How to Prioritize Which Bills to Pay When You’re Struggling

How to Prioritize Which Bills to Pay

Here is the next installment in our the Reader’s Questions Series which highlight questions emailed to me by you, the readers of Money Q&A. Be sure to find out at the end of this article how you can receive a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover if your money question is chosen to be featured on an upcoming week’s blog post. If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey’s book, you should run right out and get it. It is one of my the best personal finance books that everyone should read. Now….our reader’s question. If you are in financial trouble and tight on funds, how do you prioritize which bills to pay and which to leave until next month? There eventually may come a … Read more

How to Get Cash Back On Credit Card

Imagination is more important than knowledge but, if you give your credit card to a man in the early 19’s, he would just laugh in your face and walk off. Fast forward it to 1950 and Boom! America got its first credit card. Take a leap of 30 years, and you land up with the first reward program by American airlines. The point is, credit card has been with us for almost 70 years and yet we are not fully aware of its functionality. In our age where being frugal has become a necessity, the credit card should be the first to consider. Why? Coz, just take a peek at your wallet, how many credit cards do you see? At … Read more

7 Sneaky Simple Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Sneaky Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

The savings rate in America is dismal, and it’s heading in the wrong direction. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate in America is 4.5%, down from 5.6% the previous year. But do you know what’s the greatest hindrance to you increasing your savings? You. Your brain is the biggest thing holding you back from saving more, and one of the best ways to combat this is to trick yourself into saving money every day. You have to make savings a game. Here are five sneaky ways to do so. Saving money isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into saving money if you want to get it done at all. You have … Read more

How Realistic Is The Cash Only Lifestyle?

How Realistic Is The Cash Only Lifestyle?

The following is a guest post by Steve Repak, CFP™. Steve is the author of “6 Week Money Challenge For Your Personal Finances“, a simple, step-by-step program founded on biblical principles paired with a CFP®’s understanding of modern wealth-management strategies.

How Realistic Is The Cash Only Lifestyle?How realistic is the cash only lifestyle? If you are in debt, you have probably heard over and over again that you should quit using credit cards and stick to cash only purchases.

In a previous article, I explained that for some people it actually hurts to break a large bill like a $20 so only using cash may help you get your spending under control. I wanted to share some of the risks and benefits of a cash only lifestyle and also show that you can still get out of debt if you want to use credit cards. If getting out of debt is your goal, there are three things you must do in order to succeed regardless of whether you use cash or credit:

  1. Spend less money than you take home each week
  2. Build an emergency savings
  3. Develop and follow a get-out-of-debt plan

How Realistic Is The Cash Only Lifestyle?

Cons of using cash

One of the biggest disadvantages of carrying cash is that you can lose it! If you lose your credit card you can cancel it and order a new one but I am afraid you just can’t do that if you lose your cash.

If you use an ATM to withdraw cash you may be charged fees, which is like throwing money away. Worse yet, flashing cash can make you a target for thieves.

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What Will Switching to Card Reading Do to Your Tips

Do you practice excessive tipping?If you’re the owner of a small business that employs people who work for tips, your choice of payment system is holding their livelihood in the palm of your hand. A lot of considerate bar owners, restaurant owners, and more will think twice before they institute any changes that could adversely affect the people who work for them. This is both kindness and practicality.

If you can’t get the people working for you a decent living wage then they’re going to leave, you’re going to have high turnover, and everything that you wanted or worked for is going to blow up in your face. That’s not where anyone wants to be.

So, when you’re looking to trade out the clunky old cash register for something with a bit of a modern flair, you have to consider what it’s going to mean for everyone who depends on you to put some food on the table and let them pay their rent. Well, the results on mobile point of sale systems, credit card reading apps, and more are in and the results are only good.

Tips Fall When People Have to Do Math

If you run a bar, then you know this very well; when people get drunk, tips get crazy. They’re either way too high or way too low, and typically, they’re on the low side. Even drunk people hate doing math and want to save money. That’s why it’s so harsh to get a flat ten dollar tip after serving up complex cocktails all night.

It’s terrible when a drunken person tries to do math and ends up leaving you an 8 percent tip instead of a 15 percent tip. When people have to put in a lot of effort, good tips simply don’t happen. This is the first building block to explain why digital tips are so good when compared to traditional cash or write-in tipping methods.

Present Percentages Send Tips Through the Roof

When businesses make the switch to accepting credit cards for the first time or they change their credit card practices to more easily add tips (say, from making the customer write it in themselves to letting them either select a preset amount like $1 per tap or calculating options for the percentage of their bill (typically 15 percent, 20 percent, and 25 percent)), they see a sudden boom in tips.

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What to Do Right Now Before You Lose Your Wallet

What to do before you lose your wallet.

Have you ever lost your wallet? Of course, it can be a traumatic event in anyone’s life. But, there are steps you can take right now to help you before you lose your wallet. I can remember when my wife lost her’s at Walt Disney World of all places. She was lucky and someone had turned it into guest services. I’m probably going to jinx myself when I say this, but I have never lost my wallet…not once. But, as most people can attest to, it may just be a matter of time. According to a report from CNN, less than 20% of all wallets that are lost are returned to the owner. So forewarned is forearmed. Here are tips … Read more