Advertisements

Five Ways To Buy Something You Can’t Afford

“If you can’t pay for it in cash, you can’t afford it.” “If you can’t buy it twice, you can’t afford it.” You’ve probably heard one of those aphorisms. The point is that even if you’re paying with a credit card (for the convenience or the cash back or travel rewards), if you can’t cover the cost of something with available cash, you can’t afford it and shouldn’t buy it.

While that is generally true, it’s not always practical advice when you, or someone you love, really needs something that neither your paycheck nor savings can cover. It’s also not realistic, since most Americans spend money on things they don’t need.

But you didn’t click on this article for a debate on whether Americans spend too much.

Today In: Money

Nope. You want to know HOW to pay for something you can’t afford to pay for in cash now.

I’ll cover five options: old-fashioned layaway; newfangled point-of-sale financing; credit cards; saving for what you want to buy; and selling stuff you already own, but don’t want as much as what you plan to buy.

1. Old-fashioned Layaway

Growing up, I only heard about layaway during the holiday season when major department stores advertised their Christmas layaway programs. Now, the fintech community has transformed this option, as I’ll discuss next.

But first, it turns out the traditional Christmas layaway is alive and well at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by sales. And now is the time to get started. Layaway works like this at Walmart: You go to a store, collect your intended gifts,  go to a special Layaway counter, put down a deposit of at least $20 or 20% (whichever is more), and make additional payments whenever you’re in the store.

Walmart requires all items be paid off and picked up by December 10, 15 days before Christmas. There’s no interest charged. If you decide you don’t want a purchase after all, you can get a refund, usually minus a cancelation fee. That fee can be steep: 20% of the purchase price or $20, whichever is greater. (But Maryland, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., don’t allow a cancellation fee, while Alabama caps it at $25 and North Carolina at $50.)

If you’re shopping for a major appliance, Sears offers a layaway program year-round online and in its stores. The plan includes a $10 or $20 service fee and a set payment term of 8 to 12 weeks. If you want to cancel a Sears layaway contract, you have to go to the store to do it.

2.  Newfangled Point-of-Sale Financing

The basic principle of old-fashioned layaway is that you don’t get the item until you have finished paying for it. If your refrigerator or washing machine is broken beyond repair, you don’t want to wait 8 or 12 weeks for a new one.

With newfangled point-of-sale financing (it’s primarily available online, but sometimes in stores, too), you get the item now and pay over time. Essentially, you’re taking out an instant personal short-term loan that is tied to the purchase of a specific item or service.

QuadPay, Klarna and Sezzle allow you to pay for an item in four interest-free payments. Forbes Fintech 50 member Affirm offers interest-free financing from a small number of retailers that subsidize financing (among them Peloton, Warby Parker and Casper), but generally charges interest rates ranging from 10% to 30% (based on your credit score) for other purchases. Affirm’s longest loan term is 48 months.

Often, these fintech financing offers only become apparent when you go to check out a purchase online. But you can also plan ahead. For example, Affirm offers a list of merchants who offer its service in each category. Plus, it allows you to find out in advance how large a purchase it will finance for you. Affirm gives you this number, it says, without making a “hard inquiry” on your credit record, meaning it won’t affect your credit score, the way applying for a new credit card likely would.

When you buy something financed by Affirm, however, both your loan and your payments are reported to the credit bureaus, meaning timely payments can help your credit score and late payments will hurt it.

Separately, while Amazon’s credit cards may be better known, the behemoth of online selling also offers its own point-of-sale installment payment plans on certain (usually higher-dollar) purchases.

Read more:  Fintech’s Version of Layaway Explodes Online

3. Credit Cards

Like point-of-sale apps, credit cards allow you to get an item upfront while you pay the costs over time. “When you swipe a credit card, you are taking out a loan,” warns Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, a budgeting expert and financial wellness advocate. But unlike point-of-sale financing, it’s not a one-time loan with a set payoff date. The lure and danger of credit cards is that they provide so-called “revolving” lines of credit that you can use as long as you keep the account open and in good standing.

