Compared to some of my friends, my student loans are minuscule but nonetheless, it’s debt. And in the Personal Finance world, debt is as bad of a four-letter word as most cuss words.
Like most of us in this realm, getting rid of these debts was a main focus of mine for such a long time. It was an unhealthy obsession. I used to know exactly how much more we had left to pay. I used to know exactly how much we’ve paid in interest and I used to know that if we’d pay a little extra, exactly how much quicker we could become loan-free.
Those things were pointless.
Knowing those things isn’t fun. It isn’t going to help us get out of debt any quicker if I just knew the numbers but didn’t do anything about them. I know it was annoying to my wife because I wasn’t looking at the big picture.
It wasn’t helping anything.
All what it did was make me feel helplessly stuck and make me think that it wouldn’t be possible to enjoy life as long as we had these debts.
That’s complete and utter nonsense.
So I got to thinking recently and asked myself a couple of questions:
- Would I be any happier if I was debt-free?
- Would our quality of life improve?
- What would my wife and I even do with the money that we save?
So would I be any happier if I was debt-free? That’s a difficult question because happiness is a complex concept. I used to be very money driven. I chased promotions that I didn’t even want and I stayed in an industry that I hated for way too long because “that’s where the money was at.” Literally.
My wife hit the nail on it’s head when I was thinking about being a life insurance salesman when she said that “all that I see is the money and not what I’d have to do get it.” It was true.
I don’t think that debt was my problem. My job was.
I had this mindset that these debts were forcing me to stay at my job…that if I finally got rid of these debts once and for all, that I could finally leave my job. That’s probably why I was so obsessed with our debts in the first place.
I hated our brand new cars. I hated that I got into student loan debt to get a degree that I didn’t even want anymore.
I was full of hate and it was easy to place the blame on our debts and that’s what caused this obsession.
If you asked me if I’d be happier if I was debt-free about a year ago, I would, without hesitation, say most definitely, yes.
But if you ask me that same question today, I’m not so sure because that’s not what I’m so focused on these days.
At this point, it is what it is when it comes to our debts. They’re something that we’ve dealt with for a couple of years now so it’s just something that we go through each month. We made the decision to get new cars and get a loan for them so we’re dealing with it. They aren’t making or breaking us but it would certainly be nice to have at least one car paid off but we have other things that we need to figure out first.
I’m happier than I was a year ago with all the other major aspects of my life that these debts have taken a backseat to the more important things; mainly just enjoying life and being content with all that I have.
I didn’t want to change jobs because I didn’t want to make less money.
I didn’t want to get a dog because all I could see was the dollar signs.
I didn’t want to go on vacation because it would cost money.
What’s the point of working so hard if you can’t even enjoy it?
Back to the original question at hand….would I be happier if I was debt-free?
Yes. I would be a little happier but not as happy as I already am from no longer obsessing over debt.
Onto Question #2:
Would our quality of life improve if we were debt-free?
To a certain extent, yes. But I don’t think it would be such a drastic change. We’d still live in the same place, drive the same cars, work at the same job, and live the same lifestyle.
The only difference is that we’d be saving more.
Maybe we wouldn’t feel as guilty treating ourselves to eating out after a crazy day at work? Maybe I wouldn’t feel as bad spending so much money to go on vacation to Germany to see family so we’d go more often? Maybe life could be more spontaneous since we’d have a little more wiggle room when it came to disposable income? Maybe we’d buy a vacation home?
But if you aren’t having fun while you’re in debt, you probably won’t have much fun once you’re out of debt too. You’ll probably splurge on things you don’t really need because you “deserve” them for working so hard and depriving yourself for so long, that you’ll get right back into debt.
Last question: What would we even do with the money that we save?
Most likely, we’d save it.
When I first started my blog (nearly a year ago!) I had a page that was dedicated to my “financial commandments.” They are the rules that I try to live by and the ethos of this blog. After redesigning the website a few months ago, I realized that they had gotten lost in the shuffle.
The “commandments” were the reason I decided to create my blog and the guiding principles with which I try (and sometimes fail) to live my life. (J. from Budgets Are Sexy was also kind enough to feature the on my favorite blog ever—his own!)
A lot has changed in the 8 months since I wrote them: I paid off my debt, I
learned am learning how to be kind to myself, and I’ve made somebig life changes. But somehow, the “commandments” still ring true.
So without further ado, here they are:
1. Avoid Waste
99% of humans are wasting insanely large sums of money. Don’t be one of them
2. Only spend money on things that truly make you happy.
If it doesn’t make you happy or make you a better person, don’t even bother opening your wallet.1
3. Learn what happiness actually is
…and what it isn’t.
