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.

Personal Finance Advice: Five Tricks and Treats for Your Finances

Written by Steve Repak on October 17, 2013 in Retirement  |   5 comments

How do you feel about your finances—are you scared to death? Are you on track to meet your financial goals for this year? Has your financial life derailed instead? If your finances are more frightening than watching a scary movie alone at midnight on Halloween,…

money managementHow do you feel about your finances—are you scared to death? Are you on track to meet your financial goals for this year? Has your financial life derailed instead?

If your finances are more frightening than watching a scary movie alone at midnight on Halloween, treat yourself to these five money management tricks. It may turn out that your finances are not scary as you once thought.

Financial trick: Set up a “me” account so you can enjoy some of your hard-earned money.

Treat: Guilt-free spending that won’t break your budget.

Just as dieters who swear off dessert often find themselves miserable, savers who put every penny away may find themselves too wrapped up in their budgets to indulge in any non-essential spending. And, just like many dieters, hard-core savers may find themselves unable to stick to their saving regimens for long.

Extremes seldom work, and I have found that people who can find balance are generally happier and more successful at meeting their goals. Start by opening a “me” account and allotting a small portion of what you bring home each month towards it via an automatic deposit. Then, you can spend this hard-earned cash any way you want—without fear of busting your budget.

Financial trick: Start giving to a charitable organization.

Treat: Tax deductions for you, help for your neighbors.

The cornerstone of financial security is learning to live on less than you make, and you will have no choice but to do this when you start giving to charity. As a result, you’ll get better at budgeting the money you have at your disposal. You could even end up with a little more money in your pocket.

Depending on your situation, you may receive a tax deduction for your charitable giving, so keep track of your donations throughout the year.

Of course, charity is not just about the benefits to you—it’s also about what it does for the recipients. It is not important to which charitable organization you give, only that you are giving and helping others.

Financial trick: Track your spending for 30 days.

Treat: Extra money you never knew you had.

Often, people have no idea just how much money they are wasting until they are forced to see it. For the next 30 days, keep all of your receipts every time you spend money. When you get home each night, write down in detail where, when, and how much you spent for the day.

At the end of the month, you may find you have an extra $100 to $250 in your account because you finally figured out how much you were wasting on non-essentials. A $4 coffee doesn’t sound extravagant, but if you purchase one every day, you’ll be spending around $120 over the course of the month. By tracking your daily spending, you will quickly realize where you can start cutting back to save money.

Financial trick: Reduce the number of personal exemptions you claim on your W-4.

Treat: Money in your pocket after tax season.

By claiming fewer exemptions on your W-4, you will have more money withheld in taxes from your paycheck. Some people will say I’m dead wrong to advise the use of this trick because you are essentially giving the government an interest-free loan. But the fact is, some people just can’t put money away. If you’re one of those people, this is a way to force yourself to save.

After tax season, you will have a bigger tax refund than you received prior to adjusting your W-4. This windfall can be used as the foundation for your savings the next year.

Financial trick: Start contributing to your company retirement plan.

Treat: Free money for your retirement.

If your company matches your retirement contributions, putting money into your 401(k) is a no-brainer. Many companies eliminated this benefit during the Great Recession, but as the economy has rebounded, more companies are once again matching.

Depending on the plan, you could get an additional 3 percent to 5 percent of your salary each year in matching benefits from your employer. That means if you put money into your account, your employer will also put money into your account, which translates into free money. Do not pass this up—you should plan on contributing, at a minimum, enough to max out the employer’s contribution so that you don’t leave any free money on the table.

Trying something new with your finances can be scary. But by trying some new money management tricks, you could end up with financial treats that will last you well into next year.

Steve Repak is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, CFP® Board Ambassador, and financial literacy speaker. He is also an Army veteran and the author of Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money. Follow him on Twitter: @SteveRepak

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. Rusty from Virginia says:

    Makes perfect sense. Pay yourself first with a Me account and put money into your retirment account. It doesn’t sound so scary!

  2. Diane R says:

    Agree. So many people think their checking account balance is available for spending, so keep some money OUT of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had a problem wasting a lot of money and finally took the time to open a savings account with an online bank where it took some effort for me to have access to my cash. Over the last several months I have been able to build my savings a little each month.

  4. Tom says:

    I personally don’t agree with having more money with-held on your taxes because you are basically giving the government an interest free loan on your money. I guess though for people who have a hard problem saving, it might make sense for them.

  5. Life long saver says:

    The comments make sense and I’ve followed in this order most of them but one. First, pay your Church, house of worship or charitable organization. I know you can’t out give God. But, if you beleive in another deity then see if they will reward you for thinking about them first.

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.

Retirement Archive