Please take a moment on this Memorial Day to remember the soldiers who have given their lives to defend our country.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. – Douglas MacArthur
It’s the last day of Donate Life Month, but it’s never too late to sign up for organ donation and give the gift of life. You can check out more information about organ donation and registration at National Donate Life Month | Donate Life America and GoRecycleYourself.
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. – Kahlil Gibran
Planning on traveling, I had to make a few important phone calls. You would think the calls were to family and friends, but no, I had to contact my bank and credit card companies. After a barrage of interrogative questions from a financial representative asking where I was going, when I was going, and when I was returning, I finally gave out to my interrogator. “You do not need to know exactly when I’m leaving and returning, you only need to know an approximate time frame for each destination. To be frank, I’m uncomfortable about telling anyone that I’m leaving my home on specific dates. In addition, the likelihood of me using your credit card after finding out about 3% fees for each use are slim to none.” And with that, I was finally able to end the call. Thankfully, my debit card company advised me of no fees and was less inclined to act like a stalker regarding my travel plans.
So, with spring break and summer travels coming up, I thought it was a good time for a travel-reminder blog post about credit cards and debit cards. Because card fraud is a concern, consumers should contact financial institutions to ensure out-of-the-area transactions will not be declined. Furthermore, you should ask the following questions to ensure the best rates and avoid fees for foreign travel:
- Are there foreign transaction fees? Do the fees apply to purchases and/or cash withdrawals?
- What charges apply to purchasing foreign currency directly from a financial institution?
- What is the purchasing process to buy foreign currency prior to departure?
Prior to my travel dates, I found out that my two credit cards had 3% foreign transaction fees, but my debit card did not. You can find some helpful information regarding changes in credit card fees in the article, Cards with no foreign transaction fee cards surge. In short, don’t subject yourself to unnecessary fees and let financial institutions know they’re losing out on your business; otherwise, you can pretty much count on having your pocket picked!
Nobody had a credit card when I was a kid. No one had credit card debt. But these big companies and banks wanted to know how to get more money out of people – get them charging things.-Michael Moore
I’m fessing up. There are products I like that I no longer buy. Why? Because I know where the company’s profits go. Now, my purchasing power no longer supports a political party that is not in line with my political beliefs.
More consumers can take advantage of the power of the purse by using the “BuyPartisan” mobile app. With a simple swipe of a product’s barcode, you can find information regarding “political donations of the CEO, Board of Directors, PAC’s and employees of the company you are buying from.”
In short, money is power, so support companies with your ideals when spending your green.
It is money, money, money! Not ideas, not principles, but money that reigns supreme in American politics. – Robert Byrd
If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference, why not consider volunteering, fostering, or adopting a pet? With Petfinder.com, you can find an animal shelter or rescue center in your local area. You can donate your time at a shelter or bring a pet home to foster or adopt. This act of kindness can help relieve stress for a pet who is waiting for a loving, caring family, and you will receive the love of a new best friend.
My mother and dad were big animal lovers, too. I just don’t know how I would have lived without animals around me. I’m fascinated by them – both domestic pets and the wild community. They just are the most interesting things in the world to me, and it’s made such a difference in my lifetime. – Betty White
As a writer, David Sedaris is phenomenal, and his audios are hysterical. A friend of mine introduced me to David Sedaris’ work via spoken word, and “Santaland Diaries” left me crying-laughing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. For your listening pleasure, please click: Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris. My thanks to NPR for sharing his work.
For more about David’s experience as Crumpet the elf, you can read his New York Times article: ‘Holidays on Ice’ By DAVID SEDARIS, Published: December 5, 2008.
What other people call dark and despairing, I call funny. – David Sedaris
If you’re at a loss to find thoughtful gifts for family and friends, you can make a difference in communities that need assistance while putting a smile on a loved one’s face. This holiday season, please consider purchasing gifts that positively impact local businesses, artisans, and non-profit organizations, and share this post to inspire others to give gifts that make a difference. Thank you.
For a list of #GivingTuesday sites, please check out 21 Ways to Give Back Through Your Holiday Shopping by Julia Claire Campbell. In addition, you can access lists from my prior blog posts: Tis the Season and Make a Difference When Gift Giving, Give a Goat.
“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
#GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Together, with a team of influencers and founding partners, we launched a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.” – #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Tuesday, December 2, 2014