4. AVOID ALL FINANCIAL EXTREMES.
Never sacrifice important things like your relationships or self-care in order to get ahead financially. Instead, ignore societal norms and cut out pointless expenses. Never save money to the point of misery or spend to the point of excessive. Binging and purging is unhealthy in both eating and spending.
5. Debt is evil.
Dispose of it immediately and never take out loans again.
6. You can do anything you set your mind to
…even if it is not the norm or seems hard.
7. Saving money will make you1 happier than spending ever could.
8. Life is short and fleeting.
Financial freedom is about creating a life that allows you to focus on the things and people that truly matter. Never lose sight of those things (and people) as you work towards your goals.
Minimalism isn’t deprivation, but sometimes temporarily depriving yourself creates a path toward financial freedom. That was certainly true for me: I had six figures in debt—nearly half-a-million dollars if you include my mortgage—but today I’m debt-free. Of course, it took diligent budgeting to get there:
Cut cable TV, wrote more.
Drove less, walked more.
Cut credit cards, spent cash.
Stopped eating out, cooked meals at home.
Silenced satellite radio, meditated more.
Canceled gym membership, exercised at parks.
Lived without home Internet, used public Wi-Fi.
Sold large home, rented a smaller apartment.
Canceled magazine subscriptions, borrowed from library.
Ceased upgrading, found a détente with “outdated” tech.
Refrained from purchases, better utilized possessions.
Separated needs from wants, developed a comprehensive plan.
You see, I didn’t simply go without—I replaced expenses with alternatives, which made my momentary forfeiture feel less like a sacrifice. Interestingly, once I becamedebt-free, I was able to bring some of these indulgences back into my life, doing so deliberately, discovering which ones I could afford, which ones would add value to my life, and letting go of the rest.
The Best of Personal Finance Advice
When talking of finance everything always revolves around saving and investing for a better future. People end up spending every single penny of the money they earn and this is actually the problem. This in the long run only leaves them working for the bills. People receive different salaries at the end of the day. And if at all they have the same salaries in any way then they are most definitely going to use the money in different ways. Learning how to go about the money you make is the first thing that one needs to understand in as much as finance is in question.
Be sure to have a cash reserve. By doing this you will be saving for any emergency that may occur without your prior notification. In short you are being advised to have an account which you will have a portion of your salary just in case any emergency tries to surprise you. And there are different tips that you can use to go about this. Being either single or a couple will tell the difference in how you will handle the situation. If you are on your own the best way to do this is simply by having a six month salary in your account to start. The trick goes down to three month just in case you are planning to save the emergency fund as a couple.
Dealing with debts is another serious thing that kills the finance management issues of different people. The more debts you accumulate the more your finance is likely to go down. A lot of debts only mean that you own other people’s money no matter how much it look in your account. Therefore, only begin to save if you have cleared all your debts. Debts could help sometime but as soon as they are no longer necessary do away with them. Staying with debts clearly increases the interests on the debts that you had. The more time you spend with the debt the more money you pay.
After all this it is now time to make track of all the money you own. Some people try to assume that they have a lot of money to the extent they do not account for the ones they have spent. This way you will either be overspending or wasting your money. The best way to spend your money is by planning and noting how you have used it at the end of the day. The minute you fail to give attention to how you spend your money you will end up going through a number of small charges that you could have simply avoided.
Lastly, learn to invest your money in something that may give you more money with time. The best investments possible for you could be a search away or you could simply go for something most people relate to as passion.
Source: good info
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Getting a Merchant Account for Your Business
If you want to accept credit cards in your business, then you should know that there are many benefits that you can get from such. There are a few steps that you will have to take. You must be grateful since there are now several modern merchant accounts. In the past years, a lot of the new account providers have started offering services and what this means is that there is now a stronger competition among the providers. For this reason, the fees were actually lowered and there is an easy and simple approval process and it has become more streamlined too.
Many of the merchant account providers provide an online application as well as approval system which allows you to simply enter the information which can have you approved in as little as 2 days. The more complicated application can be approved in a limited amount of time. When you want to accept credit cards for your business, you must know that you are definitely going to the right direction. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind so that you can be sure that you choose the most excellent merchant account provider.
Make sure that you select a merchant account provider with a proven track record. You have to check with the BBB so that you will know if there were complaints made. You may also check out the online forums and websites which are devoted to the business owners which use merchant a/c to see what the others actually say about the account providers that you are thinking of going for. You can email or call various account providers in order to see how well they really respond to this request of information.