The credit card company doesn’t care what you’re buying with the credit line. (By contrast, companies like Affirm use algorithms that actually take the item you’re purchasing into account when deciding whether to green-light a loan.)

Before reviewing ways to use your credit card, here’s a bit of basic, yet very important, information on credit cards. Most credit cards are unsecured, meaning that if you don’t pay the lender back for the purchases you made, then they can’t take possession of those things. Lenders will likely send you notices requesting payment. If that doesn’t work, they will send your account to collections and report your delinquent account to the credit bureaus, hurting your credit score and ability to do things like get a mortgage or rent an apartment.

Some banks and credit card issuers offer secured credit cards, which are credit cards that require a deposit in order to use them. These are great for building credit and improving your credit. But they do not work if you do not have enough cash to cover the deposit amount.

So back to unsecured credit cards. Your credit line comes at a price known as the annual percentage rate (also called the purchase rate) and it’s based on your credit history. Individuals with good or excellent credit can borrow at lower APRs than individuals with bad credit.

Read more: The Forbes Guide To Credit Cards

But sometimes–often when you take out a new credit card and sometimes when you receive a special offer from an existing one–there’s a promotional period that allows you to buy something and take months to repay, without owing any interest.

If you’re in a rush to buy that new washing machine, you might be able to buy it with a credit card you already have and then apply for a new card with an attractive balance transfer offer.  Typically, there may be a fee for this transfer. But not always.

For example, the Chase Slate credit card is currently offering new customers a 15-month 0% interest rate for new purchases and balance transfers. Plus, there’s no fee for balance transfers during the first 60 days after you open the card. Be careful: If you don’t pay off your balance within those 15 months, you’ll be stuck paying an interest rate of between 16.99% and 25.74%.

Read more: How To Make A Balance Transfer Card Work For You

The 10 Best Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Credit cards are an option for buying something you can’t afford to pay for with cash—but an option that should be approached with extreme care. It’s easy to let a credit card balance sneak up on you (just ask this Millennial who accumulated  more than $30,000 in credit card debt) particularly if you carry the card around and begin to use if for everyday expenses, as opposed to the one-time purchase of an expensive item (e.g. the washing machine) you need now.

Read more:  The Best Way To Pay Off A Credit Card Debt 

4. Save Your Coins

In the wise words of rapper Wiz Khalifa, “Surround yourself with people who help you save money, not spend it.” It’s not clear in what ways Khalifa and his friends save a few hundred dollars, but there are plenty of ways you can save money toward a goal.

The most basic and traditional way is to open a savings account. You can even incorporate your friends in this process: ask them if they’d like to refer you to their bank for any referral bonuses for the both of you. For example, if a TD Bank customer refers a friend who opens an account,  each gets a $50 bonus.

Of course a $50 bonus shouldn’t lead you to open a savings account with a noncompetitive rate. With the growth of high-yield online savings accounts, it’s easier than ever to find an account with a good interest rate.

You’ve found a high rate. Now, get a plan to save for that big purchase you can’t finance from current cash flow. Let’s say you have a friend’s out-of-town wedding next year. Calculate the costs of travel, the outfit you’ll need, the wedding gift and anything else that factors into it. Then divide the total expense by the number of months or weeks you have until the date you need to be ready to purchase those things.

Once you’ve figured out how much to set aside into that savings account every month or every week, consider setting up automatic transfers from a checking account to a savings account so you don’t have to think about it. (And if your bank doesn’t offer that kind of service, consider finding a new one.)

More reading: Three Good Reasons To Switch Banks And How To Do It

Another behavioral suggestion to reinforce your savings comes from Aliche, who observes that “inconvenient money gets saved.” She suggests making your savings account difficult to withdraw money from. In other words, it’s harder to save money when it’s easy to transfer money back into your checking account for happy hour or an impromptu shopping spree.

“I had to make my money inconvenient so I opened up an online-only bank account. I just put my savings there–not checking, no debit card, just savings. It is impossible for impulse buys,” Aliche says. Banks usually take a day or more to transfer your money to other banks. Within that 24- to 36-hour period the impulse to buy something might pass.

