Fair Wage: Which Careers are Still the Worst Paid for Women?

Fair Wage Which Careers are Still the Worst Paid for Women

The topic of fair wages for the sexes has been a hot button issue since the women’s movement in the early 70’s. Activists continue to raise awareness, which has been able to make a small impact, and though women have earned these nominal gains, the fight is ongoing. A New Jersey Harassment Attorney says wage and workplace discrimination cases are still quite common. The crux of the debate has been equal pay for equal work for those with the same credentials. Unfortunately, in the last 40 years these four jobs still lag far behind in closing the earnings gap.

Financial Sector
This industry has a dismal record when it comes to fair wages. The top three jobs in the field include financial manager, advisor, and services agent. Statistics show the structure of compensation packages tends to be the culprit. This means commissions, bonuses, and merit lead the way to unfair earning differences between genders. However, bias is also cited as a cause, as well as discrimination.

Medical Field
Specialties have been the leading factor for potential wages doctors earn. While this is still the case, women in specialties such as cardiology and neurology still encounter a large income gap. The rationale of male-dominated no longer fits, because pediatrics has more female physicians who are still earning less. This turns the discussion to amount of time at work. Opponents point to the prevalence of male doctors working more hours per week, while their female counterpart work less due to motherhood and pregnancy.

Business Sector
Top male executives with the same education and experience are consistently paid more than their female colleagues. Female executives hired for a position with more education and experience still deal with compensation package inequity. The responsibilities for a CEO have the same expectations no matter who is in the role, however the earnings consistently do not reflect this. Females can outperform the business critical bottom line, but still earn a lesser amount.

Logistics Industry
Long and short distance truck driver jobs are included in the income gap conversation. Critics point to long hours and time away from home, as well as fewer women on the job, though this reasoning does not address the pay inequity for those that match their male counterparts in all areas. Regardless of the number of female truck drivers on the roads, the pay per mile remains lower.

It does not matter what career or industry, each example of the unfair wage gap reviewed demonstrates a 30 to 40 percent deficit. While ingrained discrimination is a catalyst, advocates believe societal norms regarding gender roles have skewed the issue more. One thing is certain, something has to give in order to give women a more equal chance in their careers.

 

Five Tips To Plan Your Dream Wedding Without Breaking The Bank

 

5 Tips To Plan Your Dream Wedding Without Breaking The BankEveryone wants to have the wedding of their dreams, but a storybook union can cost tens of thousands of dollars with the price of decorations, wedding attire, and a professional photographer included. There are some key things that any couple can do to minimize the cost of the wedding without sacrificing the experience. A little creative vision and hard work are all it takes.

Planning the venue

The first thing to do when planning an inexpensive wedding is to find a location that has as many services and perks included in the price. Places like Noah’s Event Venues provide a space with decorations, tables, lighting, food preparation area, a stage, and set up and take down service at no additional charge. These types of event destinations usually have beautiful views too.

Plan your own wedding

While a wedding planner may help get things moving along more smoothly, it is not always necessary. Many venues provide the extras you need, like mentioned above, which is what a wedding planning would do. Working with the professionals you already have, like photographer, venue professionals and more, you can put together a lovely wedding and schedule without the need for a wedding planner.

Make your own centerpieces

While you have to be careful with DIY projects for wedding, DIY centerpieces are actually quite simple and can look great at any wedding. First, choose a couple base neutral colors, and incorporate a few other colors in the same color palette. Choosing a flower arrangement can look great and be the attention, while other smaller pieces can bring it all together. Things like lanterns, burlap table runners and more are popular options.

Purchase used clothing or rent a gown

There is never a need to buy a new dress if you don’t have the budget for it. In fact, many brides end up selling their dresses since they have no need for them and it takes up space. A used dress can be tailored to fit any bride by adding fabric or taking in the seams. Shopping online is one way to find a good deal. Often, people can find a recently married couple who is selling their wedding clothes.

Have family or a friend make the cake

Anyone who knows how to make a cake and decorate it is a candidate for making a wedding cake. The price for the tiers and the larger cake pans is cheap compared to the cost of buying a professionally decorated cake. It is easier to customize a cake made by a friend too.

 

Creating an inexpensive wedding does not mean the day is not memorable. Couples can save thousands of dollars by getting friends and family to help in areas where they have experience. The savings can be used for a special honeymoon destination or to put a down payment on a house.

 

 

A Smart Woman Saves Money

 

A smart woman saves money, no matter what bills are due.  We find ways to save money, no matter how small the amount is.  We use coupons, we barter, we hit tag sales, shop at consignment stores and we even find free stuff that others  want to give away.   We collect cans and turn them in for nickels.  We need to take those pennies that we generate and save and actually save them.  Put that money aside and have the determination that it stays there “until hell freezes over.”  Let those funds accumulate and they will grow.

 

BUDGETING

If budgeting is the problem, then LearnVest.com is a place you can visit to learn how to create a budget.  Once you do that, then the goal is to stick to it.

List all of your expenses, then divide them by 12.  This is your monthly budget.  Write down your income and subtract what comes in from what goes out, then you know exactly what you are dealing with.  Makes sure that one of your line items is SAVINGS!

 

CREDIT

If credit debt is excessive, then cut up all of your credit cards – maybe keep just one.  Then make a plan to pay them all down starting with the smallest balance first.  Once that card is paid off, close the account and apply the extra funds to the next credit card.  Do this until all of your debt is paid off.

 

UTILITIES

Most of the utility companies allow their customers to get on a budget plan where they will charge a fixed amount every month based on your usage.  This will protect you from heating and cooling bills that can fluctuate widely during hot summer and cold winter months.

 

INSURANCE

If you have car insurance, choose a higher deductible.  This lowers the amount that you pay instantly.  Ask your insurance carrier about any other discounts that you may qualify for.

