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    Free Essay
    9.4 of 10 on the basis of 1148 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Outdoor Wreath 24

     

    Have a wreath on your front door is a great way to give a feeling of holiday cheer to all that come to your home. You can have these all throughout the year, but they are most popular during the Christmas season. You don’t have to have your wreath on your door if you don’t want to, you can find other places outside to hang them if you wish. When you do this, you do have to make sure you have an outdoor wreath that will stand up to the harsh weather that often comes in the month of December. Sometimes you can find an outdoor wreath just by shopping for them.

    They are made to stand up to weather, but they are often made with a material that might not have the warm feeling that you want them to have. This is because many of them are made with plastic. That plastic can certainly handle moisture, cold, and wind, but it doesn’t always look the best.

    When you can’t find something pleasant, you can always make your own. However, you have to think about what you are putting into it so it will last. You can use natural pine, but remember that this type of outdoor wreath should be considered disposable. It will work well for one holiday season, but it’s not likely something you can put away to save for next year.

    Any living material can not be stored like that. You might be able to find fake pine, but don’t get it unless you like the look of it. Some can be mistaken for real pine, and that is what you want for your wreath.

    You can also get twig wreath bases, but make sure they are well put together. You can add anything to your outdoor wreath that you want, but think out the conditions outside your home. Ribbons might be okay on your front door, if you have an overhang, but won’t do well otherwise. The things you do choose should be things that won’t be ruined by water, and won’t be cracked if the temperatures fall too low. You should also make sure you know how to attach things to wreaths meant to be outside.

    If you can use wire, that is a great option. If you must get glue, find one that is strong enough to handle pressure from the wind, and that won’t fail in freezing or wet conditions.



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    Make Your Garden Enchanting With Outdoor Decor

     

    : Simon Douglas, author and furniture retailer provides the largest selection of cedar potting benches, wooden planters, picnic tables, and Adirondack chairson the internet. Read more for great cedar furniture ideas for you patio.



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    How To Find A Cheap Rental Car

     

    : Are you fed up with paying in more of $40 a day for a wholesome letting car when out of city on trip. I have forever been skeptical of web sites such as Priceline and Hotwire, however after a recent experience I now swear by them. I was able to pick up a stuffed dimension Chevrolet Impala in Los Angeles for only $18 a day, through a foremost company. That is fewer than the colors value you would pay for a compact car on Travelogues, or soon through a letting car company's web setting. With your savings, acquire the vehicle indemnity selection, and have instance of thinker that if anything happens, you can just move away. I suggests that you first do some examine, and ensure out the prices for a charter car on sites such as Velocities, Expedia, or Orbits, as well as glance the major payment car company web sites for specials. Log onto Priceline. com, and show the location of your payment, and your dates and time. Make assured you elect these suitably as you will not be able to change them once your suggest has been accepted. When it comes to charge, you will most expected not be able to get a significantly cheaper penalty on a small compact, or wealth car. Where the savings come is when renting a larger car. So, why not go in comfort and want bursting magnitude, premium or even luxury, and make a proposal at, or a little fewer than the average untaken speed for a thrift car. For example, a complete mass car on Alamo. com will run about $45 a day, so why not submit $20. Often if your proposal is not accepted, Price line will regularly make an oppose apportion, stating that you can certify your selection by upping your suggest by dough or two. If you don't hope to pay the elevated penalty for the height of car, why not up your hire sort preference as well. Remember, the payment car companies want their cars on the boulevard. "Congratulations, your recommend has been accepted." After singing around a little, you will eventually get your great split. Your payment has now been emotional to your repute license. This includes the leasing charge, and taxes, however it does not compose any extra indemnity. When you go to pick up your great car, at a fantastic outlay, I would amply recommend adding face to your payment. The money you saved on the payment will more than cover the charge of the assurance. I would warmly recommend the gorged coverage insurance, but you may want to ask for the option that excludes 3rd party liability. If you are unfamiliar with the region you will be driving in, I would also extremely recommend selection up a GPS corps. These typically run about $10 a day, but will salvage you ALOT of time in the long run not having to deal with maps, and receiving absorbed. These are painless to use, and will point you through express prompts to your destination in orlando vacation rental.