Another behavioral trick to boost your savings: roundup options. A roundup is a feature wherein you accumulate more savings by automatically transferring over loose change to your savings account. Some banks like Bank of America have this feature. If your bank doesn’t have this, then consider a roundup app like Acorns, Qapital, Digit or Chime. These apps work with third parties, meaning a partner bank that you provide personal identifying information to. (They do this so they can offer FDIC insurance on your savings, since they’re not banks themselves.)

5. Sell Stuff

Way back when, if you needed to raise cash from your stuff, you had to go to the pawnshop or stage a garage sale. Both might be seen as signs of financial distress. Now, however, there are more ways than ever to sell surplus items online and living with fewer material things can be seen as a savvy lifestyle choice.

More reading: The Joys Of the Minimalist Life In Retirement

How Decluttering Her Home Changed This Young Mother’s Entire Life

Since the heyday of eBay, there’s been a surge of platforms for neighbors and strangers to sell stuff to one another. Some platforms allow you to sell for a set price, while others allow users to bid on your items. Sites like LetGo, Craigslist, Ruby Lane and Facebook Marketplace allow you to unload unwanted furniture and decorative knickknacks. When it comes to your wardrobe, top options include PoshMark, thredUP, The Real Real, Kidizen and Tradesy.

More reading: Life After Forever 21. How To Reduce Your Personal Cost Per Wear

Once you’ve gathered intel on your salable items,  decide how you’ll sell them. Would you prefer to sell them yourself on sites like Poshmark and Craigslist or sell through an online consignment shop like The Real Real?

Before snapping Instagram-worthy pics of your things, there are a few things you should do to prepare. First, edit what you’re going to sell. Things in good condition and better do well on these platforms. Anything less than good condition should be recycled or trashed.

Second, research the price range of your item. The item likely will not go for what it originally cost, especially after you’ve used it—unless it’s a limited edition collectible.

Aliche’s sister picked up a Hermès scarf for $2 at a thrift store. (The old-fashioned kind.) While she had been shopping for a scarf to tie around her head at night, she decided to take this scarf to an Hermès in Short Hills, New Jersey, and get it authenticated. It turned out to be a limited-edition design worth upwards of $1,000. She sold it on Poshmark.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Asia is a personal finance writer for the Money and Markets team at Forbes. She’s based in New Jersey. Before joining Forbes, she reported for Financial Advisor magazine and also wrote for The Cranford Chronicle, NJ.Com and ThePopBreak.com. She also spent two years teaching English as another language in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

Source: Five Ways To Buy Something You Can’t Afford

508K subscribers
Investing 101 FREE ebook: http://theminoritymindset.com/get-ric… SUBSCRIBE for the latest videos *NEW VIDEOS EVERY WEEK* SC @M2JaspreetSingh http://www.TheMinorityMindset.com Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/MinorityMindset Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/MinorityMindset What Can You Afford? Budgeting For Wealth | Minority Mindset – Jaspreet Singh What’s up everybody my name is Jaspreet singh & welcome to the Minority Mindset’s Finance Friday. What’s affordable mean? If you got $200 in your bank account can you afford a $200 pair of shoes? It depends who you ask If you haven’t watched my previous video on budgeting, you should watch it so you know how to allocate your money once you start making it. But now you have some money in your bank account what do you do? If you want to buy luxury things, meaning things that you don’t need, Yo Jaspreet I need these new $200 shoes No remember my rule of 5. If you can’t buy 5 of them, you can’t afford one of them. If you want to buy a $100 pair of shoes and you don’t have $500 saved up, you can’t afford it. What’s the point of doing this? It forces you to live below your means. It forces you to save for something bigger, something to invest it, something that will make you more money. Make the sacrifice now so you can live bigger tomorrow. And listen, just because a sales person says you qualify for something more expensive doesn’t mean you can afford it. I briefly was a real estate sales agent for people who wanted to buy and sell their homes. We were paid based on the value of the home, the more the home costs the more we get paid. The same worked with banks, bank loan officers are often paid based on the value of the loan. Now although the bank officer and the real estate agent have to look out for your best interest, they aren’t doing anything illegal by approving you for the highest amount possible. So it’s in the bank officers best interest to get you the biggest loan as possible so they get the biggest paycheck. And it is in the real estate salesperson’s best interest to sell you the most expensive home so they get a big check. These people don’t have to deal with the consequences If you end up buying something that’s a little too expensive for you. You have to be the one in charge and know what your budget is. Don’t rely on sales people because their interest isn’t always the same as yours. And its not just houses and mortgages. Payment plans are becoming more popular for everyday items. Appliances, furniture, electronics, even our cell phones. I’ve said this before but it is nearly impossible to build wealth when you are constantly making payments to pay off things that you can’t afford. This year, Forbes reported that 63% of Americans, 63% don’t have enough funds saved up to cover a $500 emergency. Don’t be the majority. Put in the work and the sacrifice now so you can live better tomorrow. If your goal is to build wealth, you have to start living below your means. If you can’t buy 5 of them, you can’t afford one them. I know it’s hard, but you will set yourself up to stand out from the majority. #ThinkMinority #MIH #Budgeting http://www.TheMinorityMindset.com This Video: https://youtu.be/HRRrBrF7jRA Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MinorityMin… Based in Detroit. Jaspreet Singh

