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Which Credit Card is Right For You? ~ #NFPartner #ProudToServe

Which Credit Card is Right For You? ~ #NFPartner #ProudToServe

"Which credit card is best for me?" - It's a question that my college bound daughter asked on her way to her university. She was going to be on her own for the very first time in eighteen years and I wanted her to be not only financially responsible, but also independent. Before I go into which credit card might be best for you, however, how are the new year resolutions coming along? How many of you have decided to save more this year?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Navy Federal Credit Union. All opinions are 100% mine.

While financial resolutions aren't something I aim for, saving more money is something that I strive to achieve every year,  but unfortunately, it rarely happens. I'm like most Americans, I walk around with a wallet filled with cards, and very little to no cash. My son asked me just recently for $10 to which my response was, I didn't have it. Not because I'm broke, but because I never have cash on hand.

When I was younger, there would always be cash in my wallet, you know - "vex money" for dates that didn't meet your expectations. How many of you still walk around with extra stash of cash for such an occasion? It's very rare to find someone with cash, especially since the use of credit and debit cards has become the norm. With credit cards becoming so popular, how do you know which card is right for you? Today I want to share with you a few credit cards solutions that may be just what you're looking for.

Student credit cards
This is generally the first card that most college students receive and it's available for those enrolled in college. Since most college students are fresh out of high school, they very rarely have a credit history. If used wisely, it's a stepping-stone to building their credit. While most student cards don't give many rewards, building your credit can qualify you for those reward cards that you have your eyes on. When my daughter enrolled in university, we were able to get her very first credit card, which she uses, for gas and necessities. She now has excellent credit thanks to her credit usage.

Secured credit cards
You may remember my story about having bad credit after college. I was maxing out my cards buying unnecessary items, and when I graduated from college with no job prospects, I was unable to pay off the balances. With unpaid cards on my credit report, my credit score was in the 500's so therefore I was unable to get credit when I needed it. In order to rebuild my credit a secure credit card was obtained. A secured credit card requires you to deposit your own funds (collateral) before you can be approved. So for example, if you deposit $750, then you will then in turn have $750 for your credit usage. Secured credit cards are perfect for those with poor credit, or those trying to rebuild their credit.

Unsecured credit cards
Unsecured credit cards are the opposite to secured credits cards and are the most common. You don't need a collateral and these cards can generally be obtained from your bank or most financial institutions.

Reward credit cards
Reward credit cards are very popular and allows you to earn "rewards" for making purchases. They generally fall under three categories: cash, miles or points. Some credit cards may not be a straightforward as you think. That is not the case with Navy Federal’s AMEX card, for example, which is very straightforward – 3 points at supermarkets, 3 points at gas stations, 2 points at restaurants and 1 point on everything else. However, be careful of "chasing rewards" as that can lead you into more debt than you may want to have.

Balance transfer: Transferring credit card balances can help in saving you money on your interest rate on another card where you have a higher interest rate with a high balance. The way they work is by allowing you to transfer a higher interest credit card balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate, thus the term credit card balance transfers. These cards generally start with an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 0% for a certain length of time. Paying within the promotional period can help you save money in the long run.

As with most cards, the better your credit score, you'll have a better a chance of obtaining the credit card that you want.

As a member of Navy Federal Credit Union, I love all the credit card choices available. If you're still unsure which card you should choose, or if  you're currently trying to overcome and reduce your credit card debt, Navy Federal can help you.

Why choose Navy Federal?

Because they care! They understand your needs because they've been serving the armed forces and their families for more than 80 years. They're member-owned, and promise to always act in your best interest. Switch your accounts to Navy Federal today to start experiencing all the benefits of membership.

Visit Sponsors Site

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Annmarie John
Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home in February

Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home in February

Snow, tree branches without leaves, frost on the windows, cool winds… that’s the typical image of February. Because of the not-so-appealing outdoors, most people love to crawl into their warm houses and cozy up in blankets. This is a great opportunity to use the abundance of indoor time we have in February and give our homes a nice little refreshing treatment before spring comes knocking on our door. The freshening up can range from cleaning and de-cluttering to making some entirely different interior design calls. So, if you are up for banishing winter out of your home, here are a few tips that will summon spring much faster.

Start with a clean slate
Forget about spring cleaning, February cleaning is much more motivating. Besides, there is no use to change up the décor if your home is cluttered and in desperate need of deep cleaning. So, roll up your sleeves and start by getting rid of the things that are cluttering your space. Those would be the items you never and almost never use and which don’t contribute to the décor in any way. Now that you’ve got them out of the way, you can grab a broom, a vacuum cleaner, a mop and a squeegee and start cleaning. Don’t forget to clean some less obvious places, such as top shelves and lighting fixtures.

Light it up
What we miss the most in dreary winter weather is natural light. A lack of light can affect your mood and even cause depression and trouble with focus. Solve this problem by removing mesh screens from your windows. If that is not enough, seek help from artificial light. The light bulbs that will work in most rooms are ones that mimic the temperature of the daylight. If the room is too cool, you can also opt for warm whites. Keep in mind that this is a good time to start using LED lights, for energy efficiency.

