Credit cards: Good For Your Finances

We’re all looking for ways to save and get wise with our spending these days. So why would using a credit card to spend, transfer and borrow money over a period, be good for our personal finances? If you take some time out to do the math, it’s possible to see the positive impact sensible borrowing can have. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might need a credit card in your purse…

Cash back

Number one on our list is the cash back reward for paying off your bill each month. Check on one of the comparison sites to get information on credit cards and see which credit card providers offer this feature, and whether they pay out monthly or annually.

Rewards

On a similar note, some credit cards offer rewards in the form of vouchers. This works by accumulating points with each dollar you spend on your card. Vouchers can usually be ‘purchased’ with a set number of points for a set monetary value.

Discounts

Another of the great benefits of credit cards comes with those offered by a particular brand. This might be your favorite retailer or airline, for example. With this type of credit card you get discounts on purchases with that brand. Just be sure there are no hidden card purchase charges to reduce the return.

Credit score

Most people would never think that increasing your credit score could be on the list of the advantages of credit cards. But with sensible spending, it’s actually true. Clearly, if you’re the sort of person to run up huge bills across several cards that you can’t pay off, this isn’t going to look too good to those interested in lending you money for a mortgage. But if you’re sensible and your payment history demonstrates that you regularly pay off your bill on time, it’s actually a good way of demonstrating your reliability. Having no credit card can be harmful to your credit score.

Theft and loss protection

Finally, spending with credit cards means you get protection against theft or loss of your wallet. If you carry cash, it’s unlikely you’ll see any of it again. If, on the other hand, you tend to pay with plastic (and you haven’t been fraudulent or negligent) the majority of card providers will cover most of the loss on the card.

Truth About Prepaid Debit Cards

Financial freedom can only occur when you can effectively manage your money. Knowing what you spend, where you spend it, and what you have left is the key to financial success. Many people believe that this can be accomplished by carrying cash and tracking all their receipts. While this method has merits, it is much harder than most anticipate and is often quickly abandoned.

The easiest way to manage your money is by using a prepaid debit card. You load your money onto the debit card and then use it like you would a regular credit card anywhere that you may go. There is no hassle, no pockets full of change, and no little receipts to keep track of each night. You can simply view your balance and know where you stand financially.

Prepaid debit cards can be set up for direct deposit just like a checking account. You do not have to worry about paying check cashing fees or making it to the back on time. You can even have multiple cards issued for the same account, allowing families to remain on budget with their cards.

Prepaid debit cards do not require you to have perfect credit, nor do they charge interest on your purchases. Having a card that does not charge interest on purchases will also help you to remain debt free, another requirement for financial freedom.

Know Before You Owe

Every family has to deal with financial issues. There are emergency expenses as well as regular bills to pay. Most families have debt of some kind. More than 14% of families have credit card debt above 40% of their income. That doesn’t mean we should sign off credit cards though. We just need to be wiser about which credit cards we use and how to pay them off.

One of the most important things to remember is that having a credit card for emergencies is a must. Sometimes savings just doesn’t cut it. We need that cushion to get us through to the next month.

When shopping for a credit card there are a few things you should know before you owe:

Find Low or 0% Interest Offers. Finding a credit card that offers 0% APR for up to a year can allow you to make that necessary emergency purchase without accruing hefty interest while you pay it off. Low or no interest on purchases is great, but if the card also offers it on balance transfers for a year or more it could save you hundreds of dollars (see this site to learn more). Just make sure you keep focused on paying off the debt. Make sure you are also paying attention to the balance transfer fee. If you have a low balance the fee may not be worth the transfer.

Find Out About Product Protection. Some credit cards offer warranty or return protection on certain products you purchase. Looking for a new TV? If you have 0% interest and cash back on your credit card, and it offers a purchase warranty, there is no reason not to charge it. Just remember that you need to pay it off before the interest starts to accrue. The product is then covered under warranty without a cost to you. Before taking this plunge find out exactly what the warranty or return protection covers if there is an issue. Get it in writing for your records at home. Then if there is a problem you only have to pull out the agreement to find out what to do next.

Use Cash Back Bonuses. Credit cards often offer cash back bonuses on certain purchases. These can be fixed items or a rotating list. Be educated about these cash back offers, especially if there is 0% APR on the card. Our credit card offered it for a six month period on purchase made for home improvement and our roof needed replaced. While we had the money in the back to pay for the supplies we used the cash back reward and charged it. When the bill came we paid it off. In return we earned 5% cash back on everything we bought for the project. It came out to more than $100 in our pockets.

If you have credit card debt make sure to follow the tips for eliminating debt as well. These tips, in conjunction with the right credit card offer, can make eliminating debt stress free while also saving you money.

What family couldn’t use a little extra money in the bank?

Invest In Your Child’s Future With Insular

Being a homeschooling family now, I do hope and pray that after high school, my children will be able to pursue their dreams by attending a college or university of their choice. We still have 8 years to go before my eldest attends college.

