Track Your Spending Posts

If you are in debt, you could be digging yourself in deeper with some bad habits. Make sure you avoid these no-nos if you’re in debt:

1) Paying small amounts or minimum payments on credit cards and personal loans. Paying just the minimum just extends the misery since it ensures that it will take you many months or years to get debt free. Pay more than the minimum to dig out faster and to pay less interest.

2) Taking out more loans, especially from family and friends. New loans are a problem, as they keep you perpetually in debt. Work with a budget to ensure that you pay for all necessities so that you don’t have to rely on payday cash advances or friends.

3) Looking for credit counseling and paying money for that. Many people who are in debt immediately seek out credit counseling and pay a hefty fee for some pretty obvious advice. Unless you are really drowning in personal loans, you can usually help yourself by budgeting and paying off your debts over time.

4) Continuing your usual spending habits. If you are in debt, that is a clear sign that you need to rein in what you spend. Cut back to the basics and find cheaper alternatives for your everyday expenses.

5) Taking out high interest loans to consolidate your debt. Consolidation loans can be handy, but bad credit loans or high interest loans for consolidation can still leave you paying a lot in interest.

6) Paying all your money towards loans. Even if you are eager to pay off your loans, you still need to set aside money for your emergency fund and retirement savings.

7) Putting off bankruptcy too long or taking this out too soon. Bankruptcy can be a useful tool, but it is meant as a last resort. Being too eager to file bankruptcy can mean that you ruin your credit rating needlessly. Waiting too late can mean that you face more serious financial consequences.…

Debt Money

If you are in debt, there are some things you should cut out so that you can save more and channel more money towards personal loans, credit cards, signature loans and other debts:

Dining Out. When you dine out, you pay for the food, drink, wait service, food preparation labor, and tip. You also pay for a hefty mark-up, especially on drinks. Making food yourself is healthier and saves you a lot of money.

Entertainment expenses. Going to the movies, video rental store, gaming stores, amusement parks, concerts and other entertainment venues sets you back a lot. You can budget for some entertainment expenses, but a better solution is to find free or low-cost ways to have fun. Your local library and newspaper usually has long lists of free classes, talks, workshops, film screenings, concerts, and other events for you to enjoy.

Cars. Buying new cars costs a lot – and cars depreciate fast, so you start losing money on your new purchase as soon as you roll off the lot. Gas can also set you back, as can repair costs. If you need a car, look for a used car and carpool to save on gas costs. Otherwise, look for car alternatives. Walking, using public transport, or using a car share service are all viable ways to get around.

Phones. Having the latest cell phone as well as a full-service package quickly adds up. Take a look at your phone costs: you may be able to get rid of your ground line if you use your cell most of the time. Or, switch to a low-cost, no-frills cell package and only use your cell for emergencies.

Gym and country club memberships. Memberships can cost a lot and most members under-use facilities and services. If you don’t visit your gym or club often, get rid of the membership.

Recreational Shopping. Spending money when you don’t need to can mean an emotional high – and huge personal loan and credit card debts. Shop with a plan and only when you are clam, well-rested and fed.

Magazine Subscriptions. Most of us only read a small fraction of magazines and paying $20 a pop to flip through some pictures is expensive. If you love magazines, browse them at your public library.

TV packages. Getting every channel under the sun is usually not necessary. You don’t want to spend your life in front of the TV. Get the fewest channels you need to watch your favorite shows. Keep in mind, too, that you might be able to watch your favorite shows online now, too, so you might not need many or most of those fancy channels.…

Budget Debt

Found money is an exciting thing, but if you’re just relying on spare change you can find between the cushions of your couch, you could be missing out on some sources of real money. This money can help you fund an emergency fund. Here’s how to find a lot of cash you didn’t know you had:

File form 8822 with the IRS if you have moved in the past few years. If you have any unclaimed returns, keeping your information up to date with the IRS can ensure that you get the money the IRS is keeping for you.

Contact past unions. Write down all the jobs you have had. Did your jobs ever require you to pay union fees? If so, you could have unclaimed benefits lying around. Contact the unions individually to see whether you have any cash owed to you.

Closed accounts. Have you ever closed utility accounts, bank accounts, or other accounts? You could be owed deposit money. Contact banks and utility companies you have worked with to find out if you are owed cash.

Run Internet searches. There are many online searches that can help you find missing cash. All you need to do is type your name into one of these specialized search engines and you’ll see how much money you could have stashed away and how to claim it.…


6 Signs of a Payday Loan Scam Since the major economic recession in 2022, the road to financial stability has been a bumpy one at best. And despite brief moments of optimism, a sharp and ugly economic downturn has continued to bear its fangs.

And for many of those bearing the effects of a tight economic squeeze, solace has come in the form of payday loan lending. For millions of families living paycheck-to-paycheck, bi- yearly payday loans have meant the difference between financial survival and bankruptcy. When an unexpected emergency strikes and funds are depleted, these short-term loans provide a temporary means for staying afloat, at least until the next paycheck

However, given the accessibility of payday loans, a number of frauds and scammers have leaped at the opportunity to falsely imitate legitimate payday lending sites and snatch up your hard-earned cash for profit.

The best way to defend yourself against a potential payday scam attack is to prepare your arsenal. Given the right knowledge, tools and preparation, anyone can avoid a payday loan imposter.
1. Rock Bottom Interest Rates

Think a 36 percent APR on a payday loan sounds too good to be true?

