Now that taxpayers have bailed out the banks, they are on your side, right? After all you’re not just a customer anymore, you’re an owner. But perhaps their responsibility to you as a “shareholder” is overwhelming their responsibilities to you as a customer? President Barack Obama met banking executives at the White House Thursday where he demanded clarity, transparency and an end to what he termed as “abusive” rates and fees, especially from financial institutions bailed out by the Trouble Asset Relief Plan (TARP)
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Sure there are more economical options out there. Using public transportation, carpooling or moving closer to where you work are all cheaper than buying a new car and greener besides. But if you really need a new car, there has rarely been a better time than right now. As a consumer in the midst of a recession at a time when automakers are struggling to survive and move vehicles, the deck is stacked in your favor. Why is right now such a good time to buy?
Twitter is rapidly emerging as the next big trend in online communication. People use it to broadcast anything that’s on their mind, in 140 characters or less. But did you know that it can help you with your personal finances? We’re not talking about tweeting about how much of your paycheck gets frittered away at Starbucks. Or, god forbid, using it for actual transactions. But Twitter can be a useful way to stay updated on the latest news about the economy or to find ways to save money. Here’s how to use, and how not to use, Twitter for Personal Finance.
If you’ve been investing in the stock market for the last couple of years, you’re probably feeling like you’ve been taken for a dizzying roller coaster of a ride. Head still spinning? The more stable investment vehicles, Savings accounts, CDs, and Money Market funds can provide some relief. While they may not offer the highest interest rates available they do provide an appealing safety cushion in times of economic uncertainty. And when it comes to saving for retirement, sometimes slow and steady can win the race. Let’s start off by explaining the basics of some of the most popular investment vehicles available to you.
Getting Things Done or GTD is a productivity approach that emphasizes prioritizing tasks and eliminating distractions through to-do lists, calendars, and turning off e-mail notifications. GTD guru David Allen advocates dealing with today so you can stop worrying long enough to think about tomorrow. Here’s how GTD applies to personal finance.
In the wake of lost revenue amid record foreclosures, banking institutions have found a way to mitigate some of their losses – they are raising basic fees and pulling more money from their customers and account holders than ever before. In other words, the online bill pay service that used to cost $10 is now $12, and the service fee for your account recently went up $1 a month. What can you do to stem this rising tide?
Maybe an extra dollar or two doesn’t sound like much at first, but increasing an ATM charge from $1 to $2.50 brings in a sizable amount of money when you’re talking about millions of transactions a year. And before you realize it, you – the “consumer” – have paid hundreds of dollars over the course of a year just to access and use your own hard-earned cash.
Whether you’ve just been laid off or have finally decided to follow your bliss, there’s no question that you need to start thinking differently about your finances. When you had a job, your checks were deposited automatically in your bank account, your taxes were taken out each pay period, your health insurance was paid for, and your employer matched your automatic contributions to your 401k. In part one we took a look at the most important and potentially confusing change, your change in tax status. But freelancers also need to handle the cost of their healthcare, plan a bit more carefully for retirement, and may even need to be concerned about whether they will be paid for their services at all.
Facing an uncertain financial future, many are finding themselves at a crossroads. It’s times like this, when there’s little to lose and lots to gain, that it may make sense to go back to school to further your education, or even take a fork in your career path to consider career opportunities you would have never considered before. Diversification isn’t just a proven investment strategy, it can also be a way to leverage the money and influence gained in one endeavor to achieve success in an entirely different one.
With unemployment rates at their highest in 15 years, there’s never been a better time to consider becoming a freelancer. Companies may not be hiring the way they once were but there’s still a huge demand for skilled workers. Programmers, web designers, writers and anyone else who can bill their services by the hour are bound to find a receptive audience. But if you’ve never freelanced before you may not be aware of what it takes to run a business. And while you may welcome the thought of setting your own hours, working in your pajamas, and playing your music as loud as you want, make no mistake about it. Freelancing is a business with very specific rules about how you should manage your finances. In this two part article, we’ll tell you what you need to know.
The bad news is inescapable and much as you’d like to there’s no use hiding under a rock. If your kids are starting to ask questions about the economy, it’s a good idea to learn the best way to talk to them about this difficult subject. Leading child psychologist Dr. Erik A. Fisher offers his insights