Everyone buys a lottery ticket now and then, and everyone knows that the chance of them winning is incredibly slim. But, what if you did win? Most people think that if they ever won the lottery, they’d never have to worry about a thing, especially money, for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t true. In fact, if you’re not careful, winning the lottery can ruin your life. Here are some tips that you should follow if you ever got incredibly lucky.Continue reading
This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions.
We’re all busy people. There are only so many hours in the day, but there are seemingly countless numbers of tasks that we have to perform in those hours. Not feeling that you have enough time to manage your life as you should can be overwhelming, and can also lead to dropped balls that take a long time to recover from.
Your finances are one area that should demand your attention but, inevitably, they can be pushed to one side during times of high stress. While this is fine on an occasional basis — we all need a break every now and then — if you find the situation is becoming chronic, then you should look for an alternative financial management strategy instead.
If you’re constantly finding that you’re too busy to manage your finances in the way you would prefer, a “hands off” strategy might be the best way forward for you. While you can’t fully automate and abandon your entire budgeting strategy, there are a few tricks you can use to help alleviate the time burden.Continue reading
Debt Dungeon, Episode #1: Joe Paretta is a coach, author, speaker, and teacher. He published his first book in November 2010, Master The Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt…Forever!, which he considers a “labor of love.” To learn more about Joe and his efforts, check out JoeParetta.com.
Make sure to check out Joe’s article on FinancialBin.com, “How Joe Paretta, Author of “Master The Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt,” Escaped the Debt Dungeon (Episode #1).”
QUESTIONS FOR JOE …
1. Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background?
2. What led you to getting into debt? How did you accumulate so much debt?
3. What were you spending money on?
4. At what point did you say to yourself — I need to make a change?
5. How did you pay it all off? How long did it take you?
6. What did you learn from all of this?
7. Tell us about the book, ‘Master the Card.’ Why did you write it?
8. What are you doing today — besides being an author?
9. What are your plans for this year?
10. What are two or three tips you can pass on to members of Gen Y who may be in credit card debt, student loan debt or both?
11. How can listeners get in contact with your or buy the book?
Making a budget can be a time consuming and frustrating process; yet as we approach retirement, budgeting, and keeping to that budget is more important than ever. The 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances found that among all working households, the average savings for retirement was only about $2,500. The numbers do get a little better when looking only at households of those over 55, with the amount of savings averaging around $14,500. But that is still far less than the 80% of the income generated while in the workforce that specialists recommend retirees have set aside. The question for many people is what they can do to increase retirement savings and financially prepare for the future? Here are some tips to get you on track.Continue reading
Statistics show that a summer job prepares you for adulthood. From communication skills to leadership skills, a summer job offers real benefits that last a lifetime. Although a summer job will likely not allow you to earn enough money to retire, researchers are finding that people who take the initiative and find a summer job earn significantly more money over the course of their lives than people who do not.
Article by: Melissa Taylor
With more than 500 million credit cards in circulation in the United States, Americans are no strangers to our beloved plastic. Experts in personal finance spend a lot of effort trying to convince people why we should never lay a finger on a credit card. With nearly sixty percent of Americans carrying a regular balance on their credit card, the personal finance experts have good reason for saying so. But for the more than forty percent of Americans that do pay their balances in full each month, it may come as a surprise that paying with credit rather than debit can actually be a profitable venture.
Establishing the Ground Rules
In order for using credit cards to be a profitable venture, there are a couple of ground rules that must be established first. The benefits of using a credit card can only be maximized as long as the user is not carrying a balance. If a balance is carried, whatever benefit may have been earned is undermined by unnecessary interest payments. Secondly, it is important to ensure that your credit card does not charge an annual fee or at the very least, the costs are minimal. It’s quite common for rewards credit cards to charge an annual fee. But the reality is that in many instances, the user ends up paying for their own perks. As an example, if the perk of a credit card is one percent cash back and the user charges $5,000 on the card in one year, the user will earn fifty dollars back as a perk. However, if the annual fee for the credit card is $50, there is no benefit and no perks. Therefore, it is essential that you do the math to ensure that the annual fee is worth it.
