How to pay down your credit cards

Many of us have had difficulties some time in our lives with credit cards, it is so easy to buy stuff, charge it, and forget it. We buy things we really don’t need because we feel the power of the credit card. It is a piece of plastic after all, and with that piece of plastic we can buy an expensive watch, designer clothes, take our friends to dinner, or even use it to put a down payment on a car! Then we get more credit card offers, and start collecting them, and in no time our credit card balances have reached $10,000 or even $20,000 dollars. Some card have exorbitant interest rates, 20% or 30% in some cases, and the worst part is that credit card companies don’t want you to pay them down quickly, they only want you to pay a minimum, I have seen a $2000 credit card bill with a minimum payment of $25 per month, this barely pays for the interest, at that rate you can be lucky to pay it off after 5 or 6 years.

 

Here is how to pay down your credit cards quickly. This comes from personal experience, I am currently credit card debt free. Here’s how I did it. I had 6 credit cards, so I sorted them by the highest interest rate, not by balance, I paid as much as I could on the one with the highest interest rate, while only paying the minimum on the other cards making sure I am paying at least the interest incurred plus $5. Once I paid down that credit card, I moved to the next and paid as much as I could on that one, I did that until I paid down the other credit cards. It took a few months but it felt good to pay down a high interest credit card and close the account. More on that later..

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind: If you have an offer from a card company with 0% interest until a certain date, make sure you pay that down quickly as well. Most of these offers are very well studied to get as much interest from you as possible. Credit card companies know your financials very well, and they know when to send you these offers, do not fall for these traps. Not only will your credit score drop if you have more credit cards, but you will be tempted to charge more on the ones you just paid off. Just stick to paying down your existing cards as quickly as possible.

 

Should you close your credit card account? Yes! Absolutely! Your goal is to get out of debt. Do not worry too much about how your credit score is affected by closing your cards. Would you rather have a 720 FICO score and be $10,000 in debt, or a 650 FICO score and bet $0 in debt? Once you pay down your credit cards, you will start saving money and get out of the credit card trap. I currently have a single card which I have to pay off by the end of the month. I am happy, do not worry about credit cards, or loans. It feels great! I don’t owe anything to anyone! I am free!

Car Loans Money Saving: How to Get Your Dream Car

Your dream car may be the one of the hardest items to strike out of your bucket list because it will cost you most if not all of your savings. However, whether it is a sedan, an SUV or a sports car, you can have it as long as you take note of these car loans money saving tips.

Apart from credit card purchase, many people opt for car loans. You want to shop around for a good deal so why not shop for better car loans. Two most common types of auto loans are car loans from dealerships and from banks and other financial institutions. The key is to compare available loans to be able to find lower interest rates. Currently, car loan rates play at around two to four percent. Financing through dealerships can offer unbelievably low rates, as shown in very enticing ads, but most of the time, banks are the better car loans money saving option.

Car loan from banks is simply a form of borrowing. The bank, credit union, or even an insurance company will loan you an amount based on which, they will charge interest. Car loans from dealers work almost the same as with banks, with the exception that in this case, you will be directly indebted to the dealer. Both types of loan can be very strict on credit scoring standards so it is best to study your credit history through credit reports which can be acquired from major credit reporting agencies. Banks commonly have very conservative policies that accommodate only those individuals with generally good credit references. Low credit may still get you a car loan, but probably not the one for your dream car.

If for an instance, you chose financing through a bank, you should keep an eye not only on the APR, but also on the payment term. You should ask help from experts regarding monthly payment calculations. An extended payment plan may sound good, as it allows you to pay for the loan over a longer period of time, but it only means higher interest charges. A short payment term requires higher monthly payments, but is lesser in total cost compared to a long payment term. Shorter terms can save you a great deal of money, and is thus one of the best car loans money saving strategies.

The APR, or the annual percentage rate is another thing to focus on. Lower annual percentage rates help generate significantly huge savings.

This may be hard to believe but another car loans money saving strategy is to prefer new cars to used ones. Generally, loans on new cars have lower interest rates compared to pre-owned automobile loans.

Getting your dream car may be hard work, but if you apply these car loans money saving tips, you will definitely get the most out of your budget. Remember not to do the biggest mistakes most people do in financing. Do not go directly to a dealership without shopping for a good car loan beforehand. Do your homework, check your credit, study the terms and score the best financing.

Money Saving and Travel tips

Travel is probably the most complex and expensive activity you will ever experience, and hopefully the most enjoyable, with plane tickets, car rentals, meals, hotels, local transportation, museums, parks, planning is essential, and searching for deals can save you quite a bit of money. Here are a few tips that will help you in money saving.

 

vacation_planning Travel Date

Schedule your trip during an off-peak season, plane tickets are less expensive and you will have more choices in choosing a hotel room, tourist attractions will be less crowded and less expensive, all in all you will have a nicer experience.

vacation_plane  Plane Tickets

Buy plane tickets at least three months in advance, Kayak is a good website to search for tickets and hotels, they even show you a graph which shows you date and price fluctuation with a prediction on possible increase or decrease in prices, definitely a great tool!

vacation_currency  Currency Exchange

When traveling abroad you will need to exchange your local currency to that of the country you are traveling to, the best place to exchange is usually in the country you are traveling to, this is where you will get the best exchange rate, however beware, some exchanges are not legit and you might end up receive fake or counterfeit currency! The worst place to exchange is probably at your bank, you will most like get the worst exchange rate. It is best to search online for the best exchange places depending on your destination country. Another important issue to look out for is the amount of cash you are allowed to bring into the destination country, there are limits, and strict laws. You must declare how much cash you are bringing into a country. The other option is to carry a small amount of cash and mostly use you credit card for purchases, restaurant, hotels, however beware that you will incur foreign transaction fees.

vacation_hotel  Hotel Reservations

Make hotel reservations three months in advance, again Kayak is a great website to search through, make sure to read the hotel reviews before deciding. Use Google Maps street view when researching hotels, it isn’t worth saving $20 per day if you have to use transportation to get to a convenient store late at night, or if your hotel is located far from public transportation. Make sure your hotel is strategically located and that your savings are actually worth it.

Credit Card use abroad

Find out which of you credit cards charge charge less for foreign currency transactions. Most credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, some charge a percentage charge on top of the foreign transaction fee, make sure to read the fine print and don’t hesitate to call your credit card travel specialist to negotiate rates and fees while abroad, you would be surprised what a simple phone call can do.

vacation_transportation  Transportation and Car Rental

It is always best to get around using public transportation, just make sure it is safe, and familiarize yourself with schedules, including local holidays. Always carry a small amount of cash in case you need to take a taxi back to your hotel or residence. Car rental can be expensive abroad, mileage and gas rules can differ greatly from what you are accustomed to. Make sure that the car is equipped with a GPS guide.

Parks and Museums

If you are interested in visiting parks and museums, search for ticket booklets which are sold online, that allow you to visit multiple sites at a lower price than you would pay if buying them locally and individually. Be sure to research the website and read reviews to make sure they are legitimate.

vacation_calls  Calling home

If you need to call home don’t use the hotel phone service, it could be very expensive, it is best to buy calling cards, or sign up for a service before traveling that will allow you to call home at a very low rate, you would receive a local access number use can use in the country you are visiting, and instructions on how to dial your home number.