Money is tight for all of us, yet we have to remember how important it is the not get buried in debt. Here are four credit commandments from Laura Rowley, Yahoo! Finance personal finance guru that will help you to keep your debt under control.
· Thou shalt not live beyond thy means. Know exactly how much money comes in, how much goes out and make those numbers match up. (Try this calculator to figure out if a second income is worth it after taxes, child care and other costs.)
· Thou shalt set aside cash for emergencies. According to a recent study from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, only 49 percent of respondents reported that they had set aside funds sufficient to cover expenses for three months in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturn or other emergency.
· Thou shalt not carry a revolving balance on thy credit card. According to the FINRA study, 51 percent of Americans have carried a balance from month to month resulting in interest charges; 29 percent made a minimum-only payment; and 23 percent were charged a fee for late payment. Thou shalt not get sucked into the debt-settlement trap.
· Thou shalt not use a financial product – credit cards, auto loans, without searching for the best deal. The FINRA survey found 63 percent don’t shop around for credit cards, half don’t shop around for auto loans, and a third don’t shop around for mortgages.
Common sense? Of course. Still, it’s always good to be reminded!