When Should You Save or Pay Off Debt?

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of work and paying bills, but don’t let that distract you from a life plan for financial security and freedom. Deciding whether to save money or pay off debt are critical decisions, so let’s take a look at some concepts to help guide you through the process. If a difficult financial situation arises, and you are in need of a loan, CashMax offers a variety of options to help you get back on your feet.

The True Cost of Debt

Should you pay off debt? We all know that borrowing money comes with interest costs, but it’s easy to just charge or take out loans because you don’t feel that pain right away. So, take the time to do the math and see how much your student loans, credit cards, and car are actually costing you. Simply multiply the interest rate times the amount of the loan to see how much you’re paying in addition to the balance. Over time, it adds up to serious money, especially if your loans are for large amounts. Typically, paying off debt is your #1 goal because it saves so much money in interest.

Somebody Call 911

Saving money instead of paying down debt becomes your top priority if you don’t have an existing emergency fund. Car repairs, medical bills, and family emergencies come up all the time. You don’t want to rely on a credit card or loans to deal with them because you’re just going to incur more and more debt in a vicious cycle. In general, you want at least three months of living expenses set aside, just in case, before you start paying off your debt.

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Tips for Coping with Job Loss

While coping with job loss may feel devastating, you are not alone! Millions deal with this distressing event, and millions have bounced back to achieve great success. Learn a few tips and tricks to make the best of your situation, so you can get back on your feet in no time. If you need a personal loan to help make ends meet, get in contact with CashMax for secure funds in a flash.

Stress Management

After hours of tinkering with your resume and crafting new cover letters, you may find yourself depleted. Remember, this is only a temporary situation. Take care of yourself to keep your spirits high and your motivation strong as you plan for the future. Here are a few tips to be your best self during these tough times.

  • Stay connected to your friends and family. Your loved ones can provide an ear to listen, and some may have helpful advice based on their own experiences. You may also want to expand your network through volunteering, clubs, and other social experiences.
  • Stay active to relieve tension in the body. Whether you go out for a run or go out dancing, the endorphins will give you a break from all the stressors of the job hunting process.
  • Maintain your health. Avoid the temptations of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine and be sure to get enough healthy foods in your diet. Don't forget the importance of quality sleep, and consider researching relaxation techniques to remain calm.

Job Hunting

Now that you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world, try out these tips to stay grounded during the job hunting process.

  • Take advantage of networking. Your old bosses and coworkers may act as valuable references for your next job, or they may have leads for other positions in the industry.
  • Create a budget after taking stock of all your monthly expenses. Consider applying for government benefits, cutting back on expenses, or getting a buy-in from your family. Your bills are top priority, but don't hesitate calling your creditors to work out better rates on payments.
  • Avoid quick fixes, like cashing out your 401(k) or taking any job you can find. Though this process may seem dire, it is just temporary. Think about your long-term future before making any quick changes.
  • Create a plan for your future success. Take inventory of your skills and positive qualities, then search through job postings with your head held high. Some job seekers even treat the application process like a 9-to-5 job, maintaining a regular routine to stay on track. Good luck!
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Consumer's Guide: How to Send Money Safely

When you need to transfer funds, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options. However, it's easy to send money safely with a little research. Nowadays, customers can easily transfer money in person, online, or even through a smartphone! Find out about all the latest, high-tech ways to send money safely. And if you need a personal loan before payday, get in contact with CashMax for fast and secure funds!

Mobile Money Transfers

If you're transferring money within the U.S., then take a look at Venmo. This digital wallet service, owned by PayPal, has gained a stellar reputation for its ease of use and its affordable price. The popular Square Cash is another terrific alternative. Like Venmo, this service is available for mobile and online users. Both offer free transfers with a debit card and a 3 percent surcharge with a credit card. The big difference is in the design. Try both apps and see which you prefer.

Online Money Transfers

PayPal is the immensely popular money transfer company that is perfect for online use. You can send up to $10,000 per transfer, which is a higher limit than the mobile services listed before. PayPal has hundreds of millions of users worldwide, so it's clear that they have the widest customer base in the world. If you prefer email transfers, you may prefer Google Wallet. This service allows you to cash out within minutes, which is something that many other providers do not offer.

