How to Use Payday Loans Like a Personal Finance Pro

by Kaylie Phelps

Having gaps in your monthly budget is not uncommon. A lot of people face the same issue in today’s economy. It isn’t always possible to keep up with bills and other payments before the next pay cheque, especially when you have a lot of loans to repay.

Just because you have gaps in your monthly budget it doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about
managing your personal finances. There are tools and financing options you can use to fill those gaps. Payday loans are one of the best ones to use and the tips we are about to discuss will make you a pro when it comes to using payday loans in a smart way.

Not All Gaps Are Worth Filling

The first tip to keep in mind when it comes to using payday loans to fill financial gaps is the fact that not all gaps are worth filling. You don’t always have to take out a payday loan to pay overdue bills. To make the right decision every time, there are a few important aspects to consider.

First, consider the effects of missing the payment deadline in the first place. How much in late charges and fees do you have to pay when you miss a payment? Will the missed payment lower your credit score? Is there any other effect to worry about?

Let’s take a credit card bill as an example. Missing a credit card payment often brings a hefty late payment fee and an equally big sum of interest. The missed payment will also reflect badly on your credit history and will lower your credit score. In most cases, taking out a payday loan is a smart move to make thanks to the lower cost and lack of negative effects.

Not All Payday Loans Are Worth Using

Another tip to keep in mind is to never go for the first payday loan offer you come across, no matter how good the offer appears to be. You need to take your time and compare payday loans so that you know you’re getting the best deal possible.

There are several reliable payday loan providers online. One example can be seen through CashLady, (an independent credit broker) who are able to find great rates and instant loan solutions for those who need a quick financial injection. Other payday loan providers have different APRs and will offer different features with their loans.

Short-Term Use Only

Last but certainly not least, only use a payday loan when you know you can repay the loan at the end of the term without ruining the following month’s budget. Payday loans are never designed for long- term use, which is why they have relatively high APRs compared to conventional loans. Using a payday loan for more than two to three months is a big no-no.
This financing option is more geared towards short-term use that extends for no more than a few weeks. They are ideal for filling gaps between your pay cheques and will help you keep your personal finances in order. Now that you know how to use payday loans like a pro, you can benefit more from this flexible financing option.

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Recover From Your Holiday Hangover

by Kaylie Phelps

That tight feeling around your eyes, the pounding in your temples, and the roiling sense of unease in your stomach can’t be blamed on the champagne. The fault lies with your spendthrift ways over the holidays. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the entire month of December, you really let loose and spent more than you intended, despite knowing full well your finances couldn’t handle it.

If you’re tired of nursing another holiday hangover thanks to spending, it’s time for a change. Keep reading to learn the best way to tackle overspending and consumer debt in the New Year.

How to set goals

At the turn of the New Year, talk of resolutions will make its way into most conversations. It’s not unusual to hear people sharing their goals of losing weight, quitting smoking, or learning a new language. Saving money is another common resolution people make after they reflect on the purchases they made in the past 12 months and their resulting debts.

Though many of us start these resolutions feeling inspired and optimistic, few of us follow through with our goals. A recent study reveals 8 out of 10 resolutions fail by February. In just 2 months, most people lose motivation to hit the gym, put down the cigarette, or attend language classes.

With a success rate of 20 percent, generic resolutions aren’t a great way to transform your life. If you want to save more or spend less, you need to think of your goal as it relates to your finances. Specificity is an important feature of any goal, so when you want to save more, tell yourself the exact number you expect to put away. When you want to spend less, find expenses that you can cut out from your budget.

Write out your goal and give your reasons why it’s important you achieve it. If you’re saving more so you can contribute to a retirement plan or a summer holiday, jot it down. If you’re spending less, so you can pay your bill and avoid being broke, take note! Leave a message in your wallet to remind yourself of these reasons whenever you grab your debit or credit cards.

Stand out with a budget

If writing things down makes helps motivate you, then a creating budget makes it official. It also makes it unique. Roughly 2 out of 3 Americans fail to follow a household budget, preferring to leave their spending up to fate.

Winging your finances is the surest way to fail at your goal, so take the time to look at your budget and make healthy changes to your habits. Look back on your accounts and tally up fixed expenses, like your rent or mortgage payments, phone bills, and insurance. Compare it to your net income to see how much you have left over.

Then go through the “fun” purchases you made alongside your fixed expenses. Things like grabbing a latte at Starbucks, catching Thor: Ragnarok in theaters, or going to the beauty salon for highlights. Decide which ones you feel comfortable eliminating from your budget and set aside the money you earned by these concessions into debt payments or savings.

Start saving early

You know well enough by now that the shock of debt in the cold, harsh light of January 1 makes for a terrible start to your New Year. If it’s possible, use your budget to set aside savings for the holidays right away. Even just $20 a month will put you in a better position than last year, as you’ll have $240 to spend on the holidays.

Try to balance these savings with an emergency fund for unexpected repairs or necessary purchases. Don’t confuse these with “fun” goals, like saving up for the Xbox One X or buying a smart HomePod for your house. This fund should help cover expenses like an essential car repair, vet bill, or flooded basement.

