Having good financial habits, especially your habits surrounding debts and other financial obligations, are the keys to having excellent credit. But, we all know how difficult it can be to understand the 'fine print' in most fix credit programs. Here are 11 basic steps you can adopt starting today that will do wonders for your financial wellness.
If your goal is to enhance your credit history or strengthen your credit worthiness or both, there is nothing like doing the 'basics' to get you where you want to be financially.
1. The all-important budget plan.
We don't need surveys to tell us that careless pending is probably the number one bad habit that is responsible for people having bad credit. And, the key reason for this careless spending is: People don't have a budget plan they can live with. A budget plan is merely a list of what you need to spend money on and how much money you have coming in for spending. And, the one thing that most budget plans forget is Savings because most people think there is no extra money for this. They are wrong, of course.
2. Be a better money manager.
When it comes to calculating your credit rating it does not matter how much money you earn. Your credit score is based on how you handle the money you earn. Your job may pay you $150,00 a year and you may sill have bad credit compared to someone earning half that amount who will have good credit. So, getting a second job just to have more money to spend is a bad idea if you fail to wisely manage the money you have now.
3. Make 'buy' a bad word!
TV commercials and other advertising remind me of when I was a carnival barker in my teens. We pitched products and side-shows by making it seem they were of great value at a deeply discounted price. When you see these pitches you need to realize they are for items that are overpriced in the first place and you are really not saving any money at all.
4. Stop using credit and use cash-only for a while.
Credit cards are like gambling casino chips. They are designed to make us forget we are actually spending real money which makes it effortless to go into debt. When you use cash-only you will get a real education about your spending habits.
5. Temptation in your mail box.
I take mail advertisements and put them back into their postage-paid envelopes and mail them back to the companies who sent them. I put a note: 'Stop sending this junk!' This has cut our junk mail volume to practically nothing and it has removed the temptation to buy the latest gadget, enter a contest, or subscribe to a magazine. As for catalogs, we take the address cover off and mail those back with a note, too. The rest, we recycle. By the way, we never read them!
6. Do unto yourself.
It's so easy to grab a fast-food meal or one of those supermarket quick meals in a bag, isn't it? When you figure the cost-per-ounce you will be shocked at how much you are really spending. Need I say you should learn to cook healthy meals at home and stay out of restaurants for a while? There are lots of things like this that you pay for that you can learn to do yourself. Think about what you spend money on and learn to do-it-yourself.
7. TV Bargains, Widgets, and Whizbangs!
It's amazing how much money is charged on credit just through infomercials and the various shopping channels on TV. It's into the billions of dollars each year. Are you one of their regular buyers? Need I say that you need to turn off the TV if you cannot control your spending? Or, do what we do, we simply never watch them.
8. 'I don't need it, I want it!'
If you will just stop spending money on your "wants" and channel that money to paying off your debts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your credit score.
9. How to get a good deal on just about anything.
No matter what you need to buy, ignore the noisy advertising. Be a tough shopper by browsing stores that have what you need and look for closeouts and clearance items. You can even talk with the store manager and negotiate a discount. Look in second-hand shops and thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Trust me, you'll find huge bargains. For example, you'll find name brand kid's clothing, some with the original price tags that have never been worn! Our daughter has been doing this for years.
10. Store brands give excellent value for the money.
Most major retailers now have a line of store brands that have the same ingredients as the higher priced brand names. You might be surprised to know that many store brands are made by the same companies that manufacture the name brands. Read the labels and compare! We save a ton of money this way.
Also, look for coupon savings when you can use them during a sale. For example, we buy up to 6 cans of coffee at one time when we can couple the coupons with the sale. It amounts to getting a can of coffee for free!
11. Finally...A Small Savings Account means a better credit score!
This really should be the first thing in our list because it's the best way to ensure your financial health while improving your credit history and it's simple. Just put some money into a savings account each payday.
Whether you are able to save $20 a pay or $100 each payday, saving any amount gives you an important financial cushion for emergencies and allows you to buy something nice for yourself occasionally as a reward for your good financial habits. Save this money after your bills are paid, of course, and before you buy anything you don't need.
While the amount in your savings account is not revealed in your credit bureau report, the fact that you have a savings account at all will reflect your excellent financial skills and give you a few good points on your credit score!
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If you want even more powerful tips to help you raise your credit score to 750 points or more, go here ==> www.jdanswers.com/Credit/index.htm Jim DeSantis, Editor.
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