Tag Archives: credit cards

Top 5 Money Saving Tips For Recession Survival

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In our current struggling global economy, every penny counts. Families and individuals right across Australia are increasingly interested in discovering new ways to save money. Here are my five top ways to save money, which will go a long way in keeping you solvent while still allowing you to enjoy the good things in life.

#1 – Set Yourself a Personal Spending Budget and Goals

The number one way to save money is to have a good understanding of where your money is being spent and to set budgeting goals to meet every month. Many people overspend in certain areas at the beginning of every month and then find themselves short when it comes time to pay bills or other expenses toward the end of the month. They then find themselves overextended, paying for things on credit and living outside of their means. When you set yourself a personal spending budget and set savings goals, you gain a realistic awareness of the money flowing in and out of your bank account, which can help to curb spontaneous emotional purchases and ensure that you are able to fulfill all of your financial responsibilities every month.

#2 – Save Money Regularly

Individuals living outside of their means rarely set aside money in savings for emergencies or large purchases, which can leave them in the lurch when large sums of money are required with little advance notice. A savings goal can help you to live within your means, while still acquiring large sums of money over time that can allow you to enjoy the large luxury purchases that can elevate your standard of living. Setting aside even a small sum every month is better than saving nothing at all. You may be wise to schedule a direct debit to your savings account every month, to ensure that saving is a kept a top priority in your budget.

#3 – Choose a Bank Account that Rewards Savings with High Interest and Low/Zero Bank Fees

Many accounts exist that will pay top dollar for the privilege of your holding your savings. Search out banks that offer a high interest introductory offer, which includes low or non-existent monthly bank fees. You can automatically transfer money from your checking account into saving every month and enjoy watching as your savings steadily increases through interest payments over the months and years.

#4 – Pay Off Higher Interest Debts First

The higher the rate is on your credit card, the more you pay every month in interest on your principle amount borrowed. It stands to reason, therefore, to pay off your highest interest rate debts first. This will allow you to minimize the interest payments you will make on your debt and save money with which to pay off your lower interest cards.

#5 – Save Securely

Deposits of up to A$1 million at all eligible Australian Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) are guaranteed by the Government at no cost. This means that even during tumultuous global economic times, your money will be safe against market fluctuation or the closing of a major financial institution.

What are your top money tips? Leave a comment with your top money saving tip below.

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Do you use a Credit card or Debit card?

For some people, credit cards can present a serious problem when it comes to spending control. Students and young people are especially susceptible to this, as they can often have poor spending habits when they first head off to uni and gain a measure of freedom. In order to help people control their bad spending habits, banks are offering debit cards so that people can access their money using a card using Visa instead of the Eftpos.

The best thing about this a debit card is that you can set your spending limits. Customers are only able to spend as much money as they have in their bank account, so this can really help to suppress frivolous spending a great deal. Really this is a pre-credit approach to spending where the consumer only spends what they have instead of the “buy now and forever be in debt” model that so many of us now operate under.

Many banks offer Visa debit cards to their customers, including ANZ, BankWest, St. George and smaller regional building societies such as Newcastle Permanent.

Take for example the St. George Visa Debit Card, its accepted almost everywhere because Visa. It gives you the ability to make purchases everywhere that Visa is accepted, and this includes making internet purchases. Along those same lines, the card has special protections to make internet purchasing a little bit safer than it might have otherwise been.

One of the excellent aspects of this card is that it will take cash out of the equation for travelers. If you are going on a trip, you don’t want to be carrying lots of cash on your person. This can be dangerous and it is really unnecessary, given the fact that there are acceptable options at your disposal.

Lots of these debit cards have popped up recently, but that doesn’t mean that they are all the same. The St. George Visa Debit Card stands out from the crowd because of its wide spread access across the world. When you are working with the power of Visa, you can be reasonably sure that you are going to be able to get money out of an ATM or make an important purchase no matter where you find yourself. In addition, you will get 10 free email or text message alerts to keep you up to date on the important details that matter to your account.

What do you have in your pocket? Credit or Debit?

