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Personal Finance

How to Buy a Car From a Used Car Lot For Women

Buy a Car From a Used Car Lot

If you must buy a car from a used car lot, here are some helpful suggestions to protect your safety and your finances.

1. RESEARCH CARS THAT PERFORM WELL AS USED CARS

Before you think you can buy a car from a used car lot, especially if it is five or more years old, do a search for a similar make, model and year online. Find out 1. what buyers and dealers are asking for that make and model with x number of miles on the car, 2. What is the maintenance history of the car from frequent breakdowns to cost,  3. How long does this type of car last without major problems?

With this knowledge, you won’t be inclined to overpay for a car on a used car lot, since you know the maximum you should be charged. Used car dealers get their cars from various sources, 1. Some are from car auctions where cars are rejected by new car dealers, who take used cars as trade in’s for new cars. 2. Some cars are purchased directly from sellers, 3. Some cars are obtained illegally – this is where VIN# and license plates are important to investigate.

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2. SHOW ME THE CARFAX AND DMV REPORT

If the used car dealer tells you that you don’t need a Carfax, DMV or other reports with your car, go elsewhere. The Carfax report, as well as other reports, can tell you if you are looking at a bad car. I consider it a bad car if it has been in an accident–and was considered totaled, or a  flood, or has an excessive number of owners, or if it has a questionable title.

Make sure you take a picture of the VIN# with your cell phone ( it is on the lower windshield), then you can go home and get your own Carfax report and check with the DMV that the car has not been reported stolen or severely damaged. Periodically stolen cars find their way onto used car lots.

3. DON’T BUY A USED CAR FROM A USED CAR LOT UNTIL YOUR MECHANIC CHECKS IT OUT

This sounds like a lot of trouble, but it can save you a lifetime of pain and financial loss. There are mobile mechanics you can pay to meet you at a car lot and look at the car you are interested in. Make sure that mechanic goes over the car thoroughly. If it is in bad shape, listen to the mechanic. Some dishonest used car lots sell badly damaged cars that look ok on the outside.

Some used car lots sell certified used, with an expensive warranty, but they are known for not certifying their cars. Have your own mechanic certify the car before you think about buying it, if your mechanic says the car is ok to purchase, consider putting the certification money in the bank, so you can fix it as needed.

The when you buy a car from a used car lot and get and purchase a warranty, a certified warranty can cost as much as $2000 or more.


4. IF THE CAR YOU ARE INTERESTED IN IS LESS THAN 5 YEARS OLD

See if a car less than 5 years old has the original manufacturer’s warranty with it. Many cars are sold with a 5 year or 10-year manufacturer’s warranty on the powertrain. The original manufacturer’s warranty could be voided for many reasons, including if the original owner did not take the car in for warranty servicing during the first year or if the car was in a bad accident or flood.


5. Women, Please Take a Man With You

Ladies, don’t go it alone. I was told growing up not to purchase a car alone. Especially a used car because, unfortunately, there are still far more men who study car maintenance than women. Many men will know immediately when a car is started if there are serious problems. If not after starting the car, they can see if there are things under the hood that signal major problems.

With this said, please take a Dad, a brother, a best male friend, a boyfriend or husband when you feel that you have to buy a car from a used car lot. Unfortunately, I have a few very sad stories of women who went to buy a car at a used car lot alone and the results were disastrous.

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6. IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO CHECK ON A USED CAR

The VIN# tells a lot about a car. You need it to verify that the car is in sellable and buyable condition with the car report services such as carfax.com, Kelly Blue Book, or kbb.com and your state, DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The next most important number is the license plate.

These numbers will tell you if the car is registered to the current owner which should be the used car dealer. I know a few people who found out their car was not registered to their used car dealer after an accident or ticket.

They found out the 30-day temporary registration was never valid, and they never got their “pink slip” or legal ownership paper. If you don’t get a “legal registration” in 40 days, contact the car dealership, then the DMV.

