The Mega Millions lottery could make a lucky person about half a billion dollars richer, but the odds are stacked against it. Gambling on any kind of lottery is not the best use of one’s money, but people will participate regardless. With that in mind, it pays to know what to do when you win the lottery, for the sake of argument. Otherwise, you’ll blow through the money in no time.
Protect your ticket
Before you share news of your good fortune with anyone else (family and friends included), sign the back of the winning ticket, photocopy it and store the actual [...]
As applications increase, many Ivy League schools are becoming more selective in the acceptance of students. Some institutions are posting record low enrollments. Those hoping for an Ivy League education may find the selection process more rigorous than in the past.
Nearly all report lower rates
Thursday the nation’s eight elite “Ivy League” schools announced their admission decisions for next fall. Most of them accepted fewer-than-normal students, some at record levels. Only two accepted more students than in the previous year.
Harvard had lowest rate
Harvard had the lowest acceptance rate among Ivy League schools. The admissions department will be sending acceptance notices to [...]
Although April Fools Day falls on Sunday this year, on-the-jobbers should not feel like they are immune from office pranks. Many, no doubt, will strike on Friday. Others may come after the fact on Monday. And then, of course, some people do work on Sunday.
Does downturn promote gags?
A third of respondents to a 2011 survey by CareerBuilder.com said they had been targeted in an office April Fools gag at one time or another. Another 25 percent said they had been the one to perpetrate the gag.
Michael Erwin, CareerBuilder’s senior career adviser, said:
“That’s a big number, and I was a little [...]
Money is very tightly woven in with emotion, and for good reason. Money decisions represent a variety of emotional and social decisions, and choosing a financial battle buddy can help you make better financial decisions.
The emotional implications of money
Money represents resources. The things we do to earn money take time and emotion, and the way we spend that money has emotional implications as well. Study after study has found that spending money is associated with dopamine release in the brain. As the pleasure chemical in the brain, dopamine is incredibly powerful and incredibly addictive chemical. When we spend money on [...]
Between Jan. 21 and Feb. 15, a MasterCard and Visa payment processor had a “massive security breach.” The data breach reportedly could have compromised up to 10 million credit card numbers.
The data breach
According to the warning MasterCard and Visa sent out to banks last week, a processor’s credit card data was compromised. Both Track 1 and Track 2 data was revealed. Credit cards generally carry personal information in multiple ways to ensure that the card is more difficult to counterfeit. Since both Track 1 and Track 2 data was revealed in the security breach, which means that full credit cards [...]
Best Buy sells a lot of incredibly popular stuff, like big plasma televisions and iPhones, but the company is hemorrhaging cash. Best Buy has announced a round of layoffs and store closures as the chain looks to shave $800 million from the bottom line.
Lousy New Year
Some retailers, after the glut of the Christmas season, have a bit of a post-holiday hangover as sales drop off a little bit during the winter months. Best Buy, for instance, is having some major issues.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Best Buy recently published its financial statement for the most recent fiscal quarter, which [...]
If you’re looking to keep your upcoming wedding simple, elegant and budget-conscious, think about the food at your wedding reception. The costs of common wedding food can add up fast. If you want to save money on reception food without sacrificing quality, here are some tips for running your wedding on a budget.
Provide your own appetizers
Hiring a caterer to provide appetizers is a convenience, not a requirement. So long as you choose an appetizer that can be made ahead of time, then frozen, you can save as much as 50 percent on your wedding reception, versus the mark-up you’d pay [...]
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest point since April 2008. The drop is yet another strong sign of a strengthening U.S. job market.
Number of initial and continuing claims fall
According to the report, first-time unemployment claims for the week ending March 24 dropped by 5,000, to a four-year-low of 359,000. The number of those receiving continuing benefits following their initial claim week dropped by 41,000, to a total of 3.34 million. That is also the lowest amount seen since August 2008.
Claims drop across all programs
As of March 10, [...]
A recent survey concludes that the escalating cost of gasoline in the U.S. could severely curtail summer travel plans for many, leading to losses in various travel-related industries.
Vacationers and business travelers alike
The U.S. Travel Association surveyed 2,500 U.S. consumers in early March, asking them if the rising cost of gas will affect their travel plans in the coming months. More than half — 54 percent — of leisure vacationers said they had intended to travel in personal vehicles and that the cost of fuel would be a factor in their plans. Just less than 27 percent of business travelers said [...]
Mortgage rates declined the week of March 26; the latest economic data available to investors continues to disappoint. Bankrate reports that the Federal Reserve went on record with its reminder that the U.S. economy is still “far from recovery.”
Benchmark fell to 4.23 percent
Benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell down to 4.23 percent after last week’s interest rate of 4.29 percent, according to a national survey of major mortgage lenders. The most recent survey included mortgages with an average of 0.39 discount and origination points, notes Bankrate.
Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages were also down from 3.48 percent to 3.44 percent. The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate [...]
One of the best things about the internet is that it is possible to make money doing things that you already do. With some careful research and a small amount of effort, you can start making money for the tasks you would do every day anyway.
How money-for-tasks works
Online systems that pay you in cash or gift cards for doing things as simple as tracking weight loss or shopping work through affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are, essentially, freelance advertising programs. A company will pay a small percentage of a sale or a commission on sales or views on a particular advertisement. [...]
When it comes to personal finance, increasing efficiency and maximizing every moment is often the topic of discussion. One thing that is often forgotten, however, is that for everyone from employees to entrepreneurs, taking a break can be the best thing you do for your personal financial situation.
The psychology of a break
The human brain is not designed to focus on one project or one task for very long periods of time. Instead, the brain is designed to focus very intensely for short periods of time. By taking short breaks to look at, think about, and focus on something else, the [...]
According to Money magazine, the cost of college housing has grown at a faster pace than inflation over the last two decades. The price of tuition is non-negotiable, but there are many ways to lower the other costs associated with an education. At a time when many students fear Congress will let the rates of their Stafford loans double, many students are scrambling to find ways to economize, at least until graduation. Here are some suggestions to help lower college housing costs.
Support local colleges
First off, consider staying at home, at least for the first two years of college. Resident tuition [...]
During the past few years, the recession has kept some people from traveling as much as they would like to. As a result, hotel rates have been staying fairly low, but they are creeping up again.
Key sign of recovery
Recessions not only make a mess of economic conditions, they also happen to be a real buzz-kill when it comes to vacation plans for a lot of people. Fewer people flew, or left home at all, and fewer people stayed in hotels and as a result, hotel rates stayed relatively low for both corporate and leisure travelers.
However, according to Time magazine, hotel [...]
State-run lotteries are tantalizing, dangling carrots for many consumers in the economic downturn. After all, who can’t afford to lose a buck or two a week? And if it pays off, all problems are solved. But is it a smart way to spend money in a time when money is not that easy to come by? According to the recently-released Bloomberg Sucker Index, the answer is a resounding no.
Most common form of gambling
The study was created using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s report of state lottery commissions. Prize amounts were subtracted from sales revenue and the difference was divided [...]