Ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas?

I know, it seems like the holiday season is a long way off, doesn’t it?  But, the reality is you’ll start shopping in October and that’s only four months away.  120 days.  And that’s really not long at all, is it?

So, again I ask the question, are you ready for Christmas?

If not, then it’s time to start planning for this year’s gift giving season so that when the time does come, you’re ready.  Now, typically there are two ways to pay for Christmas.  Cash or Credit.  If you choose to pay with cash, then it’s time to start saving money every time you get paid.  And then, don’t spend it.

One of the best ways to save money for Christmas, or a vacation, or new furniture, or any really large purchase is to get yourself a prepaid card.  Then, you simply have your employer automatically transfer a portion of your payroll check into your prepaid card account and then, when you’re ready to start Christmas shopping (or go on vacation or whatever), the money is already there.

Not a bad way to pay for the upcoming holiday season, is it?

Of course, if cash is not the way you plan to pay, then you’d better get busy working on your credit too!  Now, there are lots of options to apply for new credit cards, store cards, and so forth, but are you sure you’ll be approved?  Remember, you don’t want to apply for too many credit cards during the course of the year – it can really hurt your credit score.  And, if you do apply, you want to make sure that you’ll be approved (this is really important if your credit score is less than perfect).

One option with guaranteed approval is a secured credit card.  With a secured card, you’ll need to pay a deposit up front, and then the creditor will extend the same amount of credit to you.  You’ll use the card for purchases, make payments (including interest), and so forth, just like a regular credit card.  But, as I mentioned, you’ll have to have money up front for your deposit.  And that’s not quite the goal here, is it?  No, we’re planning for Christmas and if we had the cash for the deposit, we wouldn’t need to be looking at our options.  So, let’s move on.

The other option that I really like (and have used myself) is to open a Fingerhut Credit Account.  Not only does Fingerhut typically approve nearly everyone, but they also are really good about reporting your responsible credit use and regular payment history to the credit bureau every month.  And when it comes to great deals, including special interest free purchasing periods, increases in your credit line, and brand name merchandise, Fingerhut is hard to beat.  You simply get online, browse from among hundreds of thousands of competitively priced products, and they’ll ship your order right to your door!  It really is that easy.

But don’t just take my word for it – check out what Fingerhut has to offer you TODAY.

The Best Way to Save for Vacation

Planning your summer vacation?  Have you figured out yet where the money for your trip is coming from?

If you’re like most of us, you’re already starting to save money for this year’s family vacation.  Maybe you’ve put away a little (or a lot) of this year’s tax refund, or you’re stuffing your change into a coffee can each week, or you’re even transferring money to your savings account every payday.  Well, here’s an even better way to not only save for your vacation, but to ensure that the money is actually available to you when you’re ready to go on vacation.  This year, instead of squirreling away your money in a coffee can, or co-mingling it into you savings account, why not set things up at work so that a certain percentage of your paycheck is automatically transferred to a prepaid debit card account?

Why use a Prepaid Debit Card to save for vacation?

Believe it or not, prepaid cards are actually fantastic tools to use when you’re trying to save money, especially if you have it set up so that money is automatically transferred to the card.  Not only does the automatic transfer happen without any effort on your part, but it also happens before you get a chance to spend the money on something else.

Want to go on a vacation?  Get a prepaid card and put away a certain amount each payday – when the time comes, you’ll have the money!  Want to save for Christmas?  Same thing – set it up so that the funds are automatically transferred to a Prepaid card account and, chances are, you won’t even notice that the money is gone.  But trust me, you will be thrilled when the time comes around to spend that money!

Oh, and while you’re away on vacation?  That prepaid card is far better than using your household debit card… you know, the one that’s tied to your bank account.  Yep, that’s right.  A prepaid card has ALL of the benefits of a credit or debit card, but not near as much of the risk that you take every time you swipe your bank issued debit card in an unfamiliar place…a place that’s dependent on tourism… a place that is a prime target for thieves.

But why not just use a credit card, you say?  Well, the answer to that is actually pretty simple:  INTEREST CHARGES.  That’s right, interest charges.  Chances are, if you use that credit card to take this year’s vacation, you’ll either not have the money saved up in the first place or you’ll overspend.  Either way, you’ll have a nice fat bill waiting for you when you get home.  (That pretty much ruins the trip for you.)  But, if you save the money now, and use your prepaid debit card when you go away, you’re more likely to stick to your budget, and since you already have the money saved when you leave, there won’t be a nasty surprise waiting for you in the mailbox when you get home.