What You Need to Know About Using Credit Cards in a Tight Economy
When money is tight, it’s all too tempting to use a credit card to make purchases. But what might seem like an easy solution tends to become a long-term problem. Credit cards must be used wisely, especially in a tight economy.
Understanding how to use credit, as well as its alternatives, can set you up for financial success as the economy recovers. Using credit recklessly, on the other hand, can drag your finances down, no matter what is going on with the broader economy. Here’s what you need to know:
Don’t Take on More Debt
The last thing you want to do in a tight economy is to take on more debt. While the cash infusion might be helpful, remember that interest charges add up. You’re better off exhausting other options, such as family assistance, before you resort to taking out a loan.
Start by leaving your credit cards at home. Make most, if not all, of your purchases either with cash or a debit card. This will force you to only spend the money that you have, leading you to be more frugal with your spending habits. If you have existing debt, do what you can to keep chipping away at it.
Avoid opening new credit cards until you’re financially stable. Credit card companies might try to entice you with rewards programs, but don’t be swayed. Unless you can afford to pay your balance in full each month, the perks aren’t worth the fees.
Keep Your Accounts Active
Just as you shouldn’t open new accounts right now, nor should you close old ones. Beware that some banks will close accounts that have been inactive for more than one billing cycle. If you are worried about your accounts being cancelled, continue to utilize them in low-dollar ways.
Set strict spending goals for yourself. When you do make credit card transactions, pay off the balance immediately.
Keeping your credit cards semi-active will help you maintain a healthy credit score for two reasons. First, one component of your credit score is account history; longer relationships provide more of a boost. Second, low credit utilization reflects well on you as a borrower.
Should you ever close a credit card? Only if you’re too tempted to use it, and only then if you’ve paid off any remaining balance. Otherwise, keeping it open with a low or zero balance will make it easier for you to get credit in the future, should you need it.
Review Your Recurring Payments
Recurring payments are a wonderful and terrible thing. To be sure, they’re a convenient way to stay on top of your finances during normal circumstances. But if you’ve lost income or expect to soon, automated payments can be risky.
Forgetting about one of these recurring payments could prove to be a costly mistake. Not only might you be paying for something you don’t need, but the payment could bounce if you’re not keeping an eye on your bank balance. At that point, you’ll owe not only the original amount, but any fees assessed for insufficient funds.
Any time the economy takes a hit, audit your recurring bills. Ask yourself whether you really need non-essential services, such as Netflix. Cancel any you aren’t using, and keep the verification message in case you’re charged after the cancellation. Check your bank statements to be sure you aren’t missing any recurring payments.
Watch Out for Scams
A tight economy is tough on everyone. Unfortunately, that causes some people to make some questionable decisions. Desperation makes them more likely to fall victim to financial scams they might otherwise see coming.
Start by checking the security protocols on your financial accounts. If you haven’t changed your passwords in six months or more, go ahead and do so. If your card information is stored on any sites, remove it. Enable two-factor authentication on every account that offers it.
Most importantly, be skeptical. Far too many credit card scams occur because of what appears to be a “harmless” message or online deal that’s too good to be true. These may be phishing schemes; if you click the link, your sensitive financial data may be harvested by the sender.
If your card does end up getting compromised, call your credit card company as quickly as possible. Request that they cancel your card and send you a new one as soon as possible. Legally speaking, you aren’t liable for any fraudulent transactions made on your card.
Take Advantage of Benefits
One upside of credit cards is their rewards programs. Take advantage of any that wouldn’t require you to change your purchasing habits. Never spend money on a credit card just to snag a reward.
If a credit card allows you to choose between multiple redemption options, opt for a statement credit. Airline miles may seem like a sweet deal, but how much money would you spend on vacation? Entirely too much, at least until the economy recovers.
What about other perks? Never say “no” to things like discounts, free rental car insurance, or credit monitoring services. But again, don’t spend money you wouldn’t otherwise simply because it nets you a small reward.
Keep an Eye on Interest Rates
Interest rates tend to fall or rise rapidly in tough economic times. As the Federal Reserve slashes the target interest rate, so, too, do credit card companies.
If you spy a better interest rate on a different card, consider a balance transfer. Just make sure the better APR isn’t a promotional offer, after which the rate tends to skyrocket.
Another reason some credit card companies raise rates is to cover rising default rates. If you notice your interest rate increases, check your cardholder agreement. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you think the increase violates the terms of your cardholder agreement. Above all, be patient and careful with the financial decisions you make during tough economic times. Using your credit cards smartly will help you both in and out of a recession and on your way to financial independence.
