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Credit and Money Management Tips For Your Family

This post is brought to you by a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Wells Fargo. All thoughts and content are my own.

Wells Fargo Credit and Management Money Tips For Moms

It’s been a goal of mine to start managing my money better and become more aware of just how much credit I have these days so that I can better prepare for my future. It’s something that’s always been important to me and have been aware of since I was in my 20’s. But it was different then, back then it was just me….I didn’t have anyone to worry about except ME. Now that I have a family, this topic of money and credit has become SO MUCH more important. Although my girls are just barely one and two, I think about the future and wonder how things will be in 15 years when they are getting ready to go to college. I want my husband and I to be able to financially provide for them and give them everything they need to succeed. That’s why I think that Wells Fargo’s commitment to making financial education and in-language resources available to Latino consumers is so important. The resources available include providing customers with bilingual online tools, Spanish Text Banking, Spanish account statements, Spanish-language call centers, Spanish-speaking bankers in stores across the nation, and more.

As part of that commitment and in order to connect with the Hispanic community in a meaningful way, Wells Fargo recently collaborated with Telemundo for the “Conversemos de Tus Finanzas” campaign. The campaign is focused on empowering Hispanics to enhance their financial knowledge and help them to reach their financial goals. The campaign provides customized content, tools and resources around the important financial topics of money management and credit.

I love Infographics because they can easily put alot of things into perspective. #WellsFargo #sponsored

Wells Fargo Credit and Management Money Tips For Moms and their families.

Here are some Credit and Money Management Tips that can help you.

Credit Tips

Establishing and constructing your credit is important in reaching your financial goals. Follow these tips to establish, improve and maintain your credit:

 

  • Check your credit report annually

Make sure your credit report contains current and accurate information. Errors could negatively impact your credit score and even be a sign of possible identity theft. Request a free copy of your credit report at least once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

  • Pay your bills on time

Your payment history is one of the biggest factors in your credit score – including things that may surprise you like on-time payment of your rent and cell phone bill. Using free online tools, often available through your financial institution’s online banking, can help you develop a budget and create an automatic bill payment schedule.

  • Set up alerts

Set up email and text alerts, as well as autopay, to help ensure that you pay your bills on time and build positive credit history.

  • Pay more than the minimum

Paying more than what’s due on your credit card helps you pay down debt faster and can improve your credit score.

  • Keep debt at no more than 35 percent of your gross monthly income

Lenders look at the amount of debt a consumer has compared to their monthly income when making credit decisions.

  • Contact your lenders

If you ever have trouble paying a credit account, contact the lender rather than simply not paying. Oftentimes, they can work with you.

  • Think before closing accounts

Closing credit card accounts may lower your available credit and could hurt your credit score in the short term.

  • Understand how strong credit impacts your bottom line. Your credit score influences the interest rate you qualify for. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay in interest over time. Many sites, including Wells Fargo, offer calculators that help consumers understand how interest rates impact their payment and the total cost of the loan.
  • Establish and maintain healthy credit – even if you don’t need a loan. Lenders aren’t the only people who use credit scores to make decisions – many insurance companies, cell phone providers and landlords do, too.

 

Money Management Tips

Money management is also very important when it comes to reaching your financial goals. Follow these tips so that managing your money is simple and effective:

 

  • Learn where you can put your money

Learn the types of accounts that are available and how to determine which ones you need. Here are some definitions to help you navigate your banking needs:

  • Checking account: A checking account offers easy access to your money for your daily transactional needs and helps keep your cash secure.
  • Savings account: A savings account allows you to accumulate interest on funds you’ve saved for future needs.
  • Certificate of Deposit (CD): Certificates of deposit, or CDs, allow you to invest your money at a set interest rate for a pre-set period of time.
  • Money market account: Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts, but they require you to maintain a higher balance to avoid a monthly fee.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): IRAs, or individual retirement accounts, allow you to save independently for your retirement.
  • Before opening an account, it’s important to understand the terms and features. When you are thinking about opening an account, you should spend some time reviewing the features and requirements associated with the accounts you are considering.
  • Learn how the FDIC safeguards your funds. The FDIC insures deposits and assesses the health of financial institutions across all 50 states.
  • Prepare a budget
    • Understanding your income sources is one of the starting points towards creating a budget.
      • Your annual gross income represents your total income before any taxes or other deductions. “Take-home pay” represents your net income, specifically your income minus taxes, credits, and deductions.
  • Tracking your expenses will help you spend your money more wisely. If you take the process step-by-step, it can be surprisingly easy to find out how you’re spending your money. Here’s how:
    • Gather your financial statements.
    • Create a list of monthly expenses.
    • Examine your expenses.
      • Fixed expenses
      • Flexible expenses
      • Discretionary expenses
  • Saving for life’s special moments. Set your sights on specific goals to effectively target your savings strategy. Look for an online budgeting tool that helps you identify and track multiple goals at once.
  • Putting it all together in a budget. Create a budget in five easy steps.
    • Step 1: Organize. At its core, a budget is a worksheet with two columns: one for income and one for expenses.
    • Step 2: Track. For one month, keep a detailed log of all your spending habits.
    • Step 3: Analyze. At the end of the month, total your income and your expenses and then subtract your expenses from your income.
    • Step 4: React. After looking at all of your expenses, separate them into categories and set a budget for each.
    • Step 5: Review: Make a habit of reviewing your budget every month, particularly in the early stages.
    • Manage cashflow and savings
      • Track your spending. Online tools can make the process of tracking your spending completely automatic. If you choose to track your spending manually, get in the habit of consistently following a few basic practices:
        • Save receipts
        • Use your credit card
        • Update your records
        • Review the results
  • Pay yourself first. If you’re having trouble finding ways to pay yourself first, try taking these steps to get into the habit:
    • Figure out how much you can afford
    • Set a personal payment goal
    • Create a savings strategy
  • Reduce your debt. If you find that you’re paying down your debt each month, but your balance doesn’t seem to budge, you may want to take a look at your payment strategy. Here are a few tips to help you make more headway:
    • Organize your debt
    • Prioritize your payments
    • Consolidate your debt
  • Save for an emergency. Learn how much you should save in case of an emergency.
  • Keep track of your account. An important step in managing your finances is consistently tracking your account activity.
  • Avoid overspending. Keeping an accurate record of your transactions is the best way to avoid spending more money than you have in your account.

The number one thing our family needs to do right now is to prepare a budget. We never re-worked our budget when I became a work-from-home mom and my income has changed a little. What are you and your family’s needs right now?

 

 

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