As the President and Congress battle over the current financial crisis, it is definitely time to take stock of "your fiscal cliff". How do you avoid the "slippery slope" that is being discussed behind the closed doors in our nation's capital?
3 Critical Steps...
What Is Your Credit Score and how can you improve it
- Check Your Credit Report – Credit score repair begins with your credit report. If you haven't already, request a free copy of your credit report and check it for errors. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and it may contain errors. In particular, check to make sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts and that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them with the credit bureau and reporting agency.
- Setup Payment Reminders – Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. You could also consider enrolling in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically debited from your bank account, but this only makes the minimum payment on your credit cards and does not help instill a sense of money management.
- Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This is easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe is going to be a far more satisfying achievement than improving your credit score and this will help your financial cliff become less steep. The first thing you need to do is stop using your credit cards. Use your credit report to make a list of all of your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are charging you. Come up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.
How Are Your Savings Structured?
- If you are an employee with a regular income, you should have 10% of your annual income in a high interest savings account.
- If you are self-employed or your income fluctuates (through commissions, for example), you should have 20% of your annual income in savings.
- If you are retired, you should have 30% of your annual income in savings. (I’m assuming this means retirement income since if you’re retired you don’t have employment income.)
- If you’re in danger of losing your job, you should have 40% of your annual income in savings.
Set Up Additional Income Sources
Practically everyone using the Internet today knows that the are income opportunities available. But how do you tap into them when there are already millions of online users? Here are some simple answers.
1. Decide what you want. Over 90% of people who enter into the internet arena fail. Why? No focus? Yes...but mostly...not enough education. At Bernie Kaufman.com in a partnership with MLSP, we train and mentor people at all levels of internet comfort. Our students work hard and get results!
2. Affiliate or Other Internet Programs? OK...stop thinking about the "pyramid scheme" term. While there are many companies today still using "bait and switch" concepts, the internet has become a marketplace full of quality businesses that offer affiliate programs with great commissions. Companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook offer great incentive programs to be considered. Please visit our toolbox of quality products...we don't promote anything we don't use!
3. Make a commitment. Whew! That's a tough word, isn't it. Most of us have learned that we shouldn't "over-commit" so we just don't commit at all. Shame! If you only have 2 hours a week...fine. Do it! Most of us who work full time on the internet started with a small commitment and made it work. You can to. Pick the right plan and company and work at it.
Because we live in a great opportunity, we shouldn't fear a fiscal cliff. Step "out" but not "off" and turn your fiscal cliff into a spring board to a secure financial future.
See you at the "bottom".