Credit Card Debt – Are You Paying Thousands in Extra Interest?

Millions of people around the world use credit cards and despite our best intentions of clearing the balance very month, most of us will carry a balance. In fact the average outstanding credit card balance is $5700 in the USA (source ValuePenguin) and is over £2500 in the UK.

Chances are when you take out a new credit card you will be offered the opportunity to pay via direct debit either the full balance or the minimum amount every month. Since most people use credit cards as flexible spending for emergencies or contingencies it can be difficult to commit to paying off the full amount. This is especially true when transferring a balance from another card.

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Statistics show that over 65% over credit card holders carry a balance from month to month

Did you know that if you opt to pay the minimum balance you could take over 20 years to pay off the card? It is far better to agree a fixed monetary amount each month than the percentage which is often suggested by the credit card company.

The video below explains in more detail and you can prove it for yourself by using a credit card calculator

For more financial education tips and videos visit The Personal Finance Academy

Cost-Effective Ways of Communicating to Other Countries

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In days gone by, you would only be able to communicate with friends or relatives abroad via expensive phone calls or letters that would take days or weeks to arrive. Nowadays, there are a host of new communication methods that have been opened up largely down to the internet. So, if you need to speak to loved ones in another country or maybe you are running a business that relies on overseas interaction, here are a few of the top ways that you can keep open the lines of communication.

Get Portable Wi-Fi

Communicating using 4G can rack up your data usage fairly quickly, but if you have a portable Wi-Fi device, you can speak to people from wherever you are. And you aren’t limited by using the poor connection available at an internet café or having to wait until you get home again to have a proper conversation. Once you have this, you can then start to utilise all the different communication methods that are out there.

Sign Up for a Good Phone Deal

Tariffs generally tend to be reducing for international calls, but if you find yourself wanting to make these calls on a regular basis without the need to connect to Wi-Fi every single time, there will be various deals out there to make cheap international calls. This is especially important if you are running a business and find yourself needing to speak to people overseas on a regular basis.

Use Video Chat Services

Services like Skype really have been revolutionary, allowing to you to communicate across thousands of miles face to face – all entirely for free. You can also send instant messages through these services so you can set up a good time to speak to the person at the other end of the line. Not only this, you can speak to multiple people at the same time using a videoconferencing service.

Utilise Social Media

For sharing messages, pictures and videos, there are all manner of social media tools which keep you in touch with people. And with services like Facebook Messenger, you can even see when people were last online which is certainly a relief for concerned parents whose children are away on holiday or travelling. You also have the choice of how public you want to make the communication.

Send Messages on WhatsApp

For quick messages, you really can’t beat WhatsApp, which is another free service which has significantly impacted the way we keep in touch with people all across the globe. Simply download the app and you are good to go.

With such a myriad of different options available to you, there is really little need to be hit with big bills when you are communicating with people in other countries. Stick with one or use multiple depending on what you need to say, and whether you need a face to face conversation or one that can be sorted with a quick exchange of messages.

Tax Havens Around The World: All You Need To Know

Using offshore accounts, moving to tax havens or using shell companies; we’ve heard them all before. But what do they really mean and are they worth looking into? The important thing to note to start with is that they are all legal things to do. Moving your business (or yourself) to a country that is a tax haven, is a completely legitimate thing to do in order to reduce costs. For an individual, tax havens can offer little or no tax on your capital gains. So your income, your inheritance, and your pension. Corporations can save money too. So if you think this kind of thing might be for you, then here are some of the best tax havens in the world that you’d have to relocate to.

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Luxembourg

The small landlocked country in Europe has a pretty small population of 550,000. The country got its ‘tax haven’ status because of some laws that were passed that make it a very business-friendly place to live. It allows many businesses to have a set amount of their business based there, in order to have a reduction on tax. For example, Amazon has its European head office in the country. For individuals it might not be the best option, but for business, it can be a good option for you.

Cayman Islands

Often associated with many big money movies, the Cayman Islands often get a bit of a bad reputation for being all about dodgy dealings. But really, the Cayman Islands are one of several countries that that have laws that allow a corporation to be created and to keep all of its assets without paying any tax. So again, for a business, this can be a huge benefit, especially if you are just starting out. However, there can be some complications and implications on this. So it can be a good idea to seek professional advice on a relocate to the Cayman Islands if you’re unsure.

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Monaco

The small region of Monaco is only around a square mile in size, so it really is a tiny principality, rather than a country. However, it still manages to pack in plenty of residents, with a population of over 35,000. Since the 1800s it hasn’t charged any of its resident’s income tax, so you can see why there are plenty of people wanting to fit into the tiny region. If you are a wealthy individual that is looking to reduce how much you are charged on things, then looking at Monaco Relocation Services could be a good idea for you. You’ll be at home with the many super rich residents, as long as you can claim that Monaco is your primary nation of residence.