Top People Skills In Demand In The Aviation Industry Post-Pandemic
Do you have a taste for adventure? Working in the aviation industry might be the right career choice for you. If you are hoping to break into this field, it is important that you cultivate in-demand skills now. You might think that engineering or technical skills are the most important. But especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, people skills have become highly sought-after by airlines.
Below, we’ll discuss the best people skills to incorporate into your airline customer service, pilot, or flight attendant resume – and why they are needed in each position.
Which Aviation Jobs Require People Skills?
Which aviation jobs require people skills? The short answer to this question is all of them. Every job in this industry, even if it is not public-facing, requires the cooperation and communication of a team.
But in this article, we’ll focus on three aviation career paths that rely most on people skills: pilots (and copilots), airline customer service representatives, and flight attendants.
Why Pilots Need People Skills
The job of the pilot is primarily to fly the plane, but they must also possess good interpersonal skills. Why? As part of a team, they must work well with co-pilots, ground control, and other support staff.
During the flight, pilots speak to passengers over the intercom. Interpersonal skills are most needed in the event of turbulence or an emergency. By maintaining a calm voice, the pilot can assist the passengers in remaining calm, which is essential for in-flight safety.
Before and after the flight, many pilots interact with passengers. This communication can help build consumer trust and brand loyalty.
Unhappy passengers may raise complaints or speak to pilots with hostility following a flight. The pilot should then use good communication skills with a customer service focus, helping direct them to the proper outlet for their complaints.
Why Flight Attendants Need People Skills
A large part of a flight attendant’s job involves observing passengers and making sure everyone remains safe and comfortable. They must also clearly communicate safety instructions before the flight begins and in case of an emergency.
In recent years, strange and sometimes aggressive in-flight behavior has repeatedly made headlines. Flight attendants are on the “front lines,” so to speak – they are the ones that must deal with unruly passengers at the moment.
Flight attendants must master conflict resolution skills in order to deal with angry and unruly passengers. Whether it’s due to limited overhead compartment space, a crying baby, or disagreements over who gets the armrest, hostilities are not uncommon.
Active listening, self-control, neutrality, focus, and verbal softeners are among the best conflict-resolution skills for flight attendants to learn.
The best flight attendants also display empathy and compassion. “Everyone has a story,” explains Jeanie Brady, a Delta Airlines flight attendant with 27 years of experience.
Empathy is needed when passengers suffer from a fear of flying – nearly every flight has at least one such person. Flight attendants may be able to offer some level of comfort. In early 2023, one flight attendant made headlines around the world for holding a frightened passenger’s hand during the entire flight, sitting on the floor by her seat.
Each passenger also carries the emotional “baggage” of their life events. If they are enduring a difficult challenge, negative emotions may surface even during the flight. An observant flight attendant may be able to offer some kindness or comfort, making the hours spent in the air more endurable.
Why Ground Operations Personnel Need People Skills
Working as an airline customer service agent or ground operations agent may not seem as glamorous as jet setting on the job, but these positions are vital to the smooth operation of the airlines and consumers’ travel plans.
Customer service agents assist with ticket sales and reservations by phone and in person. They may also greet guests as they enter the terminal, announce flight changes and boarding times, answer questions, assist with recovering lost baggage, and other tasks.
As such, customer service, communication, and general interpersonal skills are a must. Ground agents must be able to remain calm and solve problems during stressful situations, such as those that may arise during a computer outage or when flights must be canceled due to weather.
Service agents should try to cultivate a positive attitude. Smiling and making great efforts to assist customers can often diffuse tense situations.
Gate agents especially must also refine their conflict management skills in order to handle unruly ticketholders in a professional way.
Working in the airline industry can be a great choice for people who love to travel. But it takes more than just technical know-how in order to succeed.
During pandemic-era restrictions and the travel boom that followed, customer service representatives, flight attendants, and pilots have had to interact with customers in new ways. This often involves conflict resolution, discernment in reading a situation, and empathy.
When you incorporate these in-demand skills into your resume, you’ll find yourself with a high-flying job in no time!
Introducing Oval Advisors: Your Trusted Partner for Financial Services in Geneva
Oval Advisors, led by founder Lambert Philipp Heinrich Kindt’ a top financial services firm based in the vibrant city of Geneva, is proud to announce its presence in the heart of the global financial hub. With a commitment to excellence and a client-centric approach, Oval Advisors aims to provide tailored financial solutions that empower individuals, families, and businesses to achieve their financial goals.
