Suze Orman: To really save money, do this...
There are conflicting reports that Muslim and Jewish merchants in Cairo were the first to establish a stock market while the traditionalists maintain the oldest ones were actually in Italy and these are usually the starting point when considering a brief history of stock market trading. The 13th Century Italians almost certainly had the closest share trading markets to what we would recognize today.
A second aspect needs to address whether you will make regular set payments or if you're just planning to put in lumps of cash whenever you can afford it. It's usually a better idea to start by saving regular monthly amounts as it gets you into the rhythm of saving and pretty soon you will find that you don't really notice the amounts going out each month.
It sounds great the way the banks and loan companies promote bill consolidation loans doesn't it? Just one small monthly repayment covers all your outstanding debts. Well in some cases that is very true but every case is different and you have to do you own checking to make sure you will be better off.
You need to present a well thought out case as to why it makes sense to consolidate your existing loans. You need to sit down and work out a plan before you even think of contacting them. In that plan you need to be able to tell them how your bad credit came about. Was it a problem with your job? Was it down to ill health?
Just don't use them as long term loans because they were never designed for that kind of borrowing. If you are finding that you have outstanding balances of two, three or more credit cards you will probably be well advised to look into taking out a debt consolidation loan. This will enable you to spread your borrowing over a fixed period of time.
Equally important if someone decides to go ahead is making certain that the loan they are taking out is the cheapest they can get. A great way to do this is to shop around and compares prices and costs exactly the same as for making any major purchase. With the internet available to just about everyone now doing the checking can be a very simple task.