How to Eat Your Cake and Have it Too – Make the Best Possible Use of Credit Cards

We’re a nation of debtors, and we owe most of our debt to those ubiquitous pieces of plastic we call credit cards. They were invented for our convenience, but somehow, they’ve become the main villain of personal finance. Any finance guru is going to ask you to get rid of your cards, cut them up, or put them on ice. But those who are financially savvy know that credit cards are the best way to build up good credit history, just as they also know that they’re also the fastest way to screw up a good credit history. They’re also aware that with credit cards, you can eat your cake and have it too, and if you’re wondering how, read on:

  • Use your credit cards as much as possible: Now I know this is against conventional credit card wisdom, but if you pay your bills on time and in full, this is the best possible way to use your cards. When you pay for whatever you buy using your credit card, you’re borrowing money that’s interest free; and because you don’t use your own cash, you’re also gaining interest on the money that remains in your checking or savings account. So it’s a win-win situation for you.
  • Pay up, in full, and on time: When you use your credit card for most of your purchases, you need to remember that the above point is advantageous only if you pay your bills, in full and on time. When you pay just the minimum amount due, the rest of the money you’ve spent accrues interest at an alarming pace, and before you know it, you’re deep in the hole of credit card debt. Ensure that you spend only within your income when you’re using your credit card so that’s it’s not a burden to pay your bills every month.
  • Limit the number of cards you own: When you own just two or three cards, it’s not hard to keep track of what you’re spending your money on. Use certain cards for designated purposes so that your expenses are distributed over all the cards you won. If it is not possible to limit the number of cards because each has a spending limit, then keep tabs on your cards, how much you’re spending using each, and when their bills are due. When you maintain accounts scrupulously, you become more conscious of your spending habits.
  • Set up an automatic debit facility to pay your credit card bills: If you tend to forget to pay your bills or if there are too many dates to remember, set up an automatic debit facility with your bank so that they’re paid on time. Your statement is usually sent to you before the last date, so you can check its veracity before the amount is debited from your account.

Credit cards are your best friend, if only you know how to use them wisely.

24 Sites for Learning Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Diamond

Taking the time to learn about diamonds before buying is worth the effort. There’s a lot to take in and learning about diamonds will get you the most bang for your buck. It will show you what components of a diamond are most important to you, so you can figure out how to spend your funds wisely.

Blogs for Learning About Diamonds

Learning about diamonds can be a long process, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Since diamonds are such an investment, you want to learn as much as you can and thoroughly explore your options before plunking down the cash.

    1. Danforth Diamond – Learning Center This is the ultimate guide for learning about diamonds on the web. Our favorite section walks you through the ins-and-outs of purchasing a diamond online.

    2. Engagement Ring Questions This site breaks down the four C’s and how professional jewelers access diamonds.

    3. Diamond Ring – Diamond Ring Tutorial Get the skinny on how to read a diamond certificate and various diamond facts.

    4. The Diamond Blog On the right hand side of this blog, you’ll find an extensive list of categories that are all the green diamond buyer needs to know before visiting a jewelry store.

    5. Diamonds Adviser This site hasn’t updated in quite some time, but the archived info is worth reading if you’re new to diamonds. Those weary of conflict diamonds should read up on laser inscriptions on diamonds.

    6. Diamonds This site will give you an insider’s look at the diamond industry and the standards regarding human rights.

    7. Ramble On Ron This blog chronicles diamonds from the jeweler’s perspective. He goes over the pros and cons of buying online and has great tips on selling your diamonds.

    8. My Diamonds Forever This blog gives you the basics of diamonds in easy-to-read posts that provide a great basis to prep you before diamond buying.

    9. Diamond Education This blog doesn’t update often, but the existing posts give you a substantial amount of diamond info, including an informative post on how diamonds go from the ground to the jeweler.

    10. Brilliance BlogThis site is an online diamond retailer, but talks to readers as if they’re a diamond-savvy girlfriend. Here you’ll also learn about specialty stones like black diamonds.

    11. 77 Diamonds Learn about diamond mines, what happens to ring if an engagement is broken and where diamonds are headed in terms of design.

    12. Brilliant Earth – Conflict-Free Diamond Buying Guide Shopping for a conflict-free diamond can be difficult, but this guide gives you the skinny on what to look for from a jeweler.

Blogs for Helping You Choose a Diamond

What diamond is the right diamond for you? After you know the difference between cut and clarity, you’ll need to figure out which shape and size is the perfect fit for your personal style.

    13. Abazias – The Perfect Engagement Ring Learn how to budget your money and what to look for in terms of metal and settings when choosing an engagement ring.

    14. Buy Like a Guy If you’re a guy and looking for a starting place for engagement ring shopping, this is the blog to read to keep you busy before making the big decision.

    15. Diamonds Update We love this diamond buying site because there is plenty of eye candy to get an idea of what the differences are between an asscher, cushion and emerald diamond .

    16. Jewelry Mall Blog This blog focuses on many stones, but has plenty of posts dedicated to diamonds. Most recently, the blog has featured diamond engagement rings under $650 and $500.

    17. Engagement Rings Blog This blog discusses every aspect of engagement rings from antique and vintage diamond rings to buying a diamond from an online auction.

    18. Jewellery Valuation This UK-based blog is written by a jeweler across the pond. It goes over buying jewelry online and from shopping channels.

    19. Roberson’s Fine Jewelry Blog Check out diamond trends and how to choose a style based on personality at this jewelry store’s insightful blog.

    20. Shenoa Diamonds This jewelry store runs a personable blog that will make you wish the writer was your own personal jeweler. Learn what to spot when looking at a stone in person and what’s hot for engagement rings.

    21. Diamond Wizdom Diamond newbies should definitely check out this site before heading to the store or buying online because it talks about the importance of loving and cherishing a diamond since it’s not easy to unload if times change.

    22. Baltimore Diamonds Here’s another jeweler we wish we could find in our neck of the woods. Learn how to buy or sell a diamond from a professional.

    23. Romance Diamond Learn about the history of diamonds and how to choose the right wedding band to accompany an engagement ring.

    24. AGS Bling Blog The American Gem Society writes this blog to give consumers further education about buying gems of every type. An interesting post discusses how the size of a stone effects what cut suits the diamond best.

Being an educated consumer is always the route to go, but when it comes to diamond shopping it’s the only route. Knowing what type of diamond you’re after and where it came from ensures you’re confident in your decision and can wear your diamond with pride.