There are always questions surrounding the mysterious credit score. The mystery is created by the very agencies who determine your number. Formulas for figuring out your exact scores are a closely guarded secret. Sure, we might now a little about how it is calculated (read the article here), but no one knows exactly how much an action weighs against your score. Many people want to know what exactly their credit score is, who is behind this stupid thing, what actions impact your score, and how much a single action can change your score. Let's take a deeper look at what a credit score is and how it affects your life.
A credit score is really nothing more than a credit agency (think Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) attempting to quantify your creditworthiness with a number. Years ago credit scores didn't even exist. If you wanted a loan for something you would go into the bank that you had a relationship with, and if you had good standing in the community, or if the loan officer had a good feeling about you, you would get a loan. Obviously, there is a major flaw in that system. The problem was that anybody, no matter how well respected in the community, can be a bad credit risk for the bank. By calculating the different factors on your ability to repay, the credit agencies came up with a system that seeks to treat everybody fairly without prejudice or bias.
There are several different things taken into account by the credit agencies when figuring out a "credit score". The good news is that most of them are common sense. First and foremost is your payment history. One of the best things you can start doing (or continue doing) is pay all of your bills on time every month. Next, don't owe anyone too much money. Your debt-to-income ratio should ideally be at 25% or less. That means the amount you owe anyone should not exceed 25% of your income.
Is a credit score really that important? Yes, and it's a hard number to fight if it's not very good. The most well-known example of using credit scores are all potential lenders. They will use your credit score to determine whether or not you even get a loan, and if you are approved for the loanyour credit score dictates what credit terms you will receive as well. Most people already know this.
However, your credit score is used by a lot more than just lenders. If you apply for a new job, your potential employer may pull your credit report before making their hiring decision. Landlords use credit scores to see who they will rent out their property to. Insurance companies use them as part of their risk assessment before offering you an insurance policy.
The short answer is that your credit score is majorly important during your life. The long answer is that it is so important because there isn't a better way of judging credit worthiness in our world presently. Use your credit wisely and learn how to handle your finances properly. Doing so will make sure that the rest just falls into place naturally.
It usually starts with just one lunch out. Before you know it, you are eating out for every lunch instead of packing. Whatever your reasoning, eating out comes at a great cost to your financial future. Not only is prepared food less healthy overall, but it can have a big time impact on your finances. Here are some valid reasons why eating out frequently is a bad idea for both your waistline and your wallet.
Food Cost vs. Grocery Store
First, it always costs more to buy prepared food from a restaurant than from a grocery store. At the restuarant, you are paying for the food and the service. Also, don't forget that the physical location of the restaurant, the cooking methods used, and staffing all play a huge part of the overall bill. It just makes sense that cooking your food at home can save a considerable amount of money each month.
Another common thing that happens when people go out to eat is forgetting what to eat and how much. Most people do not go out and eat only the main course. They usually purchase appetizers, drinks, and/or dessert as well as the main entree. All of these things add up quickly on the bill and on the calorie count.
Paying For Service
When you decide to go to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, do you always consider all the extra costs? Your check will have the price of your entire meal, drinks, taxes, and tips. Depending on how fancy the restuarant, there could also be costs such as parking and/or valet service. Do you really know how much you are actually going to spend on your meal out before you go?
What Bad Habits Are You Forming?
Something else to think about is the bad habits you are forming. When you eat at home, there is usually food remaining that you can use for lunches or another complete meal. Additionally, you will be less likely to eat out if there is a good, home-cooked meal already made in the fridge.
What Are Some Better Options?
What can you do to avoid eating out all the time? Meal planning and meal prep are a great way to avoid food waste AND stretch your dollars. At the beginning of the week (we do this on Sundays at my house), take a look through your fridge and pantry and think of what meals you can make from what you already have on hand. Then, prepare a grocery list for the items you will need.
Go grocery shopping (use coupons too!), then come home and prepare your lunches for the week. If you do not have time to cook in the evening, prep dinner meals as well. Freezer meals and slow cooker recipes will become your new best friend. There really is no excuse for eating out, when meal prep can be so convenient and opens up your schedule during the busy week.
Having said all that, you can see that there are a multitude of reasons why you should consider cutting out your habit of eating out. Save your money, your waistline, and your heart health by eating at home.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a way to make some extra money. You’re willing to work for it, but you want to be compensated for your time and effort. You also need some flexibility with your schedule as well. If this sounds like you, then paid surveys can be a wonderful option for adding some money to your pocket.
Paid surveys are perfect for stay at home parents. First off, the extra money will help with all the monthly bills. Second, surveys can a actually be quite fun. Third, most surveys can be done via the internet, so the schedule that you work is up to you. You can take surveys when the baby is sleeping, when the kids are out playing, or while sitting on the couch watching TV.
To figure out if paid surveys are an option for you, it is important to ask the right questions before you get started. Below are the 5 questions everyone should ask before taking any surveys.
1. Is it really possible to get paid for taking surveys online? Explain please.
Surveys are legitimate. They are a real source of income. You can actually make money from your home taking surveys online. According to our research, there are at least 7 million companies that survey consumers on a regular basis. They will pay you for your opinions. Survey companies are ultimately trying to figure out how to sell their products and services to people. You are helping them do research and they are paying you for your time.
2. How much money can I earn? How many surveys can I take?
This is actually a pretty simple question. The amount of money you will make is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into it. In other words, the more surveys you take, the more you can earn. The people that make the most are on top of the latest promotions and are in tune with the needs of marketing companies. They react quickly to survey requests. It is possible to make $25 per hour or more.
3. How do I know this is legitimate and that I’ll get paid? Are there any guarantees?
Most paid survey and marketing research companies are legitimate. However, as with any other internet idea, there are scams. To find the best opportunities (and avoid scams), it may be best to pay a small fee and join a paid survey database. The paid survey datatbase companies often have perks too, such as free ebooks on maximizing your revenue and form filling tools.
Keep in mind that all fraudulent companies will be quickly removed from the paid survey databases. They simply can not hide from all the people that report non payment and other issues.
4. How often will I be paid? Exactly how am I paid?
The companies administering the surveys will usually pay you directly via Paypal. Typically, you’ll get paid on a schedule, just as every other Friday. In some cases, you may have to wait a full month. Be sure to pay attention to the payment terms.
5. Why do paid survey databases charge a fee?
The answer is quality, safety, and reputation. A small monthly fee to a survey database will pay for itself in just a few surveys. The small fee encourages serious applicants. In most cases, it is a screening process of sorts. This increases the quality of the participants in the database and it also increases the likelihood that companies will seek out that specific paid survey database company. It works better for everyone involved and actually drives up your chances for getting good (read: high paying) surveys.
Some of the larger companies only work with a few, select paid survey databases. Your small subscription fee should give you better opportunities. Always remember to look for public opinion. Research the company and find out if they have a solid reputation. With a little time and energy, and perhaps a small upfront investment, you could be pulling in money every single day.