Blog Posts by

  • 10 Steps to Stop ID Theft Dead in Its Tracks!


    Identity theft happens all too frequently. A few careless mistakes with your personal information and you could be in the clutches of a ID thief.

    Within minutes, someone could have your social security number, date of birth, and your mother's maiden name-all the crucial information needed to begin opening new credit in your name and placing fraudulent charges on your existing credit accounts.

    How do you prevent identity theft and fraud from happening to you? Here are 10 steps to safeguarding your personal information and make sure ne'er do wells don't snatch your credit identity.

    1. Be Alert - Whenever you're using your debit or credit card, make sure that no one can see you put in your pin number or get a close look at your card. Debt cards and pin numbers are prized by identity thieves because they give them direct and quick access to your cash (checking account). Even with credit cards, a quick peek over the shoulder in the check-out line can give a thief your credit

    Read More »from 10 Steps to Stop ID Theft Dead in Its Tracks!
  • 7 Habits of Highly Excellent Credit Scores

    By: Bill Rice

    How to Achieve Excellent CreditHow to Achieve Excellent Credit There's a big difference between knowing and achieving.

    Stephen R. Covey understood this significant gap when he penned his timeless guide to becoming more effective in attaining your life goals. In his classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he outlines the seven habits that help effective people achieve more frequently and with greater consistency.

    That's really the secret to translating goals into realization. Building the right habits will translate into predictable outcomes... outcomes aligned with your goals.

    In this case, let's consider folks with excellent credit scores. Maybe there are a few habits you can pick up to help improve your own credit score.

    1. Spend less than you make.
    It all starts here. Credit scores are most heavily weighted on how much you owe and how you pay back what you owe. Naturally, if you make a habit of spending less than you make, you will rarely have a problem paying your bills.

    2. Use credit, but don't rely on it.
    One of

    Read More »from 7 Habits of Highly Excellent Credit Scores
  • Cheap (and Chic!) Furniture by Craigslist

    Get Great Furniture on the Cheap at CraigslistGet Great Furniture on the Cheap at CraigslistBy: Juliana Weiss-Roessler

    It's finally happening. You're moving out of your parents' house for college and getting your first apartment. Or maybe you're tired of living with roommates and have managed to scrape together enough cash to get your own place. Or perhaps you're upgrading from renting to buying.

    Whatever the situation, chances are after paying for the place itself, your funds are going to be a little low, which is going to make shopping for furniture tough. You might think places like Target would be great for furniture bargains, but a lot of their stock is as much, if not more than Ikea!

    Yes, that's right, I'm talking about finding less expensive furniture than what you'll uncover at Ikea, that bastion of generally affordable home furnishings. Why? Because whatever experts say, it's a recession, and money is hard to come by.

    So where are you going to find better deals than Ikea and Target? Craigslist.

    It takes a willingness to sift through the clutter and check out

    Read More »from Cheap (and Chic!) Furniture by Craigslist
  • Struggling with Debt? Consider this Advice from Suze Orman

    Financial (and Life) Advice from Suze OrmanFinancial (and Life) Advice from Suze OrmanBy: Benjamin Gran

    A few weeks ago I was watching Suze Orman's show on a Saturday night (I live a fast-paced, exciting life), which featured an interview with a young woman whose personal finances had brought her (literally) to tears.

    This woman (I can't remember her name, so let's call her "Jenny") was 31 years old with $95,000 in student loan debt, $16,000 in credit card debt, a $21,000 personal loan to her mother, and she had no savings. Although Jenny had a college degree, a good job, a decent income and a fiancé who loves her, she said she felt like a failure. This 31-year-old woman said that she felt like she had sabotaged her future with too much debt. She felt like she couldn't afford to get married, or buy a house, or move forward with her life.

    Orman is known for her no-nonsense financial advice that is infused with personal empowerment. She always advises people to take charge of their lives as well as their money. You can't achieve financial success until you feel in

    Read More »from Struggling with Debt? Consider this Advice from Suze Orman
  • 5 Reasons to Stop Fearing Your Credit Report

    Are You Afraid of Your Credit Report?Are You Afraid of Your Credit Report?By: Bill Rice

    Even though it's pretty easy to get your credit report online for free, there are still a lot of people who refuse to check it.

    To find out why, I did an informal survey: "Why don't you want to get your free credit report?" Ironically, the answers were all very similar. Almost everyone was afraid they might find something bad on their credit report.

    Isn't that the point of getting your credit report? That's a rhetorical question. Yes it is!

    Your credit report always needs to be in tip-top shape. If there are blemishes on it, you want to know about them as soon as possible so you can start your credit improvement plan.

    Do you need more motivation? Here are 5 reasons to stop fearing your credit report:

    1. Usually It's Not that Bad

    There are tons of myths surrounding credit reports and scores. As a result, most people imagine scenarios and reasons why their credit score must be bad.

    • "Boy, I don't know… I was late on my rent back in college."
    • "Ugh! No, my credit
    Read More »from 5 Reasons to Stop Fearing Your Credit Report
  • Should You Invest in Gold?

    Should You Invest in Gold?Should You Invest in Gold?

    By: Tammy Kraig, CFP ®

    It is hard to open a newspaper or flip to a financial channel without seeing the price of gold for the day… or an advertisement to buy gold coins. Should you buy gold now?

    Why are investors buying gold?

    Investors worry that the United States and other developed nations will spend years digging themselves out of debt and stocks will therefore underperform. They believe that gold will provide protection against inflation of other assets and currencies, including the U.S. dollar. Many investors view gold as having more buying power than the dollar.

    Gold is also seen as a hedge against other investments. In other words, if things are going badly, the thinking goes, gold should do well. And in fact, gold has performed well in the past ten years. On average over the last decade, gold prices have increased more than 18 percent a year. By comparison, the broad stock market in those ten years has risen an average of 2.5 percent per year

    How high can gold go?

    WhileRead More »from Should You Invest in Gold?
  • 5 Ways the Neighborhood You Buy in Matters

    The Neighborhood You Buy in MattersThe Neighborhood You Buy in Matters

    By: Kristie Lorette

    We all hope our homes will hold their value over time, but in the short-term, home values often fluctuate up or down depending on a myriad of factors. Much of the value of a home correlates with the neighborhood and surrounding area in which it is located.

    Five ways that characteristics of your neighborhood may contribute to a change in your home's value - good or bad - include:

    • Access to jobs
    • Amenities
    • Features that stand out
    • History of home prices
    • The visual appeal

    Access to Jobs

    One of the primary characteristics that helps your home to retain or increase its value is whether the area has a low unemployment rate. You also want to consider the average incomes of the individuals and households in the area. The presence of universities and colleges, government agencies and mediums such as TV, radio and publishing companies are other community features that increase access to jobs and the values of homes. You can find neighborhood Read More »from 5 Ways the Neighborhood You Buy in Matters
  • 5 Best Money-Saving Apps

    By: Kate Parham

    Over the last five weeks, we've reviewed five of the best mobile apps on the market that help users save money. Some provide coupons, others offer comparison-shopping, but all help us become more educated consumers. In case you missed it, here are our top five favorite money-saving apps (best of all… they're all FREE!):

    Key Ring Rewards: Top Money-Saving AppKey Ring Rewards: Top Money-Saving AppKey Ring Rewards

    This amazing app allows users to catalog all of their rewards cards and membership cards on their phone. Users can upload coupons, take advantage of special offers and there's even a prescription savings program that will saves between 10 and 75 percent off FDA-approved prescription drugs.


    The only app to reward users for simply walking into a store, shopkick instantly rewards users with "kicks," which are like points that can be redeemed for gift cards, restaurant vouchers, travel offers, charitable donations and more.


    With GasBuddy, users can locate the cheapest gasoline closeby and even map a route to the

    Read More »from 5 Best Money-Saving Apps
  • Foodie Fun on a Budget

    Being a Foodie Doesn't Have to Cost a Lot!Being a Foodie Doesn't Have to Cost a Lot!By: Juliana Weiss-Roessler

    Anyone can be a foodie. You don't have to be rich. You don't have to be a "food snob." It doesn't mean you have to give up indulging in McDonald's or enjoying a bag of Cheetos. It just means that you not only like food, you're interested in it. You want to know more about what you are eating. You want to discover new tastes. And maybe most of all, you want to eat good food!

    Good food is fresh food.

    And the freshest food is often found at your local farmer's market. Even better, it's often cheaper than what you'll find at the supermarket. The shorter a fruit or vegetable has to travel to get from the farm to your plate, the better it will taste.

    Some farmer's markets also allow local food artisans to share their fare, such as jam makers and bakers. These foods are definitely not as cheap as those available at the supermarket, but they are often cheaper than eating out at a nice restaurant.

    Make your own adventures
    . At the farmer's market, you'll often

    Read More »from Foodie Fun on a Budget


(410 Stories)