Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

However; it’s one thing that credit card.com brought to my attention that I didn’t think of and that’s BTS Scams and frauds. Sadly, people; individuals as well as companies take advantage of times such as these to scam parents and/or lure them into “too good to be true” deals. And with parents scrambling to find the best deals (cheaper ones, I should say) to maximize their shopping experience; most of us don’t pay attention to the deceit that linger below these advertisements.

Fraud Torn Paper Concept

According to creditcards.com/Daniel Smith, head of security at Radware, this is a global cyber security company. Parents, teachers, and students are all potential targets for back-to-school scams and all three can be targeted in different ways. Knowing how to recognize scams is the first line of defense – Using a credit card is the second one.

Related Post: Whose the SCAM NOW!!

With millions of people using credit cards every day to do most of their shopping and who could blame them – with the convenience of not ever having to leave your house; it’s no wonder the credit card business is booming and consumers are enjoying every minute of it. Of course, paying for items with cash is also a great protection as well but with many “online” deals saying this and saying that – it’s easier to pull out the credit card and punch or swipe.

online purchases
photo source: bing/creditcardfraud

While you may feel hesitant about using your credit card a lot of times; I know I do…It’s actually not a bad thing and if you have the right “protection” features on your card. It actually can serve as a safety net for your life as well as your money. Listed below are a couple of things (if you don’t already) that you should have on your credit card in which serves as an added BONUS for being safe online as well as in store.

Basic Protection:

The basic protection plan is a basic feature given to all credit card holders. The plan protects the cardholder involving any dispute in regards to goods and services that were purchased using your credit card. For more info on this, please view the Fair Trade Credit Billing Act.

The FTC can also offer up some good advice when it comes to those ever so alluring “paid commercial ads” that promise you a 30-day free trial and the guarantee to not touch your card until 30days are up (all you have to do is call and cancel before that time) in which we all know is NOT that easy and next thing you know; you’re paying for a product that might don’t even work.  According to the FTC “free trials” aren’t always free and might come with hidden fees and other strings attached.

Purchase Protection:

Helps prevent against loss or theft, however – not all purchases qualify. It’s best practice to reach out to your credit card company to see what’s covered and not in case of a theft or loss. Items that may be covered include clothing, electronics, home and garden products and personal care items, but again – every credit card company is different and the items mentioned may not be one of the items a credit card company acknowledges. Do you have purchase protection? If so, do you know what it covers?

Return Protection:

Extends the life or adds life to an item purchased. Most stores have return policies on some items or offer very limited ones to others. Having a return protection on your card; gives you a little more extended time on a purchase, should the one at the store doesn’t. Most credit card companies do not offer this feature but for the ones that do such as (MasterCard & AMEX) they may or may not tack on shipping charges for your return. Check with your card company and see…

Zero Liability Guarantee:

Visa has this feature and gives the consumer its word that you won’t be charged or made responsible for unauthorized charges made with your credit card. You’re protected should your card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used (whether online or off). So, to sum it all up:

 PROTECT YOURSELF!

This time of year is most critical with parents trying to maximize the best deals and save loads of money in the process as we all Back to School shop. While getting the best deal is “keen” it’s also very important that you read and check out a company before you pull up, out or swipe your credit card – especially if you don’t have added protections in place. Knowledge is definitely POWER!

Speaking of knowledge – Please head over to credit cards.com and check out their blog post entitled “How cards can protect you against back-to-school scams” it’s filled with a plethora of other helpful financial safety tips and information for parents regarding fraud surrounding the back to school season.

I want to give a special thank you to Blake H. for reaching out to me in regards to this helpful info; in which help me to spread the word to you…

Safe Shopping

 

ROSHONDA N. BLACKMON

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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FUN Activities to Do Before Kids Go BTS!! (Per my Kids =)

photo above courtesy of bing/activitiesforchildren

Well, if you’re a parent anddddd if your kids were home this summer like mine was; then I know for a fact that you’re more than ready – you and your refrigerator that is; for them kids to GO BACK TO SCHOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!! Please!! – I mean I honestly feel like starting a protest at each one of my kids schools to demand that they not only stay open ALL. YEAR. ROUND. but that they’ll also provide breakfast, lunch and a snack while their at it. The reasoning for their “at home stay” is really my fault because I literally feel as though, I’m always the last parent on earth to try and get my kids into a camp every year – well, not really…..it’s just that they’re either:

  1. Too Expensive (one week for $1000 dollars) NO WAY! Now I know that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it’s really expensive and most don’t even offer lunch!
  2. Too Far Away (I mean, I’m not traveling all the way to Ghana for my kids to stay for only 4 hours) – that’s ridiculous and my gas hand says “NOPE, NOT TODAY!”
  3. Waitlisted – (Really??????, I mean can they build more centers??? And did I mention that I’m always the one that’s the 100th person on the wait list? (uh, yeah -not cool)

Or….And this is my Favorite! Wait for It…

They offer FREE camps and it either falls into number 2 and 3 above – SHEESHHH! Give a girl a break why don’t cha!! So, I’ve decided that in order for me to get my kids on any list for the summer; I have to start RIGHT NOW!! – Now, that’s what I really need to PROTEST! but then again, it won’t be any use – by the time next year rolls around, my son will be aged out for most camps….smh – slowwwwlyyyyy…

Sometimes, there’s no break for us parents – So instead; we have to subject to paying “massively expensive” weekly grocery bills and gasing up the car…because you know they want to go EVERYWHERE KNOWN TO MAN! The struggle is really real people….