Jersey

The small British island located between England and France has become a popular tax haven for Brits, especially for individuals rather than business. For things like inheritance tax in the UK, the tax can be 80% on large amounts, compared to nothing in Jersey. So if you’re older it could a place worth looking into.

How To Provide The Best Education On A Budget

We all want the best for our children when it comes to their education, and as we all know education is one of the most expensive things you will spend your money on. It’s also understandable that you would want to support your child’s education as much as possible, but it can be frustrating when you don’t have the funds to do so. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take so that you can help provide your children with the best education possible, whether they’re small children, or grown into young adults.

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Saving from birth

One thing that many parents choose to do when they have children, is to begin saving for their child’s education. You don’t necessarily need a swanky bank account to do this either. Simply putting change in a (large) container will mount up over the years. Imagine having saved at least a large part of their education and presenting you child with it when they go to take further education. It would be a brilliant help and you would be able to rest assured that you’ve given them the best start in life as you could.

Of course, if you do have the option to save money in an account then you should take full advantage of it because of interest rates. Even though interest rates are usually low, having your bank contribute that little bit extra into their fund will certainly help.

Loans

Even though public schools give our children the right education, it’s understandable that you’d consider sending your child to a private school so that their education is more tailored to them. Of course, this kind of education comes at a price. While the price of sending your child will cost you each year, the initial price of buying school supplies and uniform can also mount up. Especially in private schools due to the fact that many require you to wear a certain uniform.

A loan might not be something you’ve considered, but to get the initial costs out of the way it might be a route you could take. There’s loans that you can get even if you have a bad credit score. Https://www.jubilee2000uk.org/analysis/secured-loans/bad-credit has more information on how you can achieve getting yourself a loan if you may have been refused anywhere else.

Remember though, you will need to make sure that you can afford the yearly education before considering private schooling.

Prepaying for education

Did you know that you’re able to prepay for a college course for your children? This is the perfect solution for those of us that have come into some money, or know that in the future your income won’t be as high. Doing this will allow them to enter the course they desire without having to worry about money.

As you can see, there are three main ways of ensuring you can provide your children with the best education – even on a budget!

Preparing Your Children for the World of Accounting

Accounting is a hugely important factor of life — and it’s not just important in the world of business. You see, accounting is basically the management of money, and everybody has to manage their money whether they are an accountant or not! Everybody — whether they are a student, a part time worker, a stay-at-home parent or a big business boss — has to manage their money by tracking their income and saving it when and where they can in order to cover their future expenses. And your children, as they grow, will be no different — they’ll have to do this sort of thing too. And the best way to get them prepared for doing it is to actually prepare them! For advice on how to do so, make sure to read on.

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Teach them about recording and tracking

The recording and tracking of expenses is the most important thing that is done in the world of accounting, so it is apt that we begin with it. And, when it comes to teaching your children about it, no it doesn’t mean that you have to teach them how to become an accountant or a bookkeeper or send them off to do a an MBA Accounting online course as soon as they are old enough. In fact, when you teach your children about recording and tracking you don’t even have to use money to do it. You can just have them write a list of their toys and where they have been put when tidied away. You could play a shopping simulation game with them where they record what it is they have bought and how much fake money they have spent on it. Or you could provide them with a sheet that includes all their chores and pieces of homework, have them tick off what they do, and note down what their prize was for doing them.

When things are written down, they stay written down. And because they remain written down, they can be studied, summarised and analysed in the future. So, try to instil into your children the importance of writing down and recording everything that is of importance to them. By doing so, not only will they be well versed in the management of money in the future, but they will be far more organised in their general way of living.

Teach them about budgeting and the stretching of money

The biggest pitfall when it comes to the saving of money is spending it. Yes, it’s good to spend money and buy things that bring happiness. And yes, it’s good not to let money rule your life. But, in order to live a happy, care-free life, money must be saved and your financial future must be covered. And your children must know this.

Your children must know how to stretch their spend and most importantly what should be given precedence with what they spend. A simple and effective way to teach this is to give them a small amount of change to work with in a shop, and for them to buy whatever they want within the price range they have been given. They should also be taught that if they save the little money they are given in the for of pocket money, then it will eventually grow to be a big pile of money. To do this, you could inform that instead of buying a few sweets every week, they could save up for a number of weeks or months and instead buy themselves a brand new Playstation or Xbox game.

When money is spent wisely it can be the centre of one’s happiness rather than being the root of all evil. And it is imperative that your children know this as they grow. For more advice on how to prepare your children for the world of accounting when they reach adulthood, make sure to check out this guide.