Why Living on Credit Cards is a Bad Idea

As advancements in technology continue, many people no longer carry cash. Instead, they pull out their trusty debit card for nearly everything they buy. The next time you go to retrieve it from your wallet you may want to consider what you are getting in return. The answer to this question is nothing. Yes, you have the convenience of not having to stop at the bank but it doesn’t offer any other benefits. Many people are catching on to the advantages of using a credit card that offers rewards instead.

Some of the best credit cards offering cash back rewards give you other options as well. Many of the more popular cards have no annual fee and other advantages include 2 to 5x earned points for things such as dining and air travel. Others give you 1.5% back on any sale you make. If you have several of these cards you can use them for your groceries, gas and other frequently purchased items. When you receive the bill pay it in full to save even more.

If used the right way, credit cards give you a way to hold onto your money. If you pay the bill in full within the thirty days you can avoid any interest or penalties. However, if you use cards for daily expenses and large purchases and then only pay a part of the bill you’re going to end up maxing out your cards and falling deeper into debt. Also, by only making a partial payment you’ll end up paying 2 to 3 times more than you would if you paid with cash. Besides, if you exceed your credit limit you’ll add on more fees.

You should only use a credit card for a true emergency or as a convenient way to shop without using your account. Getting in the habit of using it for things you want rather than need can put you into financial ruin in short order. Once you’ve maxed out your cards you’ll apply for new ones and so on. Pretty soon you’re not able to pay all them on time and then you’ll lose even more money.

The key to having a credit card is not to use it as a way to get things you can’t afford. If you keep it on you for emergencies then you’ll have it available should the need arise. It’s better to get yourself on a budget and stick to it. Chances are good that if you are using your credit cards for anything else you need to sit down, sort through your bills and get back on track. You can begin by cutting out non-essentials, such as lunches away from home and dinners out. Also, check your cable bill to see if you can save a few bucks there, too. There are many ways to reduce your expenses and get out of the bad habit of using plastic the wrong way.

A credit card can give you peace of mind during a time of emergency. This can include things such as a temporary loss of wages or unexpected repairs. If this happens, it’s best to try and make more than the scheduled payment. This will not only help to reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay, but it will also help to reduce your debt-to-income ratio, which affects your credit score.

5 Times You’ll Be Glad to Have Paid Using a Credit Card

Owning a credit card is a big responsibly that can sometimes be confusing for those with little experience. There are several situations where credit is a great option, but there are many in which it may hurt you in the long run. Here are some of the best times to use plastic when you want to get the most in return.

Rewards

If you have a rewards card, it may be beneficial to use your credit card even when cash or debit are available options. Using your card when possible will help your reward total add up more quickly. Only use your card responsibly when you are fully capable of paying the charge.

Repairing Credit

If you need to build or repair your credit, using your card at these times is a wise decision. Just like your rewards card, you can choose to do this even when other payment options are at your disposal. Make sure that the benefits of using your card in this way are worth the potential risks.

Large Purchases

Though it may seem risky, buying items such as high-end electronics may best be paid using credit cards. Most credit card companies provide protections that can be advantageous when making large purchases. Such protections may include fraud coverage in addition to the chance to dispute any charges in the event of errors. Many cards may even provide automatic extended warranties on some purchases. For rewards cards, large purchases can also significantly help add to the rewards total.

Travelling

Hotels often require credit cards to hold reservations, and your card may feature travel insurance coverage. If you have a frequent flyer card, the distance you fly will be rewarded to you upon future travels. You may also get cash rewards for any travel-related purchases.

Online Purchases

When shopping on the Internet, using your card makes the process easy, but it may also protect you from fraudulent activity. Many cards protect you in the event your card or information are stolen, and they may provide additional coverage if your items arrive damaged or don’t come at all. Be sure to use your card only on secure sites, and be careful when providing personal information.

There are many situations when using your credit card will bring significant benefits, but remember a few rules before you get too excited. First, check your credit card policies before attempting to use your card in any scenario as not all cards can be used the same way. Also, remember to pay off every charge by the end of the payment period to avoid paying big time for a small forgotten purchase.

Effective Debt Management Can Lead to Savings

Household budgets cover spending in so many areas, it can be hard to keep track of where your money goes. The good news, however, is each of these spending categories may hold room for savings. As you work to keep your personal finances in order, leave no stone unturned in your quest for savings. Even financing itself – loans, credit cards and other forms of funding should be put under scrutiny. You might be carrying a high-interest debt, for example, when a more affordable option is available. Or your debt may be out of balance, furnishing savings opportunities, simply by refinancing or changing the way your household debt is distributed among creditors.

