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Why Automatic Savings Plans Work

March 21st 2017 by
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According to a Gallup poll, nearly two thirds of Americans prefer saving to spending. The gap between spenders and savers has been getting wider since the 2008 economic collapse, and now it’s at an all-time high. But Americans aren’t good at saving. US News reported that 70% have less than $1,000 saved. So what’s the trick to get into that 30%? Making savings an automatic process rather than a manual one. You can ask your employer to divide up where your paycheck goes. The majority would go to the checking account you use to pay bills, but a percentage can…

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Is Unlimited Data Worth It?

March 16th 2017 by
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Q: I’m shopping for a new phone plan for my family. Is an unlimited data plan a good option? A: On paper, unlimited data seems like a great deal. You can use your smartphone as much as you want and you’ll never be charged for overages. Something about the word “unlimited” makes the plan seem more valuable. You’ll never have to worry about exceeding your data caps again. However, cellphone companies are starting to take advantage of the power of that word. T-Mobile led the charge with a $70 per month (plus taxes and fees) unlimited data plan. AT&T and…

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What To Do When The Rent Is Due – But You’re Coming Up Short

Posted in Borrowing Money
March 15th 2017 by
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Q: Yikes! I’ve got a rent payment due in a couple of days. Payday will come too late and I’m a few bucks short! What can I do? A: Everyone can relate to this experience or one that’s similar. An unexpected bill or a short paycheck puts you behind, and you spend the rest of the month playing catch up. Finally, a big, important bill comes up and you’re out of backup plans. That grim feeling of panic creeps up your spine. Your heart races. This is a financial crisis! The first step is to silence that panic. Take two…

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Responsible Use Of Credit Or Debt Trouble? How To Recognize The Difference

Posted in Borrowing Money
March 14th 2017 by
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Debt may be a four-letter word, but it certainly has its place. A home mortgage, for example, is often necessary. Without the ability to borrow money to finance a home, most of us would be stuck renting, because who has hundreds of thousands of dollars for such a purchase? And a credit card with a reasonable rate and a manageable balance can help keep your credit score up and even provide rewards. However, debt does have a dark side. And it’s important to know when your use of credit is a good thing, as well as when it’s time to cut back…

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Are You Part of the Credit Invisibles or Unscoreables?

March 9th 2017 by
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If you do not have any credit history with one of the credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), you’re considered to be “credit invisible.” The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates about 26 million people fall into that category, which comes out to one in ten adults. Then there are people with little or insufficient credit history, which comes to about 19 million. These people are considered “credit unscoreable.” Together, that’s 45 million people who may not have access to the credit they need, or about 20% of the adult population. How Credit Reports Work You aren’t finished with report cards after…

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