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Managing Money

We all know that sometimes life throws curve balls…and you need to be ready for them! Managing your money is essential. Let us help you with some great tips.

Saving is Key

The part of money management that is usually the toughest is saving. Depositing to a savings account regularly is beneficial for many reasons.

  • Saving any amount each time you get paid can reduce financial anxiety. Be prepared for emergencies and the unexpected when they arise.
  • Saving can help reach financial goals. Whether it’s saving for retirement or a future purchase, setting money aside into your savings account each time you get paid will make those goals attainable.
  • Saving now saves your more later. The unexpected is bound to happen. If you are financially prepared with savings, you can avoid the interest charges associated with credit cards or loans.

Create a Budget...and Stick to It

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of your finances. There are numerous free budgeting tools available, many for your smartphone. The key is to monitor your cash flow by tracking 100% of your spending, map out a monthly budget and then change your spending habits to match your budget.

  • Make a list of your critical expenses (rent, electric, cable, car/insurance, etc) and be sure you set the necessary money aside for all essentials, and a little extra.
  • Calculate what you have left over monthly after the crucial bills are paid.
  • Keep track of unnecessary expenses that you often spend money on each month; going out to eat, shopping, entertainment. If you can cut out some of these expenses monthly, you will be able to prioritize your spending better after you see how much you spend on unnecessary items each month.
  • Determine how much you want to put into your savings account and do that immediately after the important bills are paid.
  • Be disciplined with any disposable income you may have left over. Make sure any left over money is put to good use; savings account, credit card bills, etc.

GreenPath Financial

We are pleased to have our partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness. This program is FREE & will help you get on the right financial path. With this partnership, you will have access to:

  • One-on-one financial counseling
  • Debt Management
  • Housing Services (GreenPath’s housing advisors are experts at assisting people with their housing needs. We offer foreclosure prevention services, home buyer preparation assistance, and reverse mortgage counseling)
  • Student Loan counseling (student loan repayment options that can postpone or lower payments & pros and cons of each student loan repayment strategies.

Please visit our partner site for more details about this great service!

Understanding Your Credit Score

Understanding your Credit Report is essential. It reflects how you have handled your finances in the past. There are three different bureaus - Equifax, Transunion and Experian. Your score very well be different at all three agencies, depending on what data is reported to each agency. The scores generate from 300 (very poor) to 850 (exceptional).
 

Credit Score Factors

  • Payment History - late payments will lead to lower scores
  • Balances - if you are maxing out credit cards, your score will suffer
  • Length of Credit History - the longer you've actually had credit, the better your score will be
  • Inquiries - if you constantly are applying for new credit cards/loans, it can have a short term affect on your score.

tips on bettering your score

  1. First and foremost, make your payments on time. You will gain points for not having any missed payments and most certainly will lose points for being late.
  2. Do not close your old credit card that you aren't using. Keeping cards open will lengthen your credit history. Occasional use on old cards could help your score.
  3. Always make sure to check your report. There could be mistakes on there that can be easily corrected.
  4. Pay your card off in full. If you regularly are using your credit cards, it helps to pay off your balance in full

Get your free annual credit report

We hope these tips can get you started on a good, financial path. If you need help, contact us.