Finding The Right Credit Card

500

Some people feel loyal to certain credit card companies, it’s only natural when you’ve had them for so long, but why not see if they can offer you a better card?

find the right credit card

I remember the lecture my mother gave me a few weeks before my first day of college. She sat me down and said, “I have something important to tell you.” Right about then is when I rolled my eyes and braced for the, “Young men are the devil’s spawn and should not be trusted,” and the, “You are going to a place where there will be great temptations,” speech. What I got was not really a lecture, but a talk about how it was time to start building my credit.

I really never gave that topic much thought. I always thought that getting a credit card was for grown ups, and Lord knows I didn’t quite feel like a grown up at the time. She told me I should start thinking about applying for a credit card. She also warned me if I did so, she would NOT bail me out if I started charging up the world. That alone scared me. I had a full time job, but what if I couldn’t handle the payments? What if I went temporarily insane, and decided to charge everything I could. It was too much for me, and I told her, I didn’t want to hear any more nonsense about me getting a credit card.

She of course persisted for the next two weeks, and I finally told her that I would look into it. I then asked the million dollar question, “How do I find the one that is best for me?” She blank stared me. Then she blink. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know, that’s your problem.” Cue the crickets.

So there I was, eighteen in 1992, trying to get a credit card, but not knowing where to start. Luckily on the fist day of classes, I was in the school book store and found an ad for a student credit card. Without giving it much thought, I applied and to this day I still have a card from that company. Was that the best way of going about it? Probably not. I suppose if I did the research I could have found a card with a better interest rate, or a better limit.

Now days, the internet has changed the way people research topics. I’ve found the best way to find a good product is to find a site that helps you compare similar products side by side. Are you interested in credit cards that offer airline rewards? How about credit cards that offer hotel and travel rewards? Maybe you are just looking for the credit card that would be right for your business, or one with low interest rates. There are even credit cards for poor credit.

Some people feel loyal to certain credit card companies, it’s only natural when you’ve had them for so long, but why not see if they can offer you a better card? Your time is precious and getting the best credit card for you is important to your lifestyle.

Handling Your Money Effectively

440

There is inflation every year. You cannot stop an increasing in living expenses as prices of consumer goods increasing all the time. Saving money becomes an extremely difficult task to do. Here are some solutions for saving a little so that you can still meet your needs and still find ways to trim off a little for the future.

1. Budget ?Get one and stick with it! And set aside at least a small portion for savings while you’re at it; savings for your future, your retireme…

billing services,bill,billing,billing software,billing gazette

There is inflation every year. You cannot stop an increasing in living expenses as prices of consumer goods increasing all the time. Saving money becomes an extremely difficult task to do. Here are some solutions for saving a little so that you can still meet your needs and still find ways to trim off a little for the future.

1. Budget ?Get one and stick with it! And set aside at least a small portion for savings while you’re at it; savings for your future, your retirement, your education, your vacation, whatever. Head to your local office supply store for planning workbooks or budget sheets to use. Or head to your favorite search engine and type in, “budget planning?for hundreds of sites with articles, free downloads, tips, ebooks and other resources to help with your budget setup and follow up.

2. Plan Ahead ?Make sure to plan for emergencies and the unexpected, like an appliance break down or garage door malfunction. Even if you can only set aside $50 or so each monthly, place it in an account and earmark it for this “Miscellaneous?fund. Then when things go wrong, and they will ?nothing’s perfect ?you’ll be better prepared.

3. Non Monthly Items – Work out a monthly payment for items that you don’t pay monthly and set this up in your regular monthly budget. For example, for items like annual home owner or renter insurance, quarterly water bills and automobile insurance payments and annual trash bills, take the amounts and determine what they would be monthly. Then list the items on your budget log and pull these amounts aside, saving them in your account for those purposes. This way, when the bills hit, you won’t be caught off guard and have to scrounge for the payments.