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    Three Ways To Jumpstart Your It Career

     

    We all get stuck in ruts from time to time, and that happens on the job as well. You've thought about doing something different with your information technology career, but just haven't quite gotten around to it yet. Sound familiar? You can make 2006 the best year yet for your IT career. There are several simple steps you can take to accelerate your career but you have to take the step, not just think about it! Learn something new. One of the biggest reasons you get tired of a job is that you're doing the same thing every day. If you happen to love what you do, that's great, but if not it's time to break out of the box. Besides, learning a new skill adds value to your career. If you've been doing server work for a long time, take the time to learn some Cisco skills. If you're an Exchange specialist, learn some Linux skills. Get certified. Not very many of us get to work for the same company for the rest of our IT careers. The only job security is the security you give yourself, and one of the ways to get that security is to add professional certifications to your resume. Certifications such as the MCSE and CCNA get you noticed and help you stand out from the crowd. Ask yourself what your resume would look like if you were laid off today, and then take steps to improve yourself and your professional standing. Be prepared to take one step backwards in order to take multiple steps forward. You may be in a situation I was in a while back when my employer saw me as strictly a server guy. I wanted to get on the Cisco side of things, but there was this perception that I was "only a LAN guy". I had to leave that company to get my shot. There was some short term financial pain, but in the long run it was the best career move I've ever made. People get typecast in every field. In his book "Often Wrong, Never In Doubt", Donny Deutsch writes about a job candidate who wanted to become a junior ad executive, but couldn't break in with his current employer which was an ad agency! He was typecast in a support role, so he applied to other ad firms and was quickly hired. Sometimes you have to look outside your current situation in order to create a new situation for yourself. Don't be afraid to take a step backwards in order to open up new possibilities for yourself. There's an amazing career out there, waiting for you if you have the courage to make it and take it.



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    5 Warning Signs That Could Keep You Out Of Er

     

    Many people knowingly experience asthma for the first time when they are rushed to the emergency room with acute breathing problems. Many of them did not realize that asthma could develop in adults. Consequently they did not seek medical help when symptoms first appeared. This neglect can be fatal. If you suspect you have adult or late onset asthma a final diagnosis should be left to a qualified practitioner, but there are some signs that suggest asthma may be a problem. Many adults who develop asthma will have experienced chest problems as a child. They may have suffered a higher than average number of coughs or episodes of bronchitis. This may have been undiagnosed asthma. Although asthma does seem to run in families because there is a genetic component to the condition it is not unusual for a single family member to develop asthma while their siblings do not. If you have more than two of the following symptoms it is probable that you are suffering some form of lung disease and you should consult a doctor. 1. Do you correctly use your diaphragm to breathe, or do you lift your shoulders and chest as you breathe? 2. Can you complete long sentences without becoming short of breath? 3. Do you wheeze? This could be a sign that mucus has built up in your airways. 4. Do you have a rapid pulse? This could be due to lack of oxygen in your bloodstream. 5. Are your chest, back or stomach muscles painful? This could be a sign of the strain breathing is putting on these muscles. If you do have asthma it is likely that it is triggered by something. The most common asthma triggers include pollution from traffic or industry, cold or dry air, and airborne irritants. There are many other triggers. In women, hormones can trigger a susceptibility to asthma. Some women find asthma becomes a problem just before a period, some experience symptoms during pregnancy, and some around the menopause. Many cases of adult asthma are triggered by viral infections that affect the respiratory system. Others find that symptoms become noticeable as they put on weight. There seems to be a link between obesity and asthma. So what is the next step if you suspect you have asthma? You need to visit your doctor, and you will make the most of the consultation if you go prepared. Think about your home and your place of work. Do these have any triggers that may be starting your asthma? Are there any other environments, activities or substances that seem to provoke a worsening of your condition? Give some thought to your medical history and whether any relatives have suffered from asthma, eczema or any allergies. If you are not sure there is any connection between how you feel and where you are or what you do keep a daily journal of your condition, preferably for about two weeks. With this information and some simple breathing tests your doctor should be able to tell you whether you have asthma. If you find you do have asthma, take comfort from the fact that we know more about this disease and how to manage it than ever before.



