MS. OTTS

Lifestyle Mommy Blog

A Blog about the ins and outs of my crazy beautiful life. Grab a glass of vino or a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride! 

Money Facts: What You Need To Know About Loans & Credit Cards

Loans and credit cards can be tricky little things, but there are definitely great perks about them and some companies, like one I will talk about below, offer straight-forward loaning processes, which is definitely the ones you should go for.

There is a lot of diversity when it comes to credit cards and loans - you either love them, or you hate them. Some people pay all of their expenses on a credit card and pay it off every month, some never use a credit card, and others have student loans, or credit card debt for days. It really is a personal choice and opinion and everyone is different.

So, today, I want to dive deep into a few common questions that I hear about credit cards and loans:

How does a credit card work?

Forbes says, “When you choose to pay with a credit card and you hand the card to a cashier or submit your card number over a secure internet connection, the merchant you’re dealing with validates your account and whether the bank will allow the purchase to go through. If everything looks good, your purchase is added to your credit account. Many companies are involved with each swipe of a credit card, and money exchanges hands between all these companies each time a card is used. Merchants pay fees to accept credit cards, and eventually, the card-issuing banks receive part of this as revenue.

Once a month, the bank accumulates your credit card purchases and sends you a bill. The best option, and the only option I recommend, for dealing with that bill is to pay in full by the due date. If not, you have to pay a minimum amount, determined by the bank, to avoid extra fees.

Even if you avoid extra fees, an interest fee will be added to what you owe the following month. Interest adds up quickly and could make a $100 purchase cost $200 in total or more rather quickly. When this happens, it’s more than just time-shifting; it’s as if waiting to watch your 30-minute recorded show would require 60 minutes of your life.

When you pay on time and in full, the bank considers you a well-behaved customer, and will report this behavior to other companies that evaluate whether you’re a good borrower. You want these companies to consider you a good borrower, because it could have financial consequences in the future.

Banks, in their roles as credit card issuers, don’t want all users to be well-behaved customers. The companies profit from these customers, but the most profitable customers are those who don’t pay bills in full but are rarely late. Because of all this profit, some taken from merchants, stores often have no choice but to raise prices for everyone as a result of the increased popularity of credit cards.”

How does a loan work?

Just like with a credit card, there is an application process that usually takes place with loans. In fact, some loans are very hard to get, but others (more on this in a minute), make it very simple and straightforward. Once you go through the approval process, you get your money, but you have to repay it within an agreed timeframe. Most loans, just like credit cards, also have interest tacked on.

What kind of loan is better for me?

In my opinion, I prefer collateral loans because they are easy, straight-forward, and usually, have lower interest rates. For example, Chapes-JPL offers collateral loans in Atlanta, Georgia with interest rates as low as 2.5%. Amazing, right? “Chapes-JPL is a fully licensed and insured money lender, operating from 3355 Lenox Rd. NE #875, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326.” Your loan through Chapes-JPL will last 30 days, but you have the option to extend your collateral loan for as many 30 day periods as you would like. On your loan, your minimum monthly loan payment will consist of interest, security, storage, and insurance fees. This amount will depend on the total amount borrowed as well as the type and value of an asset used as collateral, with rates as low as 2.5%. Since your loan at Chapes-JPL is strictly on collateral, there are no credit checks, so the application process is much easier and less time consuming compared to some other loan options. In fact, most loans are completed within minutes, instead of the typical days or weeks. Chapes-JPL prides themselves on being safe, discreet, comfortable, and honest, so if you are looking for a loan, they are the people to call!

Should I choose a credit card or a loan?

That depends on what you are looking for! If you want a one-time payment, you might be better off with a loan. If you want something safe and secure, definitely go with a collateral loan for Chapes-JPL. If you want a back up when you are out and about, a credit card might be a good option for you.