If you can handle those ground rules with ease, then you are ready to make the switch from cash to a rewards credit card. Rewards cards come with a variety of benefits from cash back to points and airline miles. By using your card to pay for expenses that you would traditionally pay for with cash or a debit card, you are actually earning money in interest. As long as you never pay interest on your card by paying on time, you end up getting paid by your credit card company in the form of points, cash back, or air miles. Those are benefits that you don’t earn paying with cash. If you have traditionally been a cash-only consumer, consider cashing in on the many rewards available in order to earn the most with your money.
For those who use their credit card wisely, rewards are just the beginning. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you cash in from your credit cards:
Save Money on the Cost of Borrowing
Interest rates on standard bank and car loans are on the rise, but there are a number of credit cards that offer introductory low rates of interest and sometimes even zero percent interest for a short time frame. Consumers can use these special offers to reduce or eliminate the interest on college debt and home equity lines of credit, or to even consolidate debt. The key is to always read the fine print very clearly as these offers are often laced with traps including high fees on balance transfers and sky high interest rates should you make a payment even an hour late cancelling the promotional rate automatically. You should also be cautious when maxing out a credit card as this can often lower your credit score but if you play by the rules, there are many opportunities to save money by taking a lower rate from a credit card on existing debt and bank loans. You will also need to ensure that you can pay off the debt before the promotional period expires or have a low interest outlet to transfer your remaining balance.
Earning Rewards is Earning Money
There is no shortage of incentives available for credit card users. The real challenge lies in selecting the rewards card that is right for you. When possible it is best to select a no-fee card but if there is a fee associated with the card you desire, do the math to ensure that your benefits outweigh the cost of the annual fee. Once you find a suitable card and are comfortable with the fine print, use your cards for as many purchases as possible while being very careful not to overspend just for the sake of earning rewards. If you use your credit card for major expenses like tuition, rent, or home renovations, your rewards will add up fast. Just make sure that you can pay the balance off in full to avoid interest. Rewards cards can be particularly useful if you make purchases on behalf of a business. By the end of the year, you may have even earned enough air miles to cover your annual vacation. However, be careful to never exceed your credit limit when making large purchases as this can negatively impact your credit score.
Credit Cards Protect Your Money
Purchases made using a credit card are under the protection of federal law. The Fair Credit Billing Act provides credit card users with the right to dispute charges for purchases that are not delivered, items that are not delivered as agreed upon, and items not delivered as promised by service guarantees. In addition, if you believe that your credit card was used without your authorization due to being lost or stolen or if you are the victim of a billing error, you can also dispute such suspected charges. In the United Kingdom, consumers are protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If a consumer purchases goods costing between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card, the issuer of the card is jointly liable with the supplier in the event of a problem like non-delivery or if a company goes bankrupt. It is a protection that only a credit card user can use to ensure that they get their money back whereas cash and debit transactions do not enjoy the same protection.
Turning Interest-free Credit into Income
In the United Kingdom alone, growing competition and pressure to attract new customers has led to a number of credit card issuers offering interest free balance transfers for periods as long as twenty eight months while some cards will offer zero percent purchases for the first initial months. When First Tesco increased the interest free period on its Clubcard to twenty five months, Barclaycard retaliated with its own 26-month zero percent card. Rather than dishing out $3,000 on a new flat screen television from your bank account, it’s much better to hold that in your high yield savings account for the duration of the free financing period which will earn you more money in the long-term. As long as you monitor the payment due dates carefully, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to maximize the use of an interest free loan. But beware of applying for too many promotional cards. A number of online financial websites like money.co.uk caution credit card users against submitting a lot of applications for various promotional cards in a short period of time as it can make you appear desperate for credit and hurt your credit appeal.
