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Four Purchases That Should Never be Made With a Debit Card

Although debit cards are extremely convenient, they aren’t always the right choice for payments. Under some circumstances, it’s actually more beneficial to use a credit card. Here are four things that should always be paid for with a credit card instead of a debit card.

Furniture and Appliances

Large home purchases, such as furniture and appliances, should always be made with a credit card. These purchases are large enough that a mistake by the delivery team or the manufacturer can cost buyers thousands of dollars. With a credit card, it’s possible to dispute the charges, even if the seller isn’t willing to arrange a refund directly. In addition, the size of these purchases means that even 1-2 percent cashback will add up to a considerable sum of money.

Car Rentals

When renting a car, it’s almost imperative to use a credit card. Even if the rental company will allow renters to pay with a debit card, they should expect to pay a large additional fee in order to do so. Rental car companies also tend to run credit checks on renters who pay with debit cards. This, in turn, can cause damage to the renter’s credit score by adding an unnecessary hard inquiry. To avoid this hassle and expense, anyone renting a car should be prepared to pay with a credit card.

Recurring Payments

People with memberships and subscriptions often make the mistake of billing their bank accounts directly through their debit cards. While there’s little risk of losing money this way, credit card rewards on these recurring payments can add up over time to significant amounts. Points, miles, and cashback rewards can all be built on recurring payments with no extra effort. Given this fact, it rarely makes sense to make these recurring payments using anything other than a credit card.

Online Purchases

Unfortunately, online scams are everywhere these days. Sellers who bait and switch their buyers or fail to deliver at all are quite common, even on major online platforms. Credit cards offer a degree of protection against this kind of behavior by allowing buyers to dispute charges and get their money back.

While debit cards certainly have their place, they aren’t for everything. These four types of purchases are generally best made with credit cards, as debit cards introduce higher risks or lower rewards in these cases.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.org

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John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

HOW TO SAVE MORE BASED ON YOUR INCOME

Do you want to be able to save more but don’t know where to start? If so, then this article is for you. First, we’ll talk about how your income affects the amount of money you can save each month.

From there, we will go over different strategies that can help you increase your savings rate and get closer to your goal of saving a certain percentage of your income each year!

CREATE A BUDGET TO SAVE MORE MONEY

The fastest way to save more is by reducing your expenses. Start by creating a budget and tracking your spending habits. This will help you identify areas where you can reduce expenses to increase the amount of money that goes towards savings each month.

Here are some specific ways in which you could create a budget:

  • Figure out how much income is coming in per hour or day so that it’s easier to know what percentage needs to go into saving each week, month, etc.
  • List all monthly fixed costs such as mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance payments, and taxes; then list variable costs from there like food or entertainment

GET A SAVINGS ACCOUNT

It’s also a great idea to open a savings account. In general, the higher your interest rate is on an account, the more money you will save in that given time period.

MAKE SAVING AUTOMATIC

It’s easier to take care of something when it becomes habitual – so get into the habit of automatically transferring a particular percentage of your paycheck directly into a savings or retirement account at work each month. Once this practice has become established for about six months and feels natural, adjust how much you’re saving by increasing or decreasing the amount you transfer based on what goals you’ve set for yourself.

For example, if health insurance premiums are going up next year, but there isn’t enough money saved yet to cover them, make adjustments now before it worsens!

SETTING GOALS

Set goals each month for your savings account and budget. Your goals might include putting aside an emergency fund, paying off student loans, or saving for a house.

It’s hard to know what you’ll need in the future, so it helps to consider all possible expenses and make sure there is enough money saved each month that can be used when necessary.

Your savings rate should increase as your income increases! Make adjustments as needed based on how much more you’re earning per year (as well as any other factors).

This article was originally published on John Bowman’s website.

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blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance, tax

The Biggest Financial Decisions You Will Make

Most individuals have had to readjust their lives occasionally to meet various financial needs. Making the right financial decisions is critical to surviving unforeseen financial constraints. Below are suggestions on the most significant financial decisions one can make towards achieving financial stability:

PAY YOUR DEBTS

Once your financial situation stabilizes, make a payment plan in order to pay off debts. Not paying off your debts can start to affect other aspects of your life, such as taking out loans for buying a home or a business. It can be wise to involve a debtor advisor that can look at your financial situation holistically and tell you exactly how you can go about paying your existing debts in a timely manner that will work for you.

INVEST

Investing your finances at a young age can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make if you go about it the right way. Putting your money in a bank is one way you can invest, but the problem is that you gain a small amount of interest when doing this. The best way to grow your wealth by investing is by investing in the stock market. Depending on how you go about it, this can be a risky decision so be sure to do your research and ask financial advisors for their input to ensure you’re going about it properly.  A high-risk return investment has a higher return than a lower-risk investment that pays less, but they’re also not likely to lose money in the short term. 