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Top Ten Signs of Identity Theft

Between reports in the news and stories from friends, many people find themselves growing more and more concerned about the threats of stolen identity. What is identity theft? Identity theft occurs when thieves acquire your personal information and steal your resources. They may remove money from your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, or even steal your tax refund!

While these cases are far from uncommon, it's possible to stay alert to the signs of identity theft. Keep yourself safe by remaining alert to the following red flags, and don't forget to get in touch with CashMax Texas about personal loan services if you find yourself low on funds.

Bank Accounts

  • Unexplained charges on your bank account can be a huge warning sign of stolen identity. Contact your bank immediately for the details, and you may be able to reverse the charges.
  • While unexplained charges may show up on your bank statement, you may also see strange charges on your credit report.
  • You may stop receiving your mail and bills, indicating that your address has been changed by the thief.
  • If merchants no longer accept your checks, this may indicate questionable activity in your bank account. Again, contact your bank immediately to find out the cause.

Medical Services

  • Thieves may target more than your bank account. If you start receiving bills for medical services that you didn't request, get in touch with the provider as well as your insurance company.
  • Even if you don't receive bills for these unexplained services, you may find that your annual benefits limit has been reached without warning. This is a huge red flag that your account has been compromised.
  • And if your account suddenly shows new medical conditions that you don't have, then don’t waste any time contacting your provider and insurance company.

Personal Finances

  • If debt collectors try to collect money that you don't owe, then you may be dealing with a case of stolen identity.
  • The IRS will let you know if anything fishy shows up in your file, such as multiple tax returns filed. This can be a sign that a thief is trying to steal your hard-earned money.
  • Other businesses also may contact you personally if your account has been compromised by a data breach.
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Travel Tips: How to Cut Commuting Costs

Between the daily drive to the office and the out-of-town work trips, commuting costs can leave a huge dent in your budget. But, it's easier to save money than you think! Here are our best tips and tricks on how to cut commuting costs, so you can get more out of every paycheck. And if you're in the market for a fuel-efficient vehicle or a high-tech bicycle, don’t forget to check out CashMax for our personal loan services.

Top Six Tips

Are you ready to make a few changes to boost your budget? Saving money on commuting costs may be easier than you think!

  • Consider a ridesharing program to cut down on fueling and parking costs. Not only are carpools good for the environment, but they also provide a chance to relax and socialize before the daily grind.
  • Public transportation is an excellent alternative to driving straight to work. Commuters have plenty of options. Drive to the nearest commuter train and ride the rails to work, or head to the nearest city bus stop or subway to avoid the hassles of driving completely.
  • If you love the fresh air, then biking to work may be the perfect option for you. Biking is a fast and efficient way to travel, but cycling is also a wonderful option to work in your daily exercise. Many cities are becoming more and more biker-friendly, so there's never been a better time to dust off the old bicycle.
  • Many workplaces are opening up to telecommuting as a way to save resources. The business benefits from lower building maintenance costs, and the employee benefits from lowered commuting costs. Even a few days of telecommuting per week can cut down on gas, toll costs, and car repairs for the year.
  • If your job offers flexible schedules, then be sure to take advantage. These staggered work times allow employees to schedule their day more creatively, shopping during off-peak hours and picking up the kids from school without conflict.
  • Some jobs offer benefits that employees aren't aware of, so check with your company about transit-related benefits. Transit, vanpool, and parking benefits may be offered tax-free in accordance with federal law. These costs can seriously add up over a year!
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1126 Hits

How to Budget for Child Care

Starting a family can be an exciting period in your life, but the financial stress can put a major damper on this joyful time. Luckily, parents can easily learn how to budget for child care. This small time investment can lead to less stress over bills and more fun with your growing family! Learn more about how to balance your budget, and if you need a little extra cash, contact CashMax for our personal loan services.

How Much Does Child Care Cost?

Brace yourself! American families spend nearly 20 percent of their annual income on child care. That averages to $18,000 every single year! Given the high cost of child care, it's no surprise that a little budgeting can go a long way. Shop around your area and get in contact with different services. From day care centers to au pair agencies, price points can vary quite a bit. Do your research before starting your budget, and don't forget to consider child care tax breaks and flexible spending programs.

