How to save money through 6 budget-friendly hacks on daily items

One of the best ways to reach your financial goals is to learn how to save more money and maintain your budget. The more you can save, the more quickly you will be able to reach your financial goals. Your prime goals should be paying off debt, saving for retirement, buying your first home, building your investment portfolio, etc.


Most of us normally focus on bulk saving. It is like saving through working extra, or saving on shopping, or buying through cash instead of using credit cash. But, have you ever thought of saving on the everyday items that you use daily? What daily items? I am going to tell you a few such budget-friendly money saving hacks that you may apply daily, and save more money.


1. Remove water stains

The issue: You might have seen that your fancy coasters and your beautiful wooden table are getting multiple white rings or water stains whenever you drink any beverages like soda, beer, or juice. If you quickly wipe the surface, the stains might get removed. But if you do not… it will leave a sticky, nasty mark which might catch germs. Cleaning is also not easy. You might need a good quality, expensive surface cleaner, and a good dishwashing solution to do the work.


Solution: Apply a tablespoon of mayonnaise right onto those water stains. Rub gently for a few seconds and leave. Wipe it in less than 10 minutes; it will work and the surface will be as good as new.


2. Remove dirt marks on glasses of windows and furniture

The issue: There are multiple incidents where I have broken my window glasses while cleaning them up. Practically, with the costly cleaning solution, they (advertisers) used to say “you just need two drops of it”. Trust me! Two drops won’t do anything better. I used more drops and rubbed roughly to clean my window glasses, and… they’re gone! I had to spend a lot on the new glasses.


Solution: Do you buy newspapers or keep them at your house? Bring them and make them wet by spraying water. Before the water gets dry, rub those wet newspapers directly on any glass surface. Let them dry there. After that take a clean cloth and clean by rubbing gently. The glasses will shine like diamonds.


3. Buy prescribed medicines at Costco

The issue: More or less we all have some sort of health issues and for that, we often visit doctors and get prescribed drugs. As a regular individual, you might tend to buy meds from your nearest store when required. But doing that may cost you a bit more and affect your monthly budget. Buying medicines from your local stores can not get you a good discount. But to buy drugs in bulk and get a discount, you might have to subscribe to a costly membership in a popular drug warehouse store. That also hampers your budget.


Solution: Membership warehouse stores such as Costco may give you good discounts on prescription meds. And guess what! You don’t need to be a member to buy them.
Access to medicinal drugs is regulated by the federal government, so medical warehouse stores aren’t allowed to sell medicines only to the members. Customers may use the pharmacy without being a member. So, you may take the advantage and save money on medicines along with on membership subscriptions.


4. Keep journals of your expenses

The issue: Believe it or not, we all overspend!
Yes, it is true. Somewhere down the line, in any part of our life, we all have wasted money without thinking about the future. Spending without tracking is bad for you.


Solution: This is one of the best budget-friendly money saving hacks of all. You may cut your bad spending habits easily if you can track down the total amount you are spending in a certain period. You just need to write down every cash outflow by keeping a daily journal.


After a certain period, let’s say 1 month, you can review how much you have spent and for what reason. This way you may analyze all your expenses and decide which one was necessary and which ones are a waste of money.


With this journal, you can maintain the balance of your income and expenses. You may be able to organize your budget and help you reach your financial goals.


5. Extend the life of razor blades

The issue: You’re getting annoyed of constantly buying new packages of razor cartridges. They are quite expensive and you can’t possibly always buy these in bulk.


Solution: This might sound weird, but I have tried it at my home, trust me it works! Get an old pair of jeans, lay them on a flat surface, and run a clean, dry old used razor several times up the pants leg. Repeat it several times on both legs.


What’s the catch! You have to run the blades backward, don’t shave the jeans. Just hold the razor in the opposite direction. The threads on the jeans will sharpen the blades, similarly like a barber sharpen their blades on a leather strap. If you can do it correctly, you may keep your blades sharp for months.


6. Drink water as your primary beverage

The issue: You are too obsessed with sodas and other beverages that are harmful to health.


Solution: One of the most frugal and budget-friendly money saving hacks is using your house kitchen sink faucet every time you need to drink water.


Fill your cup or a bottle with fresh water, and drink it down. The cost will be nothing compared to those colorful sodas or beers. The bonus? Long-term health care costs also become less than expected.


Normally these days people become ill due to junk food and those colored beverages. Drinking a sufficient amount of water daily is good for health and cheaper than buying sodas. It also keeps you away from multiple health issues, especially from urinary diseases. Have a water bottle with you full of cold water so that whenever you get thirsty, you can avoid a vending machine to buy a beverage. Remember that each time you do it, you’re saving at least $1, and then simply enjoy the water.


