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Five Steps To Your First Budget

Budgeting isn’t rocket science. But, it does take some preparation, consideration and a healthy dose of reality, combined with a willingness to change some unhealthy spending habits.

There are no hard and fast rules when creating a budget that works for your family. Every family is different; and so is every budget. The key is to create a spending plan that fits your income, and that everyone in your household can live with. Setting stringent spending limits that are impractical or unattainable isn’t going to help get you on the right financial track. Being realistic will. A firm commitment to spend less than you make, and save for the more important things in your life, is even better. Take the time to begin the budget process right, with good planning. Whether it’s credit cards, collections agencies or old debts like allied agency, financial planning will allow you to, end debt & clean up credit fast! With the help of credit experts you can find out more about financial planning.

Here are five steps

1) Keep A List of Every Household Expense for One Month.
Everyone usually has a clear idea of the big bills: mortgage, car loans, and groceries. It’s the little stuff that can kill a budget. Before writing out your first set of budget numbers, it’s first important to know exactly where your money has been going. For one month, record every household expense – no matter how small. You may be surprised at how much those little conveniences and splurges really add up to.

2) Make A Complete List of Spending Areas.
Once you see what you’ve been spending your money on, on a regular basis, it’s time to make a thorough list of household and personal expense categories. Most people find their spending areas include such things as: mortgage/rent; car loans; insurance premiums; utilities; groceries; entertainment; school lunches; clothes; business expenses, etc. Even include debt collectors, like Stellar Recovery. Those school lunches, manicures and even that morning coffee all add up by the end of the month. Don’t forget less regular bills such as annual car insurance premiums, birthday gifts/parties, summer vacations, holiday outings, field trips, membership dues, magazine subscriptions, and more.

3) Compare Your Expenses To Your Income.
Now comes the hard part: add up all of your expenses and compare it to your NET income (this is your take-home pay after taxes, insurances, 401K contributions, etc.). Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they make $75,000 a year, they can spend $75,000. Wrong! You usually only receive about $55,000 to $60,000 after normal payroll deductions.

4) Be Realistic.
Let’s get real here: no one can continually spend more money than they make without serious repercussions. Eventually you won’t be able to juggle the payments anymore, and something won’t get paid. You’re walking a slippery slope headed toward financial ruin, and it’s time to be realistic. Now that you’ve had a chance to clearly see where your money is going ever month, it’s time to start chipping away at all the waste.

Go online to get ideas on how to reduce outstanding debts, like cach collections agency.

But overall, you can start big or small: the decision is yours. The goal is to slash as much frivolous waste as possible from your current spending plan. That may mean taking your lunch to work twice a week, and coloring your own hair, or it may mean selling your second car and taking the train to work. The severity of the things you’re forced to give up depends on how much overspending leeway you’ve been allowing your family.

5) Together Come Up With A New Spending Plan.
Once you’ve cut out all of the things you know you can do without, it’s time to prioritize your spending list to see what else can go. List the most important life expenses first: your house or apartment; food; health insurance; car costs; school fees; etc. As you move further down the list, add entertainment; eating out; taking the kids to an amusement park; summer pool fees.

You know, all the things you think you need, but may be able to do without. Now, if you’re expenses remain higher than your income, its time to start condensing and cutting from the bottom of this list. Sure, having a pool in the backyard may be great, but if you both work, and the kids are at summer camp all day, is the cost of its upkeep really worth being in debt? Or, would that money be better spent in some other category? How about fast food? If your family is spending more than $100 a month eating out, it may be time to reevaluate why you’re not cooking a home.

Looking at your finances with open eyes and a new attitude won’t be easy. Changing your spending habits will be even harder. But, establishing a solid budget, and learning to live within your means may make the difference between a life filled with financial struggles and stress, and a worry-free existence that allows you to spend money on the important things with little or no angst at all.

What To Avoid During Debt Settlements

Some businesses offers a debt settlement as an option, if they assumed that they can never recuperate what you are indebted to pay, or whether the ongoing collections becomes inefficient; or if they think that a debtor can make progress, by settling the debt with the collection agency.

If you decide to take a debt settlement as a solution to your payment, get all the written terms established, and read it carefully before sending money. You need to be on your guard if you have been offered a settlement. You are negotiating with people who knows everything about settlement, and whatever mistakes you make, will be to their advantage – and what you owe will still be collected. Learn more about the Do’s & Don’ts for collection agencies here: After sending the money you will have no power with the debt collector and anything that is not written in the agreement, in all likelihood, will not be honored.

