News

What not to do in a cubicle if you value your job

A cartoon protest to the mere existence of work cubicle farms.

If you are an office worker, you may be spending most of your waking life inside those sardine cans of woe known as cubicles. If you’re stuck in a cubicle can and depend upon the income you receive for stewing in corporate preservative juices, conduct yourself like a good little fish and display admirable workplace behavior. Here are some not-so-obvious tips for what not to do at your cubicle (because sexual activity, illicit drug abuse and criminal faux pas are obvious to eagle-eyed employers). Avoid these things because you fear unemployment and drowning in debt.
What not to do in a […]

Working from home a going concern all of a sudden

Telecommuting

There’s been a lot of recent buzz about working from home, after the CEO of Yahoo banned the practice. Granted, Yahoo had their alleged reasons but working from home, also called telecommuting is probably going to get more common as reasons for actual office space are disappearing.
Yahoo bans working from home, media loses its mind
Not everything is actually newsworthy. For instance, there’s been a lot of coverage of Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer. She’s a female CEO, she had a baby, which we’re assured by the media-industrial complex is newsworthy. Lord knows why; she’s hardly the first female CEO nor […]

How to negotiate and save a bundle

A man having a staring contest with a cat.

Everything is negotiable, from salary negotiation to what constitutes cut-off time for breakfast at the drive-thru. Unfortunately, most people are too afraid to ask. As such, they have no idea how to negotiate. Here are some negotiating tips you can put into use immediately, whether the game is saving money or making money.
How to negotiate tip No. 1 – Take a win-win stance
Negotiation isn’t about begging, it’s about being assertive. If you’re negotiating the price of an item in the store, approach talks from the standpoint that everyone wins if you can agree on a price, provided you’re fair and […]

Community college graduates out-earning those with BAs

graduate

Educators, parents and politicians alike keep telling us to get that sheepskin, that a middle-class income is not obtainable without at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet, according to new research, more and more community college graduates are out-earning those with fancy schmancy bachelor’s degrees.
Community college graduates surge ahead
A new study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that nearly 30 percent of graduates of two-year colleges — those with associate’s degrees — are earning more than those entering the workforce with four-year bachelor’s degrees.
Other recent state-wide studies have come to similar conclusions, according to CNN, hinting at […]

Gold investing not the hedge or slam dunk one might think

Tin foil hat

In the past few years, many asserted silver and gold investing was a good idea as other avenues of investment like stocks and real estate were losing value. It’s also thought to be hedge against inflation, but the truth behind gold and silver is a bit more complicated than the gold bugs let on.
Silver or gold investing has lots of buzz
There’s been some buzz in recent years, though quieter lately, about gold and silver. They are, after all, hard commodities whereas stock values are arbitrarily made up numbers.
Certain folks exhorted that gold and silver would be the only currency left […]

Startup Outbox takes on USPS by digitizing physical mail

A USPS mailbox.

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced cuts to Saturday service in an effort to save money. This is in large part because consumers are opting to save money on message delivery by using electronic transmissions. Now, thanks to a startup company named Outbox, consumers can save money and time (and the USPS may lose more customers) by digitizing physical mail.
Undelivering mail with Outbox
Outbox calls the process “undelivering mail,” and it costs $4.99 per month. An “unpostman” visits subscriber homes and picks up mail. It is transported to a company facility, where the mail is scanned into a computer. Subscribers then […]

Conflicting reports underscore economic uncertainty

Economic uncertainty

A pair of recent economic reports appear to present conflicting assessments of consumer attitudes about the economy. However, taken together, perhaps they simply underscore the economic uncertainty and confusion that is so understandable at this time of political brinksmanship.
Consumer confidence and economic uncertainty
According the the industry group The Conference Board, the nation’s consumer confidence rebounded in February to a degree nobody expected. The board’s report showed a consumer confidence index of 69.6, a considerable spike from January, which was revised down to 58.64 — the lowest seen in more than a year.
Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research […]

Huge amount of tax money going to funding bank subsidy programs

Crossed fingers

It would stand to reason that the largest companies in various industries, say banking, wouldn’t need taxpayer help at all. However, the opposite is apparently the case as a Bloomberg report recently found the bigger they are, the bigger the bank subsidy, on the taxpayer’s dime no less.
Bloomberg alleges banks make almost no profit without bank subsidy
A recent Bloomberg editorial raised the issue of bank subsidy funds, namely money banks get from the taxpayers. The subsidy, an implicit subsidy, is lower interest on federal funds; banks, you see, borrow short term loans from the Federal Reserve, the privately-owned federal agency […]

Almost half the nation has more credit card debt than savings

Piggy Bank

Debt is for the most part bad, as it is a liability, and cash is good, because it is cash and thus an asset. However, a recent Bankrate survey found almost half the nation has more credit card debt than emergency savings, a worrisome sign.
Survey says slim majority has more cash than credit card debt
Following good habits is really up to the individual as to whether or not they are going to do the right things, like foregoing desires of right now for what’s good in the long run. One can preach all they want, even if the preacher practices […]

How to save your headphones and save money

Headphones with glasses (head).

