Credit Scores and Dating

Credit is important.  It’s as simple as that.  Credit can help determine your interest rate for a personal loan, a mortgage, a car loan, and can even determine your eligibility to rent an apartment.

Ultimately, your credit will control how much you will pay for loans.  The better your credit, the smaller your interest rates will be and the less money you will spend. The worse your credit, the more money you will spend.

But credit doesn’t just decide your interest rates; it also signifies how you use your money and how financially responsible you are.  It tells those who know your credit score whether you pay your bills on time, how responsible you are with your credit card, whether you make loan payments on time, etc.  This one number holds a lot of information.

It seems that this number is important to more people than just lenders and landlords.  The credit score is finding importance in the dating scene.

According to freecreditscore.com via CNN, many people won’t marry someone with bad credit.  Of the 1,000 people polled, it was found that 20% of men and 30% of women would follow suit and wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit.

Not only does having a spouse with bad credit make it more difficult and more expensive to do something like qualify for a mortgage to buy a home, it also shows the potential spouse’s money spending habits.

Money is one of the biggest reasons why couples fight, so naturally using a credit score, a number that in some ways illustrates how financially responsible someone is, as one of the criteria when choosing a mate will help curtain fights some about money.  After all, it doesn’t matter how much someone makes if they don’t know how to spend and save it well.

But remember that a credit score isn’t permanent.  With every financial move you make (or don’t make), your credit score changes.  So just because someone has made poor financial decisions in the past doesn’t mean that they will never be eligible for a low interest loan.

There are ways to build and improve your credit.  Always pay bills on time, pay off your credit card in full every month, make loan payments on time, and you will be able to raise your credit score.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

From online shopping to online banking, convenience is increasing with the help of the internet.  No longer do you need to go to a store to buy jeans to go to a bank to deposit a check.

But often more convenience can mean less information security which can lead to serious problems like identity theft and credit card fraud.

Identity theft is getting someone’s personal information unlawfully (meaning it was not given to you) and using it for personal gain, usually economic, like if someone pretends to be you to use their health insurance.  An example of credit card would be if you were to steal someone’s credit card information and use it to make purchases.

Because the internet is a relatively new invention and because it is so vast, it’s difficult to make it completely secure.  Although security holes are being closed regularly, there are still ways to steal information, both online and in person.

Without taking proper precautions it is extremely easy for identity thieves to steal your information and use it to their benefit.  But you don’t have to be a victim.  Here is what you can do to try to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you:

  1. Don’t think that the only thing you need to keep safe is your credit card number.  Don’t give away any important information to questionable inquirers including your social security number, birth date, address, Medicaid card, etc.  It can be used against you.
  2. Always shred credit card offers that you aren’t going to apply for.  People can apply as you, use them improperly, and ruin your credit score.
  3. Shred anything else you don’t need that has sensitive information on it.
  4. Don’t respond to any contests that you didn’t actually apply to.  They are often scams to get your personal information.  They can do this over text, by phone, or by mail.
  5. Don’t give out your kids’ information either.  Crooks can use those social security numbers for no good.
  6. Use your gut.  If you have the feeling that something seems off, don’t continue with it.
  7. Log out of your online bank account or any online store that save your credit card info and don’t let anyone else have those passwords.
  8. If you’re using someone else’s computer to do anything credit card or personal information related (buying something online, applying for something sensitive, etc.), clear the cookies when you are done so things like passwords don’t automatically save.
  9. Hide your pin number.  Whenever you type in your pin at the ATM or when paying for something, use your other hand to hide it.  It’s very easy for someone to peak over your shoulder and catch your pin.

Moving the Right Way

Moving is expensive.  It’s one of the things that people often take out payday loans for is moving expenses.

Moving is one of those things that you don’t really do that often, but when you do, it ends up somehow being very expensive, even if you don’t think that you have that much stuff.

From boxes and bubble wrap to trucks and moving men, those expenses really add up.  And if you have to take time off for work to wait for the moving men to finish, you are losing even more money that you might not be able to afford.

But it doesn’t have to be that expensive.  Sure you’ll spend some money, but you don’t have to spend as much as you would in the first place with our list of money saving tips and tricks.

1. Get a quote.  If you are using a moving company and you are paying people to help you move your furniture, find out initially how much they think the process will cost.  Remember that this is just an estimate.  It’s very possible that they will charge you more than what your estimate, but then your estimate becomes an excellent bargaining tool.

