Credit or debit? Best options for holiday shopping

In recent years, debit cards have become increasingly popular in part because consumers have gotten more cautious in their finances. In 2008, the volume of dollar charged on debit cards exceeded credit card first, and around half of consumers now prefer debit credit cards, especially for day-to-day costs such as edible.

However, when comes to make major purchases, as well as for those special gifts holiday shopping, credit cards may have some advantages over debit cards and not only because they allow you to defer the payments.What therefore with thanks and black corner Friday action, should you play safe leave their drawer, credit card or go to the city and charge happily ever after? we present below some pros and cons to consider:

Advantages of using credit cards

1. Greater protection for purchases, and return protection and guarantees extended.It must spill junior refresh in the new notebook PC keyboard you have for Christmas, you can protect yourself if charged you the notebook crédito.La card purchases in many credit card protection means that card issuers will pick up the tab items stolen or damaged within a time-limited of purchase (often 90 days), even if there is damage to a stupid, error such as “water discharged accidentally” (naturally, intentional damage not covered).

Many issuers of credit cards also offer protection from return. It should a retailer refuse to accept a return, card programs reimburse cardholders for purchased items, provided return tries to 90 days of purchase and the price of the item falls within the benefit limit usually $250 to $300 for Amex cards (with a maximum of $1,000 annually in covered yields) and Visa credit cards.

Finally, usually many extended elements out of the card to duplicate the standard manufacturer’s warranty period up to one full year guarantee extension credit card offer warranty protection.There are limits on the coverage, so check the conditions of your credit cards before loading.

These benefits are more commonly available in premium, such as American Express credit cards cards Visa Signature card, many Visa Business credit cards and certain MasterCard credit cards.The terms of service vary, so check with your card issuer.

2. More protection if steal you his card.Credit and debit cards come with real-time fraud monitoring and offer a policy of zero liability for unauthorized purchases must get stolen the tarjeta.Sin however, protections for debit cards are more limited, and if the card holder not notify the Bank within two days of discover fraudulent charges, he or she could be on the hook for as much as $500.

3. Offer rewards card credit extra perks.For addicts card rewards, who know how to optimize profits rewards, loading vacation Rewards credit card purchases can mean savings of 1 to as high as 5 per cent or higher, in alleged compras.Por to reap the benefits of these rewards, you have to pay the balance every month full-time, or credit card interest rates could quickly could outweigh rewards earnings.

4. Credit cards can help build credit scores.Shopping for a credit card and regularly to amortize them load can help build one credit score, because it demonstrates the capacity to manage credit responsibly.Payment history is composed of 35 percent of credit scores, and using different types of credit also boost scores, so may have a credit card and pay the invoice each month while greatly increasing scores.

Disadvantages of using credit cards:
1. Credit card, it is more likely to spend more.Studies show that people spend more when paying with cards credit than with other methods of payment, including cash and debit cards.As well, unless you are sure that may be disciplined enough to stick the list of the purchase of vacation and not get attracted to in offers irresistible retailers are safe being developed for the holiday season leaving their home credit card may be the best option.

2. It is easy to get caught in the trap of credit card interestThat provides a balance of 0 or 0 APR on purchases APR credit cards transfer may seem everything you need to help you through vacaciones.Sin season however, credit card interest rates are up and finished once this promotional rate could end up paying interest as high as 22.99% holiday purchases.

3. Credit cards can hurt your credit scoreSimilar to credit cards can improve credit scores, will damage. addition of not paying invoices on time, one of the worst mistakes that many consumers that carries high balances on their cards crédito.Esto negatively affects the relationship between the use of credit, another key component of credit scores that represent 30 percent of scores FICO.La general rule is to use less than 30 percent of the appropriations available for all their credit cards, preferably keeping balance in 10-20% of the credit limit.

In short, if you use their advantage, credit cards can are useful for the holiday season, but be careful to avoid the escollos.Y course, use credit versus debit shopping holiday cards do not have to be a cosa.Considere the possibility for larger purchases credit card use and leave them at home for travel purchases to minimize momentum everyday purchases.

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9 Bad Habits to Beat Now

February 12, 2011

9 Bad Habits to Beat Now
By Michele Bender, Special to Lifescript
Published January 01, 2011

Feeling like you need a change of pace? What better time than a new year to remake yourself? Here are 9 bad habits we should lose, along with expert tips to get started. Plus, are you really ready to make a life change? Take our quiz…

Do you shop ’til you drop? Are you chronically late? We can help you turn over a new leaf.

We’ve asked top experts for their top tips. Try them for 21 consecutive days, and you may be out on good behavior before you know it.

“Start small with the creation of new, positive habits. These shift your energy and build confidence in yourself,” explains Regina Leeds, author of One Year to an Organized Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books).

Bad habit #1: Being Tethered to Your Cell Phone

Why you should kick it: You’re certainly not alone in your technology addiction. It’s hard to walk down the street, travel or dine and not see people texting, talking or scrolling away. But no one needs to be plugged in 24/7. It just takes you away from living your real, non-digital life.

