## How Is My Credit Card Interest Rate Calculated?

It is not surprising to know that credit cards are expensive. Yes, cashless transactions can in fact end in an empty wallet if you aren’t careful about how much you spend and keep a check on your bills by paying them back regularly. So, what makes them popular despite their exorbitant charges? Well, let us have a look at an example and understand this better:

For instance, in your current billing cycle say for the month of March is as follows,

the total amount due is given as Rs.5000,
the minimum amount due is Rs.150,

Considering you pay only your minimum amount due,

your current outstanding is: Rs.4850
Interest charged is 3% on outstanding; which is Rs.145.5
The total outstanding is: Rs. 4995.5 ~ Rs.5000

Let your new purchase in the next billing cycle (for the month of April) be worth Rs.2500

The minimum balance paid by you is Rs.200

Now, your outstanding is: 5000 + 2500 – 200 which is 7300
(adding previous month’s balance to the current bill)

Interest charged at 3% on outstanding; which is Rs.219

The Final Outstanding is Rs.7519.

Just think for a moment and see, you had already paid the sum of Rs.350 which is the minimum dues for both cycles. And apart from this you’ll have to pay Rs.7519. which amounts to a total of Rs.7766.

The more number of bills you leave unpaid, the more you will end up paying. Simply because 3% per month amounts to 36% per year! Now, doesn’t that sound a little too expensive? Moreover, the interest charged is on the total outstanding and not just on the current bill’s due amount, do you see how tiresome it can prove to be?

Do not ever fall into a treacherous debt trap, because that is precisely where you will end up the moment you default on your credit card.

Unless you believe you possess some amount of self discipline when it comes to using these plastic financial weapons, there is a good chance it will backfire right back at you. This sometimes leads to people settling their cards.

What does credit card settlement mean?

When the outstanding amount on your card exceeds way beyond your repaying capacity, the card issuer will quote a minimum settlement amount.
Once you settle your card, it means that the issuer will cancel all the outstanding on your card, this will end in your card being terminated.
Wait there’s more.

Settling your credit card can have one of the worst effects on your financial life. And that too on a permanent basis! Why you wonder?

You see, when your card is settled, your cibil score automatically gets lowered. Apart from that, from this kind of behaviour the bank understands that you are not very good at repaying the money you borrowed. Finally, ending in your loan application being rejected. yes, such is the extent of defaulting on your credit card.

## Monaco Might Lose Its Status of Personal Income Tax Haven

That Monaco is crowded with celebrities is no piece of news. Since 1869, when the personal income tax policy became favorable, Monaco attracted very many individuals with high net income, such as movie stars, sporting stars etc. who became residents of the Principality in order to benefit from personal income tax exemption.

Take, for instance, Roger Moore, Shirley Bassey, Ringo Starr, Karen Mulder, Eva Herzigova, the race drivers Jacques Villeneuve, David Coulthard, Jenson Button.

But the number of celebrities is far outnumbered by the number of business people who enjoy the country’s tax facilities: the retail tycoon Philip Green and the Barclay brothers are Monegasque residents.

Being a resident of Monaco implies proving you have a place to live and are rich enough to afford a very high standard way of life. And I mean really rich, as a place to live in the apartment blocks jammed into two square kilometres, either rented or bought, is extremely high.

Keeping residency implies proving you live in Monaco at least 6 months and a day per year. If you are rich, the advantage of being a Monaco resident is that, besides enjoying a sunny, pleasant climate, you can live at the same time in another country. The Principality is very close to main airports and is also easily reachable by sea, by car or by train. Thus, being a Monaco resident and working in another country is not only possible but it’s easy especially speaking of UK citizens: laws in UK permit a maximum stay of 90 days (without counting the day of departure and that of arrival!) for non-residents. Many UK business people reside in Monaco and work in the UK without surpassing the 90 days limit so that they are subject to Monaco lawas for taxation.

Having attracted so many rich resulted in a conflict of interests: many countries disapprove of this taxation policy, looking at it as an evasion from taxes in their national area. And not entirely wrongly! In fact, Monaco has been “tax-cheating” a little by attracting capital from the high tax countries.

