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Personal finances are often a source of concern for most people. It is not easy to balance expenses and income every month or even to be able to save. If you are in this situation, it is time to reconnect with your finances. And then, it’s not so difficult, it’s only a question of organization!
1. Start by taking stock of your financial situation
Even if at first it seems daunting it is important to make an overall assessment of your personal finances so that you can subsequently have a healthy relationship with your finances.
Several questions to ask you:
- Do you regularly take stock of your finances? What was the last time you did it?
- What is the balance of your debts? The amount of your savings and / or investments?
- Do you have long-term goals for your finances?
You must carefully establish your monthly income and expenses to know where you are. This will allow you to have a clearer view of your financial situation so that you can better organize yourself.
2. Do you organize
The organization is a key point in creating a healthy relationship with personal finances. Often the problem is not having enough resources to cover all your expenses but rather that the resources are not used properly. So, if you already know what your fixed expenses are every month, set them first. This will allow you to know what your budget is for leisure and savings, and you will avoid spending before having honored your bills.
Write down your total income and total expenses:
- In income, you must integrate all your resources such as your salary, your rental income if you are an owner, your benefits from public or private plans (retirement, insurance …), your allowances (housing, children …), your alimony, your investment income and all your other income.
- In the expenditure part, it is important to take everything into account. Think about the expenses related to your home (rent, bills, taxes, insurance, furniture, condominium fees, maintenance of the house), your transportation (public transport, gas, car insurance, registration, driver’s license, maintenance and repairs) , parking), food, insurance, and your loans.
The income-expenditure balance will allow you to have a clear idea of your financial situation. This will help you prioritize your monthly expenses and ensure that the largest expenses are insured each month.
3. Pay off your debts and learn to prioritize
If you have debts it is important to manage them head-on. It will also allow you to sleep better at night and have a healthy relationship with your finances. Talk to your banker, who can offer you repayment plans according to your situation and your profile.
Be especially careful when repaying your lines of credit. The latter are subject to interest that can sometimes be high depending on the banks, especially when you pay late. If you have a credit card, remember to meet the repayment deadlines.
Saving is very important. This allows you to have security in the event of a problem. Try to put a little money aside every month. This will allow you to carry out a project that is important to you or simply to have more funds in case of a hard blow, to manage the big expenses or for your retirement.
Personal finances are not so complicated. Organizing in a better way will allow you to be more efficient in the income-expenditure balance and even to carry out savings projects in the long term. This will allow you to have less worries and enjoy life even more. Having a healthy relationship with your finances is not so complicated.
Are friends with expensive tastes at your heart to spend more than you want? I have a girlfriend who always insists on going to expensive restaurants while she is visiting. Admittedly, she only visits once or twice a year and I have plenty of time to adjust my budget in preparation, but it is still money that I would not spend otherwise. Because I am someone who likes to spend as little money as possible, I still come to deny the costs, even though this is not always the case. For some people reading this message, the situation will be much worse. Accepting such an invitation can even be the difference between in red and in black. So how do you tackle the problem without losing friendship? Communicate, do not create a scene, be assertive and take charge of the plans!
Avoid confrontation at all costs
But even I realized that some assertiveness was needed after an incident in which a friend had arranged us to eat out in a fancy restaurant and then insisted that we split the bill straight in half. . Although my share was much larger than what I had ordered, I decided to suck it up on that occasion. The next day I took her apart and let her know that because I have to trust that my freelance payments come through on time (or in some cases even completely), these situations often make me very nervous about the state of my finances. Because she has a permanent job that pays well, I didn’t know exactly how she would respond. Fortunately she was surprisingly understanding and we agreed to downgrade the next time she is in town.
Your friend may not even realize that you are not happy with the situation, especially if you have fallen into routine over the years. If you have never objected to a meeting in a certain place before, he or she probably has no reason to suspect that you are not satisfied with the appointment. Give your friend a full disclosure on the subject and make it clear that you want to try some cheaper places and you will be surprised how easy it is to break the cycle.
Turn off invitations
Fortunately my problem worked well in the end, but this may not always be the case. What should you do if your friend takes offense or refuses to fall back? In this situation you may have no choice but to go back from the invitations you encounter. It is not an ideal solution, but it can sometimes be the only way to take the point home. If your friend realizes that a change of arrangement is the only way to get you away, he or she can agree to put their expensive flavors on hold while you socialize together.
Be the first to suggest what you should do
Take matters into your own hands and be the one who makes the plans. That way you can determine where you eat, which entertainment you choose and where you will do it. If your friends do it well, they may not be the best friends, because going out with friends should be about who you are and the quality time you spend together, instead of what you do or where you are “eat again.”
