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6 Reasons I’m Spending $6,000 on a Vacation

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Okay, the drive was worth it. (Baska, Croatia).

Okay, the drive was worth it. (Baska, Croatia).

I feel like I’m out of touch with money. I watch things inflate and deflate. People with more education get less money. I don’t even know what is what.

It is through that lens I ponder whether it’s totally normal to spend $6,000 on a vacation, and whether or not it is crazy. I suppose it could be both or neither. Either way, the plane tickets are booked for my 4th trip to Croatia, happening in less than three months.

Before I continue with my self-rationalization, let me break down how I’m spending my money for this 10-day trip.

  • $3,900 – airplane tickets
  • $1,000 – villa rental for one week
  • $500 – car rental
  • $500 – various pre-trip costs (passport renewals, new backpack, sunglasses, etc)
  • $1000 – on-the-ground spending (gasoline, food, attractions)

1) I Love to Travel

This is my number one reason, and it should be the number one reason for which you do anything. I suppose this reason could also be translated into: “But I wannnnnnaaaaaaaaa!” and I”m OK with that.

Once I figured out that you can’t take it with you when you die, seeing the world seemed like a logical way to spend my money. I now realize that I wasn’t looking to see the world so much as go somewhere that made me happier. I guess Croatia is that place, because I’m going there for the 4th time in 11 years. I have family there, so it feels like a home away from home.

Traveling, or more specifically – “getting away” – is my hobby. Some people collect coins, stamps or clothing – I collect experiences, stories and good vibes. A particularly rewarding travel experience can create an untouchable lingering peace that remains at least six months after.

For me, it’s mental medicine.

 

2) I’m Taking My Kid

This year is the first time we are taking one of our children on an international trip. Traveling like this is expensive, and I’m figuring that the added expense of another body means an extra $1,750-2000 in spending on this trip. Plainly put, this is the main reason from a numbers standpoint that the trip is costing so much. That, coupled with the fact that some friends and colleagues will be joining us, we are unable to stay with my family who lives there, as is the normal custom. This is adding an extra $1,000 to the trip.

Bringing my 9 year old daughter, though expensive, is an investment in a better trip. I get to see familiar places again, through the eyes of a child having an experience I never dreamed of having as a child.

 

3) I Never Do it Annually

One of the reasons I’m OK doing it big this year (besides the fact that it is our 10 year wedding anniversary and that alone calls for  a bigger experience), is that I only travel every other year. This makes it more affordable, and actually makes the experience more rewarding. Because we often go back to the same place, doing it every year could risk a burnout. As we get more financially secure, it is becoming an every other year thing.

After this one though, it might be prudent to wait three years. That will make our other daughter 7.5 years old, and more mature. Plus it will give us more time to recover from this $6,000 beating, and more time to prepare for adding another warm body to the mix.

 

4) I Have the Money

By saying “I have the money,” I don’t mean that I earn enough to deserve to be able to do this. It means I actually set aside money each month for more than a year. I’ve talked a lot on this site about the importance of saving in advance for large, known expenses. Not only does this mean we can pay cash for it when it comes, it ensures that we aren’t fooling ourselves into spending the money twice. It’s better, in my opinion, to build your lifestyle around an income stream that recongizes that not every dollar deposited every two weeks is meant to be spent before the next check comes.

 

5) Credit Card Rewards!

I am also comfortable spending a bit more to get the exact right plane tickets I want because I have a buffer of credit card rewards and mile points that are helping defray some of the cost of this trip. Last November I signed up for a Barclaycard World Arrival Mastercard, which had a 40,000 mile signup bonus (worth $400) and earns double-miles when you use them to pay yourself back for travel. Since signing up I’ve earned a total of $650 from the Barclaycard, which I put towards our airplane tickets. The good thing about this card is that when you use the points for travel, you automatically earn a 10% point dividend, meaning that this card is earning you 2.2% in rewards.

By the time this trip happens in June, I predict that I will have earned $750 in total rewards, hopefully meaning my actual trip only costs $5,250 instead of $6,000.

 

6) My Financial Plan is Set

I’ve talked about being a “money adult” before. It doesn’t mean that because you are an adult and earn money that you are doing things right. It can take many years into adulthood for us to get our financial plan truly set, a plan that reflects values other than impulse. I’m going to be 33 soon and I can finally say that I feel like my financial plan is set. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m late to the party, like I should be further ahead at this age. Then I remember that ’30 is the new 20′ and that the Baby Boomers fucked everything up by normalizing high amounts of debt, believing that everything always goes up, and that homes are investments. I’ve owned two homes and they’ve never earned me a damn penny.

