Identity Theft Impacts Millions Each Year, Could You Be Next?

My Tips On How To Protect Yourself From Identity TheftAccording to identity theft statistics I found from the Bureau of Justice, over 16 million people were victims of identity theft just in the year of 2012.

Identity theft is becoming such a common occurrence in recent years and it is something far too many people have personal experience with.

No one wants to deal with identity theft. Identity theft can lead to headaches, a drop in your credit score, loss of money, and more. While some situations can be fixed in just a day, some identity theft situations can linger on for years and years.

Even I have been the victim of identity theft numerous times, mainly due to someone stealing my personal information when I was just a child.

Nothing has happened recently though, even though I have multiple accounts, many credit cards (all used for rewards points), and more, and I believe a lot of that has to do with the fact that I always make sure to be very careful with my personal information.

Below are my tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft. [Read more…]

Stop Using These 6 Ridiculous Excuses For Not Saving Money

Stop Using These Common Excuses For Not Saving Money (2)The other day I was reading a personal finance article on a major website. I enjoyed the article but I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments to see what people had to say.

After blogging about personal finance for almost four years, I wasn’t very shocked. 90% of the comments were very negative.

People were saying that anyone who saves money must hate their life, they must lead a boring life, and so on.

This is always sad to read, as many people do not save anywhere near the amount they should be saving. To quickly summarize my post Money Statistics That May Scare You:

  • 68% live paycheck to paycheck;
  • 26% have no emergency savings;
  • The median amount saved for retirement is less than $60,000;
  • The average household has $7,283 in credit card debt;
  • The average student loan debt is $32,264.

Due to these crazy money statistics, I believe that more people should think positively about saving money. Saving money can help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, it can help you pay off your debt, it can help you prepare for retirement, and so on.

The first step to saving more money is to figure out why you are unable to save money.

For many people, it’s because they often tell themselves excuses for why saving money isn’t something they can or even need to do.

If you do this, I want you to realize that you can change your ways and that it is possible to save money. I used to always give myself excuses as well but then realized that I was just lying to myself.

If you are interested in saving money, please read How To Live On One Income and 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money.

Below are six common excuses people give for not saving money. [Read more…]

Is Being House Poor Limiting You?

House PoorWhen we were in the process of buying a home back in 2009, we were given a pre-approval amount of $150,000.

If we would have bought a house for that amount, I’m sure it would have led to us being house poor. While this may not seem like much to some, in the St. Louis area this can get you a good starter home.

This $150,000 number seemed high to us because we were quite young when we were pre-approved (we bought shortly after we turned 20) and we both had mediocre jobs. Yes, we were both working full-time but our yearly salaries put together were still very low and I definitely do not think we should have been approved for $150,000.

That being said, we thankfully did not buy a house that was $150,000. Instead, we made sure to buy a house for much less than that because we didn’t want to be stressed out by large monthly mortgage payments that we couldn’t afford.

In case you don’t know what “house poor” means, it is when you spend most of your money on your home and there isn’t much left for other expenses.

Being house poor can lead to many problems in your life. While having a roof over your head is a great thing, it can be easy to let home expenses get ahead of you if you don’t do enough research before you buy.

Many people are house poor too. Just because your neighbor has a nicer house than you does not mean that they are doing better than you. So many people see housing as a status symbol but don’t really think about how this may impact their financial situation.

Below are some of the many different ways being house poor can limit you. When buying a home, please keep the below in mind. [Read more…]

Money Statistics That May Scare You

Money Statistics That May Scare YouAs a personal finance blogger, I try to do as much research as I can before I publish a blog post so that I can see the full picture.

However, whenever I research different financial topics I usually come across some scary money statistics.

The money stats you read in this post might scare you, but hopefully they can help you so that you can improve your finances and be better than the “average” person.

Even if you are doing better than the average person, that definitely does not mean that you are doing well financially either though.

You should always strive to do your best as sometimes “average” is not good enough for you to live a financially successful life.

Below are some scary money statistics that will hopefully whip you into financial shape. Enjoy! [Read more…]

5 Tips To Stop Your Emotional Spending Habit

How-To-Reduce-Stress-and-Emotional-SpendingPeople take part in emotional spending for many different reasons. You might have had a bad day at work, a fight with your loved one, and so on. You might even be spending because you are so stressed out about the amount of credit card debt you have racked up.

While a certain level of emotional spending may be acceptable in some cases, it can quickly get out of hand and turn into a problem.

The other day I was watching someone on TV who said that they had tens of thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt due to emotional spending.

This spending may have relieved their stress for a few seconds, but then the reality would always quickly set in that money was a big stressor of theirs as well.

I’ve mentioned this statistic before, but it is one that will hopefully open your eyes. According to NerdWallet, the average household in the United States (who has debt) has an average credit card debt of $15,611. That is an increase of 2.26% from the amount of average credit card debt in a household in the same period in 2013.

While some of this credit card debt may be due to someone having higher expenses than the income they are bringing in, I’m sure that some of it is also due to emotional spending.

Below are my tips to finally kick your emotional spending habit. [Read more…]

Personal Capital Review – An Easier Way To Manage Your Finances

Personal Capital Review - Free Personal Finance SoftwareHave you ever heard of Personal Capital? If not, today I am here to talk all about their product that I personally use in this Personal Capital review.

Personal Capital provides FREE personal finance software that is somewhat similar to Mint.com, but better. If you like using Mint, I recommend checking out Personal Capital.

Quick summary of what Personal Capital is – their free personal finance software allows anyone to better manage their finances by allowing users to aggregate their financial accounts. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank, credit cards, investment portfolio, retirement, and more, and it is all FREE. You can track your cash flow, your spending, how much you’re saving, and how your investments are doing. With their free financial software, you can see all of your accounts easily in one place so that you can manage everything easily.

And I’ll say it again. It’s free and there’s no catch!

As you know, I’m all about making your finances as simple as possible so that you can focus on more important areas. Personal Capital allows you to manage all areas of your financial situation all in one place.

You can use Personal Capital via your computer, a tablet, cell phone, and even a smart watch, which makes it great because you can stay up to date on your finances no matter where you are. [Read more…]