If you are caught under a mound of debt, you may want to work with creditors (or debt collectors) to make things more simpler and manageable; this is usually called a debt negotiation or debt settlement. For example, you may be want to settle a debt by getting a creditor to take a lower amount of pay, than the amount that was originally owed. Or maybe you can negotiate to get lower payments, permanently or temporarily.

Negotiating with the creditors is a good way to decrease your debt load. To find out how to get some relief from the irritating calls from creditors, go to Make sure you avoid the common pitfalls. Knowing what NOT to do, can dramatically increase the chance of a successful negotiation.

Here are some common mistakes that people usually make in dealing with their creditors during their debt settlement agreements:

1) Not knowing if your debt is secured or unsecured. Two types of debt are secured and unsecured:

  • Unsecured Creditors – These types allows the debtor to acquire goods on credit (without the debtor providing any collateral or security). If the debtors cannot pay the debt, the creditor can’t go to the debtor’s house and take back the products.
  • Secured creditors – These kinds of creditor’s do have interest in some assets. If you do not pay your debt, this creditor is allowed to take back the properties.

2) Not knowing the strength of the creditors – secured creditors have a strong position, because they can reclaim valued properties, while unsecured creditors have other points of strength:

  • They can call or send you a letter. Even during the time of the negotiation procedure, the creditor may continue to call & demand payment; so the borrower must stay resilient until all discussions are settled.
  • They can sue. The creditors can charge the debtors for a breach of contract. Some will begin proceedings even when the consultations are pending.
  • Garnish wages. if a creditor wins a complaint against you. They will garnish your wages. To learn how to reverse this, go to
  • Levy bank accounts – if the creditors wins any lawsuit against you, they can get all the money in your bank accounts. Make your balances in your bank account as low as possible, and discontinue making direct deposits to protect your funds.

3) Not knowing the weak point of your creditor:

  • It is costly for the creditors to sue. Litigation is the creditor’s last option, because of the money and time needed for it. A lawsuit does not give assurance that a creditor can recover money.
  • Unsecured creditors can only repossess a property, in very rare situations.
  • Unsecured creditors have much to lose. If the debtor can’t pay for the debts, instead of filing for a bankruptcy protection, creditors will get nothing in return.

4) Use of the wrong money:

  • Money is king, as far as debt negotiations are concerned. If a debtor can transfer capital immediately, the creditors can quickly settle for a lower amount; however, this should be your last resort.

5) Use equally valued asset(s) you already have, to pay an unsecured debt.

  • For example, one can use their retirement funds to pay a debt. The debtor may pay the withdrawal tax of the funds or pay back the funds, if it is taken as loan.

6) Take notes at the time of negotiations

  • Most of the creditors gives very conflicting information. The debtor needs to take down the very details regarding the amount of the debt, the people whom they negotiated with, as well as, other important details.

7) Debt consolidation company.

  • These kinds of businesses offer a substantial monthly fee, there are no assurance that the debts will be settled.

8) Don’t overlook the “big picture”.

  • Debtors should look and examine all their debts, and the real possibility of being able to pay the debt. A lot of the debtors end up filing for bankruptcy protection, even when they already paid thousands in settled debts!

A debtor who fully understands these concepts, before making a call to a creditor for a debt negotiation, stand to have a better financial outcome, should they engage in negotiations to relieve debt problems.

What Is Property Tax Abatement?

Basically, abating something means reducing or even eliminating it. So, property tax abatement is a long term or short term arrangement wherein your property taxes will be lowered; regardless, if you are making improvements to your home. Under normal circumstances, when you are increasing the value of your home, you will also be raising the taxable value. With the abatement, the tax increase will not occur or at least not by much. A waiver is usually issued as an incentive, in order to encourage the town’s revitalization. And those who were wrongfully charged with a tax lien on their credit report, can use the waiver to have the tax lien removed; to learn more, go to

Property tax abatement is being offered to the owners of commercial buildings, apartment buildings, multiplexes, duplexes, condos and homes – to be converted into residential homes. In order to qualify, your home’s value needs to be at least 115 percent of the value preceding the remodeling. The abatement is not something that you are going to receive automatically. In order to earn it, you need to apply for it. The first step will be contacting your court house, town hall or municipality, and then ask them about it. They are going to have the information available and the form you will need to fill out. They can also arrange for an appraiser to come and evaluate the value of your home before and after the upgrade.

