July 24, 2017, 10:37 am

The Most Effective Ways to Manage Your Credit Cards

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Pay off your Debts

Credit card management is just as important as managing your credit score. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage your credit card so that you don’t end up in a pickle. Among others, financial experts advise that you always keep all your credit cards safe and secure. If you have multiple credit cards, don’t keep them all on your person at all times – keep some of them locked away in your closet, or in a safe. Additionally, it is imperative to keep your personal identification number (PIN) secure and separate from your credit cards. While most people don’t use PIN numbers with credit cards, they are commonly used with debit cards.

Expert advice when it comes to storing PIN numbers is as follows: keep your PIN separate from your credit card and your wallet at all times. Remember that the bank will always pay you back for fraudulent transactions that are conducted without a PIN, but if somebody has access to that PIN, you will not be paid back. It is advisable to change your personal identification number to something that is memorable to you. This can be done at ATM machines. Identity thieves are more likely to guess birth dates, anniversary dates, and other easy to remember numbers, so use something that is difficult for other people to figure out.

Remember, like many things in life, maintaining good credit is far more important than acquiring it. Many people are unaware that the interest repayments on credit card bills are based on the full amount that was used, and not on the outstanding balance. If you ran up $2,000 in bills and paid back $1,700 by the end of the month, your interest repayments will likely be on the full amount. To verify your interest repayment, it’s important to contact your credit card provider. Everyone is given a credit limit on the cards they hold. It is imperative to stay within that limit, and not to exceed it. If you do, you will be charged an additional fee. Careful credit card management entails knowing your limits.

Pay back in full to avoid late fees and interest -related credit card payments

On the topic of credit card repayments, it’s important to make regular and timely payments. The last thing you want as a credit card borrower is a less preferable interest rate on your outstanding balance. This can happen if you are a ‘repeat offender’ with multiple late payments. Clients who routinely missed their payment deadlines will face the consequences in terms of their credit rating, and their ability to apply for lines of credit.

Clients who repay the bare minimum every month run the risk of racking up substantial interest-related repayments on the cards. This is a no-no. Avoid making minimum repayments since this costs you more overall. For example, a credit card debt of $1,000 at 16.9% APR will incur interest-related payments of $1,530 over 22 years and 11 months if you’re simply making the minimum payment. It is far more beneficial to make full payments before the end of the month to reap the rewards of cashback, bonus miles, and other perks available with the credit card company. It behooves clients to pay back the credit card in full at the end of the month.

The Big No-No with Credit Cards

There are several things that should never be done with credit cards, or done as rarely as possible. These include using a credit card for gambling purposes, purchasing foreign currency with your credit card, using checks issued by your credit card company, and withdrawing cash from an ATM. These are some of the ways that lenders maximize their profits with unsuspecting clients. It is possible to safeguard your credit card by taking out insurance, but the costs thereof may be prohibitive.

 

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July 20, 2017, 8:47 am

Dr. Stan Park: “Have a Budget, Stick With It”.  How To Build a Financially Successful Dentist Practice

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Building an independent dentistry practice can be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

On the one hand, the freedom of having your own business and operating your practice exactly as you’ve always envisioned is incredibly exciting.  But, any time someone starts a new business, the stress of getting it off the ground is daunting. There are so many factors to consider: marketing, client loyalty, and most important of all, finances. The relative freedom of going it on your own is the same freedom that can lead to a massive financial downfall — if you don’t make intelligent business decisions.

Dr. Stan Park of Dr. Stan Park Family Dentistry in Ontario, Canada says it doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. In fact, there are several habits that Dr. Stan Park and several other dentists would agree can help lead to a successful independent dentistry career for anyone in the field.

 

“The most basic, essential tip I can offer is to have a budget and stick with it,” Dr. Stan Park explains. By tracking spending, balancing expenses and revenue, and being careful to craft a budget each month that you work to follow as much as possible, you’re off on the right foot.

 

Another important habit that many financially successful people in general follow is to not be complacent, and to always look for opportunities. Dr. Douglas Carlsen in dentaltown.com adds to this point, saying: “Don’t just hang out in the corporate clinic break room and wait for opportunity to fall in your lap. Look for opportunity.”

