paying cash http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9443/all en-US 7 Signs It's Time to Break Up With Your Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-break-up-with-your-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-signs-its-time-to-break-up-with-your-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_dollar_000079523783.jpg" alt="Man learning signs it&#039;s time to break up with his credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just as unresolved conflicts can lead to a breakup in a relationship, there are signs of credit card misuse that should signal it's time to break up with your credit cards &mdash; at least for awhile.</p> <p>Here are seven signs to look out for.</p> <h2>1. You Can Only Afford the Minimum Payment</h2> <p>Prioritizing bills isn't easy. After paying the rent, grocery, water and electricity bills, and other basic necessities of life, it can be difficult to pay off a credit card bill, too. If you can only afford the minimum payment on the credit card, then you probably have some spending problems.</p> <p>Making only the minimum payment on a credit card will keep your account up to date and in good standing, and that's a good start. But it will take years to knock down the balance, and even longer if you continue charging purchases on the card.</p> <p>Here's an example: If you owe $5,000 on a credit card at 18% interest, paying the minimum amount due each month (assuming 3% of balance) will take you <strong>over 16 years</strong> to pay it off. Along with paying the $5,000 principal, you'll have paid $4,698.46 in interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards with Low Interest Rates</a>)</p> <p>If instead you pay $200 each month, that will cut down the repayment time to under 3 years, at which point you&rsquo;d have paid $1,313.96 in interest.</p> <h2>2. You Play the Transfer Balance Shell Game</h2> <p>One way to get out of paying interest on a credit card balance is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">transfer it to a 0% APR balance transfer card</a>. You can save thousands of dollars in interest, but usually only for one year during the introductory period. After that, you're back to paying interest again.</p> <p>If you're constantly moving credit card balances to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">0% APR cards</a> so you can avoid paying interest, it's a sign your credit card spending is out of control.</p> <p>It's one thing if you're using that year of no interest payments to pay off a credit card. But if you're still running up the balance, you're getting nowhere in paying off the debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-must-know-before-transferring-credit-card-balances?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">What You Must Know Before Making a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h2>3. You're Maxed Out</h2> <p>Your credit cards have credit limits, and if you're close to those limits it can be difficult to extend more credit when you really need it &mdash; such as in an emergency.</p> <p>Maxing out your credit cards can also hurt your credit score because your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">credit utilization ratio</a> &mdash; the percentage of available credit being used &mdash; should be under 30% for a top credit score.</p> <h2>4. You Make Impulse Buys on Credit</h2> <p>Credit cards are easy to pull out of a wallet or purse to pay for anything, from a candy bar or drink to a down payment on a new car. If you're using credit cards to buy anything you want whenever you see it, such as a sweater you see in a store window or an ice cream cone on a hot day out, then you're more likely to rack up debt faster without realizing it.</p> <p>Paying cash for such purchases can help you control spending. If you don't have the cash on you, then you won't be able to make the impulse buy when it pops up.</p> <h2>5. You Buy Things You Can't Afford</h2> <p>Along with impulse buys, credit card users can get in over their heads in debt by charging every expense &mdash; including ones they can't really afford.</p> <p>If you're using cash to buy groceries, for example, you're less likely to get that extra box of cookies if you don't have enough money with you. But with a credit card, the sky's the limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Credit Cards That Offer Cash Back for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Hide Debt From Your Spouse</h2> <p>If getting the mail makes you anxious because your spouse may see your credit card bill, you have a debt problem and need to tackle it <em>together</em>.</p> <p>Hiding debt from your spouse can also hurt your relationship, so working together on this can solve two problems simultaneously.</p> <h2>7. You Have Credit Cards From Every Store</h2> <p>Store-branded credit cards can be enticing at the checkout counter. They often offer discounts of 20% or more on purchases that day, and approval is almost automatic.</p> <p>But they also have high interest rates of up to 29%, setting you up for more interest payments if you don't pay the balance in full each month. Store credit cards also offer an easy excuse to go shopping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Store Credit Cards That Don&rsquo;t Suck</a>)</p> <p>And since a store's credit card can only be used at the issuing business &mdash; you can only use a Nordstrom card at Nordstrom stores, for example &mdash; you'll need credit cards from every store you shop at if you want to take advantage of the deals they offer.</p> <h2>What to Do</h2> <p>There are things you can do if you spot any of the above signs in your financial life. To recap, here are a few things to try before using your credit cards again:</p> <ul> <li>Seek credit counseling. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to find a <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0153-choosing-credit-counselor">reputable credit counseling agency</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put your credit cards away and pay with cash only.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards and tackle the debt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask your credit card company for a lower rate.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Transfer balances to a 0% APR card and work on paying off the principal within a year.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you ever broken up with your credit cards? How long was the split?