2. Do what you can.  Some furniture you can definitely take apart and move yourself.  It’s annoying and it might take some time, but the less stuff you have to have the movers move, the less you will end up having to pay than you would if they moved all of your stuff.  And if you can gather up a few strong friends, rent a truck, and do everything yourselves, that will save you even more money.  Just remember to be grateful and maybe spring for lunch or dinner for everything.  Show them that you care.

3. Treat movers well.  Offer them drinks and smile instead of scowl.  People generally don’t overcharge people that they like. Plus there is no reason to be rude.  These people are ultimately helping you, even if you are paying them, so treat them well.

4. Box.  Things in boxes are way easier to stack and move than things that are not in boxes.  It speeds up the process and things have less of a chance of breaking.  So definitely put in the extra effort and box.

5. Box for free.  Plenty of places will give you their old free boxes if you ask.  Costco, for example, has thousands of boxes that they encourage people to take, so go ahead and ask for a few.  It sure beats paying for boxes.

6. Forgo the bubble wrap.  Sure you want to protect your things, but the price of bubble wrap really adds up.  Instead, use clothes and towels.  They work just as well. Plus you kill two birds with one stone and save some money.

Moving is never pleasant, but with our tips it can be a little cheaper.

How to Plan Your Career

Now that you have some idea of what to do and a vague understanding of what employers are looking for in an employee, you can get started on the next step: planning your career.

Before you can do this, you need to settle on a field that you like.  It should be something that you are interested in, something that challenges you, and something that will be important or popular in the future.

Choosing a field that is shrinking instead of growing will mean choosing a new field later on which means reeducating yourself, and this is not an easy task.

The first step:

Know what you are good at.

The older you get, the more you learn about your strengths and your weaknesses.  This might not be all that easy when you are young and just beginning your working career, but as you get older, what you are naturally good at becomes more and more apparent.  So plan your career around that.  Working a job that you are not naturally suited for is just an uphill battle.

Next step:

Make site that the knowledge you have can be transferred. 

One of the scariest things that can happen is that you are pigeon -holed.  This means that you learn a specific skill that’s so specific that you won’t be able to find another position doing this.  Sure, no two jobs are the same, but you should be able to find something similar.  Take away skills that can be applied anywhere.

The step after that:

Learn to be charming.

If you aren’t already good at telling interesting anecdotes and successfully jumping into conversations, leaving them with friends, learn to do so immediately, and take these powers and use them for good (networking).

Networking may seem like a monotonous activity, but it can really help you find a job or get your foot in the door of a company or industry that you really want to work for.

The second to last step:

Find a handful of companies you want to work for.

Identify what it is you like about these companies?  Are the known for being highly creative and innovative?  Do they do really good work?  Can you stand out there?   Figure out what it is you like in a company and set goals for yourself.

Figure out a plan to work for one of your ideal companies.  Develop skills that they find important, constantly apply for jobs at these companies, and write personal cover letters.  You’ll get there eventually.

The last step:

ABL (Always Be Learning)

Never stop growing and learning.  The moment you stop growing, you stop being attractive to employers.  You start being old.  Technology continues to develop, so why should you stop?

Younger competitors are keeping up with what’s changing, and you should too, not just for employment purposes but for your own personal development.

What Employers Really Want

The key to financial stability and independence, or at least one of the keys, is a secure and stable income that’s big enough to sustain your lifestyle.  But it’s way easier to want that than to actually find a job that pays well.

There are many tricks to finding the right job, but we have discovered a few really good ones for keeping one.

Many companies would much rather promote from within than to hire someone from outside.  That way their new management is already familiar with company culture and this drastically cuts down on training.  Additionally, knowing an employee before giving them a management job gives you much better idea whether or not they will work in that position.

Moving up in a company is good for you as an employee.  Much less stressful that finding a new, better paying job, working your way up comes with many other advantages for you, namely a much smaller learning curve.  It’s simply easier to do a job when you are familiar with the company and know your coworkers, and that’s exactly what working your way up helps you do.

But to get promoted, you have to impress your boss and show him or her that you can do the job you are after.  Here is what bosses want to see:

Leadership Skills

They say there’s no “I” in “team” blah blah blah.  Sure, that old expression has been used to death, but it’s still true…in some way.  Bosses like to see that you can work with your coworkers, but they want to see someone who stands out too.

