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It's 2017 and I am on a mission to simplify!

 

It’s a New Year so why not do some things differently….. right?   In 2017 I am on a mission to simplify – since It Is Always Something!  What am I doing today?  I have decided to schedule my bills so that I can sit down and take care of everything ONCE a month.   If you are like me, you have bills due throughout the entire month – with no two bills being due on the same day.  It’s a constant challenge to remember what is due when and then you ask yourself “did I pay that?”.   I have set up the automatic payments for those that I can (electric and auto) but what about those that you just don’t know what the balance is going to be (i.e. credit cards) so you can’t set up automatic payments?   I’ve called all my credit card companies (business and personal) and scheduled them all to be due on the same day.  Did you know you can do that?  You can pick the day you want to pay your bills and you can time it with your paycheck, or in my case, lump them all together and sit down to review them when it is most convenient for you.    I’ll still have the same amount of bills, I just won’t have to think about paying them every week.   This should allow for some free time each week!

 

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It Happens to the Best of Us

Actually, at some point it will most likely happen to all of us. Yesterday we realized someone had used our credit card number to purchase $8,000 worth of eyewear and a tank of gas …. Yes, $8,000 of eye glasses and sun glasses!!! At first you are in disbelief – “How could this possibly happen?”. Then you feel violated “Why did they do this to me?”. First, realize this is happening everyday all over the world and second, it is not directed at you personally. Credit card companies have admitted that thieves are one step ahead of them and security will always be an issue. Once you realize you are totally protected and will not have to pay for transactions you did not authorize your emotions will change to one of simple frustration. If you have had a credit card compromised, call the credit card company immediately and have them issue you a new card number. Now comes the laborious chore of providing anyone who regularly uses that card with the new number. Review your past statements to see if there are any automatic monthly charges like cell phone bills, look for websites that have stored credit card information like amazon, and if you use online bill payment, remember to change the account number there as well. Trust me, it will happen to you at some time. Just be prepared and don’t panic.

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Our Amazon Cost Just Went Up 6%!!!

Planning to buy something on Amazon soon and live in Florida? Do it before May 1st and save 6%. That's right - effective May 1, Amazon will begin charging those in Florida an additional 6% for sales tax. Amazon announced they will be opening two distribution centers in Florida next month and now since they will have a physical presence in Florida they have to charge sales tax. That stinks for those of us who use Amazon, and believe me, my family uses Amazon. We always look to Amazon for the lowest price, not to mention the convenience. Unfortunately now we will have to spend a little more.

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Now is the Time to Pay off Those Credit Cards!

Now is the time to be getting out of debt.   If you have credit card debt or small loans that are carrying an interest rate above 3%, now is the time to think about paying them off/down.  How?  Many companies are offering credit cards at 0% for 18 months.   That’s almost free money!!!  Almost because you typically will have to pay a 3% advance fee.    Have you looked at your monthly credit card statements to see how much of your payment each month is going towards interest versus reducing the outstanding balance?   Those interest dollars add up quickly.   Think how fast your debt would be reduced if all of your monthly payment went to reduce the balance.   You can pay a lot more off a lot faster!    You have to be careful though.  What you do not want to do is pay down your high interest rate cards with the 0% card and then run up the high interest rate card balances.  If you can be disciplined to put those high rate cards away and not use them, while making your same monthly credit payment, you’ll see your credit card debt decrease much faster.   I know Citi Bank and Discover are both offering these types of cards and you can apply online.  Once approved you simply give them the details of your debt you want paid off.  I recently helped two people do this and they are both seeing the rewards immediately!

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Are You Using Mobile Banking to Make Your Check Deposits?

Are you using mobile banking to check your balances or transfer money?  Technology is wonderful isn’t it?!   Now, are you using mobile banking to make your check deposits?  Why not????  This has to be one of the easiest things you can do with your phone or tablet and it is such a time saver.  No more filling out a deposit slip, no more driving to the bank, and no more waiting in line.  You simply log into your bank’s app, click on deposit, take a picture of the front and back of the check and select which account to deposit it into.   Once this is complete you will get a confirmation code. Viola!   The money has been deposited!    I write the confirmation code on the front  of the check and file the checks until the bank statement comes in, although I’ve never had a problem.   It doesn’t get much easier than that.  The best part is you can do this from anywhere and at any time, no more trying to fit a trip to the bank into your already hectic schedule.  Think about how much time you’ll save as well as gas driving to the bank.   If you haven’t done it, give it a try.  If you are scared to try, drop me a line and I’ll talk you into it.

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