized about being successful, and adopted a role model or relied on willpower alone.”