Even after a thorough restructuring of their budget, this is easier said than done for those people with very little expendable income. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, a cash advance from a lender like MoneyKey may be the only way you can cover these emergencies. Quick and convenient though they may be, online loans at MoneyKey.com are only practical when facing emergencies at a time when extra savings aren’t a possibility. They shouldn’t make a regular appearance in your budget for reoccurring payments like rent.

Lock up your credit cards

Your wallet may be empty, but you can still hemorrhage cash like it were flush with Benjamins whenever something catches your eye. It’s easy to spend the money you don’t have with a credit card or two tucked away, but don’t let yourself be tempted. This isn’t free money; you’ll have to pay back every dollar that you use, plus interest.

Now, it’s not a simple case of removing the plastic from your wallet. Your phone, tablet, or laptop provides access to any store in the world. All you have to do is type in your credit card number and confirm your card security code, and you can buy a cartful of stuff without ever leaving your house.

In addition to taking the cards out of your wallet, place it somewhere it isn’t easy to access and delete any saved account you have online. This will remove the temptation to spend what you don’t have and bungle your resolution before you even start it.

The Bottom Line?

Our sense of urgency over debt reaches its peak in the New Year since it’s a popular time of self-reflection and self-improvement. Unfortunately, the inspiration to make positive change rarely lasts. Too often we make our resolutions without carefully thinking about how we expect to achieve them. Success relies on deliberate actions based on specific goals and behavior. Apply this way of thinking to your resolutions in the New Year or at any time you feel like you need to make a change, and you can avoid giving up before you see any progress

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Being a Stay at Home Mom When You “Shouldn’t”

by Mrs Money

Many times over the past almost six years that I’ve been a stay at home mom, I’ve been riddled with guilt over our decision. Thoughts float around in my head: “Should I go back to work?”, “Will we be able to save enough for retirement without me financially contributing at this moment?”, “I really wish we could afford more flexibility in our budget so we could (go on vacation, join the Y, send our daughter to a cottage homeschool program, etc)”.  The guilt ate me alive at times!  It was especially worse right after my husband lost his job.  Not only was I feeling very depressed about him not having a job, I was feeling massive amounts of angst because I wasn’t working and bringing in a full time income.

I finally had to sit down and decide what our plan was going to be.  Often times when anxious thoughts take over, I have to focus on the positives to make myself realize what the bigger picture is.  We have a plan, and hopefully next year this time things will be so much better that we will forget about the few months when Mr. Money was unemployed.  I’m sure there will still be sacrifices, but if that means that I get to spend as much time with my family as I can then it’s worth it!  When there’s a will, there’s (most likely) a way.  It may not easy, but it is worth it!

Here are some of the ways we make it work:

1. Keep Expenses Low

We purchased a modest sized house over ten years ago and have made it work for our growing family. We’ve rearranged rooms and decluttered many times (constantly!) to make our spaces work for us. The cars we are still driving are same vehicles we’ve had for years and we take good care of them so they will last. Buying things we can’t afford just isn’t an option at this point in our lives and we’re okay with that.  We don’t make trips to the store just for fun and we try to combine trips to save money, time, and gas.  Shopping is not a hobby in our household.

2. Budget

Our budget is bare bones right now, but we are doing our best to stick to it. By budgeting, I feel as if I have more control over our finances since every dollar has a plan for it.  When the money is gone in one category, it’s gone.  I personally think I have the hardest time with the food category- I feel like we need what we need and there’s no way around it. However, we do have a large pantry and freezer that I can use to make it work so I really crack down on that.  We meal plan and ensure meat is thawed in time for dinner and that really helps.  I think food is a budget buster for many families!

3. Side Hustles

Figuring out a side hustle, or “Dave job” for the Dave Ramsey followers, is an excellent way to bring in extra cash each month.  I offer babysitting services, do some freelance writing, and take care of the neighbor’s dogs to help bring in extra income. Mr. Money has been known to do yard work and handyman tasks to help pad our bank account.  I believe there is something that everyone is good at that they can use to make money.

4. Cheap or Free Activities

Living in an area with excellent parks definitely has its advantages! We love to pack picnic lunches and visit different play grounds with friends or just hit up one of the local parks and go hiking. A few weeks ago, the aquarium closest to us had a homeschool field trip day and we all went for the cost of one normal admission! It was a great experience, and packing food meant we didn’t pay for anything else. In the month of October, we also scouted out all the local trunk or treats and free Halloween events happening in our city. We had tons of fun and only spent money on gas to get us to those places!

5. No Shame

This is probably the hardest part of being a stay at home mom for me, but I think it’s so important. You have to have no shame with some things. Wearing used clothing and shopping at thrift stores has become the norm for us. We receive hand-me-downs with pleasure and are very thankful for having new pieces of a wardrobe for no money! Sometimes we have to tell friends or family we just can’t afford to do activities with them, and that’s okay. No shame in that!

There are still days when I question whether or not I’m doing the right thing, but I firmly believe that every parent goes through that at times!  Raising a family is hard work, there’s no doubt about it!

What are some ways you make your financial situation work? 

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    Welcome! I'm Mrs. Money and I lead a frugal, simple, and debt free life on a modest income. I make money online to help support our family. I believe in saving money, living green, and enjoying life!

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