Twenty Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day — Without Breaking the Bank

budget father's day activitiesWe all want to show our dads that we care on Father’s Day. Many people panic and run straight for the ties.

But unless your father is a necktie aficionado and you can land him the rarest of rare finds in men’s fashion, you may want to consider something else that shows how well you know and appreciate your dad. Here are 20 ways you can honor your father this Father’s Day. [Read more…]

Facebook Payments: A New Way to Split the Check

Ever chatted with your friends on Facebook Messenger about splitting up a bill — say concert tickets or a group birthday gift?  If so, Facebook would like to make the payment process a whole lot simpler for you.

Earlier this Spring, the company unveiled a new friend-to-friend feature for its Facebook Messaging system called Facebook Payments.  Now friends can move from discussions on divvying up the bill right to payment, with an encrypted tool that enables simple, one-click payment from a connected Visa or Mastercard debit card.   [Read more…]

Summer Plans To Improve Your Financial Future

summer financial plansOf all the things to cherish about being in college, summer vacation might be the best. You’ll make friends everywhere you go and you can keep learning while having fun and worthwhile experiences.

Instead of sitting around all summer, make a plan now that will help you make the most of your free time. You can take steps to save money, to gain career experience or enrich yourself. Why not try one of these three plans for a more memorable summer? You can catch up on Orange is the New Black any time! [Read more…]

How to Use Graduation Gifts to Improve Your Financial Future

graduation giftsIf you’re graduating in May, congratulations are in order – assuming you make it through finals, that is. You’ve survived four years of nose-to-the-grindstone studying, four years of ramen noodle breakfasts and four years of frantic, last-minute papers. Your family and friends are eager to celebrate your accomplishment, and one of the ways they know how to do that is with cash.

It may seem crass to plan for gift money you haven’t gotten yet, but it’s crass with a purpose. Money you don’t have a plan for has a funny way of turning into concert tickets, electronics and other splurge items. Making a plan to use your graduation money can prevent you from relying on debt to cover your lifestyle startup costs. Consider making space in your graduation gifting for these must-haves. [Read more…]

4 Smart Financial Tips for the Recent College Graduate

Financial advice for graduatesThe air is warming, the flowers are blooming, and the grass is turning green. Spring is in the air, and the joyous shouts of children playing will soon mingle with the drone of boring speakers reading names during commencements all across the country. Spring means many things, and for students across the nation, it’s time to graduate.

By definition, graduation is a state of transition and students no longer are students in the typical sense. It’s easy to make mistakes during this transition, and they can create serious problems later in life. Here are some of the common questions students face while in this transition and how to deal with them. [Read more…]

How to Recover When You Find Your Spouse Is Hiding Debt

hiding debt from a spouseWhether it’s stumbling upon a mysterious credit card statement in the mail, running your credit report and finding a lot of unexplained debt, or – even worse – being on the receiving end of a completely unexpected collections call, finding out that your partner has accumulated debt that you knew nothing about can be devastating.

Not only is hiding debt from a spouse a deceit that often comes with major financial repercussions, it can also cause deep-seated trust issues that threaten the integrity of your relationship.  Because nothing eats away at the foundation of a marriage like dishonesty.

But while hiding debt from a spouse other is never a good thing, it does happen – and many couples have worked through the issue. [Read more…]

Google In The Cellphone Game: What You Need To Know

Google phoneGoogle has gone from popular search engine to a company that specializes in disrupting markets. In the past three years, it’s brought out a line of office productivity tools that forced Microsoft Office to adapt to an online work environment. Chromebooks are forcing other PC developers to cut prices and improve service. Google Fiber is changing the face of Internet service wherever it gets implemented. This year, Google is poised to shake up another market: cellphone service.

Thanks to a series of mergers throughout the early 2000’s, cellphone service competition has decreased dramatically. AT&T and Verizon have purchased most of the competition while smaller providers, like Sprint and T-Mobile, are constantly at risk of buy-out. This concentration of the market has led to an uncomfortable stasis. Neither company has much incentive to offer lower prices or better service, and innovation has slowed to a crawl compared to more competitive industries.

Google is poised to change all that. Earlier this year, the Internet giant announced plans to offer wireless plans direct to consumers. Its goal in doing so is to get more people online. The motive is simple: More people doing more searches creates more data points for Google to sell to advertisers. Nefarious purposes aside, though, this promises to be a good deal for consumers. [Read more…]

The Smart Way to Quit Your Job

smart tips to quit your job with graceWe’ve all had jobs that just aren’t working out. Whether you’ve just been passed over for promotion or have been stuck cleaning up someone else’s mess for the millionth time, it’s frustrating to feel trapped in a job you hate. Quitting a bad job can be one of the best things you do for your career.

That said, your job is one of the most important features of your financial life. It’s likely to be your chief source of income. It’s where you get your health insurance. It’s the source of some of your retirement savings. There is no doubting the fact that quitting your job is a big move.

Those difficulties don’t mean quitting isn’t the right thing to do. It does mean that quite a bit of planning needs to happen before you make any public moves. Before you start the clock, make sure you do these five things. [Read more…]

Six Questions Your Auto Dealer Hopes You Can’t Answer

tips for buying a car from a dealershipNavigating automobile financing can be one of the biggest financial headaches you’ll encounter. But, unless you want to walk everywhere, it’s something you’ll have to deal with. The biggest hurdle is figuring out the angles and understanding the entities that stand to profit from the transaction. Let’s go through some of the more challenging parts of automotive financing by addressing some of the questions about automobile financing your dealer hopes you won’t ask. [Read more…]

Job Seekers Beware: ‘Re-packing’ Jobs Could Lead To Jail Time

Job Repacking scam tipsWe keep hearing the economy is improving, but that news rings hollow for many Americans. Long-term unemployment is still a reality for 2.8 million people. They’re isolated and increasingly desperate, making them a perfect target for cyber-criminals.

The Better Business Bureau is reporting a new breed of cyber-crime that turns innocent people into accessories in the distribution of stolen merchandise. The scam starts like a lot of others, with a job offer from an anonymous company. The work sounds ideal. It’s work-from-home, set your own hours, and work as much or as little as you like. Best of all, it’s easy. You receive shipments at your house, then repack them and ship them to another address. [Read more…]