 

GROCERIES

Set up meal plans for the week, then create your grocery list from that plan.  Do you really need those cookies and sugary cereals for the kids?  Steel cut oats are very healthy for the body and helps to avoid all the artificial colorings and flavorings in processed food.  So, give extra thought to what you are buying, serving and eating.  Create a healthy meal plan, generate your shopping list, go into the store with your plan and stick with it.  You would be surprised at how much you will save by not throwing random items that appeal to you in your carriage.

Use coupons!  Coupons really do work and help you save money.

If grocery shopping with your young children is an issue because they want everything, then involve them in your research where you learn about the food that your family is eating.  Help them to find healthier choices!  This could be a really fun project!

Grow your own food.  It is amazing that several decades ago this is how people fed themselves.  Now, we don’t give it a second thought.  We’re all conditioned to buy what has been mass-manufactured and put on grocery shelves for us to buy and feed to our families.  You and your children will be delighted by watching and caring for your growing vegetables.  And they will be more receptive to healthier eating practices!

Finally, when it comes to grocery shopping, never shop while you are hungry.  Because then you walk around eating with your eyes and buying extra stuff.  Create your list and stick to it.

SHOPPING IN GENERAL

Stay out of the mall.  Stay out of stores.  If you need to purchase something that is an actual need – buy that one or those two things and get out of the store.  Stick with your mission.

 

A SMART WOMAN SAVES MONEY

Save money, even if it’s a penny, a dime, a nickel.  Collect it in a can or a jar.  When you have several dollars, deposit them into the FREE savings account that you will set up.  Make sure the bank you are using will not charge a fee.  Pick a day of the week when you go and deposit all of your change into the bank.  If your children are working with you, they’ll be happy to pitch in!  It can be a family project.

If there is an end game, or a reward for you or the family after you’ve saved a certain amount, imagine how great everyone is going feel after they’ve reached that goal.  But remember the goal is to have money saved.  If you are saving toward something, make sure you set a minimum amount that you need to keep in the bank.  For instance, if the family wants to buy – let’s say a small row boat and the cost of that is $300, you must have a goal of saving $100 first.  Once that $100 is there, then start saving toward the purchase of the boat.   Once you have the boat, then up the ante a little and say that the savings goal is $500, for instance and keep it going.

A smart woman saves money.  We are creative and find ways to make this happen.  Once you develop the habit of saving, it will help you to create a solid foundation for future financial success.

 

 

Finding Ways To Create Additional Revenue

In these tight financial times, women are being creative and finding additional ways to make money to help support themselves and their families.

Crafts for sale.  People make everything from from bags to jewelry – to pottery to paintings.  There are craft fairs galore during the beautiful summer months.  Perhaps you can tap into some of your unused talents and create something to sell.  Most craft fairs charge a fee for space.  Make sure that the pricing of your items balances out the fee.

 

Tag Sale.  Do you have things that you no longer need?  Tag sales are everywhere every weekend.  You could organize your own.  Just remember to check and see if your town requires a permit.  Choose the day, advertise on craigs list and other neighborhood newspapers.  Usually these ads are free or if there is a fee, it’s nominal.  Make sure you have enough tables to display your items.  You can even invite a few friends over to sell their wares and make it a very fun day.

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Can you braid hair?  Braiding hair does not have any state licensing requirements.  If you are really good at braiding and want to spend a few hours in front of the tv braiding other women’s hair – go for it!

 

Computer Repair.  Do you have a knack for fixing computers?  If you do and are very confident about it, you can start off by helping your friends first and then branch out to help others.

 

Explain Cell Phone Gadgets.  It seems that the young instinctively have an understanding of how cell phone gadgets work. Perhaps you can offer to help people learn how to use their cell phones.

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Buy and Sell Antiques.  Do you have knowledge of antiques and know what something is worth?  Be the early bird at tag sales and buy those kinds of items and resell them on ebay and auction houses, etc.

 

Make and Sell Beats.  This is very popular with young people.  If you can create beats on your keyboard or with your music software, there is a market for these products.

 

 

Based on your idea and what you want to do, maybe you need to invest in things like buyheatshrink.com tubing cutters or craft supplies, maybe even a sewing machine.

 

Teach music, teach dance, teach art — English, Spanish, Arabic!  We all have gifts and talents.  Not everyone uses what they have.  Search yourself and find your hidden, untapped potential and bring it to the fore.

 

What other ideas can you think of?  Please share them with us here at WomenMovetheSoul.com!

Not Too Soon to Worry About Tax Time!

Even though we are in the middle of summer, we still need to keep on track with our upcoming tax filing in the spring.

 

If you are self-employed and own your own business, you already have tax accountants like a russalleninc.com working with you to keep you on track.  Depending on whether or not your business is registered as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or other corporation, you need to stay on track of income and expenses which will determine your tax liability.  And, if you are smart, you are working with someone who helps you do to just that.taxes2

People who work for other people, also need to do a mid-season check to see where they stand as far as their tax obligations go.  You don’t want to end up at the end of the fiscal year with not having had enough money taken out for taxes.  No one wants to do their tax forms or have them prepared and be told that they owe money to the government.  So, it’s a good idea to do a check yourself or have your accountant check out where you stand at this present time.  Maybe you need to make an adjustments in your allowances and have more money taken out so you can break even with the government or get a refund.

Getting a refund however, is like giving the government an interest free loan.  A lot of people have the tendency to use this a way to get extra money after they file their taxes, but in reality, it is your money that you let the government borrow for free.  If getting this extra money in the spring is what you’re after, it’s better to put the extra money that’s currently going to the government in the bank every payday.  At least this way it can generate some interest for you – no matter how small.  Something is better than nothing!  Get out of the mindset that you want to give the government an interest free loan so you can get your own money back after they’ve borrowed it.  Learn how to save instead.

Suppose you are not having enough taken out of every paycheck?  You don’t want to find this out at the end of the tax year.  Get with your accountant to get an idea of where you stand now to avoid future shock.

