A missing wallet is inconvenient, and it can also lead to identity theft. Credit cards, identification cards, Social Security cards and more are all invitations to identity theft when a missing wallet scenario occurs. Here’s what to do when you lose your wallet.
Stolen or misplaced?
Retrace your steps and don’t panic. Sometimes, a lost wallet can be found quickly with no damage to your finances, credit or identity. Call places you’ve been recently, such as stores and restaurants and ask whether they have lost and found items. Often, people will turn in such things as lost wallets.
Cover your financial bases
If you’re [...]
It is often trumpeted that owning a home is part and parcel to the “American Dream,” which a lot of people still hold to. However, an increasing number of people either can’t participate or are changing their minds; the rate of homeownership is at the lowest point in 15 years.
A dream deferred
Much has been devoted to this thing called the “American Dream,” though definitions vary as to what it is exactly. What many agree on is that the American Dream includes homeownership.
[There are always cash advances available for those in a temporary bind]
Home ownership as a national trend is not [...]
Many children don’t receive a proper financial education at home. As we have seen, many parents are woefully uneducated themselves in basic money management skills. That leaves the schools to save us from becoming a nation of the financially illiterate. However, most schools are not making it a curriculum priority.
Trend slowing down
A 2011 report by the Council for Economic Education showed that, while there had been a trend toward more personal finance education in schools, that “trend is now slowing, and in some cases, it’s moving backward.”
Jump$tart conducts its survey once every two years. The previous study, conducted in 2008 [...]
Some parents teach personal finances to their children at home. However, most do not. Only a handful of states require personal finance education in high schools at this time. So where do most children learn about money? Usually, the evidence suggests, they learn about it on their own in real-life trials by fire. Those who do start their financial lives with a solid foundation of personal finance information tend to be much more successful throughout their economic lives.
Now more important than ever
According to CNN, having a working understanding of basic personal fiances is more important than ever now. The economy [...]
A bill before Congress, aimed at helping the struggling United States Postal Service regain solid financial footing, is taking a page from Starbucks’ playbook. Among other proposals, Congress may authorize the USPS to ship wine and beer.
Congress tries to stamp out postal service woes
The United States Postal Service is in serious financial trouble. Any changes to the agency’s structure have to be approved by Congress, where a bill that could help save the USPS is currently being considered, according to the Washington Post. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday, April 25, and is currently going before the House of [...]
There are a variety of products intended to make investing easier, though these products themselves can be as complex as any other investment. Index funds, however, are a relatively simple solution to the complex world of investing.
How index funds are built
An index fund is an investment product built based on the stock indexes. A stock index is a way to measure the performance of a stock market and usually includes a variety of indicative stocks. The S&P500 is a stock index, as is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. There are smaller indexes as well, such as the Amex Major Market [...]
Creating a budget can be very tough for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is considering what we “should” spend. Comparing your spending habits to the national averages can help you make a more informed decision.
Housing tops spending
As of December of 2011, the American average for housing spending is 41 percent of income, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a much larger portion of income than housing has been in the past. In 2009, the same statistics agency put housing, household operations, housekeeping supplies and household furnishings at 34.1 percent of household income. This disparity [...]
A cereal box isn’t just a cereal box. If you have a modicum of creativity at your disposal, it can do many things. Here are just some of the uses for cereal boxes, from storage containers to craft projects and toys.
Make a notepad
If you have supplies around the house like loose leaf paper, binder clips, a decoupage adhesive and an X-ACTO knife, you can make your own notepad or a notebook. They’re great for the kids who want to stand out from the crowd, and great for you.
Give them a gift box and gift tags
With some colored paper, ribbons, bows [...]
Costco is a wonderful store in a lot of ways, because members have access to a wide range of products, in bulk, for very reasonable prices. Besides huge boxes of Hot Pockets, Costco also does financial services, which now include mortgages.
No word on mortgages available in bulk
Anyone who is or was a member will testify that Costco is a great store. Just about anything is available there and often enough, in bulk packages that would cost up to twice as much, or more, if purchased anywhere else. For instance, they have 24 packs of microbrew, which normally only comes in [...]
Specialty lines of personal insurance can skirt some very interesting territory. Here are some of the more bizarre insurance policies taken out, from celebrities and grooms to those with a nose for wine. Companies like Lloyd’s of London will insure them all, for the right price.
The celebrity body part parade
Smiles, hair and legs are all fair game for celebrities when it comes to strange insurance policies. “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera’s smile was insured for $10 million by the toothpaste brand Aquafresh. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu’s flowing locks were insured for $1 million by Head & Shoulders shampoo. Supermodel [...]
In the past few years, more large retail banks have started going into alternative financial services, or offering services traditionally the domain of payday lenders and check cashers. The onslaught continues as more of the banking elite court the poor and unbanked.
Banks want unbanked to be banked
A certain segment of the population does not have a bank account of any kind. No checking, no savings, no credit cards of any kind. To cash paychecks, they go to a check cashing business. If they need to pay with a check instead of with cash, they get a money order and if [...]
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in charge of making sure that everyone in the United States has an equal chance at getting a job. New guidelines issued by the EEOC still allow employers to consider employees’ criminal records, but only to a certain extent.
The extent of criminal background checks
The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 92 percent of all employers do at least some kind of criminal background check on potential employees. These criminal background checks generally show any arrests, convictions and time spent in correctional institutions. These background checks are often done for a variety of reasons, [...]
In a move that has been tested in a few small markets, Wal-Mart has announced that it will soon be accepting cash for online purchases. The company expects that this option will help increase sales both online and in all 3,800 retail stores.
The pay with cash option
When customers shop online at WalMart.com, they will now be presented with a few more options at checkout. In addition to credit card, debit card and online payment systems such as PayPal, customers will now be able to choose “cash.” If customers choose cash, they will be instructed to print out a receipt, which [...]
Generally, when it comes to saving money, the standard advice includes an admonition to always buy a used car. This advice, however, extends to any kind of transportation purchase.
The statistics of used bikes
A new study that is due to be released in the next few weeks revealed some interesting information about bike buyers. Individuals who buy used bikes, instead of new bikes, tend to have higher incomes than those who purchase new bikes. Individuals who buy used bikes also tend to ride their bikes more often than individuals who buy new bikes. In short, the statistics that say that individuals [...]
A lot of people have not been thrilled about the Affordable Care Act, also dubbed “Obamacare.” However, a lot of people are going to be happy with the health insurance rebates that are likely to be sent out this summer.
A medical loss
The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” in the media, was lauded by some and decried by others. Opinion is still mixed, and the law’s fate is currently being decided by the Supreme Court. However, before the court renders its decision, a provision of the law might pay some dividends for a good number of people, according to the Huffington [...]
When you’re trying to save money, it can be very tempting to dump all of your money into one account. You can actually maximize the amount you are saving by splitting that money into multiple savings accounts.
The psychology of saving
Saving money is tough, because it represents a store of resources that could be used for a variety of things. When the number keeps going up, it can be tempting to pull out a small amount “just for a little something.” The amount you have in savings could be affected by the type of money manager you are. If you are [...]