The car should be registered the same day you purchase it at the dealership if it is a legitimate dealership. There was a recent news story where people had new – used cars confiscated from their driveways, the VIN# on their cars were traced to a stolen car ring, but each of the individuals purchased their car from, what they thought, was an honest used car dealership.

Don’t be in a hurry to buy a car from a used car lot, take your time, check it out.

Every used car is required to have a “Buyers Guide” affixed to the car window, it gives information such as a no dealer warranty, or dealer warranty. Read the “Buyers Guide” sticker on the window carefully, when it says “as-is” that is what they mean, as the car may not run after you leave the lot, but you do have 3 days to rescind your contract, so get the car inspected quickly.

Far too many people never read the sticker on the window called the “Buyer’s Guide”, and pay for their negligence later.

When you buy a car from a used car lot the process is very serious. You must know that the car lot has a good reputation and sells good, legal car or you could suffer for years to come with a bad car, a bad loan or both.

Excerpt from the eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Car Buying For Women” by Lois Center-Shabazz

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Resources: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Finance Protection Board

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The ultimate guide to car buying for women

The ultimate guide to car buying for women

buy a car from a used car lot

Who Manages Your Personal Finances

who manages your personal finances

Who manages your personal finances? Seems like a silly question, but if you ask many people they will tell you, “no one, my money doesn’t need managing, I just pay my bills and spend what I can” I hear this quite often with those who make a lot of money and those who make a little money. They are clueless about the fine tuning of their budget and creating finances that will create money that lasts.

When I give meeting attendees just a few of my suggestions they are surprised at the information that will change their lives, and the information they did not have to create finances they needed. The following are three things you can do to improve your personal finances. This is part 2 in a four-part series I am writing this month on personal finance.


MANAGE YOUR OWN FINANCES

Managing your own personal finances is crucial. Why does that sound strange – most would say, of course, I manage my own finances? But, for many, that is not true. Wives let husbands manage all the family finances, and there are husbands that let wives handle all the family finances. Then, there are elderly people who allow adult children to manage their finances. There are even people who allow complete and total strangers to manage their finances since they are convinced they are not capable.

You can and you should manage your own finances – get personal with your finances and stay that way. Married couples should manage their finances together, and everyone else I mention should stay close and manage their own finances – this is the core of personal finance. If you don’t feel competent enough to manage your own finances, you should think seriously about finding the time or finding help learning how.


YOU CAN GET YOURSELF OUT OF DEBT

I have heard of folks turning their money over to a small business that manages their money to get them out of debt. You can get yourself out of debt if you got yourself into debt. It is ok to use someone to help you get out of debt but work with that person hands on. Don’t turn your money over to someone else to do it for you.

Not only should you not turn it over, but it is important that you stay close to the process so you can understand how to get out of debt and how to stay out of debt. Once you have an awareness that you are at a level of debt you should not be in, start to think of what got you there and create ways to stay clear of returning to debt.


UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCIAL HABITS

Managing your finances and getting out of debt begins with an understanding of your personal finance habits. Some habits are so automatic, it is as if some are spending money with their eyes closed. They fail to understand the seriousness of their blind spending and the future implications. You know you are engaged in blind spending when you ask yourself at the end of the month, where did my money go?

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Money Before Marriage-Until Credit Do Us Part, Part 2

Money before Marriage

 Get Money Before Marriage Finances RightMoney before marriage is an essential conversation everyone should have prior to marriage, when you, considering the divorce statistics associated with money before marriage

Financial surprises after marriage run the gamut from, “I assumed he owned his home”,  and, “I did not know he was deep in debt to his x-wife”.  These
are just two of hundreds of surprises newly married couples encounter. The problems go both ways, there are men who are surprised that their new wife got married only to quit her well-paying job shortly after marrying, and there are women who are surprised to learn their new husband has been laid off his job and didn’t tell her.

