Saturday, February 22, 2020

Credit Card Rewards - the Fallacy of Savings

https://www.brettvanderwater.com/p/blog-page.htmlCredit card companies offer reward programs to entice you to utilize their cards and have been very successful at it.  I too utilized reward cards and being financially minded, rationalized that when purchasing an item I was creating a savings in the form of cash back or ability to purchase merchandise.  I was paying the balance off monthly, so logically there was no interest or fees.  Several years ago, I reluctantly changed to debit card, it was a paradigm shift, while difficult to rationalize, it has made a positive difference on the budget, brought spending into focus and reduced stress.  

Credit card companies’ rewards are geared toward spending.  From a company standpoint, the more you use their card the more they make from a fee charged to a retailer (interchange) and potentially fees and interest charged to you.  There are two main stream incentives:

  •  Sign up incentives - Cash reward for spending $3,000 in the first couple months and receive $200 plus just for using the card.
  •  Cash Rewards - typically 1-2% of every purchase, Groceries, Gas, Entertainment, etc.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Tips and Ideas to Reduce Auto Insurance Costs

Auto insurance is a large expense.  Especially, once you add a new driver (child) to the policy.  It is also necessary as it mitigates your risk of loss.  I was fortunate to go years without using insurance and always gritted my teeth a little bit when the bill came due.  In the past year, have had a couple incidences, while minor, would have costs thousands without the insurance.  Net, I still have paid more for insurance than used.  That is good from a safety perspective.

From a cost perspective, you can not passively continue to roll the bill over as it comes due.  It will creep up and active management of it, I have found to be the best solution.  The following are some items that could save you some money:

Monday, September 2, 2019

Personal Monthly Budget in Five Steps


“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” - Proverbs 21:5

To direct your spending and financial future a budget is a critical component.  It takes the initiative to start, the hardest step.  Once you start, a key to growing in personal budgeting is understanding that it won't be perfect, it gives you a guideline.  Unplanned events enter into the picture, it's inevitable.  A key is knowing where funds are flowing enabling you to adjust with shifting spending and growing an emergency fund for the unplanned necessities.  A monthly budget will show you how much money expect to bring in against all of your expenditures from required expenses (i.e. Housing, Food, Utilities, Transportation).

To start a monthly budget, the following are five steps: