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The Personal Financial Management Page

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Advice and Information on all Forms of Personal domestic Credit

The Personal Financial Management Page


* * This site is to help people to manage their personal finances, especially their debt management. You will find information about ranging from how to get a mortage and other property related financing such as equity loans, to credit cards, car loans and payday loans etc. We have also provide information about the costs and documentation need for mortgages as well as debt negotiation and debt settlement and the Credit Card Act of 2009.

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The information is provided to get you onto the right track. When you start to manage your debt and, maybe select an attorney (if you need to), it should help you solve your financial problems. It shows you, what you need to do to make judgements, based on the right information, which will help you, to ask the right questions. The pages shown below deal with most financial topics related to personal debt management. We have, on purpose, not looked at investing, since there are so many specialist sites available that cover the topic better, than we ever can.

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The index of pages you can look up are


Mortgages, Equity Loans and Refinancing Everything you need to know about getting a mortgage and the costs of obtaining a mortgage. What you need, who will do the job, and where to get it.
Documents needed for a Mortgage This explains about all the documents you need when you apply for a mortgage. It also tells you something about FICO Credit Scores.
Your Mortgage Choices Here we explain the different types of mortgages you can get: From the ordinary to the exotic.
Refinancing, Home Equity and other Property Related Loans. There are many reasons why, during the life of a mortgage you may want to refinance. We explain what you can do, for what reasons to refinance as well as how to get an equity loan
What can you do when Foreclosure looms Here we show you how to manage and survive the ultimate nightmare of a house owner: How to manage and survive a foreclosure and what you can do about it
How to create a personal budget when you buy a House Here you will find a most important tool when you buy a house. Changing from rented accommodation to a house, or switching from a small to a larger house, will bring new costs which you have to budget, if you do not want to run into financial difficulties later!
Your Maximum Debt Capacity and the Debt to Income Ratio Again, this is something you need to know about: How your lenders will see you and the relationship that exists between your income and the amount of debt you carry!
   
Credit Cards This page is dedicated to all sorts of charge cards : Credit Cards, Charge Cards, PrePaid Credit Cards and something about Credit Card Debt Management
The New Credit Card Rules (The Card Act of 2009) and How they affect you The Card Act 0f 2009 brought about substantial changes for consumers. It increased consumer protection for credit card holders, but it will also makes it more difficult to get a credit card.
   
Car Loans and Car Financing Most purchasers finance their cars. Here are some guidelines that might help you to get the right car loan at the best rate of interest for your circumstances. The page will tell you why different people pay different rates of interest!
Pay Day Loans (Cash Advances against Paycheck) Pay day loans are the most expensive credits in the market place! But sometimes they fulfill a need. We tell you what to look out for.
   
Credit Scores and Credit Management How Credit Scores are calculated. What elements are considered for your credit (FICO) score and how the affect the score
Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement Negotiations and Credit Repair The use of Credit Repair, Debt Consolidators and Debt Counsellors and, how they can help. What they sometimes claim and the limits of their ability to solve a debt problem.

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Some basic Rules about Budgets, Credit and healthy Personal Spending Patterns


Are you in a financial "jam"? Are your debts growing faster than your income? There is no reason why this should be the "essence of your life"! To avoid being in this situation, you have to follow a few rules.

Live within your means!
Don't spend all your Income
Establish a Long Term Strategy with specific financial Goals
At any Time, Know your financial Situation!
Don't add to your Debt!

Living within your means might not be as easily done. If you have a low income job with limited income growth potential, "living within your means" might require considerable planning and ingenuity.

Annual Gross (before Tax and Deductions) Income Monthly after Tax Income Maximum Monthly Expenditure as %(or $)of After Tax Income Type of Expenditure Annual Gross (before Tax and Deductions) Income Monthly after Tax Income Maximum Monthly Expenditure as %(or $) of After Tax Income Type of Expenditure
30,000 2,000 20% 400 Housing (Rent, Mortgage) 50,000 3,200 20% 640 Housing (Rent, Mortgage)
    20% 300 Food     11% 350 Food
    15% 300 Car Payment     10% 320 Car Payment
    25% 500 Insurance (Car, Minimal Health)     20% 640 Insurance (Car, Minimal Health)
    6% 120 Fuel (12,000 MIles p.a. 22MG-$2.60 Gallon     4% 130 Fuel (12,000 MIles p.a. 22MG-$2.60 Gallon
    14% 280 Credit Card (or other Purchases incl Enter- tainment)     25% 800 Credit Card (or other Purchases incl Enter- tainment)
    5% 100 Saving     10% 320 Saving

As an illustration, we show here two "before tax" gross household incomes, one of $30,000 and one at $50,000. Both do not leave much to maneuver, though the recommended expenditure pattern at the $50,000 income level is far more comfortable. The $30,000 income level might have to look for a second job or for arrangements such as apartment sharing or car pooling to lower the expenditure to bearable levels. The point we are trying to make is that by planning expenditure levels and controlling them, it is possible to live within ones means! But it requires considerable spending discipline!



One of the important points is that you should not spend all your income. In the 50k example above, you might have $ 800 available for discretionary spending. Yet, you should only spend half of that, retaining the rest for unforeseen contingencies. That increases your security! As a general rule, in these uncertain times you should have put aside the equivalent of six months living expenses. Until you have achieved that, postpone your spending and put at least half of your discretionary spending (meaning, that amount which is left over after you have paid for everything) aside for hard times!

Which brings us to the financial goals you should set yourself. Most people would accept, that they should have some long term professional achievement goals. But they are rather more casual about their financial goals. "I want to make a Million when I am 30", is not really a goal, more of a wishful thought! You have to look at your financial future and combine what you do now, with what you want to achieve. You do not have to become obsessed with your retirement planning, but setting some way points for your financial future is only prudent!

The key to successful personal financial management is to know your situation at all times. With the use of a program or even recording by hand this should not be difficult to achieve. You just have to record every incoming, income, and every outgoing, expense, amount. You can do that either simply on a spreadsheet or with one of the specialized programs, shown below.

Intuits Quicken is probably the best known of the personal money management software. For about $60.00 you get a complete system and you can select which add-ons you need, if any. The advantage of this program is that you have the information on your computer and not on someone elses system.

Mint.com is an easy to use comprehensive budgeting and expense recording tool for your peronal money management. The website does not say how much it costs but it is probably below $100.00. Your information will be on the mint computer. But one of the advantages is that mint and quicken work together!

Pennyminder.com is a good recording tool for expenses for a familky with several people spending. Your information will be on their computer.

There are numerous other systems available. Many of them are linked to financial instutions such as saving and loan banks or credit unions. The whole point about budgets and controlling expenditure is that you have to be disciplined and take the time to enter all income and expenditure data into your system. If you are not willing or able to do that, your system will not help!

Another important element of your financial management system and "living within your means" will be to pay off your credit cards. If you have accummulated credit card debt, see that you can pay at least twice the minimum amount on each credit card. Paying only minimum payments will result in a payback period of 18 or more years! If your funds are limited start to pay off one card with more than the minimum payment, while you pay the minimum on the other cards. Then, as you paid off one card, do the same with the next one. The key is that you do not add to your debt. Don't go on a spending spree, just because there is a sale somewhere. Buy what you need, not what you want!!

Once you have paid off your credit cards, limit your spending with Credit Cards to what you can pay back at the end of the charge period!

Don't leave unpaid balances.

Cut your spending to the limits of your budget to your income.

Now, look at Your Maximum Debt Capacity and the Debt to Income Ratio !


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