.(73)Ethical Finance: Who Benefits From Our Spending?

On one hand consumers are being universally criticised for running up significant amounts of debt on credit cards, yet conversely many companies are capitalising on the growing credit card debt, from charities and political organisations to football clubs, the Association of Surgeons and somewhat ironically ActionAid, an international development agency whose aim is to fight poverty worldwide.
Financial comparison site provided 226 credit cards in a general credit card search, from which the consumer could choose a product to suit their lifestyle, as well as their wallet. Credit cards with charity branding involve many major organisations including Amnesty International, Christian Aid, WaterAid, RSPB, Save The Children, the Ramblers Association, Oxfam, Greenpeace, the Vegetarian Society, RSPCA, ActionAid, Children In Crisis, Help The Aged, Tearfund and the Terence Higgins Trust.
Perhaps it is fair to say that if people are going to spend on plastic, they should be helping charitable organisations on the way and should they feel inclined to contribute to a political institution, donating a small % of each transaction is a convenient method. If most consumers were ethical spenders, then associations between transactions and third party beneficiaries would inherit this quality, but as debt spirals out of control, is it responsible or ethical that someone should benefit at the cost of someone else?
Although it is standard for most card providers to offer an introductory free period, the consumer may be hit by a more substantial annual percentage rate (APR) later on the year, with some providers, such as ASDA charging a massive APR of 28.8%. Even ActionAid charges an APR of 17.9%, rescuing the developing world at the expense of the developed.

About the Author
For further information about credit cards and details on specific providers:
Rachel writes for Cashzilla, the personal finance blog:
Rachel drinks Guinness.
Written by: Rachel Lane
EA Builder

(74)Family Finance.

One of the hardest things that young couples report during their first year of marriage is getting to grips with joint finances. While most are willing to share what they have with their partner, they are not sure on the best way to bring this sharing into effect so that they can share with their new partner, but at the same time maintain financial security and a degree of independence. Some couples resolve this by resorting to separate finances and others find a way to keep things together, but it is generally reported as one of the biggest strains on newly married couples.

As well as this, there is also the problem that many people find it difficult to budget and control their finances. It is one thing to fail to keep track of expenditures when you are single, but when you are married you have more to answer to than just yourself. This is especially true once you have children. If one partner fails to keep control of their spending while the other is forced to worry about finances, it can create an enormous strain on the relationship.

Family Budget

One of the best answers to this dilemma is to create a family budget. This should outline what is allowed for the various expenses, which is to be responsible for what expenses and how much each partner can spend on discretionary expenses. While this may seem like a drastic response that takes away all the responsibility and financial independence from both partners, all it is really doing is getting both parties to sit down together beforehand and work out how much they can afford to spend on what, and then sticking to this. It is about being in control of your expenses rather than letting them have control over you.

Other ways of taking care of difficulties between married couples is to divide out the family expenses depending on how much each partner earns. This way both will feel responsible for the security of the family and will feel like they are an important contributor to the family finances.

Financial Matters

While each partner should have a degree of financial freedom, and also privacy, finances should be discussed openly and with without shame. Past debts or mistakes that one party has made should be put in the past and should be forgotten. At the same time, if one partner shows that they are unable stick to the budgets they have agreed, their financial freedom will have to be taken from them and they should be given a tight leash in financial matters.

About the author:

Joseph Kenny is the webmaster of the UK credit card comparison site, where you can find a selection of credit card articles. He also writes for the comparison site which offers some best credit cards in the UK.

Written by: Joseph Kenny

(75)Family Finance Beyond RRSPs
(NC)-Congratulations, you have contributed the maximum amount to your RRSP. So now what?

"At this point," says Anita Prescott, a certified financial planner (CFP) and Winnipeg-based financial adviser with CIBC Imperial Service, "it's best if couples can work with a dedicated financial adviser to really look into their net worth (the difference between what you own and what you owe)." And to maximize any potential gains, Prescott offers some insight for families working together to invest and grow this net worth.

Take advantage of the benefits of a spousal RRSP

While the contributing spouse will realize the immediate tax savings from the spousal RRSP contribution, many couples will also benefit from future tax savings when income is received from the spousal RRSP, because the income is taxed at the spouse's marginal rate, and not that of the contributor. With proper planning, income can be drawn from both spouses' RRSPs or other income sources in order to reduce the total taxes paid on the entire amount.

Make your portfolio tax efficient

If you have both registered and non-registered investments, ensure your portfolios are structured to be tax efficient. Positioning your income-producing investments within a tax-sheltered RRSP and your equity and dividend-producing investments in your non-registered accounts may allow you to realize significant tax savings.

Improve your cash flow

If you have a regular investment plan in which your RRSP contribution is withdrawn automatically, you may be able to have less income tax deducted at source. That way, you'll have more cash in your pocket now instead of having to wait for your tax refund.

Have your children file tax returns

If your children earn income in the year, they could reap benefits by filing a tax return, even if they owe no tax. Earned income at any age generates RRSP contribution room, which can be carried forward indefinitely. By filing a tax return today, your children can build valuable contribution room for use in future years.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as specific advice. This article is not applicable in Quebec.

About The Author
News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items. Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services. The service supplies access to the national media for marketers in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made available to every Canadian media organization including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit most often. Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.
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Written by: News Canada

:(76)FHA Home Mortgage Purchase Or Refinance Loan - Why You Might Consider Getting An FHA Loan.

Most borrowers have heard of FHA home loans. They are very common. You hear about them mostly as loans for first time borrowers, which is common. However, most people don't realize that FHA loans can also be does for refinancing. They are not only for purchasing a house.
HUD owns and operates FHA, which is a program designed to help borrowers who might have difficulty buying a house. If the borrower falls within FHA's requirements FHA insures the loan for the lender, which makes the loan very low risk for the lender, which is very good for the borrower. It could mean a lower interest rate, better terms and just an overall better loan.
FHA's requirements are; a down payment of 3-5%, the home must be under the FHA's set loan limit for the county that the borrower lives in and a few other small requirements.
The main advantage to an FHA loan, is if you can fall within their requirements, your credit history or income level, will not hold you back from getting a home loan. If you are getting turned down from other lenders because of a high debt to income ratio or because your credit is bad. You may want to consider applying for an FHA loan, where those requirements are either non-existant or much more flexible.
If the idea of down payment is holding you back, consider also, that FHA loans allow the use of a non-profit organization as a source for the down payment, which opens up the option of using down payment assistance programs like Neighborhood Gold.
To view our list of recommended mortgage lenders online, who offer FHA programs, visit this page: >
About the Author
Carrie Reeder is the owner of, an informational website about various types of loans.

Written by: Carrie Reeder

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