With the benefits and ease of fast communication in the world today, there are always few drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is the amount of financial scams that are circulating the global economy. We must all be aware of the tactics that are used in order to avoid them.
There are many scams that involve an imposter posing as someone they are not, such as an employee at your bank. Often they will ask you to confirm your credit card number, but then wait for you to read the whole thing to them first. Never give your financial information to someone over the phone who has initiated the call, no matter how legitimate the situation or person might sound. Please only call the number on the back of the credit/debit card for assistance with your issue.
If an old childhood friend or family member you rarely talk to sends you a second friend request on Facebook or other social media, be cautious. Often this "new friend" then sends you a private message filled with some awkward conversation, possible spelling errors, and a desperate plea for money. It is always wise to question whether or not they are legitimate. Contact another family member or mutual friend, or call the contact directly on the phone to see if their account might have been hacked or duplicated.
If your cousin is pressuring you to invest in a get rich quick, money making opportunity, don’t invest just to keep the peace in your family. Ask questions about the investment, and do your own research first. Money and family do not mix! Bad financial decisions will do more harm than good to your relationship because you didn’t want to offend a family member.
Most of us have already received these emails - you know the ones that tell you they have a relative who died and left them with a huge inheritance. They need someone to both send and deposit money, and in return for your help they will split the proceeds. It cannot be stressed enough that you should never answers these emails. Delete them, report them as spam, and move on.
Many individuals who are trying to scam you out of your money will give you a heart-wrenching story, and ask for your financial assistance to help get them out of trouble. Be forewarned, there is also a scam circulating who appeal to your desire to make quick money, and tell you they will let you in on some of their wealth if you send them some money first to get the business up and running.
If someone ever asks you to send money, simply refuse. Be especially cautious if their suggestion involves a cash transfer, such as MoneyGram or Western Union. Most new scams involve cryptocurrency such as BitCoin.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Does your stomach feel uneasy about the person on the other end of the phone? Don’t ignore your intuition.
Financial scams are everywhere. At any point in time, all of us are susceptible to these scams. Fortunately, if you use your head and think twice about what is going on, you can avoid almost all of them. Keep these tips in mind next time, and keep you and your family safe from any financial loss.
If you have read this blog for any length of time, then you know that we think coupons are a fabulous way to save money. We wouldn't have partnered with Coupons.com, if we didn't see the value in couponing. But are you maximizing your coupons?
Remember, a smart shopper will use coupons on every single shopping trip. They will leave the store with more merchandise and extra money in their pocket too. This article should give you some great tips on becoming a savvy shopper and keeping more of your hard earned money.
Often, you can purchase more products than you normally would by using multiples of the same coupon. You should always do this with your favorite products in order to build a supply so that you never pay full price for that item again. For example, If you have 6 coupons for a pasta sauce that you like, use all 6 coupons when it is on sale to buy 6 jars at once and use all your coupons up.
Use store coupons on top of your manufacturer coupons. Most stores will allow you to use one of their "store coupons" along with a manufacturer coupon for each item you are purchasing. Utilize this technique for some extreme savings!
When you clip a ton of coupons, it can be really hard to remember which ones you have and how many. Plan to buy a coupon organizer. With this tool in hand, you can organize your coupons into aisles of your favorite store or group similar products together. We personally like to put them in the order of the aisles in your favorite supermarket.
Organize your coupons so that you can find them faster when you need them. Special coupon organizers are available that allow you to organize your coupons in various categories. This makes it easier to locate just the one coupon you need without searching through your entire trove of coupons.
Don't buy a newspaper just to get coupons. Partner with neighbors for their newspaper inserts, use coupon websites, and look for free coupons while in the store too.
Go to the manufacturer's website directly. Usually you can save a few bucks on your preferred brands by signing up online at their website. All you have to do is supply them with your email address, and they will send you some coupons periodically.
So go save some money and have fun. Just remember that you can't win the coupon game if you never play!
Starting a small business is the dream of many people. However, to make that dream blossom into reality, it is important to understand that it takes a lot of things happening in unison in order to make your business happen. There is a lot more to it than you think, but just like many others before you, it can be done successfully.
Ask Yourself Hard Questions
You need to be truthful with yourself when thinking about starting your own business. Are you self motivated? Are you willing to work more hours than you ever have before? How much money do you have to get started? How much cash will you need to get off the ground? What type of business will you be most successful in? What qualifies you to be in that business? Do enough people already need what you're selling/making in order to be profitable? These are just a few of the tough questions you must answer first.
Those may be tough some questions to address, but answering them honestly now will be worth it later. But why go through the hassle of all this planning? The truth is that most people never will. They tuck their tail and run.
Don't get me wrong, there are some real obstacles to starting your own business. The risk of failing is very real as well. How you handle obstacles and objections during the planning phase of business will determine how successful you are likely to be once it is actually up and running. Most small business owners aren't super lucky, super smart, or immune to bad business decisions. They are special however, because of the way they think and solve problems.
Starting a small business takes real planning. That much we have outlined already. You will need to have an in-depth plan, but it will never be perfect. The best you can do is to make a plan based on your knowledge of the business that you would like to start. You will never get it 100% correct. For that reason, some parts of your plan will change as you go along. However, you shouldn't just make changes for the sake of change, you should always have a good (read: practical and factual) reason for doing so.
There are a lot of rewards that go along with having your own small business. You will be your own boss, so you get to decide what you do, when you do it, and how it will be done. You will be able too make as much money as the local market says your product or service is worth. You set your own work schedule, so if you want to get up at 11:00 in the morning or take a personal day you can. Those rewards are very real, and sound enticing...
But first, you have to grow your dream into a successful small business. Remember, it can be done! It's going to take time, some real effort, and a whole lot of unpaid work to get to that point, but it can be very lucrative when your dream becomes a reality.
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.