Common Credit Card Mistakes People Tend to Make

Common Credit Card Mistakes People Tend to MakeIf you’re walking around Walmart or any other major shopping store you probably don’t have a wallet stuffed with a thousand dollars in cash. However, should you see a 65-inch flat screen TV you like, you could actually bring it home within minutes with one swipe of your credit card.

Credit cards are the most convenient, most ubiquitous method of payment we have. There was a time their use was limited to certain retail stores. Now you can use them almost anywhere. Coffee shops take credit cards. Fast food restaurants take credit cards. There are probably some garage sales equipped to take them now.
With this increased convenience comes an increase in potential pitfalls of credit card use. Before you swipe, make sure you don’t make these common credit card mistakes.

Lacking Restraint

It can be too easy sometimes. You want something. All you have to do is swipe that card, and it’s yours. It almost feels like it’s free, but it certainly isn’t. You are going to have to pay for those clothes, that computer, that gaming system. Not only will you have to pay for it, you are going to pay interest on it as long as the balance is unpaid.

Ideally, you should not charge more than what you can pay off each month. Yes, emergencies will arise. Having the newest techno gadget is not an emergency. Showing restraint will give you the credit you may need when unexpected financial demands arise.

Ignoring Your Statement

Be sure to check your statement each month, whether it comes in the mail or whether you can view it online. If you don’t, you may miss fraudulent activity, payments which may not have been credited to your account, or fees you did not authorize by your card issuer. Read and understand your statement. It’s your money. Make sure you keep an eye on it.

Maintaining a Balance

Credit card companies compete for your business, so many have no annual fee. If you pay no annual fee, and you pay your balance off each month, you are using your credit card for free. However, once you maintain a balance after the grace period, you will accrue interest charges.

That is what the credit card company is hoping for because that’s the most common way for them to make money. Pay off your balance each month to avoid interest payments and potential late fees, and compound interest on top of them.



Making Only Minimum Payment

You may owe $1,500.00 on your statement. But your credit card company says it’s OK to just send them $30 that month. Seems tempting. This can give you some financial breathing room for the month. However, if you continue to do this, you will be paying only the interest charges and not the principle, the amount of money you charged in the first place.

Depending on how your minimum fees are calculated you could make your minimum payments each month, and after an entire year, have no appreciable reduction in your balance. Never mind that you will likely continue to make charges.

Paying Late

Better to pay at least the minimum fee on your credit card than to pay late. When you pay late, you get reported to the credit bureaus, and your credit rating will suffer. You will incur late fees, according to your card member agreement. If your balance and late fees are not paid off, you will incur interest payments not only on the balance but on the late fees as well.

Maxing out Your Limit

Credit cards are a convenient tool, but they have their limits. If you max out your credit limit, you will have no room to deal with emergencies. Also, having a balance beyond 30% of your credit limit can damage your credit score and make you appear to be a riskier borrower. If you are finding your balance rising, you are living beyond your means. Make adjustments as soon as possible.

Having Too Many Credit Cards

Once you have one, you will get flooded with offers to get another. Credit card companies make it quite easy for you to be approved, even without proof of employment. You will have another credit card in your mailbox in no time. Then what? More debt.

Your credit rating will suffer, and you may find yourself in irreversible financial hardship. There are times when credit cards offer “balance transfers” where you can move your higher interest rate credit card debt to a lower interest rate card, usually for a specified time period. This can be useful in the short term, but if you don’t pay off your balance, you may be worse off financially than you were before.

Credit cards are a convenience. Keep telling yourself that. They are not free money, not magical purchasing power. They are simply a contract between you and a lending institution which makes it easier to buy things. You still have to pay for them. And if you aren’t careful, you will be paying for a lot more than just what you bought with them. Don’t end up working for your credit cards. Keep your spending under control and make them work for you.

Anum Yoon recently joined the blogging bandwagon to write about money management, frugal advice, and financial trends. She started and maintains her personal finance blog, Current on Currency. You can also sign up for her newsletter to read her weekly updates.