So now I’m feeling pretty good about the “adult” things I own: life insurance policies, IRAs, pension accounts, paid-for car, FSA accounts. I’m maxing out two IRA accounts and my defined benefit pension gets $600 each month. I’m driving my taxable income down and saving big money by using flexible spending accounts for healthcare and public transit. All my bills are paid automatically except my credit card, on which I never carry a balance (though this trip may necessitate me carrying a balance for a month or two as I am fronting the money for parts of this vacation that others will pay me later – though I could easily not carry the balance, it is on a 0% interest card and my money is earning more in a savings account, meaning I’d rather borrow it from the credit card company than myself).

 

What about you? Would you spend $6,000 on a vacation?

 

Why Spending Money Could Help Your Reduce Your Wedding-Related Debt

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By a visitor.

Some of the most recent figures suggest that the average cost of a British wedding is now over £18,000. This is an astonishing amount of money for anybody to pay, but of course, with the sound of wedding bells in your ears, and the wedding isle in your sights, you might not worry too much about the debt that your wedding will leave you in after the fact. However, once the wedding’s over, you’ll have to find a way to manage the debt and – eventually – reduce it. Many will suggest that the best way to reduce your debt is simply to stop spending your money, but this is no way to live, and your marriage may suffer if you place too steep a financial restriction on your lives. Instead, you might want to consider an alternative strategy, and although potentially controversial, you might find that you could actually spend your way out of debt.

A Cautionary Note

Before we pursue the topic at hand any further, it’s essential to have a cursory warning. Although what is being suggested is that you try to spend your way out of wedding debt, what isn’t being suggested is that you do something silly and get yourself into financial trouble. While you’re following the advice below, ensure that simultaneously, you’re putting around 7-12 percent of your earnings away, and this will mean that whatever the outcome of your spending you’ll never find yourself in financial difficulties. A good rule of thumb is to never spend more than your save; this way, you’re always cover your back.

Higher Education and Training

Whether you went to university and received an undergraduate degree, or you left school as quickly as you possibly could, finding something you’re interested in and pursuing its study at university is extremely healthy, and the result is the widening of your job market and the possibility for a higher salary/wage. Of course enrolling at university is an expense in and of itself, so it’s crucial that you’re invested emotionally in your course. If you’re not in love with what you’re doing, you’re not going to do well. Taught postgraduate programmes vary in cost almost as they vary in topic, but you could expect to pay anything from £6-12K. As you can see, you’ll end up paying half the price of your wedding, but the financial return on your degree could be as significant as the emotional return on your marriage.

Investment and Trading

An alternative way to spend your way out of your wedding debt could be to invest it into stocks and shares or the foreign exchange market. Although there’s a certain amount of learning to be done before you can really call yourself an online trader, by making the most of the social and educational features of your chosen trading platform, you’ll be able to get over the steep learning curve and become proficient in your given market. Some platofrms even facilitate virtual trading through training accounts so that you can pactive our skills before you spend you real money.

Ultimately, these are only a smattering of the ways you could spend your money to help you reduce your wedding debt, but follow this advice, ensuring that you save while you spend, and you’ll have your debt reduced in a shorter time than you could have previously.

Two Different Planets – Money Views Differ

Money Tree

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.

I recently read a Wall Street Journal article that completely surprised me.  I guess it shouldn’t have, knowing how most Americans think these days about money, but it still did.  The article discusses how the writer and her husband have different views when it comes to money.  They recently experienced some financial bumps that have caused them to fall into debt.  She seems to think that they are doing just fine; while her husband feels that their emergency fund was inadequate.  You can probably guess which person I would agree with.

It’s a Balance

It is something that we all have to deal with.  How do you save enough for future unseen events or lifestyles while still enjoying life today?  I know it’s something that my wife and I have struggled with over the years.  I am of the saving mindset and my wife of the enjoying life mindset.  However, my wife has seen the benefits that come from my mindset, while not completely abandoning hers.  Now that we have built up our savings and no longer have any credit card debt, we are able to absorb the minor financial shocks that appear from time to time.  That’s now comforting to my wife, she sees the benefit.

What About Another Hiccup?

