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Treat Your Credit Card Like Cash: Best Ways to Use Your Credit Card

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Are you using your credit card intelligently?

Credit cards help people manage their purchases. Unlike cash, credit cards can be replaced easily when stolen or lost. On the other side of it, owning one is risky in the absence of self-controlled buying. Careless use of credit cards can clutter your credit records and financial freedom. It can leave you in a huge pile of debts. 

Nobody wants to be trapped into debts.

With that having said, it is important to know the correct ways of using a credit card. You are interested to know what these are, don’t you? Well, kindly read on. 

How to Use a Credit Card Wisely?

           To live a stress-free life, take a look at these credit card practices that can save you from debts. 

1. Buy things that you can pay off. 

Keep an eye on your monthly budget. Overspending is a big no-no. 

2. Target a 30% or below the credit card utilization rate.

You don’t want to build a poor credit record, do you? If that’s the case, never go beyond your credit limit. 

3. Ensure no delays in setting payments. 

Avoid the late fees by paying on time. It is much better to pay your credit card monthly debts a few days before the payment schedule. Failure to settle your account costs you more. Never waste any money with delayed payments. 

4. Pay the bill in full. 

Sweep off any incurring interest charge by paying the exact amount of your credit card bill. If there is no way to settle the whole amount this month, make a payment as much as you can afford. However, think of ways to make money to pay the unsettled due. Getting side work is a good option. Credit card balances could pile up added interest for late payments. Worse, it hurts your credit score. 

I must say that a credit card is one of the best breakthroughs we could ever have. But they should be used with extra caution to get hold of its wonderful benefits. Comfortable shopping and easy access to pay bills are some of these benefits. 

person holding credit card swipe machine

Follow these tips below and get ready to use your credit card like a rock star.  

Build an impressive credit record.

     Choose which type of credit card to apply for. Secured cards need a deposit that is equal to your credit limit. Since you have put on collateral, applying for this type of card is less complicated. On the other hand, unsecured cards don’t ask you for any deposit. But it requires you to undergo a stricter application process wherein its approval is determined by your creditworthiness. 

     After securing your desired type of credit card, make sure to pay full and in time. Late payments can harm your credit record. 

Be extra cautious in earning rewards. 

Don’t get stunned with the abundance of rewards and cashback. Rewards can be received every time you make credit card payments. These include airline, hotel, travel, and food purchases. 

Be a clever credit card user. Buy only what you need. Never get intimated with this cashback. Do not make any purchase not unless you are confident enough to pay it off. 

Finance a purchase if your credit card has an introductory 0% purchase APR

The interest rate of credit card purchases is a way lot higher than making cash payments. But credit cards that entail 0% introductory purchase APR, is a sure bet in financing purchases. Again, before you spend anything, check if you are capable to pay it on time. If not, drop the idea off. 

Indeed, credit cards are both useful and risky. But if you are wise enough in your credit card spending, you can drive yourself away from the struggle of paying day-to-day expenses. Not just that, wise spending lets you earn rewards and build a good credit record as you take the pleasure of no-hassle shopping. 

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Finances

3 Ways To Put A Stop on Financial Arguments with Your Partner

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People argue mostly about money and it has been recorded that in a relationship or marriage a third of it is because of finances. When you’ve committed to being someone’s life partner, it comes with a lot of responsibility and the way that you handle things like finances will likely change. 

Money issues can be so troublesome and put a huge strain on a relationship. According to research, 22% of all divorces are due to money issues. What a couple should know that these fights are not really caused by the lack of money, it is the lack of respect and open communication when discussing finances.

In this article, we will give you tips you should consider so you and your partner can stay together and happy and most importantly, prevent money from destroying your relationship.

Discover Each Other’s Money Personalities

We already know that a couple’s relationship is shaped by love and mutual understanding. This includes handling money as well. Learning your partner’s money personality will give you a clear picture so both of you can hopefully reach a compromise. Is your partner a spender, hoarder, money worrier, money avoiders, money monks, money amassers, risk-takers, and avoiders? Knowing this will help you communicate and empathize with your partner and when you openly communicate what you dislike about them, it gives you the chance to strategize and think of solutions that will benefit both parties and this will result in accepting the behavior as part of your partner’s money personality. Communication is key! 

Schedule A Money Date

Have you ever had a money date with your partner? No matter how in sync you and your partner in other aspects of your lives, it can be challenging to get on the same page when it comes to finances. A money date is a way for you and your partner to talk about money in a calm way and without hostility. This is the time where the couple should assess their financial status and really talk over your financial goals. What you really want and how do you envision them and making it happen are just a few of the things that need to be discussed. 

How do you do your money date? You can treat it the same as going on a regular date with your partner. You can have them once a week, once a month, twice a year, etc  

Both Should Assume the CFO Role and Take Turns

It doesn’t matter if you have a one-income household or both wage earners. Working out a detailed budget together will result to less fights or arguments on your finances. Prioritize the bills and agree on out of budget purchases. One way to do this is by using a budgeting or financial app or for some couples, a monthly budget or allowance for each are set. Come up with an arrangement you can both live with, and revisit it every few months.

While setting your finances straight, it is also a great time to learn to save for the future as well. Talk it out with your partner about your financial goals for the next few years, whether it ba having a miscellaneous section for you to splurge on and pampering yourself, investing in stocks, building up your emergency fund, etc.

The bottom line is if we keep open communication and respect each other’s needs to have control over their money, arguments like this will be reduced. 

Considering the above-mentioned tips can certainly help you if you are struggling and can help you avoid arguments over finances. 