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5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

5 Reasons You Didn't Get the JobWe’ve all been there. We’ve applied for jobs and didn’t get there. It sucks, especially if you need a new job ASAP. The truth is that no one is offered every job that they interview for. Sometimes it can take a while to get a new gig. I had interviewed with six companies before I was hired for my recent position. There are numerous reasons you didn’t get the job that you applied for. In today’s post, I want to share with you five of those reasons.

You weren’t prepared for the interview

Believe it or not, some people are not prepared for their interview. They don’t research the company. That’s a huge mistake. You should always take the time to research the company that you’re interviewing with. Some key things that you want to know are the founder and the date the company began. You also want to know who the president or the CEO is. If you don’t take the time to learn a little bit about the company you will be screwed. In every interview that I’ve had after college, someone asked me what I knew about the company. Make sure that you can answer that question once you get asked.

You didn’t dress the part

You have to dress the part for the interview. Even though it seems like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t dress correctly for interviews. For most interviews, you should dress up for your interview. A black or navy blue suit should work for men and women. Don’t expect to get a job coming to an interview with your jeans sagging and a t-shirt on. That’s not a good look. Your first impression means a lot.



Your hygiene was not good

Some people don’t get hired because of their hygiene. You would think every adult would know to shower and smell their best for an interview. Unfortunately, they don’t. Make sure that you use deodorant. Don’t smoke weed before your interview. The smell can linger in your clothes. Also, don’t drink heavily the night before your interview. If you are the type of person that sweats a lot, the alcohol smell can seep through your pores. If the person that interviews you smells that, you can kiss that opportunity goodbye. Do what you have to do to make sure that your hygiene is good before the interview.

You didn’t have enough experience

Sometimes people aren’t hired because they don’t have enough experience. That has happened to me before. Sometimes it’s understandable, and sometimes it’s not. How can you gain experience if you can’t get into the industry?  If this happens to you, don’t give up. You have to keep on applying. You will eventually get your opportunity. Don’t give up.

You talked too much

The final reason you didn’t get the job is that you talked too much. Talking too much can turn off your interviewers. You could say the wrong thing and piss the interviewer off. When you are being interviewed, make sure that you actively engage with your interviewer, but stay on topic. Don’t talk yourself out of your future job.

Those were five reasons you didn’t get the job. Hopefully, none of those have happened to you. If so, I hope you learned from the situation. That way it won’t happen again.

Do you know of any other reasons that people may not have gotten the job? Feel free to comment below.

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Should You Quit Your Job

Should You Quit Your JobThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

June 28th will mark four years since I quit my job in 2013. I left that job because I was in a dead-end situation. There was no room for growth. I pretty much hated that job. A lot of things happened since that time. Today, I want to share with you what took place when I quit, but first, let me give you some background info.

At the time, I was working as a financial aid rep at a college south of Atlanta. That job started out fine. After a while, it began to get very repetitive. I was doing the same things over and over again. I began to feel stuck.  In October of 2013, I would be turning 30 years old. I know that I couldn’t stay at that job for too much longer.  At the beginning of 2013, I started saving money and made June 28 my end date. Once that time came I was a little nervous, but I knew I made the correct decision. Below are some things that happened when I quit.

Travel

I’m going to be totally honest with you. Part of the reason that I quit my job in 2013 was to do some traveling. I set a bucket list goal in 2008 that I was never able to accomplish. That goal was to drive across the United States from coast to coast. The timing for the trip wasn’t right in 2008, but in 2013 I knew it was time. I was 29 and wanted to complete the trip before I turned 30. Cross country trips are looked at as a rite of passage.

I wanted to make the trip during the summer time, so on July 1st, it was on and popping. I drove from Atlanta to Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California. The trip was epic. I’m not going to hijack this post with all the details. You can read about my cross-country trip here. It’s broken down into four parts.

