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Watch Your Money….

5 Tricks To Curb Your Spending And Save Money

peonies

Every year, it seems there are things we vow to do more of—exercise, eat healthy, drink more water. Grouped in with those items is always save money. Today, Arin is sharing how she has curbed her spending so far this year and five ways you can do the same!

We’ve all heard it—‘stop going out, stop splurging on clothes, stop buying things you don’t need.’ Easier said than done, right? My husband and I recently purchased our first home, and we’re quickly realizing that home-ownership comes with a hefty price. Obviously, we were aware that it would be costly, but there’s so many hidden expenses that we didn’t even think about. This has resulted in some serious budgeting (ah, the dreaded ‘B’ word!) and retail restraint. We’ve also had to make some major sacrifices to meet our financial goals. These sacrifices include limited nights out, vacations, etc. Obviously, we’ll be able to do these again in time, but, until then, we’re on the road to financial freedom! I wanted to share a few things we’ve been doing that have really helped us along this journey and helped up save money.

  1. Ditch the cable: We were spending close to $100 each month on cable, and this is an area we decided to cut back on. With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Chromecast, it was a no-brainer for us. Here’s a trick: If your parents/family have a cable account, ask if you can use their login credentials. Download the apps of your favorite networks, and you can actually watch live television (with a cable log-in) while streaming to your TV! I still get my Food Network on a Saturday morning, and it’s 100-percent free thanks to some generous parents (p.s. it does absolutely nothing to their account).
  2. Small weekly saving transfers: Each week, I have my bank set to automatically deposit $30 into my savings account. By the end of each month, I have $120. This just helps curb my spending, and ensures that I’m setting aside money. It’s a great way to build an emergency fund, too.
  3. Use cash: This brings me back to those ‘allowance’ days! Take out a set amount of cash for the month, and once it’s gone, your spending is done. If you’re anything like me, swiping a credit card adds up. All of those little purchases make a dent on your checking. Utilizing this cash method ensures that we will not spend more than the allotted amount. This has seriously worked! Because the cash tends to go quickly, make sure you’re tracking that spending!
  4. No drinks: Here’s a tough one for some. If you are going out to dinner, skip the drinks. By ordering two drinks alone, we’d spend an extra $22 on the bill. By cutting out alcohol while dining out, we saved close to 40 percent on our bill. This honestly makes a huge difference when you’re saving money. Our average dinner bill is usually around $30 or less!
  5. Check your bank statements: I’m guilty of not checking my bank statements regularly. I recently went through it, and noticed that my bank was tacking on unnecessary fees. I also noticed several other errors (Uber charging me twice, etc) and it saved an average of $25 each month. My bank was nice enough to reverse the charges, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on statements each month to ensure everything looks correct. It just takes a few minutes, and it really is worth it. In fact, it paid for our dinner!
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Get Your Money Right!!

 Millennial’s Approach: How To Get Rid Of Debt

January 24, 2014
 
Do what Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic did; freeze your credit card. Don’t do what she did afterwards – unfreeze it and use it!

Most students, if not all, graduate from college with a hard-earned degree and loans to match. Granted some of us take out loans for reasons not pertaining to school (My Canon DSLR was totally worth it!), but still. Chances are you didn’t have a decent-paying job while attending school (got one right after college and traveled to London instead of paying off loans) and couldn’t pay the loans, even if you wanted to.

Debt

Why can’t returning money be as much fun as borrowing it? Remember this the next time you’re tempted to use your credit card. If you’re ready to free yourself from debt and go on vacation without thinking twice about it, here are a few pointers:

Take a look at the due dates, interest rates and balances. Feel free to make a list (and be prepared to start crossing things off that list!).

Set your own due dates. Coordinate so you’re not juggling several payments at once. This will make it easier to budget.

Create a budget. What other bills are you responsible for, and how much are you spending per month? Organization diminishes stress.

Next, take a look at interest rates. The first credit card you’ll want to pay off in full is the one with the highest interest rate. If you’re still struggling, double the minimum and pay that much. Paying just the minimum doesn’t help ease the interest you’ll accumulate.

It will be hard, but you must’n hesitate to make payments in full. If need be, start by paying off the smaller balances. This will be a challenge and you may have to limit your spending, but the freedom that comes along once you’re worried free is well worth the effort.

Are you in debt? Have you created a payment plan that works for you? 

Money Talk….

You’ve pressed the reset button on the year and by now you’ve hopefully determined what your financial goals are for 2014.

CreditReportTutorialGraphic

if improving your credit score is one of those goals, knowing what information is on your credit report is crucial. As you know, my reason for starting My Fab Fico and my financial journey was to improve my credit. Think of the credit report as your roadmap for making that happen.

While I won’t discuss the credit report in detail on this post, I will provide a tutorial for pulling it for free. There are several companies out there including FreeCreditReport.com swindling consumers into paying for their report when your report is available absolutely FREE.

If you would like help understanding your credit report refer to the Credit Report Post. It’s long but hella informative.

The following instructions are for pulling and equifax report.

Lets get started!

1.Make sure you go to annualcreditreport.com. If the page doesn’t look like this (with the exception of the slider image) you are proabbly int he wrong place.

Step 1

Click on the red box at the bottom that says “Request your free credit reports”

2. On this next page all you have to do is click “Request your free credit reports” again
Step 2
3. This page is officially step 1. Here you will fill out all of your personal information. Be sure to double check for accuracy. If you have not lived at your current location for more than a year, be prepared to enter that information as well. Once you’ve entered your information proceed to the next page.

Step 3

 

4. On this page you can decide which bureau you’d like to retrieve your report from. As you know, there are three bureaus: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. I recommend pulling one every few months. For example pull Equifax in January, Experian in June, Transunion on November. While information can differ from report to report for the most part they are the same. Pulling every few months will allow you to monitor new items, disputes, possible mistakes, and items that might have fallen off.

Make sure you keep a record of which on your pulled for your own records and when.

5. The next page will ask you to verify the last 4 of your social. If all info is correct proceed tot he next page.

6. I call this the trick questions page. On this page you will be asked questions to verify your identity. Please be aware they do throw false information into the mix. Some or all answers could be “None Of The Above”. It is important to answer correctly though. If you get any of these answers wrong they will not allow you to access your report online and you will have to go through the time consuming precess of requesting it by mail.

Step 6

After you have provided your answers proceed tot he next page.

7. This is the page with your credit file number. Make sure to take down your transaction code which will be provided in the first sentence. From this page you will click in the box that says view and print your report (the box next to the pink arrow).

Step 7

 

8. You will finally receive your credit report! Before you do anything, print and/or save your report as a PDF. (the box next to the pink arrow)

Step 8

Again as stated, if you need additional help navigating your report please refer to our Understanding your Credit Report Post.