How to crush your debt easily with 3 simple steps in 2020

To most people, like me, keeping New Year’s resolutions is difficult. Some people even hesitate to make new year’s resolutions at all. But some people responsibly follow each resolution they make on the occasion of New Year.

 
Of all types of resolutions, managing finances is one of the most common of all that is usually broken. People mostly fail to get debt relief due to their negligence towards financial matters.

 
Make sure 2020 is the year when you are definitely going to keep your get out of debt resolution. If you can follow these 3 basic steps to crush your debt, you can reach your goal to become financially free in 2020.

 

1. List all of your debts from lowest to the highest amount

Relax and take a deep breath. Now you are going to prepare a list of every outstanding debt you owe, a.k.a. your total debt balance. This may include:

 

  • Credit card debts
  • Payday loans
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages payments
  • Student loans
  • Auto loan payment

Once you made the list of all your debts, sort out the unsecured debts from that list and create a new final list of debts to start your quest. So, practically mortgage and car loan payments will be out of that list as they are secured debts with a collateral.

 
*Do not forget to list every balance with their interest rates and creditor names.
Now you have a clear picture of what you owe and to whom.

 

2. Decide which debt to crush first

Professionals might suggest you focus on the debt with the lowest balance first because it’ll be easier to crush such debts due to the low balance. You may even get out of debts quickly if the entire balance of a particular account is small enough.

 
But if you ask me, I’d always target the debt with the highest interest rate. The best way to crush your debt is to target your highest interest debts first. It is because the highest interest debt can continuously generate more debt into your account. Normally, payday loans and credit card bills have the highest interest rate compared to other loans.

 
In some situations, the circumstances related to your debt may push you to pay it first. For example, if you have taken out a loan against your retirement plan and somehow facing issues in your work life, it is better to pay off that debt as soon as possible. To support your quest, you can engage in multiple income streams like doing any side hustles. If you live in a friendly neighborhood where you can arrange a good old-fashioned garage sale, do it. It is the easiest and a low-cost option to clear your unwanted commodities and make a profit out of those things. Once it is done, use the money to pay off your debts.

 
Once you have determined which debt to target first, analyze your basic expenses again before starting the quest. Start from the current month, make minimum payments on other debt accounts and invest as much money as possible to make payment on the target debt, which is the lowest one.

 
If you have confusion about how to save money from your monthly budget and make debt payments, it is suggested that you should use the 50/30/20 budget strategy. Keep basic, important expenses on top priority, like housing costs, and engage 50% of your income for that. Then engage 30% for other requirements, and use 20% for savings and debt pay down. You can even use the 20% to repay debt if you can.

 

3. ‘Snowball’ or “avalanche” your remaining debts

Once you’ve made the list, now it is time to choose the debt payment strategy.
You primarily have 2 options:

 
a) “Snowball” – List your debts as per their amount, from the lowest to the highest. Engage most of the income to repay the debt with the lowest amount. Make sure to make minimum payments to other debts. Once it is paid off, target the next debt account on your hit list. Again, follow the same strategy on the next debt with the lowest amount and make minimum payments to other debt balances.

 
b) “Avalanche” – Just like the previous method, you need to make a list. But this time list the debts as per their interest rates, from highest to lowest. Make minimum payments to your other debts and focus on the one with the highest interest rate. Once it is paid off, choose the next with the high interest from your kill lists. It is my favorite debt payoff strategy so far.

 
You need to take care of your credit score also. Making extra payments each month on your debts can also lower your credit utilization ratio which can improve your credit score.You may also think about the option of debt consolidation. You may tackle your credit card debts by choosing one of the popular debt consolidation methods, a.k.a the balance transfer method. You may also take out a debt consolidation loan (a personal loan) to consolidate multiple debts into one.

 
The more you pay off your debts, the better your credit score will be.

 

Endnote

These are the 3 basic steps to crush your debt. Once you gather debts, you should try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Remember, you can’t get debt relief in one night. If you follow these financial steps properly and keep your patience, you’ll definitely progress in your quest to crush your debts.

70 Percent of consumers are in debt – Are you one of them?

 

The holidays are arriving. But consumers are still crying over their financial owes. As per a survey conducted by CompareCards.com, 70% of Americans are in debt and they are crying over their financial wounds. Around 31% of these people are in financial trouble due to household debt, and 20% of these consumers are worrying due to credit card debt.