I-10 Trip 1

I -10 Trip 2

I-10 Trip 3

I-10 Trip 4

Relaxed

I returned from my cross country trip on July 14th. I didn’t have a job, but I had money saved up, so I took some time to relax. During the first couple of weeks back, I watched TV, did a little bit of eBay stuff and wrote some blog posts. Looking back, I could have done so much more especially with the site. I didn’t get serious with TBJ until 2015, though. I started to get bored, so I had to find something to do.

One of my friends posted online that he was looking for people to help him with a canvassing job. I contacted him immediately. I was hired and worked that “job” from August 2013 – November 2013. The job was very easy. We went to several neighborhoods and talked to people about the candidate. We only worked 20 hours a week and got paid in cash every week.

The Struggle

After the canvassing job had ended, I was able to find a temp job working for the post office during the month of December. Once December was over, I was back to chilling again. It was around January that I started slowly applying for jobs again. I had previously worked in a financial aid office, and I didn’t want to do that again. I only applied to certain positions. I wasn’t too serious about it. Looking back, I should have been. I wasn’t getting too many call backs, and the money that I had was starting to disappear. By March of 2014, I was almost at my last dollar. I was using credit cards to gas up my tank every other week. I went over my credit limit every month. I started being late on most of my bills. Hell, I wasn’t even paying on my student loans. Things were getting real. I couldn’t be picky about jobs anymore. I had to find a job and do it quickly.



Working 2 Jobs

I was almost at $0 when I saw a job opportunity near me on Craigslist. Jimmy Johns restaurant was looking for delivery jobs. I applied on a Tuesday and got hired on a Thursday. I was glad to be working again, but I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. Luckily I had applied with the Atlanta Braves a few weeks before, and they got back with me. I started working for them the following week.

Both jobs were part-time positions that paid hourly. The good thing with Jimmy Johns was that I was taking money home every day in tips. After not having a job for nearly four months I was happy to be working again. Sometimes in life, you have to do what you have to do. Did I want to be working two jobs at 30 with a college degree? No, but I needed money. It was a humbling experience that I needed at that time in my life.

Got Serious

During this time, I started to get a little more serious about life. My twenties were a blue. I had a lot of fun. I didn’t focus on some that things that I should have been. At 30, things began to change. I started paying attention to my money more. I also started reading more and started watching less TV.

Began Working Full-Time Again

In November 2014, I started working full-time again. The struggle was over. I only worked those part time jobs for six months. That was a short period. When I started working full-time again, I knew it was time to do better. I started to pay all my bills again. By March or 2015, I was current again. I wanted to start saving more too. I opened an online account with Capital One. I started depositing money in that account automatically each month. Capital One currently has a promo where new users can get $25 when they open a qualifying account. Check here for more details.

I had my ups and downs when I quit my job in 2013. If I could go back in time, I’d probably redo it. Everything was worth it. The struggle allowed me to grow and expand my comfort zone. I learned so much about myself during that time. My faith also got stronger as well. I learned how to be patient.

Should you quit your job? That decision is 100% on you. Everyone’s situation is different. If you’re considering quitting, please have some money saved and a plan.

Have you ever considered quitting a job without a backup plan?

Disease Called Debt
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Why Life Insurance is Important

Why Life Insurance is ImportantToday, I have a guest post from Chris Huntley. Enjoy

For Hanna Boykin, losing both parents in a 14-month span was devastating for her and her five siblings. Her parents had no life insurance coverage, and Hanna and her siblings didn’t have enough financial support to stay together.

…they were forced to move into different homes.

Hanna, recipient of our inaugural “Huntley Wealth Cares Scholarship,” is the perfect example of why life insurance is important.

Life insurance provides quick financial relief to the policy’s beneficiaries.  It can help pay bills, pay off debts, and pay for basic burial and final expenses.

In Hanna’s case, since she had an adult sibling, life insurance could have allowed her siblings to save their home, provide for food, clothing, and to go to college.

Even if you don’t have children, you may need life insurance.

In this article, we’ll look at the most common reasons people need life insurance, as well as the types of coverage and estimated costs for each.

Why people buy life insurance

According to LIMRA, a research and consulting firm, the top three reasons why people buy life insurance are:

  1. To cover burial and other final expenses
  2. To transfer wealth or leave an inheritance
  3. To help replace lost income

Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.

