Category: Budgeting & Savings

How To Choose A Bank Account: 10 Things To Look For

On a recent vacation with friends, I was shocked to discover some of them were paying monthly maintenance fees for their checking accounts.

And they are not alone: 45% of Americans pay those or other fees in a typical month, according to the American Bankers Association. If true, you may need to fix your credit score.

This is absolutely unnecessary given how many bank accounts these days are free or have avoidable fees, such as when the charge is waived if you receive a direct deposit, maintain a minimum balance or sign up for electronic statements.Bankrate found that 96% of checking accounts at traditional banks fall in either of these categories (38% are flat-out free, as are 72% of checking accounts at credit unions).


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What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About How to Fix Your Credit Score

You have to recognize the drill by now. Right about this time every year, the financial doomsayers stand up behind their pulpits and declare that the end is near. Americans aren’t saving enough to retire, much less pay off their debt. or say “fix your credit score!”  We’re doomed, the sky is falling, and so on and so on.


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Simple Strategies for Better Money Management

Smart money management is about more than understanding the math. That part is simple: Spend less than you earn, and invest early and often so compounding will make you rich when you’re old.

The numbers aren’t difficult, but the psychological and emotional hurdles that prevent most people from achieving their financial dreams are. It doesn’t have to be that way if you can stay on the right side of the mental issues surrounding your nest egg.


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5 Money Management Techniques to Help Ease Worry From Debt

When it feels like you’re a million dollars in the hole, living with that number hanging over your head doesn’t feel very good. However, aside from making consistent progress toward money management, there’s not much else you can do — so relax with these positive suggestions to turn your mood around.

1. Do any of these free things

2. Be proactive

3. See if your credit card company has a hardship program  …


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10 Tips for Buying a Car in 2014

If you’re thinking about buying a car in 2014, start planning and budgeting now. Car buying is costly — typically the second most expensive purchase that most Americans make after their homes. To avoid making a bad decision, follow these 10 tips for car buying in 2014.

Decide what you can afford

Decide between new or used

Narrow your buying choices…


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How to Cure Your Post-Holiday Financial Hangover

Ask anyone you know, and everyone seems to have a cure for a hangover. Some of the more traditional fixes include aspirin or ibuprofen, lots of water, coffee and lots of food. Then there are more unusual remedies, like drinking pickle juice. But how do you cure a financial hangover? You overspent before the holidays, and now the balance on your credit card bills looks terrifying in the sobering light of January.


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20-Something Homeowners: How We Bought a Home So Young

Images courtesy of Andrew Hou

Images courtesy of Andrew Hou

For millennials, homeownership is no longer the rite of passage into adulthood that it once was.
Call it a sign of the times. Facing crushing student loan and credit debt and a still-shaky job market, people under the age of 35 account for just 37% of homeowners in the U.S., down from 40% in 2007, according to Census data.

This is despite the fact that it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in just about every major U.S. metro.

“I think that for sure, there are people who are just never going to own,” says Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert for Zillow.


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Sneaky Tricks That Make You Spend More Money


You are excited to go on a fantastic vacation and have everything booked within your budget. You head off to your trip and suddenly you realize there are additional costs every step of the way. Unfortunately, travel is not the only time that this happens. In fact, you’re faced with tricks all day long that make you spend more money. Knowing about these tricks is the best way to combat them to ensure you keep your purse strings tight.


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Easy Ways To Cut Back on Spending Every Day

It’s easy to let your daily spending get out of control. Your small purchases can quickly add up, especially if you’re spending more than you need to be. Check out these simple ways to cut back on spending every day. 

1. Food

2. Laundry

3. Commute

4. Fees

5. Entertainment

6. Utilities


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Pensions Ask Retirees to Pay Back Tens of Thousands

Some pensions and pension plans have overpaid retirees for years — now they’re demanding their money back.

For retirees, it can mean owing tens of thousands of dollars. And with little warning, their pension checks are being slashed to cover their debt.

In April 2011, New Jersey resident Carol Montague received a letter from American Water Works Co.’s pension plan informing her that it had overpaid her for more than five years and it wanted its money back — plus interest. Montague, now 67, was told she owed roughly $45,000.


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