Important Financial Tips

Just as a person's physical body can always be healthier than it currently is, so can a person's finances become healthier than they currently are. By following various key financial tips, you can get your financial matters in better shape—and, often, more quickly than you thought possible!

Start Saving

“I don't make enough money to save” is a poor mantra and one you should discard immediately. Even if you aren't pulling in a huge income, it's important to find ways to save. The sooner you start saving, the more interest you'll be earning on that tucked-away money and the better shape you'll be in for rainy days and retirement.

Separate Your Accounts

As you start saving, it's crucial that you have separate checking and savings accounts. If you put saved money in your checking account, you'll spend it. It's that simple. Open a separate savings account and put that extra cash out of sight and out of mind so it can stay put and earn interest.

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Best Ways to Earn Extra Cash

Short on money? There are many out-of-the-box ways to earn extra cash outside of your day job. Whether an unforeseen expense, like car repairs, have you strapped or you've got your eye on an expensive item you simply can't live without, you can find yourself in need of extra funds for a variety of reasons. The following are some great ways to drum up extra dinero in your spare time!

Rent Out Your Home

Sometimes what we need is right in front of us—or, in this case, around us. Your home can be a great outlet for earning extra cash. If you have a spare bedroom or a mother-in-law apartment, you can generate income by renting out the space. If you don't want a permanent boarder, you can also list portions of your home (extra bedrooms, basement apartments, etc.) as temporary accommodations for travelers on sites like Airbnb.

Transform Gift Cards Into Cash

Billions of dollars in gift cards reportedly go unused every year. You've probably been an offender in this area yourself. You know how the story goes. For Christmas, your great-aunt gives you a gift card to a restaurant you don't like or to a store you wouldn't be caught dead in. The card gets shoved in a junk drawer or lost in the recesses of your purse. Instead of wasting the card, you can sell it online or exchange it for instant cash at a business like CashMax.

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Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to Kill Your Chances of Getting a New Car Loan

Filing for a car loan after bankruptcy sounds impossible, but it can be done. You’ve been through the wringer with the process and all the stress and paperwork that goes with it, and now you need a new car. Wondering what to do if your credit is in shambles but you want to finance a new vehicle? Relax. Here are some steps you can take and services out there that can help!

Think Things Through

First of all, stop for a moment and think about whether filing for a car loan is worth it. We all love nice new cars, but your focus should be on buying something reliable that you can really afford. New cars are a terrible investment. In fact, they depreciate 20 percent the second you drive it off the lot. So, ask yourself how much money you really want to spend and whether you really need to commit to a loan.

While you’re at it, be sure to do your research to make sure the vehicle you want is going to perform for the long haul. You don’t want something too old or with too many miles on it, so you need to balance cost with capabilities. Online resources like Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, Consumer Reports, and others can help you find smart choices in the $10,000 to $15,000 price range. You can utilize online calculators like Bankrate’s auto loan calculator to compute what your car payment will look like, with interest.

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Learn All About the Top Apps for Selling Items

If you're ready to streamline your space, it may be time to get rid of your old stuff! While you could head to the thrift stores or set up a garage sale, modern times call for modern methods. Now, you can access a new world of buyers with just the click of a button. We'll walk you through some of the most popular apps for selling items, so you can find a happy home for that old jacket or coffee table. Each app is easy to use, even if you're less than tech-savvy. And if you're looking for a little spare cash in the meantime, contact CashMax about our personal loan services! From payday loans to cash advances, we're happy to help you through any financial woes.

Fashion

When it comes to clothing sales, Poshmark is one of the most popular around. This app has built up quite a following for its amazing selection of clothing and accessories for women, though demand for men's fashion is growing rapidly. This is the perfect place to sell that handbag collection that is gathering dust in the closet! Just take a photo with your phone, add a description, and upload the listing. You'll get an alert when a sale is made, and the company will even mail you a pre-paid shipping label.

Electronics

If you've upgraded your laptop or camera, you may consider selling your old electronics to Gone. Similar to Poshmark, you can provide a picture and description of your item to the app in minutes. However, there's no need to deal with sellers when you use Gone. The company makes an offer directly to you, and they will auction off the item themselves. This can be a terrific way to unload your old electronics while making a profit!

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Explore the Many Benefits of Buying a Used Car

While many customers set their sights on the newest cars in the showroom, there are so many benefits of buying a used car that you may never buy a new model again! Used vehicles have the same stylish looks and great features of brand new models, but the lower price point and maintenance costs can be a huge break for your wallet.