How does it Work

Property tax abatement is, oftentimes, granted by the local governments; most of the money that is paid to them, is through property taxes. This abatement is usually discretionary subsidies, as being granted of it, is done on a case-by-case basis, to investors & specific companies. There are also times that they are being offered to be entitlement subsidies, like in many enterprise zones. Property tax abatement may be structured in many different ways. A company can receive an abatement for a particular percentage, for a certain period time. For example, if a company would receive a 50% property tax abatement for 25 years, they will only need to pay for half of the property taxes that they normally owe, for the next 2.5 decades; for an individual investor, the process is the same; if an investor fails to receive these kind of subsidies, the can get an appeal, and a good example of how a letter is written to gain an organization’s favor, can be seen at

The property taxes of a company may be slowly phased-in throughout a period of time. An example of this may be a deal wherein a company will be paying 20% of the property tax in the first year; 40% in the second year, and so on; until after 5 years, they are going to pay the normal tax rate. The property tax abatement can also be given as a property tax rate that is “frozen” at a particular level; namely, frozen at the time when the contract has been signed; so that even when the company constructs new buildings and improve land, their tax rate won’t be going up, until the abatement ends!

In some of the cases, the companies would agree into a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes or the PILOT. It is sometimes called a FILOT, which indicates Fee In Lieu Of Taxes. On this system, the company will make some of the fixed yearly contribution to the school system or to the city, often at a lower rate than what they would normally be paying, when taxed.

Outcomes and Accountability

Local government will justify the tax abatement, should one argue that the abated taxes are lost revenue – saying that the money would be in the city coffers, if the developments would have not occurred. While this can be true in various cases, it’s all too common for tax abatement to have been given to the companies that do not really need them, thus, depriving the city of the income they could have had, without granting subsidies. This will be the money that could have, otherwise, gone to funding city services. Using the test of “but for” is significant when granting a lengthy abatement, because the city will be gambling away – for up to thirty years – tax revenue, on that assumption that, without the subsidy, there will be no company located there.

Property tax abatements are detrimental especially to school districts (which will be receiving a big portion of their subsidy from the local property taxes) and to the local services, like police and fire departments. This abatement may be held under more scrutiny, with a number of simple reforms, specifically, the usage of job quality standards (and claw backs) in development agreements; and the increase of citizen participation, in the process of subsidy approval, is warranted, as misuse of subsidies can directly impact the quality of a community – to such a degree, that it may include violations committed by creditors; go to for a list of examples.

Property tax abatements information is commonly contained in the development agreement that is signed between the granting government authority and a project developer. The agreement contained information, like the length and rate of the abatement, and any conditions that the company would agree to meet, in exchange for the subsidy. If the company agrees to paying a PILOT, that information can be in the development agreement or it can be in a separate document. Property tax abatement will be a great way of saving money when upgrading your residential building or your home.

Quick Tips On How To Avoid Bankruptcy

Know your insurance policy.

You are required to have a vast knowledge concerning your insurance policies: short and long term (be it life or health insurance). You should be able to fight any cost that appears suspicious. This claim is commonly submitted to the insurance firm, but if they reject it, the bill is then sent to the patient. Medical billing is a complex process and, therefore, if the initial submissions are frequently rejected, it may be due to wrong wording.

Avoid interest as much as possible.

In case your fixing period exceeds six months to a couple of years, the economic costs will have accumulated great amount of interests that go beyond your daily monetary plan for groceries. To compound things, be wary of outstanding debt from debt collectors (ie, national credit systems), as they are also notorious for stacking on inflated interest & fees.

Clinics and hospitals are offering a payment system that has no interest; therefore, consider taking those if you are lucky. In fact, the firm will get tired of collecting an old debt from you writing it off as ‘bad debt cost’, meaning that your debt has been forgiven!

Do not ignore bills.

Keeping in touch with your clinic or hospital helps in ensuring that the debt is not taken into claims. You can agree on an affordable mode of the payment plan that has no interest with your clinic or hospital.

Turn off your phone.

If the situation worsens, and you are not in a position to settle the bills, do not worry, as these medical bills don’t affect your credit. The hospital will set your bill to claim, but all they are doing is hiring an important person to pester you. They will start calling you, which is annoying – particularly when you are sick. Therefore, you can switch off your phone, buy another private line and acquire a caller ID. Harassing call are also the tactics of collection agencies, to learn how consumer rights can protect you from this, see examples involving hunter warfield.

Reporting the agency.

