How To Manage Your Credit Card, and Debt Consolidation.
Credit cards are handy things to have, for sure. You don't have to carry large amounts of cash around, you can buy things over the internet, and you know you've always got money when you need it.

But there's always the temptation to spend more than you have; something the banks really encourage you to do, because then they make lots of money out of you. The Credit part of the credit card is the trap.

Credit card interest rates are often the highest interest you ever pay outside of loans from loan sharks. In my country at this moment it's running at about 24% per annum. This is a quick way to get into financial trouble.

We need to manage our credit cards very carefully. Here are some suggestions and ideas:

Living within our means is the first ideal we should strive for. Try and buy for cash. If necessary, keep a credit balance in your credit card, and as soon as you make a purchase, top it up again.

Keep a book of all your transactions. Or get a software program that helps you to manage your budget, and put everything in there.

Tell your partner about everything you buy. Having to explain your purchases to someone makes you think twice before buying anything!

Keep all your purchase slips for about a year or so, to help you figure out "where the money's gone."

Discuss large purchases beforehand with your partner or a friend or family member. This prevents impulse buying.

If you have good self-control, you can run the card in debit for the 50 or so days grace period that they give you to pay back your debt without any interest being charged; but make sure it goes back into a credit balance before the time period is up.

If you have a home loan or mortgage bond that you can draw money from, then use that to repay your credit card debt, as the mortgage interest rate is much lower than the credit card interest rate. This is known as "Debt Consolidation," which means that you get all your different high interest debt into the debt that has the lowest interest rate. Mortgage loans are usually the lowest, so you should use that money to pay off your furniture and clothing debt, credit card debt, vehicle loan debt, overdue utility accounts; the lot! BUT, then, you must not buy any more stuff until you have paid most of that "borrowed" money back.

Some things are unavoidable, like school fees, tax and so on, but other things like electricity, travel, luxury goods, etc, can be managed and controlled if you put your mind to it.

It's very easy to get into serious debt, and a lot of work to get out of it. But it can be done, and life is a lot more pleasant if we don't have the worry of debt hanging over us.
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Why Ethics In Business Are Important

Ethics in business are not only common sense, but business sense as well, no matter if you run a huge corporation or a little home business from your garage.

Some people raise hell when they get bad service or are overcharged for a product. But the vast majority of people are too busy or too tired to make a scene or write letters of complaint. This majority of customers just make a quiet mental note of what a useless business you have, and vow to never go back there, and they usually don't. These days of online shopping and delivery to your doorstep services, it's really easy to find an alternative supplier.

So honesty and respect really do pay in the business world, especially in the long term. Many hot shot whizz kids have made their fortune by partially ignoring business ethics and honesty, and this was one of the main contributing factors to the latest  recession we are presently enduring. Bad ethics and dishonesty, greed and rudeness do not help a business at all, and the business will collapse when the customers all go elsewhere, or when the whizz kid crookery is found out and punished.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work these simple principles out. So why do highly educated professionals and seasoned businessmen and entrepeneurs make the mistake of forgetting business ethics? Mainly because it requires the courage of your convictions and a good moral base in the individuals themselves. Dishonesty does give you cash in the short term, much like sawing off the branch that you are sitting on gives you timber for a short time. So it will always be a temptation to those with weak morals coupled with financial pressure. In many cases it takes raw courage to be honest, but out of the troubles that businesses go through, it's reputation grows, and businesses with good reputations are successful businesses. Naturally, you still need a good business plan and a hungry market, as well as ethics, to be successful. But good ethics are vital to Keeping you successful.

Business ethics that are important are:
1. Charge the customer a fair price. Don't be greedy.
2. Treat the customer with respect, as though he is better than you.
3. Do not purposely sell the customer defective items or advice, or anything that is harmful or unsafe.
4. Always tell the customer the truth.
5. Treat your staff like you treat yourself, or better. Be kind and generous to your staff.
6. Pay your suppliers promptly.

Ethics do take courage, and hard work. But they are worth it. And they are good business sense too.
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