 

As a dentist, you may be able to get by on just your skill and word of mouth from your clients, but why not put yourself out there a little more? Look for purchase deals for equipment. Make connections with older, experienced dentists who may need to recommend their clients to someone if and when they retire.

 

Speaking of making connections, networking is key. In May of 2014, Time published a piece on what the world’s most successful people have in common, and one of the things it listed was building networks. Networking with fellow dentists can be especially helpful in everything from gaining advice to educational opportunities to client referrals.

 

And when it comes to connecting with people, building loyalty and fostering satisfaction in your clients is extremely important as well. Offering a service that is above-and-beyond for your patients not only keeps them coming back, but it will encourage them to suggest your practice to friends or family members as well.

 

“The happiness of our clients is so important,” Dr. Park adds. “No one wants to go to the dentist, but everyone should.  And if you can make the visit as stress-free as possible, your patients will continue to come to you, and recommend you to everyone they know.”

 

And if you work on that loyalty, there’s a chance that your client base will grow. Assume that your production and patient list will both grow, and plan accordingly. You don’t want to fall short and have to scramble to keep up, especially because that could result in lost business.

 

The truth is, every dentist operates differently. But, many successful dentists have the same habits listed above, which can help anyone looking for financial success in their practice and profession.

 

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July 17, 2017, 8:21 am

5 Things You Can Do to Cut Your Monthly Expenses

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

Cutting your monthly expenses is never an easy task but if you’re on a tight budget already, it’s something that needs to be strongly considered. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as a career or how many children you have, by following the below tips, you’ll be able to save hundreds every year on expenses.

1.      Only Buy Food from a Farmers’ Market

A farmers’ market is usually open throughout the week regardless of where you live. Consider going there a couple of times a week at least just so you can take advantage of the great deals on vegetables. Getting deals on food will save you a lot of money and it also means you’re not going to have to spend a fortune on takeaways every month because you don’t have any food in the cupboard!

2.      Cut Your Cell Phone & Internet Bills

Call your cell phone and internet provider to see if you can come to some arrangement when it comes to using fewer resources. The fewer resources you use generally means a much cheaper bill. Many people have cell phones but rarely use all the resources they have, so be sure you check with your provider to see if you can save money on your bills.

3.      Cycle to Work or University

Cycling to work or university can save you hundreds every month in fuel and insurance costs. You’ll also find saving money on public transport will also save you plenty. It’s not viable for everyone, but even if you need to cycle for a couple of miles every day, surely that’s worth saving thousands every year on expensive vehicle costs. You could also sell your vehicle if you own one and found that cycling was viable for you.

4.      Reduce Consumable Habits

This step is easier said than done, but it’s one worth considering if you’re really struggling to make ends meet. If you have a regular smoking or drinking habit, try to cut down by half or even try to quit if you have the willpower to do so. People spend thousands every year on smoking and drinking and that’s thousands you could save every year, giving you much more breathing space when it comes to monthly bills.

5.      Cook Your Owns Meals

If you’re a student studying at Maryville University for an online masters in health administration or Online MHA degree, it’s very easy to come home after a long hard day and order a takeaway. This is a very expensive option and students often spend thousands every year on takeaways alone. Consider cooking your own meals every day, or if that isn’t an option, set aside a few hours every week where you can cook numerous meals to be frozen.

The above are just a few tips to help you save money whether you’re in full-time employment or you’re a full-time student. The above tips will give you much more breathing space every month so you can still enjoy life even on a tighter budget.

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July 6, 2017, 9:53 am

Patch The Holes In Your Budget With A Small Dollar Loan

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

A budget works well up until a point, but even the best financial plan has its limits. Unexpected purchases, bills, and repairs test these boundaries. Depending on how much savings you have set aside, they can be enough to bust your budget wide-open. In a perfect world, you’d have the same net worth as Chris Pratt after Guardians of the Galaxy 2, or at the very least, you could put life on hold until you can build up enough savings to cover your modest responsibilities. Unfortunately, you live in a reality where neither is true. Nevertheless, you have to make your payments on time if you expect to avoid late penalties and added interest.

While you can speak with your mechanic or call your utility provider to talk about a possible deferred payment plan, eventually you’ll have to pay off these debts — with or without savings. When your budget is still reeling from these unexpected repairs, talk to a small dollar lender for help. The country’s top direct lenders can provide essential financial assistance during your darkest times.