You can decide to report the agency (that filed a lawsuit over your bills) to the better business bureau. It is illegal for them to disclose your bills, which are protected legally. You have been protected by one of the strongest health care laws. However, if you really need something to be handled, just contact the government delegate or contact the officer of banking and insurance. These officers have been elected so that they can represent you. They have a vast knowledge and great skills of answering your questions. You might not be in a position to speak to the officers directly, but you can communicate with their specialists.

Hire low-priced insurance. 

You are required to hire a low-cost insurance agency. This will help in savings, as well as, staving off debt collections agencies, like prestige financial. In case you are very sick, busy or too exhausted to involve yourself with the activity of learning and contrasting different plans that will suit your desires, there are other sites that enable the recipient to get an expert who will help him or her. There are several sites that offer help to individuals who want to sort out distinctive plans in order to determine, which fully suits their needs and requirements best.

Do not settle for a one plan to fit all plans.

Currently, it is possible to mix and match distinctive plans that are chosen by the family, when hiring health care insurance. This means that you can agree to reduce the coverage of an old patient who is only suffering from one minor disease; and that cost is transferred to cater for the spouse who might be suffering from chronic disease such as depression or arthritis or any other family issue (like breast or ovarian cancer).

Besides utilizing this plan, in case you are going to be spending, you can utilize the advantages of pre-tax healthcare to cater for the high deductibles or co-insurance. This will help you to avoid incurring higher costs, when paying taxes – but pay the exact amount at is required. In the grander scheme, it can also help you avoid medical bankruptcy.

Contrast treatment costs between peculiar agencies.

If you already know the kind of treatment that you require or the surgery to be conducted, you can go ahead and contrast the treatment costs – that are charged by different hospitals & health care plans.

In summary, in case you are concerned of both the costs and the quality of treatments, you can have access to distinct sites to contrast the achievement rates of the agencies available. In addition, you can be able to determine several hospitals best-suited to provide the treatment you require. Therefore, select an ideal hospital that will suit your needs fully, with the confidence in knowing that you are acquiring the best healthcare services, at an affordable cost.


gimme_gimme_gimmeIt would be naïve to assume that money does not affect our relationships – when, in fact, in some cases, money may even determine whether a relationship will last. One of the ways to ensure that money does not impact a relationship negatively, is to encourage honesty within the relationship; such that both partners are frank and candid about the way they deal with their financial ventures. Each different person has a unique way in how they deal with finances. Thus, partners in a relationship should be able to know what their different attributes are when it comes to dealing with finances. For instance, a couple should be able to know who among them is the investor, and who is more extravagant. Unless this is done, a couple may not be able to know how to work as a team in order to manage their finances; this in turn may fuel conflict in the relationship.

How To Deal with Financial Problems That Threatens Your Relationship

Another effective way to curb financial conflict in a relationship is by remaining calm while discussing finances. Failure to address financial issues in a calm manner may result in more conflict. Hence, the couple’s goal should be to come up with ways in which they can work as a Businessmen-arguing-over--007team when it comes to making financial goals, so that they can both benefit in the long run. While working together towards making financial goals, a couple may also be able to know what they can prioritize (whether it’s to invest in buying a new home or taking a vacation). The next thing that a couple should probably do is decide who will take responsibility for the bills and bank accounts. The couple should decide whether to have a joint account or separate accounts; and allocate each other different duties that may include paying rent or mortgages, doing shopping, etc. A couple should be able to figure out which alternative works best for them when it comes to operating bank accounts, be it joint or separate accounts.

In order to avoid financial conflict in a relationship, a couple should also ensure that they make time to go through their accounts. This will enable them into know whether they are reading from the same script, when it comes to financial management; it will also enable them to assess what they have incurred in losses. Going through the accounts helps the couple pinpoint where they are financially, thus, allowing them to better plan the necessary goals that could help them by setting themselves up for success in the future. Getting financial advice can also ease financial conflict that may be existing within a relationship. A couple may seek advice from a bank lender on how they will go about paying off debts or a debt collectors, like lvnv llc ; this will not only make debt paying a bit easier, but  also help ease tension within the relationship.

A couple should also take time to discuss matters involving the losses they have incurred, so as to facilitate coming up with more wise decisions to make, regarding their finances in the future. Sometimes large disparities in income can also fuel conflicts in a relationship. Today, it is advised (where possible) for couples to have dual incomes, so as to avoid petty conflict, like competitiveness or arguments over who has more power – and who does not. When these conflicts arise, the couple should approach the issues rationally, and delegates financial responsibilities, as well as, how then money will be spent; the couple should do their best NOT to allow this issue to divide them, but, rather, use it to the best of their advantage by working together as a team!