If you’re like most people, you know that if you listen to books, music and talk while on the go, your headphones are going to break. Sometimes it’s simple wear and tear, but other times it’s poor quality and manufacturing that lead to broken cabling and cracked earpiece. Or it’s a matter of misplacement.
Rather than allowing yourself to go into debt during the process of constantly replacing your ear speakers before they should reasonably need to be, learn how to save your headphones in order to maximize your listening investment.
Learn to coil your headphone cables properly
Broken cabling is a common […]

Tips for saving money on vet bills

Spc. Jerome Jackson, patient administrator for the 51st Medical Detachment (Veterinary Medicine), registers a military working dog at the veterinary clinic at Balad Airfield, Iraq. [Photo courtesy of the 51st Medical Detachment (Veterinary Medicine)]

Pet care can be expensive. Once basic upkeep and maintenance are taken into account, there are still those times when a veterinarian is required. For anyone who has experienced the horror of vet bills, remember that taking some preventative steps can soften the blow next time. Here are some common-sense tips for saving money on vet bills.
Saving money on vet bills  – Preventative pet care at home
Just like with human beings, pets need regular care and maintenance. Proper exercise, nutrition, hydration, cleanliness and more all contribute to long-term health. Literally, the right balance can extend a pet’s lifespan.
“Preventative care is […]

Gay couples reap benefit of second parent adoption credit

Married gay couples have one advantage with the IRS that others do not. Image

Legally-married same-sex couples enjoy the same tax benefits as traditional married couples, but only as they relate to the income tax levied by their states. Not so when it comes to federal income tax. However, in a bizarre twist of the tax code, that very exclusion may actually give them an advantage when it comes to the “second parent adoption credit.”
Second parent adoption credit twist
Nine states now legally sanction same sex marriages, and likely other states will follow in time. However, under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, marriage is recognized as only between a man and a […]

Best certificates of deposit for first-time investors

Dollar Sign in Space - Illustration

Even though high yield isn’t very high anymore, you’ll still want the best rate of return available when you invest in a certificate of deposit. Your high-yield CD should also have an optimum load of features, from the right length of term and minimum deposit to most frequent interest compounding and other benefits like rate bumping and no withdrawal penalty. The following banks offer some of the best certificates of deposit when judged by these criteria.
Best certificates of deposit No. 1 – Ally Bank
Voted best online bank by MONEY Magazine in Oct. 2012, Ally has a one-year CD with an […]

Consumer price index shows slowing inflation

Gas prices are creeping up again, after being on the decline.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s recent consumer price index report was flat in January for the second month in a row. It is the most recent indication that inflation is leveling off in the United States.
Consumer price index slows from last year
On Thursday, Feb. 21, the Labor Department said that the consumer price index rose by 1.6 percent in the 12 month period ended on Jan. 31, 2013. That is a drop from the 2.9 percent seen in the same period from a year earlier. Lower inflation encourages consumers to spend, and consumer spending drives about 70 percent of the economy.
Fed […]

Bills can become zombies as inheriting debt can sometimes happen

Coffin

There really is no such thing as zombies, despite anything one might have seen on “The Walking Dead,” which is totally awesome, at least no zombie people. However, there is such a thing as a zombie bill, as there are a number of conditions under which inheriting debt is possible.
Inheriting debt is not what heirs likely want
Dealing with the death of a loved one is rough. Money matters relating to it are not pleasant to deal with. Worse still if the deceased passed debt on.
Inheriting debt can happen. Most people are generally concerned about inheriting credit card debt. For the […]

The basics of hyperinflation

Hyperinflation

Some people may have seen the word “hyperinflation” and are regaled with stories of doom, gloom and other bad economic tidings for the United States. Hyperinflation is basically regular inflation writ large and while technically a possibility, isn’t guaranteed to happen.
What is this hyperinflation you speak of?
A few might have seen the term “hyperinflation” being bandied about. These days, what’s meant by it is possible hyperinflation in the U.S. Usually one hears it in conjunction with cries for returning to the gold standard – incidentally a great idea, if under conditions similar to Bretton Woods – along with ranting about […]

Cost of unpaid child support not entirely borne by children, exes

Cuffs

Reportedly, the nation’s worst offender in unpaid child support has finally been collared, nicked in the Philippines for an invalid passport and shipped back to face the music. Unpaid child support isn’t suffered only by the children or ex-spouses, there are costs posed to everybody when a person skips it.
Fugitive from unpaid child support nabbed
Robert Sand of New York, has three children with two different women he was previously married to and hasn’t paid child support since 2002, according to the Daily Mail. He owes an estimated $1.2 million in unpaid child support including late fees and interest. Until recently, […]