Advertisements

Three Credit Score Myths That Are Wildly Untrue

Sydney Enzler opened her first credit card when she was a 19-year-old college student. Her mom encouraged her to open the account in order to build credit and establish a strong credit score.

“I wanted to use my credit cards every once in a while to build credit, but I generally just use them for larger purchases,” said Enzler.

Now 24 years old, Enzler is one of the millions of Americans who owe a collective $1.1 trillion dollars in credit card and other revolving debt. According to the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate on those credit card balances is 16.97% APR.

With interest rates that high, it’s easy to see how credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control and leave you with a bruised wallet – and ego. The reality is that credit cards aren’t going anywhere, and they play a large role in determining your credit score – a critical factor when it comes to getting the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage or other loans.

Today, I am dispelling three common credit card myths so that you can focus on the things that will actually improve your credit score.

Myth 1: Carrying A Small Credit Card Balance Is Good For Your Credit

Today In: Money

I applied for my first credit card shortly after my 18th birthday and I remember being told by a well-meaning colleague at work that I should try to use the card regularly and carry a small balance. The rationale was that by using the card and paying a small amount of interest monthly, the bank would love having me as a customer and give me a better credit score.

Fortunately, I was a curious teenager and fact-checked that claim, because it’s not true. And not following that advice has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest charges over the years.

To begin, your credit score is not determined by your credit card company or any other lender. Your credit card issuer (in my case it was Chase), provides the credit bureaus with regular updates on your payment and account history. These credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) simply receive information from your lenders and use it to calculate your credit score.

Second, carrying a balance on a credit card will increase your utilization, which could actually lower your score. In general, using less of your available credit is better from a credit score perspective.

The important lesson here is that it’s never wise to pay interest on your credit card if you can avoid it. Always pay off your full statement balance in full if possible. It will help you lower your credit utilization while avoiding costly interest charges.

(Read: The 60 Second Guide To Credit Utilization.)

Myth 2: Checking Your Credit Report Will Hurt Your Score

Reviewing your credit score regularly (and for free) is one of the best things you can do as a responsible credit card user. Period.

However, the myth that checking your credit hurts your score pervades, in part, because of the confusing language that’s used to notate when your credit file has been accessed. Whenever your credit report is requested, you’ll receive an ‘inquiry’. However, it’s important to note that there’s a big distinction between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ inquiries.

When you request your own credit report, this qualifies as a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries have no effect on your credit score whatsoever. That means that checking your own credit report will not hurt your credit score. It’s that simple.

However, when you apply for a new loan or other type of credit, the prospective creditor will access your credit file to assess your creditworthiness. This will result in a hard inquiry, which will, in fact, have a negative impact on your credit score. Hard inquiries will remain on your credit file for two years, although they will only affect your score for 12 months.

If you’d like to check your credit report, you can do it here for free. By law, each of the three major credit bureaus must give you free access to your credit report once per year. I try to check a credit report from a different bureau every three to four months to check for inaccuracies or fraud. In fact, I just requested my credit report while writing this article and it took all of 90 seconds. You should do the same.