These are very serious issues, and they signal the fact that too many couples are taking money for granted before they marry.  Before getting married, couples should have more in common, than not. Besides respect and understanding for each other, having good financial habits in common are important.  If not, after the honeymoon period is over, fights may ensue over money.

Marriage partners bring their bad money problems or good money habits to the marriage, so understanding what your partner’s money habits are before you marry is crucial.

Money quotes, Skills should not be predatory

Psychologists say the glue that holds marriages together is the number of things you have in common. The more you have in common the more likely you will stay in a happy long term marriage. At the top of that list, is finances. The more you have in common with great finances, the better your marriage will fare, financially. I have listed some of the financial habits you should have in common, that will foster a healthy marriage relationship, below.

The Financial Aspects You Should Have in Common Before Marriage, Both of You Should:

  • Believe in living within a budget
  • Live within your means
  • Purchase products you can afford
  • Have supplemental savings accounts before you marry
  • Have good credit reports before you marry
  • Invest in a pension or other retirement account at work or personally
  • Be interested in buying an affordable home after marrying
  • Identify and alleviate poor money habits before you marry

Most couples are still in the admiration phase of their relationship before they marry, so they assume that all is to be admired on the financial front also.  But, unfortunately, just as the experts will tell you, people don’t change for marriage. It may take some time to understand that your spouse has poor money management skills, and in most cases, those habits were there before marriage.

Home buying the right way take skill

How Do You Determine if Money Before Marriage is a Problem?

There are many ways to spot financial dysfunction behavior in a potential spouse, you only have to be willing to understand what a wasteful person does, and be willing to look honestly at money with your fiance. Some people don’t understand what financial problems look like and some are hidden. Your best bet is to look for signs of financial mismanagement. Here are many to consider:

1. Does he or she live in an apartment with no furniture – sounds funny, but this could mean your partner is super frugal-paying off bills, unreasonably cheap, or can’t afford furniture because of financial mismanagement, even if it is second-hand furniture. The functional sign would be that he/or she is super frugal and waiting to buy furniture after some crucial bills are paid off.

2. If he/or she makes a modest income, but owns an expensive car. The problem with an expensive car is that not only is the monthly payment painful, but the upkeep could consume most of a monthly paycheck. This is a very bad sign of financial dysfunction.

3. If he/or she lives in and owns a home that is too expensive for their income and assets.

4. That he/or she takes expensive vacations and their salary is modest.

5. That he/or she carries a large number of credit cards and pulls out a different one each time you go out.

6. The absolute must is to share your bills with each other. Excessive bills for his/or her income is a huge sign.

7. Your partner should be willing to pay down excessive bills before marriage.

8. If your partner can’t make a pack with you to keep debt low during your marriage, you may need to reconsider your choice, and alleviate a lifetime of financial pain.

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Money before Marriage Finances

Money Saving Tips For Single Moms

Money saving tips

Money saving tips for single moms at Msfinancialsavvy


Creating a list of money saving tips is essential for all single moms
, and the list will vary considerably from one person to another. The money saving tips working for a single Mom would be different than for a student, and a working professional and entirely unique saving methods would apply for a couple.

Being a single parent is not an easy job and this job becomes even more difficult when a single mother is pressed to save money. Life is not easy for mothers especially in today’s financial climate  when Mom’s must play the dual role of breadwinner and homemaker, a lot of introspection is in order.

A single mother needs to take care of every personal financial detail, this is the main reason why financial success is possible. If you are a single mom and looking for techniques to save  money, then you’ve  come to the right place, I will present you with some of the most successful money saving tips available for single moms.

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  • Food issues

A mother is responsible for providing her children a balanced diet and nutritious food, but a single mom is responsible for doing the same in an affordable way. A single mom can save a lot of money by planning family meals in advance. You can also receive bulk and coupon discounts from grocery and retail stores. Cooking in bulk that can be used over a period of 1-2 weeks when you freeze the excess, can help you save on cooking expenses and save a lot of time and energy. Try to purchase seasoned vegetables and fruits and avoid expensive cuts of meat and off-season vegetables as they will heavily increase your supermarket bills.