How to kick it:

Figure out why you’re hooked. “Are you using your tools to help you with work? Or are you using them to avoid life?” Leeds asks. “There’s a real difference, and you need to be brutally honest to find out.”

Force yourself to spend at least 10 minutes listening to nothing but your own thoughts. “Learn the joy of quiet time. You’ll be astonished what you will discover,” Leeds says.

Disconnect when you connect. There’s nothing more annoying than being with someone who’s answering emails or clutching his or her cell phone while pretending to listen to you.

“Unless you’re on trial for a capital offense and you’re waiting to hear the jury verdict, give your full attention to your loved ones during meals and when you’re out to have quality time together,” Leeds says. “If you don’t enjoy being with your partner or children, call your therapist.”

Bad habit #2: Being Disorganized

Why you should kick it: “Being organized is the foundation for everything you want to achieve or accomplish,” Leeds says. It allows “you to have more time, less aggravation, better health and can be a springboard for creativity.”

How to kick it:
Take baby steps. Start with these small changes: Make your bed every day, never leave dirty dishes in the sink or allow clean ones to languish on the drain board and put your keys and glasses in the same spot every time.

“As you make slow, incremental positive changes, your self-esteem rises as does your faith in yourself that you can get organized,” Leeds says.

Tame the paper tiger. Open your mail each day and immediately toss extraneous materials like flyers or freebie magazines that come with your bills. Also, be realistic about which catalogs you’ll really read, saving one from each company, not 10. File mail into folders or baskets according to bills to pay, invitations to respond to, etc.

Bad habit #3: Always Being Late

Why you should kick it: It leaves you frazzled, creates a bad impression and is rude. “Though it’s usually unconscious, it’s as if you’re saying, ‘My agenda is more important than yours’,” Leeds says.

How to kick it:

Set a goal. Write it down and do so in the present tense rather than the future. “Saying, ‘I show up on time for all appointments’ is powerful,” Leeds says. “But saying, ‘As soon as I get organized, I’ll show up on time’ puts your good result in the future and just out of reach.”

Get a calendar. “Whether it’s an electronic calendar, the one on your computer or a paper version, you need to record your appointments and deadlines,” says Leeds, who adds that it helps to work with a week or month at a glance. “This way you can see what demands you’re making on yourself. Are you trying to do too much? Perhaps that’s why you’re always late!”

Bad habit #4: Forgetting Your Friends

Why you should kick it: The good feelings you’ll elicit when you remember a friend’s big day are priceless. It makes people feel loved when you note the good times as well as the bad. Maintaining close relationships is important for a fuller life and better health, according to research.

How to kick it:

Go high tech. “If you have a computer, it’s pretty easy to stay on top of dates these days,” Leeds says. Most calendar programs let you set reminders of important dates, or you can register with an online service that emails you when these big moments pop up.

Or use a paper calendar to record only birthdays and anniversaries, and put a note in your daily planner to look it at the beginning of each month. “You’ll know which cards or gifts you need to buy,” Leeds says.

Make time to reach out. “Set time aside each month to make long-distance calls,” Leeds says. “Or use your down-time waiting in doctor’s offices or airports (as long as you use your ‘inside voice’ so no one has to listen to your conversation).” If you don’t have time to call, check in regularly with a quick “thinking of you email.”

Bad habit #5: Not Saving Money

Why you should kick it: “Saving is critical in any economic environment,” says Michael B. Rubin, CPA and CFP and author of Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck (Wachtale & Martin). “But a down economy, where you may lose your job or something unfortunate happens, makes you see that having an emergency fund is even more important than ever.”

How to kick it:

Put aside something. “Most people think it’s going to be easier to save later, but later is a nebulous term and you’re always going to have more obligations even if your income increases,” Rubin says.

Keep track of your spending for seven days by getting receipts for everything, and then see what you value and where you can cut back. Next, stash the money away in a bank account or spot where you won’t touch it. “After a while, you’ll see it add up and change your attitude toward money,” Rubin says.

Call your credit card company. The best thing to do is to pay your credit cards in full each month. If that’s more a fantasy than reality, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate, which is possible if you’ve at least been making your minimum payments each month.

“A lower interest rate frees you up to save money,” Rubin says. Check out these credit card tips from Jean Chatzky.

Bad habit #6: Shopping Too Much

Why you should kick it: “Scientists have recently demonstrated part of the reason why consumerism is so attractive – it’s an addiction,” explains Lifescript Depression Expert Richard O’Connor, Ph.D., author of Undoing Depression and Happy at Last.

Shopping releases dopamine, a brain chemical associated with anticipation and pleasant excitement. As soon as we make that purchase, we’re flooded with prolactin, another brain chemical telling us to slow down.

“Unfortunately, we crave more dopamine and then get into a vicious cycle, which accounts for cocaine addiction, gambling and buyer’s remorse,” O’Connor says.

How to kick it:

Count your blessings. Being grateful gave shoppers more satisfaction than their potential purchases would have, researchers found. “When people think about what’s important to them, they seem to do better with a self-control task,” says study author Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., professor of consumer psychology at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Before whipping out your credit card, think about three things that really matter to you. “Happiness has much more to do with feeling connected and genuine and accomplishing things,” O’Connor adds.

Don’t shop while dieting. If you’re trying to slim down, quit smoking or do anything else that requires willpower, steer clear of stores. “Using self-control is similar to exercising a muscle. Once it’s fatigued, it needs to recuperate before it can work at its best,” Vohs says. If we resist the candy dish at the office early in the day, we’re less likely to later resist those stiletto pumps.

Bad habit #7: Bringing Work Home

Why you should kick it: Working at home keeps you tied to the office. You never get to decompress and rejuvenate, and it takes time away from your friends and family.

“But in today’s economy, with companies downsizing and employees asked to do more than their share of work, it’s the odd man who doesn’t bring home work,” Leeds says. “The idea is to handle this with care.”

How to kick it:

Perfect your time management. Ask yourself: Do I waste time sending personal or unimportant emails? Do I spend too much time on phone calls? Do I waste time searching for papers? If you answer yes then planning your day better could reduce your at-home workload.

Balance work with play. If you have to take the office home with you, spend some quiet time with your family or yourself before you get to work.

“The human body isn’t a machine,” Leeds says. “We need some relaxation in order to function at a high level.”

Bad habit #8: Procrastinating

Why you should kick it: All of us have a project we dread, that one that makes our stomach lurch when we think of it. “Everyone procrastinates from time to time,” Leeds says. But for a habitual procrastinator, “the heart of this behavior is fear – fear of success, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake.” Once you start a dreaded project, it’s usually not as bad as you imagined.

How to kick it:
Break it down. Fight intimidation by breaking the project into manageable morsels. Got a party to plan? Make a list of tiny tasks, like coming up with a theme, buying invitations and so forth. Each time you cross a task off your list, you feel motivated to move on.

Forget perfection. “Procrastination may also be a manifestation of a desire to achieve perfection,” says Leeds, a self-described “retired perfectionist.” Instead, focus on doing the best job you can. “The difference may be subtle, but it’s also powerful and life changing,” she says.

Bad habit #9: Being a Pack Rat

Why you should kick it: “Though people say this about themselves all the time, a ‘pack rat’ is actually a medical condition,” Leeds says. If you can’t throw anything out, living with all those belongings can make you feel unorganized, not to mention make it hard to find anything. Busting through the clutter can make you feel more in control.

How to kick it:
Make your trash another person’s treasure. “Find special homes for items you know you don’t need, but wish to hold onto emotionally,” Leeds suggests. Take your old sheets and towels to the local animal shelter or vet. “This way you can see how your discards help the sick and suffering animals,” she says.

Clear clutter creatively. Find artful ways to keep the memory of a past experience alive rather than keeping bulky material things that go with it.

You don’t need to save every piece of your baby’s clothing. Instead, put a photo of your child in a favorite outfit in a shadow box with other mementos of that period, such as a special toy and swatch of fabric from the outfit.

http://www.lifescript.com/Soul/Self/Well-being/Conquer_Clutter_and_8_Other_Bad_Behaviors.aspx

Seven Tricks To Stop Using Your Credit Cards
By LaToya Irby
http://credit.about.com/od/creditrepair/tp/breakthehabit.htm

1. Close them.
One call to your cardholder is all it takes to inactivate your credit card. You can easily quiet a nagging desire to use your card by thinking of the embarrassment you’ll feel when the clerk says your credit card has been denied. Closing credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score, so make sure you’re not closing a card you should be leaving open.
2. Shred them.
Office shredders work just as well on that little piece of plastic as it does on your paper. If your credit card is in pieces, there’s no way you can swipe it. Don’t have a shredder? Scissors work just as well. Cut the card up into small pieces so the credit card number can’t be guessed by identity thieves.
3. Leave them at home.
Take your credit cards out of your wallet before you go shopping. If you get the urge to buy something, you’ll either have to use cash or come back for the item once you have your credit card.
4. Lock them up.
The “out of sight, out of mind” approach might be the thing to work for you. Put your credit cards somewhere that takes effort to get them – in a safe, file cabinet, the bottom of the laundry. Keeping your credit cards out of your immediate reach will help control your “need” to use them.
5. Shock therapy.
Have you ever thought about the amount of money you spend in interest each year? Or the length of time it will take to pay off your credit cards? Sometimes the numbers will shock you into putting your credit cards away for good. A $1,000 balance at 14% will take you 4 1/2 years to pay off if you make $25 payments each month. You’ll have paid $347.55 in interest by the time you pay off the balance.
6. Reward yourself.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way in building a habit. We use it with our kids and with our pets. Why not use it with ourselves? Each week that you don’t use your credit card, treat yourself to something you like but don’t ordinarily allow yourself to indulge. Keep your treats on the inexpensive/free end of the spectrum so you don’t upset your monthly budget.
7. Old-fashioned self control.
Being able to tell yourself “no” is a skill that goes beyond using credit cards. The same self-discipline that gets you to work on time each morning can also be used to stop using your credit cards. Think twice about swiping your credit card just like you’d think twice about pressing snooze just one more time.