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    How To Go On When The Going Gets Rough

     

    There has never been a more opportune time to follow your heart and realize your dreams. However getting to the pot of gold is not always easy. It takes dedication, commitment and the willingness to do whatever it takes. So how do you go on when the going gets tough. When you have dug and toiled, day after day, week after week, and you experience all kinds of disappointments and frustrations. When you have used the best scientific data, indicating the best locations to dig and are still not finding the rich deposit, which you know is there somewhere. Or when you have developed the best looking website, developed the best product and what you think is the best sales copy, and you still fail to make the sales that you know should follow? Do you say it is not working and give up, like the gold prospector in Napoleon Hill's classic "think and grow rich", who stopped just 3 feet from his pot of gold? What do you do when everything you know, doesn't seem to work? The best thing to do is to take time out and become still. Yes, stop toiling for a while and make some quiet time, because it's no use just hammering away if you are hitting at the wrong place. The quiet time will help you reflect on what you have done so far and gain some new perspective. Take a book that has inspired you countless times or the Bible and read. Don't put pressure on yourself trying to find an answer, just let yourself go, any whichever way and the answers will come. Take a piece of paper and just write. What about? Anything really. You can write about the confusion you feel. Talk to yourself, not negative stuff that will make you feel worse then you already do, but tell yourself that you are getting the answers you are looking for. Don't talk as someone who is without hope but talk like someone who knows it's only a matter of time. Most importantly though, listen to yourself, and then try again using some of the new insights you have gained from your inner person, your subconscious. Sometimes, you're at the right place, you just need to go 3 feet further down or 3 feet to the left, or right. Or sometimes the time just isn't right and you just need to wait a little while longer. But these are things no scientific data will ever tell you. This is something which comes from inside you, your subconscious mind which knows everything. That is why it is important to take time out and listen, because if you don't you may just miss the key you need and waste an awful lot of time and money. Here's something else you can do. Every time you feel discouraged or a little afraid, go and read about your icons or heroes. How they started out. How they felt, when they were still at the bottom, the things they said and did when it really got rough, and be inspired. If possible try and trace a childhood friend of your heroes and talk to them. In his classic, "Think and Grow Rich" Napoleon Hill describes how his subjects held imaginary conversations with great men who went before them. The result was that afterwards they became more inspired. Imagine having an intimate, one on one conversation with Bill Gates or Henry Ford, and asking them all the questions you've always wanted to ask them. It would be awesome wouldn't it. When you come out of there you will be so focused on your goal that nothing anybody say will discourage you. Something else you should do is to continuously remind yourself that everybody who is now successful, was once at the very place where you are now. The important thing is that they didn't remain there. If you are serious about attaining your goals you will also not remain there. But remember, it requires commitment and dedication even through the tough times. Oh, how sweet it is to hold that prize after all the struggling. That's when you realize all the trials and tribulations were worth it. But you will never savor that experience, you will never know how good it feels when you give up.



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    Hot Sauce Collection An Anthology Of Delight

     