  • The second-hand option!

Children are always full of demands, and in fact, I won’t be exaggerating if I say that their demands are never-ending. As a single Mom, you need to handle these demands without jeopardizing your monthly budget and savings. You can save a lot of money by buying used toys and clothes for their kids and, and even for yourself. And if second-hand clothes are not something you like, go in for recycling your clothes and save a lot of money on buying new ones. There are several shops that offer second-hand products used and in good condition, and available at 70-80% of the original price. These include consignment shops, thrift shops or Salvation Army type shops. You can see that there are many options for saving money on clothes, you can think of others.

  • Look out for discounts and coupons

The life of a single mother is full of struggles and difficulties but one should never feel hesitant or shy in asking for discounts from some stores, and shopping only at the lowest prices. Take advantage of different types of shopping coupons, store loyalty, and reward cards and make the most of your shopping experience by paying the lowest price as a rule and not an exception. You can go in for kid’s clothes shopping during sales at regular stores and at deep discount retail shops when looking for money saving tips.

  • Team up with other moms

There is one famous quote saying ‘Divided we fall, United we stand’,  this is an inspirational quote for all single Moms.  Befriend single Moms in your area and form a group where you can all trade babysitting when any of the group members are in need, which would not just save money, but also foster friendships within the group. Organize group activities such as cooking demonstrations, excursion trips, picnics to nearby places with kids and carpooling.

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  • Save on household bills

Household bills will always be with us, but unnecessary bills can be cut out. The process of saving money on household bills begins with cutting back on cell phones, cable, electricity and water bills. Single moms can take advantage of the internet to compare various cellular plans and should consider discount friendly options only. Always ask your electricity, water or gas companies for a subsidy or discount, as many companies give subsidized electricity and other amenities at lower rates to people belonging to certain income groups. Take advantage of government offers for moderate income people.

  • The tip jar

For those of you who complain that you can’t save any money in an account. Start with a tip jar.  Choose any large jar in your home. Place it somewhere safe. Whenever you have an excess of  change in your wallet or purse, place most of the change in your jar. In anywhere from 4-12 months, you will  notice the jar filling up, depending of course on the size. The larger the better, 1 to 1/2 feet high is good. When you have an emergency you can turn in your coins to a local store coin deposit machine and get cash for something pressing. In addition to your jar, I suggest you open a bank account at a bank, a regular passbook savings account. At this point you are not concerned about interest, your goal is to accumulate money for a rainy day. It doesn’t matter if it is $20 a month or $200 a month. Make this a bill, pay into to the savings account every single month when you pay your bills, it’s even better if it is auto-deducted from your checking account or payroll check, that makes it easier.

  • Get out of the debt trap

[sociallocker]Debt is an integral part of the lives of a single parent, the trick is to keep it low. Many people know that debt is the enemy of savings, and to increase savings, one needs to get out of the debt trap as soon as possible. I suggest you replace your big car with a small one or a big house with an apartment or small manageable home.  Big assets acquired in the form of a loan only adds to your liabilities and increases outflow of your cash by the way of down payments, loan installments, and big repair bills. Get rid of bigger loans with huge installment payments, and high-interest rates;  and save up your monthly income for a healthy budget and securing your children’s future.

We know as a single mom, you  know the importance of money and savings. This is the reason why you can see plenty of single moms working terribly hard from morning to evening to earn an income for their children. This is the reason why we’ve given you the best workable tips for achieving the task. Take advantage of the money saving tips here and see your budget consistently improve over time. [/sociallocker]

These are just a few of the money saving tips for single moms, look for more in my downloadable kindle eBook.

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Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Planner
Download “Budget Planner” Instantly  Now

author of, Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever
Available Now at Amazon

&  Get Out of Debt Forever in 17 Amazing Ways

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7 Ways To Save Money To Buy A House

7 ways to save money to buy a house

There are literally thousands of ways to save money to buy a house. Buying a house is not as difficult as you may think. First of all, you must understand that you “can’t have it all,” so discontinue that form of thinking. You must curtail your spending in other areas. Home prices are up all over the country, but you can still find affordable housing in the way of a cosmetic fixer (that is a fixer with no major repair problems), or anxious seller. Owning a home includes the monthly payment of P+I+T+I, translated, this is the principle, plus interest, plus taxes, plus insurance, which, added together, equals the total monthly payment.

Understanding the P+I+T+I for different loan amounts will enable you to better prepare for home ownership. For example, if you could afford $1400, total for a P+I+T+I monthly payment, determine what home cost would fall into this price range.

Search the Internet or anonymously call mortgage companies for quotes.To purchase a home there are home loans which require 0%, 3%, 5%, and 10% down, plus the closing cost. The lower the down payment, the better your credit should be, to get a reasonable interest rate. The standard down payment is about 10% plus escrow and closing costs.

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Ideas for saving for your new home could include:

1. Selling a car or furniture: Many of us have an extra car or a car with excessive monthly payments, insurance, and gas. Sell the car you are not using, or in the case of the overly expensive car, sell it to purchase an affordable model.

2. Get a part-time job and save the income for your home: Even if the job is every other weekend, it will help.

3. Temporarily discontinue a whole host of unnecessary things: movies, parties, vacations, clothes, cable TV, voice mail, newspaper, and excess clothes shopping.

4. Use your tax return: Put it in the bank toward your down payment. After purchasing your home, speak with an accountant; find out how many more exemptions you can take during the year, so you can use your future excess taxes (or home deduction) toward your current monthly payments.

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5. Use a windfall, such as an inheritance or large bonus: Take this money and place as much as you can afford on your down payment.

6. A few of you can live with your parents or in-laws while saving money: There are a few parents or in-laws who will be willing to work with you.

7. Ask for cash as gifts: When you have a birthday, graduation, wedding or any other celebration, explain to family members in advance that you are saving for a home.

As I said at the beginning, it is not as difficult as you think. Now that you have my list, you can also think of more ways in which you can save for a house, start with items 1-7, use the popular downloadable eBook; Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Now and Forever in conjunction with Liver Rich Save Money! Easy Budget Planner, you can also download 17 ways to get out of debt.

7 ways to save money to save for a house

5 Ways to Become Rich Using These Good Habits

5 Ways to become rich using these good habits

Become Rich With Good, Honest, Hard Work to Start

Become rich, seems impossible. But when you consider the real definition, it is possible. Becoming rich defined as having all that you need and much of what you don’t. A surprising number of people don’t have most of what they need, and many who do, have very little excess or live paycheck to paycheck. Becoming rich, begins with hard work and ends with saving money.

Most folks will swear they work hard, including young folks. But, when questioned about researching the best jobs, working enough hours to get promoted, and constantly improving themselves with training and education, they admit being negligent.

The earlier you start working hard, the more likely you are to achieve financial success and end up with a job you like.

Also, you will have more time to save and accomplish your long-term goals when it comes to paying bills, general savings, and retirement savings. When you are young you have better health and more energy, and time to accomplish life long goals.


Don’t Over Invest in Education

In today’s educational climate, you can spend $10,000 living at home with no student loans, or $200,000 going away to college, with huge student loans, for the same degree that will get you the same job as the $10,000 degree. If you have rich parents who don’t mind paying the larger bill that is fine. But, to take out student loans on the larger college cost makes no financial sense at all, not to mention the emotional toll it will take on you trying to make those huge student loan payments for the next 25 years.