BUY A HOUSE

One of the most significant financial achievements for many is buying a house. A home gives equity so that one doesn’t have to pay rent anymore. At the same time, it can be an income-generating project since it can be rented or sold at a profitable price. Settling in one place for a long time gives one a sense of entitlement, no more moving from one place to another.

LIVE WITHIN ONE’S MEANS

Living within one’s income is the best decision one can make early in life. It helps in managing finances and staying out of debt. Yet again, set aside a portion of the salary and deposit in a fixed savings account that is beyond reach. Have a budget for every expenditure, be it food, transport, or rent. It will help in cutting down on costs and save more.

Financial decisions are complex and not easy to adhere to, but with a little patience, discipline, and focus, you’ll be well off.

This article was originally published on John Bowman’s website.

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John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance, tax

3 GREAT FINANCE PODCASTS

Whether you’re a finance professional or just someone who is even remotely interested in the subject, there are always new things to learn and new perspectives to understand. One of the best ways to do this is by listening to finance podcasts. Podcasts allow practically anybody to talk about their thoughts on a subject as well as potentially educate others in a typically free and easy-to-digest manner. Here are a few great finance podcasts to check out.

BIGGERPOCKETS MONEY

If you’re a beginner in personal finance or are looking for fresh ideas to help you pay off your debt, give BiggerPockets Money a listen. Hosted by Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen, this show delves into all aspects of finance that people with any level of experience can find use in. Scott and Mindy often invite thought leaders of the finance industry onto the show in order to interview them about how they got to where they are today and what mistakes they made, giving every episode a unique perspective that can be of plenty of value to listeners.

THIS IS UNCOMFORTABLE

Money can be one of the most difficult talking points with friends and family. Everyone’s money is their own personal business and sometimes we don’t always have the best grip on it, whether it’s our own fault or due to outside factors. That’s where “This is Uncomfortable” comes in. Host Reema Khrais created this podcast to discuss how money messes with our lives and how we can talk to our loved ones about it. Topics include dealing with expensive medical bills, or what to do when a loved one wants to pay your rent among many others. The show also features a section where listeners are allowed to drop in and offer advice to various reader questions.

PLANET MONEY

NPR is known for having great shows about a variety of topics, with Planet Money being one of the best selections they have to offer. It’s got all of the classic NPR beats – relevant topics, smart, soothing hosts, and great production values. What makes it even better is that it’s only 30 minutes long, meaning you can easily put them on in short car rides or while you’re making dinner, not feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content you need to consume to get all of the talking points. Planet Money offers great topics about the economy that are easier to digest than reading a newspaper due to interviews and fun.

This article was originally published on John Bowman’s website.

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Finance Tips for the Holiday Season

The holiday season can get pretty expensive. Starting with candy and costumes for family and neighbors in October, followed by a feast of food in November and all of the gifts, gatherings, and extras around the winter holiday season, bills can really add up. Unfortunately, your wallet may not be able to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are several ways to help you save money while still allowing you to delight in the magic and wonder of the holidays.

Set a budget

It’s easy to spend money when you don’t try to set a cap on how much you’re allowed to spend. Without a budget, you’ll be more likely to overspend. Sit down and work numbers before even setting foot in a store so you know exactly how much you have to spend. On average, people spend around $704 during the holiday season, but that is all dependent on an individual’s personal financial situation.

Do your research

Everyone is going to be advertising that they have the best deal on a specific product during the holiday season. It’s up to you to do your homework and see who’s actually telling the truth. You can comparison shop right from the comfort of your own home by looking up prices online. That way, you’ll know you’re getting the best deal.

To read the full blog, visit JBowmanAccountant.org.

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Mortgage Tips for Young Homebuyers

For some young people, creating a home is the first major post-graduation decision they’ll make. While young adults might have little capital available, research into mortgages can help these homebuyers make the most informed, budget-friendly decisions. Here are a handful of mortgage tips for young homebuyers.

Access to Special Financing

While younger people might not have much of a credit history, there are options that can help them get into houses. If you’ve never bought a house, there are opportunities for first-time home buyers. These sometimes come with relatively low interest rates. They also come with low down payment requirements for the house’s residents. This will allow you to get into a house without having to save a large sum for a down payment.

More Flexibility

Those who are young tend to have more flexibility. They’ve just entered adulthood. Therefore, living with roommates and sharing a kitchen or bathroom is usually not a big deal. Additionally, younger adults who are unmarried and without children can find value in having roommates. By taking on a roommate or two, you could effectively have them pay off a significant portion of your mortgage and help you build wealth. These less structured options provide plenty of flexibility for young people, and something as simple as renting out a room can lead to cost benefits.

 

To read the full article, visit John J. Bowman, Jr. Accountant’s website.

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