#1 – To Cover Burial and Other Final Expenses

Number one is pretty straightforward.

If you are concerned about burdening your family with the expense of your funeral and burial (roughly $5,000 to $10,000), life insurance is an excellent way to mitigate that risk.

Please don’t rely on GoFundMe to pay for your final expenses.  A $10,000 guaranteed universal life insurance plan, which can provide coverage to age 90, 95, 100, or 120, can be purchased for less than $20 per month in many cases.

#2 – To Transfer Wealth or Leave an Inheritance

As of 2016, individuals can leave up to $5.45 million to their loved ones without paying any federal estate taxes. But if your estate is valued higher than that, the difference is subject to a whopping 40% federal estate tax.

Life insurance can pay for some or all of any applicable taxes your estate will owe. That way, more of your money goes to your heirs instead of the government.

Life insurance can also make it easier to divvy up your assets between your heirs. For example, if you have a lot of real estate and other illiquid assets, it can be tough to split those up equally.

Life insurance can be used to equalize the shares of your estate for everyone involved.

Just make sure your life insurance benefit is paid out properly. Otherwise, it could be included in your estate and be considered taxable. Read this article to learn more.

Leaving a Nest Egg

Perhaps you simply never acquired the amount of wealth you had hoped to in life, but would like to leave your children an inheritance when you pass.

You can do so for pennies on the dollar with a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance (I recommend the latter).

For example, say a 60-year-old female who earns $40,000 per year would like to leave her children $100,000.

If she’s starting with nothing, she would have to set aside $3,000 per year for 20 years and consistently earn 5% after tax, in order to save up $100,000.

… and that’s assuming she lives to age 80.

Instead, the same 60-year-old, if she’s in good health, could buy a $100,000 guaranteed universal life insurance policy to age 95 for as little as $1,200 per year!

Of course, if she went the life insurance route, it would pay out the full $100,000 at any point, even if she only lived for a few weeks after buying the policy!


 #3 – To Help Replace Lost Income

If you’re the breadwinner in your home, a premature death could be financially devastating to your family.

Perhaps you have 10, 20 or 30 years left in your working career.  Your family is probably counting on you to earn that money to help pay for food, the rent or mortgage, health care, and other bills.

Scott Johnson, owner of WholevsTermLifeInsurance.com, put it this way:

“An extended member of my own family passed away in middle age with not nearly enough life insurance to support his family. Life was much more difficult for the survivors.  The event is one of the reasons that I got into the insurance business.”

LIMRA estimates that half of the households in America would feel the financial impact from the loss of their primary wage earner in a year or less, and 40% said they would feel the impact within 6 months!

The best way to protect your family from loss of income is with a term life insurance policy.

Term life insurance plans often cover you for 10-, 20-, 30- and even 40-year terms.  They are considered short term plans, and because you’ll likely outlive a term policy, they’re very affordable.

For example, a 40-year-old man could buy a 20-year term policy with $500,000 of coverage for as little as $28 per month.

While these are the three most common reasons to buy life insurance, I believe there are two more important (commonly overlooked) reasons I’d like to cover before we close.

#1 – You have a child with special needs

It’s common to have life insurance to cover final expenses, debt and lost income. But if you have a child with special needs, the financial devastation can be so much worse if you pass away prematurely.

Bill Humphrey from TermHut.com shares this story:

“A client of mine recently passed away unexpectedly. She left behind a devastated husband and three young children, one with special needs. Her life insurance policy gave her husband the money he needed to keep their home, pay for the cost of their special needs daughter and help their family heal.”

If you have a child with special needs, consider setting up a special needs trust and set up a life insurance policy with the trust as the beneficiary. Having funds for that specific purpose can save your loved ones a lot of grief.

#2 – If you have a business

Running a business can be risky, but even a successful business can fail if a partner or key employee passes away.

One specific type of life insurance policy for businesses is called a buy-sell agreement. If you have one or more business partners, this setup arranges for the transfer of each member’s portion of ownership to the surviving partner(s).

