Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Budgeting: Three Real-Life Household Budget Examples You Can Use

Written by Ilyce Glink on January 27, 2014 in Credit  |   4 comments

No matter what your salary, saving money and sticking to a household budget can be difficult. You may make a lot of money but have huge debts, or you may make a modest salary and live paycheck to paycheck. You may think you’re alone in…

household budgetNo matter what your salary, saving money and sticking to a household budget can be difficult. You may make a lot of money but have huge debts, or you may make a modest salary and live paycheck to paycheck.

You may think you’re alone in your situation, but it is possible to stick to a budget—no matter what your income level. Here are real-life examples of how three people make their budgets work.

Living paycheck to paycheck

Aly, 26, is a journalist. She’s single and makes $37,000 per year. To save money, Aly lives with a roommate and tries to find freelance jobs to supplement her income.

Aly struggles to pay off the debt she incurred during college; her student loans add up to about $30,000. She doesn’t know how long it will take her to pay off her loan, but says she’s “just looking forward to the day that it’s my only debt.”

Her other debt includes roughly $10,000 in high-interest credit card balances and medical bills. Three years ago, when she graduated from college and landed her first job, she had about $15,000 in debt—so, she says, she feels like she’s on her way.

“In the past year, I’ve been able to pay off two credit cards and finally feel like I’m above water and making headway,” Aly says.

What she saves: Because she pays off large amounts of her high-interest debt each month, Aly isn’t able to save very much. However, she has been putting about $300 in savings each of the past few months to build her “just-in-case” fund. She also contributes 3 percent to her company’s 401(k) plan.

Her financial goals: Aly would like to have a solid savings account as a safety net. In the long term, she’d also like to pay off her credit cards—she still has four cards with significant balances—and her medical bills, as well as another small loan from her parents. Once she pays those off, she’d like to tackle her student loans, which are currently in deferment for another year.

“I haven’t really thought this far ahead [because] it can get overwhelming…but I hope to have everything but my student loans paid off in three years,” she says. “I’ll be 29, and I don’t want to carry a ton of debt into my 30s.”

Her budget plan: Aly operates on something known as a zero-sum budget. She takes her total income for the pay period and parcels out all of the money according to her bills and other expenses for that period—meaning, in the end, she has zero dollars left to allocate. Then, she adjusts part of the budget down to compensate for her need for more money elsewhere. (For example: If she wants to have a party this month, she has to pay for it using the money she had planned to spend on going to the movies.)

How she sticks to it: Evernote, a program that syncs to Aly’s phone, helps her stick to her budget. She updates her information in the program regularly and checks it before she goes to any last-minute events or spends any unexpected money.

“I used to have a terrible time sticking to my budget,” Aly says, “but I’ve been in tough spots before and now I try to remember how much anxiety that causes before making impulse purchases.”

Is it working? Yes. Aly is quickly paying off her biggest credit card bills while still living comfortably.

saving money

Single and saving

Jeff, 31, is a graphic designer. He’s single and makes $62,000 per year.

He has almost no debt, with the exception of very manageable payments for a car he purchased last year. That loan, for about $10,000, is his largest monthly expense aside from his rent.

“I have some debt,” he says, referring to the car loan, “but it doesn’t hinder my goals.”

What he saves: Jeff is able to allocate a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,000 to a savings account each month. He also contributes 6 percent of his income to a 401(k) plan, and his company matches 3 percent of that contribution. In addition, Jeff makes twice-yearly contributions of a few thousand dollars to a Roth IRA account, usually when he comes up with extra money (such as a tax return).

His financial goals: Because he’s in such good financial shape, Jeff would like to start saving even more to ensure he has a safety net in the event of a layoff at his company.

His budget plan: Jeff follows a reasonable budget, but his expenses aren’t set in stone.

“I know what my basic expenses are each month: rent, cable, phone, utilities, car payment, savings,” he says. “Whatever is left is what I have to work with each month.”

Jeff pays for everything with a credit card so all his purchases earn points, and then he pays the credit card off at the end of each month.

How he sticks to it: Jeff admits to not being very strict with his budget. His solid financial standing allows him to make impulse purchases, and paying with the credit card makes it easy to track his monthly spending.

“I’ll check online during the month. If I feel like I’m spending too much, or if I go over my estimate, I try to cut back the next month,” he explains.

Is it working? For the most part, Jeff finds that he eats out too much and spends a lot on his hobby, home brewing. “I try to start looking for patterns and find a place to cut back.”

A solid income, but lots of expenses

Dan, 30, is a manager at a major marketing firm. He’s married, with a combined household income of about $140,000.

Unfortunately, Dan and his wife are in a bit of a bind financially due to major medical bills. Their income is very comfortable, but they spend much of their money each month trying to pay down about $25,000 in debt. That debt includes some credit card balances and medical bills, as well as one small personal loan.

What he saves: Dan saves only the $75 each month that his bank requires to keep his checking account free. This allows for very little accumulation, so Dan has virtually nothing in savings. He and his wife each contribute to their company 401(k) programs, but the couple otherwise has very little money saved.

His financial goals: Dan hopes to pay off his credit card and medical debt before starting a solid savings plan. He’d like to be able to buy a house someday, but he knows this won’t happen unless he builds up savings and keeps his credit score high.

His budget plan: Dan and his wife work together every pay cycle to allocate money to immediately necessary bills. They use an online Google calendar to keep track of when these bills are due, and they map out which paycheck they’ll use to pay those bills. They then set aside grocery money and take out cash for spending money.

Any money left after that is put toward outstanding debt, with the exception of a few hundred dollars, which is kept in a checking account in case of unforeseen costs.

How he sticks to it: Having cash in hand keeps Dan and his wife on track and ensures that most of their disposable income goes to paying off their considerable debts.

“When the money is in my hands, I can see how much I’m actually running through,” Dan says. “It’s harder to think about the impact of my spending when I’m using digital money from a card.”

Ilyce Glink is the author of over a dozen books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In! Her nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters,” appears in newspapers from coast-to-coast, and her Expert Real Estate Tips YouTube channel has nearly 4 million views. She is the managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog, publisher of ThinkGlink.com, and owner of digital communications agency Think Glink Media. In addition to her WSB radio show and WGN radio contributions, she is also a frequent guest on National Public Radio. Ilyce is a frequent contributor to Yahoo and CBS News.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I loved it. Thanks so much for making a difference in my life.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thank you I have found my homework I love it

  3. saadiq says:

    Thanks i found my homework too

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Credit Archive