Learn all about the benefits of buying a used car below, and then start planning ahead! CashMax offers plenty of opportunities to help you afford the car of your dreams, like title loan and cash advance services. In fact, you can even apply for a loan online!

Price

Savvy customers know that used cars are an incredible bargain. You can find the deal of a lifetime if you're willing to do a little hunting! Used vehicles range in price tremendously, so feel free to take your time while browsing through different dealerships. Older, low-mileage options carry a low price tag with high reliability, so they are great options for drivers on a budget. What if you'd like to indulge a little? Consider a more recent model. With the lower price, you can afford to splurge. Try a higher-end trim, a few upgrades, or some custom accessories!

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Exploring Your Options: Leasing vs. Financing a Vehicle

When you decide to upgrade your vehicle, there are tons of decisions to make. Between choosing models and trims and colors, the choices can seem overwhelming! But, there is one major decision that deserves a lot of thought: Leasing vs. financing a vehicle. There are plenty of pros and cons to either alternative, but we're here to help you find the right choice for you. Read on for an in-depth comparison between leasing vs. financing. Once you've made your decision, don't forget to contact CashMax if you need a personal loan for your new ride!

Leasing a Vehicle

Leasing a vehicle is a shorter-term investment with a lot of flexibility. When you lease a vehicle, you get to enjoy the latest and greatest vehicles without the large price tag. That's because leases only cover the depreciation during the lease term, as well as rent charges, taxes, and fees. That can add up to a major discount for those on a budget. And when your lease is up, you have options:

  • Hand the vehicle back and pick up something brand new.
  • Buy your vehicle from the dealership.

However, leasing can be a bit more challenging in some aspects. For example, you typically will have mileage limits of around 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Go over your allotted miles and you'll face a fee. That means high-mileage commuters may want to consider financing a vehicle instead. Also, early termination fees can be incredibly expensive, so read your contract carefully.

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How to Manage Unexpected Expenses

Despite all the budgeting and planning in the world, unexpected expenses can pop up in anyone's life. From car troubles to job loss to house repairs, these financial fiascos can result in major stress. If bad luck has infiltrated your bank account, then take a deep breath and check out our tips below for getting out of an emergency. If you find yourself in need of a payday loan to get you through the hard times, contact us about our personal loan services.

Create a New Budget

When your funds are strained, budgeting is one of the best actions that you can take. Cut your non-essential expenses, like cable and takeout, and consider lifestyle changes to maximize every dollar. You may need to downsize to a smaller apartment or get a roommate to help cut your monthly expenses. If you have debt, talk to your creditors about your financial situation. They may be able to lower your monthly payments or renegotiate your terms.

Find Additional Funds

When disaster strikes, every dollar counts. Here are a few ways to make extra money when dealing with unexpected expenses:

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Getting Bills Under Control

Being buried in debt and bills affects every aspect of your life. As countless unfortunates have come to know for themselves, getting into debt is easy, and getting out of debt is hard. But getting your bills under control is possible—and you can get started right now.

Reigning in Your Bills

If you're ready to take back the financial reins in your life, here are some basic steps to help you get started:

  • Take stock. First, you have to know what your bills are and when they are due. Organizing your bills can be as simple as listing them on a computer document or on a bulletin board in your house. Write down your monthly bills in order of their due dates, and list the monthly amounts you must pay for those bills: “1st of each month – Rent - $1,100. 5th of each month – Visa card - $50,” etc.
  • Be honest. Next, it's time to take a brutally honest look at your bills and whether you can really afford some of them. For instance, if you're paying $170 a month for the highest cable package when you could get by perfectly well with a more basic $50 plan, then guess what? It's time to call your cable company and drop down that package. Congratulations—you just saved $120 per month.
  • Budget your money. As you're still looking at that wall of bills, it's time to examine your monthly income in relation to them. If you get paid $2,000 every two weeks and the bills that are due between the 1st and 15th of each month add up to $1,500, that only leaves you $500 for other necessities, like food and gas, and extra luxuries during that time period. What's that you say? You'll just buy things with your credit card when the $500 runs out? Wrong answer, sailor. That kind of thinking is what got you drowning in debt in the first place. If $500 is all you have to spend, then $500 is all you should spend. Time to get rid of some of that unnecessary spending you've been doing (ahem, twice-daily trips to Starbucks and those frequent nights out to high-class restaurants with your girlfriends).
  • Pay down your debts. If you have a bad habit of charging up credit cards, now is the time to hit the brakes. Whenever possible, pay more than just the minimum amount due when you make your monthly credit card payments and start paying more to principal. You might also consider offloading some valuables to get cash in hand and pay down your high-balance credit cards even faster.