Those large student loan payments are amortized like a mortgage, which makes it even harder since the loan is paid over such a long period of time. Do your research, know the total cost of all colleges you are considering. List several colleges you or your child is interested in and include the cost of tuition, books, room and board, and then add 5% for hidden cost.

The more expensive the college is, the more loans you or your child will have to take out. Choose from the affordable colleges. Financial aid only covers about 80% of costs for the poorest students, so no matter what your financial level, you will always need to come up with some out of pocket money. The exception is if you are covered by a full scholarship, but these are rare.

Once you get a marketable degree, concentrate on getting a job after your training, instead of more degrees. Some people get multiple degrees, and deep in debt, only to find out the first college degree was perfectly adequate. Many who make the mistake of choosing a college with too much student loan debt find that to become rich they must first figure out how to get out of their student loan trap, paying down the debt.

Research Everything, Before You Buy

We were taught to do research in college, remember all of those late night college research papers, but now many of you do what I call the anti-research. The anti-research is when you approach sales people and ask them what you should buy. It is mysteriously the most overstocked item on the shelf since they need to make room for new stock. The most overstocked item may be such, due to high returns or bad reviews also.

Do your research about everything, especially big-ticket items such as cars, homes, home building, mortgages, colleges, and investment companies. I mention investment companies because of Bernie Madoff of Madoff Investments. Madoff was not a registered Investment Broker most of the time he was in business, but none of his victims checked at finra.org.

You can start your checking by calling the company you are interested in and asking a lot of questions, try to get a list of 10 questions, then search government websites to find information on the industry or company in question, check independent consumer sites for reviews, and last ask those who have used the company or services you are considering.

It is hard to get the truth about some companies because there is so much false information in circulation, but if you do your research you can be reasonably sure you will get most of the truth. Some buyers make purchases based on a “free-gift seminar”, buying anything based on a free gift is what I call high-risk buying. I call it high-risk because it is usually something you don’t need and the gift is charged back to you with your purchase, some buyers even sign long term loan commitments based on the seminar gift and presentation, only to regret it later.


Live Below Your Means

This sounds like it is good old fashion common sense, but one of the biggest reasons for foreclosures and bankruptcies is because many people believe in living above their means, until they realize the dangers. Living below your means, means you must use a budget planner to maintain a sustainable budget.

Living below your means, means that you will have a much greater chance of keeping your home or car if you get laid off your job or have to take a pay cut in some way. It also means you will have money freed up to save for important things, such as home maintenance, car repairs and
vacations.


Make Savings A Bill

You know what happens when you get a bill, you do everything you can to pay that bill, no matter what. Some bills are on automatic deduct, which makes them really easy to pay since you don’t even have to write a check. Do the same with savings, it is easy when you make it an auto deduct bill. Savings should include; emergency savings, extra to retirement savings, college savings, and vacation savings.

A habit that makes us poor is, every time we need money for these things, we borrow the money by charging them on high interest credit cards. The lowest credit card payment is amortized over a 20 year period. Sometimes it is necessary to use a credit card, like securing a hotel room, renting a car, or getting credit card points—just keep it within an affordable range, and use them sparingly. Make more than the minimum payment to get the balance paid off quickly.

When you have substantial savings based on monthly additions  to a few accounts, emergency, basic needs, vacation and retirement you will see yourself on the road to become rich beyond your wildest dreams.

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There are 5 ways to become rich using these good habits

Until Credit Do Us Part, Money and Marriage Finances

Marriage Finances

marriage finances

Many of you spend more time selecting a ring before marriage then discussing marriage finances. Yet, how many of you have heard of a couple divorcing due to “ring problems?”

Professional marriage counselors tell us the single most common reason for divorce in this country, are problematic marriage finances. There are three to five other top divorce reasons, but money issues tops the list.

My question to you is “Do you think these problems started after marriage?” I’ll save you some trouble, “the answer is no.” We bring all of our pre-marriage baggage with us into our seemingly wonderful marriages. Included in this pre-marriage baggage is the credit report.

