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Contactless payment with a credit card

As the war in the balance transfer credit card market heats up, interest-free terms are getting longer - but borrowers should be wary of being bumped on to the standard interest rate sooner rather than later.

When you take out a balance transfer credit card, the introductory period is the length of time for which you will not be charged any interest on the debt balance you have transferred to that card. Many of these interest-free periods are for 30 months or more.

They give you breathing room to pay back your borrowings without accruing additional debt through interest.

Of course, when you take out such a card you agree to a set of terms and conditions, among which will be a commitment to make a minimum payment of a percentage of the balance each month.

• Our favourite balance transfer cards for shifting debt
• Return of 'stoozing': how you can profit again from 0pc cards

You will also agree to a credit limit, which the provider can decrease as long as it lets you know before the change takes place (the length of the

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5 Finance Tips All Business Owners Should Follow

I don’t know about you, but finances aren’t really my strength. I’m an entrepreneur -- a big picture guy. I like to tackle big problems and develop big visions. I don’t like to sit around staring at a financial spreadsheet while I spend hours upon hours entering expenses by hand.

But whether we like them or not, finances are a necessary part of running a small business. To get some insight on effective procedures that entrepreneurs can adopt to improve their own accounting practices, I sat down for a quick chat with LessAccounting founder Allan Branch.

Here’s what he had to say on this critically important subject:

1. Don’t procrastinate.

One of the biggest mistakes Branch sees new entrepreneurs make is that they put off their bookkeeping needs. If you aren’t financially-minded, programs such as Quickbooks can make small-business accounting seem completely unmanageable, especially if all you need to do is send out a few invoices and track a few expenses.

The problem is, of course, that if you put off your accounting work, it doesn’t go away. It just gets bigger, and eventually you’re going to be faced with an overwhelming

is online budgeting safeis online budgeting safe

Budgeting apps are probably as old as smartphones themselves. It was only natural then that as smartphones were becoming more sophisticated and grounded in online environment, smartphone budgeting itself was becoming more versatile and dependent on the web. These days, you can access the info on your bank accounts, incomes and expenses with nothing more than just few taps on your daily driver’s touchscreen. But is allowing your budgeting app to access this sensitive information a good idea to begin with?

“Sorry, we are not responsible”

According to banks no. Capital One Financial Corporation, an American bank holding company that specializes in credit cards, for example, clearly states that it cannot guarantee that third party that provides the budgeting services will enforce the necessary measures to keep your personal information safe, so it will not be held responsible in the case of eventual breaches. Considering the fact that we recently saw several

What do you mean trade in this resource, that combines so many conditions for further development? In fact, most customers are registered on the resource:

- In order to increase their knowledge of conducting transactions,

- Obtain relevant work experience,

- The acquisition of skills, providing career growth entrepreneurs.

When the service party refers to it responsibly and seriously, he will be able to achieve some success. It is important to follow all the news, to understand the potential of forex analysis of forex trading news https://freshforex.com/analitics/news/, growing at some point in its operation.

What determines successful forex trading? https://freshforex.com/encyclopedia-forex/discipline/

If you doubt the appropriateness of any transaction, please refer to the help of experts for successful forex trading and watch trading news today forex. Statistics can tell us about the possible trends for the future development of the market. Potential, continuing a trend does not please send in the right direction. In addition to luck, forex participant must be able to maneuver between the constantly changing conditions of financial transactions on the resource.

Questions during the development of new income-generating opportunities arise in the vast popular service every day. Predicting further action - the right way to success. But the price corrections made to

This might as well be the umpteenth time when you are getting to hear that trillions of dollars are traded in Foreign Exchange every day. However, there is no harm in reiterating the figures since they only go on to reinforce the fact that the chances of suffering losses in the Foreign Exchange market is as potent as making profits here. One of the ways to minimize risks in this market would be to adopt due frugality while strategizing your moves. And, what exactly do we mean by “frugality in forex”? We will find out in this particular post.

