# How You Trap Into Credit Card Debt

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These days credit card or plastic money is very popular and used extensively. It is indeed of great utility if used in a calculative manner, but it is also the main cause that leads many people trap into credit card debt. Let see how it happen to most of people.

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These days credit card or plastic money is very popular and used extensively. It is indeed of great utility if used in a calculative manner, but it is also the main cause that leads many people trap into credit card debt. Let see how it happen to most of people.

Many of retailers are implementing easy payment scheme for their products or services, with some fraction amount of money for monthly installed, you can buy thousand of dollars of items or go for a luxury vacation which you can’t afford to buy if one lump sum of money is needed, these monthly installment are automatically charge to your credit card. Every month, you just pay the minimum amount of your credit card balance and you continue spend on your credit card. Let use a case study to review on how a person credit card debt can grow and how it will take to get rid of it.

Case Study

Scott earn \$2,500 a month, he is holding a credit card with interest rates of 12%. All his credit cards allow him to pay a minimum of 3% or \$10 which ever is higher. His credit card limit is \$15,000.

Scott’s credit card balance at current month is \$4,550 (\$3000 in principle and \$1550 interest). He tends to pay the minimum of his credit card balance and each month he will averagely swipe about \$500 on petrol and other utilities.

Let see how’s Scott’s credit card balance grow:

Month 1

Credit card balance = \$4,550.00

Minimum Payment = \$136.50

New Credit Card Spending = \$500.00

New Balance = (\$4,550 – \$136.50 + \$500.00) = \$4913.50

Month 10

Credit card balance = \$7976.02

Minimum Payment = \$239.28

New Credit Card Spending = \$500.00

New Balance = (\$7976.02 – \$239.28 + \$500.00) = \$8236.74

Month 20

Credit card balance = \$11109.85

Minimum Payment = \$333.29

New Credit Card Spending = \$500.00

New Balance = \$11109.85 – \$333.29 + \$500.00) = \$11276.55

Month 30

Credit card balance = \$13662.60

Minimum Payment = \$409.88

New Credit Card Spending = \$500.00

New Balance = \$13662.60 – \$409.88 + \$500.00) = \$13752.72

Month 36

Credit card balance = \$14961.02

Minimum Payment = \$448.83

New Credit Card Spending = \$500.00

New Balance = \$14961.02 – \$448.83 + \$500.00) = \$15012.19

If Scott continues his practice, his will hit his credit card limit after 36 month compare to current month.

Let say Scott stop using his card with the balance at month 36 of \$15012.19 and continue paying the monthly minimum. It will take him 228 months which equal to 19 years to just to pay off his \$15012.19 debt.

The above example is just a simple case study to show you how your credit card debt may piles up so quickly without you even aware of it. You need a lot of time and spend a lot of money on interest in order to get rid of this debt. In real life, many people have more than one card and other loans to support; hence situation may even worse.

How to get rid of credit card faster & affordable?

If you are already at this situation, the first thing you need to do is to change your behavior of paying the minimum only. Paying more each month will definitely pay off your debt faster but the question is you may say that you can’t afford to pay more than the minimum. In actually fact, the easiest, faster and affordable way to get rid of your credit card debt is maintain your current minimum monthly payment.

For example, we use back Scott’s case. If he affords to pay the minimum payment of his \$15012.19 debt, which is \$448.83, this is his affordable payment. If he continues to pay \$448.83 every month instead of the minimum of his credit card balance, he will need only 43 months to pay off his debt as compare to 228 months. This mean, Scott will have his debt free life in less than 4 years instead of 19 years.

In Summary

Credit card will remain important in many people life, use it intelligently for your convenient, but you much carefully manage your credit card balance, don’t let this plastic money drag you into financial crisis; the ideal way is pay the balance in full each month.

# Rolling Over Your 401k Plan The Easy Way

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So what is a 401k retirement plan? A 401k plan is actually a retirement investments plan that is subsidized by employee or worker payments and often, corresponding involvements from your manager or employer. In addition, the most important draw for these plans is that the payments are taken from your pre-tax wage, and the funds rise tax-free until such time that it is withdrawn or pulled out. Also, the plans are, to some degree, independent and self-sufficient, and the good t…

So what is a 401k retirement plan? A 401k plan is actually a retirement investments plan that is subsidized by employee or worker payments and often, corresponding involvements from your manager or employer. In addition, the most important draw for these plans is that the payments are taken from your pre-tax wage, and the funds rise tax-free until such time that it is withdrawn or pulled out. Also, the plans are, to some degree, independent and self-sufficient, and the good thing is that they are manageable and convenient.