Back to School4
Summers are a nightmare for some parents, when they don’t have anywhere for the kiddos to go.

But before we can throw a party of our own and rejoice that they’re headed back to school; If you’re anything like me – while I don’t take glory in them being at home all day, I feel totally bad that I’m working during that time and not able to fully spend “a real summer” with them doing FUN stuff. Growing up, I was the kid that never had anything exciting to share when I went back to school. I didn’t climb mountains, go camping, go to Disney World or Disneyland (yes, it’s a difference) or go to my grandparents house for the summer and do cool stuff. Those just weren’t my exciting stories. So, with that being said – now that I have kids; I’ve always wanted them to have those amazing stories to share with their friends, but whomp, whomp unfortunately they don’t. *sigh*

Related Topic: What’s On Your Summer Fun Bucket List

Speaking of kids, so In preparation for this blog – I thought it would be nice to actually get their opinion about what fun things they wanted to do before going back to school. I could come up with some things but I really wanted their opinion, because if you’re doing what they initially want to do – then it’s a surefire guarantee that they’ll be truly having FUN, the way they want too and maybe it’ll take the edge off of me feeling “guilty” for another bummed summer.

Without further ado, Listed below are suggestions that the kids gave me that they wanted to do before school starts back. Who knows,  maybe you can plan to do these inexpensive things with your kids too.

LET’S HIT THE BEACH! 🏄‍♀️ 🏄‍♀️ 🏄‍♂️ 🏄‍♂️ 

Give me some good weather, a nice breeze and BEACH, here we come! The beach is also very inexpensive. You can pack your lunches, sunscreen, towels, chairs and umbrellas (if you have those) and head out to get some much needed sun and relaxation. It’s something about closing your eyes and listening to the waves that gets my beach vibes into motion. Let the kids build sandcastles, play in the water (close to the shore, unless they’re good swimmers or accompanied by an adult) and it’s a great time for the whole family and since you packed your lunch – you’re saving money, in which could be used to stop by the ice cream shop and get some desert on your way back.

BOWLING ANYONE? 🎳 🎳 🎳 🎳

I’m not a professional bowler, but I do like doing it and so does the kids. Since it’s the summer time, most places such as bowling and skating rinks offer great deals on certain days of the week for the whole family. It’s a possibility that you might be able to bowl for as little as $5 a person or LESS! While you’re saving money on your bowling – that’ll be a little extra to get some snacks from the concession stand; in which you should check that out as well because they may even offer a deal for the food and bowling, which in my book is a WIN-WIN.

GOTTA LOVE THE MOVIES 🎭 🎭 🎭 🎭

Yes, the movies can be quite expensive – especially when you purchase food from the concession stand. I remember when me and the kids went to the movies a couple months ago, I easily spent a good 50 bucks for three tickets and concessions!! BUTTTT if you hit those movies before a certain time and if you’re a rewards member with your local theater (depending on how much you go) you can save BIG time on those tickets as well as the concession stand. Check your local theater to see when the best deals are happening and make it a movie night. I have to say, I’m a Redbox baby myself but we’re talking about getting OUT of the house, right?

SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS…🤸‍♀️ 🤸‍♀️ 🤸‍♂️ 🤸‍♂️ 

Of course this was my teenage daughters idea…smh! You know when they get teenagers, they don’t want to hang out with you as much as EVERYTHING is about their beloved “friends” So, before you take that deep breathe in and out….I see ya….This could actually be a good thing. I mean once school is out for the summer; how many times do they really get to spend time with their friends (unless they live in the same neighborhood) when school is out, so are they….literally. While I wanted to huff when she said this, I thought to myself – well, I guess it’s a good idea because when school starts back it’s going to be homework, going to bed early and sport activities. So it’ll be good to get them and their friends together for either a sleepover or meet up at a local event and just hang out for a couple of hours without the pressure of homework and deadlines – before BTS goes into full effect.

Well, this was it – this was their summer fun activity list and I’m going to make sure that we and/or they get a chance to get it all in before the alarm clock, buses and school mania starts up again. So, have you asked your kids what they would like to do before school starts up again? Go ahead, Ask them…

You might be shocked at just how inexpensive, low-key and FUN it might be!

