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5 Characteristics of Financially Responsible People

5 Characteristics of Financially Responsible People

Plenty of people are consistently motivated to make more money, but perhaps a more important goal for all is to actually hang on to that money. While it’s true that your income is a necessary tool for building wealth and eliminating debt, income is only part of the equation. Financial stability is accomplished by saving and managing money, not simply by making more money. Earning a six-figure income won’t help you get out of debt and build wealth if you can’t seem to keep any of your earnings. Regardless of income, there are some common characteristics shared by all who are financially responsible. If you focus on strengthening these traits in yourself, you will find an added measure of financial success regardless of your income or current financial situation. 1. Detail-oriented Financially responsible and secure people know their numbers. They know their account balances almost to the dollar, and track every penny that comes in or goes out. They know their debt, they know their credit score, and they know their budget. They check and balance their accounts daily to ensure nothing is out of line. This is how they avoid making purchases they can’t afford and living within their means. 2. Patient You won’t find the “I want what I want, when I want it” attitude among the financially responsible crowd. These people can walk past an appealing purchase if they don’t have the immediate funds for it. They create a savings plan if they do have a big purchase ahead, but they know that impulsive behavior leads to trouble, usually in the form of debt. Patience and self-control...
Department Store Credit Cards: What You Should Know

Department Store Credit Cards: What You Should Know

When you’re about to make a significant purchase, the offer, “would you like to save 20 percent on your purchase today?” can be very tempting. Of course we all know what this means: opening a store credit card. Is the savings on your purchase worth the cost of the credit card? Here are some things to consider when you’re faced with the option of opening a department store credit card: They have higher interest rates Store credit cards have an average interest rate of 23 percent, compared to 15 percent for other credit cards. If you’re not one to pay off the balance of your credit cards each month then your purchases are actually costing you more. If you were to make the monthly payments on a $1000 balance from a store credit card, and the interest rate were 23 percent, you would end up paying $838 in interest, assuming you were making only the minimum payments. This makes any potential discount offered by the store not worth it. More temptation to spend Several store cards have terms that require you to spend a minimum amount in the store before you receive a rebate or incentive. This may tempt you to spend more than you usually would just to qualify for the savings. While you may get 5 percent cash back on that $500, you still spent $500 more than you normally would have. Only useful if used If you opt for a card from a big retailer, such as Walmart or Target, you may see some benefits from having the store credit card. If you are able to...
How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter to Repair Your Credit

How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter to Repair Your Credit

If you know your credit rights, you’ll know that you have the right to dispute any incorrect or erroneous items on your credit report. The three major credit reporting companies are required by law to investigate all claims you make, at no cost to you; all you need to do is request they do so in writing. That’s where a credit dispute letter comes in. An Effective Credit Dispute Letter in 6 Easy Steps All three major credit bureaus now allow you to file credit disputes online, making the process of correcting your credit report simpler and quicker. However you may feel more comfortable stating your corrections in writing and in your own words, where you won’t have to agree to any confusing “terms of agreement” that could put limits on your ability to successfully file a claim. Additionally, writing a physical letter allows you to keep a copy for your records, which could prove valuable in the future. You don’t need to be a professional writer or have a law degree to write an effective credit dispute letter. As long as you write clearly and back up your claims, don’t worry about adding anything else. You can hand write the letter, but your writing should be legible; if you’re not confident in your hand writing, go with a typed letter. (Click Here for our Credit Dispute Letter Template) Step 1: Start with your info At the top of your letter, start with your basic info. Put the date, your name, and a current address. It may also be beneficial to include the last four digits of your social security number. Step 2: Write the...
How Does Having a Personal ‘Line of Credit’ Affect My Credit Score?

How Does Having a Personal ‘Line of Credit’ Affect My Credit Score?

When you open a new account with a bank or financial institution, they will often ask if you’re interested in opening a “line of credit.” This is meant to be a form of overdraft protection – essentially a buffer in case of a financial emergency. Basically, if you were to use your debit card for a purchase exceeding your available funds, the balance would be transferred to your line of credit attached to your account, and you would be subject to the interest rates and payment schedule to which you agreed when you signed up. While this resource can be a great asset for some, it can easily be misused and end up dinging your credit score. Here are some things to keep in mind if you opt for opening a personal line of credit: Credit utilization rate An important component of your credit score is your “credit utilization rate.” This refers to the amount of credit you use compared to the amount of credit available to you. If you always have a high balance on your line of credit, this reflects poorly on your credit and can lower your score. The best line of credit scenario If you’re expecting a payment but needing to pay a bill, a line of credit would be a good option because the balance would be paid down. Use your line of credit only for purchases you can afford. Those whose income is commission-based, for example, may have a stable and significant annual income but that is variable month-to-month. Those individuals would benefit greatly from a line of credit. Activity matters If you...
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