money management

Bank of America buries zombie accounts for good

zombie banking

Bank of America says it will put a figurative bullet in the head of its so-called “zombie accounts,” to keep them dead for good. It will no longer accept electronic credits or debits to accounts that have already been closed, generating fees and other problems for unaware consumers.
Zombie accounts stay dead at BofA
Bank of America announced last week that it will no longer be reviving accounts that have been previously closed and, by some error or oversight, continue to receive electronic transactions.
The term “zombie account” was coined in a May report in Consumers Union. The post, Trapped at the bank, [...]

Statistical reasons to be optimistic about retirement

A happily retired gentleman.

The difficult U.S. economy has made it necessary for many retirees to return to the workplace. Not only that, but many retirement-aged individuals have had to remain in the workplace in order to make ends meet. In spite of this, however, Bankrate assures us that there are reasons to be optimistic about retirement.
Why odds of a happy retirement are good
Why is it that we as Americans should feel good about retirement? According to Bankrate, there are plenty of reasons to see retirement and retirement planning as fields of gold. The publication even uses a new report issued by the National [...]

Stupid tips for money saving, a few cents a year

dumpster diving

Okay, times are rough all over and a penny saved is a penny earned. But some so-called money saving ideas are not worth the minimal savings they may offer up. Here are a few frugal tips for the penny-foolish.
Sleeping in the airport
It is one way to save money while on vacation, but how can you actually enjoy the sites when you are bleary-eyed and your back hurts from trying to sleep balled-up in uncomfortable chairs? Might as well stay home.
Dumpster diving
There are enough web posts about it to almost be called a movement. Sure, you might find some treasure thrown [...]

Some unexpected uses for rubber bands – Part 2

rubber bands

Rubber bands are among the most practical and versatile items in your home or office. And, as we have seen, they aren’t just for when you can’t find your Scrunchie anymore. Here are some more innovative uses for the office staples.
Make-shift splint
Rubber bands can be used to secure a stick or other long, rigid object to an injured finger to keep it immobile en route to the ER.
Make-shift eraser
If your make a mistake when writing and the eraser has already been chewed off of your pencil, just wad up a rubber band and use it. It really works.
Remote control table [...]

Tips for job-seeking retirees

Retired job-seeker

The unemployment rate was raised to 8.3 percent this month by the Labor Department. It’s hard enough for somebody in their prime to find work. It is even more difficult for job-seeking retirees who find themselves unable to stop earning in the wake of the financial crisis. Here are a few tips to help with that effort.
Job-seeking retirees
According to Jeffrey T. McCormack, writing for Beyond.com, statistics show that a retired married couple after 65 will each spend about $250,000 each to meet the remainder of their life’s financial needs. Unless a person is very diligent, very early on in their [...]

Dennys wedding chapel to be built in Las Vegas

Vegas Denny's

The down-turned economy has made tight-wads out of many free-spenders. That is true even in Sin City, because what you save in Las Vegas… stays in your pocketbook. At the Dennys Wedding Chapel, opening next year, you can tie the knot and have your wedding cake with syrup on it, too. What a bargain.
Dennys wedding chapel
The Las Vegas Sun reported this week that the 24-hour diner chain will be opening a new location in Las Vegas next year. It will be the city’s third Denny’s, but it will be the only one with a wedding chapel in its heart. The [...]

Transcendental Meditation lowers stress and med bills

David Lynch

Transcendental Meditation is an effective relaxation technique that can reduce stress and help keep the doctor bills down.
No philosophical or spiritual concessions
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a relaxation technique that was introduced to the West by Mahesh Prasad Varma, who later in life came to be called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917 – 2008). His technique was a distillation of Eastern meditative practices that eschewed spiritual trappings in favor of simplicity and verifiable stress reduction effects. It is a simple, effortless technique that take only 20 minutes, twice a day, and requires no philosophical or spiritual concessions.
Over the years, his technique has [...]

Fewer inheritances as cost of retirement rises

Baby Boomers

According to a pair of recent studies, more and more people approaching retirement age are ill-prepared for it. Many are not even aware of the true costs that lay ahead of them. As a consequence, the tradition of leaving a financial legacy for you children is rapidly becoming a quaint custom of the past.
Fewer parents plan to leave a legacy
Allianz, a provider of life insurance, reported that most baby boomers — those born, roughly, between 1946 to 1964 — had better not hope for a fat inheritance as their retirement approaches. Times being what they are, only 14 percent of [...]