Make your furniture more vivid
Furniture in moody colors can affect the ambience of the entire space and prolong the winter inside your home indefinitely. On the other hand, getting a pair of light-colored sofas might be a wise choice, as they can brighten up the entire living room. If you can’t afford to buy a new sofa, consider re-upholstering or using slip-covers. If even that is not an option for you, you can try to fake the vivid appearance with bright and patterned throw pillows and blankets.

There is another thing you can do with your furniture to make your room look new – re-arrange it. Even a slightest change in the furniture arrangement can mean a lot for the fresh look of your home. When redesigning the space, try to use the principles of Feng Shui. Don’t do anything that would disrupt the natural flow of the home or ruin your efforts to de-clutter.

Infuse spring-loving prints
Who doesn’t miss the colorful sight of spring flowers during the moody February? Well, guess what, you can have that in your very own home… Bring in some floral patterns through wallpaper, throw pillows, and accessories like serving trays, tablecloths, vases, etc. Besides the floral, you can use other spring-related motifs, such as blooming trees and greenery.

Brighten the day with drapery
Saturated hues and dark patterns on your curtains will make any space feel darker, which is the last thing you want during winter. Instead of them, you should install light-colored curtains to brighten the space up. If you take this time to place the curtains at the far edges of the window, you will prevent them from blocking the natural light from getting in.

Let your floors shine
Wall-to-wall carpets and oversized area rugs are there just to remind you that winter isn’t over. Get rid of them and let your floors shine. This way, the streams of natural light will reflect on the floors and onto the walls. Choose smaller patterned area rugs that will further cheer up the room.

Finish up with greenery
Nothing says “Spring is here” like a bunch of bright green houseplants. If you choose winter blooming plants, you will have flowers and enchanting scents while all the plants outside are still bare and everything is grim. Some of the best choices for February are Ragwort and Primula.

Use these tips to prevent dark and cold February days from getting you down. Your house can truly be a warm oasis in spite of the weather outside. If you don’t believe us, try these hacks an

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Annmarie John
How Going Outside Decreases Stress

How Going Outside Decreases Stress

Nature is something that far too many people take for granted, in today’s world. While we are surrounded by the flashy appeal of tiny screens that connect us to every person on the planet, we too often neglect the natural world around us. Not surprisingly, this hasn’t made people happier. Americans report higher levels of stress and anxiety than they ever have, today.

This isn’t to say that it is a bad thing to take advantage of technology, but it’s safe to say that many people in modern society could use a little more time outdoors. This is especially true, since spending time outside has been shown to reduce anxiety levels by reducing stress. Here are some the ways that nature is able to do just that...

Nature is critical to experiential therapy

Going outside isn’t just a nice little novelty that makes you feel a little better. There are real clinical properties to spending time out in nature that are to be had. As a matter of fact, getting out into nature and enjoying experiences in it are the very basis for experiential therapy, which is used to treat a variety of different mental disorders, from ADHD and anxiety disorders to insomnia and schizophrenia.

The idea behind experiential therapy is that it gets patients to play through their emotions through physical actions. This can be done in a therapist’s office, but proves to be more effective when it is done outdoors.

Outdoor hobbies improve health

It is a lot easier to maintain your mental health when you are also taking care of yourself, physically. Improved physical health leads to feeling more energized and having better self-esteem. Typically, outdoor hobbies lead to lots more movement and activity than indoor ones, unless you are in a gym or similarly designated place.

Here are some ideas for outdoor activities that you can bake into your routine to reduce stress:

  • Bike for your commute: Instead of driving around in your car, which comes with its fair share of stress inducing factors (traffic, anyone?), dust off your old bike and use it to go to work or run some errands. While it might take you a little longer, you are mixing exercise and travel time together, and also fighting back stress.
  • Regular walks: If your typical day involves you being cooped up for a long period of time, indoors, then your stress levels will benefit from taking regular walks throughout the day. Even just getting out to walk outside for a minutes will make an enormous difference in how you feel, throughout the day.

  • Taking up a recreational sport: Taking up a sport or similar activity makes it easier to keep up with some intensive physical outdoor activity every week, because it is a regimented period of time that also promotes accountability for participants to, well, participate.
Nature heals mental fatigue

In the Journal for Epidemiology and Community Health, one particular study of 350,000 people in the Netherlands found that anxiety disorders decreased by nearly 30% in areas where people lived near green spaces. For depression, those numbers dropped by over 30%.

While the exact reason for this causation is still being researched, researchers have hypothesized that being around nature promotes healthier habits of socialization and physical activity. In addition to this, even just looking at natural environments has been shown to lower a person’s resting heart rate and promote relaxation.

Bringing the outdoors, indoors, helps too

You can get some of the benefits of being outdoors inside of your home, as well. Adding natural accents to your home, such as letting more sunlight in or adding plants to bring some nature inside, are excellent ways to make your home more of a stress-free environment. As stated above, even looking at pictures of natural environments causes a decrease in stressful feelings and makes it easier to relax. It can be very practical to harness those benefits within your own home.

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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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