Blog Posts by InvestingAnswers

  • 13 Tell-Tale Signs Your Craigslist Dream Job is a Scam

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    With more than a million new job listings every month, Craigslist is flush with opportunities in every industry.

    Seasonal retail jobs, research assistants, project managers, tanning salon sales associates -- the list goes on.

    There's something for everyone, it seems. There are good jobs to be had, but spotting a scam might not be as easy these days. In the telecommuting and flexible job industry (envelope stuffing, craft assembly, mystery shopping and the like), for every one real job listing there are 60 to 70 scams, according to Sara Sutton Fell, chief executive and founder of FlexJobs.

    Scam artists are preying on desperate job seekers, using surprisingly creative techniques to con them on free job posting sites like Craigslist.

    After checking in with employment experts, we've compiled a list of 13 "red flags" that your dream job may not be all it's cracked up to be:

    1. Generic and/or vague job titles. Look for descriptions that fail to list a location and

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  • 6 Steps to Make $45,000 in Student Loans Disappear

    Follow this guide to put those student loans behind you. Follow this guide to put those student loans behind you. The average college graduate incurs almost $27,000 in student loan debt. If only students could wave a magic wand over that pile of debt and make it disappear.

    Actually, there is such a wand. But it takes discipline, paperwork and maybe a career adjustment or two to make this particular magic work.

    "This is not a gift without work, but it is a gift," said Ruth Pusich, director of financial aid at Elmhurst College in suburban Chicago. Pusich knows what she's talking about: She has five daughters, four of whom managed to get at least some of their college debt forgiven.

    Student loan forgiveness has existed in some form for decades. For instance, VISTA, Peace Corps and AmeriCorps -- as well as military service, some teaching jobs and some legal positions -- offer loan forgiveness in exchange for service.

    In 2007, Congress considerably broadened forgiveness with the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The act forgives a portion of certain kinds of student loans for students who

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  • 10 Unbelievably Weird Jobs Found on Craigslist

    How much does it pay to be a cat holder-downer? Find out here. How much does it pay to be a cat holder-downer? Find out here.

    Even people with jobs are depressed about the nation's unemployment statistics. The outlook is dire enough to make everyone check job boards, even if it's just to witness the miserly market.

    Craigslist tends to be a first stop for people, and not just because they're hoping to waste time sifting through ads for Ikea castoffs and 1980s McDonald's drink ware. People are using Craigslist in their search for part-time gigs as well as full-time employment, and for good reason: More than 1 million job listings are posted on Craigslist every month.

    Now that doesn't mean there are a million amazing job openings. In fact, Craigslist is riddled with ads for surrogate mothers, egg donors, sperm donors and unpaid interns.

    But those are so yesterday when it comes to weirdness.

    We have sorted through the endless job listings to find the 10 strangest Craigslist job ads. What's more, these are real opportunities -- well, as real as these types of jobs can be.

    1. WANTED:

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  • How Much Money Does it Take to Be Happy?

    More money does correlate with more happiness, but only to a certain point.More money does correlate with more happiness, but only to a certain point.

    With all of the discussion about the widening income gap in America, you may be wondering where you fall in the equation. Are you earning enough to keep up with the cost of living or do you need to make more to stay apace and live without serious financial stress?

    In other words, how much money does it take to be happy?

    Proving that, in a way, money really can buy happiness, recent research at Princeton University showed that emotional well being gets better as your income gets higher. At the same time, making a very low income can make a negative situation feel worse. Things that bring down emotional well being -- such as poor health, divorce and being alone -- caused greater emotional harm among those who lived in poverty. But the more money you have doesn't necessarily mean you are happier.

    While the study shows that more money correlates with more happiness, happiness only increases with higher income to a certain point. That's why the findings don'tmean that someone

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  • The Ultimate Guide to an Amazing, Inexpensive Halloween

    Here are frightfully easy ways to have a great, inexpensive Halloween.Here are frightfully easy ways to have a great, inexpensive Halloween.Halloween costumes, candy, decorations -- the cost is frightening. People even buy specialized trick-or-treat bags, for heaven's sake!

    Back in my day, I roamed neighborhoods more than a mile away from home with a handful of friends. As long as I was back before 9 p.m., I was free to gather as much candy as I could shoulder.

    Purchasing a costume was not an option that my mother entertained. Her thinking went like this: Halloween is a holiday where people you don't know give you for free what kids desire most -- candy. So don't tell me you can't find one hour to put together a costume to entertain them. I believed that if I dared to ask her to buy me a costume, she would reply, "You want free candy and for me to buy you a costume?"

    My mother believes in earning rewards.So our Halloween costumes were homemade, except for the one year I persuaded my grandmother to buy me a jailbird costume. It was shiny and perfect in the package, but when I opened it I discovered flimsy polyester

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  • Can Your Finances Weather a Natural Disaster?