Bonus: If you are serious about protecting your credit you should also freeze your credit files for free.

Myth 3: You Can Pay Someone To Fix Your Credit Score

If you have a history of making late payments and don’t practice sound credit management, there’s no magic switch you can flip in order to have accurate information removed from your credit report on-demand.

While there are a lot of credit repair services roaming the web and social media, the fact is that they don’t do anything that you can’t do on your own.

The best way to repair your credit is to practice good credit management strategies. This means paying your cards and other credit accounts on time, every time. It also means understanding how credit scores work and what the components that go into your score are.

The components of your credit score are as follows:

  • Your payment history comprises 35% of your credit score
  • Amount of debt (credit utilization) comprises 30%
  • Length of credit history comprises 15%
  • Amount of new credit (and inquiries) comprises 10%
  • Your credit mix comprises the final 10% of your credit score

This means that 50% of your score (payment history and length of credit history) is related to time. Clearly, to meaningfully improve your score it will take patience.

If you’re getting ready to apply for a mortgage, or if you are hoping to lower your student loan interest rates by refinancing, here’s what you can do to give your score a boost more quickly. Thirty percent of your score is based on your credit utilization, which is essentially based on a current snapshot of your accounts. While it could take years for negative marks to roll off of your credit report, you can quickly lower your credit utilization.

Your credit utilization is determined by taking your outstanding balance on your revolving credit accounts and dividing it by the total credit available to you. It could take several weeks for the updated information to be passed from your creditor to the credit bureaus, but it’s a fast way to improve an important metric. For the highest credit scores, aim to lower your utilization below 10%.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that it can take time to improve your credit score. Start to establish healthy credit habits today so that your score reflects them in the future. But most importantly, don’t despair if your credit isn’t perfect.

Regardless of what your credit score is, it’s important to know that your credit score might not be as important as you think it is.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Camilo Maldonado is Co-Founder of The Finance Twins, a personal finance site showing you how to budgetinvestbanksave & refinance your student loans. He also runs Contacts Compare.

Source: Three Credit Score Myths That Are Wildly Untrue

2.02M subscribers
Get exclusive content: http://patreon.com/mattdavella There’s a basic formula to win at personal finance. And it’s this… Make more money than you spend. In practice it’s not that easy. In the real world our money slips through our fingers. No matter how much we make our bank account seems to have its own agenda. In this video I breakdown common myths, pressures & misconceptions about money and how to manage it. New videos every week! New podcast every Wednesday! My gear… https://kit.com/mattdavella ^These are affiliate links. I only recommended products that I use & fully endorse. Subscribe: https://goo.gl/nzS5ri Podcast: http://groundupshow.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/mattdavella/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/mattdavella/ Thanks for watching!

When Smart Personal Finance Habits Just Become Stupid

When you start getting your finances in order, it’s exciting. You see the basic concepts and rules of personal finance in action, and, after a while, they start to pay off. This makes it easy to become a personal finance devotee. But even the best financial advice can become counterproductive……..

Source: When Smart Personal Finance Habits Just Become Stupid

Everything I’ve Learned About Personal Finance in 10 Sentences

We’ve featured a lot of tips from The Simple Dollar’s Trent Hamm—from buying in bulkand earning money online to managing a career hiatusand overcoming decision fatigue. Here, he shares his ten most important pieces of financial advice……..

Source: Everything I’ve Learned About Personal Finance in 10 Sentences

Reaching Financial Independence Through Personal Loans in 4 Steps – Jeff Rose

1.jpg

As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), I’ve spoken to people who are ready to take better control of their debt, and their financial situation in general, but aren’t sure where to start. There are times when taking out a personal loan can be an advantageous first step – even if the idea of borrowing makes you uneasy. Maybe you have multiple debts to consolidate or need capital to complete an important project. Whatever your reason, the influx of cash that personal loans offer can be used to achieve a number of goals…..

Read more: https://www.discover.com/personal-loans/resources/learn-about-personal-loans/financial-independence/?cpn=content:Pocket

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar