A survey released this week found over a quarter of New Zealanders are planning to use their credit cards to pay some of their upcoming bills.
The "Consumer credit expectations" online survey conducted by Dun and Bradstreet found that 28% of respondents intended to use credit to pay bills they can't afford over the next quarter.
20% of those surveyed are also planning to apply for some form of credit over the next few months, with 7% looking to increase the limit on their credit card/s. Younger people seem to be be easily attracted to easy credit, with over a third happy to use credit for things they couldn't afford.
Unfortunately good financial literacy isn't taught at most schools, which probably explains the startling 55% of those aged 18-34 say they're couldn't afford to live on savings for even one month if they lost their jobs.
However the survey did also find that debit cards are now in higher demand than credit cards. It also revealed that the majority of people planning to make a major purchase in the next few months are intending to fund it through existing savings.
Credit cards are very handy things, provided you're disciplined when using them. I put as many of my bills and purchases as possible on my credit card, both for convenience and to increase the balance of my Air NZ Airpoints account.
These benefits also include taking advantage of the credit card's interest free period, provided you pay off the balance in full. Banks would obviously prefer you didn't do this, as failing to pay your full balance kicks in those hefty interest charges of around 20%.
If you are using your credit card as a rolling credit facility with a permanent balance, you should look for one of the low interest/no fees cards banks are now offering. Otherwise you should look for the bank and card offering the best rewards programme or package that suits you.
This Australian site reviews and compares the different credit card deals and programmes on offer in Australia. Here in New Zealand, a good place to start is Consumer magazine, which regularly monitors credit cards and reward programmes.
Gold (and Platinum) cards are often a good choice for frequent travellers. They do have higher annual fees, but usually offer free travel insurance which makes up for the difference in cost. Many also offer reward points linked to airline frequent flyer programmes, based on your monthly spend.
* NZ Herald: Savings would last month for many
Posted at 7:38 p.m. Saturday, 4 July 2009
Despite soaring deficits, the UK Government is spending up on an alarmist propaganda campaign to promote the false religion of global warming.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change is issuing a brochure, which will be distributed through public libraries across the United Kingdom.
The big budget advertising campaign is being launched to coincide with a statement by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on "the UK's role in climate change". Brown is expected to commit the UK to ambitious emissions cuts at the UN's big climate meeting in Copenhagen in December.
The EU (which the UK will be negotiating as part of) has set a target of a 20% cut in "greenhouse gas emissions" by 2020, but the UK Government is keen to push the target to over 30%.
The scaremongering pamphlet claims that "the UK faces summer heat-related deaths, sea level rises and food shortages by the end of the century as a result of global warming."
A physics professor and proud warmist from Cambridge University, David Mackay, goes further. He says small acts by citizens can help, including becoming a vegetarian, flying less often, joining a car club, and supporting renewables like wind farms".
The British Labour Government is also spending money on a new website, "Act on Copenhagen", which will apparently give faithful global warming followers "more tips about how to save carbon". There will also be a CO2 Calculator, which the Government reckons will "enable people to work out how much carbon they use in their daily lives". Whatever.
* Telegragh.co.uk - Government pamphlet urges people to walk to work to stop climate change
Meanwhile New Zealand broadcaster TV3 seems to have been doing its bit to promote the great climate change fraud. Nightline news presenter Samantha Hayes has been with Greenpeace in the Cook Islands, filing a series of reports on the supposed effects there of Climate Change.
To my ear, the reports happily promoted the mainstream-media party line of the mythological great global warming disaster that we're unfortunately all too used to being lectured on by the warmists.
However, one of the news stories prompted New Zealand blogger Hot Topic to fire off an angry rant, slamming TV3 because the news report apparently included the small phrase “while the science is far from settled…”, as a token form of balance.
In the arrogant mind of 'Hot Topic', apparently even 7 little words of "balance" should not be allowed, in case any member of the public dares question the religious order of global warming. Gobsmacked I was! Srsly ;-)
I know lefties/warmists are usually pretty arrogant in their approach to life, but it did surprise me that one would have such a grumpy rant about a series of stories that blatantly pushed their own wacky theories for 95% of the time!?
* Global Warming - Lies, facts, myths, and truths
* TBR.CC - I did warn you of this in Air Con...
* Order Ian Wishart's new book "Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming" here
Posted at 2:59 p.m.