 

Debt is a huge source of stress. Everyone knows about it. Debt takes an emotional toll on the people. Almost 15% of the surveyed people are worried due to unemployment, high cost of living, rents, and mortgage payments. Almost 14% of the surveyed people are tensed due to tight budgets.
The survey was conducted on 1004 consumers. But this survey reflects the general consumer debt scenario of America. Consumers have $1,074,979,918 credit card debt in the US , which is a massive amount. And, such a huge debt load is driving consumers to tears.

 

Only a debtor knows how it feels to be in debt. Sometimes, it feels overwhelming and stressful. It pushes people toward depression and anxiety. Ballooning credit card debt and student loan debt have become a point of major concern for people. And, it’s logical. It’s normal. Anyone would feel stressed.

 

#Survey result

Millennials are immersed in student loan debt.
70% of Americans are stressed out due to their debt problems.
31% of Americans are worried due to household debt.
20% of Americans are tensed due to credit card debt.
15% of Americans are crying due to inflation.
14 of consumers are distressed due to tight budgets.
Millennials are emotionally perturbed due to student loan debt.
Millennials are also worried about bringing up kids.
Women are crying due to rent and monthly mortgage payments.
Men are more concerned about their auto loans, student loans, and credit card debts

Other financial factors leading to stress and anxiety are personal loan debts, medical debts, retirement, investments in the stock market, tax, credit score, and identity theft.

 

#How to get out of debt and financial stress

Are you also shedding tears for your debts? Do you also belong to this 70% category? If so, then don’t lose your heart. There are a few tips you can use to get out of debt and depression. Here you go.

 

1. Think rationally instead of emotionally: Life is not a bed of roses. You can’t expect that there won’t be any problem in your life. If you have debts, you have to pay it off. Don’t panic or get stressed out. It’s natural to be worried when the debt amount is huge. But there are plenty of ways to get rid of debt. You’re not the only one who is in debt. Millions of people are in debt. If they can deal with it, then why can’t you?

 

2. Create a debt payoff plan: Unless you have a debt payoff plan, you can’t get out of credit card bills or student loans or auto loans or mortgage. If you have credit card debt, call your creditor and ask him to lower the payoff amount. If your track record has been good, the creditor is most likely to give you a settlement offer. The problem is most people prefer crying over their credit card debt problems instead of calling creditors.

 

If you have a mortgage and can’t make monthly payments, then ask the lender for a loan modification. Refinancing is also a good option for you.
If you have a federal student loan debt, then you can explore various repayment plans to lower your monthly payments. And, if you have auto loan debt, then refinance it if possible.

 

3. Create a budget to spend less and save more: No matter what debt repayment plan you choose, you have to pay money, even if it’s a small amount. You have to arrange the money, and for that you need to create a personal budget plan. Download a budgeting application after reading its reviews and split your expenses accordingly. Focus on reducing your luxury expenses so that you can save more in the long run. The more you save, the more you can pay toward your debts. See also: How can you make a perfect budget when you are jobless?

 

4. Get advice from the professionals: What do you do when you’re suffering from viral fever? In most cases, you consult a doctor and get the required medicines to be fit. Likewise, when you have debts and can’t pay them off, you should get advice from the certified credit counselors and debt negotiators. These people have immense knowledge on the various ways to get rid of debt. They know the root cause of your problem and also the solution. They also know how to negotiate with creditors and grab an affordable repayment plan for you. So if you’re in debt, then you should approach a debt relief company and ask for a solution.

 

However, don’t be in a hurry. Make a thorough research on the debt relief company before making the final call because scams are also rampant in the country. Read more: Clear your debts with professional help and DIY Options.

 

Final words

There are thousands of people who are going through debt problems in our country. They need both help and hope to recover from debt distress. If you’re one of them, then use the aforementioned tips to repair the broken parts of your financial house.
How To Tackle Credit Card Debt Before The Upcoming Recession!

How To Tackle Credit Card Debt Before The Upcoming Recession!

Are you having credit card debt?

If yes, then no matter what, it’s gonna be difficult to pay off! One of the prominent reasons being the incessantly high Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of credit cards. As you know, credit cards are usually unsecured debts as you don’t need to provide any collateral. And that’s why the credit card companies levy a high-interest rate to compensate for that risk!

Eventually, you can see a substantial part of your paycheck is deducted every month to pay off your credit card debt. And you might be waiting for the time when you will receive your next paycheck. In short, you might be living paycheck to paycheck!

On top of that, the effects of the recession can add to your problem! And thereby it can be more cumbersome to pay off your credit card debt.

Yes, you heard it right!

A 2019 Bloomberg report says that there is a probability of 26% that recession will hit our country within one year!

Whereas, a 2019 Bankrate survey has found that 2 out of 5 people in our country are not ready for the recession!