Looking at the issue from the perspective of the Principality, seems to me only right to try and succeed to evolve with the few means and resources a state so small has. Monaco developed from one of the poorest countries in the world (in the 1860s) into a state with one of the world’s highest per capita income (around EUR22,000). And it was possible due to a strategic leadership of a resourceless country. It is after the territory was drastically reduced that this personal income tax policy came into being. Attracting foreign capital become one of the main targets for development. That’s how the Casino became grand and famous and emphasis was put on tourism, being raised at luxury levels.

After the individual taxation regulations, in 1963 the Principality came with another financial artifice: no tax for local company profits or dividends. Thus the target was to enhance local business flourishing. This stipulation combined with an almost hermetic data privacy did nothing else than to increase even more foreign investments in Monaco.

So, from the point of view of big economic powers, Monaco should be punished, and so deserves any country daring to offer a better taxation alternative, putting at a disadvantage their high-tax based economy. The OECD has a project on “harmful tax practices” stipulating a set of punitive measures for the non-cooperating jurisdictions.

Invoking money laundering and international terrorism tracking, many OECD governments promote a policy of free information exchange that has as main purpose limiting the tax competition, beyond the intention to limit tax evasion and to combat serious crime.

Estimated negative results of OECD policy:

* Eliminating tax competition would result in uniformizing taxes to the amount dictated by some governments. Without the possibility of choosing a better alternative, there is no reason for governments to reduce taxes and make the tax system more efficient.
* This policy would change the present status of emigrants that pay taxes only to their new country and would promote the premise that the state still has a right to benefit from its former national labour. This sounds to me like a violation of fundamental human rights.

Although in 2004 still on the OECD black list of the tax policy non-cooperating jurisdictions, Monaco has changed its policy regarding the high confidentiality of financial data in the light of the expected, recent admission to the Council of Europe (Monaco joined the Europe Council on October 5, 2004 ). Modifications to legislation:

* October 2001: French citizens living in Monaco since 1989 must pay a wealth tax beginning with 2002.
* Information on French nationals are to be unconditionally provided to the Bank of France when required. Information may be passed on to the authorities of France or of a third country if necessary.
* 2004: Under EU’s Savings Tax Directive, Monaco will impose a witholding tax on the returns on savings such as bank interests earned by EU citizens. The tax quantum will be the same as in Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg (initially 15%). 75% of such revenues will be handed over to the Member State of the respective EU resident. This will be applied beginning with 2005.
* December 2000: Monaco signs the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime. The treaty stipulates that its members do not permit anonymous accounts requiring identification of customers. Banks must keep accurate records of accounts and report any suspicious transaction. Moreover, the domestic law enforcement officials are permitted inspection of accounts.

With all these measures, it seems that Monaco’s attraction as a personal income tax haven will decrease. It remains to be seen how all these measures will affect Monaco financial and banking system after becoming operative.

## Considerations When Buying the Best Independent Dental Insurance Plans

Since the whole principle for buying dental insurance is to obtain coverage for treatments, consider your needs before you decide on a plan.

For example, if you do not need cosmetic treatment cover, there is really no point in paying additional money for it. Most insurance companies offer three levels of coverage – preventive maintenance, restorative treatments and major treatments. Talk to the insurer and understand which treatments are covered under each independent dental insurance plan.

Dentist networks

Most dental plans are network based. This means that you receive maximum benefits if you go to dentists within the network, and you might not receive any benefits if you visit a dentist who is not a part of the network. There is really no point in signing up with a plan that has a small dentist network within your locality. Ask your dentist if he is enrolled in a reputable network and join that plan. You’ll be more comfortable. You might also receive discounts if your dentist recommends you.

Affordability

Finally, it all boils down to costs. If you cannot afford it, there is no point in buying a comprehensive policy. Cost should not be the only criteria for selection. Analyse different options, narrow the list down to the ones that are the most appropriate and decide based on the cost. Check out your out of pocket expenses such as deductibles and premium payment options.

Here, you need to keep a very important consideration in mind. Different dentists divide treatments into different categories. For example, some dentists might consider cavities as a basic treatment while some others might categorize it into the next level of dental care. Your basic dental cover might not cover it. You need to talk to a dentist within the insurance network and be clear about the different coverage options.