The author of the article does not seem fazed by having over $10,000 in credit card debt because of their recent bad luck.  If I was in their shoes, I would be worried if something else were to go wrong.  According to the article, they are a single income family.  What happens if she loses her job?  That security she seems to feel like they have now will evaporate pretty quickly.  I’m not going to pretend my finances are in perfect order.  My emergency fund should be more robust, but it’s at about 3 months’ worth of expenses right now.  I would like to get it to 6 months.  For my wife and I, this has not happened overnight.  It has taken time, a few years.  However, we have been better prepared to handle some of the hiccups that we couldn’t handle before.  We recently had to cover some expensive car repairs.  The savings we have dedicated for anything car related took a hit, but we didn’t end up in debt because of it.

Undue Stress

The author writes about how her husband is concerned about the precarious nature of their finances, but that does not seem to bother her.  They don’t fight about money, which is good.  However, she seems too ambivalent about the stress she is causing him.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it.  It just strikes me as incredibly selfish of her.  I understand her point of view of not having money growing up and wanting to enjoy life.  However, I would think that you would also want to make your spouse happy.  In my marriage, I will generally think of my wife before myself.  It’s one of the reasons why we have different fun money (allowances) amounts.  At the time we gave ourselves an allowance, she wanted more things than I.  I tend to be very basic in my needs, so I suggested that her allowance be higher than mine.  I knew this would make my wife happy.  It was an easy decision.  So, if I knew that certain behaviors or practices were causing stress for my wife, you can be sure that I would attempt to alleviate it.

Different Views

I don’t think that you have to have the same views on money when you are married, but I think that you need to be in agreement on your goals.  If a husband and wife have differing financial goals or even the importance of the goals, I think in the long run it will prove to be a problem.  In my mind, it highlights a lack of communication and that is a killer for a marriage.

Baby Budget: How to Start Saving for a Baby

Whether you’re planning to start a family in the near future or just found out you’re going to be parents, it’s important to know what to expect financially when you’re expecting. Parenting.com says the average family can spend up to $12,000 a year on child-related expenses for their first born. However, there are plenty of ways you can save money, and opening a high-interest money market account or certificate of deposit  (CD) early will allow those savings to grow at a faster rate. As you create your baby budget, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the expenses you may face to help you prepare. We’ll help by outlining these below as well as give you tips for saving for a baby.

Expenses to consider when you’re budgeting for a baby

Make sure your baby budget includes the items we’ve listed below. You can save money by purchasing many items used or in bulk, and we’ll talk about that a little more later, but as you set your budget, use the average market price to ensure you have set aside what you need.

 

  • Prenatal visits and hospital bills: Call your insurance company to let them know you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and to get an idea of what your out-of-pocket costs for delivery may be.
  • Decorating the nursery: Whether you need to remodel the room or simply repaint and furnish it, this can be a large expense for a family. A home equity loan or line of credit may be able to help with the remodel, but you’ll still want to save for the decorations and furniture, including a:

 

  • Crib (consider a convertible model to save money down the road)
  • Rocker
  • Dresser
  • Swing
  • Bookshelf
  • Changing table (you can also use a pad on top of the dresser to convert it to a changing table and save money)
  • Monitors (while you can go with a basic model, video monitors are becoming more popular, though they are more expensive)

 

  • Baby-proofing: To make your home safe for a baby, you’ll need to buy new supplies to baby-proof the house.
  • Diapers: You’re sure to go through a lot of these, so make sure you budget accordingly as this is one item you don’t want to skimp on.
  • Baby food and supplies: If you’re considering formula, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for the expense. Other costs include breast pumps (which may be covered by your insurance), bottles, solid food, spoons and dishes. Parenting.com says families can spend close to $50 per week on just diapers, formula and baby food.
  • Clothes for mom and baby: Most moms aren’t going to forget to account for adorable baby clothes, but they may accidentally leave maternity clothes out of their budget. Make sure you have what you need for both of you.
  • Stroller, car seat, swing and high chair: These must-haves for both mom and baby can be pretty pricey. Look for options that adjust as your baby grows to get the most out of your money. 

