Debt Consolidation: How and Why You Should Do It

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

When you’re getting behind on your credit cards and loans and everyone tells you to consolidate, what do they mean? And how can that help you? Below, we’ll discuss exactly why consolidating debt could help your situation, and how you can go about finding the best debt consolidation opportunity.

Why You Should Consolidate

While consolidating your debt won’t actually decrease the principal amount that you owe, it can help make the amount more manageable. Your multiple loans and debt essentially get paid off and a new loan takes all of the debt’s place.

This new loan will make repaying your debt more manageable, with only one payment to one source every month, and that payment is typically much smaller than the sum of payments you were trying to make with multiple bills.

Consolidating your debt can also protect you from adverse effects to your credit score due to missed, late, or partial payments. All in all, consolidating loans can help you repay your debt painlessly and potentially quicker than if you pay debt separately with its lower interest rates and more manageable payment amounts.

How to Consolidate

The first thing you must do when consolidating your debt, is decide what type of consolidation loan to choose: secured or unsecured. Secured debt consolidation loans are essentially tied to another asset that you have, such as a house. If you default on your consolidation loan, you put yourself at risk of losing your asset. However, it may be easier to get a consolidation loan with good terms, and for higher amounts, with a secured option. Unsecured debt consolidation loans are more difficult to obtain, but they typically have shorter term lengths, resulting in lower interest amounts paid.

Once you determine what type of loan best suits your needs, you just need to choose a reputable financial institution to take it from there. Many people choose their personal bank to take on the new loan, especially if it manages their home mortgage in a secured loan.

A Word to the Wise

There are a few things you should understand before committing to consolidating your loans. First, consolidation won’t reduce the total amount that you have to pay, just the monthly payment. Second, the loan term may extend past the initial term of your different debts, meaning that it won’t necessarily lead to quicker debt repayment. Third, a consolidation loan is a convenient and easy way to bundle up your existing debt, but it will not protect you against future accrued debt on credit cards and such, so you must be ever vigilant to prevent these bills from piling up and getting out of hand.

It can be overwhelming to be behind on bills, but debt consolidation loans can help make your bills more manageable, help you protect your credit, and get you out from under that pile of debt in no time. To get started improving your debt situation, check out the tips above to see if consolidation is for you.

Have you ever consolidated any debt?

What is Frugal Living?

ID-10098169Living within your means is often a difficult task if your pay stays flat and costs all around you continue to rise. One of the best ways to be able to live on a low income is by being frugal with spending and taking advantage of any financial benefits which help keep your costs down. It is more than just a simple way to save money, but truly a way of life that many people have started to adopt to avoid a life of debt or financial stress. Living beyond what your budget allows ensures that you will get into debt risking bankruptcy and even worst problems.

The Idea of Frugal Living

Learning to put your pride aside and develop a lifestyle to live within your income is a very tough decision. It means that those around will have to learn that you cannot keep up to their standards. Frugal living can be enjoyable it you want a simple lifestyle. It means that you give up the idea of trying to always have the best things in life, stop trying to keep up to the latest trends or what your family or friends have. It means that you have in your life only those things that are necessities and everything else has to stay within your budget without going into debt or credit.

This may mean actually selling off a portion of your assets. If a car is unaffordable and not within your budget, it may be time to consider selling it to take mass transit and purchase a bicycle. This can be a large money saver and even keep you under budget in itself. Other options include looking for more affordable housing. Look at your monthly bills and decide if any of them are luxury items. Do you have a newspaper or magazine subscription? What about getting rid of the latest gadgets that come with big price tags and large monthly bills like smart phones; it may be time to get back to a basic phone.

How to Cut Back

All of these options look stark in contrast to a lifestyle you may have become used to. Yet if that lifestyle is putting you in debt, you will lose it anyways. It is better to downgrade on your own terms. Those that have prescribed to a frugal life also comment on how it is liberating and much more relaxed and peaceful.

Frugal living is not just about living like a hermit and not enjoying life. It’s about cutting back on those things that cost you more than they are worth. There are tons of things that you can cut back on to ensure a quality life. One item is eating out at fast food restaurants. Instead start cooking all your meals, bringing your own lunch to work and not purchasing that cup of coffee every day. You will be amazed at how quickly you can cut back on monthly expenditures. If you cannot pay for the item in cash, within your monthly budget, than you either forget the purchase or save up the cash in order to buy it.

Only by living within your means, can you truly enjoy life and stop worrying about high interest pay day loans, making it monthly and even the threat of bankruptcy.