Additional coverage

Besides the basic features available in the plan, some policies offer additional coverage. This might include treatments that are cosmetic in nature. Some policies give you the option to choose among different coverage choices. If you are not satisfied with the basic cover, you need to look for a policy that offers good additional coverage instead of choosing major cover. Major coverage policies are more expensive than the ones that offer basic insurance with additional coverage. Compare different companies, request quotes from them and choose the best independent dental insurance plan.

Waiting periods

You really do not want to buy a policy that has a waiting period of months. Select a policy that offers coverage in the soonest possible time.

Keep these considerations in mind when you buy an independent dental insurance plan.

If you’re looking for cheap dental insurance coverage, you can choose from over 30 regional dentist plans by visiting a reputable dental insurance quote comparison site. Enter your zip code in the quote engine at the foot of the page and compare plans instantly. It’s a lot easier than leafing through the Yellow Pages!

## How Pizza Began

Who does not love pizza? We all do. But before you take a bite out of your favorite slice, we would like to ask you something. Do you know the rich history of pizza?

Humble Pizza Beginnings

Before pizza came into existence, there was focaccia – a Roman dish that consists of flatbread with added toppings. But historical records show that even before there was focaccia, there were already several versions of flatbread that was famous among individuals during the Neolithic age. In fact, bread goes back as far as 7,000 years ago, among the ancient Sardinians who used leaven to bake bread. Ancient Greeks too, have their version of flatbread that they call plakous. Plakous often had onion, garlic, and herbs for toppings.

It was not until about 997 AD that the name ‘pizza’ first surfaced among the residents in Gaeta, Italy. Back then, pizza was not for the wealthy. The pizza was food for the poor and sold on open street stalls. The first pizza flavor was Marinara, which consists of a topping of garlic, oregano, tomato, and extra virgin olive oil. The flavor owes its name to the seamen’s wives, who traditionally prepared this dish for their seafaring husbands when they return from their fishing trip in Naples. Another classic pizza flavor is Margherita, which consists of a topping of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and fresh basil. The history of Pizza Margherita goes back to 1889 AD when a certain Raffaele Esposito baked this pizza in honor of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. Of the three pizza flavors that the baker prepared, the pizza with the colors of the Italian flag-white, red and green, was her favorite, so the people named the pizza Margherita.

Pizza Today

Pizza has surely come so far from its humble beginnings as a dish for the poor. Now, pizza has become a favorite in almost every part of the world, particularly among the Americans. Although a lot of changes and innovations have become popular over the years, some pizza stores still retain the old methods of baking pizza. In fact, 1984 saw the formation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana or True Neapolitan Pizza Association, which established guidelines on how to make pizza. Among the many guidelines that the association set is the method of cooking hand-kneaded pizza using a wood-fired domed oven and that its diameter should not be greater than 35 centimeters. The association even prescribed a particular measurement for the thickness of the pizza crust-a third of a centimeter!

How Healthy is Pizza?

You may wonder, though, is pizza healthy? We are sure that you do not think so because of the thousands of calories that they contain. But admit it, even when you have already promised yourself that you would not eat more calories than you should, you find yourself craving for a pizza slice. Just a small portion of that pizza, you would say, and then you eat and feel guilty afterward.

As much as we would like to reassure you that pizza is good for those who are on a diet, we cannot. We all know that pizza is on top of the list of foods that those who want to lose weight should not eat.

Those who are merely on a gluten-free diet but not on a weight loss regimen, however, would be triumphal to know that you can eat pizza! Hurrah! Just make sure that you buy yourself a pizza with a gluten-free pizza crust to avoid eating gluten.

## Are You a Reluctant Wanderlust in Business?

Are you a multi-talented, multi-passionate person who finds it hard to “commit” to doing “just one thing”?

Sometimes I feel like a loser when I couldn’t just “stick with it” when something ceases to give me a deep sense of excitement and purpose. Some may call it ADD.

Do you identify with being a “wanderlust” in life – not only having a desire to travel physically but also (and more importantly) to embark on a personal journey that involves experiencing all parts of SELF and all aspects of LIFE?

In different stages of my life, and especially in my own business, sometimes the tension between the strong pull to EXPERIMENT, to DARE, to chase FREEDOM, and the fear that comes up when I untether from the “known” would tear me apart.