Cheers to the Rest of Your Summer!

Enjoy It! (1)

 

ROSHONDA N. BLACKMON

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

Feel Free to Follow Me on These Sites5_ (2)

 

Back To School Affirmations

photo source above: bing/backtoschoolaffirmations

Now that the 2017-2018 school year is over, kids of all grades are going to be entering the 2018-2019 year in about a month and a half from now. While most will be hesitant to step back into the school world; others will be excited to go back and get the year started – YAY!!…..But what type of mindset will this year be for our kids – while us parents will have some responsibility for that; it’s up to our kids overall to decide if they will push themselves to success or as the song says “lean back” and let the chips fall where they may.

Because after all, we all have CHOICES!!! & So does our kids!!

Last week for our weekly bible class talk, I began to talk to my children about “Affirmations” and speaking things that they feel they are not into existence/a belief that they could be. (Romans 4:17), now whether you’re religious or a believer or not; I feel as though our kids have the ability to speak “good things” over their lives or situation no matter how small or tall they are.

kind-smart-im

I began to tell my children about Octavia E. Butler – in which I talked about in this video. She had a mantra “So Be It, See To It” Google, did a doodle of Butler on June 22nd to celebrate what would have been her 71st birthday.

Octavia E. Butler Google Doodle
Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006)

Curious as to whom this African American woman was (please don’t judge me if you’re a Butler fan) – after a little research I came across a journal entry that Butler penned in which she “manifested” “I Shall be a Bestselling Author”, “My books will be on the bestseller lists of the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and etc.” she went on to declare and state that “This is my life, I write Bestselling Novels” “My books will be read by Millions of people” notice that she didn’t think or say “I want to or I believe” she made it known that those words weren’t in her vocabulary as they were replaced by

butler_celebrate_436

And this was before she became famous! She knew what she wanted and stuck to her guns – this Affirmation of course didn’t come easy, she worked diligently on her craft daily before the crack of dawn until she went off to work, in which she labored as a dishwasher and then a potato chip inspector; all while working on the career she so desired in the background. Needless to say, Octavia E. Butler; whom suffered from dyslexia – went on to become the first African American science fiction author whom was very well respected in her field. Butler produced over a dozen novels, received numerous awards all ranging from 1980-2012. Her books were indeed read by millions of people, just as she penned in her journal.

Now you may be saying – “What does all of this have to do with back to school?” well, to get back on track – I began to tell my kids to manifest what they wanted their school year to be like. If they felt as though they didn’t have the best year last year; then to “declare and speak” what type of school year they wanted to have this year. As I told them, there really is power in the tongue – whatever they speak or think about themselves, their school year or their life will either move them into success or push them backwards.

Related Post: How We Can Instill An Attitude of Gratitude In Our Children

Just as Octavia Butler penned, we too can pen our destiny – declaring what we want our destiny to be is one thing – working on it is something different. In order for Butler to manifest what she wanted; she had to “See To It” being done.

So, I gave my kids a homework assignment for our next talk and that was to write down a couple of Affirmations they wanted to see for themselves going into this school year. An assignment that once completed, they’ll read aloud to me. What they don’t know is that, this will be their morning anthem for the rest of the school year.

Would you like to do this activity with your children?

This can be a fun project for all to get involved and do, including the parents as you may have a couple of affirmations you want to write on your own (it’s never too late!)

If you have small kids, ages 5-8

Then you can get them some construction paper and let them write out what they want their school year to be like, they can color it and/or make it their own piece of artwork. You can get it laminated and hang it on their wall or a place in which they’ll have to see or pass by every day.

If your children are older, ages 10-17

Then they can write out their mantra on notebook paper or however they want. The thing is allowing them to be creative with their own project as they’ll be more apt to look and/or follow through with it because it’s what they created. Same thing as above, they’ll place it where they can see it every day.

The goal of affirmations is to speak them over your life every single day, but we know kids and that may not be a practice that they’ll get used to doing overnight. However, keeping them hung in a place where they can see them will help them stay focused on their goal and the positive choices they want to see during the new school year.

Listed below are some affirmations to give them a head start, but feel free to allow them to come up with their own…(that’s what makes it really special)

  • I am a leader
  • I am a great kid
  • I can make healthy choices
  • I will be a great student
  • I am one of a kind
  • I will succeed in school as well as life
  • I will make good grades
  • I have the knowledge to pass every test
  • I am smart
  • I am handsome/beautiful
  • I love ME!
  • I MATTER!
  • I am good enough
  • I am unique
  • I can and will make friends
  • I will make a difference
  • It’s okay to not know everything – I’m still smart!
  • I am Brave
  • I am Strong
  • This will be the best school year yet!
  • I will not let fear keep me from being great!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

Feel Free to Follow Me on These Sites5_ (2)