401k retirement plans are for profit and many kinds of tax-exempt associations and institutes can create these plans for their employees and working staff. Moreover, a 401K plan is a corporation-supported retirement plan for workers. Payments and earnings in a 401K retirement plan are not subject to federal and most state income taxes until the account is withdrawn or pulled out. With a 401K plan, you can save and invest cash from a pre-tax starting point with the employers contributing corresponding funds to add to yours, which makes the plan even more profitable. Most of the time, you will have the option to choose how much you want to contribute, up to the maximum allowed by the government and also the option to choose where your contributions go. You pick your investment vehicle from a directory of funds provided by your retirement plan sponsor or manager.

You can learn when you are entitled and permitted to start contributing in your business’s 401K retirement plan from your assistance manager or director. In addition, once you are qualified to sign up, you will be given an inventory of funds in which you can choose to invest in. You can choose to invest the maximum of \$14,000 in 2005 and \$15,000 in 2006. There are numerous benefits and gains to 401k plans.
First and foremost, since the contributor is permitted to make a payment to his or her plan with pre-tax cash, it lowers the total tax taken out of every pay check. Subsequently, all company payments and several enlargements in the principal capital are free of tax until withdrawal. Moreover, the compounding result of steady cyclic payments over the phase of 25 or 35 years is remarkable.

In addition, you can decide where to target upcoming payments or place present savings, giving more power over the assets to the contributor. Consequently, if your company matches your contributions, it is like receiving additional funds on top of your earnings. In addition, unlike a regular retirement fund, all payments can be shifted from one business plan to another company plan if you change jobs.

Because the plan is an individual investment for your retirement it’s sheltered by the retirement fund (ERISA) laws and regulations. This gives you the extra security of keeping your funds from the hands of creditors in case of bankruptcy. This does not apply to household relations court cases that deal with divorce orders or child support orders. Indeed, a 401k retirement plan is a good way to start setting yourself up for an enjoyable retirement.

# Oprah’s Debt Diet: What It Is and How You Can Benefit from It

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Oprah’s Debt Diet includes a step-by-step guide on overcoming debt. It is important to note that getting out of debt will not happen over night. That is why Oprah’s step-by-step guide is important because it helps debt ridden individuals change their daily habits over time. If you are currently searching for a way out of debt you are encouraged to read on and learn a few of the steps in Oprah’s Debt Diet.

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In February 2006, Oprah Winfrey challenged her television viewers and all other Americans to get out of debt. If you are currently suffering from debt than you know that it is difficult to overcome. That is why Oprah and a number of financial experts developed the Oprah Debt Diet.

Oprah’s Debt Diet includes a step-by-step guide on overcoming debt. It is important to note that getting out of debt will not happen over night. That is why Oprah’s step-by-step guide is important because it helps debt ridden individuals change their daily habits over time. If you are currently searching for a way out of debt you are encouraged to read on and learn a few of the steps in Oprah’s Debt Diet.

Step # 1 – Determine Exactly How Much Debt You Have

This first step is extremely important because it is impossible to get completely out of debt if you are unaware of all of your debt. The easiest way to determine how much debt you owe is by collecting all of your current and overdue bills or by requesting a copy of your credit report. Your credit report can easily be obtained from one of the three main credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Step #2 – Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses

Like many other Americans, it is likely that you grab a soda or coffee while at work. Those items are expensive and they quickly add up. Did you know that simply by eliminating unnecessary purchases you could get out of debt a lot quicker than you may have originally thought? Tracking all of your purchases for one week is a great way to know what items you can live without purchasing.

Step #3 – Learn About the Credit Cards You Have

Many Americans are falling victim to late fees, annual fees, and high interest rates without even knowing it. The best way to prevent credit card debt is by knowing how your credit card works. It is also important to know that minimum payments may sound great, but in reality they are a financial death trap because they only keep you in debt longer. If you successfully follow step 2, you could use your extra money to make more than the minimum payments each month.