You’re probably right.

One of the most tell-tale signs of a fraudulent payday lending site is an incredibly low rate of interest. Although a dirt-cheap rate might seem alluring, the best plan of action is to head into your payday loan search with the understanding that short-term loans come with relatively high interest rates.

Payday lending is comparable to taking a taxi. The fees associated with both are relatively high, but you approach the service knowing you are paying extra for convenience and accessibility. The interest rates of experienced payday lenders are usually higher than traditional loan rates, so a company striking an offer simply unheard of can mean be a dead giveaway for scams.
2. They Can Call You, but You Can’t Call Them

You disclose your number and e-mail address when applying for an online payday loan, so why shouldn’t the company do the same?

One of the most sure-fire ways to spot an imposter is by a lack of company detail. Any experienced payday lending site will have direct and clear access for customers to contact the company, either through phone or e-mail.

However, simply displaying contact information on a payday lending site isn’t enough. Always call the number listed or send an e-mail even if you’re only slightly unsure of the site’s reputation. You may be given information opposite from the content displayed on the site, or worse, you may reach no one at all.
3. The Reviews Are Ho-Hum, Or Non-Existent

Even the least savvy shopper should know better than to rely on a company’s dazzling marketing scheme and glittering advertisements. When it comes down to it, understanding the pros and cons of a product can be best assessed by your fellow neighbor.

According to last year’s Online Influence Trend Tracker survey from Cone, over two-thirds of consumers had opted out of a purchase once they came across a slew of negative reviews. As it stands for 2012, the statistic has risen, with cancellations now upwards of 80 percent.

Whether it’d be an Amazon purchase of a payday loan, reviews are a means of honest communication between consumers. With no oversight or bias to filter their thoughts, reviews can be an extremely honest display of a company’s reputability.

If enough reviews of the lender don’t exist, consider asking around your family and friends. Although no one within your inner circle may have taken out a payday loan recently, chances are you’ll come across a “friend of a friend” if you continue to ask.
4. They Try To Intimidate You

Bullies exist in every segment of society. From pre-school playgrounds to corporate offices, there will always be individuals looking to victimize others for their benefit.

Payday lenders are no exception. According to The Internet Crime Complaint Center, victims of fraudulent lenders have contact their offices with a slew of complaints on a daily basis. They state that scammers tried to threaten them with arrests, and in a minor number of cases, physical violence if they were unable to pay.

Without question, these practices are illegal. No payday lender can send you to jail over a missed payment, nor should they ever be calling you to harass and threaten. Should a situation of payday lending intimidation occur, don’t hesitate to stand up to these bullies. Contact your state attorney general and the FTC to report the threats.
5. The Stamps of Approval Are Missing

These days, it seems just about anyone can start up an online business for free. With a few clicks of a mouse and a couple of key phrases, a business – whether legitimate or not – can market and sell their products with ease.

When it comes to payday lending, these imposter sites are actively searching for your cash and private information. However, certain oversight and regulations have given consumers the opportunity to distinguish between payday lending friend or foe.

The websites of reputable payday lenders will contain a few concrete signs of trust:

• Security certificates (SSL’s)

• An HTTPS:// sign and lock symbol in address bar on application pages

• A distinct privacy policy and safety guarantee
6. Something Seems Fishy

At the end of the day, your intuition will be the most valuable weapon in your arsenal when defending yourself against fraudulent payday lenders.

Whether it’s cheesy or cheap graphics, a number of misspelling and grammatical errors, or simply a funny feeling you get when browsing the site, always listen to your gut. More often than not, it can be a solid way to protect you against an online payday lending attack.
It’ll be Worth Your Work

Jobs are dwindling. Prices are rising. Although the economy may be in a crunch, your feelings of security don’t have to be. Financial emergencies and unforeseen expenses can occur to anyone and at anytime, and payday loans can be a lifesaver for anyone left to drown.

Although the search for the perfect payday loan lender may seem a giant feat, finding the right company will almost always be worth your work.…


The Olympics are just a few short weeks away and American athletes have already descended on the grounds in London. Unlike other professional athletes, most Olympians don’t receive large salaries to practice their sport. So if you’ve recently fallen on hard times and need a payday loan advance to cover your monthly expenses, don’t feel bad, because even Olympians can face financial woes.

Specifically, only 50 percent of track and field athletes who rank in the top 10 in the nation earn more than $15,000 per year from their sport. While apparel contracts can account for a majority of this income, there are often provisions that can drastically reduce payment if an athlete underperforms or becomes injured.

Some athletes have even gone as far as selling sponsorships on internet auction sites such as eBay. For example, American shot putter Adam Nelson sold his support to MedivoxRx for $12,000 per month just to make ends meet.

While selling your support for a product may not be an option to bring in more money every month, there are ways to budget your money to get by.

Track Your Spending

Perhaps the most effective way to control your money is to track your spending. Examining your expenses for at least a month can give you an idea of areas you can cut back on. Hang onto receipts, ATM slips and bank statements to get started, and adjust your payment habits accordingly.

Determine Your Priorities

Once you figure out where all of your money is going, determine which of your monthly expenses are the most important. As a rule of thumb, no more than 30 percent of your monthly income should go toward housing and utility bills.…

Financial Hardship