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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Your Credit Card For Everything

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Your Credit Card For Everything

Credit cards aren’t just used to pay off major purchases anymore. You might feel silly using a credit card for a small purchase, but there are benefits to this transaction! Why else are companies putting credit card slots on drink machines? You should be using your credit card for everything—and here are ten reasons why.

1. It builds a great credit rating.

Buying things with your credit card and then paying them off each month will help you build credit. It will either help you establish a good credit score from the start, or rebuild a good credit score if you’ve had problems in the past. Make sure you’re still spending within your limit, and can afford to pay the bill off in full each month so the interest doesn’t add up and make your bill exponentially larger.

2. It’s quick and easy.

No more hunting for exact change! Credit cards make checkout easy. Just swipe your card, sign your name, and you’re done! Now with smartphone apps, you can pay with a pass on your phone. There are also cards that allow you to just “tap” the checkout machine, and the money is automatically paid!

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3. It’s great for accounting records.

It’s hard to keep up with receipts, but if you’re sticking to a budget, doing your own taxes, or just making sure you don’t get overcharged for anything, then you need to keep track of those slips of paper. If you use your credit card, however, you have a built-in list of everything you’ve purchased. You can sign on to your bank account online and see what you’ve spent over the past month to make sure you’re still on budget. You can double-check your bank balance and make sure there was no unauthorized spending. You can do all of that—and you don’t have to keep track of anything!

4. There’s no need for cash.

Forget trying to find an ATM, or paying ridiculous fees to access your own money! With a credit card, there’s no need to carry cash. Most companies have put credit card slots on drink and other vending machines, so you won’t even have to scrounge for change! This is also a security issue, because if you get robbed, you won’t be losing cash that will be unaccountable when you make a police report.

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    5. It has automated billing.

    When you get your credit card, sign up for automated billing! This means your utility bill, cell phone bill, and anything else you pay monthly can be paid automatically by your credit card. It’s a load off your mind, because you don’t have to remember countless due dates, or try to think back if you paid a certain bill or not. Then you’ll just have one date to remember—the due date for your credit card!

    6. You’re establishing good payment habits.

    Paying off your credit card balance every month will help you establish good payment habits. You’ll be paying bills on time with automated billing, and paying your balance each month, whether it’s paying it in full or paying enough to keep the interest down.

    7. You earn frequent flyer miles.

    Using your credit card will earn you all sorts of perks. Make sure you look into your specific card and see what benefits you can get. If you travel a lot, each credit card purchase will earn you frequent flyer miles, or free stays in hotels. You can also get cash back or discounts on major payments.

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    8. You can get purchase protection.

    Buying with a credit card means there’s a potential for purchase protection. Your credit card company will handle disputes for you, so if a store won’t take back a defective product, there’s a good chance your credit card company will either fight for you, or reimburse you. There’s also a built-in protection against card theft—most credit card companies will call you when they see suspicious activity. Some even block the card so the purchase won’t go through without your authorization, or reimburse you for purchases that went through with a stolen card.

    9. You get low-cost loans.

    You don’t have enough cash for groceries and bills this week, but you need them both. Use your credit card! Credit cards are like low-cost loans, because you can buy something now that you don’t have cash for, and pay it back at the end of the month when your credit card bill is due. Just make sure you know your budget and don’t go overboard by buying things you’re unable to pay back.

    10. You have a buffer for emergencies.

    Just like using your credit card as a loan system, it’s great as a buffer for emergencies. Things will happen that demand your financial attention, like your heater going out in winter, or your fridge breaking down. Can you afford to buy either of those major appliances in cash? What about hospital bills you didn’t expect? Most people don’t have that kind of cash on hand, but again, with a credit card, you can take out a type of loan. Buy what you need and start to pay it off over time on your credit card.

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    Featured photo credit: mueritz via flickr.com

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    Published on November 8, 2018

    How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

    How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

    After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

    But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

    Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

    Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

    Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

    Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

    The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

    1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

    Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

    With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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    Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

    Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

    For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

    Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

    It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

    2. Set your own boundaries

    Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

    Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

    Here are some important traits to consider:

    • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
    • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
    • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

    These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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    3. Continuously invest in yourself

    Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

    You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

    Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

    Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

    Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

    It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

    4. Document the value you bring

    Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

    To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

    A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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    Here are some ideas:

    • joesmith.com
    • joeasmith.com
    • joesmithprojects.com

    Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

    During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

    5. Hide your salary requirements

    Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

    But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

    The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

    Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

    6. Do just enough research

    Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

    Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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    Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

    Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

    7. Get compensated by your value

    Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

    Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

    Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

    You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

    The bottom line

    You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

    You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

    Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

    Reference

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