Post-nuptial agreements protect assets after the wedding

After the wedding

It is conventional wisdom that at least half of all marriages end in divorce. Recently, that vague figure has come under fire, with some experts saying that divorce is on the decline. But whatever the figure, divorces are common enough. While it is unromantic to consider the possibility after saying “I do,” the fact is, nobody knows the future. For those who have serious assets, a “post-nuptial agreement” helps ensure that neither spouse will take the other to the cleaners should the marriage go south.
Post-nuptials reduce stress for some
For many couples, keeping their assets separate can make for a more [...]

Saving money at the grocery store

Saving money at the grocery store

The old adage says that nothing is certain except for death and taxes. A third thing might be that the cost of groceries will always rise. Food prices have been escalating at a greater rate than other goods lately, due to unseasonable weather conditions in many regions. Here are some helpful tips to keep you from going broke while keeping your family fed.
Keep track of food spending
Knowing what you have to spend, and staying on budget, is essential. If you know what you spend weekly for groceries, you can start thinking of ways to reduce that cost without sacrificing nutrition.
Use [...]

How to wage a successful Kickstarter campaign in 4 key steps

Artist's rendition of the Kickstarter logo.

Kickstarter has become a wildly popular way to advertise or provide all-or-nothing funding for creative projects, independently crafted. Millions of dollars have been raised for countless projects, all through online crowdsourcing that helps creators meet meet their funding goal. However, success is not guaranteed. Here’s how to wage a successful Kickstarter campaign in four steps.
Kickstarter campaign success tip No. 1: Have a realistic funding goal
If you’re new to the Kickstarter process and expect to make millions right out of the gate, think again. Research suggests that a more realistic number is $10,000. According to Wired, 38 percent of Kickstarter projects [...]

How to treat summer bee stings

Bee

Most of the nation is experiencing record heat this summer. With the heat and elevated humidity come insects of all kinds. It naturally follows that, with more bees, come more bee stings. This is a serious situation for those with allergies. For the rest of us, they are just painful irritants. Treating them quickly, however, can alleviate much of the discomfort, without costly commercial remedies or emergency room visits.
Remove the stinger
The first thing to do in the case of a bee sting is to get away from the area where the bees are. When they sense they are in danger, [...]

Frugal toothpaste: healthy for teeth and pocketbook

tooth paste

Toothpaste is a commodity we all use every day. In the interest of being frugal in the economic downturn, we offer some suggestions of ways to keep your teeth healthy and your costs low.
It adds up
Although toothpaste is not a horribly expensive item, it can add up, especially if duplicated for multiple bathrooms used by multiple family members. According to  White Pines Whisper, a website for sustainable lifestyles, a family of four spends about $30 a month on toothpaste, or around $360 a year.
Read the label
There are more varieties of toothpaste on the market than anybody can name. They come [...]

Making your garage sale a success

garage sale

Garage and yard sales are a summer tradition for many families. It’s a great way to get rid of a year’s worth of clutter and to make a little pocket change besides. In these tough economic times, anything helps. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sale.
Forecast, clear and sunny
Your best friend in scheduling your sale is the 10-day weather forecast. Summer storms can ruin your yard sale faster than ants at a picnic.
Bringing the traffic
Getting traffic to your sale is the first order of business.
Chris Heiska, of yardsalequeen.com, said:
“The most important thing is getting people [...]

Pay vs free online dating sites

online dating

According to the Wall Street Journal, as of 2010, 60 percent of all heterosexual couples met online. It is only logical to assume that figure has increased in the last two years. Many in this economic downturn are likely in a quandary about whether there is an advantage to using a paid dating site vs a free one. Do you really have a better chance of meeting your soul mate if you pay for the search?
Fee vs free dating sites
The first advantage of free dating sites is, of course, that there is no investment up front. Because it costs nothing [...]

Woman prevented from selling soul on eBay

selling soul online

In these post-recessionary times, sometimes people need to think outside of the box for a revenue source. One woman recently tried selling her soul on e-bay as a way to make money and to reach out for help. However, her listing has been cancelled by the online auction giant.
Bids brisk for soul auction
Although the Albuquerque, New Mexico woman’s auction has been removed from eBay, according to Huffingtom Post, the bidding had “already jumped from $100 to $405 in just a day.”
The woman, calling herself only Lori N., listed her “slightly used soul,” promising to deliver to the highest bidder a [...]

Coupon fraud hurts all shoppers and raises prices – part 2

Coupon cat

As we saw in part one, taking advantage of coupons costs us all in the long run, whether the fraud is intended or not. Here are some of the more common scams and often-self-motivated mistakes that people make in couponing.
Email coupons suspect
Bud Miller, executive director of Coupon Information Corp., wrote that coupons forwarded via email from an individual are generally fake. Even coupons received via email from seemingly legitimate sources should be approached with caution. There are all kinds of phishing scams out there.
Too good to be true
Coupons that promise too much and seem to good to be true, as [...]