What works well, instead of handling multiple savings accounts for each company owed, is to use index cards and one savings account. Create one index card for each bill. Then simply log the amount you’re setting aside on the card and deposit it into your savings account. Keep the index cards with your savings passbook to remind you what the balance covers. The total of all your index cards should equal the balance in your savings account. (Make sure to create an index card for your regular funds that you are saving each month in step one above and a card for your Miscellaneous fund in step two above).

So next time you get paid, take three giant steps forward. Grab your index cards, follow your budget and invest in yourself and your future. Get a grip on your money handling.

Check Out These Check Facts

355

Checking accounts have changed and you may want to spend some time checking out the changes and how they affect you.

Check Out These Check Facts

Checking accounts have changed and you may want to spend some time checking out the changes and how they affect you.

To start, checks are being processed more quickly these days. This means that when you write a check the money may be deducted from your account sooner. To avoid bounced checks, be sure you have enough money in your account at the time you write a check. A bounced check charge could cost you $25 per check or more.

Here are some other changes you should make note of:

• Some of your checks may be converted to electronic funds transfers from your account-called electronic check conversion. Your check is now like a debit and the money may come out of your account sooner. If you don’t want the checks you write to pay bills converted, contact your creditors to find out how to opt out. If you need a copy of a check that was converted, you will have to contact your bank, which will then contact the creditor who converted your check.

• Some of your checks may be processed as a check (instead of being converted), but the banks may exchange payment information electronically. Banks do this by creating “substitute checks.” Substitute checks are special paper copies of the front and back of the original check. When banks use substitute checks, the money may come out of your account sooner.

• The items listed in your checking account statement may look different from one another. Some items may be listed by check number and others may be listed by the name of the company you paid. Always review all of the charges listed on your account statements to make sure they match your receipts or records.

If you have questions about how your checks are processed, contact your bank, savings and loan or credit union.

Remember, under federal law you are protected against errors in your account when electronic funds transfers are used. But you have to read your bank statements each month or go online to check your account transactions. And you need to notify your bank as soon as you spot an error.

Budgeting For Emergency Funds?

443

Emergency funds are considered to be a necessity as far as financial security is concerned, since it can provide one with financial resources that one can resort to and depend on when an emergency arises such that when one is sick and have the burden of paying huge medical bills, or unexpected home or major car repair.

When one has no emergency fund, one can be obliged to acquire debt on your credit card that might take several years to repay with interest that would late…

budget, family budget

Emergency funds are considered to be a necessity as far as financial security is concerned, since it can provide one with financial resources that one can resort to and depend on when an emergency arises such that when one is sick and have the burden of paying huge medical bills, or unexpected home or major car repair.

When one has no emergency fund, one can be obliged to acquire debt on your credit card that might take several years to repay with interest that would later cost so much more.

However by putting an extra thirty to fifty dollars every month in an individual “emergency savings account?one can be secured with what emergency the future may bring. In doing this, it is recommended that one regards the emergency fund as an additional bill, to be punctually paid each month.

Yes, one can and should budget and allocate the extra money for emergency fund, as this is very significant when one refers to his “financial future? Here, the goal is to create savings from budgeting your income; the emergency savings should ideally be equal to at least three months your living expenditures.

What’s important is that you should steadily put a certain amount of money aside, and only use it for real emergencies.

Not like an investment, the success of one’s long-term savings funds does not really count on the amount of return or interests but on placing a fixed amount of money away constantly and steadily so to have immediate access to it at all times.

In spite of one’s financial status, the initial step in the process of constructing an emergency fund is by knowing where your money is presently being consumed or spent.

When one recognizes and determines where one’s earnings are spent, then it will be easy for one to choose and make a decision where to trim down expenses. In other words, budget.

Budgeting is putting or setting aside money for anticipated and unanticipated future use. It is here that one sets up a goal so as to save. So set an emergency fund as your goal.

Checking, savings, money market accounts and “certificates of deposits? are great places to keep one’s cash that might be needed on quick notice.

The amount saved from budgeting can either go to your savings goal, emergency fund or both. One could utilize the money saved from budgeting financial expenses by saving half of it to your savings account and half of it for emergencies. This way, you achieve your goals in savings and at the same time put in funds for emergency use. It’s your choice.

Earn While You Shop: Find the Right Reward Program for You

326

Point-based reward programs are proliferating. You can earn enough miles to fly to Paris just by using your credit card or you can accumulate points that can be spent like cash merely by shopping at your favorite stores.

Earn While You Shop: Find the Right Reward Program for You

Point-based reward programs are proliferating. You can earn enough miles to fly to Paris just by using your credit card or you can accumulate points that can be spent like cash merely by shopping at your favorite stores. But with so many options available, how do you know you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck?

The following tips will help ensure that you pick the right program for your needs.

* Know your lifestyle. Choose a reward program that fits your priorities and lifestyle. If you travel a lot, try air mile travel reward programs like www.milesource.com.

Similarly, if you like outdoor activities, look for a credit card like the Cabela’s Club Visa, found at www.cabelas.com. You can earn points, in the store and online, that can be redeemed for all types of hunting, fishing and camping gear.

* Reap your rewards. Select a reward program that doesn’t add an expiration date to your hard-earned points. If it does, make sure you know the date and use the points before you lose them.

* Look for flexible rewards. Avoid choosing reward programs that tie you into redeeming points only at specific vendors. Look for more flexible options like FreeStyle Rewards, found online at www.freestylerewards.com. It lets you build points by shopping online at more than 175 participating merchants. You redeem your points for a debit card that can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, online or offline.

* Click ‘n’ save. Select online shopping reward programs that provide gateway access to your most frequently visited stores. You’ll find everything you need, save money while you shop and build points as you go.

* Share the wealth. How would you like to make point donations to family, friends or charities? Select a reward program that allows you to do so.

* Compare. Just like you would compare merchandise prices, compare point-based reward programs by considering what’s important to you and determining which ones will fit your needs.

Bankruptcy Attorney: Questions To Ask

560

If you have tried every way imaginable to avoid bankruptcy but find that you have no other way out of the situation, the first step you should take before filing is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

bankruptcy, bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy law, avoid bankruptcy, filing bankruptcy

If you have tried every way imaginable to avoid bankruptcy but find that you have no other way out of the situation, the first step you should take before filing is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can be hired or appointed by the court systems to help you through the court proceedings. If you decide to select your own attorney, make sure to select someone with previous experience in bankruptcy law, preferably someone who works specifically with bankruptcy.

No matter which bankruptcy attorney you select, you should always be prepared to ask the attorney questions regarding your own case. Here is a list of questions you should always ask your attorney to make yourself more aware of your bankruptcy proceedings:

* What type of bankruptcy is right for me?

Keep in mind that the Federal court system in the United States has eight different types of bankruptcy filing available. Of course the two most popular are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, but there are a variety of different details and rules that apply to each type of filing. A good bankruptcy attorney will be able to sift through your financial difficulties and recommend the best type of bankruptcy for you.

* How do I file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy will need to be done in the state where you currently live. If you plan to remain represented by a bankruptcy attorney, their legal staff can help to prepare all of the paperwork that is necessary to present to the court system. If you simply want to use the bankruptcy attorney for a consultation, make sure you don’t leave the attorney’s office without the necessary paperwork to begin the bankruptcy process.

* What type of fees will I owe?

This is important to ask in regards to your bankruptcy attorney as well as the court system. Most bankruptcy attorneys will give a free consultation but any remaining time on the proceeding or in court will cost a fee. Some attorneys charge by the hour while others charge a flat fee for bankruptcy services. As well, the court systems usually charge a court fee connected with filing the case, administrative charges and extra Chapter 7 fees to pay a trustee in charge of the bankrupt account.

* Where do I go to file my bankruptcy claim?

Bankruptcy cases are handled by the federal court systems in every state. This usually means that the bankrupt party will need to give the bankruptcy paperwork to the state courthouse, usually in a state’s capitol city. Your bankruptcy attorney should know the address and rules regarding whether or not paperwork can be sent by mail or if paperwork needs to be given in person.