With all honesty, handling finances has never been my strength. I usually overspend and seldom save for the future. But with the kids growing up, I need to seriously save up if I want to be able to send them to the college of their choice. I recently saw the tuition fees of certain universities and I know that unless we start saving and investing wisely now, we won’t have enough money to send our kids to good schools in the near future. Every year, the tuition fee increases along with the inflation rate and savings account in banks is not the wisest of all investment options.

I know there are several parents out there who are having the same dilemma as I am so I would like to share with you some possible investment opportunities from a company which has 102 years of experience in financial protection, savings and investments. Insular Life remains to be the largest Filipino life insurance company in the country. Recognizing the qualities each Filipino family has, they are offering 2 educational plans which we can choose from to secure our child’s future.

One of the 2 educational plans that they are offering is College Provider Plan which is a 5 years to pay educational plan that provides a college cash fund. Below are its features and benefits:

>  You will receive the College Fund in lump sum cash on the policy anniversary after your child’s 17th birthday.

>  Only 5 Easy Years to Pay! Grow your child’s College Fund in just five (5) short years.

>  Waiver of Premium Payments! In case of Payor’s untimely death or total and permanent disability within the 5-year paying period, all unpaid premiums will be waived and the policy will be considered fully-paid.

>  Yearly Pre-College Cash Allowance! Should the Payor meet an untimely death or suffer total and permanent disability, your child will receive a pre-college cash allowance on a yearly basis or 10% of the College Fund to finance his elementary and high school education.

>  Built-In Life Insurance Protection for your Child! Your child is automatically insured up to the age of 21.

>  Extra Cash for Financial Emergencies! You may avail of extra cash through a policy loan in case of financial emergencies anytime after the two years of premium payment.

CP and SCK image themommyjourney 7.22.13

Another product that can also help us be prepared for our child’s future is Sure Cash For Kids which is a 5 years to pay, 15-year savings and investment plan for your child. Below are its features and benefits:

>  Yearly Guaranteed Cash Payouts from the 5th up to the 14th year! You will get 10% of your maturity value at the end of the 5th year up to the end of the 14th year, giving you as much as P50,000* per year for 10 years. That’s P500,000* in total guaranteed cash payouts!

>  Get as much as P500,000* Guaranteed Cash at the end of the 15th year! That’s an additional P500,000* guaranteed cash payout or 100% of your maturity value that you can use for anything you want!

>  Only 5 Years to Pay! Unlike other investment facilities that require lump sum payment, SURE CASH for KIDS has affordable premiums available in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual modes of payment.

>  Waiver of Premium Payment! In case of Payor’s total and permanent disability within the 5-year paying period, all unpaid premiums are waived and the policy is considered FULLY PAID.

>  Built-In Life Insurance Protection. Life insurance protection coverage equivalent to 100% of maturity value starting from the 1st up to the 3rd year and DOUBLES starting from the 4th up to the 15th year. That’s as much as P1 Million* or 200% of the maturity value for your beneficiaries!

>  Extra Cash for Financial Emergencies! After 2 years of payment, your policy earns values every year! That’s cash which you can borrow against our policy in case of financial emergencies.

*For Plan 500

Both plans don’t require any medical examinations!

So if you are interested to find out which educational plan will best fit your family, contact Insular Direct at (02) 878-1818 locals 5403 or 5407 or (02) 892-3171 or email idirect@insular.com.ph or visit www.insulardirect.com.ph

 

How to Financially Prepare For a New Family Addition

A new addition to the family is one of the most wondrous feelings in life. Though babies are a joyful event, they do require planning, both mentally, emotionally, and financially. To insure that the transition for your new bundle of joy is a smooth and enjoyable as possible, you should make a new financial plan for your new family.
philippine-peso

Adjust the Budget

Adding a new family member always means an adjustment in the budget. New family members mean more money needs to be added to several different categories. Typically diapers, wipes, and formula are the largest expenses for a child’s first year of life. There are also other major, one-time costs such as bassinets, cribs, car seats, and other baby accessories that make life with a child easier and safer. Plan out each of these purchases and make sure to adjust the overall budget on food, clothing, and baby items permanently.

Plan Insurance and Medical Costs

A new baby means more trips to the doctor’s office, vaccinations, and other medical costs. One of the biggest expenses is having the child themselves. Medical insurance is a big help when paying for the costs of a growing family. Do not forget to add your new baby to your insurance policy directly after birth. Go over the hospital expenses that you will incur after the birth so that you are financially prepared for any copays and other medical costs not covered by insurance.

Go Over Life Insurance

When you add beneficiaries to your family, they should also be added to your will, trust, and life insurance policies. Forgetting to add a child can be disastrous if something is to happen to you and you need to provide for all of your dependents. While expecting, go over the life insurance policies, and all wills and trusts to make sure that the child will be well provided for in the event of your passing.

Increase Long Term Savings

With a larger family comes larger costs. In order to properly plan for a new addition, it is advisable to increase your long term savings. If you need to borrow money before you have had the chance to increase your savings, loans can get you cash fast for help with bridging the gap in the meantime. Start out by putting money away from each check and continue to save until you have reached a sum that you feel is comfortable for your growing family.