Perhaps you are going to break even.  Wouldn’t you rather know where you stand now rather than wait until later when it’s too late to correct anything?

 

 

Are They Going To Garnish Your Wages?

Garnishment is a last-ditch effort at debt collection.  This hits where it hurts because your money will be taken from you before you even get it and this will make dealing with your budget – or what’s left of your paycheck – very challenging.

If you are facing debt that can’t readily be paid, the best thing to do is contact your creditor and make some kind of payment arrangement and stick to it religiously.  Otherwise, if debt goes unpaid and ignored, the courts issue a judgment on your creditor’s behalf requiring your employer to “garnish” or withhold a portion of your wages or bank accounts to pay back the debt.

A collection tool of last resort
“Garnishment is a legal remedy authorized by a court and should be considered a collection tool of last resort. In most states, the garnishment process can only be initiated by a court order and only if a judgment for monies owed has been entered.

This may cause you great embarrassment because your employer now becomes aware of your financial situation.  Employers are typically required to tell workers about the withheld amount. While it is against the law for an employer to fire an employee whose wages are garnished, that protection goes away after a second and third such judgment.

Creditors are required, per state laws, to provide lead time to debtors of any pending legal action, and generally prefer to avoid the hassle of filing a lawsuit. But once the judgment has been rendered, your  options are very limited,”

 

Credit card debt judgments and garnished wages
Once a credit card account (or any debt) goes into default, and the creditor decides it cannot collect, it may sell the debt to a debt collection company. If the credit card or debt collection company is unsuccessful in recovering the debt, then a lawsuit may be filed against the consumer in an attempt to recover its losses. If the ruling in the lawsuit goes against the consumer, a judgment may be issued to garnish property, bank accounts or wages.

You could contact an attorney immediately to discuss options before the situation escalates and you are  faced with lawsuits and garnishment.  Once the situation reaches this point, if it is a legitimate debt, the consumer’s only recourse is to either make a deal with the credit card company or to declare bankruptcy (which is an action you don’t want to take unless it is absolutely necessary).  Otherwise, a judgment may result, followed by collection procedures.

Once a judgement has been rendered, all you can do is ask the court to adjust the amount of the garnishment if the reduction in pay severely impacts your ability to support yourself and any dependents. Also, if a judgment is rendered in a state where the garnishment law differs from federal law, the law requires the court to adjust the garnishment to the lesser amount.

When other assets, such as property, are attached, a lien is placed to the property for the judgment amount — or for as much of the judgment amount as can be secured — so that when a property is sold, the money obtained from the sale would be distributed first to the creditors, unless the debt is paid.

 

Don’t Let the Emotion Overwhelm You

When the notices start coming in, we can become emotionally overwhelmed and try to ignore everything.  Don’t do this because with or without your participation, the lawsuit will go through and you will be faced with garnishment.

 

Be smart and will reach out for help before your financial situation gets out of hand.

Contact the creditor and try to make arrangements.  Also contact a consumer credit counseling agency.   A counseling agency may be able to negotiate lower payment arrangements with a creditor, but, once a debt becomes garnished neither you nor the counseling agency have any latitude because the payment arrangement is set by the court.

Credit & Collections – Know Your Rights

You are responsible for your debts. If you fall behind in paying your creditors or an error is made on your account, you may be contacted by a “debt collector.” A debt collector is any person, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis.

 

This is a true story.  Mrs. Nelson co-signed for a student loan for her granddaughter.  When her granddaughter finished college and defaulted on the loan, the credit company’s collection agency started calling Mrs. Nelson.  This woman was 85 years old at the time.  The callers would say things to her like, “You can lose your home if you don’t pay this debt.”  “We will start taking money from your social security payments,” and other harassing statements.  They would also call every night at 9:00 pm, well after the time Mrs. Nelson had retired for the day.

Fortunately, this story had a happy ending because her granddaughter got in touch with the creditor and made payment arrangements and stuck to it.  However, these days with the aggressiveness of debt collectors, this story and Mrs. Nelson’s experience are far more common that they should be.

Some debt collection companies pay their employees commission to collect on a debt or to get payment arrangements set up.

 

Understand that you have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors.

 

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to personal, family, and household debts. This includes money owed for the purchase of a car, for medical care, or for credit accounts. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices while collecting these debts.

Your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:

  • Debt collectors may contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Debt collectors may not contact you at work if they know your employer disapproves.
  • Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you.
  • Debt collectors may not lie when collecting debts, such as falsely implying that you have committed a crime.
  • Debt collectors must identify themselves to you on the phone.
  • Debt collectors must stop contacting you if you ask them to in writing.

 

Life After Bankruptcy

So you did it.  All of your debt was discharged – banquished — banished.  If you have a home or a car, negotiations were made through to court for you to keep those things.  Without the weight of additional debt, you are in a better position to pay for those items and to save money for the future.

So, now what?  How do you rebuild your credit all over again?

 

Create  A Budget

You need to be very clear on what your income is and what your expenses are.  Your living expenses include rent/mortgage, utilities – heat, electricity, water and insurance – car, home, personal.   Make sure you include savings – emergency savings and 401k or retirement savings.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeing a financial counselor to help you move forward in an organized and collected way.  They can assist you in setting up a budget to help you set up a plan to achieve your financial goals.

 

Reestablishing Credit

Credit card offers usually start pouring in.  Your information is available through the bankruptcy process and credit card companies take advantage of it.  Evaluate the offers carefully as some will charge high annual fees and interest rates upwards of 36% or more.  Secured credit cards require that you deposit your own money to be used to secure the allotted amount of credit.  For example, you can get a $500 credit card if you deposit $500 with the company.  Usually, there is an annual fee and a high interest rate that comes along with it.

Also, if you apply for credit on-line and are approved, examine the offer carefully checking the interest rate and any other fees that may be charged.

