As debt continues to increase in many households across America, more families each year are finding themselves looking for ways to reduce their overall household debt. For some, this may be easier said than done. Debt reduction requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Especially when you are used to spending money left and right.
Those that are serious and committed to reducing their debt will eventually reap the rewards of being debt free. Reading my simple seven tips will give you many ideas, about how you can reduce your debt.
When you start to cut back on spending, you will find corners that you can cut through out the month, to help you pay off your debts. Simple things such as, being aware of all of the electricity you use, and turning off lights that are not needed as you leave a room, will help reduce your light bill, therefore, you save a little more money to reduce your debt with. Once you become aware of your spending habits, and start cutting back, you will start to notice more ways to cut back each month.
Budget your income. List all of your monthly bills and their due dates. Apply them to your budget, as well as other household needs, for example, groceries, gas etc. Allow yourself only so much money per month to spend on extras. Sticking to your budget will show self control, and determination for reducing your debt.
Limit the use of your Credit cards
If you can not pay cash for it, then do not buy it. If you have to charge something, make sure that you can pay the balance in full when your next credit card bill comes in. Never charge on your credit card to only pay the minimum monthly amount. You will never get that maxed out credit card paid off that way. The importance of paying your credit card balance in full, can not be stressed enough.
Get rid of your credit cards
If you are determined to reduce your debt, cutting up your credit cards will help. If you do not have them, you can not use them. If this is too big of a step for you, at least get rid of the unnecessary ones. Keeping only one or two, low interest rate cards for emergencies only, is a good idea. Remember if you can not pay cash for something, then you probably do not need it.
Pay off your debts
If you have already acquired some debt you need to pay off, now is the time to get started. Decide which debt is your smallest and start with that one. Pay on it as your budget will allow. Once you have gotten your smallest debt paid off, you will have a feeling of satisfaction and know that you can pay off your debts. Then move to the next smallest debt, when you are paying them off one by one, it is easier to do, with out feeling over whelmed. Before you know it, all of your debts will be paid and you will feel great about knowing you paid them off.
Debt consolidation is another option to look at for reducing your debt. Debt consolidation companies, will call your creditors for you, and make payment arrangements for your debts. Many companies will get you one low monthly payment to pay each month, until all of your debt is paid off.
Make an appointment with a financial counselor to help you reduce your debt. Some people find, having someone else point out the errors in their spending habits to help tremendously. Financial counselors can also show you how to better manage your money, and stick to a budget.
Applying for an auto loan? We’ll sooner or later we will. So I wrote this short guide as basic must know guide to arm ourselves when the time for an auto loan comes.
1) Shop Online – Shopping for auto loan online is a great time saver. By comparing from different sites you can get the best deals. Applying also is easy and even some sites will give you information you need within minutes.
2) Know Thyself! – You must know the basic criteria for applying for an auto loan. Basic criteria includes that you must be above 18 years of age. Best if you earn at least $2000 a month. Also needed is residence and employment history.
3) Get Approved First – Don’t have make the mistake of looking for a car before being approved. Get approved first then they will give you a voucher of how much you are allowable to loan. Doing this will save you future frustration and disappointments.
4) Down Payments – This varies from lender to lender, and some don’t even require. But typically its about 10% of the price or $1000 whichever is the lower number.
5) Interest Rate – Interest rate is not fixed as most people think, and yes it can be negotiated. If you have a good credit score and good negotiating skills you can have a lower interest rate. But some factors are way out of you’re control such as the state of the economy.
There you have it. We’ll that’s not all, there’s lot of other things you need to know. But what I’ve enumerated are the vital essentials before applying for that auto loan. One thing also is ask advice from an authorized dealer or loan official. They’re there to help you. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask them now or you’ll might face lots of headaches later.
Over the past few years, the popularity of car leasing has soared. When you compare leasing with buying a car and suffering the humongous monthly installment fees, leasing provides a better and more viable financial option.
For auto leasing, you need to know the tricks of the trade so that you will not end up paying more than when you directly buy the car. There are car dealers and manufacturers who can give you your money’s worth if you want to go for this option.
You will get a better deal out of the car dealers if you appear knowledgeable about the auto leasing industry, so read up.
