Tag Archives: credit cards

August signals the beginning of back to school shopping. GreenPath has tips to save…

14 Aug

Plan your back-to-school shopping… Here are some great tips!

GreenPath Financial Wellness Blog

Back to school shopping already? The ads and inserts in the paper are usually my first reminders that  back to school shopping  and fall are just around the corner.   This can be an expensive month for parents but a little planning before the shopping might help you avoid the drain on your pocketbook.

According to the National Retail Federation the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.92 this year on their children for back to school needs.  This is up from $603.63 per average family spent last year.

If you have planned for this and have the money set aside to get your kids ready for the first days of school, pat yourself on the back.  Don’t give up though if you aren’t sure you have the money in the bank to make the needed purchases.  There are some things you can do now to cut your…

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Top 5 personal finance FAQs answered…

6 Jul

Proof that books like mine are necessary… Top 5 personal finance FAQs answered….

The other “B” word – #BUDGET

30 Jun

The other “B” word – #BUDGET

A household budget is easier than you think

I found a great article on preparing a household budget that I know you’ll want to read. It really doesn’t get any easier than this. The hardest part is getting started!

When you spend more than you take in, eventually it will catch up to you. It doesn’t matter if you make $20,000 a year, $200,000 a year, or $2,000,000 a year. Even wealthy people get into serious financial trouble! You see it on the news all the time. Whenever I hear about a celebrity or sports figure in dire financial straits, the first thing that comes to mind is how can anyone spend through that much money? Well, it is human nature to spend more than you have.

A budget is a necessary roadmap that shows you when you’re veering off course. If you don’t prepare and follow a budget, you’re sure to get lost in the woods of financial trouble. Don’t get lost… prepare for the journey, and even plan for the detours you are bound to encounter. Everyone does.

The short article attached:  http://www.money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/Debt-Consolidation/Family-Budget-Basics/ is well worth the read. Take easy steps to analyze your spending habits and prepare to achieve a life with less stress, and more contentment. You can do it!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Do men and women handle #bankruptcy differently?

27 Jun

Of course they do—they are from different planets!

Serious financial problems are devastating to everyone. I never met a person in my career as a paralegal happy to face the problems that come along with the territory. Yesterday, I discussed my observations about the ways men deal with difficult financial situations—including bankruptcy. Today I’ll talk about those I relate to even better—women… because I am one.

There are many women facing serious budget problems in today’s world, whether or not they are part of a couple. People with high-paying jobs, women with children at home, retirees living on fixed incomes: all of these individuals have been hurt by the present economic market.

I noticed when working through these difficulties with women that they very often felt ashamed, personally responsible and quite hopeless. Sometimes they took care of the family budget because their partner didn’t want any part of it, but there just wasn’t enough money coming in to pay the bills on time, or at all. Women often absorb the negativity around them, and then accept full responsibility for duties that should have been handled together with their spouses or partners. Women may also find it difficult to face the reality of the situation, knowing that they might be blamed or ridiculed once the truth is known.

The most important decision a woman can make is to find the right circumstance to share the details about her financial situation with a professional. Fortunately, a woman is more likely to consult professionals than her male counterpart—in much the same way as asking for directions when lost comes because it is natural to her. When she finds that help, the tears begin to flow, the self-imposed guilt surfaces, and it is then possible to take steps toward financial health.

In addition, a professional might also be more comfortable portraying the realities of the situation to the woman’s spouse. As a third party, the emotionality is removed from the situation and it can be faced head-on and realistically. It is hard to play the blame game when you’re in the office of an attorney or paralegal.

I always worked hard to create an environment for women where they felt safe and secure in their decisions. Along with this came the opportunity to allow her to vent, cry, and recover. Then we were ready to do the real work.

It was always a pleasure to see spouses work together toward the common goal. Sadly, it was rare to be involved with couples that didn’t find the need to blame one partner or the other, but that could be attributed to human nature.

For those women living on their own, many are already used to doing without the latest purse, fancy car, and expensive jewelry. I am amazed at how frugally a woman can live, and how dedicated she becomes to the goal of financial freedom. Women have always taught me something in the process.

If you are a woman  facing a serious financial crisis, turn to a valuable, affordable resource: BANKRUPTCY FROM A TO Z: THE PATH TO FINANCIAL HOPE AND FREEDOM. You can find it on my website: www.sunsetdreambooks.com and at www.amazon.com. Let me work along with you to achieve your goals. We can do this together!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Three

23 Jun

Part Three: What do I do with this mountain of bills?