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3 ways to give back to your community

Your community has been there for you through thick and thin. You should cherish the town and the people in it and give back to your community as much as you possibly can, in my opinion. According to Southern Living, “Whether you are volunteering with your family or buying an item that funds programs for underserved communities, it is never too early—or too late—to give back.

In the South, we are so fortunate to be part of communities that nourish us and take care of us. From family to friends to strangers—who are just friends we haven’t struck up a conversation with yet—we treasure the people who make our Southern communities special places to live. With all that they give us, we look for ways to give back, especially around the holidays, when we remember acutely that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. When our communities and neighbors fall on hard times, it is important to contribute, to give back, and to help build up those places and people who need help. There are so many amazing ways to give back to the community throughout the South, and we hope that you are inspired to contribute to a worthy cause. Whether you are buying an item that funds programs for underserved communities or volunteering with your family, it is never too early—or too late—to give back.”

So, if you are interested in giving back to your community, I highly recommend trying some of these things out:

Community service

Giving back through community service is an amazing way to spend your time. Not only will it help others, but it will help yourself. You will leave feeling like you did something really great and it will automatically boost your spirits and make you want to do good and give back even more. There are so many ways to do community service too, so you are not just limited to one thing. In Atlanta, there are foundations and community service options such as Trees Atlanta, Open Hand Atlanta, and Habitat For Humanity, just to name a couple. Southern Living says, “Find your local food bank through the Feeding America network of food banks, which distributes 4 billion meals annually. Other organizations that offer volunteering opportunities include:

United Way has encouraged over 2.6 million people to give back to their communities by volunteering, and they raise over $5 billion dollars each year, which goes to supporting communities across the country.

Red Cross helps those affected by disasters. From blood drives to donations, there is no shortage of ways to give back through the Red Cross and to assist neighboring communities that are in the process of healing and recovering from disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding.

Salvation Army USA offers Christmas assistance, housing and homeless services, hunger relief, youth camps, and so much more. You can contribute through volunteering or giving donations—anything from clothes to cars, so see their website for more details.

Habitat for Humanity has organizations across the country and the world that are committed to building houses and supporting families. Habitat is an essential way to give back in your community, and you can contribute through donations or by helping build homes.

Better World Books is an organization that is committed to getting books in the hands of those who want them and don’t have them. To date, they have raised millions of dollars for a variety of organizations and have donated books across the world. They have also raised over $80,000 for the New Orleans Public Library Foundation.”

Promote local businesses

Shopping local puts more money back into the economy, which is why I always prefer to shop from local businesses that do everything in-house. The perfect example of this is the Atlanta-based company, East Point Foundry. President and Owner, Scott Livingston acquired the foundry in 1997 and has seen tremendous growth since then. Now, “East Point Foundry is proud to have partnered with both private sector (civilian) and public sector (government) agencies, honoring achievements and accolades by institutions and individuals. We view our projects as unique and a chance to honor those who have given so much to the causes they are passionate about. Since 1948 our foundry has operated 100% in America, creating thousands of masterpieces for local, national governments and Fortune 500 businesses to small mom and pop stores,” which is just amazing. East Point Foundry’s pricing is affordable because they handle a large majority of their projects, 100% in-house. They do not rely on costly middle-men and they are very organized, diligent, and responsive. They have a timely process and always offer a free, no hassle quote. They are not in the business of doing cheap work. Instead, they focus on high-quality work, fair pricing, and high-end products. Headquartered in East Point, Georgia, East Point Foundry is available for all of your high-quality cast bronze and aluminum plaques, nameplates, lettering, architectural, castings, and sculpting needs.

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Use your skills

Think about your skills and how they can be of use to the community. Does your community have a Christmas celebration or a fourth of July parade? Maybe you could offer some of your skills such as singing, dancing, crafting, or more there.

