Additional Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

financial health

Additional Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

Last week, we gave you six habits to adopt for healthy finances. This week, we want to give you some more habits to consider incorporating into your life to strengthen your financial situation. Adopting just a few of these good habits could lead to a better financial future overall.

 

1. Set up Automatic Savings

If you have not set up automatic deposits to your savings, you should do so. Putting money in savings is crucial. To avoid having it slip your mind, opt to have it done automatically.

 

2. Organize Financial Records

Knowing where all of your important financial records are is important. You don’t want to be scrambling around when you need them for something. Keeping them organized will help save you frustration in the future.

 

3. Save More Than 10%

Putting 10% of your paycheck into savings is a rule of thumb for many people. Think about saving more than just 10% from your paychecks if you are able to. This gives you a little more cushion financially and can help you reach your goals quicker.

 

4. Record Everything you Buy

If you struggle with impulsive purchases, consider taking a week or so to do a financial diary. Write down all of your purchases day by day. Writing down every single item you purchase in a day will make you re-think what you should and shouldn’t be spending your money on. Even though your bank account keeps track of transactions, making an itemized list is more likely to make an impact.

 

5. Make a List And Stick to it

Take the time to think of what you need from the store and do not stray from that list while shopping. Impulse spending is much more likely to happen when you do not shop with a list.

 

6. Read a Financial Book

Many experts in the financial field have written books full of guidance on how to be smart with your money. Reading one of the many available financial advice books in your spare time can prove to be very beneficial. Author Dave Ramsey is a popular financial radio host and is also considered America’s trusted voice on money. His 2003 book, Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, is a New York Times Best Seller.

 

Keep in mind these are not always a good fit for everyone. Assess your own financial situation and see which could potentially benefit you. If you need guidance, consult your loan officer or financial planner before making any changes.

 

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

 Financial Habits

Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg explains that a habit loop consists of a cue, routine, and reward. For a habit to be formed, this loop gets repeated over and over again for the same action until it eventually becomes subconscious, or a habit to us. It is made clear that a habit cannot be erased completely, but rather covered up by another one. Utilizing this information can help you adopt financially responsible habits through repetition and realizing the ultimate reward.

 

1. Set Goals

Whether it’s paying off loans, owning a home, saving up for a renovation, or affording a vacation, set goals for yourself, review them often, and share them with family and/or friends. This will help you be held more accountable for those goals and least likely to give up.

 

2. Check Your Balances

Try to incorporate time to check your bank account balances every day. Assess how close you are to your financial goals and make sure you are on track to achieving them.

 

3. Pay Bills Ahead of Time

Scheduling a payment is a good feature to utilize if you do not want to commit to automatic payments. Take time to schedule your bill payments ahead of the due date.

 

4. Shop Without Your Credit Card

Credit is always a good thing to have but should be used very responsibly. Next time you go shopping, leave the credit card at home to avoid getting carried away.

 

5. Pay More Than Just the Minimum

If you are able to do so, paying more than the minimum payment amount on your credit card bill gets you to financial relief much quicker. Better financial habits will more than likely follow suit the closer you get to being debt free.

 

6. Replenish Emergency Fund Frequently

An emergency fund is useful for things such as job loss, health expenses, car problems, unexpected travel, and more. If you do not have an emergency fund yet, you should start one today and keep it well funded. Preparing for the unexpected will save you from stress later on.

 

This is post is the first in a two-part series about healthy financial habits. Check out our post next week for additional tips on healthy finances.

 

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Life After Bankruptcy

This post written by Jim Marcinkowski, a licensed mortgage loan officer and branch manager of our Fort Myers, Florida branch.

Fort Myers, FL – Bankruptcy is an uncomfortable subject for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the potential havoc it can wreak on your finances. Running a close second is the negative stigma which is often attached to the process. This negativity is important to mention because strong emotions can sometimes lead to unsound financial decisions with devastating results.

Bankruptcy becomes a viable option for someone who is “upside down” in terms of cash flow. In other words, when a person has more money going out each month than coming in, bankruptcy should be considered if no reversal of this negative cash flow is within sight. The longer someone waits to explore the various options available, the more serious his or her situation may become.

One of the worst things people can do in this situation is to borrow more money to try and pay off their debts. On paper, this is clearly an unwise financial decision. In the real world, however, it is very common for individuals to pursue this strategy in an attempt to buy time and hold off on filing for bankruptcy. On the surface, this is certainly a noble notion; however it can often compound the problem and serves only to delay the inevitable.

For many homeowners in the midst of this upside down cash flow, speaking to a qualified mortgage professional is a much better option. An experienced loan officer can objectively look at your finances and help you determine if restructuring your mortgage would not only help, but possibly even alleviate any need for bankruptcy.

If bankruptcy is the only option, seek out a reputable bankruptcy attorney and credit counselor. A qualified mortgage specialist can provide references for you as well, as he or she works with these professionals on a regular basis. Reliable references are essential in this case because experienced professionals greatly increase the odds of a successful bankruptcy experience. It’s that simple.

When filing for bankruptcy, be completely honest and accurate regarding every aspect of your financial situation. This includes any changes to your income which may occur throughout the process. Bankruptcy is a federal procedure, adjudicated by real judges, and scrutinized by representatives who coordinate with the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the IRS.

Here are some additional steps you can take to make the bankruptcy process as painless as possible:

  • Save all paperwork regarding your bankruptcy, and keep it organized. This will prove beneficial after your bankruptcy as you now have all of the pertinent information in one place. Also, be sure to write down your discharge date. It’s surprising how many people forget to do this.
  • Establish a household budget. This can be accomplished in many ways, but there are several inexpensive computer programs available which do an excellent job.
  • Throughout the bankruptcy, do your best to not only live below your means, but to save as much cash as possible. You never know what you may need it for once the process is completed.
  • Be prepared for a barrage of junk mail. There will be sharks on the loose who are hoping to capitalize on your need for credit.

Tips for Rebuilding Credit:

  • If you must buy a car, focus on transportation as opposed to style. Buy an inexpensive, used car, and try to get a loan for it. It’s a good idea to figure out what your budget allows in terms of a dollar amount first. This means obtaining financing prior to looking for a car.
  • Get a secured credit card. Secured credit cards allow for the cardholder to deposit a said amount of money into an account, thus establishing the spending limit of the card. Missed payments result in deductions from the account. Some of these cards will reward responsible borrowers by upping the limit without an additional deposit. Some will even convert the account into a traditional credit card. (Be wary of offers of “easy credit” or any card which asks you to call a 900 number. You will be charged for the call.)
  • Meet with a credit repair specialist. Not only can they help you clean up the damage to your credit report, they can advise you on specific ways to rebuild the credit you lost as well.

While it does take time, there is definitely life (and credit) after bankruptcy. Some mortgage lenders will even lend to you within a year or so after a bankruptcy. If you’re in serious financial trouble, the trick is to get the help and advice you need from professionals you trust.

To contact Jim Marcinkowski:
Office: 239-936-4232
Cell: 239-826-6400
Fax: 239-985-4486
Email: jimmarcinkowski@inlanta.com
www.teaminlanta.com