‘Auto Leasing Defined’
You would “lease” a car by paying for the costs by which the vehicle depreciates in value. You can calculate depreciation costs by subtracting the car’s value by the time that the lease ends, from its original value. There are cars which depreciate more than other brands. The rule of thumb is, the smaller the amount that your car depreciates, the lesser the costs to lease.
Once you decide to go for leasing over buying a vehicle, you may choose the one with the least depreciation value.
If you decide to go for this option, you need to learn about “lease term”. This is the number of months that the vehicle is leased. Typically, leases last for 24, 36 or 48 months, depending on your contract.
‘Leasing or buying: Which option is kinder to your pocket?’
-Automobile leasing requires you to have a good credit, so if your credit score is low, it is better to go for buying.
You may even be disapproved for a lease if your credit history is not good. Or, at the very least, you will be required to pay higher monthly dues.
-Leasing companies would need to profit from you.
They will invest capital on buying the car, then lease that car out. Just like with any loan, their money shoudl earn interest so you better consider this as well when considering the advantages of buying.
-Make sure that you get the best deal out of car leasing by comparing the monthly costs with the interest rates of your local car dealer.
By making a note and comparing both prices, you would more or less have an idea of which option to go for.
‘Car Leasing Tips’
- When deciding on the model or make of the car that you will lease, choose the Japanese and European cars. These are basically the brands which have lower depreciation rates, as compared to the American vehicles.
You will find out that most luxury cars have the lowest depreciation values. Research, visit a local car dealer in your area or ask friends who are currently leasing cars. They should have some great tips to share with you on how to get the best deal out of leasing cars.
-Leasing a car may put a big dent in yur budget when it comes to car maintenance. You need to make sure that you are a “car-friendly” user when you opt to go for auto leasing.
-Definitely go for leasing if you are the type who wants to own the latest cars in the market. In the long run, leasing will be a better option for you as compared to buying the latest car model then trading in or selling the old one that you have.
-As much as possible, choose a shorter lease period. This is so that you can optimize the warranty of the vehicle.
-Finally, avoid the long-term leases, because the car’s value will decrease by the time the lease ends, and this is mostly when engine problems begin.
“Is it really possible to make a living as a day trader?”
This question is asked over and over and over again by normal, ordinary people. The answer is simple: “Yes, it is DEFINITELY possible! And, better yet, you yourself can do it!” Sometimes people don’t believe me when I say that they can become successful, full-time day traders, but it’s true. And I’m going to prove it to you right now.
Before we get started, I need you to ask yourself one very important question: “How much is ‘a living?’” Many people want to be ‘rich,’ but they fail to quantify what ‘rich’ means to them. Are you ‘rich’ if you have one million dollars? Maybe so, but if you told Donald Trump that he had one million dollars in his bank account, he’d wonder what had happened to the rest of it! One million dollars to Donald Trump equals broke!
How to Make $150,000 Per Year
Since I don’t want to get into a deep discussion about “how much money is a decent living for you,” let’s just assume that you would be pretty happy if you were making $150,000 per year, and let’s say that you are making this money with your trading. Does that sound reasonable?
Let’s break it down: $150,000 per year would be $12,500 per month, or, if you prefer, $3,000 per week. This is assuming that you are taking two weeks of vacation per year.
So, would you like me to tell you how you can make that imaginary figure of $3,000 per week – that $150,000 per year – into a reality? Because I can. All it takes is smarts and strategies.
Start Small – Set a Weekly Goal for Only ONE Contract
When day trading futures, options, or forex, you can use leverage and trade multiple contracts on a rather small account. If you are thinking about trading the futures market, then you can easily find a broker who will enable you to trade one contract of almost any futures instrument that is our there – such as e-mini S&P, e-mini Russell, currency futures, interest rates, commodities, etc. – on a $2,000 account.
I teach my students to set a weekly goal of $300 per contract. So, if you want to make $3,000 per week, then you need to trade ten contracts. It’s possible that your broker might agree to let you trade ten contracts with $20,000 in your trading account, but if he won’t – or if you don’t have $20,000 in your account at the moment – don’t worry. Just stick with me, and I’ll show you how to get there.