But why choose a direct lender over conventional lenders like the bank? There’s a time and place for every financial solution, so there are circumstances when you should contact a bank over any other lender. It’s perfectly normal to speak with a financial advisor when you hope to refinance debt or get a mortgage. The help a direct lender can offer is better suited for when you only need a little help to cover your newfound responsibilities and when you need that help incredibly quickly.

Traditional lenders have long and involved processes that limit who they approve, and these methods to review your application can take more time than you have available. Direct lenders such as MoneyKey understand that time is of the essence when you’re facing multiple bills with approaching due dates. That’s why financiers like MoneyKey have streamlined their practices and processes in order to deliver the fastest acting loans as possible.

Though they have internal ways to review applications, they don’t rely on in-person interviews or a lengthy analysis of your entire financial history. With just a simple online application form, which can be found at Moneykey.com, and a quick phone call to verify your info, a short term lender can review your status and deem you worthy of their assistance. Once approved, you can receive up to $1,000 in your bank account in as little as one business day.

When your budget fails and you have no way of paying for unexpected bills, repairs, or medical emergencies on your own, a payday loan is a great way to cover these expenses. From their size to their speedy application process, these products were designed specifically for these kinds of small, non-recurring purchases.

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June 23, 2017, 10:00 am

Making the Business Case for Sustainability

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Even though the concept of sustainability has long since worked its way into modern society’s lexicon, the idea is one fraught with confusion. So, it should be no surprise that not every business has seized on its potential.

Sustainability programs are not to be confused with corporate social responsibility programs, which are more oriented to ethical actions and impacts. Sustainability is really more focused on operating in a way that preserves our resources.

It wasn’t all that long ago that nearly one-third of the members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development – an organization noted for its support of this drive – said their management had little faith in the sustainability business case and didn’t support the concept internally.

Slowly, though, that’s changing, and Canada is one country that has a notable number of businesses that are seizing on the business case for sustainability. Case in point:

Toronto recruitment firm Arrow Professional Services conducts candidate interviews via Skype to avoid transportation costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

Benefits by design in Kingston, Ontario stocks office bicycles so staff can run errands without the hassle of driving a car.

Cisco Systems Canada in Toronto features recycling and take-back programs so customer can better manage their electronic waste at no cost.

One of Toronto’s most active developers, Mizrahi Developments, emphasizes sustainable design and development, as illustrated by its commitment to EnergyStar technology and GreenHouse Certification.

 

There’s absolutely a strong business case for sustainability, these companies and others would argue. As Sam Mizrahi of Mizrahi Developments points out, initiatives centered around sustainability creates a strong competitive advantage, even as it reduces costs through more energy efficient practices.

Environmental trends and their impact support a strong business rationale for sustainability practices that benefit any number of areas of concern. These include:

Risk management. Any number of circumstances – both natural disasters and civil conflict – can disrupt today’s supply chains and risks are only heightened by climate change and water shortages. In one study, 72 percent of the 8,000 suppliers to 75 multinational companies surveyed said climate change presents risks that might significantly affect their organizations. Managing social and environmental risks – all manifested over the long term – means making investment decisions today for tomorrow’s capacity needs and adaptive strategies. Coca Cola realized this fact after it had to shut down a plant in India in 2004 due to a water shortage. That helped lead to its investment of over $2 billion to reduce water use and improve water quality in areas where it operates.

Innovation. Sustainability can also be a major influence over the innovation pipeline when one considers how products and services can be reimagined to meet environmental standards. Nike is one that brought sustainability into its innovation process. One outcome was the $1 billion Flyknit line, launched in 2012. It’s a specialized yarn system of recycled polyester requiring little labor and dramatically reducing waste – by 80 percent, while also diverting 182 million bottles from landfills.

Financial performance. Despite conventional wisdom, you can have both profits and sustainability. And there are any number of examples to prove it. Dow has invested $2 billion in resource efficiency since 1994, saving $9.8 billion in manufacturing costs due to reduced energy and wastewater consumption. WalMart’s drive for fleet efficiency saw an 87 percent improvement from its 2005 baseline, saving the environment from some 15,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions that were avoided.

Sustainability is good for the environment and the business environment. It’s really no longer an optional strategy to make the preservation of our resources a core component of an overarching business strategy. It’s the only way to invest in our shared future.

 

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