Month : September 2015

Mind Over Money

How To Solve An Uncomfortable Christmas

So you’re tackling your debt to achieve financial freedom but it’s time for Christmas and gifts, what do you do? It’s sometime uncomfortable if people shower you with gifts and you can’t reciprocate. They want to show you that they love you but it makes you feel bad. Here are 3 things you can do to get them to listen to you

Make a plan

Me and my fiancé are asking our relatives what they want that is inexpensive. This has been greatly received and gives the hint that you aren’t giving much and you don’t want much in return. You can also mention this in the conversation. If people know your intentions and know what to expect they usually follow the lead.


Let them know that you are just going to return the gifts if they give you more than 1 gift (or whatever you are comfortable with keeping). This will get the point across that you are serious and you appreciate their love but it makes you feel bad. True, you still get the value of the gift but it’s the principle that counts :)

Just Say “No”

After you told them how you feel and they insist on giving anyway , just say no and don’t take the gifts. You don’t have to be mean about it, just say “No thank you”. This is the most confrontational way but it will get the job done.

Just remember that you can’t control what other people do and you have to accept it. As long as you’ve expressed what you can do, then they can react however they want. They can get you a bunch of gifts because they want to, or getting you an inexpensive gift because they understand you. This economy has really brought the holidays to their roots and price doesn’t mean you love someone more than someone else. The thought really does count.

Are you uncomfortable when someone gives you something and you can’t reciprocate?

How would you handle the situation?

Money Management

How Does a Car Leasing Plan Work?

It is no surprise for many that there are many companies out there that offers a car lease plan. Perhaps the bigger surprise lies in the fact that most people have already made a pre-judgment of the concept of leasing a car even without possessing enough knowledge to make an informed decision. Ask 10 people how a car leasing plan works and it is likely that not even half can answer your question in an informed and deliberate manner. 

At its most basic, a car leasing plan is essentially a long-term rental agreement with some accompanying terms. The term depends on the user’s preferences but most fall in the 2 to 3 year window. After the lease contract expires, the lessee is required to surrender the car back or get another lease to continue keeping the car in their possession. 

From the perspective of the lessee, a car leasing plan offers multiple advantages. First, it gives the users the opportunity to drive multiple cars, and news ones at that, ever so often without having to buy the car each time. The lessee is also spared from shouldering the high depreciation costs for the car, which is a common problem for car owners. It is often said that a car’s book value plummets faster than you can say “hi” so much so that a car never really retains its highest value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. 

Another advantage of a car leasing plan is that there are multiple options to help the lessee maximize the opportunities without taking in all the hassles. Most lease plans have provisions for maintenance work that will be shouldered by the leaser for a little extra cost. This means that you can essentially use the car as if it were your own without having to absorb all the responsibilities and obligations that accompany car ownership. 

Last but certainly not least, a car leasing plan affords the lessee the flexibility to use a car for a markedly lower financial obligation. Lease plans essentially require the lessee to shoulder only a fraction of the car’s total cost for the period that it was being used. As a lessee, this means that you will only need to get financing for that specific fraction and not for the totality of the car’s price, which would have been the case had you bought the car on your own. 

The many advantages of a car leasing plan make it a favorite among many savvy car users. Check it out today so you can save up on costs without trading down on your preferred car. 


Tips for Choosing a Credit Card Payment Processor

Credit card payments are one of the most convenient ways to accept payments for your business today. Whether receiving payments for your online or physical business, you can appeal to a broad variety of customers by accepting credit card types like MasterCard, Visa and American Express. In order to transfer funds successfully from the credit card company to your business accounts, you are going to need a payment processor. Payment processors are the third parties that are involved in the transaction and they usually charge a processing fee for these services. Some service providers can be quite costly. To reduce cost of accepting credit cards, you should consider the following when choosing a payment processor:


All payment processors charge fees for their services. They may charge you per transaction or a monthly usage fees or both. Some payment processors will scale processing fees depending on how frequently you use the application. Take a close look at the fees they are charging and extrapolate them to the rest of the month to see how much you have to spend as compared to your business returns. If they charge one percent per transaction, consider how many transactions you make in a month and what this one percent amounts to. It may seem little at first but you need to look at the bigger picture.

  • What is the signup fee? Small business often working on a small budget should avoid payment processors that have an initial fee, as it can be quite costly.
  • What makes up the continuous charges? The devil is always in the details. There are various minor fees included in the continuous such as address verification fees, gateway fees and authorization fees. Do not only look at the flat transaction fees when choosing at the service provider.
  • Are there any hidden fees? Unfortunately, some platform will not openly advertise all their fees. Only to hit you with some cancellation fees in case you decide to leave the service or even charge you for bounced payments. Be on the lookout of asterisks as they often indicate areas that could potentially lead to extra charges.


Your customers rely on you to protect their credit card information. In case of any problems with their card, they will probably retrace their steps to the last place they used it, which is your store. You should get the maximum level of security that your budget can afford. The most basic way of securing credit card information is through data encryption but you can still do more. PCI-compliant processing for instance offers higher levels of credit card processing security standards.

Check for features such as VeriSign SSL certificates, CVV2 verification and transaction billing address as signs of good security systems. Do not skim on security costs, any minor security breach and your customers could be robbed blind. This will ruin your business’ credibility and probably drive away a good amount of your customers. Just make sure the payment processors’ security reputation is widely known and respected.


Joel Newman is a medium sized business owner who advices upcoming business owners on various business strategies through his blog. He stresses on the importance of keeping up with the latest innovations to stay relevant and competitive. You can read more at