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In the lending industry, free credit scores and credit scoring systems have become universal.
As technology advances and becomes more commercial, such as the public debut of the 1989 FICO credit scoring model, scoring tools have started to overtake traditional underwriting process in the world of lending. Companies like Credit Sesame have been founded to help the public gain a deeper understanding of their financial standings by offering free credit scores, reports, and tracking.
While there are definite benefits to this new takeover, there remains to be widespread misunderstanding of what actually affects your credit scores. One of the top suspects: late payments.
“Dominate your day before breakfast” may sound intimidating, but it’s really not.
That’s been Jeff Sanders’ motto for his podcast, and now for his book.
The idea is that you can accomplish a lot with little effort, if you change a few habits.
I’ve been listening to Jeff’s show, The 5AM Miracle podcast, for a few years now. It made my top podcasts list and it continues to be one of the only podcasts that I listen to every time a new episode is available.
Jeff finally (I’ve been waiting!) put his expertise into words and released a book…an extremely awesome, useful, direct, practical and applicable book, if I do say so myself…and I do.
Here’s some insight into his book, The 5AM Miracle…
It is never early to start saving for retirement. In fact, if you started saving in your early 20s, putting aside less than a car payment each month could turn you into a millionaire by the time you retire. It really is easy. Let’s look at five steps that you can take in your 30s (or even your 20s or 40s) to make your retirement dreams a reality:
When it comes to buying a home, advice is overwhelmingly centered on buying a primary residence.
No big surprise since you need a place to live. But, before you invest in a primary residence, you need to consider your lifestyle goals to maximize your budget and your quality of life.
Just how bad is the financial plight of the average university student in the UK?
As is the case with most questions, the answer to this one depends upon whom you ask.
Some say uni students are fighting a losing battle because tuition is rising and maintenance loans are inadequate, particularly in London and other notoriously expensive areas. Others say that many students are squandering their money partying and buying items they don’t need.
According to Professor Robert Mooradian of Northeastern University,
millions of Americans are dealing with the emotionally and physically taxing consequences of debt every year. We all want to make our financial goals, like getting out of debt, a reality, but few ever make it without changing their everyday habits.
Before we get into the list of habits that will change your financial goals and eventually your life, we need to get two basic concepts down:
This is going to be extremely straight-forward.
I’m going to give you each step to get your finances in order.
At the end of one hour, you’re going to have a complete overview of your financial situation and be setting goals.
I love apps. I don’t use 100, I just use a few that work really well.
I always try to consolidate. If I can find one app to do the work of two, I’m sold.
This infographic shows 20 of the best apps out there…
Cycling, or biking, has many benefits, some of which you may not initially realize. For starters, it offers great exercise, which means it can improve your health and quality of life, provided you bike consistently.
However, it’s not only your health that can benefit: most things in your life can benefit from cycling. When you think of it that way, it’s no surprise that the United States has seen a growth of 62 percent in bicycle-riding commuters since 2000.
You’re probably wondering how cycling could have such an impact on the world at large. We’re going to take a look at some ways in which your life would benefit if you took up cycling to commute to and from local places.
Imagine getting home on Friday night, after a stressful week. You’ve been looking forward to this moment all day. All you want to do is just throw some sweatpants on and just veg out on the couch. You turn the TV on, grab some drinks from the fridge and get your favorite pair of sweats. You go to take off your pants, you empty your pockets, and you heart sinks….
Your wallet. It’s gone.
If this has ever happened to you, you know the sense of fear that accompanies this horrible event. Your entire life is contained in your wallet. There’s credit cards, debit cards, ID, money, insurance card and membership cards. You now could be the victim of identity theft, with repercussions for years.
Here’s a step-by-step guide of what to do should the worst happen…
Binary options have become a popular way of trading financial assets online because of their simplicity and high returns. Nonetheless, various researches still show that only less than 30% of retail traders achieve profitability trading this market. For this reason, most investors often question whether it is possible to really make money trading binary options. The short answer is YES, but the long answer is that it requires hard work, commitment and dedication to consistently churn out profits from the binary options market.