Watch out for predatory-lending scams and payday loans. Predatory lenders seek credit-impaired consumers and charge them exorbitant fees for borrowing money. Payday loans let consumers postdate a check for the amount of the loan and the fees for taking out the loan. Those fees are the killer. Credit counselors say you could end up paying as much as 400 percent interest with a payday loan.

As you are rebuilding keep a close eye on your credit reports and credit scores. Get get a copy of your report from all three major credit reporting institutions: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The reports should be examined for errors, missing and/or inaccurate information regarding current residence, employment and personal contact information.

 

Know Your True Worth

When it comes right down to it, a lot of us are very emotional about money — what we can and can’t buy or can and can’t afford could affect the way we feel and how we handle what money we do have.  The old saying goes, “money can’t buy you love.”  Recognize that some of the best things in life are free and choose not to measure yourself by what you have and what you don’t have.

If money is an emotional trigger for you, consider getting some counseling/therapy to help you to look at yourself and your emotional connection with money.   By understanding why we do what we do helps us to make conscious changes about our behavior.  So, if you are emerging from bankruptcy, relax and take your time as you rebuild your creditworthiness.  In this case, time is your friend.

Should You File Bankruptcy?

Reprinted from:  http://lawhelp.org

 

Do you have problems paying your debts? Are you threatened with garnishment, foreclosure or repossession? If so, you may want to consider bankruptcy as a way to deal with these problems.

You have the right under federal law to file for bankruptcy relief from your creditors. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person can get a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy can be very useful and effective in resolving financial problems in certain cases. However, it is not the answer to all financial problems or the right step for everyone. Also, it can be very important to choose the right time to file for bankruptcy relief.

For instance, in general, you should always wait as long as possible before filing bankruptcy because you can do so only once every six years. In most cases, you will want to save this valuable option until you really need it. Also, you may not need to file bankruptcy even though creditors are threatening you because you may have no nonexempt property or wages. This means you have nothing the creditors can take from you. You can’t be put in jail for failing to pay your civil debts (other than fines or other court ordered amounts).

The only way to be sure bankruptcy is right for you is to discuss your situation with a lawyer familiar with bankruptcy. Every case is different, and laws change from time to time. This article gives you some basic information, but it does not substitute for consultation with an attorney.

 

Some things bankruptcy can do:

  • Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a “discharge” of debts.
  • Stop foreclosure of your home and allow you to catch up on missed payments.
  • Stop repossession of a car or other property, or, in some situations, force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed.
  • Stop wage garnishments.
  • Stop debt collection harassment.
  • Restore or prevent termination of utility service for nonpayment of previous bills (you will probably have to pay a deposit, but the deposit cannot be more than 1-1/2 to 2 times your previous regular bills according to the Arizona Administrative Code).
  • Get your drivers license back if it has been suspended because you didn’t pay court-ordered damages for a driving accident (unless you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol).

Some things bankruptcy can’t do:

  • Eliminate certain rights of secured creditors. Some examples of secured debts are car loans and home mortgages. You can force secured creditors to take payments over time, but generally, you cannot keep the collateral unless you continue to pay the debt.
  • Discharge debts that arise after the bankruptcy has been filed.
  • Discharge certain types of debts, such as child support, alimony (spousal maintenance), certain other debts related to divorce, most student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines, and most taxes.
  • Eliminate the obligation of a co-signer on your loan in most cases.

There are two forms of Bankruptcy:

Chapter 7

This is also known as a “fresh start” bankruptcy, or “liquidation”. Your debts are discharged (canceled), but you must give up any nonexempt property to the trustee to pay to your creditors. You can keep secured property if you are current on the payments and continue making the payments regularly.

Chapter 13

This is also called “reorganization”, “Wage earner plan.” Chapter 13 allows you to keep valuable property, such as your home or car, which you might otherwise lose due to past due payments. You can keep this type of property in Chapter 13 if you are able to make the necessary payments. Usually that will be the regular monthly payments plus a payment toward the arrears. In Chapter 13, you can have between three and five years to pay back the arrears.

 

Hire An Attorney

It is recommended that you hire a bankruptcy attorney.  This person will be experienced and knowledgeable about the applicable laws in your state and be prepared to represent you in this legal process.

Interested in Working From Home?

The economy has changed greatly.  Full-time jobs are disappearing and being replaced with part-time jobs.  The solution to making ends meet is rapidly becoming to have two, even three part-time positions.  The internet provides additional ways to create revenue for yourself.

We are going to run a series on work from home opportunities.  Take note that we do not support any of these companies that we are presenting.  We are presenting them as information only.  If you choose to venture into any of them, please share your experiences and let others know.

With Inbox Dollars they say you can get paid for receiving and responding to e-mail advertisements.  If you are home, have a computer and internet access, why not?

 

 

When we searched to find out if this site was feasible, we found mixed reviews on the internet.  If you can join free, what have you got to lose?

 

Again, if you try this, please share your findings with us on WMTS.  Thanks!

 

Taking Steps to Repair Your Credit Score

Repairing bad credit takes time.  There is no quick solution.  The way to repair your credit and improve your credit score is to do so over time by responsibly managing your debt.  You have to fix your accumulating history before your score will move upward.

Here are some things you can do right away –

 

Check Your Credit Report – Credit score repair begins with your credit report. Get a copy of yours and check it for errors. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and it may contain errors.

Make sure:  All the debt is yours!  With credit fraud becoming an increasing occurrence, you need to make sure that all of the debt listed on your report is actually YOUR debt.  If you find that you are a victim of credit fraud, contact the all three credit bureaus immediately and the specific credit company involved.

Make sure: there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts and that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them with the credit bureau and the reporting agency.

Make sure: your personal information is correct – salary, address, social security number, etc.  The first step is to verify everything that is reported about you.

 

Make Payments On Time – Every Time!

Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Many creditors offer payment reminders via email through your on-line account profile on their website and offer apps that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due.   How about enrolling in automatic payments?  Credit card and loan providers can have your payments automatically debited from your bank account.

 

Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe

Keep an accurate list of all of your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are charging you. Develop up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.  Once one card is paid off, take the allotted money for that payment and add it to the second one on your list.

This is easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe is completely doable with a little old fashioned discipline and self-control.  First – stop using all credit cards!  If this is challenging for you, then cut them all up and throw them away!

Pay your bills on time.

Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, and collections can have a major negative impact on your credit score.

If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.

The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your score should increase. Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won’t haunt you forever. The impact of past credit problems on your score fades as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. And good scores weigh any credit problems against the positive information that says you’re managing your credit well.

Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report.It will stay on your report for seven years.

If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.  This won’t rebuild your credit score immediately, but if you can begin to manage your credit and pay on time, your score should increase over time. And seeking assistance from a credit counseling service will not hurt your score.

 

In summary, “fixing” a credit score is more about fixing errors in your credit history (if they exist) and then maintaining consistent, good credit history. Raising your score after a poor mark on your report or building credit for the first time will take patience and discipline.

How Important Is Your Credit Score?

With the majority of jobs available being part-time, people have become increasingly dependent on using their credit cards.  It is very important that you understand your credit reports and your credit.

What Is A Credit Score?

When you use credit, you are borrowing money that you promise to pay back within a specified period of time. A credit score is a statistical method to determine the likelihood of an individual paying back the money he or she has borrowed.

There are three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.  They have different evaluation systems, each based on different factors. Some may take into consideration only the information contained in your credit report, which we look at below. The primary factors used to calculate an individual’s credit score are his or her credit payment history, current debts, time length of credit history, credit type mix and frequency of applications for new credit. Because the scoring systems are based on different criteria which are weighted differently, the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.  may issue differing scores for an individual, even though the scores are based on the same credit report information.

The higher your score, the better.  They may range from 350 (extremely high risk) to 850 (extremely low risk).

What About A Credit Rating?
In addition to using credit scores, most countries (including the U.S. and Canada) use a scale of 0-9 to rate your personal credit. On this scale, each number is preceded by one of two letters: “I” signifies installment credit (like home or auto financing), and “R” stands for revolving credit (such as a credit card.)

Each creditor will issue its own rating for you. For example, you may have an R1 rating with Visa (the highest level of credit rating), but you might also have an R5 from MasterCard if you’ve neglected to pay your MasterCard bill for several months. Although the “R” and “I” systems are still in use, the prevailing trend is to move away from this multiple rating scale toward the single digit FICO score. Nevertheless, here is how the scale breaks down:

Rating Description
R0 or I0 You are new to the credit world, and you have an insufficient credit history for making an accurate judgment of your future risk.
R1 or I1 You pay your credit back in 1 month.
R2 or I2 You pay your credit back in 2 months.
R3 or I3 You pay your credit back in 3 months.
R4 or I4 You pay your credit back in 4 months.
R5 or I5 You have not repaid in four months, but you are not a “9” yet.
R7 or I7 Your debt payments are made under consolidation.
R8 or I8 Debt was cleared by selling the item (repossession).
R9 or I9 You officially have bad debt, which usually means it is uncollectible.

 

What Makes Up Your Credit Score?
When you borrow money, your lender sends information to a credit bureau which details how well you handled your debt. Based on that information, the credit bureau determines a credit score.  They use five factors:

1. previous credit performance (given at weight of about 35%,

2. current level of indebtedness (30%),

3. time credit has been in use (15%)

4. types of credit available (15%)

5. pursuit of new credit (55).

Your credit rating is most affected by your history of paying off your debt. This is the factor that can boost your credit rating the most – paying off your debts quickly. Also maintaining low levels of debt, having a long credit history, and refraining from constantly applying for additional credit will all help your credit score.

Why Your Credit Rating Is Important
When you apply for a credit card, mortgage or even a cell phone, your credit rating is checked.  Depending on your credit score, lenders will determine what risk you pose to them.  Your score (historical credit records) will determine first, whether or not you will receive credit, how much you will receive and what your interest rate will be.  So, if you have a low credit score, lenders will lend you money at a higher rate than the one paid by someone with a better credit score.
Keep A Good Credit Rating
The importance of credit today is significant; overlooking this fact can be very detrimental to your financial health.  Maintain or improve your credit score by keeping low debt balances and paying credit off on time.

Selling A Car in the New York Area

 

 

If you are in the New York/New Jersey area and are having trouble meeting your car loan payments, there is a place that will work with the bank to help you to alleviate that obligation. They give cash for cars.

Perhaps you can sell your car on-line and get some needed cash for a down payment on another.  Because even without a loan, if you would like to sell your car and don’t want the hassle of placing an ad in local publications, this sounds like it is worth checking out.  Just think, no placing ads, no phone calls from strangers, no meeting people so they can check out the car…  You don’t have to turn yourself into a sales person.  Also, if you are thinking about trading in your car, this place just might give you more than the dealer will on a trade in.

For more information, visit www.cashforcars.info

4 Smart Tips to Choose the Best Debt Settlement Company

 

 

Here are the top four tips that will help you choose the best and the most apt debt settlement company for clearing all your pending debts.

1.      Find the company’s accreditation

This is the foremost step that comes in to picture when you have to check the credibility of a debt settlement company. Check for the accreditation of company you are about to consult. The major accreditations are with The Association of Settlement Companies or the TASC and the United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternative or the USOBA. Both of these accreditations ensure minimal risk to the consumer thereby giving them with full confidence to go ahead with the concerned credit card debt settlement plan. Also, you must never forget that a process involving cleaning all your debts will certainly take time. There is nothing as such the quick fix when it comes to settling debts. Therefore, do not fall prey to the hands of any false debt settlement company who claims to make you debt free in the only a few weeks. Do not forget that everything that glitters is not always gold.

