July 17 Tip of the Week
Check your free annual credit reports for
errors. Credit scores are simpler than you may think. If you pay your
bills on time, you'll have a good credit score. If you don't, you won't.
July 10 Tip of the Week
There is no shame in using tricks to get
yourself to save money. Use multiple savings accounts; put your credit
card in the freezer; set up automated transfers. Whatever works for you
July 3 Tip of the Week
Track expenditures using the safe and secure
program at Mint.com or with a budgeting notebook (ask us for one).
You'll be amazed to see where your money is really going.
June 26 Tip of the Week
Look for sales at discount outlets. There
are huge price differences between clothing on sale at discount
stores and that sold regularly at many department and specialty
stores, though keep in mind that prices at the latter are often
Consider purchasing previously-used clothes
from Good Will, second-hand stores, or school or church thrift
sales. With a little effort, you can find low-priced, high-quality
used clothing items that can be worn for many years.
Assess clothing in terms of quality as well
as price. An inexpensive shirt or coat is a poor bargain if it wears
out in less than a year. Consider fabric, stitching, washability,
and other quality related factors in your selection of clothes.
Clean clothes inexpensively. Wash and iron
clothes yourself. If you use a cleaner, compare prices at different
establishments. A 5o cent difference in cleaning a shirt, for
example, can add up to $100 a year.
June 19 Tip of the Week
Get Paid What You're Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn
It sounds simplistic,
but many people struggle with this first basic rule. Make sure you know
what your job is worth in the marketplace, by conducting an evaluation
of your skills, productivity, job tasks, contribution to the company,
and the going rate, both inside and outside the company, for what you
do. Being underpaid even a thousand dollars a year can have a
significant cumulative effect over the course of your working life.
No matter how much or how little you're paid,
you'll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn. Often it's
easier to spend less than it is to earn more, and a little cost-cutting
effort in a number of areas can result in big savings. It doesn't always
have to involve making big sacrifices.
June 12 Tip of the Week
Home Heating and Cooling
Ask your local electric or gas utility for a
free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive
ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars
a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years,
or even 5 years, usually will save you lots of money in the long
Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and
cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air in the
summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly
useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling
Use window coverings to block or let in
sunshine. In summer, use these coverings to block sunlight, keeping
your house cool. In winter, open the coverings to let sunshine warm
the house. You could easily save more than $100 annually while being
June 5 Tip of the Week
Bankruptcy is a way to eliminate debts or repay them under court
protection and supervision. Child support payments, alimony, fines,
taxes, and some student loans obligations are typically not eliminated.
Bankruptcy was created to give a hopeless debtor a fresh start and
should always be considered a last resort. A bankruptcy will stay on
your credit report for up to 10 years, possibly affecting your ability
to buy or rent a home and will likely result in higher interest rates on
May 29 Tip of the Week
Make Savings a Priority
You'll be more likely to save money if you
make it a priority. Sit down and figure out what you'd like to save
money for - retirement, a house, a car, college, dream vacation - and
how much it will cost. Then make your plan:
1. Set a timeline for when you'd like to reach your goal.
2. Set a schedule by dividing the total goal amount by the number of
weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.
3. Be vigilant by treating your savings contribution just like any other
must-pay expense, such as rent or groceries.
May 22 Tip of the Week
Tips for Travelers
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, be on the alert for
opportunities that identity thieves may try to take advantage of:
Receipts-do not leave credit card receipts
on the table at restaurants; sign them and hand them directly back
to the server. Keep your copy of all receipts.
Wallets-stolen wallets frequently lead to
identity theft, so instead of carrying your wallet in your pocket or
having it easily accessible in your bag, use travel pouches that are
worn inside your shirt.
Checks-leave checkbooks at home in a locked
safe or drawer. Checking account takeover is one of the hardest
types of financial fraud to clear up.
Camera phones- That tourist with a camera
phone may actually be taking a shot of your credit card or driver's
license. Keep important personal information out of view from
Mail-Put your mail on postal hold whenever
you travel, and arrange for mail to only be picked up by you at the
post office when you return.
Hotels-Lock up all valuables in room or
hotel safes while you are out, including laptops, passports, and
other documents that contain your personal identifying information.
Do not leave these items with a hotel doorman to transport or
hold-carry them yourself.
Airplanes-Do not put any items that contain
your social security number, card numbers, or financial institution
account numbers in checked luggage. Always carry that with you.
May 15 Tip of the Week
Beware of Scams
Always be on the defensive wiht your private information. Never give out
personal information to telemarketers or respond to emails form someone
claiming to represent your bank, credit card issuer, a government
agency, a charity, or other organization. If you think the request is
legitimate, contact the company directly to confirm their claims.
May 8 Tip of the Week
Check your credit Report
At least once a year, obtain and review your credit report for
suspicious activity. You can request a free copy of your report at
www.annualcreditreport.com or by contacting any of
the three major credit reporting agencies.
May 1 Tip of the Week
Be Careful with your Social Security
Your social security number is a major target for identity thieves
because it can give them access to your credit report and bank accounts.
Never carry your card with you. Instead, memorize your number and keep
the card in a secure place at home or in a safe deposit box.