Find ways to save on the expenses in your baby budget

While creating a budget with the standard or even high-end products on the market is important to ensure you have saved what you need, here are other ways you can create some wiggle room when saving for a baby:

  • Wait for showers: Creating a registry for your baby is a great way to save and stick to your budget. If you’ll be having a baby shower, wait to make purchases on your own until you know what friends and family have taken care of for you. You may also receive gift cards as shower gifts, which you can use when you need to purchase something you didn’t receive.
  • Buy secondhand or borrow whenever you can: This goes for both mom and baby. Whether they’re hand-me-downs or consignment store finds, secondhand maternity and baby clothes are a great way to save. But secondhand savings aren’t just for clothes. Some items – like a stroller or car seat – are best bought new, but you may be able to save on other items, like a secondhand bassinet or high chair.
  • Get the minimum amount of necessary products: First-time parents can often be overwhelmed by all the choices of bottles, diapers, toys and pacifiers. But what really matters is what your baby likes. Purchase what you’ll need to get by for the first few months and save to stock up on the rest in bulk when you know what works best.
  • Consider cloth diapers and convertible cribs: When you’re a mom, one of the greatest money-saving tips is to purchase something that is durable and reusable. Whether this means spending a few extra dollars on a high-end stroller for more than one kid or choosing to use cloth diapers and a convertible crib, look for items that will last and lower your expenses in the long run.

Plan for the years ahead – open a bank account and start saving for baby

As you continue budgeting for baby and open a savings account to cover expenses, make sure you also take time to think about experiences and expenses down the road. Will you want to be a stay-at-home mom? If so, Barbara Hetzer, author of “How Can I Ever Afford Children? Money Skills for New and Experienced Parents,” says to give a single income a trial run before you need it. Attempt to live on just one salary for a few months while pregnant. It will give you a chance to boost savings and learn how to stretch your dollars should you decide to take more time off. If you choose instead to go back to work, you’ll also want to factor in day care expenses. And no matter what, you’ll want to account for preschool enrollment expenses and contributions to a college savings account. Certificates of deposit and money market accounts help you grow your funds more quickly, but it’s important to consider that money market accounts are more flexible than CDs. If you choose CDs, you may want to choose terms that end before your due date and transfer the savings to a money market account to have more liquid funds.

 

Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.

Credit Score Curiousity

Money Tree

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.

I have never been one to worry too much about my credit score.  I pay all my bills on-time and close accounts that I do not use periodically.  We have savings and I don’t need to sell annuity assets.  But I do monitor my credit report 3 times a year.  Since you can access your free credit report from each of the 3 bureaus (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) once per year at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/, I simply access one of them every 4 months.  This helps me identify any fraudulent activity on my account.  It was interesting then, when my Discover card started giving me one of my credit scores on my statement the last few months.  I was curious more than anything at my score.  Since I do not plan on borrowing anything any time soon, the score is purely for my entertainment.

Not Too Bad

As of my last statement, my score was 811 out of a possible 850.  Apparently, that rates me an “Exceptional Borrower”.  In short, I pay my bills on time and have never defaulted on any obligation.  The on-time part for me is easy.  I have automated all of my bill payments.  As life has gotten more hectic, I have tried to minimize the chance for mistakes.  I still keep track of everything, almost daily, but I want to make sure that I don’t forget a due date.  I know some people are hesitant to automate things in case there are errors, but for me, since I check things quite often I can catch the errors ahead of time.

What Went Into the Score?

Along with the score, Discover provided a breakdown of the components that calculate the score.  The largest was your payment history, 35%.  Basically, are you paying your bills on time?  Since, most financial institutions will report your information to the credit bureaus every month, any late or missed payments will impact your score quickly.

The next largest item was the amount you owe, 30%.  How much do you owe, relative to your credit limits.  The closer you are to your limits, the more likely you are to be in trouble financially.

Next item was the length of your credit history, 15%.  Essentially, the more data they have on you the better.  It is easier to predict what kind of borrower you are with more information.

The last two items both weight equally, new credit opened and types of credit.  The new credit opened is looking at how many accounts you have opened recently.  If you have opened a lot of new accounts in a short time frame, that could indicate financial distress.  For me, I think I have opened one account in the last year.  I took advantage of a store card’s promotional discount when I did some Christmas shopping.  They offered something like 25% off my purchase for opening a card.  I opened the card and paid the balance off at the end of the month.

The last item is types of credit, meaning what kinds of accounts you have.   For me, I have a mortgage, auto loan, and revolving accounts (aka credit cards).  I assume this is the mix most people have with the possible addition of student loans.

You are not a number

As I said, the score is really for my amusement only.  The number I am more concerned with is my net worth.  Is that number growing sufficiently and fast enough?  The credit score certainly helped me earlier in life achieve the best possible terms I could when I did have to borrow money.  My current interest rates are 3.75% for the mortgage and 1.99% for the auto loan.  There is no way that I could have received interest rates like that if my credit score had been low.  However, I did not have to do anything out of the ordinary to get that score.  I simply had to pay my bills on time.