So, if you are one of them, you need to pay off your credit card debt asap. And it can be one of the baby steps to prepare for any economic downturn!

Let’s start!

 

Opt for a balance transfer card

Exhausted with the high APRs of your credit cards?

Well, in that case, you can opt for transferring your outstanding balance amounts to a new credit card. It’s always advisable to opt for a balance transfer card which has a comparatively lower interest rate, preferably 0%.

But always keep in mind, most of the balance transfer cards come with 0% balance transfer fee for an introductory period. 

On the other hand, many balance transfer cards charge about 3% to 5% of the amount transferred as the balance transfer fee right from day one!

So, to avoid mistakes while opting for a balance transfer card, you should always read the terms and conditions carefully!

You can save a substantial amount of money on interest payments. Besides, you don’t need to bear the hassle of multiple loans! Thereby, it helps you to pay off your credit card debt with ease!

 

Opt for a consolidation loan

You can take out a personal loan to consolidate your multiple credit card debts into a single one. But make sure that the interest rate is lower than your existing debts.

Let’s say, you have two credit cards with outstanding balance amounts of $3,000 and $2,500. And both the credit cards have the same APR of 22%.

If you take out a consolidation loan of $5,500 with an 18% APR, you can pay off both the credit cards.

Besides, your repayment plan becomes simple as you need to make a single payment every month to pay off your debts. And the biggest advantage is, you have to pay a lower interest!

Opt for a debt consolidation program

Well, you might be stressed already being up to the neck with your multiple credit card debts. So, what if a company takes away your burden by consolidating credit card debts? And that too at reduced interest rates!

Yes, you heard it right! It might seem impossible to you! But actually, it’s possible! For that, you just have to approach a genuine debt consolidation company.

At first, they will assess your financial situation. Then they will try to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to reduce the high APRs of your debts.

Once your creditors agree, the consolidation company will chalk out a single monthly payment plan for you, based on your debt amount and financial situation!

So, you need to make a single payment to the consolidation company every month for paying off your credit card debts. The consolidation company, in turn, will distribute the amount among your creditors.

And guess what?

You won’t have any chance to forget the different due dates of your multiple credit card bills. Thereby you don’t have to shell out more to pay late fees and all if you miss the payment deadline!

 

As you can see, by opting for any one of the ways I suggested, you can pay off your credit card debt faster and easier. Besides, you can save money too!

You can stash this money in your emergency fund. So, if there is an economic downturn, you can use that money during any exigency!

So, what are you thinking? Learn how to tackle credit card debt and get rid of your credit card debt asap!

Debt counseling, consolidation, or settlement: Which is beneficial

Debt counseling, consolidation, or settlement: Which is beneficial?

The two most feasible options for people struggling to pay off debts are debt counseling and debt consolidation. But most people feel overwhelmed when they need to choose between these two options. It is worth mentioning that each method has its advantages and disadvantages. So before you select a suitable debt relief program, it is advisable to analyze your financial situation as well as check the two options properly. Therefore, let us discuss these two options in detail to know which one will be favorable for your financial situation.

 

Credit counseling/debt counseling

What is credit counseling?

Credit counseling is a process where a credit counselor educates the debtor about various debt relief options, money management techniques, and budgeting. This process also provides guidance to debtors to eliminate debt.

The credit counseling agency assists the indebted people to get out of debt. The firm guides the debtor to manage the financial situation effectively.

 

What is the function of credit counseling?

A certified credit counselor guides the debt-stricken consumers to get out of debt.

When you opt for credit counseling, the credit counselor will formulate a budget plan after reviewing your financial situation so that you can manage your finances. He will design a repayment plan to make the owed amount affordable to pay off.

 

Effect of credit counseling on credit score

Your credit counseling session will not bring down your credit score as the effect of this program will be negligible on your credit score. The credit counselors prevent consumers from applying for new credit cards and incur fresh debt. They also prevent consumers from using a credit card in the wrong way, which can hurt the FICO score in the future.

 

Debt consolidation

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a process of merging your multiple debts with a consolidation loan at a favorable interest rate. You can prolong your repayment plan, which will help to lower your monthly payment.

 

How can you consolidate your debts?

You can take out an unsecured consolidation loan from a bank to combine your debts. If your credit score is low, then you might not be able to get the loan on the affordable interest rate.

 

Try to opt for a secured debt consolidation loan if you are looking for low-interest loans. You can take out a loan against a security deposit on favorable terms. But, keep in mind that, if you default on your payment, then you might lose possession over your assets.

 

You can even hire services of a debt consolidation company if you are unable to manage your debts. This company can help you to get a consolidation loan at an affordable interest rate. You need to find a reputable debt consolidation company with Better Business Bureau accreditation.