You say, “credit report,” what does that have to do with marrying the most wonderful person I have ever met in my whole life? The answer, “a lot!”

In your credit report lies those nasty little financial secrets we call “past and current financial problems.” If your spouse is not willing to share his or her credit report with you before you marry, look at that as an early sign of problematic marriage finances.

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What can a credit report tell us?

  • In the case where a credit report is several pages long, this is a strong indicator that your spouse-to-be is overextended. In some cases, far too overextended.
  •  Several delinquencies listed on a credit report simply means your Mr. or Ms. Right just doesn’t bother to pay his/or her bills in a timely fashion, or ignores them altogether.
  •  Then there is the real ugly stuff, which can appear on a credit report, like previous DUI’s (that’s drunk driving offenses, for those of you who don’t know). Then there are the liens and judgments, and yes, even the nicest most attractive people can end up here.

Far too many men and woman are baffled by their “significant others” spending habits and financial problems, after they are married.


This probably happens for any number of reasons; these are just a few;

  • Some people just don’t believe someone they, “think they know” is capable of doing “nasty things” like, not paying their bills on time?
  • Some people simply don’t understand the significance of “not paying bills on time.” The significance is that the person you are about to marry may with bill paying and money in general.
  • Some people simply do not get to know their spouses well enough to get married, but in our “get-married” promoted society, some have a tendency to rush to the altar.

Most of you are on your best behavior before marriage, and others simply don’t understand the significance of credit history before they marry, therefore the thought never occurs to ask the potential spouse about financial history to establish marriage finances.

So what happens, you marry a seemingly wonderful person, discover their bad financial history after marriage, fight over it, and then divorce, sometimes after fighting over money for years.

To avoid this cycle, look at the credit report of Mr. or Ms. Wonderful before marriage. Get together, pull it out, and go over both reports. If he or she refuses, think twice about the true “wonderfulness” of your soon-to-be spouse.

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Start by Purchasing a Car The Right Way and
Learn to Save With These Great Tools
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The credit report is only one indicator of financial dysfunction with your potential spouse, others are excessive spending, over-paying, always broke or behind on bills such as child support or taxes.

marriage finances

Be Aware of IRS Tax Scams and Tax Fraud by Criminals

Be Aware of IRS Tax Scams and Tax Fraud by Criminals

IRS Tax Scams and Tax Fraud

Tax season has begun, which means tax ID theft and fraud should be on everyone’s radar.

Tax Scams and Identity Theft

According to the  Internal Revenue Service’s website, IRS tax scams and tax fraud are expected to be worse than ever in 2016. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You may be unaware that this has happened until you e-file your return and discover that a return already has been filed under your SSN. The IRS may also send you a letter stating they have identified a suspicious return.

The IRS Does Not Make Phone Calls

Taxpayers are also being targeted through aggressive and threatening phone calls made by criminals impersonating IRS agents, or even through email schemes designed to deceive taxpayers. Scammers may try to threaten court action or even arrest as a scare tactic.

The IRS Does Not Do Emails or Text Messages

As a reminder, the IRS does not use unsolicited email or text messages to discuss personal tax issues. The IRS will also never demand payment without giving the taxpayer an opportunity to appeal or question the amount owed, require you to use a specific payment method, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or threaten to contact law enforcement to have you arrested.

Always shred your personal and financial documents when discarding them and always know your tax preparer to ensure your information is protected.

If you suspect an IRS tax scams or tax fraud:

  • Call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040. You can confirm your tax obligations with an official IRS agent
  • Report a suspicious incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by calling 1-800-366-4484 or sending an email to:  phishing@irs.gov.
  • Always check the status of your refund after filing

Visit https://www.irs.gov/ for more information.

Related Link 1 : Make Tax-Filing Easier
Related Link 2: Tax Saving Ideas