Do you live frugally and with-in your means? What are some benefits of frugal living?

How to Incorporate Second-Hand Furniture into Your Interior Design

When I was in college, one of the things I loved most about living on my own for the first time was being able to decorate my apartment however I wanted.

Of course with a very limited college-student budget, I sometimes had a hard time accommodating my high-end taste on a low-end budget. My dad always called this “having champagne taste and a beer budget” and it’s been true of everything my entire life.

Luckily my style is somewhat rustic, so it’s fairly easy to incorporate second-hand furniture and other gently used items into my design. In fact, I loved shopping around to find second-hand furniture as it could often be an adventure. Sometimes I’d find second-hand furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, and from different online resources, like furniture on Gumtree.

If you are interested in incorporating second-hand furniture into your interior design, here are a few tips to make it look like it belongs with all of your other furnishings.

Choose a Theme

As I said, my home is decorated somewhat rustically so my theme fits well with second-hand furniture. If you have a very modern or sophisticated theme it might be hard to make second-hand furniture fit in very well. But for styles like western, Victorian, rustic, industrial, and more it can be very easy.

Look for Quality Pieces

Second-hand furniture can often be made over to change the color or material to make it fit in with your other belongings more easily. So when you are shopping for second-hand furniture, be sure to look for pieces that are solidly made and in good condition, but not they don’t always have to have a great finish. You can always strip and re-stain or paint wood furniture and cloth pieces can often be re-covered. When you get ready to buy a piece of second-hand furniture, be sure that it falls within the rules of used furniture set by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mix and Match

To make my used furniture not stick out like a sore thumb when compared with my new furniture, I made sure to take a mix and match approach to furnishing my home. Rather than buying a whole furniture set and having only one piece in the room that doesn’t match, buying different pieces from different furniture stores and used furniture sources is a great idea. This ensures that your room has a unique feel and that you can replace or add and subtract furniture as needed whenever you move and have different spaces to decorate.

Having mix and match furniture also means that you can change up the look of your home by swapping what furniture is placed in which room more easily too.

Second-hand furniture is a great way to decorate your home on a budget and have some fun experimenting with different styles of furniture. Second-hand furniture can also be fun to re-furbish and give you a unique look that won’t be like anyone else’s.

Do you have any second-hand furniture in your home?

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Debt Consolidation: How and Why You Should Do It

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

When you’re getting behind on your credit cards and loans and everyone tells you to consolidate, what do they mean? And how can that help you? Below, we’ll discuss exactly why consolidating debt could help your situation, and how you can go about finding the best debt consolidation opportunity.

Why You Should Consolidate

While consolidating your debt won’t actually decrease the principal amount that you owe, it can help make the amount more manageable. Your multiple loans and debt essentially get paid off and a new loan takes all of the debt’s place.

This new loan will make repaying your debt more manageable, with only one payment to one source every month, and that payment is typically much smaller than the sum of payments you were trying to make with multiple bills.

Consolidating your debt can also protect you from adverse effects to your credit score due to missed, late, or partial payments. All in all, consolidating loans can help you repay your debt painlessly and potentially quicker than if you pay debt separately with its lower interest rates and more manageable payment amounts.

How to Consolidate

The first thing you must do when consolidating your debt, is decide what type of consolidation loan to choose: secured or unsecured. Secured debt consolidation loans are essentially tied to another asset that you have, such as a house. If you default on your consolidation loan, you put yourself at risk of losing your asset. However, it may be easier to get a consolidation loan with good terms, and for higher amounts, with a secured option. Unsecured debt consolidation loans are more difficult to obtain, but they typically have shorter term lengths, resulting in lower interest amounts paid.

Once you determine what type of loan best suits your needs, you just need to choose a reputable financial institution to take it from there. Many people choose their personal bank to take on the new loan, especially if it manages their home mortgage in a secured loan.

A Word to the Wise

There are a few things you should understand before committing to consolidating your loans. First, consolidation won’t reduce the total amount that you have to pay, just the monthly payment. Second, the loan term may extend past the initial term of your different debts, meaning that it won’t necessarily lead to quicker debt repayment. Third, a consolidation loan is a convenient and easy way to bundle up your existing debt, but it will not protect you against future accrued debt on credit cards and such, so you must be ever vigilant to prevent these bills from piling up and getting out of hand.

It can be overwhelming to be behind on bills, but debt consolidation loans can help make your bills more manageable, help you protect your credit, and get you out from under that pile of debt in no time. To get started improving your debt situation, check out the tips above to see if consolidation is for you.