2.      Investigating the total cost

It is always a great idea to investigate the overall cost that the concerned debt settlement company is demanding from you prior to the sealing of any form of deal. Ensure that the total cost of the program falls in line with your monthly earnings and hence your budget. Do not by any means sign for a program, the cost of which is not affordable by you as taking such a step will only add to your already lingering debt clearances and payments instead of demolishing them. However, if the payment of program is totally affordable by you, then go ahead as this is the best method to clear your debts. Other than the hyped bankruptcy, debt settlement is one of the most effective ways which not only aid in getting your out of all your debts but will also help in clearing the pending credit card debts.

3.      Check for the offered guarantees

Prior to any particular sign up, check if the debt settlement company you are opting for offers any form of guarantees or not. If yes, check for the details. You can always ask your debt settlement company if there is any policy relating to refund of the fee in case the company fails to settle your debts with your creditors. Do not forget to obtain every detail related to the same. In this way, the possibility of arguments and cheats is considerably reduced in case of the failing of the deal as everything is made clear and decided right away in the beginning while signing for the deal. In addition to this, it is significant as well as necessary to understand that you got to submit and clear all your bills on time in case you wish to acquire a stable and smooth credit rating or else your credit score will start to fall with significant drops.

4.      Try to indulge in debt negotiations

Check if the considered debt settlement company provides for any debt negotiations that have been certified by the IAPDA. It is a basically a forum that tends to certify any form of debt negotiations offered by the different debt settlement company. Such a certification is basically a signal which confirms that the concerned credit card debt settlement negotiators have a solid and an expert understanding of all the laws that have been deemed by the Debt Settlement industry and are therefore apt to handle your financial situation perfectly.

Author Bio:

Ken Benneton owns his own dent settlement company certified by the IAPDA. He offers different programs relating to the credit card debt settlement. He also runs a blog on the same.

Considering Bankruptcy?

 

Alena was raised by a “very money smart single mom,” as she says.  Her mother didn’t make a great deal of money, but made what she had work well.  They didn’t have a lot of things growing up, but they had love and gained financial management wisdom.  “Mom’s biggest lesson was to always put some money away no matter what.  You are always going to have bills, but if you give them everything you have, then you will have nothing for yourself.”  So Alena always pays herself first and her creditors second.  She’s putting the finishing touches on her education so she can help to empower other women with financial matters.

 

Submitted by Alena Williams – Pennsylvania, USA

Women hold key roles in their families.  It is important for a woman to be well versed in financial matters, especially considering that it is women that do most of the shopping.   If you don’t know about finances, take a few courses. Search on-line for basic budgeting courses, there are many free ones out there.  Once you have a good understanding and grasp of the basics, check your local community centers and colleges for workshops on investments, retirement funding and other parts of money management.  Educate yourself.  The tools available and often free!

In these present times it is not uncommon for families to have  financial problems.  So many people have lost their jobs and lost their homes.  Many of us are just scrambling from week to week, paycheck to paycheck and in a lot of cases from day to day.

Our society programs all of us to shop.  Women even adopt the popular slogan:  “Shop til you drop!”   But, it’s a fallacy; it is fantasy and illusion.  If you are the kind of person who is always shopping, ask yourself – why am I shopping all of the time?  What am I doing?  What am I achieving?  Stop, look and listen to yourself.

The need to be glamorous, to be dressed in the latest fashion, the most attractive shoes, all of these things are illusions.  There is nothing wrong with looking nice.  Looking nice is good, but we have to have some limits and some common sense.  Those credit cards can very quickly get out of hand and your debt can be in control as you lose control.

If you are at the point where you are being threatened with garnishment, foreclosure or repossession, contact consumer financial services places.  These non-profit organizations can contact your credits and put you on a repayment program.  Make sure that you check out the legitimacy of the company that you decide to work with.  Make sure their fees are not excessive or unreasonable.

If all else fails, you may want to consider bankruptcy.   You have the right under federal law to file for bankruptcy relief from your creditors. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person can get a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy can be very useful and effective in resolving financial problems in certain cases. However, it is not the answer to all financial problems or the right step for everyone.   What bankruptcy does is eliminate all of your debt.  Your creditors can no longer contact you and request payment for anything.

You can only file bankruptcy once every six years.  You want to save this option until you really need it. Also, you may not need to file bankruptcy even though creditors are threatening you because you may have no nonexempt property or wages. Which that means you have nothing the creditors can take from you. You can’t be put in jail for failing to pay your civil debts (other than fines or other court ordered amounts).

Discuss your situation with a financial counselor first, and if they suggest bankruptcy (and if your situation is severe, they might), then talk to a bankruptcy attorney. Every case is different and laws change from time to time, so you need to be represented by an expert.

 

Alena is pursuing her certification as  a financial planner.  She also blogs about pennsylvania bankruptcy laws.

 

Accounting for Your Accounts

 

submitted by Tomaca

accounting2Wouldn’t it be great just to have a pile of money and a supply that never runs out?  A lot of us are working from paycheck to paycheck with little to nothing in-between.  Why is that?  Is it because we spend too much or don’t have enough to spend?  Are we living beyond our means?

It’s tough.  The cost of basic life stuff is so incredibly high these days.  Food and gas expenses are extreme.  The commercial food that we get from the grocery store is being packaged in smaller and smaller containers with higher and higher prices.  It’s a shame what they are doing to us.

One way around this expense is to not buy commercial food products.  Instead buy the ingredients that make those things and cook the old fashioned way, which in fact is the healthier way.  Don’t by instant pancake mix.  Buy flour, sugar, milk, eggs, baking power and make your own.  Commercially processed syrup is garbage.  It’s full of chemicals.  You can make your own very easily with sugar, brown sugar and water.  In equal parts, you put it in a small pot on the stove and heat slowly while stirring until everything is blended.  Buy maple extract to give it the maple flavor.

Buy dried beans; soak them the required amount of time and cook them while seasoning them to your taste.