If you want to change the situation, communication will be crucial. At the moment, your friend probably has no idea that there is a problem, so you need to bring it to the attention. If you bring out the point tactfully and politely, there is no reason why your friendship would be damaged by the conversation. You may even notice that your friend can no longer pay the costs and has stopped because they do not want to admit it, especially if they mistakenly assume that this is not a problem for you.
By not being pampered with a few things that your friends always enjoy eating out in expensive restaurants, driving new cars or going out every weekend, your friends and family will start to think you’re weird. Which is good! Weird is good. Your “craziness” makes you rich, and probably many of your friends are broke, they just try to pretend they have money. If you master the art of not keeping up with the Joneses, you may be financially better in the future.
Going green is all frenzy now and for good reason
But if you look like me, the desire is there, but the know-how is lacking. An obvious way to protect our planet is to recycle and reuse household items. But when it comes to finding ways to reuse it, my brain seems to lack the creativity and innovation needed to come up with practical solutions.
Do you want to eliminate your credit card debt? Excellent! Here are 7 strategies that will allow you to get rid of your balances quickly and without paying unnecessary interest.
Target a map
One of the strategies to eliminate your credit card debt is to target a single card. How to choose this card? It depends on your goal.
To stay motivated
If you want to get rid of your credit card debt, but you are afraid of discouraging yourself, first pay the card with the lowest balance . Once it has been paid in full, move on to the next. Remember to make the minimum payment on your other cards to avoid affecting your credit report and that interest becomes out of control.
To improve your credit
If you want to increase your credit score, in this case, target the card with the highest usage rate . The utilization rate is the balance of the card divided by the limit of the card. For example, if you have a card with a limit of $ 10,000 and you have a balance of $ 7,500, the rate of use of the card is 75%. This strategy works because the high usage of a credit card is viewed negatively by the credit agencies, even if you pay on time!
To pay the least interest
If you want to pay less interest, put the most money possible towards the card that has the highest interest rate . Focusing on the highest interest rate card will save you a lot in the long run. If you have a card with a balance of $ 500 and a 15% interest rate and a card with a balance of $ 5,000 and a 20% interest rate, it is better to start by paying the card back to 20% ( yes, this is counterintuitive). Of course, always make the minimum payment on the card at $ 500, but do not pay a dollar more before you have fully repaid the card at 20%.
Reduce your interest rate
If you want your interest rate to be lower, it is often possible to call your creditors to get a reduced rate. However, be aware that your chances of getting a lower rate are better if your credit is good and you have been a customer for a long time. This can be helpful because if you have been offered a lower interest rate, you can mention it at the competition to receive a better offer.
Transfer your balance
Many credit cards or lines of credit offer you to transfer your balance at a promotional rate (often 0 to 3%) that will be applied for a certain period of time (rarely more than 6 to 12 months). You can transfer your balance to save interest, but do it very carefully. When you transfer a balance, you will have at your disposal a window of opportunity for low interest rates (between 12 and 18 months). This is the window of opportunity in which you should repay your debt. Otherwise, you could end up with a much higher rate than you had before.
Some disadvantages of this option: you should avoid making purchases with your new card because low interest rates will not apply and you will probably have a balance transfer fee of 3 to 4% of your total amount transferred .
Refinance your home
If you own a house, condo, or other property and have equity available, it can be very beneficial to refinance (remortgage). To find out how much equity you have available, you need to take the market value of your property and subtract the balance from your mortgage. If your equity represents more than 30% of the market value of your property, you are most likely eligible for refinancing.
The advantage of refinancing is that you will get a low interest rate and a longer period to pay off your debts. If you choose this option, however, avoid using your credit cards and find yourself in the same situation again. It is recommended to cut all but one credit card with a low credit limit (no more than your monthly salary).
Make two minimum payments per month
Here is a very simple solution: you agree to deposit two minimum payments per month. In doing so, your average daily balance will be reduced, which means you will pay less interest in the long run. In addition, you will repay your debt in less time.
Make a consumer proposal
The consumer proposal may also be a valid option for you. A consumer proposal is a negotiation with your creditors to reduce your debts (sometimes up to 70%) and extend your payment period over a greater number of years while completely eliminating interest. You will only need to make a monthly payment and this payment will be calculated based on your personal financial situation and your budget. The proposal will prevent your creditors from harassing you, but will affect your credit rating. In order to file a consumer proposal, you must contact an authorized insolvency trustee (SAI) who will evaluate your situation and write the proposal for you. We can help you with this solution.
