Category Archives: Financial Stress

Financial Planning Now to Avoid the Risk of Being Broke Later

It’s scary to think of not having enough money at any age, but even scarier to think of being broke after you’ve retired and can’t work anymore – but some planning now can give you a brighter future. (Sorry for stating the obvious.)

Money: Master the Game
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You have choices here – you can hire a financial advisor, you can do research and apply your best common sense, you can flip a coin to choose your retirement savings strategy (but you shouldn’t actually do that) – you can leave it in God’s hands and see how it works out – or you can make a plan.

Financial Planning for Your Future

According to NAPFA, the National Association for Personal Financial Advisors (which can help you find a CFP, or Certified Financial Planner), two out of five people surveyed rated themselves poorly in regards to understanding personal finance.

This lack of financial understanding leads people to retire later, to be underwater with mortgages, to have ZERO DOLLARS saved for retirement, and to have no kind of budget whatsoever.

Ignoring the need for financial planning does not make the problem go away, however. It only serves for stress and depression to build up in the individuals who have foregone this type of monetary exploration.

Financial Management

Whether you have a lot of money or you are struggling to get by, financial management is going to play a big role in your future. If you take control now, your future will be better.

(I know I kind of said that already, in different words, but really, it is so vital it cannot be over-stressed.)

How to Save Money for Long Term Investment

If you feel like you don’t have enough money to get by, saving money is, of course, the farthest thing from your mind.

The thing is, things like saving and contributing to causes, instills in your subconscious mind that there will always be more, and then, you start to find more and more that you can save, and you start to feel better about yourself.

And, as Anthony Robbins said, “If you won’t save a dime out of a dollar, you won’t save a million dollars when you have ten million.”

Personal Finance

Personal Budget Guide
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If you don’t know where to start on this life changing part of rewriting your life story, pick up a book on personal budgeting, or look for money management games you can play to explore the process of taking control of your financial destiny.

Easy Ways to Get Out of Debt

I hesitated to add a financial section to this website, because the site’s theme leans toward the transcendental, but then, how metaphysical and inspired can you be if fears over money problems are eating away at you?

Easy Ways to Get Out of Debt

Image courtesy of MorgueFile.
Image courtesy of MorgueFile.

Exactly how hard or easy these debt escaping methods are is in the eye of the beholder – so – in my opinion – easy is the wrong word.

Effective – actionable – those are better fits – because some of these might feel pretty hard, but keep an open mind because they do work.

How Do We Get Out of Debt?

If you haven’t already done it, put together a budget that shows your income and living expenses.

  • If the troubling part of the debt is separate from your living expenses, like old medical bills or student loans, list it at the end, or on a separate page.
  • Compare your income to just the part of your expenses that you need to live – your mortgage, your car and insurance, utilities, food, that kind of thing.
  • Hopefully, there is something left of your income after you pay the basics.
  • If not, you are going to have to look for ways to either increase your income or cut expenses, until there is a surplus, if you want to get out of debt.

Consolidate Bills

One way to cut monthly payments is to take advantage of bill consolidation opportunities with your lenders. This is an especially common practice with student loans.

Money Problems

  • Hire a bankruptcy lawyer: If money problems are too severe and overwhelming, bankruptcy is an alternative for some people.
  • Ask creditors for a reduced settlement offer: A reduced payoff, or debt settlement, is offered in some cases of long-term unpaid debt.
  • Contact a credit counseling service to help you work out a budget you can live with and to arrange reduced payments.

Credit Building or Rebuilding

In my case, a lot of bad decisions had left me with damaged credit, so I had to make some lifestyle changes. I had to take on extra work, and I had to swallow my pride and get a cosigner to get a car loan.

It took me a little over two years, but I have paid off everything I had in collections and have never had a single late payment on my car payment.

  • I watched anxiously as my credit score slowly – and I do mean slowly – increased – over 140 points. (Yeah – it was pretty bad.)
  • I actually had a $20 claim against me, pulling my credit score down, and it was a bill I had paid but the creditor “forgot” to report it as paid. I thought I was going to have to give in and pay it a second time, but I filed a complaint, and the credit bureau checked it out, found in my favor, and removed it from my credit report – so – check your report first – for errors – because they do sometimes fix  them!
  • The advantage of taking care of credit reporting errors and paying the smallest bills first is it lets you see improvement quickly. It’s motivating and makes you feel positive about the task of escaping a mountain of debt.
  • So, my advice for  credit rebuilding is, get your credit report, and pick the smallest debt on it – and pay that first.
  • Then, make payments, and don’t miss any on your current loans and debts, and also stay focused on making payments on large past due debts, too.