How to Achieve Your Weekly Goal
The key element to trading success is having a sound trading strategy, and it must be one that works effectively in a variety of markets. You will dramatically increase your chances of success in trading if you’re able to trade in multiple markets. Now, understand that when I say “multiple markets,” I do NOT mean different types of currencies! This is a common misconception. What I’m talking about is TRUE diversification, which means watching the two U.S. Stock Index markets, one or two currency markets, commodities like the grains, interest rates, and/or a foreign index market, all at the same time. Here at Rockwell Trading Inc., we teach our students to watch six different markets every single day.
Another obvious key factor is profits; to achieve your weekly goal, you’ll ideally have a high average of wins per trade. It goes without saying that your average win should be at least 50% higher than your average loss, preferably even twice as high.
The strategies that I use and teach call for a profit target of $300 per contract and a stop loss of $200 per contract. You’ll notice that the profit target is greater than the stop loss. That’s the beauty of it: all you’ll need is one win, and you’ll have achieved your weekly goal of making $300 per contract. ONE WIN!
Just as an FYI, this is why “scalping” is so much more difficult. Most scalpers try to make $10 – $20 per trade, so you would need 15 – 30 wins per week to achieve your weekly goal. Which do YOU think is easier? Making one profitable trade or trying to make 15-30 profitable trades?
“Sounds Good, But What About Losses?”
As everyone in trading knows, losses are a part of the business, and you can’t avoid them. If that’s something you have trouble accepting, then you’re in the wrong industry. However, there’s a huge difference between losing big on a regular basis and losing small in a controlled trading plan. Our trading strategies assume a certain amount of loss, and we prepare our students accordingly. You already know that you should keep your losses small; we simply teach you how to keep them smaller that your average wins.
Let’s go back to the scenario I mentioned above: you have a trading strategy that produces $300 in profits for every win and costs you $200 for every loss. Now, if your weekly goal is $300, and if your first trade was a loss of $200, then you need to make two winning trades to achieve that weekly profit goal.
Let me take this a little farther and actually break it down for you: you’ve lost $200 on your one losing trade, and then you make $600 on your two wining trades ($300 each). Your net profit = $400. Goal achieved. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, you’re not always guaranteed a week with only one loss. Let’s look at a week that started off with three losses. With three losses, you are now down $600 ($200 each). So, how many wins do you need to have before you achieve your weekly profit goal of $300? Three wins. Just three wins will result in $900 ($300 each). Subtract the $600 you lost on the losing trades from the $900 you won on the winning trades, and your resulting net profit is $300. Goal achieved. Again, simple as that.
“Wait A Minute – You’re Saying That I Will Achieve My Goals
With a Winning Percentage of Only 50%?”
YES! That’s exactly what I’m saying! Read the example above again: you lost $600 on three losing trades, made $900 on three winning trades, and came out with a net profit of $300. This means that you could pick a losing trade every other time and STILL achieve your weekly profit goals!
It gets even better: let’s just assume for a minute that you do end up achieving an actual winning percentage of only 50%. Now, when you start trading again on Monday morning, what are your chances of having a winning trade? Since we’ve already established that you make $300 per winning trade, and since $300 is your weekly profit goal, your chance of achieving that goal after only the first trade on Monday is also an overwhelming 50%! You have a one in two chance of meeting your weekly profit goal in just one, single trade!
So if you DO achieve your weekly profit goal on the first trade Monday morning, what next? Stop trading for that week! Just enjoy life! It doesn’t get better than that! Remember, you need to stick to your trading plan and your weekly goal. Do NOT enter into another trade once you’ve already achieved your weekly goal; the chance that your second trade may be a losing trade is too great, and you would be giving your money and profits back to the market. Overtrading and greediness are a trader’s downfall, so resist them and stick to your strategies.
How to Increase Your Winning Percentage
I’ve just proven to you that you can achieve your weekly profit goal with a winning percentage of only 50%. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was possible for you to boost your winning percentage to 60% instead, or even 65%?
Well, it IS possible, and here’s how to do it:
Be picky. Seriously, when it comes to trading, being picky is actually a VERY good thing. Don’t take the first trade you see just because it looks decent. Analyze your possible trade. Make sure that it fits ALL of your entry conditions and parameters.
As I said previously: you should be watching six different markets. Let’s assume that you have a trading strategy which gives you one entry signal in the first two hours of trading. This would result in up to six entry signals per day, since you are watching six markets. Six entry signals per day add up to 30 entry signals per week.
