Author Archives: Yami

Graphika Manila’s Featured Artist

My daughter’s artwork got featured by Graphika Manila three times: 2018, 2020, and 2022.

2020
2022

I’m so proud of what she has become as a young child who dreams of becoming an artist one day. She is now working as a graphic artist in an advertising company. Keep up the great job, anak!

What You Need to Know About Cash Advances

Almost everyone I know has experienced financial hardships one way or another, and with the pandemic going on, it’s got to be one of the bigger issues that people have, which is understandable and nothing to be ashamed of.  

One of the most important things when it comes to preparing for financial troubles, is learning how to budget. I like to think that I’ve got budgeting down pat, but there have been times where something comes up unexpectedly and I learn that we really don’t have that much money saved for emergencies, which has happened more than once or twice. On one instance, one of us had a health issue that required a lot of money, and it just so happened that we were strapped for cash at the time. Seeing as this was a time sensitive issue, we had to come up with something fast.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Luckily, a close friend of ours suggested we take a cash advance, and while I’ve heard about it in the past, I’ve never really had prior experience with getting one. So I did my research before we got one. Here’s some of the information that everyone should know.

WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT WORKS

We should start by defining what cash advances are. Simply put, Cash advances are an easy way to get funding fast, they are basically short term loans that are usually offered by banks, or other lenders. Alternatively, your credit card issuer can also provide cash advances which allows you to withdraw a certain amount of cash. It’s worth noting that taking out cash advances means that it comes with its own fees and interest rates.

How exactly do cash advances work? It’s basically the same as borrowing money. The only difference being that cash advances generally provide you with cash a lot quicker than other types of loans, which is part of the appeal of cash advances.

TYPES OF CASH ADVANCES

  • Credit Cards Cash Advances

 Cash advances mainly come from credit cards, and it’s what most people associate it with. When you take advances out of credit cards, there is always a limit to how much you can take out, usually half of your purchase limit. 

With credit cards, the interest rates are often higher, meaning you will always pay more than what you initially take. Additionally, you should be aware that some credit card issuers will impose transaction fees.

  • Payday Loans

You might have seen Payday loans and Cash advances used interchangeably, but they do have some differences. True to its name, Payday loans are short term loans that require you to pay back by your next payday. Conversely, the amount of money the lender can extend is based on how much you earn. 

When compared to Credit card cash advances, payday loans come with higher interest fees attached to it.

  • Business Cash Advance

If you are a small business owner, and you’re having some financial difficulties, then a Business Cash Advance (or alternatively, a Merchant Cash Advance) is what you’re looking for. These are perfect if you’re looking to cover immediate expenses. In return for the lent cash, the lender requires you to allot a certain percentage of your monthly sales until the initial loan is paid off. 

CASH ADVANCE PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Hassle free 

The best thing about cash advances is that it’s convenient and quick. Everyone can take out a cash advance, as long as you can quickly pay it back, so you can minimize racking up the interest fees. 

  • Flexibility

There are multiple ways to get a cash advance, you can just choose which is the most convenient to you. You can withdraw them from an ATM, and some issuers will even let you withdraw cash advances in person, as well as convenience checks.

  • Fast Funding

You can get cash quickly with cash advances, they’re especially helpful for small purchases, or for any other concerns. You can’t always tell when there’s going to be an emergency, and sometimes you don’t always have cash on you at all times. They can be a lifesaver at times.

  • Doesn’t Affect your Credit Score

Most of the time, your cash advances will only show up in your bank statement as cash withdrawals, and not as loans. On the other hand, If you have a habit of taking out cash advances, but are not good at paying it back quickly, you can rack up some debt, which in turn will really hurt your credit score. 

CONS

  • Initial Fees

In the case of Credit Card Cash Advances, you can always expect for there to be charges when taking money out, this may be a cash advance fee, which could go anywhere from 2% – 5% of the withdrawal, and there’s also some withdrawal fees when taking cash advances from banks. They may not be that substantial, but they certainly do add up.

  • High Interest Rates

A drawback that turns most people off from making cash advances are the high interest fees. On average, they can go anywhere from 22% to 30%, depending on your location, of course. 