Start small

Your first step towards frugality while trading is taken. When you are just starting out as a trader you need to figure out how much money you can afford to lose while trading. Invest only that amount of money (and irrespective of whether you can afford to lose much or not, you should never start big). Study your personal finance carefully. Don’t put the money needed for rent, food or paying off other debts at stake. Have you saved up some money for a holiday trip soon? Don’t put that money at risk

$1,000. A grand. One large.

No matter how you say it, it sounds good. Think about the sense of well-being that would come from knowing you had 10 crisp $100 bills tucked away in your wallet. Everyone should have that feeling.

Consider these five steps to help you get started:

  • Open a savings account. My oldest daughter once saved $800. On her way to deposit it in the bank, she took a detour by the mall and left her purse sitting on a clothes rack. That envelope with her $800? Gone in a flash. The lesson? Your hard-earned money is safer in a bank account than in your hands.
  • Automate. Does money burn a hole in your pocket? If it's not there, you can't easily spend it. The Defense Department's myPay site and nearly all banks allow automatic transfers that can shift some of each paycheck from your checking to your savings account. Five percent is a good starting point, but more is obviously better. Just $84 a paycheck will get you to your $1,000 goal in six months if you are paid twice a month.

    Set a Savings Goal

    We'll help you stay on track as you save toward your goal.

A 401(k) plan is a great way to put away money for retirement — especially if your employer matches your contributions.

But you might be ready to expand your strategy. Other options can offer savings benefits that include but aren't limited to retirement, says JJ Montanaro, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with USAA.

Here are some times when it may make sense to look outside of your 401(k) comfort zone:

  • You're already getting the most out of your employer. If you have a 401(k) plan, make sure you are taking full advantage of it by making contributions at the level that qualifies for the maximum match from your employer. "When it comes to retirement, your first thought ought to be to use the plan at work to get as much match as you can before looking beyond it," Montanaro says. But if you've hit the ceiling, you can explore other options not offered in your plan.
  • Your savings goals are broader than retirement. Dreaming of taking the vacation of a lifetime? Or making a down payment on a vacation home? Are you pining to pursue a new passion that doesn't fit within the confines of a traditional retirement timeframe? If you need to save

One of the major drawbacks of Help to Buy Isas is the limited pay-in rate, which only lets you deposit a maximum of £200 monthly in addition to an initial £1,000 when you open the account.

As a Help to Buy Isa counts as a type of cash Isa, it means you cannot pay into any other cash Isa in the same year you pay into a Help to Buy Isa.

To make the most of the Help to Buy Isa means paying in for over four years, until you reach a £12,000 balance where you reach the £3,000 upper limit on the 25pc Government bonus.

• Help to Buy Isa: how it works and best rates
• Can you do better than Halifax's 4pc Help to Buy Isa?
• Help to Buy calculator: what's the minimum deposit you need?

Unfortunately, that means you cannot pay into a cash Isa for all of those years, leaving well over £10,000 of unused Isa allowance per year.

However, there are a few loopholes whereby you can use your full Isa allowance to maximise tax relief on your savings. Here Telegraph Money takes you through the options available.

Split your Help to

Most of us need credit to get by. Unless you are born into a family with immense wealth, you probably can't buy a house or a car without credit.

But it's also quite easy to get into credit trouble and find yourself deeper in debt than you ever imagined.

A debt settlement company may sound like a good way to help clear credit problems. Ideally, the company contacts your creditors and negotiates a lower balance for you — usually pennies on the dollar.

If this sounds too good to be true, it probably is, says Scott Halliwell, a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional at USAA.

Here are some major problems with debt settlement companies, according to Halliwell:

  • Your creditors aren't required to deal with them.
  • The companies frequently give out bad advice. They may tell you to stop making payments while they're negotiating or to stop communicating with your creditors.
  • While waiting for settlement, you can accumulate late fees and further damage your credit history.

    Debt Manager

    USAA's Debt Manager available on usaa.com makes it simple for you to develop a debt pay down plan that saves you time and money and shows your progress along the way in your debt goal tracker.

    Learn

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It took a while for me to convert to the wisdom of “offset” mortgages.

Fifteen years ago I reported on the fanfare around these innovative loans. They are highly flexible in allowing you to pay down more quickly and even “re-borrow” money. But crucially, you can offset your savings against the mortgage, handing you a much enhanced rate of return.

I didn’t take advantage until four years ago, but already I’m having second thoughts due, in part, to a change in savings rules.

"Offset take-up has been lower than expected, accounting for less than 10pc of the market"

Offset take-up has been lower than expected, accounting for less than 10pc of the market, say brokers. But offsetting has some avid fans, especially among higher-rate taxpayers. A worked example explains why.

If you have a mortgage rate of 3.5pc, the offsetting hands you an equivalent savings rate of 4.4pc for lower-rate taxpayers (because of the tax saved) or 5.8pc for higher-rate taxpayers.

That’s great. But the offsetting appeal is dwindling.

The savings landscape has shifted significantly after an overhaul of Isas last year. Now we can all save £15,240 into a tax-free cash Isa each

It's never too early or too late to plan for your financial future.

And whether to use a financial planner is one of the choices you'll need to make as you chart your course.

"A financial planner can be that third party who guides you and helps keep things in emotional perspective," says JJ Montanaro, a Certified Financial Planner™ with USAA.

Some people do a great job planning for themselves, but it can be a big burden. Tackling your long-term financial goals requires attention to detail, keen financial knowledge and a willingness to keep up with tax rules.

That's why it often pays to seek out a financial planner, especially as you near retirement or face major life events such as receiving a large inheritance or having a baby.

But you may not need a financial planner to help you navigate every step of your path toward retirement. If your primary goal is to get out of debt, for example, a debt counselor may be a better fit for you, Montanaro says.

And if you're just starting out, developing good financial habits may be something you can handle on your own. Taking advantage of an employer savings plan and building up an emergency fund, for example,

I have £30,000 in a two-year fixed rate Isa which is about to mature. I’d like to tie up my savings for another two years, but the rate has dropped to 1pc with my current provider. The process of moving an Isa to another bank seems a bit daunting so I thought a fixed rate bond might be a better option. Is this wise?

Norma, email

The meagre rates on Isas, plus the upcoming personal savings allowance, has caused many savers to question if the tax-free savings account is worth it anymore.

The current market-leading two-year fixed rate Isa pays just 2pc from the State Bank of India. A £30,000 pot would yield a sum of £600 per year.

Comparatively, RCI Bank's two-year bond pays a much higher rate of 2.35pc.

However, customers should be aware the bank is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Instead, balances of €100,000 are protected by the French deposit guarantee scheme - the FGDR.

For those comfortable with the equiavalent compensation scheme, £30,000 in this top-paying account would earn a much higher annual gross return of £705.

The personal savings allowance is bound to make this option even more attractive.

From April

Harold Pollack's index card of finance tips.

A couple of years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack did an online video chat with personal finance writer Helaine Olen. The topic was how regular people get steered into bad investments by financial advisers.

Pollack said that the best personal finance advice "can fit on a 3-by-5 index card, and is available for free in the library — so if you're paying someone for advice, almost by definition, you're probably getting the wrong advice, because the correct advice is so straightforward."

The Index Card

After they posted the video, the emails started pouring in — people wanted to know, where could they get this index card? What was this fantastic yet simple advice for managing their money?

"Since I was speaking metaphorically, I was kind of stuck," Pollack says. "But I just took one of my daughter's index cards and I scribbled a bunch of principles, and I took a picture with my iPhone and I posted it on the Web."

The index card got into Google's news results. It got into big newspapers. Famous economists

Taking the time to manage your money better can really pay off. It can help you stay on top of your bills and save £1,000s each year. You can use these extra savings to pay off any debts you might have, put them towards your pension, or spend them on your next car or holiday. Read on for money management tips, including how to set up a budget, sticking to it and how to save.

  • How to set up a budget
  • Getting your budget back on track
  • Paying off loans and credit cards
  • Set a savings goal
  • If you’re overwhelmed by your debts

How to set up a budget

The first step to taking control of your finances is doing a budget. It will take a little effort, but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out.

Over half of UK households keep a regular budget. Most of those who do say it gives them peace of mind about how much they are spending, and makes them feel better about life in general.

Setting up a budget means you’re:

  • less likely to end up in debt
  • less likely to get caught out by unexpected costs
  • more likely to have a

Unfortunately, personal finance has not yet become a required subject in high school or college, so you might be fairly clueless about how to manage your money when you're out in the real world for the first time. If you think that understanding personal finance is way above your head, though, you're wrong. All it takes to get started on the right path is the willingness to do a little reading - you don't even need to be particularly good at math.

To help you get started, we'll take a look at eight of the most important things to understand about money if you want to live a comfortable and prosperous life.

  1. Learn Self Control
    If you're lucky, your parents taught you this skill when you were a kid. If not, keep in mind that the sooner you learn the fine art of delaying gratification, the sooner you'll find it easy to keep your finances in order. Although you can effortlessly purchase an item on credit the minute you want it, it's better to wait until you've actually saved up the money. Do you really want to pay interest on a pair of jeans or a box of cereal? (To

Since Medicare Part B generally covers 80% of approved medical costs, it's easy to assume that paying only 20% is affordable. A $20 office visit here, $10 drug copay there — what's the big deal?

But even if you are healthy right now, be aware the "deal" can get pretty big.

In addition to your annual deductible and monthly premiums, consider how fast even routine charges add up.

Here are some costs that can make a sizable dent in your savings:

  • Deductibles. In addition to your monthly deductibles for Parts B and D, you also pay a separate deductible for hospital stays — $1,260 for 2015.
  • Surgery. A typical surgery-related hospital bill in the U.S. can top $21,000, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That means your responsibility would be $4,200. Nonsurgical stays hover around $8,500, meaning you'd pay $1,700 of the cost.
  • Diagnostic tests. Procedures such as MRIs, CT scans and angiograms can range anywhere from $200 to $2,900 in the U.S., according to an International Federation of Health Plans report.

 

Mind the gap: Medicare Supplement insurance

If you don't have another form of coverage, such as an employer group plan, Veterans Affairs or TRICARE For Life® benefits to mitigate those out-of-pocket costs,

Easy credit can be both a blessing and a curse.

Who wouldn't carry around a thin credit card instead of a thick wad of cash? And loans allow millions of Americans the ability to make major purchases — like homes and cars — without paying the entire amount upfront.

But easy credit can represent an unhealthy temptation, too. It can allow us to live beyond our means and rack up stifling debt.

So how can we manage to live well and use credit wisely?

JJ Montanaro, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with USAA, advocates grouping debt into two main categories: mortgage debt and consumer debt.

Mortgage debt payments (which include your mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance) should be no more than 28% of your pretax monthly income. Consumer debt payments (everything else, including credit cards, auto loans and student loans) should be no more than 20% of your monthly after-tax income.

The total, according to Montanaro, should be less than 36% of your pretax monthly income.

Try USAA's Debt Manager

Our free financial tool can help you reduce your debt.

Learn More

If your debt is too high, a little self-discipline can go a long way. Coming up with a workable budget

Average tuition, fees and room and board for a four-year private college or university topped $42,000 for the 2014-15 school year, according to a recent College Board survey.

And if you're paying for a child or grandchild's college education, that likely means you'll need all the help you can get.

As you begin to save, one option worth exploring is a 529 savings plan. These tax-advantaged plans have been around for about 20 years, and while most are sponsored by individual states, you can use the money you accumulate at a college anywhere in the country.

Here are seven things to consider:

  • Big tax benefits. The account is tax-deferred, and you won't pay federal income tax on withdrawals, what you contributed or the earnings. The only requirement is the money is used for qualified higher education expenses.
  • Low entry and high contribution limits. Typically, you can set up an account with a few hundred dollars and add as little as $25 on any occasion. Most plans let you accumulate up to several hundred thousands of dollars for the beneficiary.
  • Turnkey investment options. With premixed static portfolios and age-based portfolios that become more conservative as the beneficiary nears college age, most plans offer investment possibilities that won't