Now, of course, there will be some days when you’ll only have 1-2 entry signals in the six markets; however, the chances are high – especially if you’re watching uncorrelated markets – that you’ll get at least two entry signals per day, or ten entry signals per week.
Pay attention to your entry signals, and rely on them. You already know that you’ll meet your weekly goal with just one winning trade, so be patient. If there are no good trades on Monday, then simply wait until Tuesday. The same goes for the whole week. Don’t push it! Wait until the market is ready to be traded. It WILL happen.
Waiting for YOUR trades on YOUR terms WILL increase your winning percentage. By skipping the trades with “so-so” entry signals, by taking only the best that the market has to offer, you’ll be on the right path to solid profits and success. That’s how it works.
Full Circle – How to Make $150,000 Per Year
A quick recap: the first step towards financial success is to define your weekly profit target. Next, you need to find a reliable, straightforward trading strategy that will help you achieve your profit goal. When you enter into a trade and your trade hits either your profit target OR your stop loss, exit that trade immediately. Stick to your trading plans and strategies until you achieve your weekly profit goal, and then give yourself a rest until next week.
If you’ll think back to the case I gave at the beginning, in order to make $150,000 per year – assuming a 50-week year and two weeks of vacation – you’d need to make $3,000 per week. At a $300 profit per trade, this means that you would need to trade ten contracts. Of course, this illustration can be applied to various amounts. If you wanted to make $225,000 per year with a weekly profit target of $300 per contract, for example, then you would have to trade 15 contracts, and so on, and so on.
If you don’t have a trading account that let’s you trade the amount of contracts that I’m talking about yet, then now is the perfect time to start building it. Remember, be patient with your trading, be smart, slow, and steady. Trading success doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right strategies and structure, you can achieve profitable results in a much shorter time period than you may have thought possible.
Plan your trades and trade your plan. THAT’S how successful traders make money.
I rest my case. J
You already know a lot about credit cards. You’ve heard that consumer debt in this country-particularly credit-card debt-is at an all-time high, while our savings rate is lower than ever before. You realize that the boom in online shopping, with its absolute dependence on credit cards, is further fueling their use. You are well aware that running a balance on your plastic-and paying the unconscionable interest rates that come with it-is one of our most basic and widespread financial blunders. And you suspect that the sheer volume of direct-mail credit-card solicitations with low teaser rates must be devastating the forests of northern Idaho.
Still, credit cards are a fact of 21st century life, and it only makes sense to understand how to use them wisely. While it’s probably impractical to keep all plastic out of your wallet, it is prudent to limit the number of cards you have, and, of course, to pay all balances in full every month. Indeed, having only a traditional American Express card, which doesn’t allow you to carry a balance, can be an excellent way to impose fiscal discipline on you and your family-although, as the Visa ads point out, not everyone accepts American Express. For the rest of us, who do occasionally dabble in credit-card debt, here are a few ways to keep your habit under control.
1. Take advantage of frequent-flier programs tied to credit cards, but keep in mind that interest payments on a high balance can quickly turn “free” flights into outrageously expensive ones. At a dollar per mile, running up a debt of 25,000 may get you a plane ticket, but it will also saddle you with $4,500 in yearly interest payments, assuming an 18% annual rate.
2. Look very closely at credit-card offers before you bite. Obviously, most of those 2.99% and 3.99% rates will be in effect for only a few months. But there may be other catches as well. Making a late payment, even if it arrives only a day after it was due, may immediately trigger a permanent rate hike. Also, low initial rates sometimes apply only to transferred balances, and you could get charged a fee for making the transfer. Check, too, to see whether there is an annual fee, or charges for exceeding your credit limit or even for closing an account.
3. Avoid amazing grace-period tricks. What you’re looking for is a provision that says you’ll never be charged interest as long as you pay your bill in full by the due date. But some cards have no grace period, calculating interest from the moment you make a purchase, while others give you only a limited time after making a charge before interest is imposed. That period of 20 days or so may end before your payment is due.
4. Don’t forget to cancel cards you no longer use. If you don’t, they’ll show up on credit reports, and that could be a problem, particularly if you’re applying for a home mortgage. Your would-be lender may be reluctant to make a loan to someone who has a cumulative credit-card limit of $50,000, $100,000, or even more.