    Archimedes had his brainwave while in the bathtub. Newton had his when he was relaxing beneath an apple tree. Great ideas come in flashes. The idea of starting a hot sauce collection came to Hot Sauce Harry’s while vacationing in the Caribbeans. Wanting to avoid the stereotype souvenirs, they found the notion of gifting hot sauce quite appealing. Thus were planted the seeds of a massive hot sauce collection. Hot Sauce Harry’s house their formidable hot sauce collection at their flagship store in Dallas Farmers’ Market. Greenhorn hot sauce collectors can make their forays from here. The store has sauce collections that span the entire Caribbean, Mexican and Louisiana gamut. Name a hot sauce and get it here. Hot sauce collectors can begin their sauce collections in two ways. They can go for sheer numbers where the more, the merrier it is. Thus, they can build up a voluminous hot sauce collection in no time at all. Or they may choose to be nitpicky, concentrating only on specific hot sauce types. There is beauty in numbers. Therefore, you grab every hot sauce that you can lay your hands on. However, have your hot sauce collection catalogued right down to the minute detail. This way you can keep track of where your sauce collections are heading. Carry your list wherever you go so that you do not end up paying a fortune on a duplicate hot sauce. The hot sauce debutants may start with the Ass Kickin Kit. An assortment of five hot sauces, Ass Kickin' Original, Candy Ass, Kick Yo Ass, Pain In The Ass and Smart Ass, they make great collectibles. Specialty hot sauce collectors may fancy the limited edition hot sauce. Alternatively, they may go in for representatives from each region, state or province. They may choose to house in their sauce collections only hot sauce mementos like those released for special occasions and festivals or the hot sauce picked up while vacationing. These fastidious people avoid the run of the mill hot sauce. Fussy hot sauce collectors they may be, but whatever be their sauce of specialization, even they cannot resist the lure of 357 Mad Dog Collectors’ Edition. Sporting the tag of The World’s Hottest Hot Sauce Ever Made, this hot sauce is akin to the Penny Black among the philatelists or a Rembrandt among the art collectors. The specialty hot sauce collectors would do well to purchase some literature on hot sauce. There are some exhaustive guidebooks on the matter like The Hot Sauce Collector’s Guide: A Book for Collectors, Evans and Dewitt’s The Hot Sauce Bible. These books will enlighten you on the various hot sauce brands, both the blue blooded and the off the shelf types, their history and the names and addresses of hot sauce vendors. Know your hot sauce well before starting on your sauce collections, so that you can distinguish the vintages from the fakes. Heat up your hot sauce collection. Before you know, you’ll have a showstopper in hand.



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    Idea Scrapbooking

     

    Ideas for cost free scrapbooking Scrapbooking is one the favorite hobbies of America. And what is there not to like? It is addicting. It is involving and it helps you tap into those dormant creative energies. What is more, you get to recreate and preserver special memories on paper while doing something that you really really love. Scrapbooking though can be really costly with all the materials that you have to buy. There is the scrapbook itself or the album, which you can find in craft store. There are also the special papers and decorations like little metallic buttons and ribbons not to mention the tools like scissors and glue. Scrapbooking can really eat away a large chunk off your monthly savings. But this should not be the case. If you really want to, you can turn your scrapbooking activity into a cost free adventure. All you need to do is to be resourceful and find items around the house that you can reuse as decors and emblems. Below are some tips that can help you get started. Recycle paper. There is actually no need to buy an already prepared scrapbook or album because you can easily create your own. In fact, most of what is being sold in craft stores and department stores are scrapbooks that you can do yourself. If you have the time, you can recycle your own paper from the newspapers and scratch papers that your kids use in school. Recycling your own paper is real easy although there are many steps that you have to follow. It can also be time consuming because in addition to tearing the paper into smaller pieces, you also have to dry them up after the recycling process. But if you are really decided and have a lot of free time in your hands, research on the specific steps in the Internet. Who knows, you might find it real fun. If however, you find recycling your own paper mighty tedious. You can use plain bond paper or use sheets of newspapers or magazines without really recycling it. Use those pages with ads on them for its color and graphics. The details can add some great touches to your scrapbook pages. Look into your old stuff There are a lot in the house that you can use as decorations for your pages. You don't really have to buy decorations just to make your page nice. In fact, sometimes, what you find in your home can add a touch of memory into your page that decorations in craft stores cannot achieve. One example of things around the home that you can use are old buttons that you get from clothes that you don’t wear anymore. Buttons are great decorations for the pages. Another possible decors are faux gemstones from costume jewelries that got broken. You can also tear some fabrics in your old clothes and use some parts to add texture to your pages. Broken chains and ribbons in dresses can also be reused as borders and linings. Papered memories If you are the type who keeps absolutely everything for the memories, you can actually fill up a whole scrapbook without having to buy anything. For instance, bus tickets, movies tickets, concert tickets and even parking tickets that remind you of special occasions can be used as decorations for scrapbooks. The same goes with any kind of receipts. Greeting cards are another great source of graphics and decorations.



