Thank you Lexington Law Firm for sponsoring this post. A high service partner and consumer advocate that will help you fight for the credit you deserve!
Do you hate managing your finances? Does the word “budget” make you cringe? Well you are not alone. In a recent survey, 60% of people said they don’t track their spending. 30% said they spend more than they save and 40% said they have never had a budget.
Living in Denial
In my early 20s, I was in that 40%. I skipped student loan payments and racked up credit card bills. I had no idea that I was having such a negative impact on my financial fitness. I finally found out when I applied to rent an apartment and was denied. The landlord explained that my credit score was bad. At the time, I didn’t even know what a credit score was.
What’s a Credit Score?
Your credit score is a number that evaluates how worthy you are to receive credit. Lenders use this number to evaluate how likely you are to repay your debts. Ranging from 300 to 850, the higher your score, the better your credit.
“The range your credit score falls into is very important. It can determine whether you can get a loan, how high your credit card interest will be and whether or not you can rent an apartment. It can even influence some job prospects.” – Lexington Law Firm”
Improving my credit score took time, but I was able to do it. Everyone has the right to good credit. The law is on your side to help fix mistakes.
Fast forward to today. I am much more financially stable and have a high credit score. I certainly wish I knew then what I know now. But even with a much better understanding of money management, I still have setbacks from time to time.
A bit of a setback
Last year, I did not balance my income and expenses very well. I spent more than I earned for the first time in many years. Having this backslide helped remind me that I want to make sure I am back on track for 2020. I’ve set these goals for myself and hopefully a few might help you too.
6 Tips for Better Financial Fitness
Check Your Credit Report
Did you know that you can check your credit report for free every year? There are 3 main reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If you haven’t checked your credit score before, you can reach out to Lexington Law Firm for a free consultation. They’re the oldest and most respected name in credit repair!
According to the Lexington Law Firm website, “if you haven’t checked your credit report recently that can cause major issues for you in the future.” In searching for my last credit report, I found out that I hadn’t checked it in 3 years. Whoops! I’m now setting a reminder on my calendar to do it once a year.
Pay off bad debts
Holding on to high interest debt from credit cards and personal loans adds up extremely fast. I cringe at the thought of how much interest I paid last year. Paying off debts like these are my first priority this year. I realize how this debt can hurt my credit score.
That said, the credit repair industry has grown so much there is a lot of fact vs. fiction information out there. Know that you can get help to fix credit issues you may have by reaching out to companies like Lexington Law Firm. Credit scores are not set in stone, and you don’t have to navigate the credit repair process alone!
Get Your Taxes Done Early and Save Your Refund
I finished my taxes last week and it feels so good! Last year I waited until the last minute and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress. Avoid this hassle by getting your tax documents prepared as soon as possible. I find completing my taxes helps put me in a better money-mindset as well.
Many people see their tax refund at “free money.” Technically, it’s your money to begin with. If possible, save your tax refund. It can help serve as an emergency fund should unforeseen expenses arise.
OK, I mentioned that I hate the word “budget,” but understanding the ins and outs of your money is important. Rather than trying to write everything down, use the online resources from your bank and credit card companies to review what you spend. Many of them have a year-end report that can really help you identify areas to save for the next 52 weeks. Upon reviewing my year-end statements, I found a number of areas where I can cut back. Typical areas where many Americans can save include:
Use drugstore and grocery chain items instead of brand names
Eating out is a huge expense. American’s can save an average of $280 a month!
Skip the coffee shop?
I consider myself lucky since I don’t drink coffee. With fancy coffee drinks exceeding $5 in many instances, it’s such an easy way to save money.
Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships
I found 3 that I had forgotten to cancel. Bingo! Saved over $200 for next year.
Try a Money Savings Challenge
If saving money seems like a chore, turn it into a game instead. Ask friends and family to join you too. I recently read about a 52-week challenge. By saving just one extra dollar each week (starting with $1 the first week), you’ll save a total of $1378 at the end of 52-weeks. I wish I’d done this last year. At the end of the year, I had too much credit card debt.
Ask for Help
Don’t be embarrassed if anything about your financial health is confusing or troubling.
In reviewing my recent credit report, I found one questionable item. I called Lexington Law Firm for a free credit report consultation and they were very helpful. In addition to providing information regarding my issue, the representative explained that people are often taken advantage of when in need of credit repair. Lexington Law will advocate for the credit you deserve, and can help you review your rights as a consumer.
Never pay up front for credit repair
I asked about common pitfalls when it comes to credit repair. He responded, “Never pay for credit repair up front. I once helped a customer who had given someone $1600 to correct his credit. That person skipped town and the customer was left with nothing but more debt.
Check Out Lexington Law Firm
Lexington Law Firm offers a variety of affordable packages to fit consumer needs. They even have an app where you can keep track of everything going on while they work for you. How cool is that?
It’s also important to me that Lexington Law Firm has long-standing relationships with all three of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These long-standing relationships, and experience of how to get errors removed works, and enables the team to communicate more routinely and efficiently for their clients.