5 Reasons Why You Should Pay More Than the Minimum

Credit card companies all provide you with at least two amounts on your monthly statement, the total balance due and the minimum payment due. The minimum payment will always be the lower amount. Those who have found themselves deep in credit card debt have often gotten there by choosing to pay only the minimum payment due. Here are five very good reasons why you should always pay more than the minimum.

1. Saves you money. How can paying more each month save you money? Easy! It’s called interest. The more you pay each month, the less interest you have to pay in the long run.
2. Get out of debt faster. Less interest means that you get the debt paid off faster.
3. Improved credit rating. Decreasing your debt will also improve your credit rating, which affects interest rates on loans and even your car insurance rates.
4. New charges. If you are continuing to use your card and only making the minimum payments, eventually you will reach your card limit and not no longer have a credit card available for items that require it for purchase, such as hotel rooms.
5. Better spending habits. Developing good spending habits will lower stress and improve your overall lifestyle. Paying off your credit card balance monthly is one of the best spending habits you can have.

If you have a balance on your credit card that you are making minimum payments toward, now is the time make a change. Quit using your card and find every means possible to increase your payments each month. You’ll be amazed how fast that balance can disappear.

Top 5 Ways to Save On A Wedding

Weddings can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to have a beautiful and meaningful event. There are several ways to save money without losing the beauty and charm that you expect for this special occasion.

Here are the top five ways to keep your costs in line with your budget.

1. Limit your guest list. Determine the amount of guests you can afford to feed at the reception and set your guest list accordingly. Take into consideration, how many people you can actually greet personally in the time you will have available. If you won’t have time to say hello to each one, maybe your list is too long.
2. Keep it light. Since the catering bill can be the largest cost for many weddings, this is the ideal place to look for options. Many wedding couples are opting for a dessert reception or finger foods after an evening wedding.
3. Shop locations. There are many locations that offer package discounts that combine honeymoon accommodations with their reception hall rental. Take the time to find the place that fits your budget and your seating needs as well.
4. Uncover the talent. Rather than paying large amounts of money for unknown professionals, seek out the talents of friends and family for areas like music, photography and catering.
5. Custom invitations. Instead of buying expensive printed invitations, many couples are saving money and also creating very customized invitations by putting their computer skills to work.

Set a budget and then work to fit your dreams into it. When you look back, you’ll be glad you did.

Develop Frugal Spending Habits

Frugal is not a term you hear very much any more, but perhaps it needs to make a comeback into our vocabulary. To be frugal means to save money, to conserve your financial resources instead of spending to their limits. How we handle our finances easily develops into a habit. Unfortunately, it is always easier to develop bad habits than good habits. Breaking bad habits and starting good habits, requires self-discipline, something most of us are short on. Here some tips to help you make the change in your spending and saving habits.

Start small. Choose one item or area of spending that you reduce or eliminate, and then place that amount of money in savings each month. If you eliminate your landline and reduce your bills by $30 a month, then put that $30 into savings each month so it doesn’t get spent on something else.

Direct deposit. Make it easier to save by never putting the money in your checking account in the first place. Have your designated savings direct deposited from your paycheck into a savings account that is not tied to your checking account or any piece of plastic.

Track your spending. For one month, keep track of everything you spend, how much for groceries, how much for utilities, how much for dining out, etc. At the end of the month, determine what areas you could decrease and how. Having a specific plan will be much more effect than simply trying to ‘spend less’.

Many people are struggling in the current economy due to lost jobs. Developing frugal habits before a financial crisis hits can be the best safety net you can have.

Staycation This Summer

With the high cost of fuel prices, traveling any distance can become quite costly. However, that doesn’t mean your family needs to forego your vacation time. Often times, we overlook options that are close at hand when planning vacations.

Plan your week out just as you would if you were traveling to a vacation destination. Take in some local attractions as a family, that you might not otherwise. Take a tour of a historical museum and then eat dinner out at a landmark restaurant or hotel in town. You might plan one day as a nature adventure and go on a hike and pack a picnic lunch. You could end the day with a campout in the backyard. In reality, you don’t even need to leave the house. You could have a vacation from cooking, chores, and laundry for a week and spend the time playing games, hanging out at the pool and eating pizza delivered to your door.

Vacation is about how far you go or how much money you spend. It’s about spending time together, relaxing and having fun. You can accomplish those things at home by simply putting yourself in the ‘vacation mode’.