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The Wisdom of Saving Money While Single

When you're on your own and only have to think for one, it can be easy to frivolously spend. A wise person, however, focuses on saving money while single. Once a spouse, a mortgage, and a couple of kids enter your life (and all of the expenses that come with them), you may find yourself wishing you'd saved more when you had a disposable income.

Contrariwise, if you're one of the more cash-strapped members of the single set (the term “poor college student” comes to mind), there are various ways you can save money even if you don't have a lot of it coming in.

A Penny Saved

The following are some good rules of thumb for single people who are looking to save some green:

  • Eat in. On average, single people spend a lot more money dining out than individuals with families. It's far too easy to spend hundreds of dollars in just one month dining out at restaurants. Rein yourself in and start taking a brown bag lunch to work or school, and start sticking some food in the Crock-Pot to slow cook while you're gone. That way, dinner is ready as soon as you get home and you're not tempted to take the easy (but more expensive) routes of ordering in or hitting the drive-thru.
  • Be a scrooge. You're a grownup now, and it's time to learn the wisdom of being thrifty. There is no shame in clipping coupons and in telling people, “I can't afford it.” Don't pick up the tab for your friends to show how generous you are when you know you've only got $20 in the bank. Don't use a credit card for unnecessary purchases (like a morning Starbucks run when there's a free pot of coffee in the office). When you do go out, find deals on Groupon and other such websites or clip a coupon out of a local bargain book and use it proudly. Bottom line: Don't spend what you don't have, and save money wherever and whenever you can.
  • Make sacrifices. If you're strapped for cash, don't use a credit card to get by. It's easy to get into debt but hard to get back out of it. Be creative and explore other avenues before you rack up debt. For instance, you can sell that ugly gold bracelet your high school boyfriend gave you, which has been collecting dust in a shoebox at the bottom of your closet—real gold can equal quick cash. You should also take a look at all of your expenses and offload the unnecessary ones. For instance, if you're paying $120 a month for a cable package you rarely have time to enjoy, drop down to a lower package or get rid of your cable altogether and just use Netflix or a similar inexpensive, web-based service.

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How Budgeting Can Improve Your Life

Living on the edge can be exciting in some areas in your life—but your finances shouldn't be one of them. If “budget” is classified as a dirty word in your vocabulary, you can definitely benefit by learning how budgeting can improve your life. Contrary to what you may think, having an organized budget isn't restrictive but can help pave your way to financial freedom.

Budgeting Your Way to Freedom

People who live without a budget frequently end up overspending and often find themselves strapped for cash and waiting anxiously for their next paycheck to arrive. By taking stock of your income and your bills and where you're spending your money—and calculating how much you can realistically spend in the various areas of your life—you can get a handle on your finances and start improving your financial outlook.

Having (and adhering to) a budget can improve a person's life in various ways; for instance:

  • Less stress. Knowing exactly how much money you have, how much you need for bills, and how much you have left over when the bills are paid can eliminate a great deal of stress from your life. If you indiscriminately dine out and buy clothes and gadgets, then discover at the end of the month that you haven't saved out enough money for your rent and car payment, it becomes a stressful, snake-eating-its-tail problem of racking up late fees and getting behind in your bills. While payday loans and the like can help you get caught up in a pinch, the permanent solutions are organizing and budgeting.
  • Helps you save. Budgeting your money can help you go from being a spender to being a saver. If you take stock of your income and your expenses, you'll likely find there is plenty of room for your to start putting some savings away. You'll be shocked at how quickly your savings account will grow when you take a predetermined amount of money out of each paycheck and tuck it away in a savings account.
  • Eliminates waste. Taking a hard look at your spending habits can be painful. You may not realize just how much money you've been wasting on frivolous spending. For instance, did you really need that silk scarf from the department store? Possibly not—but the $120 you spent on it would have come in handy when your car broke down later that month. Do you really need the top-tier package from your cable company—the one that costs $200 a month? Probably not—but that extra money could be well spent when it's time for your two-week vacation. Become conscious about where your money is going and discipline yourself to cut back on wasteful spending. The results will be well worth your efforts!

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