Traveling? Beware of Credit Card Fees

March 31, 2015 3 comments

SAM_1099

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:

  1. Are there foreign transaction fees? Do the fees apply to purchases and/or cash withdrawals?
  2. What charges apply to purchasing foreign currency directly from a financial institution?
  3. 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

Categories: Money Tags: , ,

Consumer Politics: BuyPartisan

February 28, 2015 Leave a comment
Spending while Supporting Your Ideals

Spending while Supporting Your Ideals

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

 

 

Volunteer, Foster or Adopt a Pet

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

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

 

 

NPR Presents Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

December 28, 2014 Leave a comment
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Philip Game/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Image

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

Categories: Holiday

#GivingTuesday Offers Charitable Gift-Giving Opportunities

November 23, 2014 2 comments

 

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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

 

Categories: Gifts Tags: , ,

How the US is Changing (21 Informative Charts)

October 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Vox

 

Twenty-one charts explain how the US is changing, shedding light on “…who we are, where we live, how we work, how we have fun, and how we relate to each other.” Thanks to Danielle Kurtzleben and Vox for sharing!

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

-Bob Dylan Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music

 

Join the Kind Campaign Movement

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

This is an exceptional organization advocating for female empowerment and an end to bullying. You can read about the Kind Campaign or watch the Kind Campaign » Documentary to find out further information. Please consider sharing this post to help bring awareness to this cause. Thank you.

 

Kind Campaign is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in KINDness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.” – Kind Campaign Mission Statement

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