The headlines pretty much tell the story. Unemployment figures remain high and many experts believe that the actual number is much greater than is being officially reported. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are still happening at an alarming rate. Housing prices are continuing to fall and consumer debt is reaching levels previously not seen. Add to this declining retail sales and increased costs for gas, food and other consumer items, and you have the "perfect storm" for financial disaster.
Money problems can be a constant source of stress and frustration to consumers who are desperately trying to make do with less. While experts around the world are trying to put into place measures to improve the global economy, ordinary people are also trying to right their own financial ships. By learning and using sound money management techniques and being aware of and avoiding consumer scams and financial rip-offs, you too can weather these tough economic times.
Good money management skills are essential to any sound financial planning. Without them, it is almost impossible to reach your financial goals. Learn how to plan a realistic budget and why it's important to start saving now. Keep track of your spending to avoid wasting money on unnecessary purchases. Being financially independent requires it!
It is virtually impossible to have a sound financial plan without maintaining a realistic budget. A budget lets you see exactly where your money goes. For many people, this can be a real shocker.
Learn how to create a budget that is realistic and do-able. Review it often and adjust it as your income and/or expenses change.
The decision to borrow money is always a serious one. Unfortunately, over the past few years millions of American consumers have been shut out of traditional lending sources due to banks and credit unions tightening their lending requirements and demanding higher credit standards from potential borrowers.
The result of this situation has been enormous growth in the non-traditional lending industry. These loans generally present more risk to the borrower and should be considered with extreme caution before a final decision is made.
Everyone knows that it's important to save money. But in tough economic times, it can seem nearly impossible.
Whether it's for some special item, an emergency fund, or even retirement, the important thing is to start now. Even if it's just a small amount, you need to get in the habit of putting some money away on a regular basis.
Go over your expenses and see where you can make realistic cuts. Learn to live with less. The road to financial independence starts with saving.
It's actually quite easy to spend money. The hard part is spending it wisely.
One of the smartest things you can do is to be aware of your spending habits. Once you know where your money goes, it enables you to make positive changes. It also may alert you to areas where you need to be cautious, such as impulse buying.
Learning how to shop wisely and spend smartly can greatly improve your overall financial picture.
If you have fallen behind with paying your bills, you already know the stress involved. Speaking with debt collectors, investigating debt relief services, trying to repair your credit- all of these things take an incredible amount of effort and time. Scam artists and other questionable financial businesses know this and are eager to take advantage of your financial misfortune. Learn the facts before committing to anything.
Credit cards can be a mixed blessing. They can allow you to purchase an item and pay for it over time (with added interest, of course). But if not used wisely, they can put you in a deep financial hole with little hope of getting out. Read the fine print before taking on a new credit card. Check out the fees, charges and interest rates. Compare different cards and then decide.
The foreclosure crisis is still with us and many homeowners have either lost their homes or will be forced out in the near future. Foreclosure rescue scams are making matters even worse for scared and vulnerable property owners. Speak with your mortgage company directly if you are having trouble making your monthly payments.
Many people who have lost their jobs or had their hours and income reduced now find themselves looking at different work opportunities and various methods to accumulate cash. If you've always wanted to be your own boss, perhaps a franchise business might be the answer. Or maybe working from home could be a possibility. Whatever you decide, you need to be alert to scams and fraudulent businesses who promise miraculous monetary returns.