If you’ve read some books on goal setting, you’ve probably read that only 3% of the population have written goals.
That statistic is often followed by something like “it doesn’t matter if this is true or not, the point is very few people write down their goals.” There is a need for that justification.
This “3%” comes from a study at Yale University in 1953.
The story goes, a Yale University class set goals. 3% of the class wrote them down, while the other 97% didn’t. Twenty years later, the researchers checked in on the classmates to find that the 3% with written goals had more wealth than the other 97% combined.
What an interesting study…the only issue is that it never actually happened.
The addition of another family member brings new personal and financial realities into focus and as you embark on this life-long journey, having your finances well managed and your financial investment well planned will be assurance for the present and a foundation of confidence for the future…
Money isn’t what really matters.
Sure, you need money to accomplish some of your goals or to make your life better…or at least you think you do.
We all think we need more money, more stuff. But money is just money. Stuff is just stuff.
We all know material items aren’t what’s really important.
That’s easy to say, but how do you actually live it out? It’s hard to say “it’s just money” when your only car breaks down and you have to spend $2,000 on a new transmission. It’s hard to say “it’s just money” when you might not have quite enough for the rent this month. Likewise, it’s hard to say “it’s just stuff” when something valuable is stolen or when something you just bought gets messed up.
As I was preparing this article, an interesting thing happened that really challenged me on this…
You budget your money because it’s important to keep track of it.
You know the importance of tracking. You’ve seen how a dollar here and there can really add up.
What about your most important asset? Your time. It’s not replaceable like money. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Do you know where your time is going as well as you know where your money is going? You’re about to.
Here’s how to budget your time like you budget your money…
Happy Veteran’s Day! And a big thanks to everyone in our military who are serving or have served.
This post is a little out of character for me, since it’s not about money or productivity. It is, however, about an important topic.
As an active duty military member, I have had many people ask me what the difference is between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. People often get them mixed up, or think they’re basically the same holiday.
I just want to take some time to explain the difference between the two holidays, and to explain what a veteran is…
“You’re a writer? How do you make money?” “Don’t you need a real job?” “How do you pay your bills?”
Writers have heard it all before. Everybody wants to read the newspaper, online articles, blogs, and books. But when you tell someone you want to write those things, they look at you like you’re crazy. It’s easy to understand why.
Writing seems like a romantic notion, but so many people seem to fail. Perhaps it’s because those people don’t know how to get started. There are so many places online just waiting for you to sign up as a writer. You can write blog posts, articles, or stories. You can become a freelance copywriter or ghostwriter. You can edit or proofread. And that’s just to tip of the iceberg.
If you’re new to writing and can’t quite find an audience, or if you dream of quitting your job to become a writer, then fear not! You can absolutely make it happen. This list will give you a place to start.
Cash or credit? What do you use?
I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey, but I don’t think everyone has to be stuck using only cash.
I’m a fan of credit card rewards, but I don’t think everyone is responsible enough to use them.
So how do you really decide whether to purely use cash or whether to get some credit card rewards?
Here’s how you can decide for yourself…
Email can steal more time than almost anything else.
When you’re going through email, you’re on someone else’s agenda. You’re responding to their needs.
Sure, you wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t get something out of it, but most of the emails you send are answers to other people’s questions, and responses to their needs. Even if you’re sending a decline, that still takes time.
I’ve written about email hacks before. I shared some important tips, so let’s do a quick summary and then get into three more tips that I’ve developed to stay in control of my inbox…
In 2015, the millennial generation is 18 years old at its youngest and 34 at its oldest. More than one-in-three American workers today are millennials and are now the largest portion of our workforce according to the Census Bureau.
For many of us, leaving home, starting college, or being a twenty-something is a time to enjoy being young and learning our independence. Even the older millennials can relate to making some mistakes during that transition.
As young adults trying to navigate through this new area of life, there are some financial blunders that are common for our generation that we should work to avoid.
How much tax do you pay?
In America, it’s typical to pay about 50% if you include your income tax and all the sales tax you pay.
Of course, some people pay more, others pay less. Those in poverty often pay little to no income tax, while many rich people evade taxes through legal loopholes in the system. Therefore, the middle class is often left with the bill.
