Personal finance: Money saving tips

5 Simple Tips For Getting Out Of Debt In 2006

5 Simple Tips For Getting Out Of Debt In 2006!

Is credit card debt driving you crazy? Spent too much this holiday season?

Well, you’re definitely not alone. Credit card debt is a way of life these days. Especially now, right after the holidays!

For many people, money gets REAL tight this time of year – we need to pay for all the holiday gifts, get ready for tax season…


What can you do if debt has taken over your life?

Make getting out of debt your New Year’s Resolution for 2006!

Here are 5 simple tips for getting out of debt. Keeping a New Year’s Resolution is difficult. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be prepared for a prosperous 2006!

1) Write down your goal and make a plan for achieving it!

The first step to getting out of debt is by far the most important – you need to:

• make a commitment to get out of debt

• write it down

• and come up with a plan for reaching it!

Hey, you didn’t get into debt overnight, and you won’t get out overnight, either. But if you want to get out of debt – if you REALLY want to get out of debt, you need to have a plan. And you need to stick with it.

2) Seriously consider using a debt reduction program

If you have the discipline to get out of debt on your own, without any help, then good for you! But if you’re like most people, a little help will go a long way. Here are a few debt reduction programs to consider:

• Credit counseling: If you have high interest rates on your credit cards, working with a non-profit company will help you lower those high rates, and combine your credit card bills into one lower monthly payment – which means more of your money will go towards reducing your debt!

• Debt consolidation loan: If you own a home, you can consider taking out a home equity loan to pay off all your credit card bills, lower you interest rates, and possibly deduct the interest on your taxes (but check with your tax professional on this one).

• Debt settlement: If nothing else is working, and your debt is still overwhelming, then you should consider debt settlement. This is a more aggressive approach, and is not right for everyone, but if you’re considering bankruptcy, this is a good option. You can pay off all your credit card bills at a savings of 40-60%, and get out of debt much quicker.

3) Start fixing your credit problems

Many people think that anything that goes on your credit report stays there for 7 years. Well, that’s not always true. I got a bunch of negative credit items off my credit report – all I did was get a copy of my credit report, and ask the credit bureaus to remove the “bad stuff”. In just a few months, my credit was almost back to normal. There’s nothing that says we must pay for our mistakes forever (or even for 7 years)!

4) Cut down your monthly expenses

If you overdid the spending in 2005, then it’s time to cut out all the expenses you don’t need, and use the money you save to pay off your credit card bills. Take a look at your checking and savings account statements, your credit card statements, and your monthly bills. Then start looking for things to cut. I know, I know, it’s hard to live without cable TV, cell phones, internet access, the morning paper, weekend dinners and entertainment. BUT DO IT ANYWAY – at least until you get your debt back under control!

5) Make some extra spending money

Sometimes making more money is the best answer! There are lots of ways to make money – selling some of your valuables, getting a part-time job, starting your own business. Despite some of the ads you read, there’s no really secret to making money – you just need to find something you like to do, and work hard at it!

6) Think positive!

OK, there were only supposed to be 5 tips, but this one is the best one – no matter how hard life can get, no matter how much debt you have, the one thing in life you can control the most is how you think. So rather than focusing on what you don’t have, be thankful for all that you do have. Nobody dies wishing they had made more money or worked longer. But many people do regret all the fun and meaningful things THEY DID NOT DO! So make some time to have fun, think positive, and find little ways to enjoy life EVERY SINGLE DAY you are here on plant Earth!

Wondering what makes me an expert on debt? Well, I lived through it. I know what it feels like to struggle. And I know what it feels like to overcome financial problems. There’s nothing special about me. I work at a college, so I don’t make a heck of a lot of money. I didn’t win the lottery. And no rich relatives left me a pile of money.

I just learned a few simple strategies – actually, I learned the 5 tips you just read about – and stuck with them until my life changed for the better.

And you can, too – just follow the tips above, believe in yourself, and DON’T LET ANYONE OR ANYTHING STOP YOU FROM REACHING YOUR GOALS in life!

American Express Blue Leadership through Innovation

American Express Blue - Leadership through Innovation

The RFID Credit Card Since June 2005, all American Express issued Blue credit cards have been imbedded with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transponder, in addition to the traditional credit card magnetic strip. RFID technology transmits information wirelessly between two or more objects in close proximity. This means that when you make purchases at any of the American Express ExpressPay participating merchants, you simply have to tap the credit card against, or hold it an inch or two away from the RFID reader, for the goods to be charged to your card.

According to American Express, the greatest benefit of making use of an RFID system is that it speeds up transactions. Statistics gathered during the Proof of Concept and Pilot phases of the project showed that payment by the RFID Blue from American Express card is 63 percent quicker than paying by cash and 53 percent faster than paying by following the traditional credit card process.

The RFID Key Fob In conjunction with Texas Instruments RFID Systems, American Express also launched an RFID key fob that any holder of a Blue from American Express credit card is eligible for. The key fob fits onto most key chains and can be used instead of your credit card to pay for everyday purchases such as fuel and foodstuffs. This effectively means that you do not need to take your wallet with you when you go shopping.

As a Blue card holder, all purchases made via your RFID key fob, are directly charged to your credit card account. These charges will appear on your monthly credit card statement. To enable you to differentiate between purchases made by RFID key fob and by card, ExpressPay purchases are highlighted as is the name of the merchant, the date and the amount spent. A limit of $150 per day is imposed.

Should you have more than one Blue account, you can apply for an RFID key fob for every account you hold.

RFID Security As with all wireless technologies, there may be questions about the security of payment transactions using the credit card. The company assures card holders that American Express Blue credit card is very safe. In addition to a variety of security precautions, data encryption, similar to that used for the RFID chip in the US Passport, is used to ensure that privileged information is not shared. As with all American Express credit cards, holders of the Blue card with RFID are protected against fraudulent usage and theft.

The Blue from American Express credit card’s modern design, coupled with current generation features, has seen it become one of the most popular credit cards among young adults today.