Step #4 – Learn to Cut Back on Your Spending Habits

Step 2 mentioned eliminating unnecessary purchases. Eliminating unnecessary purchases is a great way to get out of debt, but it can be difficult to do. Individuals who are unable to control their spending habits are encouraged to not carry credit or debit cards with them. If a credit card is used, it is important to make the payments on time and pay as much of it as you can. It is also important not to obtain new credit cards during this time or accept offers of increased spending limits.

Step # 5 – Develop a Monthly Spending Plan

A monthly spending plan, also commonly referred to as budget, is a great way to allocate money to necessary expenses. A monthly budget is the best because it can include holidays, birthdays, and other special events that only occur during certain months. Your budget should include all housing costs and expenses, transportation expenses, other miscellaneous expenses, and the debt that you owe.

Step #6 – Develop Ways to Increase Your Income

When developing a budget, there are many Americans who realize that they do not make enough money to pay for all of their expenses and debt. If you are one of those individuals then you may want to consider finding ways to obtain extra income. Extra income does not necessarily mean having to get a second job. It can also mean altering your lifestyle. The Debt Diet recommends going without a vehicle if possible and relocating if your current home expenses are too high.

Step #7 – Develop a Customized Plan to Get Rid of Your Debt

A customized plan can be developed simply by prioritizing your debt. This means that you will examine all of your debt and determine which debt you need to pay off first. The date of the debt, how much it is, and what can happen if you don’t pay it should be examined when deciding what or who to payoff first.

Step #8 – Determine Why You Spend Money and Try to Change It

Many unnecessary purchases are made when individuals are feeling angry or depressed. It is also possible that you are an impulse buyer or that you may have a shopping addiction. Whatever the reason for your unnecessary purchases, there are ways to change it. Sometimes this process may require professional help, but other times it can simply be cured with other activities.

Oprah’s Debt Diet worked for the guests on her show and there is no reason why it cannot work for you. As previously mentioned, getting out of debt is difficult and it will not happen over night. If you sway away from any of the above mentioned steps do not give up. Try as many times as it may take. Once you make the steps of the Oprah Debt Diet a part of your daily routine you will be on your way to being debt free.

# Should I Save Mad Money For A Rainy Day?

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Having a mad money or emergency fund is a good idea is case you need access to money quickly. Learn tips on how you can go about saving towards a rainy day!

Yes, this is a good idea! I know you want to know what is mad money? Well, a long time ago this term came about when a young lady went out with her friend to a party and her friend left her at the party with no way home. So, the young lady was mad with her friend that left her at the party and luckily for her, she had money stowed away in her shoe to take a cab back home. She thought to herself on her way home in the cab, that it was good that her mother had taught her to always have money set aside for emergency situations such as this!

Thank goodness, this young lady had the forethought to stash her mad money away so she could take a cab back home, since her friend left her in a lurch. Get the point? Having an emergency fund whether it be mad money or saved money is important for you to have. You say, how do I go about doing this? Well, you can read these tips to help you learn what you can do:

1) Set up a savings account specifically for your emergency fund or mad money fund. Whatever you want to call it, just establish one!

2) Deposit a certain amount of money on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis in your account. You may want to set up automatic deposits to your account via your payroll department. Or, you may want to have your bank automatically withdraw a certain amount of money from your checking account into your emergency or mad money savings account.

3) Try to save at least 2-3 months of your monthly salary to cover your bills for at least three months if you were to loose your job. This amount of time will hopefully allow you the cushion you need until you secure new employment.

4) The money you save in your emergency or mad money account should be used for household emergencies, personal emergencies or if you’re no longer able to work. Don’t use it for other expenditures such as bills, travel, etc… Get the idea? It’s a savings account that you don’t want to touch unless it’s absolutely necessary!

5) Make sure the bank account you put your emergency or mad money into, is paying you the most interest you can earn for this account! Research as many sources as possible on securing the best interest rate you can get. Check with your bank, the internet, newspaper and other sources for the prevailing interest rate. You want to make sure your money can be accessed easily and quickly if you need it for an emergency!

