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Learning How to Avoid Bankruptcy

The world is an unpredictable place. The economy can go from booming to crashing in a matter of months. In an economy crash, it can be extremely difficult for many people. People can possibly suffer from a form of personal bankruptcy because they weren’t prepared or the economy completely blindsided them. It is always important to be prepared for an economy downturn. Here are five things that you can do to be prepared for an economic downturn along with how to avoid bankruptcy in the first place:

1. Save Money

This is the easiest preparation item to skip out on, and is always the most important. Every family needs a savings account for emergencies. Prepare it to have the capacity to pay all of your bills for a significant period of time. That way, should you lose your job, you can still pay for your phone, your car, your food, your home and anything else your family needs. Don’t wait, create a budget today and get started. It’s never too late to start saving!

2. Needs vs. Wants

This is a great time to start distinguishing the difference between needs vs wants. Needs are essential things that you need to live. When you are building a savings, you need to cut out unnecessary wants in your life. If you have too many wants, you will go into debt.

3. Understand Your Tax Breaks

There are many opportunities for tax breaks as a family man. If you know the system well, or get help from a professional, then you can benefit from the tax breaks. The tax system is confusing, but it is set up so you can get ahead at the same time. Consider hiring a professional to go through your taxes so you get as much back as possible and make sure you are making the most of your tax breaks.

4. Sell Items

You probably don’t know it, but everyone has tons of unwanted and unused items in their homes they can sell. You know that old bike you haven’t used in 5 years? Sell it and add it to your savings! You will be surprised with how much extra money you’re sitting on.

5. Ask for Help

Another tip when you are learning how to avoid bankruptcy is to ask for help. Yes, this can be very difficult to ask for help from family and friends. But you will be surprised how many people would love to help you out!

Thank you for reading! We hope you have enjoyed these tips on how to avoid bankruptcy.

3 Tips to Help Boost Your Savings

How to Boost Your Savings

It is very common to be worried about finances. Boosting your savings is a great way to help relieve these worries. Most people want to build up their savings any way they can so they are more financially stable for uncertain times ahead.

Boosting your savings is a process, but it is doable with a careful planning. The following are some great ways to help boost your savings along with some great tips for saving money:

Deposit Into Savings

The first step is depositing a portion of your check into your savings each month. Depositing money into your savings will ensure that you are building your savings. When planning your budget, find a percentage that tailors how much money you want to deposit into your savings and how often.

Budget, Budget, Budget

The next step is to set up a budget for your family expenses. One of the best ways to save money is budgeting. A simple way to describe a budget is to ensure you do not spend more than you make. A good budget is highly effective at allowing you to see the flow of cash in your accounts, and where you should cut back.

A budget is necessary to build wealth, eliminate debt and cut your expenses. Many people find that actually creating a budget can be a very stressful task. In fact, approximately 40% of American households actually have, and stick to a budget.

Building and maintaining a budget is very important to help boost your savings.

Shopping

Last of all, be on the lookout for deals that you can take advantage of when it comes to shopping. This applies to money spent on both mandatory things like clothes and food and optional things like entertainment. Looking for deals and using coupons can offer significant savings if you are willing to do the work. It is well worth the time and effort.

Getting a Hotel Room at a Better Price

If you are going on vacation in the near future, the odds are that you are planning on staying in a hotel room. Hotel rooms can be very pricey, so any way that you can save is something to consider. There are a number of ways that you can save money when getting a hotel room, to make your trip have less of a financial impact overall.

The most important thing to understand is that the pricing of hotel rooms is based on availability. Hotel rooms do not involve flat rates at the bigger and more in demand locations. Instead, price fluctuates based on the location of the room, as well as the amount of rooms that are remaining to be used by guests.

Hotels actually need to walk a fine line when it comes to financial matters and the availability of rooms. To maximize profits, hotels need to have every room filled possible. When there is overwhelming demand for lodging, hotels can hike prices and expect people to meet them. However, when there are too many openings, hotels will often quickly lower prices in order to get people into those rooms.

Therefore, one can use the Internet as a prime resource in order to track down the best pricing overall on these units. Subscribing to feeds and social media is a good idea for individual hotels that you are looking at. Another prime resource are the websites dedicated to showing current pricing on hotel rooms and giving you the ability to compare them as needed.