Such simple steps can help you ensure that the account provider that you choose would provide customer services that you can rely on. This is quite important if you are first starting to use the account and accept credit cards.
It is also important that you select a merchant account provider that provides widely available tech support. Credit card sales would depend on the merchant a/c system that is available and can handle the transactions. If the system would encounter an error or interruption in services, the sales won’t be processed and profits and customers may be lost. Your business’ reputation may also get affected.
Make sure that the technical support is available for several hours and you should look for an account provider that offers toll-free number for tech support. Some of the account providers would provide an online chat option to be able to reach a technical support representative.
It is also very important that you first gather the financial documents prior to processing your application. It is also imperative that you select a merchant account provider which is knowledgeable in small business requirements.
Factors to consider when lowering your credit card processing costs.
Credit card processing is becoming more complicated because of the new technology, regulations and new fees. Individuals can be overwhelmed by all these changes. Credit card proceeding companies are offering small business owners with inundated offers as a way of helping them save money. These offers start with a very low rate. There are various tips that you can follow to lower your credit card processing cost and they are discussed below.
By knowing your business type you will be able to lower your credit card processing cost. The type of business that you have is what will determine the type of discounts that will be applied in cards like the visa and master cards. Every rate for each industry used to be charged when credit cards were first introduced. Some industries thought that the rates were too high and they were cut into the profit margins that is why they refused to accept the credit cards. Master cards and visa cards started offering discounted rate to industries and different processing methods as time went by. As a result of the discounted rates, credit cards started being used in gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants. In addition, you can get set up properly so that you can be able to lower your credit card processing cost. It is important to make sure that you are processing under the correct business type so that you can take advantage of your savings. Consulting your credit card processor is very important because they will help you get set up properly.
Moreover, know your credit card mix and average transaction for you to lower your business card transaction cost. There are many credit cards processing types such as personal cards, reward cards, debit cards, purchase cards and corporate cards. Credit cards have a direct impact on the rates you pay. You will be minimizing your credit card processing coat by breaking down the credit cards. Another factor that can be used to lower the credit card processing costs id using the new technology. Another important factor you can use to lower your credit card processing cost is to review your statements often. For you to be able to evaluate your account you should always review statements on monthly basis. Check on any changes on rates and irregularities when reviewing your bank statements. Accepting all types of credit cards types and transactions methods is another way of lowering your credit card processing cost. The final tip you can use to lower your credit card costs is getting various bids for the credit card processing services. One way of ensuring that you win all the bids from the banks is having multiple credit cards and by doing this you will be lowering your credit card processing cost.
How to Ensure a Secure Credit Card Processing for Your Business
These days, there is an increase in e-commerce and individuals make use of different ways to offer their customers an easy as well as convenient way to shop. Credit card processing is the best way to bring the online business forward. This would not just help the business to grow but this also attracts customers to purchase products or services from your online store or business.
When you are interested about expanding your small business and you wish to be a business giant, then it is really important that you look for a reliable payment method for the credit card. If you are not able to manage online sales management, then you must find out what is the problem with this. Probably, the service provider that you have chosen is not that efficient and this is the reason why you can’t manage online sales. Before you would encounter any bigger issues, then what you must do is that you have to look for a different service provider. You can surely have a secure credit card processing when the service provider is genuine. What you will just have to do is to ask those simple questions when picking the service provider. Here are some of the things that you must ask from the provider.
Get to know their fees. Know that the fees of those merchant services for the website would include the application as well as set up fees, the interchange fees, monthly statement fees and also early termination fees. The service provider must clear all the doubts about the fees and know whether they have hidden costs.
You must know more about the kind of payment which they accept. When you are the owner of a retail business, then you would like to make sure that the chosen payment process would accept cards like MasterCard, Visa and others so that no customer would face any issue when paying for the orders.
Also, you must find out how long the whole process is completed. A lot of service providers of the online merchant accounts complete their job with a fast turnaround time. Get to know more about their account set up time and the installation so that you can plan things properly. When you have chosen the right service provider, then they will help you with patience in each step of the way.
There are several credit card processing companies and some have the major players too. However, you need to be critical when it comes to selecting a processor. Ensure that you are able to find one that provides the solutions to low-risk as well as high-risk merchants. Going for companies that provide offshore and onshore services can be a great option.
The Benefits of Credit Card Processing
People who have chased after their dream businesses and now own their own stores or shops might certainly feel a great deal of happiness and satisfaction in what they have been able to accomplish. One should never stop with having been able to start the store, however, but must work hard as time goes on in order to make it prosper and flourish. The good news is that there are many methods through which these business owners can accomplish this, one of which is through credit card processing. One who decides to add credit card processing to his or her store or shop, then, will definitely be able to enjoy many wonderful advantages.
The first thing that people will be able to enjoy through credit card processing is the benefit of being able to gain more customers and clients. In the modern world of today, it is not uncommon for people to purchase items without the use of cash, but rather through their credit cards. If business people want to gain a wider customer base, then, they should certainly start processing credit cards, as this will mean that more people will come to their stores to buy from them.
Another thing that people can enjoy when they start processing credit cards is the benefit of being able to create a stronger relationship of trust with their potential customers. One who carries around a credit card shows that he or she has trust with this card and the company that offered it to him or her. This means that business owners who decide to go into credit card processing and process these particular cards will be able to extend the trust that people have for their own cards to themselves.
When one goes into credit card processing, he or she will also be able to benefit because through it, more convenience and flexibility can be enjoyed. One who is worried about adding credit card processing to a company’s system, then, does not have to worry at all, as companies that offer credit card processing will make the whole thing simple and easy.
When all has been said, then, people who own shops or stores will definitely be able to benefit a lot of wonderful and satisfying things through credit card processing.
Have Quick Scan of the Benefits of Credit Card Processing
for you to match with the pace of the digital age you have to embrace the latest technological ways of doing business. You should always on the run embracing latest techniques which can give your business mileage. A single flip of the eye can leave your business behind; so wake up and take advantage of the current technological evolutions. The overall technological business growth cannot be realized without enhancing method of payment and in this case, have a look at the manifold benefits which can be enjoyed from the use of the credit card.
By just dialing a number, you will be in a position to carry out a transaction from any part of the world using a credit card and this makes it a superb method of purchase. The transfer of the cash or rather the monetary value of the client is automatically transferred from the client’s account to the merchant’s account. This makes it far much better than the use of cash and checks. In nutshell, the traditional methods of payments were impossible to be done over the phone. In case you are anxious to know some of the sound benefits which can be realized by the use credit card processing, this piece will take you through step by step.
To begin with, the extensive use of mobile technology is shaping the big part of the current transactions today. For you to take your business to the higher level than its current position, just take a bold step of using the mega mobile technology benefits. In other words stand at a better position of taking advantage of the cell phone credit card processing. You now know what you could be missing if you are not using credit card processing. In a very clear and streamlined language, get elaborated benefits of using credit card processing.
Experience will tell you that, any method of payment is said to be sound if it is convenient. This is because this method of payment makes it possible for you to make payments from any place at any time. Besides this, there is also low entry cost because you will not be required to buy terminals or to lease, and therefore this tells you that you that it requires low start up capital.
One of the biggest concerns about making payment is security. Credit card processing makes theft cases a thing of the past. In other words, it can be said that credit card processing has a very simplified security. Another additional benefit which comes with the use of these credit card processing is the aspect of easy termination. In case you are wondering about its additional costs which come with repair and maintenance, credit card processing frees you from them all because all you need is to provide evidence through receipts that you have completed the transaction.
Tips for Choosing the best Credit Card Processing Company
In simpler terms, credit cards are tools used as a form of payment which constitute of one’s personal income. There are networked structures and systems behind the credit card that enable one to make a payment by using a plastic card which is quite easy to use. For credit card processing to be successful, there has to be a card provider, issuer, acquirer and a merchant account. Information is initiated once a credit card transaction has been made by the owner of the card after which there is an exchange of money between the processing organization and the card issuer. There are various other forms of payment that are accepted by credit card processing companies which include electronic cheques, debit cards as well as gift cards.
The credit card processing company is in charge of authorizing a credit card as soon as it has been issued out to a merchant. The account of the card issuer is debited and the card credited for the amount that one has spent when making a purchase. In other words, one is required to pay for the transaction to the card processing services. Once a transaction fee is deducted, the payment is made to the merchant. One should consult with a risk professional since credit card processing is a serious issue. The risk professional is able to help one know the best merchant account services they should go for.
As a high risk merchant, it is more advisable for one to have multiple credit card processing solutions. The professional that one chooses should organize for you to get multiple merchant accounts with different processing banks. Cases of one being dropped by a bank once its category drops will thus be minimal. Such scenarios can only be avoided once one deals with a very experienced and reliable professional. Nowadays, people are using different payment methods as e-commerce has become popular. As an online business, credit card processing is convenient enough for clients who want to purchase your products and services.