If we take a step back from our harried life pace and put more time and love into our food, we and our families are healthier, stronger and more loving.  Yes, more loving – because you are what you eat.   If you are eating commercially processed and chemical laden food, it affects the mind, body and spirit.

For gas expenses, drive less and walk more if possible.  Commute, ride share.  Plan your route so you can do more stops in one trip.

These are just some little things that you can do that will add up to big things over time.

Account for your accounts.  Business-minded women (and moms!) are always looking at ways to stretch the dollar, to eliminate waste and to save more.  With a mind on income tax season which is always going to occur without fail (unfortunately), you have to be creative and responsible with your money.  A good accountant is a necessity.  Even if you do your own taxes, you may have questions from time to time and you need a professional person to turn to.  There are people who make the study of money and taxes their entire life.  If you don’t have someone like that in your network, you need to include someone like that.  Financial planning is essential at every age.  Of course, if you start when you are younger with building your savings and revenue for retirement, you will be better off than someone who waits until they are in their 50’s or 60’s.   Though it’s never too late to start preparing and to learn different ways.

No matter where you are, there are experts that you can turn to.  You can use accountants in Raleigh, or accountants in Boston.  I’m am not familiar with how systems work in other countries, but in the U.S., we are relegated to an annual tax system.

Learn to work smarter, not harder.  Learn to manage your money and your accounts wisely.  The habits you create for yourself today determine where you’ll end up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Business Cards or Banners? – Vistaprint.com

 

 

vistaprintVistaprint is skyrocketing in popularity.  They’ve got post cards, tee shirts, signs, banners, business cards, other cards — name it and they seem to have it.  If you are a start-up business or solo entrepreneur and need affordable printed services, this is probably one of the least expensive places to go.  Their services are really easy to use.  The most beginner computer user can go to their site, easily follow the instructions to create their product and send it to be printed and shipped.  It’s that easy and that fast!

There are great gift ideas there too.  Why not have flashy cards printed that announce that your child has graduated?  Just a thought.  Those kinds of events give us bragging rights and we can flash a card to all of our friends — especially those of our friends that we are going to ask to interview our children for jobs!  hahaha!  Just a thought – but hey, why not?

 

T-shirts galore.  Have a family reunion coming up?  Want to show your support to a cause?  This could be your children’s baseball or gymnastic’s team.  Could be for social reasons, political reasons, or just to proudly wear a the image of your new grandchild.  You can have lots of fun with all of your ideas.

 

But for the start-up business and entrepreneur that doesn’t have a lot of money for printing services, Vistaprint might be a good place to start.  I’ve even been to events where vendors would have really slick looking posters for their booths and they were done at Vistaprint.  Good stuff.  Take advantage!

Tomaca’s Bagging It!

Written by Tomaca Govan

This nice bag was made with Walmart bags.
This nice, chic-looking bag was made with Walmart bags.  (Not sure how many – maybe 30?)

I’m the person at the office who is always advocating recycling  plastic bags.  I set up a deposit location in the office and personally take responsibility for bringing the bags to the grocery store for recycling.  It’s one of my pet peeves because it’s so very wasteful to use plastic bags for shopping.   Of course, I don’t.

One day I was doing some research on the recycling process and came across website after website that showed what people were making from plastic bags by crocheting and weaving.  I was so happy to see that people were using their own, basic ingenuity (and artistic talents) to turn plastic bags into things that are reusable and long lasting.

The bug bit me and I started making my own crafts.  The first thing I made was this really nice bag from Walmart bags.  They were easy to come by because I went into Walmart and asked for their recycled plastic bags.  I walked out of their with dozens of bags!

After I made my first bag, I went and showed it to the ladies at Walmart at the customer service desk and they were so impressed, they gave me more bags.  Now, all I have to do is show up and they start digging out the bags.  One woman even offered to set them aside for me everyday.

plastic-hat-bagThis was the first time I ever made a hat of any kind.  I started it, watched it form and tried to make sure I was putting in enough stitches and reducing the right amount of stitches to make it shape properly.  I had to pull the stitches out and restart at least three times before I got it right – but, I got it right and the hat is really chic looking.  I added a white ribbon and it’s good to go now.   Together, they look very classy, and the finished products are very, very sturdy.  You would NEVER know these used to be plastic Walmart bags!

This would be a nice business for someone who wanted to make these and sell them on the internet or at craft fairs.  There are a variety of colors available with plastic bags, so the color combinations can be quite diverse.

Okay ladies – get out your crochet hooks and start gathering plastic bags, making your “plarn” and get busy.  Make sure you teach your children, your friends and others how to do this.  Then share your creations with us.  We would love to inspire others.

–  Tomaca

————————————————————————————————–

Here’s a how-to for making what’s called “plarn” (plastic yarn):

plastic-bags-instructions

Here are some other very creative ideas that involve crocheting and plastic:

plastic-flowersplastic-hatplastic-basketsplastic-bear

plastic-turtle

The more reusing we do, the less this happens:

——————————————————————————————————————

 

plastic-float

plastic-in-oceanplastic-stuck  plastic-in-bird

Plastic is causing a growing dilemma on our planet.  If you do a google search, you can see the kind of harm it is causing in our oceans and on our lands.  There is an actual “plastic island” floating around the world:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch.

Animals don’t know the difference between plastic and the food they think they are eating.  They are dying by the hundreds.  Fish that ingest plastic end up on our dinner tables when they are captured by fishing companies.

Please do some research and share it with your children, your neighbors, your facebook friends and anyone else you can think of.  Then discuss AND implement things that we can do differently to prevent further harm and to reduce the damage that has been done.

For starters, DO NOT use plastic bags any more.  They should be banned at this point given what we know about the harm they cause.  Reusable bags make sense on every level.

Human beings are very creative creatures.  We can come up with ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  What are some of your suggestions?