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Woolworths Still Offering $50 Shopping Card

The Woolworths Everyday Money credit card is like a lot of rewards credit cards in a number of ways.

The rewards credit cards seek to help out their customers by rewarding them for their spending. The cards are differentiated by what types of rewards are offered and by how much it will cost for these rewards to kick in. Typically, rewards credit cards are a nice way to offset the costs of doing business in today’s corporate world.

The Woolworths Everyday Money Credit Card has a number of features, most of which are good when compared to other cards. The card features no annual fee for the first year, which means customers will save on somewhere close to $50 that they otherwise would have had to pay during that opening period.

The card offers what they are terming a competitive type of interest rate. This rate promise goes along with the advertised offer of no interest for the first 55 days in which you have the cards. Together, this means that the card has one of the lowest APR numbers in the entire industry.

One of the most unheralded aspects of this card is the security system that comes along with it. There is chip technology, meaning that you are safer in the unfortunate case that your card is stolen or you happen to lose it. This can set your mind at ease and it can potentially save you lots of money in case of an emergency.

The rewards are obviously the best thing about this card, and you get some right off the bat. They offer a $50 shopping card when you first get the credit card if you spend on your card before 30 April 2009. You can also earn three rewards points for every dollar that you spend, and you will be given a shopping card every four months if you use the card.

One of the ways in which the Woolworths Everyday Money card compares most favorably is with the interest rate. While many rewards cards are charging north of 20% APR on purchases, this card keeps it well below that threshold.

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New Credit Card: CitiBank and Emirates Combine Forces

Some people like general credit cards and some people prefer cards that are more specialized. For people who have to fly a lot for business or pleasure, getting a credit card that provides free airfare is something that you might want to look into. Citibank, and airline Emirates have combined forces to provide free miles for every dollar that spent when using their new rewards card. What this means is that if you do a lot of your business purchasing with one of these cards, you can pretty much fly wherever you need to go without paying a dime for tickets.

There are many things that make the Emirates Citi Platinum Card a good choice, one being that you get 1.5 skymiles for every dollar that you spend. This can really translate into a lot of free airfare depending upon what you use the credit card for.

This card will make sure that you are taken care of in other ways, too. You can take advantage of complimentary chauffeur service to and from your home to the airport, helping you save money on the parking and on transportation to your flight. More than this, this offers a really strong brand experience which flyers will find hard to dislike. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to be picked up from their house, chauffeur driven to the airport and checked onto the flight at the first class desk?

Though the annual fee for this card might seem a little bit high at $199, it is really a nice deal when you compare it to other credit cards. This annual fee can be recouped quickly with your air rewards if you purchase enough things with your card.

In addition, the card offers a lifelong, solid offer on balance transfers. At 4.9%, you can pay off other debts and really get creative with how you spend the money. This is a very important thing that some people might not take seriously, but they certainly should.

The reason why this card is better than a lot of the other airline credit cards out there is that it combines a number of excellent services all into one bundle. It has a two month 0% interest period, which is longer than most cards offer. On top of that, the balance transfer option on this card is better than what you will see out of a lot of the competitors.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Consolidate Your Credit Card Debt

The many benefits of using credit cards is nothing new. Before I go into details about credit card debt in particular, I would like to refresh your mind with a brief explanation on what a credit card is really all about. A credit card is a system of payment that gives the consumer a flexible line of credit, named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. The issuer lends money to the consumer to be paid later to the merchant, but at the added expense of interest on your purchase. It’s not an overstatement to say that the humble plastic credit card has a large impact in the life of most Australians. However, when you spend too much too often, it’s easy to rack up a lot of bad credit card debt.

If you have a large amount of credit card debt and own a property and have equity then you could consider using that equity to consolidate your debt with a refinance loan. These could even allow having a lower monthly payment, thereby freeing up your finances to let you pay back your credit card debts faster and with less stress!

1. Lower-interest rate

You could save a lot of money by using a credit card balance transfer. By shifting your balance to a card that charges no interest for a set period of time, you can overpay and get rid of your debt faster and for less.