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    Fitness And Health Guide For Busy Moms

     

    When you're busy balancing work, kids, and home life in general, you might feel that there's not enough time in the day for health and fitness. The word "exercise" just doesn't seem to fit into your vocabulary. But there's good news. With just a little daily commitment, you can achieve good health and fitness in no time without adding stress to your already busy schedule. Start with Slow Exercise and Build Strength Get started with slow, easy exercises that you can handle. Do about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise or activity each day or at least several times per week. Start with less strenuous activities and then work your way up to more strenuous exercises as you build muscle strength. This will improve your fitness and health without putting too much strain on your body, especially if you've been inactive for a while. Some examples of low fitness activities you might try include walking, playing outdoor games with your kids (ball, tag, volleyball, badminton, flying a kite, etc.), walking the dog, mowing the lawn or gardening, housework, walking stairs, or riding a bike. When you want to have fun with your kids, opt for the park instead of the ice cream shop. Be mindful of physical activity in everything you do. This will help your kids get exercise as well without feeling pressured about it. If you work outside the home, you can take walks during your breaks. Even a daily 15 minute walk can make a big difference! Increasing Activity As your body grows stronger, you might choose to add some aerobic exercise to your daily routine. Do this slowly and increase the intensity and time of your aerobic activity in short increments so you won't overdo it. Aerobic exercise helps you burn more calories and improve heart health. Some examples of aerobic fitness activities include fast walking or jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, skating, skiing, step aerobics, or racket sports. You can also enroll in an aerobics class if you feel you're ready to commit to it several times per week. Or, there are DVDs that teach you to do aerobic workouts at home. Another way to increase fitness activity is to invest in exercise equipment such as a treadmill, fitness band, yoga mat, ab wheel, workout weights, row machine, or stationary bike. These allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home with the same results as outdoor fitness activities. Pamper Your Muscles Be sure to pamper your muscles a little before and after workouts. Do stretches before working out and then "cool down" afterwards to allow your muscles to relax. Also, take soothing baths after a workout or in the evening before bedtime to help your muscles and body to relax. This will make workouts more enjoyable and give you something to look forward to each day. Supplement Your Diet for Better Fitness and Health To enhance your fitness efforts, supplement your diet with nutritious items such as protein and amino acids or other vitamins and minerals. There are nutritional shakes, protein shakes, vitamin supplement pills, nutrition bars, and other items to enhance your diet as you increase your fitness activity. These will also enhance your overall health. Look for vitamins that are specifically designed for women. As a busy mom, don't neglect one of the most important tasks of all taking care of your own health. With good health and fitness, you'll be able to keep up with your kids and share activities with them like never before!



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    Packing For The Occasion

     

    Whether you are flying or driving there is a limit to want you want to take with you. It's just common sense to travel as light as you can. Remember that everything you take with you, you have to take care of ( and haul around)... also, you want to have room to bring home a few treasures from the trip. If you are flying, look at the airline's web site for information and limits. In your carry on luggage you want to have: A passport, for all travel outside the U. S. and identification purposes. Wallet containing: Driver's License and/or other proper photo identification required for domestic travel. Insurance cards for both your medical and automobile insurance Credit cards Travelers checks Airline, Cruise or Train tickets Itinerary with confirmation numbers and addresses and phone numbers of where you'll be staying. Travel brochures and maps Cash for tipping those folks that take care of you. Any necessary medication. Carry your medication in their original bottles to help avoid security questions. Cameras, computers and electronics that you really feel that you can't live without. Valuables. Now, let's be practical here, most valuables are better off locked up at home. By taking them with you you are asking to have them stolen or lost. Make sure your insurance will cover the loss if you just have to take them with you. Carry a list of all of the items that you have with you on your trip, and leave a duplicate list at home, to help you file a complete claim form if your items are lost or stolen. To keep things tidy: Don't over pack your bags. Take the proper size luggage for your trip. Too big a bag will allow your items to move around and make damage and wrinkles more likely. Unpack as soon as possible. Most hotels and motels have an iron if you need it. Don't pack liquids. Any town, anywhere has a drug store or Wal Mart with an isle of travel sized toiletries, if your choice of lodging doesn't supply them. To Avoid Losses: Never leave your luggage unattended Learn your destination's airport code and make sure the correct tag put on your luggage. Avoid taking luggage with expensive brand names that will make the luggage more attractive to thieves. Clearly label your luggage on both the inside and outside with your name and address. Remove all items that are hanging on luggage that could get caught on conveyor belts, such as a leash for walking the rolling bags. Place a trip itinerary in your luggage so your luggage may easily be returned to you. Place an unique bright marking on your luggage so you can easily identify it. We use a strip of yellow duct tape on the handles of our luggage. Marking your luggage makes it easier to identify if it is lost, and keeps other travelers with similar luggage from taking it from the conveyor. Cross pack a couple changes of clothes with a traveling companion. That way if your luggage is misplaced, you’ll have enough clothes to get by until it's return. Block the view of others when you are entering ATM or phone card numbers so thieves can’t copy the codes and use them. If an airline loses your luggage, file a claim before you leave the airport. Be sure to give them a copy of your itinerary and item list for that bag. Also, be sure to get a copy of the claim and phone number to follow up. Consider purchasing trip insurance to protect your property. The more you travel, the more you know that traveling with the smallest possible amount of luggage is the best way to go. To travel light and still have what you need: Call ahead to the hotel or view their web site to see if they offer laundry services, robes and toiletries to will reduce your packing needs. Coordinate your outfits around a central color that allows you to mix and match your outfits and cut down on shoes and accessories. Check the weather to account for seasonal temperature and precipitation fluctuations. Plan your outfits so you can layer instead of bringing coats. Take a solid color sweater that matches your outfits to use to keep you warm. List all the items you are taking. If you don't need it, don't take it.