Using these resources to plan things out ahead of time is very much recommended. The more research that you are willing to do in order to save, the more money you stand to save during your trip. It does take some effort and the ability to understand how prices fluctuate, but keeping a Sharp eye out for the best deals possible will yield the best savings overall.

Picking the Right Times to Shop

If you are looking to make a major purchase sometime in the near future, then consider picking an ideal time to shop before doing so. The fact of the matter is that all product have cycles when they are very high in demand versus when they are having a slower rate of sale. You can use these cycles in order to shop intelligently and save a lot of money.

The fact of the matter is that there are going to be very few things that you cannot wait a while to buy. Sure, there might be the pressing desire to make your purchase, but saving a lot of money is something that you can readily do if you can wait. A perfect example of seasonal shopping and saving money is when you are in the market for a motorcycle.

Motorcycles are very much in demand in the summer, when the weather is warm and the roads will be clear. Riding a bike is a lot of fun during the summer, so those are the peak months that it sells during. However, motorcycles become less and less in demand as the year goes on, due to them being uncomfortable in the cold and nearly useless in the winter. As such, people are companies alike will sell motorcycles for a much reduced price.

The same can be said for clothing and movies and a lot of the items we buy. If people are willing to wait for a little bit, then a lot of money stands to be saved by purchasing after prices have dropped. It is a simple thing to do, and it does make a difference.

Check City is happy to offer a suite of services to meet with your financial needs. If you are planning on making a purchase and need extra cash, give us a call! We’re glad to help.

Successfully Creating a Budget – Part 2

A budget is necessary to build wealth, eliminate debt and cut your expenses. Many people find that creating a budget can be a very stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be.

A simple way to describe a budget is to ensure you do not spend more than you make. It is very easy to overspend if you don’t know what your expenses are. As you are preparing, consider the following tips and tricks when creating a budget.

In part 1- Successfully Creating a Budget, we discussed some of the first steps you need to take to create and stick to a budget. As a refresher, the points covered in part one are:

  • Determine your assets
  • Calculate your income
  • Identify your recurring payments
  • Calculate your net worth
  • Determine your monthly expenses

Once you have completed the first steps, you are ready to put your data into a workable budget. At this point you need to establish a spending pattern and start creating a personal budget that will allow you to pay your bills, and establish a savings cushion. You will need some sort of database to help you track your budget. There are many different ways to track your budget. Research different methods to find the best way that suits you and your budget.

Evaluate Your Bottom Line

Once you have established the database of your choice, enter your financial data. This will help you get an idea of whether you are living within your means, or not. This analysis will help you decide how lean and mean your budget needs to be to help meet your financial goals. When creating a budget plan, it’s important to keep it organized through a database.

Be Realistic

Gas prices rise and fall. You might get a raise, or get laid-off. Life will always throw you curveballs and you will need to adjust your budget accordingly. In leaner times, your entertainment category may shrink to non-existent. The important thing is to remain realistic so you can be prepared for life’s challenges. It’s important to always have an emergency fund that is used for emergency situations and times.

Persistence

Just because your budget is established doesn’t mean you’re done there. It’s vital to track and monitor your progress to ensure you stay within your budget goals. Being persistent will ensure you don’t overspend, and are able to save.

In today’s world, it’s vital to keep a budget to help you weather life’s challenges. With a well-designed budget, you can grow your wealth. We hope you have learned a lot will start successfully creating a budget. Thanks for reading!

Increase Your Savings with the Best Long-Term Investments

Building Wealth through Savings and Investments

A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Well, not exactly. A penny saved now, will be worth more than a penny later in life.

Saving money is so important, and here are some reasons why. Over time, that money will grow and become more valuable if it is invested and taken care of. When saving and investing, you need to think more long-term. Funding a large long term savings account doesn’t happen overnight.

First Things First

Building a long term savings account should be your first priority in your long-term plan. With out any savings, you won’t be able to make any investments or take advantage of any financial gain situations, such as buying stock at the right time.

Your savings account is an account that you should build up over time for big expenditures and investments, and for use in a crisis if needed. It is a fail-safe backup that you can utilize in order to leverage your financial situation. Because of our habitual spending and life expenses many of us struggle to maintain a good savings account balance.

Here are some great tips on how to become a long term saver and investor.

