Posts Tagged ‘mortgage payments’

Should You Be Worried About the Economy?

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

If you are worried about gas, try carpooling.

If you follow the news, chances are the state of the economy may have you a little concerned. Bad news is rampant, the housing market is shaky and doom appears to be around every corner. While there are some definite problems with the economy right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start panicking. Smart money management is always important, but if you find that you are overly worried about the state of the economy, there are a few steps that you can take to shore up your financial defenses and stop worrying.

The first step is to take a hard look at your mortgage payments, car payments and any other loans that you may have. If they are calculated under a variable rate, now is the time to start allocating a little extra each month to ensure that you have enough to keep up with the payments. If your mortgage payment looks like it is going to be too high, act quickly by negotiating with your bank for either a payment deferment or even a refinance. No one wins in a foreclosure situation and most banks will be willing to work something out with you.

The second step is to think about consolidating your credit card bills if necessary. If you are paying on multiple cards that all have high interest rates, you could be wasting a lot of money each month. Take advantage of a low or no interest card that will allow you to transfer those high balances into one. Just make sure you read the fine print to see how long the interest rate will remain low. Or use Loanio to receive a loan from lenders, this is easy and painless to do. This not only helps you save money on high interest fees, but you can also save time by paying only one bill every month.

Next, you can take a look at what you’re spending and how rising prices are affecting you. For example, the cost of gas right now has many people worried. You may find that you’re spending more to get to work than you may make for the day, or the ratio may have changed dramatically. If this is the case, consider setting up a carpool with other workers to save money, or you may even be able to arrange to telecommute. There are many ways that you can reduce your monthly expenses and free up more money to handle the rising cost of necessities.

This is also a good time to think about setting up an emergency fund. This is a very beneficial type of savings account that can tide you over if you run short during the month, or if you end up with a personal crisis on your hands. When you have the security of a savings account, emergency fund or other means of income, you’ll be in a much better position to weather any economic storm.

While the economy has been better, there is certainly no need to start panicking right now. Simply follow smart money practices, and you’ll be in a position where you can withstand whatever comes.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-28 20:01:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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How Much Money Do You Really Spend?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Overspending is an enormous problem for Americans right now and the sad truth is, many of us do not even know we are doing it. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet at the end of the month, or you are desperately waiting for that next paycheck to arrive, you may need to take a hard look at your financial situation, your budget and how much you spend every month.

Track how much money you spend on small things.

We typically consider our rent or mortgage payments, car loans and utilities as the only items that need to be budgeted, but there are many small items that can crop up and eat away at your bank balance. These are typically unnecessary expenses, and over time, enough of them can quickly add up. Let’s take a look at how to determine how much you spend and how you can get your expenditures in line with what you make.

It’s a great idea to keep a little log book and write down everything you buy for the period of one month. Everything, no matter how small, should be noted down in your log. At the end of the month, total everything up and see just how much money you have going out the door. This is probably the easiest way to figure out what needs to be cut, since you’ll have everything right in front of you. Here are some of the most common culprits.

1. Eating Out.

Americans spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, eating out and these expenses can quickly add up. You can save quite a lot of money simply by cutting out one meal out a week, and even more if you really get serious about cutting back. Once you’ve logged how much you spend on food, you may be surprised at how much of your paycheck is missing.

2. Recurring Subscriptions.

This is a problem for many online. You sign up for something, forget to ask for a refund before the trial is over, and before you know it, you’ve got several “memberships” or recurring fees that you don’t even know about, all being taken right out of your account every month. These will add up fast, and can do a lot of damage if they are not caught in time.

3. Superfluous Items.

Even though these items are typically small, they take up a big chunk of your budget. All too often we don’t think about the little, “it’s only a dollar,” items that we see at the store. While each one may be inexpensive, when you add them all up, it can be shocking to see just how much you are spending. The log book of your monthly expenses really comes in handy to see which of these items can be cut from your budget.

By taking the time to see how much money you actually do spend, you can stop overspending before it gets out of control and starts to eat away at your paycheck.

Photo Credits: 1

Originally posted 2020-10-10 05:16:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Mortgage Interest Rates Start To Change

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Mortgage rates are changing – what should you do?

There was big news within the mortgage industry recently as interest rates finally went back below 6%. The reaction was mixed, but the rate did prompt many people to rush to refinance their homes. For those that are stuck with variable rate mortgages, the current situation in the housing market has been volatile to say the least and many consumer advocates have been pushing the need to refinance if at all possible.

This has not been easy for many, especially since interest rates were quite high until this week. Every small drop helps however and the current resurgence for refinances could help bolster the struggling housing market. While much damage has been done, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, despite the decision to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two of the US’s biggest lenders.

While there is hope for some borrowers, those in a subprime position may not find it easy to refinance their homes, in spite of the drop in rates. Banks are shying away from this sub-set of borrowers and the specter of foreclosure still looms for many. For those that are unable to refinance, there are steps that can be taken to avoid foreclosure, but they must be taken quickly.

The first step is to determine how to free up enough cash to handle increased mortgage payments. For those that did not plan ahead for a switch to a variable rate, the shock of a much higher payment was a rude awakening. Although thousands knew that their fixed rates were only short term, there was a general lack of awareness of how this would affect them personally.

If you have been switched to a variable rate mortgage and are struggling to make your payments, foreclosure does not need to be the first option. In many cases, the difference in payments can be as small as $50, or as high as several hundred dollars. For those that are living above their means, simply curtailing some additional expenses can free up the funds necessary to make those higher payments.

Other options include getting a second job on a temporary basis until the rates do drop to a point where payments become livable again. For those that do not have the time for this option, selling a car, or other household items may be the best solution.

Today’s news was heartening to many and does show that rates may be on the way back down, at least temporarily. If you can get a refinance plan on a home loan, taking action now may be beneficial. If you cannot seek this type of assistance however there still are plenty of other options available that can help you keep your home, until the economic outlook brightens again. Housing changes and rate fluctuations are normal, and riding out the storm is typically the best solution.

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Originally posted 2020-10-07 05:12:06. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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