* What happens after filing for bankruptcy?

Immediately after filing for bankruptcy, the court system will send out notification to creditors of the pending bankruptcy case. From this point on, creditors are considered to have a “restraining order” by the debtor and are not allowed to contact the debtor requesting payment. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, a hearing will be scheduled and deadlines will be set for creditors to file a claim and attend the hearing. Of course, all of the proceedings from here are dependent on the type of bankruptcy filed, so it is important to be in contact with your bankruptcy attorney who can more readily answer these questions.

Five Steps to a Comfy Retirement

318

Building a comfortable retirement nest egg is easier than you think. Here are five steps to help you build a comfortable retirement.

retirement, financial planning, retirement planning

You’ve probably heard about the Nebraska meatpackers who won the largest lottery jackpot in the United States last week. One winner replied “I’ve been retired for about four days now?when asked what he would do with his winnings. His response did not surprise me; I’m sure my reaction would be similar!

What does surprise me is that many Americans believe that they cannot retire comfortably unless they win the lottery. A survey by the Consumer Federation of America shows that 27% of Americans believe that their best chance to gain $500,000 in their lifetime is to win a sweepstakes or lottery.

Fortunately, building a comfortable retirement nest egg is easier than you think. Here are five steps to help you build a comfortable retirement:

1. Start early! If you started saving $100 a month beginning at age 18, you would have over $500,000 by age 65. The power of compounding is great, and the earlier you start saving, the greater the benefit.

2. Have a plan. The best way to ensure that you will have a comfortable retirement is to plan how much you will need to retire. You can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going.

3. Participate in company sponsored retirement plans. Many companies offer matching contributions to your 401K or other retirement plan contributions. This is free money ?take it!

4. Invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, that fits your goals and risk tolerance. Studies show that your investment return is determined primarily by the allocation of your assets, not the individual investment selections you make.

5. Keep your costs down. Invest in no-load, low cost mutual funds (or other investments). Lowering the expenses in your portfolio by just 1% can equate to 20% more money in your portfolio after 20 years.

Although winning a large lottery certainly can’t hurt, following the steps above should send you well on your way to a comfortable retirement.

Cash Advance Loans Online – The Real Truth

320

So you have found yourself in a bit of trouble and are looking into cash advance loans online. This may not be such a great idea as many cash advance loan companies are…

cash advance loan online,cash advance loans

So you have found yourself in a bit of trouble and are looking into cash advance loans online. This may not be such a great idea as many cash advance loan companies are not completely truthful in the details of the loans that they offer.

First of all the fees associated with getting cash advance loans online can be outrageous. To begin with, you will pay unusually high interest rates with these types of loans. Either you will pay a percentage of the total amount you plan to borrow or you could be charged anywhere from $10 to $50 per hundred dollars that you are going to need. Should you need to extend your cash advance loan you will end up paying additional fees each time you do so.

The majority of people who take out a payday loan get caught in a snowball effect of sorts Basically when a loan comes due that a borrower is not equipped to pay in time they usually end up having to extend the loan and incurring more interest charges. Additionally you are likely to rack up bounced check fees at your bank if you do not have the money ready when the withdrawal happens.

Instead of getting involved with a cash advance loan you may want to consider any one of these other options. You could see if your boss would give you an advance on your pay, or you could ask a friend or family member to loan you the money. You may want to check with those you have debit with and see if there might be a way to gain a little extra time to pay your bills and also check what the late fees would be involved with this.

There are many great options that you can utilize when looking to pay some bills. Applying for cash advance loans online should be at the bottom of your list of possibilities.

Correcting Four Common Money Mistakes

375

If you feel as through you keep making the same mistakes when it comes to money, there’s good news.

Correcting Four Common Money Mistakes

If you feel as though you keep making the same mistakes when it comes to money, there’s good news.

By making a few small, practical changes in your behavior, you can often correct financial mistakes and make some positive changes that are likely to last. Here are four examples.