    Disasters can hit you hard financially. Here are three steps to ensure you don't suffer during the wait for your insurance payout.Disasters can hit you hard financially. Here are three steps to ensure you don't suffer during the wait for your insurance payout.Imagine being left without food, water and even clothing, and suddenly having to find shelter for weeks or months. But you have insurance, right? That, you're thinking, should solve all your problems. But does it?

    As parts of the United States ignite with wildfires and other states brace for floods, disasters are a way of life. If you aren't prepared for them, and a catastrophe flares, you might not just lose all of your belongings. You could be wiped out financially.

    One ever-present disaster is the drought. Drought conditions are making tinderboxes out of states: Fires have scorched Washington state, Oregon, California and cut thousand-acre swaths of flaming destruction through the West.

    For example, insurers expect to pay out nearly $450 million to victims of the June wildfires in Waldo Canyon and High Park, Colo., according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. That figure makes it the most expensive fire in Colorado's history. The fire devoured about 350

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  • 5 Risky Places You Shouldn't Stash Your Emergency Cash

    Think hard before you put your rainy-day fund in one of these five investment instruments.Think hard before you put your rainy-day fund in one of these five investment instruments.Are you one of the millions of workers who have saved less than $1,000 as emergency money?

    Almost as bad as saving so little, you might be putting your rainy-day fund in one of the five worst places possible. What are they, you ask?

    A 2012 survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 30% of the workers polled have saved or invested under $1,000 aside from their home and defined benefit pension plans. And it found that one-third of those polled had to dip into their savings to cover basic expenses in the last year.

    Losing a job or facing a financial crisis can send you into a panic. But take a moment to consider how much you'll need before deciding what funds to cash in. It's important to have at least six months' worth of expenses.

    Look at how much time it takes to find a job in your field. If you're a private business owner, store away even more.

    "Have as much as three years of spending money available, perhaps even more," said Jesse Giordano (no relation to writer),

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  • How to Rebuild Your Lousy Credit

    Tuck this tool into your wallet to repair your damaged credit score. Tuck this tool into your wallet to repair your damaged credit score. I cringe when I hear credit repair "experts" tell folks they can boost their credit scores by 60 points in 48 hours... for a small fee, of course.

    Unfortunately, the world of credit scoring doesn't operate that way. It takes time to improve your credit history and bump up your score. But there is a good way to add a little oomph to the tedious process of rebuilding your credit. Use a secured credit card responsibly and speed things up. Let's take a look at how these cards can help you.

    How a secured credit card works

    Here's what you do with a secured credit card: Put a deposit in an account with the bank that's issuing the secured card and this amount, in most cases, becomes your credit limit.

    Now, there are some hybrid cards that I refer to as partially secured. In this case, your deposit might be, say, $200, but you'll get a $500 credit limit. You'll find out if you qualify for a partially secured card after your application is approved. Your deposit stays in the bank to "secure"

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  • It's the Cheapeast Time of Year for These 5 Common Purchases

    These common items can cost up to 75% less during the fall compared to any other time of year.These common items can cost up to 75% less during the fall compared to any other time of year.Do not despair if you are recovering from a summer of soaring gas prices and back-to-school shopping while gearing up for the pinch of holiday shopping.

    With deals and savings specific to the season, autumn is a great time to fall into a pile of green if you shop smartly.

    By taking advantage of the way the seasons dictate the types of deals merchants offer, you can benefit from surprisingly deep discounts.

    To make room for holiday inventory and sidestep hanging on to merchandise that might be considered outdated by next year, retailers tend to slash the prices of specific items between the middle or end of August and early November.

    For example, you'll find great deals on lawnmowers and backyard items such as sprinklers and grills. "The fall is the best time to purchase patio furniture and grills," said Joanie Demer, co-author of "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey." "You can save over 40% by shopping at the close of the season."

    You'll also save a bundle on these five items:

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  • 9 Ways to Save Money on Youth Sports

    Is Little League draining your wallet? Here's how to save money on your kid's sports.Is Little League draining your wallet? Here's how to save money on your kid's sports.I had a horse fetish when I was a girl. A new stable set with ponies was inevitably on my Christmas list each year. I somehow convinced my single mom to pay for special riding boots and one-on-one horse riding lessons. After my first lesson, my mom asked the trainer how many additional individual sessions I would need before I could sign up for (lower-fee) group lessons.

    It was not, as you can imagine, the cheapest of sports. Luckily -- for my mother's pocketbook -- I decided against riding lessons after seeing the work required to clean the horse after each lesson. I had no desire to scrub poop and sweat off "my horse," which I feared (with its enormous quivering belly) would easily squash me as it reached for the oats. A pony ride at a nearby park would suffice. My mother wised up.

    When I moved onto softball, I used my older sister's glove the first season. For cross country, my current running shoes were perfectly fine. When I asked my mom to buy me a pair of track shoes well

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