Failure to have enough financial means may also lead to more conflict within a relationship. Lacking enough finances to acquire basic needs, in general, weakens the bond that may exist between couples. For example, if a spouse/partner owes a debt to Cbe Group Collectors – keeping one’s financial problems to one’s self (when it, in fact, it effects the both of you), can be detrimental to the overall confidence of the relationship. Hence, during such circumstances, couples should put forth an effort to make sure they effectively communicate about finances – so as to make it possible for their relationship to survive the tide of financial strain.

After all is said and done, money does not guarantee all the happiness that is needed to keep a healthy relationship thriving – but it can affect relationships to some degree. Therefore, it should be a couple’s goal to make sure that finances bring them closer together as a couple – because it is worth it.


The Road To Financial Self Improvement

process-improvement-and-benchmarkFinancial self-improvement basically seeks to relieve you of your financially stressful burden to deliver you to financial freedom or independence. When you talk of financial self-improvement, it’s obvious money will be involved. The discussion could reveal how money is saved; best ways to invest the money or even how to intelligently spend money; this makes money as a common denominator. Financial stress has risen as a result of job instability (which includes scarcity and frequent threats of layoffs) due to the economic crunch, consumerism, materialism and the financial over-extension of acquiring too much debt. Some of the stresses arise when one cannot meet their financial obligations, thus leaving them incapable of seeing a glimmer of hope or solutions for their problems. Questions mainly asked in such cases are: How can I get out of this financial quagmire and improve myself? WAYS TO IMPROVE FINANCIALLY

Organization: You need to organize yourself financially by first getting to know how much you have in your bank account, and if it’s enough to cover your credit cards to avoid accruing interests. You could also ensure that you spend less on the purchases you make; if quality is an issue for you, look for best bargains.

To make a mental inventory of what you already have and what you need to have, create a budget that is clearly written down, and follow it strictly; this will help you avoid spontaneous and impulsive buying – don’t be a spendthrift. Avoid buying things on a whim, but encourage shopping smart, looking for best discounts and sales. Simply put, spend less than what you earn.

You can start building up savings from your income (even if it’s a small amount); invest your money, and let your money work for you. By choosing a good, secure investment, you are letting your interest grow to improve your savings. Divide your money into portions, and keep one part as a ‘financial fortress ‘ which cannot be touched or spent for any reason.

Financial savings is what keeps your hope alive, and assures you of safety while it generates a steady income. You can use the generated interest, but the capital saved must be left intact – this is the power of emergency saving; it involves setting aside an amount of money to help solve impromptu incidences this gives you confidence of being in control and having things financially covered.

Setting yourself up this way financially, also takes away stress and encourages you on the path of saving to save regularly for emergencies; thereby allowing you to refrain from touching your interest, further allowing your interests to keep growing.


Take care to understand and be able to deal with the cost of maintenance for property you purchased. For instance, if it’s a car that you have purchased, can you maintain the cost of its repairs, insurance, fueling, and cleaning? Remember that the maintenance costs take up part of your savings, and so must be carefully thought through.

Learn financial Offense rather than Defense: This means that once you set up systems that help you manage your money, stick to it and move on to the next stage of how to bring in more money. You could do this through improving yourself at work for a higher salary, put up a business, and improve on entrepreneurial skills that can give you an edge above the rest in the competition. You can also resolve any outstanding debt you may have with collection agencies; but if a debt collector, like Arrow Financial Service, has an inactive website, you can still resolve your debt with the help of other credit repair forums and get debts quickly removed from your credit reports. Overall, when more money start to come in, stick to your lifestyle – for any change can poke more holes into the progress you’ve made. You can also improve your finances by simply cutting costs and downsizing or downgrading.


You need to first uncover, challenge and change self-defeating money beliefs (or any negative attitudes) to be able to make positive self-improvements. Negative attitudes or beliefs are learned in childhood, setting a unique relationship and understanding of money. The financial choices we make affect other areas of our lives, including physical, mental and relational health.

To address the physical, mental and relational aspects that are affected when it comes to money, you need to do the following:

Map out your financial history or background: It’s clear that our financial beliefs dictate how we use money today. So how does you past experiences affect how you spend or save your money? What are your most painful and joyful experiences with money? What attitudes formed from these experiences, and how beneficial they are to you?

Having a deeper understanding of your beliefs and feelings around money: You can revise or change your money attitude by talking to successful people, measuring their financial beliefs against yours; and model some of their behavior, to help you achieve a higher level of financial success much faster!