Those people with online businesses should know all the fees they are required to pay including set up fees, interchange fees, monthly statement and early termination fees. Since various service providers accept different forms of payment, one should ensure that they are aware of what their service provider wants. This will help eradicate any challenges that clients face once they are paying for your products using their credit cards.
The process of choosing a credit card processing company that will suit you is quite a daunting task. One should ensure that the company they choose provides solutions that are suitable for both high and low-risk merchants.
How Can Mobile Credit Card Processing and Other Credit Card Processing Help You?
Credit card processing actually has three ways to process your credit card payment. These three credit card processing are actually the processing through a wireless terminal, mobile credit card processing and the processing through an ecommerce merchant account.
If you are one of those people who are not yet familiar with the different functions of the three ways in processing a credit card payment, then it is very necessary for you to read this article for you to be guided also. In choosing the best credit card processing system, you first need to know the differences and the similarities of the three ways of credit card processing. The three ways of credit card processing also have different pros and cons, and you need to also know it.
The first thing you need to know is that, the charges of the three ways are actually different. This is very important for you to know if you are that kind of person who is very particular with fees. In this way, you can be able to weigh the monthly charges you will pay and choose for the credit card processing that can give you a lower transactional rate.In knowing the different charges that these three ways of credit card processing can give you, you will be able to decide what credit card processing to choose. The e-processing and the mobile credit card processing only require a monthly fee. On the other hand, the wireless mode requires a monthly fee plus an access payment.
Outwardly, the use of mobile phones is the requirement of the mobile processing, the use of wireless terminals is the requirement of wireless processing and the use of the internet is the requirement of an ecommerce account.
The physical presence of the customer’s credit card is needed in the ecommerce processing and in the mobile credit card processing. But in wireless processing, the physical presence of the customer’s credit card is not actually needed. It is highly needed that the credit card of the costumer or the consumer is swiped in every transaction before any payment processing.
When it comes to security purpose, there is no doubt with these three credit card processing systems. There are some consumers and customers who think that mobile credit card processing does not have a high quality security because the mobile applications that are running it are not well developed sometimes. Sometimes, they compare the security level of the mobile credit card processing with the security level of the ecommerce processing and with the wireless processing. Actually, this is not true because there is the same level of security between these three credit card processing system. Because of the inactive advertisers of the mobile credit card processing, it became not so known by everyone. However, the mobile credit card processing just like the two other credit card processing is actually a best choice for processing your credit card payment.
Customer Experience: Benefits of Mobile Payment Processing
In the advent of advanced technology, businesses can align their status to industry standards by having mobile payment options, to give customers the convenience of paying their items without having to shell out cash or swipe their credit cards. In mobile payment processing, a special software or application for easier and faster payment processing. Whatever business size or industry you are engaged with, merchants are continually growing and are now reaping the benefits of using mobile payment processing methods. This mobile POS system allows merchants to accept payments conveniently, thus improving flexibility, increasing customer engagement, and a more positive overall customer experience.
The benefits that customers and business owners can get from mobile payment processing include closing more sales, reducing queue time or increased speedy checkout, enabling diners to pay from the table, access actionable data quickly, integrate and increase customer incentive programs, track customer trends and inventory, save money on credit card fees, and happy and loyal customers. Acceptance of payments using mobile payment processing gives merchants a wider customer base, empowering businesses and generating more revenue. It is really easy to accept payments using mobile payment processing by simply attaching the card reader to a tablet or smart phone, then you are ready to accept payments wherever and whenever your business takes you. With our modern technology, customers have high expectations and they anticipate that businesses can offer different payment methods such as cash, credit or debit card, but also through their smartphones.
Mobile payment processing enables businesses to integrate loyalty and incentive programs into mobile payment applications, instead having customers to keep up with key ring tags or punch cards. The mobile payment processing technology rolls transactional marketing and relationship marketing into one, thereby adding value to customer experience. It allows customers to come back and purchase goods or avail services which increase revenue. With the use of mobile card readers, customers doesn’t have to wait a long checkout line, serving more customers more quickly. Business operations is properly managed, providing more stability, track products or services that are on demand, speeding up inventory and monitoring of sales. Access to pertinent data increases business owners’ knowledge and understanding on buyers varying needs and wants. It increases sales in a shorter period of time and increases turnover of products to prevent expiration and wasting. Customers will greatly appreciate the technology, flexibility, speed and convenience brought about by mobile payment processing.
Mobile payment processing options help businesses grow and succeed, achieving their goals in the soonest possible time. If you want to know more about the details of mobile payment methods, you may check our website for more details. Allow us to help you find the best payment methods for your business.