Do you actively monitor your credit report?  Are you concerned about your score?

Personal Finance is a Middle Class Escape Plan

billion dollar lottery

I don’t know what more to say than this – saving money for retirement is boring. I am losing my mind from it.

I don’t know how anyone does it…oh wait, no one does. People spend. People have fun. People cross their fingers, say a prayer to Baby Jesus, and hope that whatever they are doing works out. They are lucky if they are American. Things will probably work out for them, even if they don’t save enough. We won’t let them starve.

But we will make them work until they drop dead. For some, that’s a fair trade.

Saving money is so boring that it almost made me more obsessive about money than I was when I was in debt. I didn’t even think that was possible. As I mentioned in my last post, I was checking my Mint.com account ten times a day and counting the hours until my next paycheck, so I could work on my goal of fully funding two years’ of Roth IRAs in just 14 months.

What if Saving for Retirement is the Wrong Choice?

What if all the personal finance bloggers you follow are wrong? What if the old saying “you can’t take it with you” is the best advice of all? What if the debtors have it right? What if the best way to enjoy your life is to promise lenders that someday you will repay them if they give you a bunch of cool stuff now. What if you drop dead on your first day of retirement, and the fruits of your labor pad someone else’s pockets?

These are all questions without answers.

As much as we try to speculate and give advice, I’ve been clear to you that I don’t know the answers. I know how I feel and what I want, and what makes it easier for me to sleep at night. I know that I like the feeling of not owing a penny to anyone. I like being able to tell my landlord that I’m moving, packing up my apartment and heading somewhere else.

Being debt free gives you many types of freedoms, but it probably prevents you from having everything you want. Unless you are some type of money monk who has learned to completely control impulse, you have to tell yourself “no” fairly often.

Even though we are pretty secure, I still must practice discipline. Even today, as I do research on our upcoming trip that will cost at least $5,000, I have to say no to the $3,000/week villa rentals that are bathed in luxury. What I will end up with will cost less than that and will still be pretty nice, I just can’t bring myself to go all out and spend like crazy.

Even If It’s Wrong, It’s Still a Way Out

Personal finance is a way for middle-class people to escape a system that is designed to make the elites rich without risk and keep the poor dependent on handouts like credit and welfare.

This is something I learned in 2008 when it became clear to me that debt freedom is where I wanted to be.

When things got tough, I saw the rich get bailouts, the poor get handouts, and the middle class get left out.

This is a recipe for disaster.

When a society’s “middle class” is destroyed and the chasm between the wealthy and the poor widens, everyone eventually loses.

Personal Finance Means Escaping

Personal finance, defined as paying special attention and devoting special care and effort to one’s own personal (and family) finances, is the only way make it possible to be okay. No government bureaucrat is going to step in and personally pay off your debts.

This means that personal finance can be viewed as escapism.

And yes, for many of us, this means that paying special attention to our own personal finance problems means that we can’t be fully engaged in changing the overall system for everyone.

And yes, I recognize that is what the elites want.

But I’m OK with that.

I’ve worked in politics for ten years, so I have a pretty good grasp of what is going on. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but it’s pretty naive to think that this downward spiral can be reversed without massive pain and suffering.

So in a way I am advocating that the middle class stop playing the game. Jump off the treadmill of consumerism and ambition. Learn to say that enough is enough, and more importantly, learn to be satisfied when you’ve had enough.

If you are full, push your third helping away.

If you have a perfectly good TV, throw that Best Buy ad in the trash.

As a personal finance blogger, I feel a bit like Ayn Rand, who advocated that the poor mistreated elites simply drop out of society and stop “helping.” Her job was to make it seem like it is the poor and ordinary who are oppressing the rich and extraordinary.

But instead of talking to the elites, I am talking to the middle class.

The poor haven’t dropped out – they never showed up to play in the first place. In many cases, someone who appears “poor” is someone who has learned to live with less. In many cases, someone you think is “poor” may actually be more well-adjusted than you.

Personal finance is a way to drop out of the race to the bottom. The only way to win is to not play. So instead of looking for new zero-interest credit transfer offers to keep your ship of debt afloat, find a plan to pay off your debt for good.

Stop kicking the can down the road and hope that someone will come along and help you out.

The only person who can help you is you, and personal finance is your toolbox to fix your problems.

