Tell my audience about yourself. What made you want to start your website?
I started commenting on personal finance sites in late 2009 and my comments just kept getting longer and longer. I also was a little aggravated with commenters at Get Rich Slowly for giving a lady a hard time about hiring a housekeeper. I always have thought that money should be used to pay your bills now, save for your future, and slurge on the stuff you want in between. By February 2010, I just wanted a place to publish my own opinions and grow a friend group of like-minded people.
Please name some quick and easy ways for a person to improve their credit even if they’ve recently been through a divorce or some type of financial calamity?
The quickest way to improve a credit score are to make sure to make all necessary minimum payments on time. It also helps to use less than 33% of all credit available to you. That means you need some open credit lines but that you also have to keep yourself in check and pay your bills on time every time.
When a person walks into a car dealership what are some credit questions you recommend that consumer ask the salesman or finance manager?
I think you should already know your credit before walking into a dealership. In fact, you should know your credit and be pre-approved already, so all you will need to discuss with the finance manager is whether or not they can beat your pre-approved rate.
If a person is on a fixed income, what tips and strategies would you recommend they take spend the least amount possible and get the most for their income?
Prioritize. If I was on a fixed income, I would probably downsize my home and keep my monthly bills as low as possible. My priorities would be to cover those bills and build up padding for emergency expenses.
Please name a few things every house should cut in during this economic environment?
I think spending cuts would depend on the household. If you aren’t suffering and are saving more than enough for your future, I wouldn’t push for any cuts. Right now I am working on cutting back on our restaurant budget and am striving to keep our regular bills as low as possible. I would also suggest cutting daily habits that cost money whenever possible, whether that be smoking, drinking, coffee, soda, or whatever. Anything that costs money regularly adds up.
Please name a few things every house should invest in during this economic environment?
In any economic environment, I would suggest investing in energy efficient light bulbs whenever an existing bulb burns out. I would also make sure you always have at least some water, canned goods, and cash on hand in case of any major event. In our area, that’s hurricanes, but it’s just good preparation no matter what.
If a person can’t purchase a vehicle in cash, what’s the ideal down payment you recommend they have? Does a larger down payment mean a shorter loan and APR?
A loan’s term and APR aren’t usually affected by a down payment. But the larger the down payment, the less interest you will pay overall since you are immediately paying off a chunk of principal. My husband and I are planning to pay for our next vehicle in cash or put down as much as we can unless there’s a 0% interest deal that we can take advantage of…
Besides budgetinginthefunstuff.com what are some of websites/blogs you would recommend our visitors visit while trying to improve their credit?
Get Rich Slowly, Free Money Finance, and Wealth Informatics are my go-to blogs for learning. But the trick is finding the website or blog that you personally connect with since you are way more likely to read regularly if you truly connect.
This is our fourth interview in our “1000 Interview Challenge” If your interested in an interview, please contact me.
This interview was conducted by Shane McC. Shane currently is attending RISD studying computer programming. He enjoys traveling and plays hockey. He played for the Boston Junior Bruins of the EJHL during the 01-02 season. You can follow him on Google+