Start Saving

You don’t need to do anything drastic in order to build up your savings account. You also don’t need to overhaul your life in an uncomfortable way to get results. All you have to do is establish good patterns and make small sacrifices in order to add more money to the fund. We naturally fall into certain habits and patterns, which prolong our ability to save; addressing these issues is a great way to get ahead.

First of all, consider taking an affordable percentage of each paycheck to your savings account. Even better, arrange your online banking to automatically transfer that amount to your savings account each month. By doing this, you won’t be tempted to spend that money.

You also can consider dropping some luxury habits. For example, getting a smoothie or coffee every morning before work can cost you thousands of dollars a year. Instead, consider switching to a cheaper brand in order to spend less and save more. Put that unused money towards savings instead. Your future self will thank you later! Slowly but surely your efforts will begin to add up over the course of time and come out to something greater.

Saving vs. Investing

Some people view these two words as being very similar, when in fact, they are two very different things. Knowing the difference will help you be more financially stable in the future. You will need both savings and investments in your lifetime.

A savings account provides a safety net of money that is easily accessible to you in a time of need. This could be money in a bank account or even cash under the mattress.

An investment is money that is being used to generate more money for you while it gets invested. The smarter the money is invested, the more money you can accumulate.

Investments

Stocks, bonds, real estate, and private businesses (private equity) are all examples of investments and can be some of your best long-term investments.

The key to the best long-term successful investments is to split up the funds into different investments. This is called asset allocation and means you won’t risk losing your entire investment if one of them fails.

Think of it like a pie chart. If your whole circle is in one real estate property, and it burns down, then you lose your whole pie!

Now imagine that you have a small portion of your pie in that property, a slice in a business, a large slice in a 401(k), and another large slice in separate stocks. If that property burns down and you lose that investment, it is just a small piece of your pie.

Always do your homework before making an investment, consult with a professional if needed to make sure your money is safe.

Knowing about Luxury Spending

Budgeting is something that everyone should do. It allows you to be able to track the way that you spend your money, as well as seeing how much there is to spend in the first place. It is a fairly simple process, and it is one that you can do in an evening if you sit down and work on it with the important people in your life.

To begin with, gather a basic list of income and expenditures using bank statements or receipts. Once you know how much how much money comes in during a given month, then you can plan out how you are going to spend the money. The first thing that needs to be taken care of is the mandatory expenditures. These include bills, car payments, gas, insurance, clothing, and food.

Once you have identified the mandatory things in your life that you need to take care of, then you can work with the rest of the money. The money that is left over after taking care of the essentials is what is going to be put toward savings and luxury spending.

With this money, you do buy the things that we all like,such as entertainment and extra clothing and other consumables. This is not really ever essential in order to survive,but instead gives us pleasure. Luxury spending is fine- as long as you have taken care of the essentials first.

The most important part of budgeting is being able to take care of the crucial things first, and then be able to monitor the spending after that. Ideally, people should be making an effort to stay within their means each month, by staying within the financial limit that their income gives them. If there are any areas that need to be tweaked, then it can be done to focus on more important things.

By doing this, you can quickly get your finances in order and have more peace of mind regarding your spending.

Using Online Coupons to Save

Online coupons offer a great opportunity to save you money and get you good deals. While paper coupons in the newspaper can still save you money, it is far easier to just click a few times and print one off in order to use it. There are many advantages associated with using online coupons, and it is getting easier and easier with the improvements we have with technology.

For example, you can use online coupon sites to search for specific deals or businesses. If you are going to be in an area or you have plans for that day, then a quick search will immediately let you know if the business you are planning on visiting has any specials going on.

These sites also will have daily deals for your area. While these are not as specific as a focused search, these daily deals usually feature things of interest that you will want to check out further. In fact, you may be surprised by how useful some of these promotions really are, since they often will offer viable alternatives to what you were planning on doing.

Another easy way you can find good deals from local businesses is to visit their Facebook and Twitter pages. Subscribe or like the page and you will most likely be able to receive special offers. Businesses use social media to draw in customers, and coupons or deals is one of the prime ways that they do this. Being smart with technology and following the right organizations is a great way to save money.

Whether you are a dedicated coupon hunter or you like to passively save when you are spending, online coupons are a fast and easy way to save funds. With the wide availability of computers and smart phones, there really is no reason to not take advantage of these offers when you can! Do a little research, spend a little time, and enjoy the savings that you can get!

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