As a trusted partner in wealth management, Oval Advisors leverages its extensive expertise and deep understanding of the financial markets to offer a comprehensive range of services. Whether you are seeking investment guidance, retirement planning, asset protection, or tax optimization strategies, Oval Advisors has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complex world of finance.
What sets Oval Advisors apart is their unwavering dedication to building long-term relationships with their clients. The firm understands that every client has unique financial aspirations, risk tolerance, and preferences. By taking the time to listen and understand your specific needs, Oval Advisors develops customized strategies that align with your goals, ensuring that your financial future is in capable hands.
One of the key strengths of Oval Advisors is its team of highly skilled professionals. With a diverse background and expertise in various financial disciplines, their team of financial advisors possesses a deep understanding of global markets and trends. By staying ahead of the curve, they provide timely insights and recommendations, helping clients make informed decisions in an ever-evolving financial landscape.
At Oval Advisors, transparency and integrity are the cornerstones of their business philosophy. The firm believes in fostering trust by providing clear explanations, offering unbiased advice, and delivering comprehensive reports to keep clients informed about their financial progress. Oval Advisors is committed to serving its clients’ best interests and upholding the highest ethical standards, ensuring that the client’s success is always the top priority.
Recognizing the importance of technological advancements, Oval Advisors harnesses cutting-edge tools and platforms to enhance their service delivery. By leveraging state-of-the-art financial technology solutions, the firm offers secure online access to accounts, real-time portfolio monitoring, and efficient communication channels to provide clients with seamless and convenient access to their financial information.
Located in the prestigious financial district of Geneva, Oval Advisors benefits from its close proximity to international financial institutions and regulatory bodies. This strategic location enables the firm to stay well-informed about global financial developments, ensuring that clients benefit from the latest market insights and regulatory updates.
Oval Advisors is excited to establish itself as a leading financial services firm in Geneva and looks forward to helping individuals, families, and businesses navigate the intricate world of finance. With a client-focused approach, a team of experienced professionals, and a commitment to excellence, Oval Advisors is your trusted partner for achieving your financial goals.
To learn more about Oval Advisors and how they can assist you with your financial needs, visit their website at www.ovaladvisors.com or contact them at [email protected].
About Oval Advisors:
Oval Advisors, founded by Lambert Philipp Heinrich Kindt in Geneva, specializes in wealth management, investment guidance, retirement planning, asset protection, and tax optimization strategies. With a client-centric approach, a team of skilled professionals, and a commitment to integrity, Oval Advisors aims to help clients achieve their financial goals. For more information, visit www.ovaladvisors.com.
Lambert Philipp Heinrich Kindt
Email: [email protected]
How to start learning to trade?
Trading, like any other profession, requires advance preparation.Forecasting quotes is not a very simple task. To master this skill, you need to understand the pricing and the dependence of the asset itself on various factors. Also important will be the right choice of forex trading app.
You can learn all this both with the help of various courses, and on your own. In order to understand where to start learning to trade, you need to decide whether the trader will look for all the materials himself or pay for courses and be trained under the guidance of experienced professionals.
Directions of training in trading
Asking the question of where to start learning to trade, you need to decide in what form a trader is ready to receive knowledge. Today there are two main areas – specialized courses and self-study.
Self-learning assumes that the user himself will search for all the information on the Internet. For those who want to follow the second path and do not yet know where to start learning to trade, a small instruction is offered. This is how a potential specialist in the field of trading will understand what he needs to know for a good job, and, as a result, for a stable and large income. What aspects should be paid attention to?
- Fundamentals of creating a strategy in the financial markets.Here it is necessary to carefully study all types of available tools for market analysis, including indicators, chart patterns, macroeconomic indicators that can affect quotes;
- rules for managing capital and risks.
There are many other components, so the main ones should be chosen by the future trader himself in the process of learning and working.
Where to look for sources of information for training?
For those who want to understand how to start learning to trade on their own, it is important to learn how to look for useful materials. The easiest way is to find a broker who provides free training. On the websites of such companies, articles, e-books and videos are published, with the help of which the trader will get an idea of what he will face in the process of working in the financial markets.
Why can’t you learn to trade quickly?
Like any other profession, mastering trading in the financial markets takes time. And it’s not just about where to start learning to trade or about theory. You can get used to it pretty quickly. But as practice shows, it will take some more time to learn how to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.