• Eliminate emotional spending: Before you head off to the mall, take a minute to note what you are feeling. In a recent study by moneycentral.msn.com, people who had just watched a sad movie clip were willing to spend more than those who had just watched other types of movies.

Remember, if you are feeling sad or frustrated, there are ways other than shopping to make yourself feel better.

• Pay off credit card debt as soon as possible: Take a long look at how much you are paying to borrow money from your creditors. Think about consolidating debt with a single loan that has a lower interest rate that’s fixed.

• Start planning for retirement now: If you are not saving money for retirement, you should be. A recent study in USA Today showed that currently, 53 percent of people in the workforce have no pension and 32 percent have nothing set aside for retirement. If you’re planning on relying just on Social Security, you probably should think again. The current average payout is just $955, or $11,460 annually-and could be even less, depending on your work history. You should consider working with a financial professional and completing a personalized financial profile. This can help determine how much you need to start saving in order to reach your financial goals, such as retirement, education savings for your children and other goals.

• Prepare for the unexpected: Don’t use the “it could never happen to me” excuse when dealing with something as critical as your family’s financial future. Sudden accidents or unexpected critical health problems happen every day to those who least expect it. If you are the breadwinner of a young family, according to the experts at Kiplinger’s, life insurance protection of eight to 12 times your annual income is recommended. Most experts agree that the most affordable form of insurance is term insurance. According to Kiplinger’s, “Dollar for dollar, term life insurance gives you the most protection for your money. Period.”

Be Cautious When Using Your Nest Egg as an ATM

552

If your home truly is your nest egg, be smart about how use its equity. Make sure that it fits in with your overall financial plan and golas. Otherwise, you could be left without a nest and just the egg!

About five years ago I moved from the ranks of being a renter to that of being a homeowner. Now, not a week goes by that I don’t receive some type of offer through the mail encouraging me to refinance my mortgage, open a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or apply for a home equity loan.

Payoff High Interest Credit Card Debt! Lower Your Monthly Payments! Buy A New Car! Refinance And Get Money Now! scream the slogans splashed across the envelopes.

The promotional letters inside point out how easy it will be for me to “get the extra cash you need NOW!? They promise “no out of pocket costs?with a newly refinanced 30-year loan.

Could I use some extra cash NOW? You bet I could! Who needs high interest credit card debt? Not me, no way, no how! Buy a new car? Hmmm, I like that new Pontiac G6 I’ve seen on tv, maybe in a sleek titanium color with black trim?

For thousands of U.S. households “Home Sweet Home?is rapidly being replaced with a new sentiment – “Home Sweet ATM.? According to the latest Federal Reserve study, 45% of homeowners who have refinanced their mortgages pulled cash out and 74% wound up lengthening their mortgage by about six years. Only 17% shortened their loan term opting to downsize to a 15-year mortgage.

In a period of six years, Americans have more than doubled the amount owed on home equity loans and lines of credit, nearing $766.2 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.

If you’re in your 40’s and you refinance on a new 30-yr. loan, you’ll be in your 70’s by the time your loan ends. Even if you shave off a few years by paying down your principle, you’re still risking not owning your home “free and clear?as you approach retirement age.

What happened to the era when your home was considered your nest egg to be used only for life-threatening or life-changing events like paying for a child’s wedding or for a medical emergency? And worst of all, many new homeowners are using their home’s equity as another source for financing new debts.

Think twice before using home equity to pay off credit card balances. If you’re already overspending on your credit cards now, what makes you think anything will be different after you pay them off with a loan or line of credit? Many people just wind up deeper in debt or facing bankruptcy because they couldn’t resist charging their cards up again.

Keep this in mind before tapping your home’s equity – Your loan or HELOC is secured by your home. Default on the loan and you could lose your house, even if you declare bankruptcy!

The best use for home equity is to make improvements that add value to your home. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, adding an extra room or creating a master suite are just a few of the “hot?improvements that can really pay off when it comes time for you to sell.

If your home truly is your nest egg, be smart about how use its equity. Make sure that it fits in with your overall financial plan and golas. Otherwise, you could be left without a nest and just the egg!