I’m not complaining, that’s just how it goes.
As a middle class American, you may be surprised to find out that you still pay less tax than much of the world.
See how you stack up in this infographic…
Stuff. It’s everywhere.
You have stuff you don’t use or need, and even stuff you forget you have.
Most of us have so much stuff that going through our garage is like shopping at a thrift store. All of the “oh yeah, I forgot about that!” and the “when did we buy this?”…you may even find that you’ve bought stuff that you didn’t even realize you already had.
The point is, you need to get rid of some stuff. Sell, donate, trash, or whatever…you need to declutter. That’s why you’re here.
Here’s a great method I’ve been using to get rid of 323 items over the last couple months…
So you’ve decided to start budgeting. Good. The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem.
Honestly, creating your budget will be the easy part. As you sit down and assess all your numbers, you will begin to realize where you are wasting your hard earned money. A feeling of disgust will rush over you as you analyze each dime spent and recognize you could be saving a lot of money each month. If you only knew that all of the coffee stops and weekend adventures would eat away at your bank account. It is astonishing how much we continue to withhold our own financial information from ourselves.
Now you have decided to start a budget and take control of your finances. Frugal spending, wise saving and cutting back seems easy, and it can be. But just like any addiction or habit, controlling the emotional aspect can seem to be the biggest challenge. While you are budgeting you will be traveling a winding road of emotions. Some with the intention of derailing your budgeting efforts.
So let’s take a look at what you can expect emotionally while embarking on your budget expedition.
We all know that discipline is about small habits, practiced consistently, over time.
So what’s the problem? Why is discipline hard?
Because, while those small habits are super easy to do, it’s just as easy to not to do them.
These small habits will help you reach huge goals, but…”there’s always tomorrow”…”I’ll start on Monday”…you know how it goes.
Sure it’s easy to not do it, but you’re about to have a plan. A plan of discipline that you’re going to stick with. So we’re done talking about not doing – it’s time to talk about doing.
Do you think that financial experts can always manage their credit cards smartly? If so, then you’re dead wrong.
Here’s my story to clear your misconception.
There was a time when I didn’t manage my credit cards and finances carefully. To make the matter worse, I got a job after completing my studies. It gave me an opportunity to spend even more and incur debt. Now, when I look back, I realize that I wouldn’t have incurred debt if there was no job.
The holiday season is almost upon us, and with the arrival of celebratory occasions comes the added stress of spending more money than usual. Make sure your holidays are affordable this year and use these money-saving tips.
The rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer. Right?
You’ve heard that a thousand times. It’s not fair, is it? Some people just can’t get a break.
Well, that may be true, but it’s not that simple.
So why are some people rich and others poor? Why do some poor become rich, while some families stay poor for generations?
The promise of a college degree is enticing. It’s a sure way to advance your career and gain more knowledge while expanding your network. But college degrees get more expensive each year making the thought of being a college graduate out of reach for many.
Potential college-goers are easy prey for scammers who offer attractive loans and scholarships that make the college dream seem affordable. With more sophisticated means of taking your money under the guise of offering student loans, you need to be smart about who you give information to and what you agree to in your loan search.
Student borrowers are also subjected to scammers who promise to eliminate student loan debt. Some companies engage in deceptive marketing practices and illegally charge customers hundreds of dollars to reduce or eliminate their debt.
A typical scam follows a pattern like this…
We all know that positive language provides better results than negative language, but we may be using negative language without realizing it.
As Zig Ziglar says “negative people call it an alarm clock, positive people call in an opportunity clock”. Corny? Sure, but it’s also true that your words can define your habits.
Let’s take a look into some language that you may not realize is holding you back, and how to change it…
Leaving behind the 9 to 5 and starting a home-based business is a dream for many Americans today.
No need for the power tripping boss breathing down your neck, get the pay you deserve, and still manage to have time for your family makes perfect sense.
While working at home can bring forth a lot of the rewards as described above, you will have to work daily towards making your company a success.
Below are some things you should be doing to help run your home based business more effectively: