The Real Cost of Paying Just the Minimum Card Payment

The Real Cost of Paying Just the Minimum Card Payment

Making your credit card’s minimum payment is better than no payment at all. It’s also better than racking up late fees and falling behind. But if you’re looking to pay down your debt, paying the minimum card payment isn’t going to get you very far.

Paying just the minimum amount can cost you hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars in interest charges. Here’s why the minimum payment can cause major problems now and in the future.

It Will Take Longer to Pay Down Your Balance

Credit card issuers typically set very low minimum payment requirements. Why? So that they can make money off fees and interest charges.

Most issuers will ask for a fixed amount, such as $25 or $30 a month, or a set percentage of the balance, whichever amount is greater. There are also cards that only require you to pay as little as 1% of the balance, plus fees and accrued interest.

While these are great options if you’re in a financial bind and need to put money towards other expenses, paying the minimum card payment is not a smart long-term solution.

Look at the “Minimum Payment Warning” on your monthly statement. These numbers show how much interest you’ll pay and how much time it will take to pay off the current balance if you pay just the minimum.

If you’re serious about paying debt and minimizing interest paid, pay more each month. Paying twice the minimum amount cuts the repayment period in half.

More Money Towards Interest

Unless you have a 0% APR card, interest is tacked onto your running balance. By making just the minimum payment, you’ll find that the amount is barely enough to cover last month’s interest. You’ll see little to no change to the principal balance.

The cycle of just paying interest fees becomes even worse if you continue to charge items to the card. The end result? You fall further behind and owe even more interest.

By paying just the minimum amount, you’re taking two steps forward and one step back.

Your Credit Score May Drop

When your credit card balances increase, your credit score may drop. This is because your credit utilization ratio increases. Ideally, this ratio should be no more than 30% of the credit limit on the card.

Credit utilization is a major factor in determining your worthiness as a borrower. This means that keeping high balances by paying just the minimum card payment could cause your score to drop.

Having a low credit score:

  • Makes it harder to qualify for loans
  • Means higher interest rates for future loans or credit cards
  • Could affect your ability to find a job
  • Could impact your ability to rent a home

The best way to protect your credit score is to pay more than the minimum payment and to avoid getting into further credit card debt.

The Minimum Means Major Problems

The real cost of paying just the minimum card payment is a hefty one. Depending on your balance and interest rate, you could be throwing away hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars towards interest charges.

Take control of your finances and get serious about paying down debt. Pay as much as you can on your highest interest card, and then move on to other debt. Check options to gain sustainable money from home. The less debt you have, the more financially independent and secure you’ll be.

6 Free and Fun Summer Activities

6 Free and Fun Summer Activities

Summer is all about fun and games when you do it right. Sunny days are reserved for making memories with kids. The fun doesn’t have to affect your budget or cost a lot of money. There are tons of free and fun summer activities for the whole family. Read on to find out more about all the free summer activities you can do and have a sustainable lifestyle this 2021.

1. Picnic

Picnic is one of the best summer activities for people who are looking for free fun. All you need is a blanket, sandwiches, or other easy meals you can make in the kitchen, and you’re good to go. The nearest park is a convenient picnic destination, but you can also go to any other place as well. To make things more fun you can also bring a ball, or maybe a badminton racket and shuttlecock. Options are endless. Take something that your entire family can play with and have a great time.

2. Bike ride

Here’s yet another fun, basic, and free activity for the entire family. You don’t need gas or pay for a ticket or anything else. Just make sure you and your kids wear a helmet and bring a bottle of water. Get the most from this activity by riding your bike through nature.

3. Painting

Painting helps us explore our creative sides. It can also be one of the best free summer activities for your family. To make it more fun, take painting supplies outdoors. Backyard, park, or any beautiful location nearby, options are endless. Paint and create memories.

4. Build an obstacle course

Not only is obstacle course fun, but it also improves fitness levels and coordination. You can build the obstacle course indoor or outdoor. Use chairs, tables, boards, or other tools that can help you build an obstacle course. You just need a plan and find the tools to bring that plan to life.

5. Water fun

When you’re planning free summer activities for the whole family, you shouldn’t overlook water fun. Kids and adults alike need it. Run through sprinklers, have a water balloon fight, or you can use water bottles, spray bottles, and water guns to have fun.

6. Fishing or camping

Summertime calls for outdoor adventures. Is there a better way to have fun for free than spending time outside? Not really! Use the advantage of nice weather and go fishing or camping with your kids. That way, kids will learn a lot about the world around them and have a great time. Not only are these activities free, but also socially distanced.

Other free and fun activities

  • Make homemade ice cream or popsicle
  • Family movie night
  • BBQ
  • Make a lemonade stand
  • Stargazing
  • Hang out at parks or playgrounds
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Hiking
  • Make a birdfeeder

Conclusion

Summer activities serve for making memories. You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Try out some activities that won’t break your budget, and your whole family will have a lot of fun.

How to Make Sustainable Money from Home

Sustainable Money from Home

Making a quick buck is something everyone looks to do. However, how many people think about making sustainable money from home? A steady stream that will keep you good for a long time?

If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place.

Earning money online asks for discipline, devotion, and the right mindset. Working remotely is a growing trend too that’s enabling the ability to earn money remotely. More and more people use remote incomes to pay their bills and college fees. 

But how do you do it sustainably? So you’re not only improving your earning potential, but you’re helping the environment and society in the process. Let’s talk about how to make sustainable money from home online. 

Best Ways to Follow a Sustainable Lifestyle and Earn Money 

1. Online Jobs 

Monetizing creative skills is as simple as you imagine it to be. You can have many online opportunities that you can try. First, learn the basics by choosing an area of interest. Then, get yourself on a platform – whether it’s a blog or a website. Once you’ve done that, you can earn greater revenues by getting audiences to click on ads placed on your website, blog, or videos. 

2. An “Eco-Friendly” Agency

Ever planned to venture out and let the entrepreneur in you out? Think about a business plan that not only brings you a good amount of revenue but also improves your quality of life. For instance, run your own biodegradable tote bag business, or start a blog on green savings or a side hustle that’s all about being organic. 

3. “Recycling” Is Your Best Friend

What if we told you that you could earn by recycling? You can help the planet and earn some bucks. Selling or buying your preloved clothes at good prices is something worth looking into. It will also allow you to recycle and declutter the things that you have lying around at your home. 

4. Grow Some Plants And Seeds

Make a sustainable living by selling your stunning perennials, ornamental trees, organic seeds, or whatever else you can come up with. Discover what might grow well and have the commercial sense to sell. 

5. Thinking Out-Of-The-Box

Sometimes, you feel stuck with messy thoughts and no solution to make a living. At such times, think outside the box and make a way out by using household items! You can have a steady income stream by turning your old clothes into bags, making jewelry out of unusual materials, and selling these online. There you go, greater inventiveness is on your way!

Bottom Line

What makes you stand out from the rest is the will to giving back to the community. A sustainable future is possible if we bring in integrity, ethics, and compassion together. With a little research, you will find individuals and organizations like you out there who are dedicated to “green solutions.” Spruce up your resume and give your luck a try. A whole lot of dreams are waiting to be aimed at and fulfilled!

How to Sell Stuff Online Fast

How to Sell Stuff Online Fast

Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or boost your investment income for retirement, one of the best ways to achieve these goals is to sell items you no longer need.  Thanks to the Internet, it’s even easier to sell things online.  You’ll need to research which platforms would be the best and that would give you the most decent profits.  Make sure your items are in good or excellent condition, and you should research the average prices of what you’re selling so that you’re not overcharging but still charging enough to earn a profit.  Here are some cool ways to sell items online fast.

eBay

This is one of the best ways to sell things online, and here are a few tips on getting sales quicker on this platform.  Start by including as many details as possible on the items you’re selling.  By doing this, the buyer won’t have as many questions, which speeds up the ability to earn profits faster.  Use the Best Offer feature on your listings since this helps buyers who want to negotiate.  Offer multiple payment options and avoid auction-style listings. Take high-quality pictures of your items.

Consider Which Items Sell the Best

Don’t waste time selling items that people will not want.  It is better to research which items are the most popular among certain demographics and budget levels.  This helps you sell items faster online.  Brand-name clothing is always popular with online shoppers, and if you have outfits from the most popular designers, you’re likely to sell faster.  Other items that do well for online sellers include video games, electronic gadgets, kids’ clothing, furniture, toys, and sports equipment.

Use the Decluttr App

If you have a lot of gadgets that are in good condition, sell them through the Decluttr app.  All you have to do is look up the devices you want to sell then enter the barcodes in the app.  Then the app lets you know the overall value of your items and how much they’ll offer for your items.  After you accept the offer, they’ll send you a shipping label and you can pack up your items for shipping to them.

Try Facebook Marketplace

This is a neat way to sell items fast online.  Start by taking pictures of a certain type of item and then post the pictures and information to Facebook groups that sell specific types of items such as used books or used kids’ clothing.  It would be quicker to sell if you can do it locally and have the person meet you in a public place to pick up the items.  However, you have the option of shipping your items for a 5% selling fee.  

Customer Service Should Be on Point

Be sure to answer potential customers’ questions promptly as this helps you sell items faster.  Be concise with the information in your listings and the pictures should be clear enough for everyone to see.  Make sure the items are priced fairly and exhibit a professional attitude at all times. Offer products that promote sustainable lifestyle.

These strategies will be helpful in selling your items faster online.

5 Tips on How to Choose a Solar Company for Your Home

how to choose a solar company

As the world begins to shift slowly toward renewable and sustainable energy sources, more people are deciding to live a green life and convert their home power supply to a renewable energy source.

Solar energy has proven to be the most popular, accessible, and affordable option for the average homeowner. Solar companies are popping up everywhere to keep pace with this growing demand.

But, in this burgeoning market, the question arises: How to choose a solar company? What should you consider when shopping around for an installer? 

For most homeowners, solar paneling may seem like a daunting endeavor. And, you know, it’s understandable to get a case of the buyer’s jitters when venturing into uncharted territory. The choice to convert your home power supply to solar energy and live your best sustainable life is a huge step, and you want to be sure it is done right. Have no fear.

Just keep reading for the top 5 things to consider when choosing a solar company for your home.  

1. Shop Around 

First things first—shop around! It would help if you did your research. If you have neighbors, friends, or family who have also gone solar, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. It’s also a good idea to check out company reviews online. Where possible, look for local solar companies that have a well-established presence in the market. Going local may save you a lot of money in the long run.

A 2017 study by the NREL (National Renewable Energy Labs) discovered that large solar companies typically charge up to 10 percent more than smaller enterprises. The flashy, high-end branding that larger companies employ may look attractive. Still, it is in no way an indicator of quality or value for money. Seek assessments and quotes from at least 3-5 reputable companies. Also, be sure to check that the companies you consider are fully qualified and legally certified to do the job. 

2. Don’t Be Cheap 

 In your quest for cost-efficiency, do remember not to be cheap. While it is possible to get great deals, you should be wary of any installer whose prices seem suspiciously low compared to the competition. Chances are they may cut corners somewhere, which will inevitably cause you to spend thousands more than anticipated. 

3. Buy Your Equipment Outright

Where possible, it’s usually a good idea to steer clear of lease agreements. Large solar companies frequently prefer to offer their customers solar leases and power purchase agreements rather than selling the equipment outright. These may seem attractive at the outset but are unavoidably parasitic to the consumer.

These agreements often have escalator clauses in the contracts, which guarantee a higher profit for the company by continually draining your pocketbook. These terms are another reason to go with a smaller company. You may pay a bit more on the front end, but the long-term savings are worth it.   

4. Look into the Warranties 

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the standard warranty for your solar equipment. You also want to make sure that the contract warranty covers labor costs. 

5. Read the Fine Print

You probably already know how important it is carefully read contracts. But, for the sake of thoroughness, be reminded. Reading the fine print in your contract will stave off disputes. If your installer says that the service package includes something, make sure that it says so in the contract. 

Follow these five tips for a seamless transition to green, sustainable, earth-friendly energy. 

4 Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green

Energy apps to go green and save more green

Saving energy and saving money are hot topics in today’s economic climate. Isn’t it amazing if you can control both from the palm of your hand?

You might not realize it, but having a smartphone is good for more than making calls, checking emails, and playing games. You can use it to track energy efficiency and save on electricity bills using innovative mobile apps. Renewable energy apps can be of great help for how to save energy and money in your home.

Technology can help you live a more sustainable life. Here is a list of energy apps that will help you adopt green living and a more mindful lifestyle.

 Energy Consumption Analyzer

This app works as a mobile database of your home energy use. It’s easy to lose track of your energy consumption until you get an unpleasant bill. Energy consumption analyzer provides accurate readings of your daily energy consumption. You can add your meters for electricity, gas, or water to the database and keep track of current meter readings.

The energy consumption analyzer lets you color-code readings and add comments to them for better understanding. The application asks you to input data from your meter and calculates the average consumption rate. It then displays a bar graph or table of the total amount of actually used energy during a day, week, or month to help you gain insights and view trends.

Energy Cost Calculator

While trying to cut down your energy consumption, it’s necessary to know how much energy you are using. Through the Energy Cost Calculator, you can calculate energy usage and operating cost of electrical equipment you use. It helps you analyze which appliances in your home use the most energy. 

This application lets you know how much an appliance costs to run over a period and allows you to control it. You can calculate the running cost of an appliance by entering the wattage and how often you use it. The results are not 100% accurate, as it does not have access to your tariff information, but it gives you an idea.

Energy Tracker

Energy tracker can evaluate and manage meter reading according to your electricity, gas, heat, and water consumption. It automatically detects meter readings and dates to provide a graphical analysis of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly consumption.

Energy tracker knows where you can save money by creating a report. It makes an estimate by comparing daily and monthly trends throughout the year. All data is saved to the application and will provide you with exclusive CSV reports on your energy consumption at home.

Smappee

Smappee manages your energy flows in a way that you can work, relax, and live without compromising on comfort. It gives you a clear insight into your energy consumption, and you can leave your home without any worries. Let the app control and automate your energy flows.

It provides you real-time readings for electricity, gas, water, and solar consumption. You can automate your appliances and let the application control their energy flows to optimize consumption. It also allows you to control energy use remotely using smart devices and plugs.

How often should you replace your coffee maker?

Not all coffee makers are created equal. There are stories of machines that last a lifetime while other coffee makers can’t go six months without breaking down. But why do the lifespans of different coffee makers vary so much?

Many things can affect the lifespan of a coffee maker, but mostly it’s about build quality and regular maintenance. Most solid machines will keep brewing quality joe for around five years, but you can extend its lifespan by a few more just by regularly cleaning the machine.

Water hardness plays a big role in determining how long your machine lasts. You might have to descale and perform maintenance on your machine more often if the water in your home is particularly hard. Even if your water is relatively soft, it’s always a good idea to create and stick to a descaling schedule, because calcium will build up in the tubes over time.

The complexity of your coffee maker is also important. More moving parts means more things that can potentially break. Coffee makers that have no tubes, pumps, or heating elements will pretty much last forever. In many cases, you can have your machine brewing like new by replacing the broken parts.

Now it’s time for you to take a good, long look at your coffee maker. How long have you had it for? Have you noticed a drop in the quality of the coffee it brews? If you’re unsure if it might be time to upgrade to a newer model, here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you know what to look for.

Does it even brew?

This might sound too obvious, but is your coffee maker even working? In many cases, a broken pump or failed heat element can be fixed or replaced. Of course, this depends on the brand of your coffee maker and whether spare parts are readily available.

If your coffee isn’t brewing at all, or your machine won’t turn on, it’s often not worth going through the trouble of repairing it — chances are good it will break again.

Before you start shopping for a new machine, check to see if your current warranty covers repairs or replacements. If you can get a new coffee maker, and you like your current model, then replacing it is the way to go.

Is there build-up in the tubes that can’t be removed with descaling?

Water with a high concentration of calcium is called hard water. While it isn’t a health risk, the calcium can collect in the tubes and corners of your coffee maker. Over time, the buildup can affect the performance of your machine, which is why it’s so important to regularly descale (remove buildup).

Over years of neglect and constant use, the calcified minerals can accumulate and harden to the point that descaling won’t be enough to fix the problem. Cleaning it might not be feasible or worth your time. This would mean it’s time for you to find a new coffee maker.