 

There is yet another way to consolidate your debts, and that is by enrolling in a debt consolidation program. Here the debt counselor associated with the company will negotiate with the creditors to lower the interest rate on the principal balance. He might instruct you to skip payments so that the creditors agree to lower the repayment plan. When you skip payments, your credit score might drop initially. But once you start making payments, it will eventually increase.

 

Debt settlement

What is debt settlement and what is its effect?

If you can’t manage your multiple debts due to lack of income and the debt collectors are giving you harassing calls throughout the day, you can enroll yourself in a debt settlement plan and repay the reduced balance with ease. While there are professional companies that you can resort to, you can also take certain steps on your own. By settling your debts yourself, you can save your dollars on the unnecessary fees charged by the debt settlement attorney.

 

3 Steps to settle your debts

  • Know your lenders: You can settle your payday loan debts through settlement. If you have a dozen payday loans or a couple of them, calculate the total amount before considering further steps. Calculate the principal amount and the interest rates on each account. This will help you to understand how much you need to repay your creditors.

 

  • Know the licensing laws in the state: You should check the licensing laws so that you can understand whether you owe them both the interest rate and the outstanding balance or just the principal amount. If the lenders are legal in your state, then repay the entire amount. If the lenders are not legal, then you just need to pay back the principal amount and not the fees.

 

  • Negotiate with your lenders: To settle your debts, you need to negotiate with your creditors to reduce the total debt amount. However, negotiation can be difficult for you since you have to convince your creditors about your financial difficulties. Thus, you can enroll in a debt settlement program, when the negotiator negotiates on your behalf and successfully reduce the total debt amount.

 

Therefore, analyze your financial situation before selecting a debt relief plan as it will help you attain financial liberation. Make sure you exercise financial discipline when you take out a debt consolidation loan otherwise you might get further into debt. If you are looking for a fast debt relief solution, then credit counseling will not be a good option for you.

How You Can Get Rid Of Debt Before Christmas - 4 Tips

How You Can Get Rid Of Debt Before Christmas – 4 Tips

Although it may look like an impossible task to get out of debt before Christmas, but it isn’t so actually especially when you owe less than $10,000 to creditors. If you read this post and follow the tips mentioned here, then I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy delicious foods and friendly banters with family without any debt problems or stress. So without wasting any time or words, here’s how to have a debt-free Christmas.

1. Take up a second job:

The thought of doing a second job after a tiring day might not be appealing to you but it can fetch you a good amount of money. Instead of watching Netflix in the evening, you can use that time to make money. Simple jobs like pizza delivery and writing articles can help you to get extra cash. Use it to pay off your debts. Focus on those jobs that give you a minimum of $200 – $400 per week.

2. Give a garage sale:

Take an inventory of what you have and throw a garage sale. I’m not saying that you should sell everything. What I’m suggesting is, sell the items that you don’t need. Try to pick up those items that have decent value in the market. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make a big amount of money. You can also choose items that you can’t sell on eBay due to shipping problems.

3. Settle your credit cards:

One of the fastest ways to get out of debt before Christmas is to settle credit cards since that allows you to pay less than what you owe. But for that, you need to save money first.

Create a budget to see how much you earn and how much you keep in your bank account. Thereafter, think about the ways to reduce your expenses so that you can keep more money in your bank account. You can use this money to settle your credit cards since creditors would expect a lump sum payment. See also: Is it possible to settle debt without hurting your credit score?

4. Opt for a balance transfer card:

A balance transfer card can help to reduce your debt load instantly. You can take out a 0% interest balance transfer card and pay off your outstanding balance on other cards instantly. Thereafter, pay off the new debt at a low-interest rate in the next 12 months. Check out – How to do the best credit card balance transfer to avoid mistakes!

What else you can do

Thousands of people are getting into debt at Christmas. Last night, when I was writing this article, I decided to check how many people go in debt for Christmas on Google. The results startled me. Nearly, 74% of Americans couldn’t budget properly for the festive season and incurred an average of $1054 of debt in 2017. As per the financial experts, if consumers make only the minimum monthly payment, then they won’t be debt-free before 2023. Adding fuel to the fire, consumers would end up paying $500 interest during the tenure.

It’s high time to stop going into debt for Christmas because that affects the overall financial planning in the next year. Remember, recession can hit the country at any time. So you should start taking steps to build a recession-proof financial life now on. And, the first step is to get out of debt before Xmas.

Do you feel that what I said is wrong from any angle? If so, then feel free to post your feedback in the comment section.

Have any ideas on how to pay off debt before Christmas? Share them with us too.

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