Saving up & Eating out

Eating out is my biggest weakness when it comes to saving money.   I eat out a few times a week.  Do you eat out? If so, how often?  Eating out is considered impulse spending when it is not planned. It may also put a damper on your savings. In this article, I will let you in on some of my money-saving secrets while eating out.

Reward cards are the best thing since the invention of Caller ID, lol.  I have a reward card to almost every fast food chain, grocery store, and coffee shop there is. These cards are normally free. Some offer exceptional deals on their products. Many reward programs also offer free items for a certain amount of items purchased.

Dine in restaurants and fast food restaurants also offer coupons. You can find the coupons online, on the company’s app, and in the restaurant. Sometimes the coupons are free, but places like McDonald’s and KFC offer coupon books starting at $1. These books are totally worth it! They contain high value coupons and coupons for free items as well.

When my family eats fast food, I try my best to keep the total around $20, but this can be hard with a family of five. Here are a few things I do to achieve my budget goals; I do not order combo meals. Often buying a combo meal is more costly than buying the items separately. I will order sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and fries from the value menu and one cup of water for each person, if we are traveling.  If are going home, we do not need any drinks with our meal.

There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then. Setting limits and planning are best when deciding where, how often, and how much to spend when you eat out!

Credit Repair

Many people who have poor credit believe fixing it is nearly impossible or will take years.  This is not necessarily true.  Sometimes the smallest issue on your credit report can be easily fixed and may be significant enough to change your score.

If you are ready to begin the journey of credit repair, there are a few tips that will help you create a solid foundation to excel forward. To get started you will need to know your current credit status.  You can do this at annualcreditreport.com.  This website gives you a free print out of your credit report.  Annual Credit Report does not include the credit score on the report, unless you pay for it.  Credit Karma is a great place to keep track of your score, for free.  Although the score from Creditkarma.com isn’t completely accurate, it gives you an idea of where you stand.  With these tools, you are on your way to taking control of your financial future!

There are a lot of credit mistakes people make. Often they do not realize these mistakes are affecting their financial future.  Anytime you apply for a cellphone, apartment, student loans, a car, credit card, etc., you are allowing a company to place an inquiry on your credit.  This can possible lower your score.  Do not excessively apply for things, if you can help it. Do your research first. Call the company and find out what their credit criteria is prior to applying.  Ask if there is a certain thing they are looking for on your credit report like your score, credit history,  and any negative reports such as late or non payments.

Only purchase items you can immediately afford or can pay in full within 30 days. Renting furniture or electronics from places like Rent A Center or Aaron’s can also negatively affect your credit.  A word of advice: Saving $250 dollars for a XBOX is a lot cheaper than renting it for $11 dollars a week, for 52 weeks.  Save the money first then purchase the item. I know, it’s not the instant satisfaction of having the item now. Just think, once you purchase the item with your saved money, it’s yours! No one can take it away or report on your credit for non-payment.

Once you obtain your credit report, make sure you have a tangible copy.  This way you can easily refer to it and write down the things you’ve inquired about or settled. If there are any items with low balances you can afford to pay in full, do that first.  If there are items on your report that you cannot afford to immediately pay, but would be able to pay in full within six months or less, call the company listed on your credit report and make payment arrangements.  If there are accounts that have amounts close to, or more than your yearly income, ask if you can settle those accounts for less than what you owe. Settling a credit account is not an ideal situation.  It will be reported that it was settled, closed and you paid less than the balance due.

Be responsible. If you open a line of credit, you are responsible for paying what you agreed to. If you do not pay it, it can financial haunt you for many years. It’s not worth the trouble. If you ever want to purchase a home, new car or get a loan; companies are looking at the financial paper trail you’ve left. Your credit report is a financial report card, you cannot graduate if you have all F’s. Strive for A’s, it pays!

The Struggle is Real.

Have you ever thought that it’s impossible to save money when you are living on a tight budget? I used to think so.  I worked a full-time job, worked over time, and did side jobs just to make ends meet. Without realizing it, you have extra money and its money that can be saved!  In order to get out of the struggle; you must gain self-control and become financially disciplined. This Blog will show how to not only get ahead, but also achieve goals you never thought were possible.

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