  • No Grace Periods

In addition to the previous point, there is no interest-free grace period when it comes to cash advances, which means that you are starting to be charged with the interest rate the moment that you take out that advance, so keep that in mind.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The idea of using cash advances, while definitely exciting, you should still give it some thought on what you use it for. Before you dive in and get one, make sure you do your research and weigh out all your pros and cons. If you can, try to only use it in case of extreme emergencies.

If you think Cash advances aren’t your thing, there are always other alternatives to get funds quickly. It’s a good idea to think of your other options before taking out a cash advance, but if you do, make sure that you can pay it off quickly.

The Benefits of Using Wooden Deck Tiles

There are many benefits of using wood deck tiles, from durability to antimicrobial properties. But how do you choose the best ones? Here are a few things to consider. Read on to learn more. Besides their durability, they are also easy to install and offer other benefits. The main advantage of using wooden deck tiles is their low maintenance. This makes them an excellent choice for the deck of your home.

Photo by Im3rd Media on Unsplash

Durability

When choosing the best wood for your wooden deck tiles, there are several factors to consider. They are available in various wood species and come in multiple colors and tones. They feel soft underfoot and reflect natural beauty and warmth. Most good-quality wooden deck tiles are made from exotic hardwoods, denser and finer-grained than other types of wood. They are also more resistant to insect damage than different types of wood.

Unlike other decking materials, wood deck tiles are easy to install and durable. They snap into place, which is convenient for people who are not handy. Additionally, wood deck tiles are aesthetically pleasing and resistant to termites, mildew, and decay. They are also waterproof, perfect for boats, sauna rooms, and balconies. These tiles can also be used as door mats or floor coverings in homes and businesses.

Resistant to rot

Using a wood deck tile will ensure the longevity of your outdoor space. While the weight of each tile isn’t secured to the floor, the entire set will not move unless the tiles are stacked together. Likewise, they can be cleaned using traditional deck cleaning methods. Wood products, however, do require routine maintenance and periodic power washing. IPE: IPE is an exotic hardwood that is naturally resistant to rot. Ipe is eight times harder than California redwood. When used on a wooden deck, ipe tiles are resistant to rot and last for decades—the wood ages to a silvery gray patina. In addition, Ipe wood can be treated with a penetrating wood sealant to help maintain the golden color.

Antimicrobial properties

Using various methods to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of wooden deck tiles, researchers can determine the safety of the wood. Several types of tests are used to measure the concentration of active compounds, determine how the materials vary from each other, and identify factors that affect antimicrobial behavior. In addition, they can also select the effect of different treatments and disinfectants on wood. But which tests should be used? Composite wood is made from a combination of wood flour and polymer resins. It resists rot and other harmful organisms and is available in several colors. Most wood deck tiles are treated with fungicides and insecticides. As a result, they do not expand or contract significantly in temperature changes, which prevents mold and mildew development. These tiles also look like natural wood and come in various finishes ranging from traditional to modern.

Easy to install

Installing wooden deck tiles is easy, provided you know a few things. To begin, determine where the tiles will go. You can cut each tile to fit using a hand saw, but a jig saw with a carbide-tipped blade is best. Next, cut tiles no less than three inches wide but not less than the width of a single panel. Finally, cut along the edge of the tile to make it easier to reinstall.

To determine the size of tiles required, you will want to take measurements. Most tiles are 1 square foot, so you should order extras to compensate for oddly shaped areas and damaged tiles. As a general rule of thumb, you should contain about 10 percent more than you measure, and you should make sure to account for the border. Once you know the size of your deck, you can calculate the number of tiles required for the area and order accordingly.

Flexible design

While many traditionally used solid wood deck tiles in many decking applications, more recent innovations have made it possible to connect individual tiles using an integral plastic base. These interlocking wood deck tiles also feature a flexible design to be laid over many different surfaces, including grass and concrete. However, wood decking products are sensitive to contact with surface water, which could bend and twist the wood pieces. Integral plastic bases solve this problem by lifting the wood off the surface and enabling them to be connected.

Wood deck tiles can be installed directly onto the ground, screwed onto joists, or on height-adjustable PVC rider pedestals. These are easy to install and can mimic any other type of deck. Moreover, they are highly resistant to mildew, decay, and termites, so they are ideal for areas where harsh weather conditions are expected. Finally, the flexible design of these tiles allows you to create any design you desire.