By including life insurance in the agreement, you ensure that your heirs get fair value for your portion of the business.

Key person insurance is another option for businesses. With this policy, you can secure a death benefit to protect your business from losing someone whose death could ruin the company overnight (i.e. a key executive or a salesperson responsible for 80% of the company’s contracts).

How to get life insurance

If you’re interested in getting life insurance, I highly recommend you work with an independent life insurance agent to get a quote. Independent agents have much better access to a variety of policies than an agent who sells insurance for just one company.

In most situations, you’ll want to buy term insurance. Permanent insurance policies can be very expensive and only make sense in a few situations.

Chris Huntley is president of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services in San Diego. He also owns eLifeTools, a site dedicated to online marketing for insurance agents. He can be reached on Twitter @mrchrishuntley.

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5 Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Last-minute Father's Day gift ideasFather’s Day is almost here. I know there are some people who decide to wait last minute to purchase their Father’s Day gifts. They could be busy with their day to day life activities or they could just be lazy. Whatever the reason is I’m here to help you out. I’ve come up with five last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas.

BBQ Gift Basket



Summer is here. If your Father likes to show off on the grill this Delight Expressions BBQ Gift Basket could be the perfect gift for him. It comes with utensils, pot holders, sauce and more.

Tools

If you’re Dad likes to fix things up around the house you can’t go wrong with getting a tool set.  This 65 piece kit should do it. It comes with damn near everything. A toolkit is a must have for most men.

Grooming Set



What man doesn’t want to look his best? Another gift idea is this grooming set called The Man Can. It is a bath and body gift set for men. It comes with soap, shaving gel and a few other items. Any Dad would enjoy this gift.

Whiskey Decanter Set

I’m not even a Dad, but I love this gift idea. Your Dad could use this to enjoy his spirit of choice. This Decanter set could be brought out to impress his friends while they watch the game. Each glass is 10 ounces. This gift is definitely worth the price.

Smart Watch

If you don’t feel like spending all of your hard earned money trying to get an Apple Smart Watch check out this alternative from CNPGD. This watch can sync to your Android or IOS smart phone.

Bonus Gift

If you are truly last minute, you can get your Father an Amazon gift card. He can then choose his own gift. Some people look at gift cards as taking the easy way out. I disagree. There is nothing wrong with gift cards in my opinion. I love gift cards. With a gift card you could get the gift that you really want. Also you can purchase a gift card in any denomination.

Which one of these last-minute Fathers’s Day gift ideas do you like the best?

 

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Investing With Stockpile

Investing With StockpileThis year I decided to start investing. My side hustle activities allowed me to have a little extra money. I decided that now was the time to start investing. I signed up with a brokerage company called Loyal3. Loyal3 was a trading platform that allowed you to buy and sell stocks for free. They also allowed you to purchase fractional shares. An example of this is if Tesla is trading at $250 per share, you don’t need to invest the full $250 to get started. You can spend $50 and get a percentage of a Tesla share. That worked for me since I only had a small amount to invest.

Things were going fine with Loyal3 until I received an e-mail from them in March. It stated that their company was shutting down in May. It also said that all of their assets would be transferred to a new company called FolioFirst.  While the trades would still be free, each user would be charged $5 per month. That wasn’t going to work for me. I can’t justify having $5 withdrawn from my account each month, especially since I don’t have a lot in there. I had to find a new brokerage fast!

After a couple of weeks of researching, I found a new company to sign up with. It’s called Stockpile. Stockpile was similar to Loyal3, so I decided to give it a chance. Below, I share a few things that I’ve seen since I’ve been investing with Stockpile.

Easy to Set Up

Creating an account with Stockpile is very easy. There are two types of accounts that you can set up. The first one is an individual account. That would be for yourself. The second is a custodial account. That account would be for someone that is under the age of 18. Once you choose your account type, you’d receive an e-mail that would verify your info. Then you would be able to open up your account. Once inside your account, you’ll be able to see things inside your dashboard such as your profile, how to add an account and how to purchase stocks.