Have you ever consolidated any debt?

What is Frugal Living?

ID-10098169Living within your means is often a difficult task if your pay stays flat and costs all around you continue to rise. One of the best ways to be able to live on a low income is by being frugal with spending and taking advantage of any financial benefits which help keep your costs down. It is more than just a simple way to save money, but truly a way of life that many people have started to adopt to avoid a life of debt or financial stress. Living beyond what your budget allows ensures that you will get into debt risking bankruptcy and even worst problems.

The Idea of Frugal Living

Learning to put your pride aside and develop a lifestyle to live within your income is a very tough decision. It means that those around will have to learn that you cannot keep up to their standards. Frugal living can be enjoyable it you want a simple lifestyle. It means that you give up the idea of trying to always have the best things in life, stop trying to keep up to the latest trends or what your family or friends have. It means that you have in your life only those things that are necessities and everything else has to stay within your budget without going into debt or credit.

This may mean actually selling off a portion of your assets. If a car is unaffordable and not within your budget, it may be time to consider selling it to take mass transit and purchase a bicycle. This can be a large money saver and even keep you under budget in itself. Other options include looking for more affordable housing. Look at your monthly bills and decide if any of them are luxury items. Do you have a newspaper or magazine subscription? What about getting rid of the latest gadgets that come with big price tags and large monthly bills like smart phones; it may be time to get back to a basic phone.

How to Cut Back

All of these options look stark in contrast to a lifestyle you may have become used to. Yet if that lifestyle is putting you in debt, you will lose it anyways. It is better to downgrade on your own terms. Those that have prescribed to a frugal life also comment on how it is liberating and much more relaxed and peaceful.

Frugal living is not just about living like a hermit and not enjoying life. It’s about cutting back on those things that cost you more than they are worth. There are tons of things that you can cut back on to ensure a quality life. One item is eating out at fast food restaurants. Instead start cooking all your meals, bringing your own lunch to work and not purchasing that cup of coffee every day. You will be amazed at how quickly you can cut back on monthly expenditures. If you cannot pay for the item in cash, within your monthly budget, than you either forget the purchase or save up the cash in order to buy it.

Only by living within your means, can you truly enjoy life and stop worrying about high interest pay day loans, making it monthly and even the threat of bankruptcy.

Do you live frugally and with-in your means? What are some benefits of frugal living?

How to Incorporate Second-Hand Furniture into Your Interior Design

When I was in college, one of the things I loved most about living on my own for the first time was being able to decorate my apartment however I wanted.

Of course with a very limited college-student budget, I sometimes had a hard time accommodating my high-end taste on a low-end budget. My dad always called this “having champagne taste and a beer budget” and it’s been true of everything my entire life.

Luckily my style is somewhat rustic, so it’s fairly easy to incorporate second-hand furniture and other gently used items into my design. In fact, I loved shopping around to find second-hand furniture as it could often be an adventure. Sometimes I’d find second-hand furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, and from different online resources, like furniture on Gumtree.

If you are interested in incorporating second-hand furniture into your interior design, here are a few tips to make it look like it belongs with all of your other furnishings.

Choose a Theme

As I said, my home is decorated somewhat rustically so my theme fits well with second-hand furniture. If you have a very modern or sophisticated theme it might be hard to make second-hand furniture fit in very well. But for styles like western, Victorian, rustic, industrial, and more it can be very easy.

Look for Quality Pieces

Second-hand furniture can often be made over to change the color or material to make it fit in with your other belongings more easily. So when you are shopping for second-hand furniture, be sure to look for pieces that are solidly made and in good condition, but not they don’t always have to have a great finish. You can always strip and re-stain or paint wood furniture and cloth pieces can often be re-covered. When you get ready to buy a piece of second-hand furniture, be sure that it falls within the rules of used furniture set by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mix and Match

To make my used furniture not stick out like a sore thumb when compared with my new furniture, I made sure to take a mix and match approach to furnishing my home. Rather than buying a whole furniture set and having only one piece in the room that doesn’t match, buying different pieces from different furniture stores and used furniture sources is a great idea. This ensures that your room has a unique feel and that you can replace or add and subtract furniture as needed whenever you move and have different spaces to decorate.

Having mix and match furniture also means that you can change up the look of your home by swapping what furniture is placed in which room more easily too.

Second-hand furniture is a great way to decorate your home on a budget and have some fun experimenting with different styles of furniture. Second-hand furniture can also be fun to re-furbish and give you a unique look that won’t be like anyone else’s.

Do you have any second-hand furniture in your home?