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Financial Spring Cleaning

NFCC Poll Reveals Consumers’ Top Financial Regrets

By: Gail Cunningham A recent online poll by the NFCC allowed consumers to select their greatest financial regret.  Of more than 2,200 respondents, 53 percent indicated that habitually overspending was what they regretted most. Overspending far outweighed other financial concerns such as inadequately saving (18 percent), insufficiently preparing for retirement (14 percent), not having bought a house (10 percent), or having bought a house (five percent). Although most people have financial regrets, …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip Of The Day: Cut Your Debt In Half By The End Of The Year

Find an extra $20 per week for the remainder of the year, and put it toward debt reduction. Not worth the trouble? Consider this: If you currently owe $1,000 on a credit card, have an Annual Percentage Rate of 18 percent, and are making a minimum monthly payment of 2 percent of balance, even if no further charges are ever added to the account, you won’t have that $1,000 paid …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Improve Your Tarnished Credit

If recent events have made your credit report less than stellar, work on improving it. Review the damage by obtaining a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Look for what’s doing you the most harm, things such as accounts that have gone into collections, or old credit card bills that you’ve forgotten about. Create a plan to begin repaying these debts, even if it’s a small amount each …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Know Where Your Money Goes

Have everyone in your household who spends money track their spending for 30 days. At the end of the month, come together to review the findings and determine where the leaks are. Jointly decide how to plug them. Make adjustments so that your budget reflects exactly how you want your hard-earned money to be spent. You will never be fully in charge of your finances until you complete this exercise.

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Don’t Overdraft Your Checking Account

Even if you have overdraft protection, this is a habit that speaks of a deeper problem that should be addressed. Write down each deposit and withdrawal in your check register, including all debit and ATM transactions. Regularly balance your checkbook, and reconcile your bank statement within one week of it arriving. If you do these things, but continue to overdraft your account, the overdraft is no accident. Do not continue …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Get Financially Organized

Sometimes people become so overwhelmed that they bury their head in the financial sand. Not only do they neglect paying their bills on time, they don’t even open their monthly credit card statements. Such habits result in late fees, a tarnished credit report, and a lower credit score. Become financially organized by creating a cash-flow calendar where you record each payday for everyone in the home who earns money. Next, …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Live Within Your Means

Simply put, don’t spend more than you make. To accomplish this, put the credit cards away. Many well-meaning people resort to living off of credit when facing a financial crisis, digging an even deeper financial hole. Instead, try living on a cash basis. People who do this typically spend 20 percent less, and they do it without feeling deprived. They buy what they want, but since their level of awareness …Read More

Financial Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day: Ask an Expert

If you don’t know where to start or you’re not sure what to keep or toss, consider contacting an NFCC Member Agency. From financial education to debt management services, NFCC’s nonprofit agencies have certified credit counselors who offer low-cost and free financial educational information, money and credit management advice, and debt reduction services. To locate an NFCC Member Agency in your area visit our website at www.DebtAdvice.org and click on …Read More