Archive for November, 2010

Eyes on the Prize: Saving for a Goal

By Oliver Dalrymple  Nov, 27, 2010  

While you’re chilling out this week, knee-deep in stuffing and mashed potatoes, here is a little food for thought: if your savings isn’t where you want it to be, the trick may be setting a goal.

Case in point: me. A recent resolution to make coffee at home instead of buying lattes out just wasn’t working. But once I’d decided to save $1,200 for scuba diving training and a trip to Hawaii, brewing that cup at home got a whole lot easier.

Whether it’s something small (a new jacket) or major (a down payment on a car), having your eyes on a prize makes saving easier. Here are a few tips for setting your goal:

1.  Make it specific. Saving “some cash” for school expenses is a tough goal to meet and an easy one to forget. But saving $25

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The Impact of Your Credit Score

By Michael McConachy  Nov, 25, 2010  

   The need for excellent credit is more important now than it has ever been in the past. Even though a tight economy and suffering real estate market would seem the perfect opportunity to lessen credit score requirements to boost sales, just the opposite has happened. Without A+ credit you will find it very hard to take advantage of the available low interest rates. If you have less than perfect credit you may even find it impossible to receive financing without paying ridiculously high rates. So what can the consumer do to improve their credit scores? The first thing you must do, and this is no longer an option that can be ignored, is obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. I Read more…

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Bad Credit Score: Why credit score is important?

By Jasmine Pinschof  Nov, 14, 2010  

Generally, people are keen to know how to repair bad credit score. We would like to inform you that it is not a very difficult task. Today, we will discuss how repair credit score shortly.

First of all, you need to get the latest credit report and checkout if it is 100% correct or not. It is important because more than 90% credit report contains the error. In case, you find any wrong negative entry then contact to credit bureaus immediately and make the application to rectify the error.

In case, you are not able to repay the existing debts then try to repay the small debts first. It is a nice way to improve bad credit score. If you can not repay the small and big debts then go with debt consolidation loans.

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The Season of Giving Back

By Oliver Dalrymple  Nov, 11, 2010  

Any blog on mastering personal finance has to talk about how to give back. I bet you care about a cause that could really use volunteers, donations or cash gifts. While you’re choosing your cause, here are some ideas about how to do good with more financial savvy:

  • Keep records of everything you donate. Even though it’s easier to let your parents take care of your tax paperwork, you should do your fair share by tracking what you’ve given. When I moved out of my last apartment, I didn’t want to list 100+ book titles, so I snapped pictures of the books while waiting in donation line. Goodwill and Salvation Army have good guides for how you should value your clothing, furniture and gaming systems.
  • Donate time instead of money: Great way to connect with the community of other donors. A few y

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Experian Study Finds That Consumers are Paying Less on Monthly Payments Than Three Years Ago

By Michael McConachy  Nov, 11, 2010  

COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA () – Experian®, the leading global information services company, released its insights today on average monthly payments* of the top 25 metropolitan areas.  The study found that nationally, consumers are paying $903 per month on their bills, which could include a combination of credit cards, auto loans and leases, and mortgages—a decrease of two percent in the last three years.

The study also reveals that Washington D.C., Seattle and Baltimore top the list with the highest average monthly payments with Washington D.C. coming in at 42 percent higher than the national average.  Cities with the lowest payments include Cleveland, Tampa and Pittsburgh

Results ranked by highest to lowest by average monthly payment amounts are detailed below:

Metropolitan area Average monthly payment Difference from national average 1. Washin Read more…

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Calculating Tip and Other Modern Annoyances

By Oliver Dalrymple  Nov, 08, 2010  

Quick: It’s your turn to pay for a dinner at the local diner and you’re facing the receipt. What’s 18% of $24.50?

For those of you who just broke into a cold sweat or hated SAT math problems, this post is for you. You face numbers all the time in personal finance, whether in tackling your budget or understanding your credit score, you face numbers. Much of personal finance requires statistics and data so developing a “sense” for numbers is really helpful.

To beef up your number skills before the tough questions come along, here are some ways to get started:

  • Calculate tip without your smartphone app. No peeking at the “suggested gratuity” section at the bottom of the receipt either.
  • Predict your take-home pay after taxes. It’ll keep yo

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Debt Settlement Firms are Bogus – Ask the MSNBC Experts!

By Jasmine Pinschof  Nov, 05, 2010  

We at Lakelaw have been saying this for years.  Debt settlement firms say “don’t file bankruptcy.”  We say steer clear of debt settlement firms.  And we’re not alone.  Here’s a great video from MSNBC which explains it in detail.

Do you want to try it yourself?  Go for it.  Try to settle those debts by yourself.  Or call Lakelaw.  We know what the going rates are and we’ll be glad to help.  If you have the funds to avoid bankruptcy, wonderful.  If you don’t don’t worry.  We’ll help you file bankruptcy and get the fresh start that you need and deserve.

For financial freedom in Illinois and Wisconsin, call us at Lakelaw – 1 866 LAKELAW.  That’s 866 525-3529.

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Getting Paid in Perks

By Oliver Dalrymple  Nov, 03, 2010  

My Monday post, Go For a Penniless Payday, gave you some alternatives to money when you’re getting paid for a job, whether it’s during the school year or over a summer internship. Now, in case you’re set on a paycheck, may I suggest some perks to heap on top?

  • Flexible hours and location: Classes, clubs, sports and social life really restrict your work schedule. This makes flexible work hours and location very attractive to students. Because you will likely compromise in other areas to nab a job like this, be ready with suggestions of what you can offer for this perk.
  • Letter of reference: Be sure to ask while you’re still employed, after you have built a relationship with your manager. Pay clo

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