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Finances

Things to Avoid to Achieve Financial Freedom

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It is every person’s dream to be financially liberated. Everybody wants to have enough cash and savings at hand to pay for the kind of life his family deserves. Similarly with others, you also work very hard to grow a nest egg to be used for retirement or to pursue a desired career. No one ever dreams to worry about limited annual income forever.    

Sorry to say, many think of financial freedom as no more than just an unreachable dream. They got stuck on increasing debts rather than savings. They are burdened with reckless spending rather than investing in a good financial future. The worst part is that there exists a pandemic which left many people jobless and empty-handed. 

No one can escape from all these things. To tell you, planning and preparation aren’t sufficient when it comes to seeking personal financial freedom. Doing the right practices and having the right habits are major leaps to get there. 

On a sad note, many people don’t recognize the problem until it becomes out of control. Below are the things that we should avoid to achieve financial freedom. 

Things that Ruin Your Financial Freedom

Multiple Credit Card Accounts

Photo taken from Unsplash.com

Credit cards indeed give you the convenience of making cashless payments and settling unexpected expenses. But then, owning multiple credit card accounts makes you more susceptible to overspending. You are spending money that you aren’t earning yet. On top of it are the fees and interest that you should recompense after making a payment transaction using a credit card. Indeed, credit cards can be a gateway to extra debts. 

Expenses

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Living in a more expensive home and sending children to a more pricey school are signs that you are on your way to a ruined financial future. As early as now, cut back your expenses. Downsize your transportation expenses. Pay low fares by missing out on the traffic. Wake up early or find a home a few blocks away from your workplace.

Debts 

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Loans are dangerous to wealth building and savings. Both low-interest and high-interest loans can clutter up your financial freedom. Failure to pay a loan balance on time and in full can pile up interests and late payment fees. 

Save for your financial future. Pay off your debts as soon as possible. Have it listed as your main priority. Debt consolidation is a good thing to start with. This works by having one loan to pay for all other loans you have. To lessen the burden, consider debt restructuring too. This works by negotiating for a reduced monthly loan payment from the companies where you borrowed money. With a lesser amount due to pay each month, you have a chance to manage your finances better.    

For the final note, read on.

Having financial freedom means living a happy life. Start by creating financial goals. These goals will help you determine how much to put aside each month. This gives you the advantage of being financially-free in the years to come. Also, make the most of your talent on the side to improve your income. Lastly, avoid the things that I listed above. 

I know that it takes a lot of courage and discipline to get these things done. However, keeping an eye to your desired financial destination can keep you going. 

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Finances

Strengths and Low Points of Using Contactless Credit or Debit Cards

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Convenience is the logic behind contactless payment.

Contactless payment has sought its way to a younger generation’s way of life. The number of people who prefer contactless payment over pulling out cash is increasing. No surprise that everybody in the coming years will be waving their card at payment terminals to set a payment. Popular brands like Apple, Android, Starbucks, and Walmart have joined the mission of improving customer experience through this innovative payment technology.  

On a different note, not everyone prefers contactless payment. Few people prefer handing in cash or swiping a credit card through a device to manage their bills and purchases. To know where to stand on this matter, let us take a closer look at how contactless payment looks like. Knowing its benefits and drawbacks is perfect. 

Things that You Should Know about Contactless Payment 

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How does it work?

E-payment apps are accessible through a payment terminal that has a near-field communication chip in place. This technology uses short-range radio waves to allow smartphones to receive and send data necessary to set a payment. 

What are its benefits?

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Convenience

Contactless payment gives you the comfort of not bringing a wallet full of cards and cash to manage your purchases. Simply grab your smartphone and you are good to go. If you opt to use your card to manage your transactions, the contactless payment system saves you from the hassle of keying a PIN and signing receipts to complete the transaction. Various contactless payment mediums are made available for you. You can have it straight to your smartphone, vehicles, key fobs, or in any mobile system.

Secured payment

Frauds have become a major problem among credit card or debit card users all across the country. Contactless payment ensures that important data are protected from hackers. The fact that your card does not need to come in contact with a less secured device makes it a trusted payment system. The near-field communication technology to which this payment system is rooted in encrypts data perfectly in a way that there is no chance for hackers to steal it. It is powered by a user-configured pin-protection system too.   

Time Efficiency

For average customers, tapping to pay is more time-efficient than being on a long waiting queue at the cashier. Contactless payment saves you time by allowing you to pay in transit venues. This means more time to complete the day’s tasks ahead of you.

What are the downsides of contactless payment?

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Confusion and hesitation

Although few businesses have started accommodating contactless payment, many customers do not have an idea on how to utilize the technology. These people might have heard about it through social media, but they are hesitant about giving it a try. 

Risk of spyware or malware attack

Mentioned earlier, a contactless payment app is made available on smartphone devices. Such a device is at risk of spyware or malware attack. Despite how strong the data encryption security is for this payment technology, hackers might as well reinvent their ways to get through it. In the next couple of years or months maybe, they could steal your valuable information. For these people, everything is possible for the money. 

Ease of unauthorized use

Losing your card can be a big threat. Until your card is blocked, someone can make contactless payment using your card simply because he doesn’t need to sign a receipt or key in a personal identification number. That being said, you are up for big trouble. 

In the face of its shortcomings, contactless payment technology has brought us to a new face of tomorrow. It opens up an opportunity for future innovations. For now, the best thing we can do to make this payment technology achievable is learning how to do it appropriately and cautiously. In most times, education creates a difference. 

Learn to embrace the fact that we are geared towards a digital age. So having a technology like this in place, expect that breakthroughs are coming our way.  

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