Debit or Credit? Pick a Card

Americans use debit cards more often than credit cards, but they tend to use credit cards for higher-dollar transactions. The average value of a debit-card transaction in 2018 was just $36, while credit-card transactions averaged $89.1

This usage reflects fundamental differences between the two types of cards. A debit card acts like a plastic check and draws directly from your checking account, whereas a credit-card transaction is a loan that remains interest-free only if you pay your monthly bill on time. For this reason, people may use a debit card for regular expenses and a credit card for “extras.” However, when deciding which card to use, you should be aware of other differences.  Continue reading “Debit or Credit? Pick a Card”

Credit Traps for the Unwary


It’s hard to imagine functioning in today’s society without access to credit. However, you need to be careful not to fall victim to some of the pitfalls associated with it.

Revolving credit can make it hard for you to pay off debt

Credit cards allow you to spend money you don’t currently have, and to repay what you’ve spent over time instead of all at once. Continue reading “Credit Traps for the Unwary”

Scams are targeting our friends, parents, grandparents and clients

Publisher’s Clearing House Scams are targeting our older family members, clients and friends.

Quick PSA – A client and friend came to my office today, with a letter and a check from PCH, made payable to her, for $7600.

It looked legitimate, but was indeed a fraud.  After searching the internet and PCH’s own website and fraud page, I was able to advise her to shred the check and contact PCH immediately with details of the scam.  The letter is on PCH letterhead and informs the recipient that she has won, and this check is a prepayment of taxes.  The letter instructs her to call and talk about it, before depositing.  Thankfully, she came to me first, so that the scammers won’t have her phone number.  I wanted to share the link to PCH’s website.  This is so important for our parents, grandparents and older friends who come from the Publisher’s Clearing House generation and trust their name.

How can I safely shop online this holiday season?

Shopping online is especially popular during the holiday season, when many people prefer to avoid the crowds and purchase gifts with a few clicks of a mouse. However, with this convenience comes the danger of having your personal and financial information stolen by computer hackers.

Before you click, you might consider the following tips for a safer online shopping experience.

Pay by credit instead of debit. Credit card payments can be withheld if there is a dispute, but debit cards are typically debited quickly. In addition, credit cards generally have better protection than debit cards against fraudulent charges. Continue reading “How can I safely shop online this holiday season?”