By establishing an emergency or mad money fund, this will give you a better peace of mind if you need access to money when there is an emergency in your life. So, the sooner you start setting money aside for a rainy day, the better off you will be! Make sure the amount of money you contribute to your emergency or mad money fund, is realistic for your budget. Save as much as you can without upsetting your overall personal or family finances. So go ahead, get started today!

# What You Should Know Before Buying Annuities

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Americans hear a lot about the shaky outlook for Social Security. In the future, the federal program likely will play a smaller overall role in Americans’ retirement plans.

What You Should Know Before Buying Annuities

Americans hear a lot about the shaky outlook for Social Security. In the future, the federal program likely will play a smaller overall role in Americans’ retirement plans.

One way to fill in the gaps of a savings portfolio is to put money in annuities. With an annuity, you pay a premium in exchange for guaranteed income payments at regular intervals. It is most often used for retirement purposes.

The basic types of annuities are equity indexed, fixed rate and variable. The major advantage of annuities is that they all guarantee benefits such as tax-free growth, the ability to pass money directly to heirs or charities and an income stream for life.

Over the past few years, equity-indexed annuities have gained a great deal of popularity. They offer interest or benefits that are linked to an external equity reference – a stock index like the S&P 500, for example. But you get a guaranteed minimum return in exchange for a limited maximum return; that is, you get less upside, but also less downside, to your stock-market investing. Your principal is never at risk.

Fixed-rate annuities, on the other hand, guarantee an interest rate and a declared minimum. They have traditionally been the most popular annuities.

Variable annuities provide more options. They enable you to invest in stock, bonds, mutual funds and money-market instruments.

Reputable financial companies, like TrueYield Financial, want to make sure investors are comfortable when purchasing annuities. Here are some tips for the potential investor.

* Be sure the firm you work with is not limited to offering just one company’s annuities. There are many options available, so work with an agent that can get the one that best fits your needs.

* Understand what you are buying. Talk to your financial adviser or agent about which annuity may be right for your retirement portfolio. Fully understand the annuity contract you are considering.

* Define your goals. Annuities can be used to accomplish a number of financial goals. For example, they can supplement your monthly income or provide emergency funds. Decide which purpose your annuity will serve.

* Ask your agent if you have a “free look” period to review your annuity contract and make sure you have made the right decision.

* Investigate whether or not a bonus annuity is right for you. Bonus annuities credit premium bonuses to allow a retirement saver to make up for stock market loss or to provide an immediate boost to the account value.

# Bad Credit and Unsecured Credit Cards

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If you are a consumer that is suffering from a poor credit history you are likely to be aware of how hard it is to get an unsecured credit card. A good majority of consumers are enjoying the conveniences of being able to shop with a credit card carrying and unsecured credit limit.

Bad Credit and Unsecured Credit Cards: Two terms that don’t often go together.

If you are a consumer that is suffering from a poor credit history you are likely to be aware of how hard it is to get an unsecured credit card. A good majority of consumers are enjoying the conveniences of being able to shop with a credit card carrying and unsecured credit limit. While it is extremely nice to be able to apply for and actually qualify for a credit card you do not have to put money down to get you will quickly see that an unsecured credit card is usually the type of credit card that someone with bad credit is not very likely to obtain.

Since an unsecured credit card isn’t very likely if you are having issues with your credit the best plan of action is to look into a secured credit card for the time being. There are many different types of secured credit cards out on the market for people with bad credit all with different options so be sure to shop around so do some comparison shopping so you locate the card that is going to best meet your needs.

Now while there is no rule set in stone about the exact time that you would be able to apply for and actually qualify for a credit card with an unsecured limit there are some factors that will determine what types of cards that you will qualify for. For instance your debit to credit ratio plays a big factor in whether or not you could get an unsecured credit card.

So while it is not unheard of for someone with a bad credit history to obtain an unsecured credit card the route that is easiest for most consumers is to obtain a secured credit card build up their credit and then apply for the unsecured credit card if they so choose.

# Fast Cash Loans

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Information on fast cash loans.