Bosses want to see that you can take control of a situation and plan a project, complete with breaking it up and delegating tasks.  Remember that leadership isn’t easy.

Commitment

Hiring and rehiring someone for a particular position is both stressful and expensive.  The hiring process can be long, and going long periods of time without having a position filled can really take a toll on a company.

This is why employers want to know that you won’t quit the moment things get a little hard or you find something better.  And the longer someone works for a company, the more they know and the more valuable they become.  The last thing an employer wants to do is invest time and money into an employee just to have them quit.  It isn’t a financially viable process, and it’s just exhausting and disappointing.

Critical Thinking Skills

Problems arise, and employers know that.  A perfectly run operation or business just doesn’t exist.  So employers want to know that you can solve a problem on your own.  And often that means being creative and finding different ways to fix things.

Whether it be a problem with the product or service or planning the future of the company, having an employee that can understand and solve actual and possible problems is a huge asset that any company would want.

Conclusion

The more valuable you are to a company, the higher up you will be in the company and the more you will be paid (hopefully).  So develop these skills in yourself and impress your boss.

The Right Job for Your Personality

Finding a career is difficult at any time or age.  Picking just one thing that you are interested in and starting from the beginning or close to the beginning, hoping you will be good at it, is just about the scariest thing you can do, especially as an adult.

Some people are lucky and have always known what they want to be or are simply good at one specific thing and turn that into a career.

The rest of us, unfortunately, aren’t that lucky.  It takes us real soul searching and a whole lot of time before we can narrow in on what we want to spend the rest of our lives doing.

But now there’s that can help you make your decision. Continue reading

Teaching Kids About Personal Finance

How money works isn’t the easiest thing in the world to pick up, especially if you haven’t had too much life experience.  And things like personal finance and money management aren’t taught in schools, so if parents don’t teach their kids these things, kids are forced to just pick it up on their own.

This might sound like an easy way out, but kids can easily pick up bad habits that can lead to some serious financial problems.

The best way to avoid this is to sit your kids down and teach them everything they need to know.  That doesn’t mean explaining the entire US monetary and banking system to a 5 year old but explaining how simple and important concepts work.  This knowledge can go a long way.

Credit

Getting started on building credit early can help your kids get great interest rates on important things like car loans and mortgages when they need them.  But the benefits of having good credit are nothing compared to how you get good credit and what good credit means. Continue reading

How to Use Payday Loans Properly

Today payday loans are essential. Quick loans will save you in a financial jam. You can borrow unsecured loans much easier than other loans, even if you have bad credit. According to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), payday loans have reached $40.3 billion by 2011. Despite the growing popularity of payday loans, there are people, who consider these short-term loans dangerous because if used improperly, they can contribute to debt. But in reality these fast loans are great financial tools if you handle them properly.

Here are a few tips for using payday loans wisely:

  1. Payday loans were created for emergencies and extraordinary expenses like when you need to repair a car or pipe burst and you urgently need money. These loans are not intended for luxuries or things that are not necessary. You shouldn’t take out payday loans to use them on vacations or other non-essential expenses.
  2. Remember that you shouldn’t consider payday loans as an additional source of income; they should, instead, be used like an advance on your paycheck. Thinking of your loan as an early paycheck, you prevent reckless spending and will use it to pay for unforeseen expenses until you receive your salary. Continue reading

Learnvest: Empowering Women (and Men) by Helping Them Understand Money

They say that money is like water; no matter how hard you fight it, it just flows out of your hands.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We all have the tendency to spend money without thinking about it, ending the month with bigger credit card bills than we could pay, but this isn’t the way to go.  That’s how we end up with no financial safety net.

And it’s not like we intend to spend all of our money or make any big purchases or splurges, but somehow by the end of the month our entire paycheck has pretty much been spent.  If only there was something that could help up spend a little less by reminding us what he have already spent that month and what we have spent that money on. Continue reading

How to Spend Less

It’s really easy to just buy things.  You can rationalize away any concern, even a financial one, and you can pretty much talk yourself into buying anything, whether or not you need it.

Advertising, marketing, and creative and beautiful displays don’t exactly make it any easier to say no.

But the truth is there are other forces at work here.  Without you even realizing it, things at stores as arranged and presented in a way that encourages you to buy things that you don’t necessarily need.  In fact, there’s a whole branch of psychology dedicated to studying why people buy things and how to get them to buy more things that they might not necessarily need. Continue reading