Author: Chris Rodriguez

27 Oct 2016

The Ultimate Budget

The first step to becoming financially successful is starting a budget. And we’re here to help you! We understand budgeting can be a little restricting at first. It seems like you’re going from spending a normal amount of money to spending no money at all. But really, you’re just now starting to spend a normal amount of money. It’s a little confusing, we get it. But we’ll be with you every step of the way (we even included a FREE budget sheet for you).

So, before we start, we need you to know, budgeting can be draining. It will be quite a bit of work managing every expense everyday. It will be emotionally frustrating when you go several hundred dollars over your first month. Most people take about 3 or 4 months to get in the groove. Given, the process can be tedious, it’s extremely rewarding. Budgeting can free you from that “living paycheck to paycheck feeling.”

Now budgeting isn’t meant to be a punishment for overspending or the negative part of organized finances. Instead of looking at budgeting negatively, look at it as “being prepared.” You’ve decided where you’re going to spend your money in advance, so you’ll know exactly where your money is going and how it’s spent. That feeling, alone, will allow you to feel so much more comfortable with your finances. Not to mention, the feeling of being in control of your finances.

So now that we’ve had a little rundown over budgeting, let’s get started!

1. Choose How to Budget

There’s a few different ways to budget… No worries, we provided a brief run down of a few of your options. You should track your budget the way that you learn. So say, for example, you learn/memorize things better when you physically write them down (with a pen), you’ll want to do the same with your budget.

  • Use our FREE printable budget sheet here!
  • Write down your budget
  • Budget on an Excel or Numbers work sheet
  • mint.com
  • budgettracker.com
  • EveryDollar – the Dave Ramsey Budget tool
  • Personalcaptial.com
  • The Trail Wallet Budget App
  • Daily Budget Original App

2. Separate Your Money Into Categories

Okay so money isn’t just money. There’s certain categories money falls in depending on whether it’s an expense or income, etc. All money has a purpose. Even the money you designated to buy new shoes. It all has a purpose

Income

Income is the money you get from your job. But there are different types of income. You should account for every single type of income you could have. While finding out you have extra money is nice, an extra, unrecorded income can throw off your entire budget. It’s much better to be as accurate as you possibly can. Types of income include:

  • Salary
  • Side Job (personal business, completing surveys, freelance writing, etc.)
  • Interests
  • Tax refunds
  • Investments
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

Of course, we understand not everyone has a steady salary (waiting tables, commission, hourly, etc.) but no worries, you can still calculate a budget. If you have an inconsistent income, collect as many paycheck stubs as you can. Add the total income from all of the stubs together and divide by the amount of stubs there are (average). This can cause some inaccuracies in your budget sheet since your salary does vary, but this option will still work.

Savings

We recommend keeping your savings on a separate sheet for the time being. DO NOT include your savings in your income in anyway. If anything, your savings should qualify as an expense. You want to avoid pulling money out of your savings account for any reason (other than an emergency). Types of savings include:

  • Retirement Funds
  • Investments
  • College Fund
  • Emergency Funds
  • Short term savings (saving up for a vacation, a new car, etc.)

Non-Discretionary

Non-Discretionary expenses basically means expenses that you can’t avoid. These are expenses you have to pay such as your utilities, credit card bill, etc. Some types of non-discretionary expenses include:

  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Utilities (water, internet, electricity, etc.)
  • Rent or Mortgage
  • Cell phone bill
  • Car payment
  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Insurance (car, life, health, etc.)
  • Health (prescriptions, doctor’s visits, etc.)
  • Student Loans
  • Credit Card bills
  • Medical Bills
  • Loans
  • Child care

Discretionary

Discretionary expenses are expenses that you don’t need, but you would rather have. Some types of discretionary expenses include:

  • Vacations
  • Subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, magazines, etc.)
  • Gifts
  • Charitable contributions (church offering, school fundraiser, etc.)
  • Entertainment (parties, movies, games, etc.)
  • Personal Care (clothing, hair care, make up, etc.)
  • Eating Out

Other

These expenses are kind of necessary, kind of not. Many of them only come once or twice a year. There just things to think about when the time comes.

  • HOA fees
  • House repair
  • Property taxes
  • Car repair
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Children’s allowance
  • Tuition and fees
  • School supplies
  • Pets/Pet care
  • Computer expenses

3. Add Together Your Month’s Income

When deciding your monthly income, you want to go with the lowest possible figure. You want to base your budget off of what you know is guaranteed. Then if you end up with extra, well, that’s great!

4. Add Together Your NON-DISCRETIONARY Expenses

Write down all of your necessary expenses. You have to reach far into the back of your mind and think of everything you have due this month. What helps is having a calendar out in front of you. Write down everything you have due, how much it is and what day it is. If you aren’t sure how much a certain bill will be, take a look at the past 3 or 4 bills and determine the average.

5. Set Some Goals

Are you wanting to buy a car? A house? Getting out of debt? Maybe you just want some extra shopping money? Whatever your goals are, you should write them down. When you can see and be reminded of your goals everyday, you’ll be more motivated to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

6. Choose Your Discretionary Expenses

If you noticed in our discretionary expenses list, there were a few things that seemed like they are necessary. It is very important to learn to prioritize. You have to decide, is Netflix more important that eating out? Also, you may not get every single thing you want, the day you want it. That’s okay, with your new budget, the important thing is you’ll get it eventually and there will be no financial trouble surrounding it.

7. Subtract Your Expenses From Your Income

This equation is simple and easy. First, you’ll add together your final numbers from step 4 and step 6. After that, you will subtract your first answer from your final number from step 3. If you have a positive number, then you have extra money in your budget! If your number is negative, you are possibly spending too much money. You may need to rearrange or take things out of your budget. If you need to remove something from your budget, DISCRETIONARY GOES FIRST!