If you are not able to implement these strategies, you may have to go bankrupt. The trustee will personally take care of your creditors and he will also have some of your assets (you will not lose everything). During your bankruptcy, you will have to attend budget consultation sessions that will give you tools to better manage your personal finances. A bankruptcy usually lasts 9 months (for a first bankruptcy with low incomes), but it can also last up to 36 months (for a second bankruptcy with high incomes). Once your bankruptcy is complete, you will be free from all your debts (except for some non-forgivable debts, such as fines, late alimony and other).
Whatever the case may be, you can always count on Frances Yout & Associates Sendic to help you overcome your financial difficulties. Contact us for a free consultation where we can analyze your financial situation and present your options.
Borrowing in Belgium can be interesting. Money lenders in Belgium have no insight into the Dutch market. The Good Finance (Credit Registration Office, established in 1965) does not provide information for Belgium. That means that there is no possibility to view your current debts. It is because of this easier to borrow money there, only the Belgian lender will ask why you come to borrow money instead of in the Netherlands. This makes it important to have a good story beforehand to explain this. That is a possibility of borrowing money.
Agency credit registration
The question is, is it wise to borrow money without Good Finance. Borrowing with Good Finance offers more benefits for both you and the lender. You have to think about paying off your debts in advance. If your debt is known to the Good Finance, you are more willing to repay your debt or take out other loans. With loans without Good Finance other parties can not see if you have debts and you can borrow much more than you might think is wise.
Good Finance is a non-profit foundation with a social objective. In the Central Credit Information System (CKI), which manages Good Finance, affiliated organizations record data on completed loans and payment arrears on loans. Only payment arrears are registered for mortgage loans.
This can be from subscriptions to mortgages
With the credit registration agency, all loans that you take out are described. This can be from subscriptions to mortgages. They collect all financial data about both consumers and business customers. At the Good Finance you can also request your own registrations, this allows you to check if you are known at the Good Finance and where you have a Good Finance listing. If you are aware of your own registration then you are less likely to go wrong with borrowing money. Because
pay attention! Borrowing money, costs money. Only paying back must be carefully monitored, so that you do not incur high costs.
Request Good Finance information from your loans
Do you want to receive information about your Good Finance registration? That’s no problem. The retrieval of your data takes approximately 5 to 10 business days. For this you need a valid passport, ID or driver’s license. You can view your date online or you will receive all data by post.
Not everyone just gets information. Credit providers must register with the Good Finance on which they are granted access to the desired data. Consumers can only view their own data.
While they may be good personal finance management tools, credit cards can lead to financial ruin. It is not by chance that many of the serious financial problems we deal with at Janie Crawford have associated at least two to three credit cards. Unfortunately, financial desperation drives many people to use a credit card to pay for another card … and we get into a spiral of over-indebtedness.
A Wolf in Lamb Skin
Credit cards are sold alerting to the great potential that they have associated. From insurances (which turn out to be very interesting but unknown), miles for travel, discounts on purchases and something really interesting that are interest-free credit periods. All “advantages” that serve to beautify something that can be really dangerous to your personal finances …
Very High Interest Rates
The first major disadvantage of credit cards is their interest rate. Of the total credits available in the market, the rates of credit cards are the highest in the market. If in credit housing the rate is currently 2%, credit cards are around 15% … on credit cards it is almost 20%. That is, in about 5 years would double the amount owed.
Beware Of The Commissions
A second disadvantage of credit cards (common to other products) is the weight of commissions and charges. We suggest that you be very attentive to this heading because the financial institutions are very focused to collect these values, being common to change the rules in the middle of the game. From the list of commissions, we draw attention to the commissions associated with raising cash on credit (known as cash advance). It may be comfortable … but being comfortable has a really penalizing commission.
Beware of Consumerism
Credit cards are one of the visible faces of consumerism. We do not mean by this that all people who use credit cards are consumerists, much less that all purchases made are unnecessary or superficial. However, families typically have the financial capacity to meet the major expenses essential to their lives. When other expenses appear and after the money is exhausted on the essential expenses … comes the credit card to help.
The purchase with the use of cards (whether credit or debit card) has the ability to “dematerialize” purchases. That is, who buys has a less uncomfortable sensation because it does not have to deliver money . Some studies say that credit card purchases lead to spending more than 10-15% higher than those you buy with cash. If you want to start saving, why not try to make the cash purchases?
Do You Really Need a Credit Card?
Having a credit card in the wallet is an incentive or a strong temptation . So, if you see interest in having one of these cards (perhaps because you have hired one in the follow-up to your credit home) why not leave it at home? If you have an urgent and priority expense you will certainly have time to go home and, calmly, decide whether the purchase makes or does not make sense. Whether or not it is priority and urgent. Do you have more than one credit card? How about ending one of them and saving only what has the interest rate and the lowest commissions?