Therefore, when a future trader is just wondering where to start learning to trade, he should be aware that there is a long road ahead. And it does not end with the first transaction in the financial markets.Traders, like programmers, are constantly learning to know and understand all the latest trends in the financial markets.
10 Lucrative Home-Based Businesses You Can Start With a Laser Engraver
If you have an artistic side and are considering small business opportunities, look no further than the shoes by your front door, the birthday card you bought your mum, or maybe even the shirt on your back.
Etchings and engraving are used everywhere for numerous products, meaning there’s considerable demand for the service. So with your keen eye and an accurate, high-quality laser engraver, you can provide professionally engraved products in just about any market.
The ideas below don’t scratch the surface of the business possibilities with the right engraving machine, but they can kickstart your creative juices and help you land on a product or service that suits you best.
10 Ideas for Laser Engraving Businesses/Products
- Customized Gift Items – You can use your laser engraver to create a personalized gift service selling items like keychains, photo frames, and jewelry. These can be great for occasions such as birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries.
- Engraved Signage – Engraved signs are always in demand for businesses or home decor purposes, including house numbers, nameplates, or directional signs.
- Awards and Trophies –They’re not just for school, recreational, or fantasy sports leagues; you can also create customized awards and trophies for corporate events or academic ceremonies.
- Personalized Home Decor –Common everyday household items are often laser engraved, including custom home decor items such as coasters, cutting boards, and wall art.
- Engraved Electronic Gadgets – You can engrave electronic gadgets such as laptops, phones, and tablets, providing a unique personal touch or service businesses that want to engrave their devices with their corporate logos.
- Engraved Wedding Invitations –Wedding invitations are a big business, with couples always looking for unique and personally-designed wedding invitations. Think Lovepop, the company that appeared on Shark Tank with their 3D greeting cards, which has been wildly successful since the show aired.
- Engraved Glassware – If you appreciate a beautifully-crafted glass vessel, you can engrave glassware such as wine glasses, champagne flutes, or beer mugs, which can be great for gifts or events.
- Promotional Products – Businesses often look for products they can brand with their logo and contact information. Ideas include customized promotional products such as keychains, pens, or magnets.
9, Personalized Stationery – Businesses are also often in need of personalized stationery items such as notepads, pens, or bookmarks.
- Pet Tags – Pet parents love their fur babies, so you can always create custom pet tags for pet owners, which can be a great business opportunity if you too are an animal lover.
These are just a few examples of the many home-based businesses you can start with a laser engraver. The possibilities are endless, limited only by your creativity to come up with unique and profitable ideas.
Taking Care of the Business Side of Your Engraving Business
Whether you rent out a spare room occasionally on Airbnb, drive for Uber, walk the neighbourhood dogs or craft beautiful engravings, if you make money from a business venture, you have to register your business with the government and report your income (minus expenses, of course) to the CRA.
A good place to start would be the “Setting up your Business” page from the Government of Canada. It provides all the details you need to choose the business structure that is ideal for your company. Your business structure has a major impact on how you report your income, as well as other tax and legal repercussions.
In a nutshell, the fundamentals of the most typical business structures are as follows:
- A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most fundamental type of business structure, making it ideal for self-employed people. However, because there is no legal distinction between your personal and business affairs, you are personally responsible for any debts or legal actions that the business incurs.
- Partnership. A partnership is a firm that is owned and operated by two or more persons. Otherwise, it’s similar in nature to a sole proprietorship.
- Corporation. Corporations provide the highest protection from taxes and legal liability, but they are complicated to register and require a lawyer and probably an accountant as well. Corporations are also heavily regulated and scrutinized by the CRA.
It’s crucial to select a business structure that makes sense for your current position and keeps in mind your long-term business objectives.
Emerging e-commerce trends in 2023
With only a few taps on your smartphone, internet shopping is now more convenient than ever. E-commerce is not only a popular choice, but it also overlaps with the biggest social media trends of 2023.
Although physical businesses won’t disappear anytime soon, contemporary shoppers have more products on their shopping lists for their chosen brands online.
Consumers care about pricing, and brands that reflect their beliefs, and that’s only the beginning. These concerns go beyond variety and convenience.
Consumer behavior is continuously changing, therefore skilled social media marketers and e-commerce managers need to stay on top of the most recent e-commerce trends.
New product launches no longer just happen in physical locations. The digital one is just as vital, if not more so.
Here are the top e-commerce trends for 2023 that you should be aware of:
Your strategy will change because of MIRAKL Ads
The e-commerce trend that few will discuss will undoubtedly be significant for firms adopting it. After all, your business can benefit from the “first mover advantage”!