Although you may be locked-in to certain repayment contracts, some of your debts might be candidates for restructuring or other cost-saving tactics. Consider the following steps you can take to start saving money today.

Evaluate Your Debt Load

Until you know where you stand, it can be difficult to plot a prudent course forward. Effective personal debt management starts with thorough understanding of your current financial condition. To make fast strides toward manageable debt, first take inventory of all your outstanding credit obligations. By listing them in order of size, age, or other criteria, it becomes easier to see the big picture.

Comparing and contrasting debts in this manner often causes problematic credit obligations to stand out, calling for the attention needed to bring your financial house in order. Student loans, for example, are subject to special provisions, so it may be possible to alter repayment terms, in order to save money on the total cost of repayment. Depending upon your circumstances, uncovering a few of these savings opportunities can significantly increase your monthly spending power. Additional outstanding credit obligations to consider as you take stock of the cost of your household:

  • Mortgage or Lease Payments
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Phone Contracts Committing You to Monthly Payments
  • Store Cards
  • Car Payments
  • Extended Club Memberships and Other Contracts

Use your personal debt reconciliation to prepare for the next important phase of securing financial health: Prioritizing.

Prioritizing Debt Repayment

Amidst daily routines, it is easy to lose sight of which debts are draining your budget. But it doesn’t make sense to carry high-interest balances, even as you pay-down more affordable debts you owe. Prioritizing repayment yields long-term savings, by wiping-out the debts costing you most.

As you compare short-term, revolving accounts, pay particular attention to the APR and minimum payment requirements for each account. It may be possible to transfer balances to a card with a lower rate or to take advantage of an introductory rate, with a new provider. In order to speed-up payback, strive to make payments above and beyond the minimum levels suggested by creditors. Even with a modest balance, paying only the minimum required remittance will substantially extend your repayment period – adding costs with each payment.

Consolidate Debt under Affordable Terms

The way your household debt is distributed can have ongoing impacts on your spending power. Credit card balances, for example, are among the worst offenders, carrying high annual percentage rates and stiff penalties for late payment. What if you were able to pay-off these high-interest debts with a more affordable loan?

Under the right circumstance you may be able to consolidate outstanding balances under a single, manageable payment umbrella. Sites like readies.co.uk furnish up to date profiles from various lenders, highlighting interest rates and financing terms for several different types of loans. Consolidation simplifies repayment, grouping debts into a single monthly bill. But the process also has the power to eliminate your most expensive debts, replacing oppressive monthly payments with terms you can keep up with.

As many ways as your cash flows out the door, the cost of credit isn’t always your primary concern. Each household money saving opportunity contributes to your family’s financial health, so the actual cost of borrowing should be examined alongside other expenses. By evaluating your credit picture and prioritizing repayment, you may uncover costly credit terms you can correct. A new loan, for instance, consolidating your outstanding balances, may provide savings, when compared to your current payback obligations.

Comfortable Retirement Seems Increasingly Elusive

For every American over the age of 55 that thinks he or she has enough money for a comfortable retirement there is another who thinks the opposite. With life expectancy increasing it is certain that the latter will be right and likely the former may not all be right. Even healthy people can expect increased medical bills during retirement. In the population as a whole all indications are that the ratio of those with insufficient funding at present is far more alarming. The National Institute on Retirement Security suggests as many as 85% of the general population fear that have not done, or are not doing enough.

Social Security benefits will not do it and they were never designed to. Funds are dwindling with fewer contributors and more claimants. Congress does not appear sympathetic to calls for an injection of funds, essentially more taxation, and without it there is a prediction that benefits will actually fall by as much as 25% by 2030. Even worse news is that government announced fairly recently that pension plans need not pay out benefits that they were previously contracted to do. That could have an enormous impact on the planning for millions.

What is the Answer?

It is unlikely that decision will be reversed. As a result you should devise a strategy for yourself, and get appropriate advice where you need it. One thing to consider is dividend stocks. Over the last 40 years Ned Davis Research points out that they have produced over 20 times more than non-dividend paying stocks. But perhaps the best thing to do is to start at the beginning and that is with the preparation of a budget that reflects your income and expenditure and maps out a course of action that you must take to get yourself in a position whereby you can actually be putting money aside towards the future, essentially your retirement.

How to Act

The process:

  • You need to list your income and expenditure. The expenditure must include all small daily spending, regular bills and commitments including any loan repayments, credit card settlement and utility bills.
  • Once you have listed these items you will have the total picture and should begin to look at where you need to act.
  • Credit card debt is expensive. You need to settle that debt by taking a personal loan at a much lower rate of income. Once the balance is paid then you should never use the card again if you cannot settle the balance in full at the end of the statement period.
  • At the same time you might look at some of your service suppliers, insurance, telephone and utilities, to see if you can save money.

