10 FREE & Simple Technology Apps to Help You Stay on Budget

A budget is your income’s best friend. The process of establishing a budget identifies where funds are going. You are then able to isolate areas where the allocation of resources is more efficient. A big piece of financial success is being able to understand and control where income is going, and a budget assists in this process.

With all the benefits provided through budgeting, it is estimated that only 32 percent maintain an active budget, according to Gallop. Unfortunately, this means that the majority of Americans do not have a clear understanding of where their money is going, leaving room for poor money management and overspending. After all, if you don’t know how much you have, it is easy to spend more than is available. Read more

Why You Struggle to Maintain a Budget & What to Do About It

Budgets are a great idea in theory; it’s the actual practice so many struggle with. There is something about the budget process that feels controlling and many rebel against this feeling of being controlled. The irony is that you are ultimately the one controlling the process when budgets function correctly.

A budget is about giving you more control over your money, not taking control away. By increasing awareness around where funds are spent, you are able to earmark spending based on priorities, rather than impulse buying. Read more

What Everyone Should Know About Their Credit Score

What Everyone Should Know About Their Credit Score

Credit scores can be empowering when it is maintained. A good score provides access to affordable financing and confidence in your ability to obtain services you need without the extra expenses incurred when deposits are required.

Across industries, there is an increased emphasis on credit as a factor in applications. A decade ago credit scores were mostly a tool for lenders to evaluate consumer risk. Today it is used for everything from employment consideration to car insurance. The increased reliance on scores for decision making purposes has made the management of credit an essential part of your overall financial wellbeing.

Here are the key elements everyone should know about your credit score: Read more

The Truth About Debt Collectors and Law Suits

The process of debt collection can be intimidating. The laws and your consumer rights may be unclear and the debt collector can be aggressive and insistent. You may have the desire to pay the debt but don’t know how you could possibly come up with the large amounts of money they are demanding. After all, if you had the cash laying around, the delinquent account would never have gotten behind and turned over to a collection agency in the first place. Read more

Simplifying The Meaning & Costs of Compound Interest and Debt

The term compound interest most often refers to the benefits of investing and gains achieved when you set aside money for future needs. Illustrations are designed to show you how the money will grow faster if you leave it in an account, including reinvesting all interest or gains. The longer it is left, the better off you will be at some point in the future.

Unfortunately, if you carry debt, this same phenomenon of compound interest is working against you, instead of for you. Debt payments accumulate interest, and interest charged on interest creates a compounding effect based on the same principles seen in investments.

When you are investing, you are gaining the benefit and when you are borrowing you are paying the higher price.

Loans express interest charges in terms of an interest rate and an interest yield. The rate is the amount listed on the contract, and most often what you think of when you consider how much you will pay for the debt. The yield is the effective rate you actually pay once compounding takes effect. Read more

Protecting Your Money When Divorce Occurs

Divorce proceedings are no longer isolated to younger generations. Today those over the age of 50 account for nearly 25% of all divorces, up 15% from 2 decades ago. These causes range from the increased financial independence of women to growing apart after children leave the nest. Instead of planning for a retirement together, couples are dividing household assets with long term financial consequences.

A divorce is costly beyond the decisions about who gets to keep what. The cost of living for two individuals is much higher than when you are living together. The same household income must now cover the cost of maintaining separate residences which raises overall living expenses by as much as 50%. Read more