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Fast cash loans are available to one and all today irrespective of the credit history, credit rating, scores etc. In case you require cash for any urgent needs, there are lots of lenders who will give you money with minimum of paperwork. Fast cash loans are commonly known as payday loans. The funds for them are provided to the individual through cash within minutes of being requested. Fast cash loans are usually quick and easy to obtain, but they are often stacked with high interest rates and a number of other fees. Of course, you can obtain one of these loans if you wish to.

Fast cash loans are available to borrowers who need small cash amounts but need it fast. No collateral is required to be pledged for the loans. Fast cash loans are the only loan on the market that allows you to borrow money for a period of one to four weeks. Most companies will allow you the privilege of borrowing up to ?000 over this period, while other companies may only allow you to borrow ?00. Fast cash loans are a safe way out. The best part is that even if you have bad, slow or nil credit rating, you can still get a fast cash loan.

Fast loans are very popular among the people with bad credit history. Due to the various credit checks followed by the other loans bad creditors fails to meet their expenses. Fast loans are available in the financial market and are categorized in to secured and unsecured fast loans. In the case of secured fast loans, borrower has to pledge any valuable asset as collateral.

# The Importance Of Saving Money For The Future

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Money in my opinion is not the most important thing in life, but it is nice to know that you have a certain amount of money, saved or invested, which you can use if needed. I actually think that health and happiness are the two most important things in life. Having this pool of money helps to keep me healthy and happy, as it means that I do not have to stress as much about the future.

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Money in my opinion is not the most important thing in life, but it is nice to know that you have a certain amount of money, saved or invested, which you can use if needed. I actually think that health and happiness are the two most important things in life. Having this pool of money helps to keep me healthy and happy, as it means that I do not have to stress as much about the future.

I only really realised the importance of investing and saving money, when I was twenty-three years of age. Up until this age, I would always spend all of my wages and did not care if I was overdrawn in the bank. I used to think that I could die tomorrow, so why bother about saving money which I might not ever use. This is a bit stupid, I know.

At the age of twenty-three, on one particular day, I was having a conversation with a friend called Tim. He basically earned the same amount of money as I did and lived a similar lifestyle. Tim told me that he was thinking of buying a flat and that he was going to cash in his investment bond to help fund the move. I was very shocked that he even had a bond and asked him how long he had had the bond, and how he had managed to get the money to put into it. I expected Tim to tell me that his parents had given him the money, but they hadn’t, he had saved up the money himself.

Tim told me that he tries to save as much money as he can per month and normally manages to save at least ?00. When he has a ?000 saved in the bank, he then invests the money into a bond.

I was very impressed with Tim and I have to admit a little bit jealous of his money. I then thought to myself, if Tim can save, then so can I. I set myself a goal of saving up a ?000 and planned to do this within ten months. I had to be less wreckless with my money and it would be a good test for me.

It did not prove to be that difficult and it was a good feeling seeing a healthy bank balance for once. After only eight months I had saved my target of ?000. Instead of putting it into a bond, I decided to take an even bigger risk and to buy some shares. I am happy to say that two years later the share price of the company I had chosen to invest in, had risen by sixty percent. This I have to admit was pure luck as I had simply guessed at who to invest in. The company I chosen had had a dismal few years and its share price was at its lowest ever level. I had heard that the company had recently had some major changes at the top and I decided to gamble just on these few facts.

That was my first experience of investing and it gave the taste for it. I have regularly been buying and selling shares as well as investing in unit trusts for around ten years now. It has also become like a kind of sport or hobby for me, as I am trying to always pick a winner. I have won some and lost some but have had a huge amount of fun along the way.

I now have a certain amount invested in different ways and when for example I have a big car repair bill, I have no need to panic as all I need to do, is to cash in some of the units of my unit trust. That is what I like about a unit trust, unlike with an endowment policy where you need to wait until the end of the term to have access to your money, with a unit trust you can take out all or just some of your units at anytime that you want.

Before I started to save up money, I would often get quite stressed about the future. How would I be able to buy a house? How will I be able to buy a decent car? These are just two of many questions I would ask myself. I would try to ignore the questions by saying to myself that at that stage of my life, I should be earning more money.

I am now very happy that I had that conversation with Tim. Investing money in the way that I do has helped me to get onto the property ladder and also helps to fund my yearly holiday abroad for my family. It also gives me a peace of mind for the future and helps to to sleep easier at night.