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    Understanding Your Air Conditioner

     

    So many people have them in their homes, but few people truly understand the basics behind their air conditioning units. They know enough to switch them on and set the temperature at the level they desire, but really know little about the parts that make the unit cool their house down. An air conditioner regulates the heat and cold in your house by controlling the humidity and temperature in each room, but do you know how it does this? Whether you are shopping for a new air conditioner or interested in learning about the one you have, the best place to start is with the general terms used to explain the functions of your unit. BTU: A BTU or British Thermal Unit is the world wide measurement for energy. In layman’s terms it is the amount of heat that is needed to raise a pound of water by one degree of temperature. When you hear someone talk about BTUs in regards to air conditioning they are talking about the amount of heat a unit can remove from a standard sized room. The higher the BTU rating the bigger, more expensive, and heavier the air conditioner is. While many people think that bigger is better, when it comes to air conditioning that is not always the case. It is more important to correctly match the size of a room with the required amount of BTUs. Having too many or too few for the room’s size decreases efficiency and actually hinders the unit from doing its job. Chassis: The chassis is simply the guts of your air conditioner. It is the frame and working parts exclude from the body of your unit. Smaller units often have a fixed chassis which is easiest to remove for winterizing. Larger units often have a slide out chassis that makes repair work a snap. EER: The EER is simply calculated by dividing the BTUs into the number of watts. Air conditioners with higher EER numbers should be the most efficient. While a unit with a higher EER number will save you money in the long run, it will cost more to buy. If you don’t live in a really hot area, it might not be worth it to invest in a unit with an EER over 10. Fan: The fan in an air conditioner works like every other fan you have ever seen. Its sole job is to move the air. When it comes to air conditioners an adjustable thermostat combined with an adjustable speed fan makes the unit very efficient. In an air conditioning unit, you want to look for louvers that not only adjust up and down, but right and left as well. Filter: Air is surprisingly dirty and a good filter will make a big difference in the quality of the air you breathe. Clean air is also a must if you want to get the most efficient work from your air conditioner. Because clean air is so important to the operation and maintenance of your unit, it is important to change or clean your filters regularly. Because you will be dealing with the filter on a regular basis, it is a good idea to own an air conditioner that has an easily accessible filter. Thermostat: A thermostat is simply a device used to regulate temperature. Thermostats are heat sensing and therefore able to adjust the output of your air conditioner based on the level of heat in a room. You can get thermostats that are manual or programmable, depending on your needs. If you can get an adjustable thermostat and a variable speed fan, your air conditioning unit will be very efficient. Once you have a small understanding of how an air conditioning unit not only works, but works most efficiently and effectively, it is a lot easier to find a unit that fits your unique household needs and understand the most efficient ways to run it.