 

Update on Amy – Learning A New Skill

 

barbara-bestIn November 2011, we did a story on Amy.  She was recently laid off from her job.  One of her neighbors taught her  how to knit to help pass the time as she looked for a new job.  Well, she’s been knitting away and honed her skills.  She started making scarves for family members.  Suddenly where was a demand for an “Amy Scarf” from people who had seen them on other people.   So, Amy’s been busy.   She’s also sells her scarves at various craft fairs.   She just took the plunge and opened up an on-line store at http://BarbarasScarves.com.  She named the store after her grandmother to honor her.

Even though it’s presently summertime, winter’s sure to come.  You may want to shop early!

Visit:  http://BarbarasScarves.com

 

Read the previous article here:  http://womenmovethesoul.com/amy-learning-a-new-skill/

 

Amy – Learning A New Skill

It’s not about time.  It’s about what you do with what you have.  Amy’s been unemployed for the last two years and nothing has turned up job-wise.  She has found a way to keep her idle hands busy and may potentially be able to develop a small business from her newly developed skill.

 

 

How long ago did you get laid off?

I was laid off in April 9th, 2009.

 

You haven’t been able to find a job since then?

At this time I am still unemployed haven’t found anything as of yet.

 

How much longer will you be able to receive unemployment?

I have a little time left – a few more months.

 

What will you do when that’s gone?

Well… I hope by then I will have found a job…there are no more extensions.  It’s like – o.k. if you don’t find something by time your unemployment is up – well..Good Luck… which isn’t really fair.  But I feel as long as I get out there and try my best I will get something.  I’m not alone; I always have “God” with me.. He knows what I need.

 

 

Meanwhile, you’ve been looking for creative ways to make money if it ends up that you have to, and you have found something.  Tell us about what you’re doing and how you got started.

You know it’s funny, I always wanted to learn how to knit but, in the back of my mind I thought it was

so hard.  I was buying scarves from the stores and they just didn’t look quite like they will keep you warm.  It’s as if the scarves in the store are just for looks.  Hey – I like to look good and be “warm.”

My neighbor who is 87 yrs. old and still going strong (she’s got more pep than I do) took me under her wings and taught me.   She didn’t hold back any punches.  If I made mistakes, she let me have it. She didn’t sugar coat her words!  So, I got better and I didn’t mind her beating me up verbally, so to speak, because this is something I wanted to do for me and maybe share with others.

It took me almost a year to get it right – I really haven’t mastered it like she has but, at least I can make my scarves and they are good enough for me to wear out.

I am very particular about who I make a scarf for.  I’ve got to make a scarf out of “Happy Yarn” (hard to explain).

As far as making this something to make money from, well – I haven’t given it a lot of thought.  I’ve  made about 20 scarves so far and they were for relatives.  They are your hardest customer, so getting feedback from them helps.  Everyone has been happy with their scarf so far and since I can’t afford to buy any gifts, this will keep them warm in the winter and also make them think of me!

 

Do you see yourself doing this as a small business business in the future?

Not really at this time… but with the economy the way it is and if my unemployment runs out, hey – you never know!

 

These multi-colored scarves are made from the leftover yarn from other scarves.

Jeanine’s Story – I Used to Hold My Body Sacred

Jeanine used to live in the suburbs in a large 4-bedroom house with her husband and two sons.  Both she and her husband lost their jobs and that’s when things changed drastically.

Jeanine is very attractive and in her mid-40’s.    She works both full-time and part-time and in addition she works for a gentleman caller.  Jeanine is not her real name.

 

Jeanine, let’s get straight to the point.  How did you get involved with prostitution?

Wow, it sounds so harsh and so wrong when you say it that way.  But, I guess when you really look at the reality of what I am doing, that’s what it is.

Both my husband and myself lost our jobs.   I found another job as a receptionist, but the pay is half what I made before.  So, then I got a job part-time as a waitress and there was a man who would come in regularly and ask me if I would sleep with him for money.  After his repeated asking, I finally said yes.

 

Well, understanding that our first interview with you was lost and here we are again asking the same questions, because there was such great feedback, we are trying not to leave anything out.  Your husband also lost his job?

Yes.

 

He is working now as a school bus driver?

Yes and the money he makes compared to what he used to make is nothing.  It’s like minimum wage.  We can’t afford to do anything with that.  Don’t get me wrong, every little bit helps, but it’s just not enough.

 

Jeanine, you are a devoted wife and mother.  You love your husband, love your children.  Why sell your body and sell your time to another man?

You know, the first time you asked me all of these questions Tomaca, I was extremely emotional with the answers and the thought of the answers, but now, it’s been a while.  I’ve been doing this a while and I have adjusted emotionally I guess.  So, I say that to say that I hope that I am not sounding cut and dry … like what I am doing is okay.  It’s not okay, but I have adjusted like I said.

I LOVE my husband.  I LOVE my family.  I have no intentions of leaving him for anyone else.  What I am doing is just a job – nothing else.  We need the money for basic survival now.  We lost the house, we lost one of the cars; we sold our furniture and our belongings.  The bank wouldn’t even talk to us after we started falling behind in our mortgage.  We ended up moving into an apartment in a very poor area.

I hate the neighborhood we’re in now.  It’s loud, noisy, there are loose dogs running around sometimes.  People just don’t seem to know when the make their children come in at night.  They’re out there late, playing and screaming.

Well, it is what it is.  We are both doing what we can to pay just our basic expenses now.  We are surviving.  Heat, electricity, food, water, shelter.  We are down to the very basics and that’s all I am trying to cover is the basics.

 

Does your husband know?

God -NO!  I would never tell him.  It would kill him.  He is a man.  He is MY man.  I would never tell him.  Never.

 

Doesn’t he question the extra money?

No.  I pay the bills.  That’s always been my responsibility, my thing in our relationship.  I handle all the finances and let him know where we stand in terms of what is owed and what is paid.

He thinks I am just working extra hours.  That’s all.