While Black Friday has traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season, the digital age has made online shopping a popular alternative. In 2010, Cyber Monday — the Monday after Black Friday — unofficially launched the online holiday shopping season and generated nearly $1 billion in online sales. This year, that number is expected to increase nearly 20%.
The National Retail Federation reports that more than a third of shoppers will do their holiday purchasing online this year. With so many people scouring the Internet, online shoppers are encouraged to take necessary precautions to protect themselves while scoring the best Continue Reading »
Let’s face it: 2011 has been a pretty abysmal year when it comes to bank savings rates. And it doesn’t look like 2012 will be any better.
Given the current economic environment, the easier way to save in the coming year may to take a closer look at some of the bank fees you are paying.
Paying a transaction fee and/or a monthly fee to simply maintain an account is something consumers can longer ignore. This is a good time to contact your current bank and ask the following fee-related questions:
Am I being charged to maintain my account? Continue Reading »
It used to be an open-and-shut discussion: owning a home was the cornerstone of any American Dream. But with today’s economic uncertainly, and with high unemployment numbers and many Americans still reeling from the popping of the real estate bubble, that concept is up for debate.
Perhaps the foreclosure crisis has upended the American Dream of home ownership. To make the subject even murkier, surveys don’t point to a clear trend. Consider:
Nearly 90% of those surveyed in June by The New York Times and CBS News said home ownership was an important part of the American dream.
Continue Reading »
So your college student has a cash flow problem. Not surprising, especially if she is now responsible for tuition and fees. You want to help, but how?
While college years aren’t likely to be the highest-earning period of your student’s life, they don’t have to be a financial bloodbath, either. With a little thought and planning, anyone can manage to generate a little extra cash.
For starters, there’s a part-time job. Focus on employers that cater to students’ schedules: restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, and retail stores are just a few examples.
Another possibility is a side business. Is she Continue Reading »
Imagine yourself dead.
Don’t do this to be ghoulish or to make yourself feel appreciated while you’re still alive. Do it because, like most families, you probably have a division of labor in your household. And if it’s your job to handle investments, file tax returns, pay bills and keep the financial records, think of how those chores would be handled if you were suddenly not around to take care of them yourself.
Most consumers feel a will can adequately assist them if they are placed in a situation of suddenly managing personal and/or household finances. While it Continue Reading »
For many households, it’s a personal finance dilemma: Should you try to pay down your debt first, or build up your savings?
Perhaps it’s due to the current economic environment, but opinions tend to have tipped toward the ditch-your-debt side. According to a recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Americans are choosing to deal with what they owe: nearly 90% of those surveyed said they value paying down debt over saving money.
At face value, paying down debt sounds like it’s always a good thing. But if it comes at the expense of saving, it’s Continue Reading »