How Do I Start my Budget?

Take inventory of all your essentials. Things like mortgage payments, utilities, and child care receive top priority within your budget. But, it's also worth your time to look back on your spending habits from previous years. Do you love to travel? Are you a shopaholic? Cutting a few luxuries can free up a lot of extra money.

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Do You Have a Spending Problem?

If you took a snapshot of your bank accounts right now, what would it look like? Some people plan and save for the future while sticking to a budget. Others fly by the seat of their pants and don’t notice any issues until they get REALLY big. So, take a look at your situation and ask yourself, do you have a spending problem?

Credit Cards: A Love-Hate Relationship

Using credit cards is a great way to track your spending, earn loyalty points, and make one payment a month, that is, if you actually pay it in full each month. If you are maxing out your credit cards and can’t pay the balances off, you’re setting yourself up for massive long-term interest costs and a negative credit score. In fact, if you’re only able to make the minimum payments, it adds years and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in interest charges.

What’s the answer? Stop. Leave your credit cards at home, or better yet, cut them up. Set one aside for emergencies only, and start paying down that debt.

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1128 Hits

Job Hunting Tips: How to Budget Your Money

When you're on the hunt for your next job, setting a budget may be the last thing that you want to think about. However, a little planning can save a lot of time and stress in the future. If you are interested in learning how to budget your money, read on for some of our best tips and tricks to help you during the job hunt. Stay smart with your money, and you'll get back to the workforce in no time at all.

Examine Your Lifestyle

While luxuries and entertainment can be great fun, these non-essential services can take up a serious chunk of change. Make a list of your essential living costs first. Things like mortgages and rent, food, and transportation should be top priorities in your budget. Then, consider which services you don't need for the time being. Cable television, streaming media, subscription services, and other luxuries may take a backseat while you are on the search for new employment.

Communicate with Creditors

As you carefully budget out your lifestyle essentials, don't forget to factor in bills. No matter what's going on in your life, bills continue to arrive every month. However, a little communication can go a long way. Rather than missing payments without an explanation, get in touch with your creditors. If you speak with creditors directly, you may be able to secure a reduced payment plan or an extension. These minor changes can have a huge effect on your finances.

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Helpful Methods for Avoiding Fees

No one wants to deal with irritating bank fees, but most people accept them as a part of the process. But, what if there was a better way? We've compiled a list of tips for avoiding fees, so you can retain more of your hard-earned paycheck.

What Types of Fees do Banks Charge?

Fees are small charges for the customers that add up to big profits for the bank. Here are a few of the most common fees you may encounter:

  • Overdraft fees generated from overdrawing an account
  • ATM fees for out-of-network customers
  • Reoccurring fees to maintain your bank account
  • And many more!

Do All Banks Charge the Same Fees?

Different banks charge different fees, which means that you may receive a better deal if you shop around. Typically, you are likely to find higher fees with a larger bank. Look around town for a smaller institution. Not only are maintenance fees lower on average, but smaller banks are more likely to offer cost-saving perks like free checking. Customers can also look into credit unions and community banks as potentially cost-saving alternatives.

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Multi Vehicle Insurance Policy: Great Coverage at a Discount

Many households own more than one car, but between monthly payments and maintenance costs, the cost of ownership can be pretty expensive! If you own more than one vehicle, then a multi vehicle insurance policy may be for you. This handy policy can save drivers money, while providing the excellent coverage that they want. While popular options for businesses, multi vehicle insurance policies are great options for families who share cars as well. Are you curious about how this policy can benefit you? Take a look at our guide to see if you need to make the switch!

What is a Multi Vehicle Insurance Policy?

If you are the only driver in the household, then a standard one-car policy may be all that you need. However, families may struggle to find a cost-effective solution to insure a household full of vehicles, especially when teen drivers are part of the mix. If this scenario sounds familiar, then you may be an ideal candidate for a multi vehicle insurance policy.

Multi vehicle insurance policies benefit both the insurance company and the consumer, which can lead to savings for both. Not only does the company gain extra business from insuring several cars at once, but the consumer often receives a discount on the coverage plan. That means you enjoy the same benefits at one great price.

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