The revised budget after these courses of action should look much healthier. If you can now see a significant surplus you can think about saving every month towards the future.

The Factor of Age

Depending on your age you can now start to plan for the future. The younger you are the more time you have to let compound interest work in your favor. Even a small amount set aside each month when you are in your 20s can growth to an impressive figure by the time retirement comes along. While there has been erratic performance in retirement plans in recent years that is no reason not to start one. You have nowhere else to go have you? Employers will match your contributions up to a certain level; this is free money and you need to take advantage of that although employers have no further responsibility concerning its growth.

There are more serious implications for those a bit older. Time is not on their side and once people reach 50 or more they need to urgently review their position. They cannot afford risky investment but equally they need growth. Diversity minimizes the risk of investing and perhaps that should be a guide to every investment choice. The process of creating the monthly surplus will not be easy especially if you have lived from pay check to pay check for many years. You must do it however because you do not want to remain in the 85% that are struggling to get their finances in order prior to retirement.

How much does being ugly really cost?

Being ugly may not only be a detriment to your social life, but it could also greatly hinder your financial potential. There have been numerous studies indicating a correlation between beauty and professional success. And the verdict is…. hot people make more.

Don’t believe me? A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, found that hotties-with-naughty-bodies make 5% more per hour than their average looking colleagues. Even worse, “unattractive” people were found to be making 8% less than average looking persons.

Not only do the attractive people make more money, but they also have a higher statistical shot at landing the job in the first place. Here’s a quote from a CNN article on the study…

After variables like education and experience are factored out, Fed researchers said the “beauty premium” exists across all occupations, and that jobs requiring more interpersonal contact have higher percentages of above-average-looking employees.

And here’s another snippet from a published study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences…

When someone is viewed as attractive, they are often assumed to have a number of positive social traits and greater intelligence.

That means beautiful people (like Justin Bieber) are not just gorgeous, but also perceived as smarter. Now I know why so many people think I’m a geenyus. Haha, get it… “Geenyus”. It’s funny ’cause I spelled it wrong. Man I’m unBIEBERlievable (yeah, I got the Bieber Fever).

Don’t worry though. Even if you are beat-up-from-the-feet-up or tore-up-from-the-floor-up, you still may have a chance at earning a decent wage. That is if you are tall. A study by two professors at the University of Florida found that “tall” people earn a substantially higher wage than their shorter counterparts, with each inch providing $789/year more in income. So, I guess it’s true… size matters 😉

Moral of the story kiddos. Don’t be ugly and don’t be short. Otherwise, it could cost you some major moolah. If you’re not attractive, don’t worry. There is always plastic surgery. I mean remember how good Michael looked after all his plastic surgery…

Have you ever witnessed some beauty biased in the work place? Can any level of “equal employment policies” prevent beauty from becoming a professional factor? Who are some exceptions to the “beauty” rule (think Bill Gates, Jack Black, Amy Winehouse)?

The Ultimate Binary Options Guide For Beginners

 

stock marketFor many people out there, the stock market – including the science and the mathematics of it – is something that confuses and startles them, even frighten, at times. This is probably because as humans we tend to what we do not exactly understand. Given that we may have gotten a glimpse of the stock market but only in movies and television shows, and we rarely get to meet people who have actually invested or gotten involve in stock market.

But as time passes by, more and more people are getting interested and are getting involved in the stock market, because it is fun and you get to really earn from it.  Today we will be providing you all the essential things you need to know about binary options, and by the end of this article, you will no longer have to visit other sites other than this.

Binary options trading is simple and recommended for beginners out there. Since it means “having two parts,” you are only to calculate whether to put or call because binary options trading only has two possibilities of investment. In this light, it is made easy for you to just choose between the two.

Like what was mentioned earlier, you only have two options, to either put or call. “Put” is one of the two possibilities of investment wherein you foretell that the asset you have chosen will fall. The other one is “Call,” it is when predict that the asset you are interested in will rise in the market.

keyboard

Now that you are familiar with how binary trading options work, we will talk about the next step, which is choosing your asset. This step is important because your knowledge of the asset will help you make decisions in the future whether to call or put, and your knowledge of the asset and the market as well will ensure your success in this industry. Perhaps you know a lot about Google. You can do your further research how they have done in the past to help you decide whether this is the asset you want to invest in. If you are confident and it seems like going for Google is the best option among other interests that you have, you may choose them. Your ability to tell whether Google’s value will fall or rise will play a crucial role in your success in binary options trading.