If you’ve followed along with me since Part One: The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget, you know that you’re taking positive steps toward dealing with your scary financial situation. It might be painful, but you are moving in the right direction.

You’re now faced with organized piles of bills, and coming to terms with your actual money situation. The bills you should pay each and every month, your rent or mortgage, and utilities, have the most impact on your life if you don’t pay them on time. Just how behind are you on these bills? Are you at risk of losing your home or car?

Maybe you’ve been able to pay housing and car expenses on time, but your credit cards are far behind. I’m sure you’re receiving calls day and night from collectors. I know the phone calls are not pleasant. The people employed by companies to collect balances are not paid to be nice. They are paid to collect money. I know, because I used to work for a major automobile company and had to work in the collections department before I could be promoted to the job I really wanted. I’ve been on the other side of those telephone calls, and it isn’t pleasant there either. There is pressure to maintain very high collection rates in order to keep your job. Very often the people calling to collect past-due payments are also paying their own bills late. Is that news to you?

It is Saturday, and I know that you just want to kick back and relax a bit today. Until my next post, scour all of the possible hiding places where mail from bill collectors could be stashed. Sit down and open each of the bills you took the time to sort out. I’m sure there is some mail you never had the strength to open. It is now time to face reality. Begin to put these bills in order by date, each pile representing the bills from a particular company. We’ll work together on the next step after you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.

Until then, focus on the future and remember that you’re working toward a better one.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

http://www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Can you really negotiate with credit card companies to pay less than the full balance?

20 Jun

Can you really negotiate with credit card companies to pay less than the full balance?

You’ve heard the phrase: When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well, sometimes, though very rarely, what sounds too good to be true is as true as true can be.

A little background information–Credit card companies have loaned billions of dollars to millions of people. That really is what using credit cards is all about. You want to buy something you can’t afford, and the credit card company agrees to loan you the money so you can buy it. Most people don’t think of credit cards in those terms. It is time to view credit cards in a realistic way. This is probably the most important nugget you can take away from this writing.

In addition to lenders having so much money out on the street, add to the mix that thousands of people find it necessary to walk away from their debts by paying nothing back to their creditors by filing bankruptcy. Many creditors are truly open to negotiating with people who have the funds to pay a portion of the loan back to them.

The process is not an easy one, nor is it pleasant. Along with having the temperament to stick to your position during negotiations, you must continue to say “no” when the creditor says you only have to pay 90% of the full debt, or 75%, or 50%. It isn’t impossible to come to an agreement to pay as little as 25% of what you owe. You can also hire an attorney to negotiate with creditors on your behalf. They do this every day for people much like you. It is a good way to take the stress you would experience by doing it yourself out of the equation.

One very important note: you must also have the money available to pay to the creditor in one lump sum, or in some circumstances over the course of just a few months. You must talk with your accountant or attorney to discuss whether or not you should choose this option to erase your debt. Enlist the expertise of professionals so you don’t make mistakes that hurt you later.

If you don’t have enough money to pay off all of your unsecured debts through negotiated settlements, you could run into problems if you find it necessary to file bankruptcy at a later date. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally provides an avenue to pay nothing to your remaining unsecured creditors, as long as your income and assets fall within the legal guidelines. If you pay one credit card company a reduced amount through negotiated settlement, and pay nothing to other unsecured creditors, the bankruptcy court views this practice as favoring certain creditors over the remaining creditors of the same class. All creditors of the same class (secured, priority or unsecured) must be treated in the same manner according to bankruptcy law. The court will investigate your financial history for a period of 2-3 years prior to filing bankruptcy. Get good legal and financial advice before you proceed with actions that harm your position in the long run.

You will find additional resources at my website that pertain to this topic: www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Drop by, get in touch with me through email and begin to work toward freedom from financial stress!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox   

Sunset Dream Books

31 May

Face your financial problems and explore smart solutions, because today is the perfect day to begin to learn how to move beyond your despair.

Attorneys are necessary, but they can seem to speak in a different language at times, especially when you’re stressed out and scared. To find the help you need, check out a preview of my latest book at http://www.sunsetdreambooks.com!

Easy to read, and a great resource to guide you through the possibilities…

The stress of facing mounting bills affects your entire life. Life is too short to face financial problems every day!

All my best,

Betty Anne

Sunset Dream Books

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