Just make sure you are seeking out personal finance advice from small non-corporate blogs and ignore “advice” from corporate shills.

Escaping the Worry

My writing and thought patterns as of late have been about escaping the crushing feelings of failure when one emerges from debt slavery into the world of “do I have enough money.”

I think I am finally making progress. I looked at the spreadsheet I use to track my finances yesterday and realized I hadn’t looked at it in over 10 days – a goddang miracle.

This is because I’ve engineered my finances to essentially be on autopilot. All my bills are autopaid, either by my credit card or my bank account. The only bill I pay each month is my credit card. The one thing I’m trying to stay focused on is hitting my investing goals every two weeks. It’s been a struggle, but I’m finally getting there.

The Pros and Cons of Cloud-Based Point Of Sale Systems

CC

Cloud computing has become the popular method of storing and accessing data. But many business owners are unsure of what the cloud is, let alone how it could benefit their business. Basically, in cloud computing, information is stored in a location that’s separate from the main computer, such as a remote server. This means that any device with the right permissions can access information from that remote server, regardless of where that device happens to be located.

Traditional vs. Cloud-Based Point Of Sale Systems

The main difference between the traditional and the cloud-based POS System like Shopify is that the latter can be accessed using mobile devices such as a smart phone or iPad. With the traditional systems, the customer must travel to the checkout, where the cloud-based option allows the checkout to be brought to the customer.

Another difference between the traditional and cloud-based systems is that only one device is used to access the system in the former. This device is usually the debit or credit card machine, where the customer swipes or inserts a card, and then enters a PIN into the keypad.

Pros of Cloud-Based POS Solutions

There are several benefits to businesses wanting to use a cloud-based point of sale system. One of these is the fact that a business owner can manage their business from anywhere. Because all customer and transaction data is stored on a remote server, the business can be monitored any time of the day or night.

Another pro is the lower costs that a point of sale solution in the cloud can bring. Business Bee reports that traditional systems incur several costs; the software license, tech support and training fees and costs to maintain and upgrade the system. Although many businesses may see these charges as being part of the cost to do business in today’s retail world, the cloud-based POS solution has eliminated many of these costs. The cloud-based system requires little or no fees to be paid up-front and also offers low monthly fees.

The ability to upgrade the system instantly is another benefit of the cloud-based POS solution, according to entrepreneur.com. Instead of providing upgrades as new versions are released, many cloud providers will be able to provide you with information about upgrades that you will need to have years before they are required.

Another reason that cloud-based point of sale systems are very popular today is because of their ability to work with popular mobile phone companies, according to entrepreneur.com. Arguably, the POS systems that are considered to be the best and most efficient are those which are able to be operated via an app. Some of these apps are quite sophisticated, offering live sales data with just a click or swipe. As well, all apps allow for reporting that is cloud-based.

The Cons of Cloud-Based Systems

There is an increased risk of fraud. Because cloud-based systems use the internet to transmit process and store data, any open connections can mean infiltration by hackers. Although the cloud itself is very secure and far less prone to crashes than traditional systems, it’s the point in the process where data must be decrypted in order to be stored that hackers can access and obtain data from. However, it’s the application of basic practices such as antivirus installation and regular updates of these kinds of programs that can prevent such attacks from occurring.

Business Bee lists downtime as another risk of the cloud-based point of sale system. It is strongly suggested that business owners consider whether or not the lost revenue is worth the downtime if their internet connection isn’t always reliable. Also, it’s suggested that many of today’s POS providers also offer an offline suite of services designed to allow business owners to continue to be able to process transactions and review and sync data. It must be stressed that these offline services may incur additional cost.

Conversion from one system to another can also be an issue. However, this is true with any migration from one POS System to another. In order to convert to a cloud-based solution successfully, it’s recommended that business owners first export all of their customer information and inventory to a spreadsheet, and then send this document to their cloud provider. The task of importing items into the new could-based account should be included in account set-up.

Should You Get Rid Of Your Old Point Of Sale System?

One thing that is common on cloud-based systems is viruses. And indeed, many a merchant has changed their mind about the feasibility of their new POS solution when they discover it has caught a computer virus. Should this occur, a complete reinstallation of the operating system as well as the driver for the system is required. This can cause many a business to wish they never kicked their old system to the curb. However, the responsibility of who pays for purchases using stolen cards will soon be passing to major credit card companies, but will only apply to those businesses using the latest POS solution technology. And so upgrading to the latest system will definitely save companies money in the long run.

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