Computer

The beauty of binary options trading is that you can do this in the comfort of your home. Your next step would be to choose a broker. A quick Google search will give you a list of thousands of binary options brokers, every one of them promising something like a welcome bonus. Be fully aware that not all of them are regulated and fully licensed. That is why we recommend you dig deeper into finding their head office, and check for reviews given by other people who have used their service.

Take advantage of the welcome bonus and other bonuses that each of these brokers offer. Welcome bonus is simply the bonus you get when you sign up with your broker. This is a one-time bonus and you can use this money outright to place your trades in the market. Loyalty bonus is when you make a qualifying deposit, you will get a loyalty bonus straight into your binary options account that you can use to place trades for other assets. This means, the more qualifying deposits you make, the bigger the bonus you get from your broker.

Once you have found a reliable binary options broker, you would need to choose an expiry time for your asset and trades. You may place your trades for just a minute and sometimes, if you prefer, you can place trades for 30 days. You must consider the events that may happen and affect your trades in a given time as a lot can happen in just two minutes.

Many money traders have found following news stories by financial news groups to be helpful. We recommend setting up a Twitter account or read online news stories more often to catch up on what is happening in the stock market. You surely would know what trades are hot and are attracting a lot of trades from other enthusiasts like you.  It is also important that you have your smartphone with you and it is equipped with an access to your broker’s site.  You would not know when a possible profitable opportunity is going to be available. That is why having an on-the-go access to your broker’s site is essential. This way you can place your trades even when you are on your way to work, or having coffee with friends.

Some brokers will give you an option for an early exit for any trades you may have made. This means you will withdraw your trade before its maturity. But if you have earned an amount you are already happy about, it is an option to take the early exit to guarantee that you have earned and profited from that trade.

The Internet is filled with numerous gossips on binary options. You will find some websites offering tips on which trade will fall or rise for a fee, but you must resist the temptation and not get fooled by these websites. No one can tell for sure what is going to fall or rise,  and besides, if the website operator does have the ability to predict the next motion, then he should be trading, not operating a site that charges people like you a fee per tip.

Trading is such a fun and rewarding experience that, if you are still not into it now, we suggest you begin today. Like what was said earlier, a lot of people are getting into this industry as the possibilities of earning a profit from trades is high, and you would not even have to leave your house.

Images by skeeze, firmbee, and tomaszzz under CC0 Public Domain.

5 Ways to Smash Debt with the Right Forex Strategy

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us are victims of debt at one level or another. This unfortunate situation is only expected to get worse. According to analysts, most individuals in the United Kingdom will be burdened with no less than £47,000 pounds of debt by the year 2020. This equates to an aggregate amount of an astounding £2.5 trillion pounds. As opposed to always keeping the collection agency at bay, successful Forex traders can now leverage their strategies and wipe away this debt over time. How can this be accomplished?

Patience is a Virtue

Monumental amounts of debt cannot simply be wiped away with a few trades. Not only is this an unrealistic expectation, but it could also be very dangerous. Those who opt for short-term solutions will often expose themselves to unnecessary levels of risk. It is critical to determine the approximate returns that are expected over standard periods of time (such as months or quarters). These goals can then be tackled piecemeal.

All That Glitters May Not be Gold

Trading platforms come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, not all are equal. Choosing only the most up-to-date and streamlined system is another core component of Forex success. The architecture provided only through CMC Markets is a perfect example of the marriage between form and function. With over 80 technical indicators and thanks to dozens of currency pairs to choose from, the most efficient strategies can be chosen. Thereafter, it is possible to begin chipping away at a mountain of debt.

Small Profits for Big Returns

The basic principle that is adopted by professional Forex traders is that profits need to be accrued over time. This is directly opposed to the myth that “going large” on a single trade is the most prudent way forward. The weight of one pebble is negligible. The aggregate mass of a bucket full of stones is significant. This perspective holds just as true within the world of currency trading. Small returns can quickly add up.

Sustainability

Sustainable trading is associated with not having to deposit additional funds to prime a personal economic “pump”. The only way that a sustainable approach can be enjoyed is to limit the amount of capital put forth within any given trade. In fact, this can be as low as a few percentage points of one’s net account. Regardless of the temptation, it is never prudent to place a lion’s share of liquidity into a single position. This will help to sustain a lucrative position well into the future.

Margins?

Margin trading can be an extremely powerful means to leverage a small amount of capital and transform these limited funds into a massive return. This vehicle is not without its share of risks. Namely, more money can be lost than was initially deposited. Margin trades are excellent options, but be certain to have stop losses in place and to always appreciate the inherent volatility involved.