Save Money on Routine Expenses
Credit cards often come with a number of discreet benefits like the “Collision Damage Waiver” protection. While it is not technically insurance, it does protect you in the event that your rental vehicle is damaged. More importantly, this often forgotten benefit saves you money on a routine travel expense that can often turn a $10 a day car rental into triple the cost if you are forced to purchase the protection offered by the rental car company. In order to take advantage of this benefit, it is important to ensure that you use the card that carries the coverage when you rent the vehicle. Another great way to save money is to use the rewards earned on your credit card for things that you need rather than what you want. By using points for routine purchases like groceries, clothing, home supplies, and other necessities, you are saving yourself money that would have typically added up on your monthly expenses. The best part is that you’re paying with points that didn’t cost you anything to earn. But if you end up spending your points on luxuries, while there is indeed a benefit, there is no savings. Like with cash, you should always consider whether to save or spend.
If you are confident to manage your credit wisely avoiding any interest charges and unnecessary fees, there is no reason that you should be using your debit card for anything other than cash withdrawals. If you use your credit card responsibly, the extensive range of benefits can be far too profitable to ignore.
How are you saving for life’s big moments?
Whether you’re planning on buying a house, getting married, having a baby or booking the holiday of a lifetime- life’s big moments require funds. And more often than not, quite a lot of money is needed. It can be tricky when you don’t have heaps of disposable income to put away the cash that you need, but it’s not impossible and there are things that the average person can do to speed things up. Here are some ideas.
It seems like everyone has a credit card and they’re all using them. Is cash going away? In this article, Freedom Financial Network shares some interesting usage behavior of responsible credit card users.
The number of credit cards in use in America from the four major providers, which include VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, are 636 million, according to wallethub.com. As of 2016, the US population was 323 million. Statistically, that’s nearly 2 credit cards for every US citizen.
How responsible are we today with our credit cards? In 2009, the percentage of American households carrying credit card debt from month to month was 44%. In 2014, that number dropped to 34%.
This shows that consumers aren’t letting their credit card debt accumulate with high interest every month.Continue reading
Most households spend a couple thousand dollars, if not more, on utility costs each year. These costs can include gas, water, and electricity expenditures. However, you can greatly decrease these expenses by altering your energy usage. Don’t worry—the methods listed below don’t require serious lifestyle changes, such as taking fewer showers to conserve water or living in the dark to save electricity. In fact, these alterations may even make your life a little easier while saving you money. To learn more, check out these tips on how to save money on your utility bill.
Insulating your home will slow the movement of heat through your walls, attic, and roof by creating a thermal barrier. If your home isn’t properly insulated, warm air will escape in the winter and cool air will escape in the summer. By reducing this air flow, you’ll use far less energy to control the temperature of your home, and your utility bill will greatly decrease as a result.
Swapping out your old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs is an extremely affordable change that can save you a ton of money. These energy-efficient light bulbs last much longer and put far less strain on your energy bill. While incandescent light bulbs use around 60 watts of energy, CFL bulbs use only 14 watts, and LEDs use 10 watts.
If your fridge, freezer, and oven aren’t properly sealed, cold and hot air can escape. This air leak doesn’t just make your appliances less efficient; it also wastes a lot of money by upping your energy costs. To save money, make sure to fully seal all your appliances.
If you aren’t at home, there’s no reason for your air conditioner or heater to work as hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. By getting a programmable thermostat, you can schedule it to drop or raise the temperature a few degrees whenever you’re at work or away from home. By doing so, you could save a considerable amount on your electricity bill.
While that slow-dripping faucet might not seem like that big of a problem, it’s wasting gallons of water throughout the day. Over time, this can make a serious impact on your utility bill. To make sure this isn’t happening to you, check all your faucets and repair them immediately if you notice a leak.
Simply switching to a more efficient showerhead can save thousands of gallons of water each year. Low-flow showerheads work just like regular ones, except they push out less water. These showerheads are generally inexpensive, and they can significantly reduce your utility bill, especially if you or someone in your household is particularly fond of long showers.
Most of the energy used by your washing machine is used to heat the water. By opting to wash your clothes in cold water instead, the amount of energy the machine uses will greatly decrease. As a bonus, the colors of your clothes won’t fade as quickly.