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    How To Choose A Credit Card

     

    There are literally thousands of credit cards out there to choose from. You receive offers in the mail, in your email, over the phone, and on the websites you surf to on the Internet. We are inundated with credit offers, but are all credit card offers worth taking? The answer is a definite no. There are many things about accepting the offer of a credit card you need to know. How do I know which credit card offers to accept and which ones I should stay away from? Is one of the most common questions we get at youngparentsmagazine. com , says Jennifer Tarzian. People want to know how to choose a credit card wisely. If there is one thing consumer advocates and the banking industry do agree on, it is that the abundance of convenient credit gets a lot of people in trouble because they are financially uninformed. Financial education is not subsidized by the credit card industry, but is included in a the most recent version of the Bankruptcy Reform Act. That bill, which has been stalled for years, would make it much harder for consumers to shed their unsecured credit card debt when they go into bankruptcy. It would also require both credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy, and post bankruptcy instructional courses on personal financial management as a condition to discharge debt. So the only financial education available comes way too late, since you’re already in trouble when they offer it. All this means we have to be even more careful when choosing which credit cards to sign up for. Credit card issuers are often accused of tempting consumers into carrying more debt than their income justifies. Then, when the customer is drowning in debt stumbling to make even the minimum payment they will pile on late fees, jack up interest rates and begin what often becomes a crescendo of collection calls. How do I avoid that? Choosing which credit cards you accept is just as important as how you use the credit cards you do accept. The rest of this article will focus on choosing credit cards wisely. To find out more about how to keep your credit score high and use credit cards wisely, go to creditcards. youngparentsmagazine. com , where Jennifer Tarzian can help you. Do You Know What You Can Afford? Credit card mailings can be tempting, offering teaser rates, rebates, and rewards. It’s up to you to figure out whether you are financially stable enough to accept them. According to Tamara Draut, Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at the nonpartisan public policy organization Demos. "When consumers are extended credit, they think it's because the banks see them as being capable of borrowing, while it very well may be that they are not financially prepared to take on additional debt." "People say, if I can't afford it, why was I offered credit," says Jim Tehan, spokesman for Myvesta, a nonprofit consumer education organization. Tehan says that credit card issuers target consumers based on data mining technology that can only give one part of the picture. "They don't know what consumers can afford only a consumer can say what they can truly afford." But banking industry veteran Walter Wriston, former CEO of Citigroup/Citibank, argues that credit card issuers shouldn't be the ones deciding who can afford what. "Should we say to somebody, say, you're 21 years old: 'You can carry a rifle and fight our war. You can vote in a presidential election. But, unfortunately, you're not smart enough to know how much money to borrow?'" That means, it’s up to you. You decide whether or not you can afford to have more credit or not. Look at the credit cards and loans you now have. What is your total credit limit including all of your credit cards, loans, and accounts? What is your total debt owed to those credit cards, loans, and accounts? These are all things you should think over before you fill out that credit card application. Comparing Credit Card Offers; Many people still carry credit cards with annual percentage rates (APRs) of 13% or higher. After all, there's a whole industry of card issuers out there devoted to using hidden fees and interest rate gymnastics to gouge you as best they can. Consider this: According to Gerri Detweiler, author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook, some credit card companies are actually trying to get rid of card holders who pay off their balances each month. "The card issuer might try to move you to a card with an annual fee or a debit card," she says. The key to getting a better credit card deal is figuring out how much a given card really costs you. You've probably gotten a stack of card offers in the mail over the past week, each sounding cheaper than the next. Just plug in a few numbers, and our analyzer will calculate the true cost — or net interest rate — of each one so you can compare them side by side. And if you're looking for a specific type of card — one that, say, gives you airline mileage or no annual fee — check out our credit card rate center and pick out those that best fit your needs. Go to bankrate. com/smm/rate/cc_home. asp? web=smm and use the calculator there. Compare the offers you get in the mail to all credit cards. I hope you find this tool and the information we provided here useful. Our goal at creditcards. youngparentsmagazine. com is to provide young parents and others how to choose credit cards wisely, how to reduce credit card debt, how to improve their credit score, and how to stay financially healthy in general.



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