2. Simple and reliable

As I mention before, credit card debt consolidation is quite simple and reliable: it isn’t one of those crazy financial mechanisms we here so much about on the news! In fact it wouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes to move all your debt with a balance card transfer application.

3. More convenient

It’s inconvenient to manage numerous payments to different credit cards, especially if payments are not synchronised to go out on the same day. By consolidating all your credit card debt from your portfolio of accounts into one simple monthly repayment you free up time, have less correspondence to handle and are exposed to a much lower risk of missing a payment and being charged a late penalty.

4. Rebuilding credit history

If you are struggling with credit card debt because you over-extended yourself by spending more than you earn, then you run a high chance of missing payments and damaging your credit score. By consolidating your debt at a low interest rate, you can meet your payments, get rid of your debt and help your credit history.

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10 Finance Tips for Working Families

We tend to assume these days that it is necessary for both parents to work in order to keep the family going. You may find that this is not necessarily so if you take a hard look at the facts. Here are some tips to help you.

  1. Consider the cost of working: You may not be making as much money from a job as you might imagine, because you might be incurring a lot of expenses such as day care for children and paid help, just for keeping your job.
  2. Make a budget: Planning is the key to success in anything that you do, and this is particularly true in finance. So know in advance how much money you are likely to need.
  3. Control your purchases: Once you have made the budget, control your purchases and expenses carefully to fit into the budget
  4. Know where the money will come from: This is really a part of the budgeting process. You should know in advance how much money would be available to you.
  5. Avoid debt traps: Taking large amounts of loans to satisfy your immediate wants, including use of your credit cards, may seem very attractive till the first statement reaches you.
  6. Live within your means: This is an extension of the previous point. If after careful examination you find that an expenditure that you’re planning to incur is not fitting into your immediate budget, wait till your financial condition improves (It always does).
  7. Set priorities: If you are to successfully implement the above suggestions, you’ll need to set priorities, so that it becomes easy for you to knock off less important items from the family expenditure list.
  8. Build a network: You’re not alone in this world. There are lots of others who also have temporary financial difficulties. If you support each other, you can avoid taking recourse to outside debts and high interest rates.
  9. Look for cheaper alternatives: If you look around, you’ll find plenty of tips that would help you to cut your expenses without sacrificing your lifestyle. For example, move your credit card to a more suitable card. If you signed up for a frequent flyer credit card but find you don’t have the opportunity to travel on it then scrap it! Shop around for a simple, low interest credit card which doesn’t have high monthly interest repayments or annual fee’s.
  10. Look for bargains: It just takes keeping an open eye or looking around to take advantage of bargains.

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5 Secrets To Saving Money

With the news constantly reminding us about the financial downturn that is happening, its probably time to start making some savings for the future. It’s easy to spend but harder to save, but there are 5 secrets to saving money that will make saving simpler for everyone.

1) In life, it is always easier to head towards a goal – and this is true in saving. Setting goals is the first step, and be it an amount you want to earn, a date you want to save until or a goal you want to spend the money on, having a focus will help considerably.

2) It can also help to have a separate savings and checking account. This is because you have to switch the money to the savings account and you will be less inclined to withdraw from there. A separate savings account acts as an additional barrier to wasting your money. If you can manage your cash flow, getting access to your own money using a debit card instead of a credit card is beneficial. Have a look around and compare credit cards if you need to switch cards.

3) There is also great benefit in drawing a budget and sticking to it. If you have on paper how much money you are going to spend and carry that amount of money with you, it’ll be easy to stay on budget. It’s very easy to spend dollars on luxury items, so organise a budget and stick to it!

4) When saving money, you don’t need to go it alone. You may not want to ask your boss for a raise but there may be overtime available, or perhaps there are additional tasks you can do. Any extra money can be put directly into savings, helping you to save more quickly. It will also help to save money by getting the support from your spouse or partner. If you are both working towards the same goal, it’ll be easier to make the savings and you can share plans about the best ways to do it.

5) Lastly, if there are places where you know you spend money you don’t need to, stop going there! If you don’t need to visit the mall, avoid it as you might waste money on products you don’t need. If you follow these 5 simple rules, saving money will be so much easier than you have ever previously realised.

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