Selection of Stocks

Stockpile has a huge selection of stocks. They have over 1000 of them for you to choose from. They have it set up to where you can view different categories. Some of the categories are fashion, tech, and entertainment. There are many famous companies to choose from such as Amazon, Walmart, AT&T, and Nike.



Fractional Shares

Stockpile offers you the chance to purchase fractional shares. If you’re just starting out with stocks, that is huge. You may not have thousands of dollars to invest. You might want to test the waters out before you jump all the way in. Stockpile allows you to do that. If you want to purchase $10 or $200 worth of stock, you can do it with this brokerage.

Affordable Option

Stockpile is very affordable. It costs $0.99 if you buy stock with cash. If you purchase your stock with a credit or debit card, it will be $0.99 + 3%. It only costs $0.99 to sell your stocks as well.

Gifts

Something that I like about Stockpile is that it is easy for you to get stock as gifts for people. Stocks are a unique gift idea. They are something that can potentially grow a lot over the years.

As you’ve just read, Stockpile is a good brokerage firm. If you’ve been thinking about investing for a while, it’s time. Stockpile is giving all new investors $5 to help them get started. You can get that deal today by clicking this unique link. It’s never been easier to get started with investing. Your future self will be glad that you did it.

Have you ever considered investing with Stockpile before?

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Why You Should Use the Site Guide to Lenders

Why You Should Use the Site Guide to LendersBelieve it or not, you really do not need perfect credit to obtain a personal loan. You have to find the lender that will work with you. Instead of wasting hours of your time you could find something that should meet your specific requirement on the Guide to Lenders site. They will be able to check out all your options in the shortest possible time and find the best offers for you.

Guide to Lenders makes getting a personal loan less complicated and more affordable by offering an online application portal. They partner with multiple lenders to find the best rates for you. Guide to Lenders makes it possible for personal loan applicants to get great deals by providing them a number of offers from multiple lenders and investors.

The site ultimately matches borrowers with investors. Theoretically, the site takes out financial institutions which have always performed the middleman role. This helps to significantly cut down costs for borrowers and offer more returns to investors. To put it accurately, the middleman has just changed from banks to the guide to Lenders sites.

The site offers valuable services to both borrowers and investors. They take a look at the credit, income, debt-to-income ratio, along with other criteria of prospective borrowers. They set minimum underwriting standards that borrowers have to fulfill to be eligible for a loan. And they supply this data to investors to assess the risks and returns of a loan or loan portfolio.

Guide to Lenders offer short-term personal loans for up to $40,000, and as low as $1,000 for people with poor credit score, the way it works is potential borrowers are classified based on their credit scores. People with outstanding credit scores (720+) qualify for the highest loanable amount of $40,000 and are as well the best candidates for the lowest interest rates.




Making an application for a loan usually takes just a couple of minutes. If you qualify, you will then get loan proposals. You can then select the right one for and get the money the following banking day! Guide to Lenders fast tracks your loan application and makes it possible for you to enjoy the most competitive interest rates.

An important point to note:

Guide to Lenders does not provide loans but simply matches you with lending partners that can potentially provide a loan to you.

All loan approval decisions and conditions are decided by the loan providers during the time of your application.

There is absolutely no guarantee that you will be approved for a loan. You may not even qualify for the rates displayed.

The rate is influenced by your credit history, earnings, loan terms and other factors.

All loan rates and conditions, including APRs, are presented without warranty. They can be changed by the providers without prior notice.

Guide to Lenders is a great option for personal loans. Its peer-to-peer setup makes it perfect for personal loan applicants in search of lower interest rates. Numerous investors or lenders are competing for your business which usually forces them to put up better rates.

High loan limits help lenders to maximize the value of their loans. The money you get could be used for debt consolidation, home improvement, education, and training, or even for purchasing a new car. The capacity to pick from a number of competing personal loan providers along with higher loan limits makes Guide to Lenders a top choice for personal loan services.

To get started on your loan application, Guide to Lenders website here.

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