Are You Lax About Your Financial Security?

Lending scams and money scams seem to pop up every day, but many customers continue to be lax about their personal and financial security. Even you could be making these common security mistakes:

1) Doing online banking without being careful about computer security. Online banking is convenient but it can also be dangerous if you don’t have a good security system in place. Update your computer often, use firewalls, and have a good anti-virus suite in place.

2) Being lax with your PIN. You should never choose a PIN that is easy to guess. You should also never share your PIN or write it down. When typing in your PIN at an ATM or when making a debit purchase, check for shoulder surfers and cover up your PIN.

3) Not looking at paperwork – bills, statements. Bills and statements are a clue to your financial life. If you notice charges and uses that aren’t yours, you need to alert the companies in question. You could be the victim of fraud.

4) Not checking your credit score. Once or twice a year, at least, you should read your credit report to see whether there are any signs of criminal activity (such as personal loans in your name that you did not apply for).

5) Not reporting strange mail activity. If your mail suddenly stops or you start getting mail from banks you do not do business with, you need to investigate further.…

Going into Financial Survival Mode

If you’re going into financial survival mode, there are a few things you can do to help yourself weather the storm. Here are some steps you can take:

Assess your situation: Take a clear-eyed look at your finances, including your income, expenses, debts, and assets. Make a list of all your debts and their interest rates, and prioritize them by paying off those with the highest interest rates first.

Cut your expenses: Look for ways to cut back on your spending. Start by analyzing your expenses and identifying items you can do without. Consider cancelling subscriptions or memberships, switching to a cheaper phone plan, and reducing your grocery bills.

Find ways to increase your income: Consider taking on a side job or selling items you no longer need to make extra money. Look for opportunities to work overtime or take on additional responsibilities at your current job.

Build an emergency fund: If you don’t already have an emergency fund – start building one as soon as possible. Set aside a portion of your income each month into a separate account that you only use for emergencies.

Contact your creditors: If you’re having trouble making payments on your debts, contact your creditors to explain your situation. They may be willing to work with you to come up with a payment plan that you can afford.

Prioritize your bills: Make a list of your bills and prioritize them by due date and importance. Make sure you pay your most important bills, such as your rent or mortgage, first.

Stay positive: It can be difficult to stay positive when you’re struggling financially, but it’s important to try. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and remember that this is a temporary situation. Keep focused on your goals and take small steps towards achieving them every day.…

Some creative ideas for saving and earning:

– Participate in online surveys: There are many websites that pay you for participating in online surveys. You can earn money by sharing your opinions and feedback on various products and services.

– Sell your photos: If you’re good at photography, you can sell your photos online on websites like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. You can earn money every time someone buys your photo.

– Start a blog: You can start a blog and write about your interests or expertise. Once your blog gains traction and attracts a good amount of traffic, you can monetize it by running ads or sponsored content.

– Rent out a room in your house: If you have an extra room in your house, you can rent it out on platforms like Airbnb. This can be a great way to earn some extra cash.

– Take advantage of cashback offers: You can earn cashback on your purchases by using apps like Rakuten or Honey. These apps offer cashback on purchases from a variety of online retailers.

– Use a budgeting app: You can use a budgeting app like Mint or YNAB to track your spending and identify areas where you can save money.

– Make use of loyalty programs: Many retailers and businesses offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn rewards or discounts on future purchases. Make sure to sign up for these programs and take advantage of the benefits.

– Participate in paid focus groups: You can earn money by participating in paid focus groups, where you’ll share your opinions on products or services.

– Sell your unused items: You can sell your unused items on platforms like eBay or Craigslist. This is a great way to declutter your home and earn some extra cash.

– Offer your skills on freelance platforms: If you have skills like writing, graphic design, or coding, you can offer your services on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. This can be a great way to earn money on the side.…

Categorized as Saving

What You Need to Know Before Borrowing

Hard money lenders are private individuals or organizations that provide short-term loans with high interest rates and fees. These loans are usually secured by collateral, such as a property or asset. Unlike traditional lenders such as banks, hard money lenders often do not have strict underwriting requirements and may be willing to provide loans to borrowers who may not qualify for traditional financing.

Hard money lenders are often used by real estate investors who need quick access to funding for a property purchase or renovation project. These loans can be useful for those who need to close a deal quickly or who do not qualify for traditional financing due to credit or income issues.

However, using a hard money lender for a personal loan may not be the best option. The high interest rates and fees associated with hard money loans can make them very expensive, and the short repayment terms can make it difficult to repay the loan on time. Additionally, because hard money lenders often require collateral, borrowers risk losing their assets if they are unable to repay the loan.

If you need a personal loan, it is generally recommended to explore other options first, such as traditional banks, credit unions, or online lenders. These lenders may offer lower interest rates and longer repayment terms, making it easier to manage your debt.

Focusing on savings first is a wise financial decision for several reasons:

Emergencies: Saving money for emergencies is essential. Without an emergency fund, unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills can easily lead to debt. By prioritizing savings, you can build a safety net that can help you weather any financial storms.

Debt reduction: Saving money can also help you pay off debt faster. By putting extra money toward your debt, you can reduce the amount of interest you pay over time and potentially pay off your debt sooner.

Financial security: Saving money can give you a sense of financial security. Having money in the bank can reduce stress and help you feel more confident about your financial future.

Long-term goals: Whether you’re saving for a down payment on a house or for retirement, focusing on savings first can help you achieve your long-term financial goals. By setting aside money on a regular basis, you can slowly but steadily work toward your objectives.

Compound interest: When you save money, you can earn interest on your savings. Over time, that interest can compound, meaning you earn interest on the interest you’ve already earned. This can help your savings grow faster and can help you reach your financial goals more quickly.

Overall, focusing on savings first is a smart financial move that can help you build a strong financial foundation, reduce debt, and achieve your long-term goals.…

Categorized as Borrowing