Free Newsletter to Keep you Free From Broke!Name: Email: We respect your email privacyPowered by AWeber email marketing

What Is A Secured Credit Card?

credit_card_sample

Just like bank loans, where there is secured and unsecured borrowing by businesses, credit cards as a form of consumer debt can also be either secured or unsecured.

Credit cards, as most of us know and use, are unsecured.

The money is lent to card users without any collateral against it and it is up to consumers to pay back the account balance later and if not, the card issuer loses (well, they will go after you but there is no guarantee they get their money back).

When the possibility of not paying back by a credit card holder becomes a serious concern, either because of the applicant’s bad credit in the past or no established credit at all, a card issuer would require certain amount of funds to be deposited as collateral before a credit line can be issued.
Continue Reading

How to Start an Emergency Fund

One of the best things you can do for your personal economy is to start an emergency fund.

Your emergency fund can help protect you against financial setbacks, since it provides you with a little extra cushion to draw on.  Rather than turning to debt, you can use money in your emergency fund to cover unexpected costs.

Experts recommend that you save at least six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.  So, if you spend $3,000 a month, you need to have $18,000 in an emergency fund.

That’s a daunting task.

How can you get started when you have that huge amount of money hanging over your head?

Here’s How to Start an Emergency Fund

Break It Down

Continue Reading

Second Marriage? Have a Financial Date Before You Tie the Knot

With a divorce rate that is commonly quoted as being 50%, second marriages are common. 

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, many experts cite the divorce rate of second marriages to be 40%.

Second marriages come with more baggage — ex-spouses, stepchildren who may or may not like the new step parent, and, of course, financial complications including spousal support and first family obligations, just to name a few.

It’s no secret that money disagreements can be one of the top causes of divorce.

According to a study conducted by Jeff Dew of Utah State University, “Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month” (The New York Times).

So how do those in second marriages, who perhaps bring more money issues and baggage into their marriage with them than they did their first marriage, avoid financial conflict?

One strategy is to have a financial meeting before they marry (and some may argue before they even get engaged).

Make sure to consider these financial topics before that next marriage:

Continue Reading

Credit Score – What Does It Mean?

Credit Score Ranges

What Is A Credit Score?

You’ve heard that a credit score is important, haven’t you?  You may have even heard how you should protect your credit score.  But a lot of people are still unsure of what a credit score actually is.

Let’s take a look at credit scores and what they mean.  This way you know once and for all what they are and how they are used.

A credit score is a calculation based on information from a credit report which gives a representation of how credit-worthy a person is or how likely a person is to default on their loan.

Let’s take a quick step back, shall we?  We’re talking about credit scores but it’s important to understand what a credit report is all well.  Your credit report is basically a listing of all the credit accounts you have and your history paying your credit, or debt, off.  Sometimes the report is referred to as your credit history.  The information comes from the lenders who report your activity to the three major credit bureaus.

To quickly sum up — your credit report gives information and a history of your credit accounts.  Now back to credit scores…

Your credit score gives a number range to quickly sum up the information from your credit report.

Continue Reading

Is it Better to Rent Or Buy Stuff? – Renting Items To Save Money

My friend’s parents were recently locked in a marital battle.

They wanted to travel from Michigan to Florida for a wedding, and she wanted to fly for free using frequent flier miles they had accrued.  The transportation cost for the trip would be limited to the car they would rent for three days when in Florida.

He, on the other hand, thought it was silly to rent a car when theirs worked perfectly fine.  He wanted to make the 24 hour drive down to Florida for their three day trip.  He was sure this was the cheaper way to travel, even though they would have to pay for gas and put wear and tear on the car.

Ah, the rental battle.

Is it worthwhile to pay for a rental?  The answer, in all honesty, is often that it depends.  However, in this case, simple math would have shown him that her plan would have been the cost saver.

Marital battle aside, we Americans don’t often think of renting outside of cars and apartments.  Instead, our first thought tends to go to ownership.

There are just a few things we automatically think of renting–of course, cars when we are traveling, tuxedos when our children are going to prom or when men get married, apartments, sure.  But for most other temporary needs, we tend to buy instead of rent.

However, if we could let go of this mindset, we may save a substantial amount of money.

How to Determine If It Is Better to Rent or Buy

Continue Reading

Happy Mother’s Day 2013 and Links

Today we tip our hats to Moms everywhere.

As Jim Gaffigan says in one of his hilarious standup routines: “Women are amazing. A woman can grow a baby inside their body. Then somehow a woman can deliver the baby through their body. And then by some miracle a woman can feed a baby with their body.”

Your mother did that for you.  And then she kissed your boo boos, got you to school on time, and supported you in every wacky endeavor you took on.

Even better if Mom showed you how to budget for a family, get the best value at the grocery store, and the value of time spent with family.

So thanks, Mom, and all Moms who are involved with their children’s lives.

Here are some great reads this week:

Continue Reading

How to Spend Less on Some of Your ‘Needs’

How many times have your children said, “I need this?”

Or how many times has your spouse said it?  What about you?  How many times have you said it?

At the risk of dragging out the old, “I had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow,” argument, what Americans consider a need today is much different from the past.

In addition, Americans have created a culture in which the concept of “need” is much different from anywhere else in the world.

Enough about historical comparisons and international economics.  Let’s look at a few examples of what Americans today consider needs and just how ridiculous (and expensive) they are.  While we’re at it, let’s consider some common sense alternatives.

How You Can Spend Less on These ‘Needs’

Continue Reading

Free Newsletter to Keep you Free From Broke!Name: Email: We respect your email privacyPowered by AWeber email marketing