Saving Money by Living on Less
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
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.
Even though the nation’s employment picture is improving, many Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet. Many people with full-time jobs make less money than they did before the recession began and may pay more for medical and other benefits. If you are in this position, you know that paying basic monthly bills is a challenge and it’s tougher than ever to cover unplanned expenses or think about saving money.
In previous blogs, I’ve discussed the importance of money management and creating a priority spending plan. In addition, people need to find ways to eliminate stress and identify resources that will help them achieve stability in their lives. It’s important to know where to buy food and medicine at lower costs, volunteer, join a ‘networking’ group or take up a hobby.
To create a priority spending plan, I advise people to take the following actions:
List your current income and expenses. If your expenses exceed your current income, you will have to adjust your spending plan.
Develop and follow a spending plan that eliminates all unnecessary expenses. These include cable television, newspaper delivery, upgraded cell phone plans, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions and dining at restaurants.
If expenses still exceed your income, contact your creditors and ask for the ‘hardship’ department. Explain your situation and ask if there are payment programs available to assist you. Often, creditors are willing to lower interest rates, fees and monthly payments in times of financial hardship.
Next, identify organizations where you can buy food and medicine at lower prices, as well as find ways to reduce child care costs. These include:
For child care assistance programs, visit http://www.childcare.gov or for information on help paying for childcare, contact Child Care Aware at www.childcareaware.org or call
For information and assistance in paying for medical care for you and your family, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human services at www.hhs.gov/children.
For prescription assistance contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance at www.pparx.org or call 888-477-2669
Next, you need to relieve stress by exercising, eating properly and maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family members. Achieve these goals by volunteering or joining networking groups. You can also take advantage of various events, programs and resources in your community, at school or at your place of worship. Finally, consider taking up a hobby, including one that could turn into an additional source of income.
For free exercise programs, visit http://www.fitclick.com for free exercise plans, ideas and tips. For nutrition, www.nutrition.gov offers free meal planning and menus as well as nutritional tips and ideas. To volunteer, go to www.volunteermatch.org.
Finally, to enhance your financial education and skills, visit www.CredAbility.org/education to take advantage of a variety of free courses on demand to enhance your knowledge and financial capability.
Mechel Glass is the Director of Education for CredAbility. In this position, she is responsible for developing the curriculum and educational materials for online classes including webinars, podcasts, videos and listen-on-demand classes. She is responsible for managing the agency’s community outreach programs and staff, including financial education specialists in a 14-county area throughout metro Atlanta and north Georgia. She also manages the development and reporting of education partnerships online for the agency.
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.