IT HAS BEEN SOME TIME SINCE WE LAST DISCUSSED money. No one really wants to talk about it, anyway.
Sometimes it is a necessary evil, and sometimes it is a delightful experience. At this time of year it is a necessary evil, plus in our last FINANCE HIGH-DANCE post we talked about doing ourselves a personal financial statement. Hopefully you have completed one in preparation for your future financial planning. If you have put it off like a New Year’s Resolution, let me help you get it started by telling you about an ideal template you can use. It is free at pdffiller.com, and you can download it, fax it, e-mail it or fill online. Tell yourself you cannot give this up for Lent, and promise yourself you will have it done before April 16, just so you have a goal.
Once you actually begin to put in your numbers you will see it is not as bad as you thought. Remember, just put in what it asks. You will see the logic when you finish; and you will actually know your financial worth! If you are in doubt about any entry you can find out your answers through any number of avenues, but if all else fails, send me your questions. I am not an expert by any means, but I have years of experience and background to support my recommendations.
Now, once you get that done, your next challenge will be to mark your calendar for updates. It is your call as to when, because you may or may not need to run to the nearest bank for a home, car, or personal loan right away. If you have plans to do something soon I would go ahead and update monthly, if not, quarterly will suffice.
Next, I would recommend that you go on a free site to check your credit score. Ideally, everyone would like over 800, but I discovered that no matter how well you keep your payments up-to-date your score is affected by how many credit cards you have. My score is less than hubby’s; I pay all the bills, credit cards paid off end of each billing month, etc., but I am the one who goes for that extra credit card when I am about to save 20 % on a purchase (you gals know exactly what I mean). So, do as I say and not as I do, and do not collect credit cards. Your score will be better. And ALWAYS pay cards off monthly…that interest rate will devour you and make that debt hole deeper and deeper. Just have a plan to pay it off, too. Anyway, you want to know your score if and when you march in to the bank for that loan. Have you seen the commercial where the couple are at the bank? The lady knew her credit score, and was less than ladylike in her strong arm approach (flinging feet up on the banker’s desk) with her banker, but the point is well-made that we can do this. I recommend you be polite and knowledgeable while keeping your feet on the floor:)
OK; that is enough rambling for today. Work on your personal financial statement, check your credit score, and I will be back to you before April 16 with any suggestions I have. Remember, we have to get to a point where we want to grow our monies for lots of reasons…children’s college, family vacations and the delightful, yet dreaded retirement…to mention a few.