Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tips For Seniors to Stretch Their Dollars Further With Financial Savings

If you are a senior citizen, you likely have to watch every dollar carefully. Living frugally does not mean you have to live cheap, or that you are poor. Instead living frugally implies that you are careful and wise with your most valuable asset, your cash flow. When you live frugally you know that every single dollar saved adds up to a lot of dollars at the end of the year, and a better quality of life. We will discuss some tips that can stretch out your retirement savings much further.

Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save extra money. You can often find them right in your mailbox, or in your local free community news papers. You can also buy your local Sunday news papers, which is sure to be chuck full of coupon goodness. You can maximize your couponing by looking for stores which agree to double a coupons value, although these stores are often harder to find than in days past. I know of one couple who save on average $80 per shopping trip due to coupons, and they shop once per week. That is a savings of $4160 per year!


Health care

This area seniors often get lost in the sea of options out there. The one thing for certain with health care is that every year the prices change, not just for health services but also insurance premiums, and what is covered or not. The perfect health plan from 2014 may not be well suited to 2015 and beyond. You should review your health care options every single year, compare plans and premiums and make the decision best suited for your level of care you come to expect as well as cost. You just may be able to get the same or better coverage by examining your options when your new window for changing enrollment opens up. You can well believe that these insurance companies are competitive and that deals can be had, if you only but look for them. Remember looking at your options comes with no obligations.

Phone
These days most people have a cell phone. If you too have a cell phone, yet still own a land line, you might want to consider dropping your land line and staying just with a cellular plan. Landlines are outdated and no longer needed, a cell phone does everything a land line does and more. The savings from dropping your land line can equal several hundred dollars per year. If you do not use the phone often there is even cheaper options available, such as a prepaid plan, and these plans can cost as little as $10 per month.


Property Taxes

Many states offer senior citizens a break on property taxes. You should look into if your state offers such a discount. If they do, there will be paperwork to fill out of course, but it should be relatively easy.

The Anatomy Of Understanding Credit Card Transactions

Many people wonder exactly what happens when they swipe their credit cards, or how exactly an online transaction occurs on the credit card companies and merchants end. To better understand how your merchant gets paid, we need to break it down step by step.


Point of purchase

Either online or in a brick and motor store location, your credit card number and information is entered into the system. Either secure hardware (in a store) or software (online transactions) takes your credit card information and processes the order. For transactions in a store you will need to enter your 4 digit pin in many cases, with the exception of small amounts to some locations. For online purchases, you may need to enter the 3 digit CVC code on the back of your credit card. Now your purchase is verified and ready for authorization.

Authorization

Once verified, your charge will need to be verified with the credit card company. The credit card company will need to see if you have enough credit to make the purchase. Your data is transferred to a authorization network to approve or deny the amount being charged. It will check your credit limit and for any holds on your account, if all these checks pass the network will forward approval. If there is not enough credit left or if there are any issues such as a lock on your account a NOK message will be sent to the merchant and your charge will be declined. Sometimes a 3rd option will come into play where the credit card company asks the merchant to contact the credit card company in order to verify the purchase and the card holder. Some credit card companies and merchants will have the funds clear and post right away, while others will hold them in batches to be sent to the processor all at once for clearing and settlement.


Notification

The software will receive the approval notice from the authorization network. You will be notified at this time, and the charge will go through. Once approved the transaction is uploaded for record keeping to the authorization network.


Clearing and Settlement

Your credit card will forward the money to the merchant, usually in one business day. This happens via the processor which will send the transactions to your credit card company. Once this happens the merchants bank will be credited with their earnings and the process is now completed. When you notice a transaction is no longer pending the merchant has been paid.

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