In April 2023, Mirakl, the platform that transforms well-known companies into marketplaces, will introduce Mirakl Ads.
Customers will always view the most relevant advertisements at the ideal moment thanks to Mirakl Ads’ use of proprietary AI.
Although advertisers won’t necessarily experience more impressions, they should notice an increase in revenue and CTR. Customers will have a better shopping experience as a result of all of this.
Rapid adoption of mobile shopping
Aliza Naiman, manager at Olgam Life believes mobile shopping is more widespread than ever before. She shares: “Using your phone to make purchases is only one aspect of mobile commerce.
It encompasses any purchase activity performed on a mobile browser or app, including interaction with mobile adverts, conversing with sales representatives, exploring brands on a smartphone, etc.
I believe that mobile shopping usage will increase in 2023 because it overlaps with other popular e-commerce features like live stream shopping, augmented reality buying, and in-app purchasing.
Think about your present mobile shopping options, then try out popular commerce tools.
To remain ahead, pay attention to emerging e-commerce product features.”
Shopping that is personalized is favored
Sam Underwood, owner of SEO Toolbelt states: “Consumers in both B2C and B2B markets are looking for customized e-commerce experiences and are more inclined to stick with retail companies that provide them.
Product suggestions, deals and discounts, and a seamless shopping experience across different platforms (website, mobile, and social) are all examples of personalization.
Additionally, it can include providing a range of payment options. Customers may simply leave a website before completing their transaction if their chosen mode of payment is not offered.
Benefits accrue to brands that increase their personalization initiatives.
Retailers who scale extensive personalization capabilities generate on average four times as much revenue as those with less advanced features, according to BCG’s personalization Maturity Index.”
Consumers are concerned about privacy and zero-party data
Some are worried about their data and privacy rights, while other customers want a personalized experience.
Although more customers are aware that e-commerce sites gather data, they are not necessarily aware of the purposes for which it will be used or if it puts them in danger.
The advantages of big data and how it affects personalized shopping experiences are controversial.
Brands are starting to use zero-party data since big corporations like Google intend to stop supporting third-party cookies in 2023.
In an effort to avoid the problems associated with employing third-party cookies, data is collected directly from consumers who have given their approval.
New methods of payment
Rhett Stubbendeck, CEO of LeverageRx believes in adopting new methods of payment.
He shares the following: “The online payments business has changed in 2023 as new and emerging payment choices take off and existing payment methods make way for digital solutions.
Because clients may now make payments more quickly and easily when purchasing online, the e-commerce sector will also change as a result of these new payment choices.
The advent of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, which enable users to save their payment information securely and utilize their smartphones to make purchases, is partly to blame for this.
Additionally, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming increasingly well-liked among consumers who desire an alternative payment method for online purchases free from bank costs and governmental restrictions.
The rising use of subscription-based models is another trend in e-commerce payments.
Customers who use subscription services may easily make recurrent purchases of goods without having to manually enter their payment information each time they place an order. This makes it simpler for them to keep track of their spending.
Finally, e-commerce shops wanting to provide individualized consumer experiences are increasingly embracing artificial intelligence-driven personalization technology.
Businesses may customize their services based on client preferences and purchase histories using AI-driven personalization algorithms, which will eventually enhance engagement rates and conversion rates.”
Budget constraints and inflation affect internet spending
Carl Jensen, owner of Compare Banks believes inflation is affecting e-commerce. “Consumer spending will probably continue to be affected by inflation in 2023. Consumers are cautious about their purchases because of constrained budgets.
The two most effective methods for easing their concerns?
Options that are affordable and provide flexible returns.
Do you feel that having an open return policy is harmful to business? Reconsider your position. Yes, returns may be expensive, but customers will still return things whether or not you make it simple for them to do so.
They won’t be discouraged from returning their goods, but they will be discouraged from returning to you if the procedure is rigid or difficult.”
Subscription commerce: Increasing revenue and customer retention
The objective of every organization is to develop long-lasting client connections since acquiring new consumers may be costly and time-consuming.
Subscription commerce will likely grow in importance. With the help of subscription models, online marketplaces and digital vendors are increasing customer loyalty and profitability.
Those numbers are certain to rise with the correct business and fulfillment strategies integrated into a subscription commerce strategy.
Customers will still want ease of use and convenience while buying. Do you have a favorite or often used product or service?
By doing away with manual ordering and delivery, subscription commerce ensures that your purchases are frictionless and available whenever you need them.
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