Keeping Your Finances Safe During The Holiday Season

holiday fraud-fighting tipsTis’ the season for celebrating with family and friends, decking the halls, and holiday giving. Unfortunately, tis’ also the season for fraud and scams.

Unfortunately, with so much shopping this time of year, the holidays are rife with financial dangers — many of which you won’t hear about on the morning news or read about in the paper.  So take some time, read our tips, and avoid becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season. [Read more…]

Should You Pay to Have an Item Removed From Your Credit Report?

pay for delete scamYou may already be checking your credit report regularly and you might have developed the habit of challenging or reporting any suspicious activity.  But what do you do with a stubborn charge that won’t go away?  You know you shouldn’t have to pay it, but for whatever reason, you can’t get it off your report.  You call the creditors in question and they tell you they understand, it’s no big deal and they’ll gladly delete it from your credit report if you pay a small fraction of the charge.  What do you do in that scenario? [Read more…]

The Financial Lessons of James Bond

financial lessons from James bondEverybody’s favorite spy is back in theaters this month with the release of “Spectre.”  To mark the occasion, we decided to take a look at his 50-plus year history to see what lessons we could learn about life and money from the greatest secret agent in film history. [Read more…]

Good Debt, Bad Debt & Building a Solid Financial Future During College

good debt vs bad debt for college studentsToday’s students pay a premium to go to college.  It’s more expensive than ever to pay tuition, textbooks are borderline extortion, and after inflation the minimum wage is about 30% less than it was a few decades ago. So working all summer to pay for school has turned into working as many hours as you can to support yourself while taking out a staggering amount of loans.  We all know it; the headlines are everywhere. [Read more…]

A Look Into the Future of Retail Payment

future of e-paymentThe last five years have seen the fastest changes in the way we understand currency since the first trader that realized it was easier to make change for coins than it was for chickens.  We’ve seen congressional hearings about credit card security, the invention of a purely digital currency, and the rise of PayPal from nothing, to part of eBay, and then back to being its own standalone company.  It’s all been kind of crazy and hard to keep track of everything. [Read more…]

Getting the Right Loan on Your Next Auto Purchase

tips for buying a car from a dealershipSo, you’re buying a car.  You’ve made it past the tedious comparison shopping, you’ve finished the detail-oriented research and you’ve even endured the haggling with the salesperson.  Your tongue probably tastes like that terrible coffee they use in every car dealership in America and it’s pretty likely you’re thinking about everything else you could have done with your weekend.  But, it’s almost over.

“I just gotta go in to see the finance manager, sign some papers, and we’re on our way home.”  That feeling of relief washes over you, you let your guard down, and you don’t even realize until too late that you’re suddenly in a much higher monthly loan payment or longer term than you’d planned for.  What, in the name of Lee Iacocca, just happened? [Read more…]

10 Smart Tips to Increase Your Credit Score

tips to grow your credit scoreDid you know that only 10 percent of Americans know their credit score?

Those are the findings of a survey commissioned by TrueCredit.com, a web subsidiary of the credit bureau, TransUnion. “It is shocking how little Americans know about their credit,” said John Danaher, president of TrueCredit.com. “Good credit is a cornerstone of your financial profile, enabling you to finance major purchases, such as a home, education, or car.” Then, he added, “Not knowing about your credit can expose you to higher interest rates which translates into less money in your pocket at the end of the day.” [Read more…]

Mastering a Bottom Line, Top Line Approach

mastering a bottom line, top line approachCollege isn’t easy.  You’re learning everything all at once, being tested on it, writing essays about it, organizing group projects about it, and then you’ve got to do laundry, make dinner and maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene.  You may also have a job, internship, children or some combination of the three.  While your instructors may get mad about the question, “Is this going to be on the exam?” it might be the only way you keep your sanity.

So, here’s the bottom line: Just worry about the top line of your resume.  That’s it.  The average interviewer only looks at each resume for 6 seconds.  That’s nothing.  That’s why your goal is to have a top line that makes people want to learn more.  Something interesting and novel that no one else has. Deliver a cool project.  Put together a show.  Get elected to something.  Make a top line. [Read more…]

Cross-Over Designers: High Fashion at a Low Cost

High fashion clothes at discount retailersUnfortunately, we can’t all afford the high cost of famous names and big designers. Or can we?

More and more often, high-end designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Vera Wang, and Missoni are teaming up with big-box stores and traditional lower-cost retail locations to provide chic fashion for the smart, budget-conscious consumer. [Read more…]