Continuing Education After You Receive A Degree

Think back to those grueling, but fun college days. We were so stressed about pulling all-nighters just to pass all of our quizzes and tests, but now we talk about how those were the days. When it comes down to it, we really didn’t have many expectations or obligations, other than to study and pass our classes. We were learning new things, making new friends, and experiencing life for the first time, without our parents over our shoulders. They really were the days! As much as I do not miss the sleepless nights, I do miss learning and living so care-free. While now it is harder to live carefree because we have real jobs, kids, and other responsibilities, we can still continue learning after college and we should all be doing it. Productivity Theory says, “You may be thinking, “What’s the point? I already went through college. Why should I pursue learning any further?” Well, for starters, you learn something new every day. You can’t avoid learning – so why not take on some extra homework and find somewhere to learn?

 

How will post-college learning be beneficial to you? Here are just a few examples:

You can enhance your career. If you take on new challenges, you’ll develop skills that will help you advance in your field.
You’ll update your life skills. Building these street smarts helps you make smart decisions in your personal and professional life.
It will enrich your life. It’s exciting and fulfilling to learn something new.
Most importantly, it will keep your mind sharp.”

Sometimes, our jobs require us to learn by taking continuing education classes and other times, we just want to learn something new. No matter what your circumstance is, keep on learning! Here are five ways to learn after you receive your degree:

Join a club
Her Campus says, “Discussion-based clubs for people interested in books, film, philosophy, foreign languages and more are a great way to stimulate your mind, meet new people and become a little more cultural. You’ll feel like you’re back in a humanities class in no time, minus all the analysis papers (*giant sigh of relief*).”

Listen to podcasts
There are so many educational podcasts that are now available. Search Google and you will find lists such as “21 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter,” or “50 Educational Podcasts You Should Check Out.” There are also specific podcasts if you want to learn something of interest to you. For example, if you want to learn how to tile a kitchen floor, or how to grow grass under a tree, there is a podcast for you.

Sign up for a class
There are many different ways and places to sign up for classes. You can sign up for a fun class such as a wine class at places like Vino Venue, or you could sign up for more of a structured class at a college in your area. There are even online classes if you want to learn and have a structured class, but do not want to take the time to actually go in and sit through a lectured class. With options such as meditation training, cooking classes, photography courses, and even weight loss courses, there are definitely some interesting options out there. Community College Review says, “Many adults head to community college to hone a craft, discover a new hobby or simply learn something new. Whether your interests lie in writing, gardening or arts and crafts, a class at a community college may be the perfect way to take your interest to the next level. Even if you want to delve into a subject you have never explored before, a community college course may open the door to a whole new field of interest.”

Hands-on learning
Hands-on learning can go hand and hand with the above topic, sign up for a class. To me, hands-on learning is more geared towards cooking classes, art classes, learning how to change a tire, learning how to build a fence, and more. It does not necessarily have to be through class form - you can learn hands-on outside of school, as well. Most children learn from their parents and then as they grow older, they start learning more from the people they are around and finally, they will also learn from their kids. This is one type of way that everyone learns throughout all of their years, no matter where they are in life.

Career-focused continuing education
Some job descriptions, such as a CPA require continuing education classes. For CPA’s specifically, this is called CPE, or “Continuing Professional Education.” It is required in order to follow the rules and regulations of state boards of accountancy, as well as professional CPA associations. Engineered Tax Services is one place that CPA’s can meet their CPE requirements. They are a nationally certified continuing education provider with NASBA, NAIOP, AIA, and many others. They offer multiple live courses throughout the year and even have an ETS University Web Course that is offered on a monthly basis. This would be perfect for the CPA that is interested in learning more about strategic tax incentives. Engineered Tax Services is a licensed engineer firm that is based Nationally. They provide services such as tax, energy, insurance, and investment-related strategies and over the years, they have become the country leader in these services that increase cash flow to allow for United States job growth and expansion. Engineered Tax Services (or ETS) was founded in 2001 by CEO, Julio P. Gonzalez. His vision was to create a company that provided a valuable service both to its clients and their surrounding community. With over 100 employees dedicated to the industry, Engineered Tax Services is trusted by many top 100 firms, as well as small businesses.

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