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-break-up-with-your-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unfounded-credit-card-fears">5 Unfounded Credit Card Fears</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer">10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards APR balance transfers debt high interest rates minimum monthly payments overspending paying cash Fri, 20 May 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1713706 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Times You Should Demand a Discount http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-demand-a-discount <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-times-you-should-demand-a-discount" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_eating_salad_000051647464.jpg" alt="Woman learning when to demand a discount" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Growing up, I often remember seeing my parents noticeably upset with the service they received, or the products they had bought. After one particularly poor experience at a restaurant they said, &quot;We just won't eat here again.&quot; But when asked, &quot;How was the meal?&quot; they both smiled and said &quot;Fine, thanks.&quot;</p> <p>Now, maybe this is the classic reserve of the English, or maybe they're too polite for their own good, but that was not the correct way to go about it.</p> <p>When you have a poor experience with anything, you need to speak up, and also ask for compensation of some kind. It's the natural way to keep these places in check, so that bad service or poor quality products are not constantly being presented to the public. Always be polite and treat the people you're dealing with respectfully, but if any of the following eight instances occur... ask for a discount.</p> <h2>1. When You Get Poor Service at a Restaurant</h2> <p>Let's just clarify that the service should be uncharacteristically poor. If you wait a long time to get seated on a Friday evening, or your server is so busy he or she forgets to bring the extra fries you ordered, give the place &mdash; and your server &mdash; a break. This is more about poor service that could easily be avoided.</p> <p>If the food arrives cold, the fish is raw, the meat is very overcooked, or the server is just plain rude, you definitely have a reason to talk to the manager. Explain what has happened, how it impacted your dining experience, and ask for a discount. In most cases, you will get at least a few of the items removed from your bill. In extreme cases, when everything went wrong, you may very well be told not to pay anything. However, if the server was great in spite of all the problems, don't forget to leave him or her a tip.</p> <h2>2. When Your Event Seats Aren't Good</h2> <p>Unless you are warned specifically before you buy them (some will say things like &quot;obscured view&quot; or &quot;partial view of stage&quot; and should already be discounted), there is no reason to pay the same price as other people if your seats are terrible. This happened to me when I went to see Cirque du Soleil. There was no warning that the seats I bought were right behind one of the poles holding up the big top. My wife and I were leaning left and right through the entire performance. After, I spoke to the staff and received a discount, and a free CD of the music from that evening. If you have poor seats, ask to speak to the event manager. Demand a discount, if you can handle the poor seating, or ask to be moved if it is possible.</p> <h2>3. When Anything Is Not Quite as Described</h2> <p>From the food or service, to the product attributes, if you were sold something based on information that was slightly incorrect, you should demand a discount. If the tool set indicates &quot;25 great tools for around the home&quot; and there are actually only 23 inside, that's misleading. This can sometimes happen when manufacturers change the product, but not the packaging. In any case where you have been a little misled, intentionally or not, you are entitled to a discount. You'll get it, too.</p> <h2>4. When the Product Is a Floor Model</h2> <p>Do not let the store clerk fool you with a bunch of tricky talk about this item not being able to be discounted any further. The floor models are used. They may not have been used in someone's home, but they're used nonetheless. In some cases, for much longer than if it was in a home; especially those TVs and computers that are on the shop floor day in, day out.</p> <p>So, find a manager and ask for the price to be reduced beyond what is shown on the sticker. They want to get rid of these items. They'd obviously prefer to sell it to someone who will pay sticker, but they will go lower. And as the item is used, and most likely blemished, you should demand a discount. I do this every time, and it has worked every time.</p> <h2>5. When You Pay Cash</h2> <p>Cash is king. That's as true today as it was fifty years ago, and if you are lucky enough to have the money on hand to pay in cash, be it something small or a new home, you should definitely take advantage of it. &quot;How much of a reduction can I get if I pay cash for this house, right now?&quot; This is something buyers are not expecting, and it is incredibly tempting. Cash is a sure thing. Financing can fall through, interest rates fluctuate, but cash is cash. In stores, merchants pay fees for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-to-use-credit-cards-instead-of-cash">credit card transactions</a>, so you could easily get a cash discount.</p> <p>However, don't expect this discount when buying a car. Dealerships get big incentives for financing offers, and you take that away from them if you offer to pay cash. In fact, you may pay more if you pay cash, so don't do that. You can always pay off the loan a week or two later.</p> <h2>6. When the Item is Broken, Scratched, or Dented</h2> <p>Why would you pay for a broken item at all? Well, it all depends what you want to use it for. If it's a superficial break, say on the case of the product, but the product itself works just fine, ask for a discount. The store is more than happy to oblige. If you notice a huge dent on the fridge that was just delivered, but the dent won't be seen or you just don't care, ask for a discount. If the item is scratched or damaged but it doesn't impair the function, and you are okay with it, ask for your discount. And if the item is completely broken, but you want to repair it yourself, or need it for parts, ask for a big discount.</p> <p>In all cases, you are doing the store a favor, and they will be happy to negotiate a deal. This even goes for sellers on Craigslist or eBay. If the item is not as pristine as described, but you're happy to take it, ask for the discount.</p> <h2>7. When the Seller Is in a Hurry</h2> <p>If you ever encounter a &quot;motivated seller&quot; you know you're about to get a discount. Motivated sellers are those who need to sell, and sell fast, usually because they're about to leave the state. Sometimes, they need money quickly, for reasons you probably don't want to ask about. Whatever the reason, you should take advantage of this. Flea market sellers will offer discounts as they are packing up for the day, and so will people operating garage sales. Smile, ask for a discount, and you'll usually get it.</p> <h2>8. When the Store Is Closing or Going Out of Business</h2> <p>Blockbuster. Circuit City. Sharper Image. They all bit the dust and they all had &quot;closing down&quot; sales. When this happens, start haggling. A store that is going out of business presents problems for buyers, especially when it comes to buying things that may have warranty issues. For this reason, you should demand a discount. When one store is closing, perhaps because a particular location is not performing as well as it should, you don't have as much leverage. But you can still ask for a discount, because they are &quot;motivated&quot; to sell, and that, as just discussed, gives you bargaining power.</p> <p><em>When have you asked for a discount?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-demand-a-discount">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-order-fish-on-mondays-and-7-other-bad-days-to-buy-stuff">Never Order Fish on Mondays and 7 Other Bad Days to Buy Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-march">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in March</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-to-scoring-the-best-price-when-buying-on-ebay">7 Secrets to Scoring the Best Price When Buying on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping discounts faulty paying cash poor service restaurants scratch and dent Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:00:22 +0000 Paul Michael 1540895 at http://www.wisebread.com The Process for Purchasing a House With Cash http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/front_porch.jpg" alt="Woman and kids on front porch" title="Woman and kids on front porch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several years ago I wrote an article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">the pros and cons of paying cash for a house.</a> Some readers asked me how this can be done and what the procedures are. Last year my husband and I actually did purchase a property with cash, and here is our experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-green-how-to-live-a-nearly-cash-only-life">How to Live a (Nearly) Cash-Only Life</a>)</p> <p>The property we bought was listed on the public multiple listing service. It was bank owned, so I called the listing agent and asked for an appointment. The listing agent immediately told us that the bank could only accept cash offers at this point because the property already has another cash offer on it. After seeing it and finding that it was in great condition, I made a pretty fair offer that was about 95% of the listing price. I also had to submit evidence of my funds along with my offer. The bank gladly accepted, and I sent in an earnest deposit check for $5,000. This check was then put into escrow towards the purchase of the house.</p> <p>Next, we hired an inspector to look at the property to see if there are any defects. Unfortunately, the air conditioning system was broken, but the bank refused to pay for it, and we agreed to fix it out of pocket. The bank did agree to pay for title insurance, half of the escrow fee, and clear all liens from the property. So I made sure that all the unpaid bills and taxes on the property were paid before closing.</p> <p>Meanwhile, I was gathering my funds all into one account so that I could send it into escrow before closing. We were able to choose our closing date to be the end of June, since we didn't have to deal with a loan. This was advantageous to us, since the bank had to pay all the property taxes for the first half year. I asked for the HUD closing statement about three days before closing and made sure that everything looked correct.</p> <p>On the day before closing, I made sure all the funds were in my account and then sent the money to escrow. Everything went fairly smoothly, and the whole process took about three weeks from looking at the property to getting the keys. The closing costs were less than 1% of the price of the property because we didn't have to deal with a loan.</p> <p>We were able to fix the air conditioner for a very fair price, and we rented the property out after several weeks of open houses. Now that we've owned the property for more than six months, we are actually eligible to take money out via a cash out refinance, but we don't need the money right now. The point is that if we didn't make a cash offer, then we would not have been able to procure this property at all. Basically, the process to buying a house with a cash on the open market is pretty much the same as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-first-home/home-loans">buying a house with a loan</a>, but you have more flexibility on the closing date, and that is a competitive advantage over offers with a loan contingency. You don't have to sign as many papers, but you still have to do your due diligence and make sure that you have a bit of cash buffer left over after the purchase for possible repairs and improvements. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>What do you think? Are you thinking of buying a house with cash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-a-free-ride-why-not-to-use-a-buyers-agent-submitted-by-ken-rick">The cost of a free ride - why not to use a buyer&#039;s agent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-anyway">What Is Private Mortgage Insurance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-real-estate-agent">How to Choose a Real Estate Agent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing becoming a homeowner buying a house paying cash Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:48:22 +0000 Xin Lu 879768 at http://www.wisebread.com