Advice & Expertise Blog

Articles in August 2017

  1. August 31, 2017

    A staggering 49 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning they have no savings. They’re completely reliant on the next payday to manage their expenses; if a paycheck is late, or an unexpected emergency comes up, they have no way to handle it.

  2. August 30, 2017

    For several years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was one of the best travel reward credit cards. It offers double Ultimate Rewards points on all travel and dining purchases, and your rewards could be transferred to miles with seven airlines or points with four hotel programs. You can also redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards travel reservations made through Chase.

  3. August 28, 2017

    When I graduated from school, I worked for a small, privately-owned business. And it was awful. I was supposed to be a writer, but they insisted I also act as the janitor, cleaning the bathroom and storage areas. The owner literally screamed a lot and relished employees’ tears. It was a terrible experience, and I was miserable. However, I did learn a lot from that short period of employment. Those lessons helped me later in my career.

  4. August 25, 2017

    When it comes to credit cards, there are too many options to count. From cash-back rewards cards that let you earn rewards to balance transfer cards that help you save money on interest, there’s a card type to suit everyone regardless of their credit needs. And yes, that includes credit cards that can help you become more charitable. Believe it or not, some card issuers and programs make it easy to donate cash-back or miles instead of keeping your rewards for yourself.

  5. August 23, 2017

    When you need cash for a downpayment on a home or when you hit a financial emergency, your retirement nest egg can look pretty appealing. You might have thousands stashed away in a 401(k), so when you need money quickly, taking a loan from your own account can be tempting.

  6. August 22, 2017

    Whether you’re talking about the environment, energy, or food, sustainability has become a hot topic. But for all this talk about creating a sustainable society, people rarely apply the concept to household budgeting. We have somehow forgotten its place in fiscal management.

  7. August 21, 2017

    If any word can send a parent with teenagers into a bout of anxiety, it's likely to be "college." For every newly-minted freshman who enters college, the proud parents are looking at a yearly bill for tuition and fees of nearly $10,000 -- and that's for an in-state public university.

  8. August 18, 2017

    While American Express is well known for their selection of premier travel credit cards, past and present Amex customers seem to have a lot of gripes. For starters, the card issuer’s top tier travel credit cards – the Platinum Card from American Express and the Business Platinum Card from American Express – come with outrageous annual fees of $550 and $450, respectively. Worse, both cards offer an earning tier of just 1 point per $1 spent outside of special bonus categories.

  9. August 17, 2017

    When I accepted the offer for my first job, I only had about $100 to create an entire work wardrobe. And when I walked into stores, I quickly found that my $100 wouldn’t buy a single dress. I was frustrated and panicking because my start date was just a few days away. Thankfully, I did some research and talked to friends, and got some smart ideas to find cheap work clothes. I was able to start work with many office-worthy outfits that looked great, without overextending my budget.

  10. August 16, 2017

    Credit cards offer a slew of benefits that make them valuable for just about anyone. With a credit card in-hand, you can score valuable consumer protections like purchase protection, zero fraud liability, and guaranteed returns. And, let’s not forget about the many rewards programs that help you rack up cash back, gift cards, or free travel.

  11. August 14, 2017

    It’s inevitable. Every fall Americans begin to panic as they realize that they will have to pay a premium to travel over the winter holidays. And it’s even worse for many who want to travel with the points and miles that they’ve earned from their credit cards.But it doesn’t have to be this way. This summer is the perfect time to start earning rewards for your winter travel.

  12. August 11, 2017

    With interest rates near record lows so long that rising rates seem imminent, it’s smart to at least consider refinancing your home mortgage. A lower interest rate could give you plenty of advantages, after all. While loan outcomes vary, lower interest rates can easily lead to lower monthly mortgage payments and interest savings. Under the right circumstances, you could even shorten the repayment timeline for your loan and pay off your home faster.

  13. August 9, 2017

    If you’re a first-time car buyer, the process can be overwhelming and a little terrifying. The idea of going up against a tough car salesperson can feel like a losing proposition. However, there’s a way that even the shyest people can negotiate and get a great deal. Even better, you’ll be in an out of the dealership in under an hour.

  14. August 8, 2017

    Credit card signup bonuses are often considered the holy grail of affordable travel. Sign up for a new rewards credit card or travel credit card, hit a minimum spending requirement, and earn a bonus big enough to pay for several hotel nights or a free round-trip flight. If you’re into cash-back instead, you can also parlay your rewards into several hundred dollars in statement credits instead.

  15. August 7, 2017

    It’s already August, so there are just a few weeks left to summer. No more lazy days by the pool or trips to the beach. But before you start feeling down, there is still time to have one last adventure before returning to the regular grind. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on hotels or airline tickets. With gas prices the lowest they’ve been in years, you can have an epic journey with family or friends with a summer road trip.

  16. August 4, 2017

    Is big-city living all it’s cracked up to be? Or, would you be better off in a quieter, slower-paced rural environment? While this question has been debated for years, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer that suits everyone. The truth is, some people prefer the close-knit quarters of an urban existence while others crave more space.

  17. August 2, 2017

    Your credit rating, or how much of a risk it is to lend you money, is generally determined by your FICO score. This is a score that ranges from 300 to 850, and higher scores indicate a better credit rating and make it more likely that you will be able to obtain loans. To have any credit score at all, you'll need to have at least one credit account where a creditor reports on your activities to credit bureaus open for a minimum of six months.


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