Our Tips

PRIORITIZE – we can not emphasize the importance of prioritizing your expenses enough. Your discretionary expenses are not more important than non-discretionary. They just make life a little easier. But you should always make sure your necessities are taken care of first. That new thing you want can wait, the electricity cannot.
ORGANIZE – we highly recommend to keep a list of every single purchase you make, when it was made and how much it was. It seems like your micro-managing your budget a little bit, but this will make your budget the most accurate. And organizing your expenses will also help keep your bank account in the green and out of the red.

We want you to be as financially successful as possible. Budgeting is step number one. We always remind our customers, being financially responsible today will reward you tomorrow.

If you didn’t see our budget sheet earlier in the post, click here! 

26 Oct 2016

The Complete Renter’s Guide

Every now and then, there’s that lucky person that gets to buy a house for their first place to live. For the rest of us, typically, our first house is a rent house. Some people even prefer renting over ever buying a house. But there’s a whole list of rules that comes with renting a house. A renter must follow every rule set by the landlord, otherwise you may find yourself facing a big loss of money.

Renting a house can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve created the complete renter’s guide to making this process a little easier on you. First off let’s start with some definitions!

Renter – that’s you! The person renting the house.
Landlord – the person who owns or manages the house you’re renting.
Lease – This is a contract between you and your landlord regarding the property.
Security Deposit – a set amount put towards the house to guarantee your spot and cover property damages.

The Hunt

When looking for a house to rent, your biggest concern should be your budget. You have to account for your rent, utilities, food, gas and miscellaneous purchases. So maybe make a budget before hand. For tips on how to make a budget, check out this blog post here.

You’re next concern is location. Is your house close to work? What school district is it in? What is the neighborhood like? These are all important factors to consider when thinking about location.

Finally, always bring a list of questions to ask when going to look at a rent house:

  • Are the utilities paid through the renter or the landlord.
  • Are pets allowed?
  • What maintenance is included?
  • Can you decorate?
  • Are appliances included?
  • Where can I park?

Found the Perfect Place?

Awesome! The hard part is done and you’ve found a great house. The next step should be signing the lease… But there’s a few things you need to do first. You need to ensure that the house is really the perfect house. Go through the house and check a couple of things:

  • Check the faucets
  • Check for internal damages (walls, floors, etc.)
  • Open and close windows
  • Look at storage space
  • Test outlets
  • Test kitchen appliances
  • Check locks
  • Flip the lights
  • Check gates and fences

So you’ve decided you like the house… the next step is to go through the application process. In this process, landlords check your previous rental history, credit history, etc.

If you’ve passed the application process, it’s time to get the lease. It is VERY important that you read the lease the entire way through before signing it so you’re not forced to be in horrible conditions.

Now That You Have the House

Make sure you call your utility providers about two weeks before you move in to ensure all of your utilities will be ready by the time you move in.

When you move in, be sure to fill out an inventory and condition form. You’ll write down anything damaged within the house. Without that form, the landlord can charge you for damage done by the previous renter.

Make sure you pay all of your utilities and rent on time, every month. Most rentals and utilities count towards your credit score, so if you pay late, it can affect your credit score negatively.
For more tips regarding credit, check back every week for a new blog post or follow us on social media!

Enjoy your new rental home!

17 Jan 2013
"Standards of Excellence"

“Standards of Excellence”

Member of the National Association of Credit Services Organizations

Mr. Credit Solutions strives to establish standards of excellence to our clients and affiliates. Along with being accredited with the BBB, licensed/bonded, rest assure you are doing business with a company that is committed to providing service above our clients expectations and beyond industry standards. We know what people from West Texas demand when doing business with a company!

Before you choose a credit service company, please check with the company and ask them if they are a member of the National Association of Credit Services Organizations. Check their website for the NACSO “Standards of Excellence” seal or look them up by visiting NACSO.

National Association of Credit Services Organizations’ members go through a very strict and rigorous application and enrollment process to aid in the prevention of fraudulent activity throughout the credit services industry. NACSO’s Standards of Excellence will go further than the Credit Repair Organizations Act and touch on items essential to the honest growth of this industry.

The NACSO Standards of Excellence is an honor – and not every company is eligible. Businesses that meet our high standards are invited to join the NACSO. Businesses meeting NACSO standards are presented to local Boards of Advisors (or designees) for review and acceptance as a NACSO Standards of Excellence member.

15 Nov 2012

Now Accredited with the Better Business Bureau

LUBBOCK, TX—The local credit repair company, Mr. Credit Solutions, LLC earned accreditation with the Better Business Bureau on November 5, 2012, announced Christopher Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of Mr. Credit Solutions.

BBB Accreditation standards require business to commit to make a good effort to resolve any customer complaints. Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of the BBB services to the public. Accreditation does not mean that Mr. Credit Solutions’ products or services are endorsed by the BBB in anyway. BBB accreditation standards require companies to abide by ethical business practices, such as advertising honestly, safeguarding customer privacy and disclosing all material facts to customers. A business with a BBB logo is trustworthy. At Mr. Credit Solutions, trustworthiness is the number one value. The belief of providing ethical service to customers creates a rewarding feeling for each and every employee.

Mr. Credit Solutions was started by Christopher Rodriguez in 2011. With the continued support of friends and family, the business was able to grow into a statewide corporation in less than five years. Mr. Credit Solutions ensures that each customer is treated with honesty, integrity and respect. We promise to help customers every step of the way from start to finish. Our customers are the most important part of our business. We feel that every person deserves to be treated fairly by the credit bureaus. We take pride in knowing our job is providing justice for you.