How to Choose a Bank

You can never be too careful with your money, especially these days.  There are so many decisions to make about everything that you might not even know where to start.

One of the decisions you have to make is where to do your banking.  This may seem like a fairly innocuous decision, but banking is genuinely important and can determine serious things like how much your money has the potential to grow and how easily you can access your money. Continue reading

5 Personal Finance Habits for the New Year

Now that we are well into 2013, you may have broken all the resolutions that you drunkenly made on New Year’s Eve like checking Facebook less often, you can start concentrating on some of the more important changes to make in your life this year.

One of those should be to become more financially stable and financially independent.  This is not an easy task to accomplish, but don’t worry, we are here to help.

The key to financial awesomeness is good financial habits.  If you are in the habit of spending all of your money just as you get your paycheck, you won’t have any money left over which is no good.  But if you get into the habit of saving a chunk of each check, you’ll have some serious money in your savings account in a little while. Continue reading

Personal Finance for College Graduates

One of the most difficult financial times in your life is when you graduate college and begin living without your parents acting as a financial safety net.  Not only that, but you also probably have some good student debt racked up.

This isn’t an easy situation for anyone to deal with, but it is not impossible to get out of this situation as a grown up with less or even no debt.  It just takes a little bit of ingenuity, frugality, and foresight.

Your early twenties is an interesting time in your life where you want to do a million things but don’t necessarily have the money to fund all of them.  In fact, you probably don’t have the money to fund any of them, especially if you are still working on those. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Credit Card

Some people manage to go through life without a credit card.  I don’t know how they do it, (as I am not one of them) but they are to be commended.  But for the rest of us a credit card is quite often a necessary thing.  So, for those of us that require one, it makes good sense to know what to look for when applying for a new card.

Less than Perfect Credit
If you have less than perfect credit, you are going to be limited in your choices, and you are going to pay a higher rate of interest.  There’s no way around that.  But you do have some choices.  Do not choose the first credit card offer that heads to your e-mail or your mailbox.  Compare the rates of interest, the penalties for late payments and other such fine print. Continue reading

Should You Do Your Own Taxes?

With the New Year approaching, another important date is fairly close by.  Tax day may seem like it’s very far away.  After all, you have something like three and a half months to do your taxes, and even then you can file for an extension.

But tax season comes around before you know it, and taxes are nothing to be ignored.  They are serious business.  If you lie on your taxes and get caught, you’ll get audited, and if you don’t pay your taxes, you will go to prison.  Simple as that.  Taxes are something to be taken seriously.

But taxes aren’t simple either.  It takes literally years to master each state’s tax codes because there are so many little details and intricacies to understand.  Obviously not everyone has seriously complicated taxes, but simple taxes simply don’t exist.

Continue reading

Credit Card Payment Insurance: What Is It and Is It Worth It?

You may or may not have heard some hype about credit card payment insurance.  Basically, you pay a monthly premium and if you can’t pay your credit card bill because something awful happens like you get injured or lose your job.

It really sounds like a fantastic concept, especially since you certainly cannot predict what will happen and when.  But whenever you are paying for anything and especially anything expensive, and this unusual type of insurance is certainly no exception.

Recently named on Time.com as a product that you should stop buying immediately; credit card payment insurance seems like more of a scam than a solution.

Rather than paying your credit card bill for you, this service, pauses your credit card bill and even your interest rate for as long as two years. Continue reading

Tips to Help You Stand Out in an Interview

In this economy, one of the hardest things to do is find a job.  With unemployment at just below 10%, many people don’t have jobs and few new jobs are being created.  This means more applicants for every job, not matter the qualifications or the education level needed.

Competition is high and very stiff and the only thing you can do to increase your chances of getting the job you are applying for is to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates.

The interview process can be quite long and drawn out.  Some companies can require as many as four interviews to find the best possible candidate, and every step of the process is different. Continue reading

Credit Unions: What Are They and Should You Use Them?

These days banks are under a whole lot of scrutiny.  Being blamed for giving out subprime mortgages to unsuitable candidates, resulting in people losing their homes, banks are not the most trusted and revered institutions at the moment.

In this economic crisis, banks are suffering as well but perhaps not like the everyday man.  To ease their suffering they have introduced new fees and increased existing fees.  And to top it all off, there have been many complaints customer service at big banks.  It seems that they are taking less and less of an interest in some of their smaller customers. Continue reading

Black Friday: Get Everything Without Getting Trampled

With Thanksgiving just a day away, Black Friday, the second most sacred holiday in November in America, comes just a day later.  So what does that mean? Leftovers?  Turkey cranberry gravy sandwiches?  The day off from work?  Yes to all of the above (hopefully), but also and maybe most importantly it means shopping!

Sure, you can shop literally any other day of the year, so you must be thinking, “what makes Black Friday so special?”  Well the reason that Black Friday is such a big deal in this country is because it is designated as THE shopping day of the year.

Black Friday is meant to signify the beginning of the holiday season shopping period with people getting ready for all of the big gift giving holidays.  And in honor of this glorious time, many stores and companies offer extremely good deals on many of their products.  So good, in fact, that people will line up in front of a store HOURS before it opens, just to get a good deal on something. Continue reading

Saving Money on Your Groceries: A Place You Had Never Thought to Look

If there was ever a season to cut back on everyday spending and save some money, it is this one.  With the holidays just around the corner, there will be plenty of things to spend money on, even money than you should be spending.

But if you are already not buying many luxuries and turning off lights when you leave a room, you might be wondering how else you could possibly save money.  You seem to be doing all that you can. Continue reading