Do you know the wanderlust part of you and the primal part of you may be at odds with each other, resulting in conflicting/self-sabotaging behaviors that hold of you back from soaring in your business?

Sometimes the restlessness eats me up as it turns into a nervous energy. Sometimes I fall into the comparison trap when I see my college classmates climb up the corporate ladder and score impressive titles. Sometimes I just feel plain lost and doubt… why can’t I just be everyone else and “settle down?”

***

COMMITMENT. FREEDOM. ANCHORED. EXPERIMENT.

HOME. WANDERLUST.

What some consider to be a daring experiment may be judged by others as “hopping from one thing to another” or being a flake.

It’s hard enough when the judgment comes from outside of us. But it can be downright self-sabotaging when the conflict comes from within ourselves.

The tension created by Commitment vs. Abandonment, the longing to Trust vs. the need for Certainty sends mix messages – to our selves, to others, and to the universe.

The conflict turns us into Reluctant Wanderlusts.

I don’t know about you but I have heard enough of those “free calls” to encounter quite a few of them talking about “commitment”… and, ha, to commit you just pull out your credit card and pay the money… only if it’s that easy!

“Commitment” on a superficial level can feel binding to us who has a fierce streak of wanderlust. How do we discern being committed from “staying put” out of fears or past/outdated conditioning?

When are we going to stop beating ourselves up from not being able to “stick with it”… just because others manage to stay in the same job for 10 years?

What is being daring, adventurous and open to experimenting to uncover a deeper part of us, to challenge the status quo and to stretch ourselves; and what is just plain “avoidance” – running away from what we have to face in order to expand and grow (but feel hard and gut-wrenching)?

The lower chakras’ need for certainty and safety fighting the upper chakras’ desire for inspiration and expansion creates conflicts that muddle up our energy and make everything feels like we have one foot on the gas and one foot on the break.

How do we commit, without feeling being tethered? How do we make the wanderlust in us and our need for certainty play nice together so we can finally lift the foot from the break?

With the propensity toward “freedom” also comes the intense desire to find “home.” Without properly defining what each one means, we fall prey to internal conflict that keeps us from moving forward.

***

Can “wanderlust” and “home” co-exist?

1. Accept

Accept that we have that wanderlust part in us, and we have the “cave(wo)men” part in us. They are all parts of us being us and denial or avoidance will only create more tension that triggers self-sabotaging behaviors.

We need to have ALL of us on board for the actions we need to take, in order for the actions to be aligned, meaningful and impactful.

2. Commit

Commit to BEING someone, not to DOING something.

Make that commitment to yourself, not to someone else.

Commit to an identity and use it to guide actions. This can be exceptionally freeing because there is room for possibilities, adventure and experiment.

3. Anchor

Life is dynamic, not static. To soar upward, there needs to be a grounded-ness.

We need some kind of reference point, or else we can be just plain lost.

But you are free to choose your anchor. What can give you an unwavering reference point so you can feel SAFE in the world?

If the “primal” part of you doesn’t feel its need for “safety” acknowledged, the subconscious mind (which affects 95% of our thoughts!) can throw a thousand “blocks” at you.

Is this anchor something you can hold onto, something you have “control” over? If it depends on other people or external circumstances, you can get into a shaky situation when the rug gets pulled out under you.

4. Find your place in the world

This is “home” (which doesn’t mean a physical location); this is your CORE message. When you know what you are about, you develop a deep Trust to give you a sense of Inevitability that serves as rocket fuel behind all your intentions and actions.

“Niching”, in its truest and broadest sense, is about finding our role in the community, our place in the world.

When you can articulate your core message into how you fit into the larger ecosystem (aka, how you create value and why you are relevant to the community you want to serve), you have found home through your business endeavor – a “home” that allows you to be YOU anywhere in the world.

When you find the WORDS to talk about how your conviction is translated into your work, you turn the inkling in your Guts into something your “logical mind” can get on board with.

When you find the WORDS so you can step up to own what you do, you voice it and set the intention for it to materialize.

When you get your entire SELF on board, you find a renewed excitement and commitment for your business.

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth.

Ling helps her clients find their Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to work it, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.