USPS rates

Postal rates to go up, yet again

The rise of electronic communication, increased health and labor costs, and the downslide of the nation’s economy have conspired to create increasing fiscal hardships for the U.S. Postal Service. In the wake of this, the USPS recently announced another set of postal rate hikes. The move is part of an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Effective

Top money tips for 2012

Now is the time to prepare your finances for 2012. The following top money tips for 2012 can help you start the new year on solid financial footing. Don’t fly with investing trends Certified financial planners like Robert Fragrasso of Fragasso Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh, Pa., advise consumers not to invest irrationally by becoming a
Swimming swans

Cost of 12 Days of Christmas keeps going up

One of the most popular Christmas carols is “The 12 Days of Christmas,” which has a list of various extravagant gifts. The cost of the gifts in the song are tracked annually and are more expensive this year. Lords leaping over expense “The 12 Days of Christmas” is one of the most popular Christmas carols
Cyber Monday shopper

Tips for safe Cyber Monday shopping

Today, Nov. 28, is expected to be the largest Cyber Monday shopping day in history. Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers do not have to wait in long lines or fear being trampled. But cyber shopping does have its own dangers and pitfalls, mainly in the form of Internet scammers. Here are a few things

Consumer spending fails to keep pace with rising salaries

NASDAQ reports indicate that even though U.S. consumer income has grown at the fastest pace since March, consumer spending slowed in October. While Marketwatch suggests this could be a sign that people are saving in reserve for holiday shopping, some economists see yet another reminder of a sluggish economic recovery. More people get faxless payday

Former AIG CEO sues feds for taking over company

The Wall Street Journal reports that the former CEO of American International Group is suing the U.S. government. Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and his new company Starr International Company filed a $25 billion discrimination lawsuit Monday against the government because Greenberg believes AIG should have received a bailout rather than having been the subject of a
LivingSocial

How to give a daily deal as a gift

Daily deals are a popular way to save money on everything from massages to trips. With the holidays coming up, daily deals can be a money-saving gift, if handled carefully. Basics of a daily deal There are multitudes of daily deal websites, and each one offers a slightly different set of daily deal coupons. Usually,
A George Foreman Grill

Famously lousy: Celebrity brand products that went up in flames

Plenty of companies are all too happy to make a product with a celebrity’s name or likeness because it instantly gets the product credibility. However, some celebrity products are all hype and no substance. Famous name or face does not always translate to quality Plenty of famous people have been used to endorse products or
Kitchen Remodel

Best and worst home improvements to make in a down market

Home upgrades can be very expensive, especially in a down market. If you do choose to make a home upgrade, be sure to do so for the right reasons and with realistic expectations about the return you might get. Doing the math of home improvements Home improvements rarely, if ever, pay back their whole value

Nine travel scams to avoid

Cold weather and the holidays have many people eager to travel. Finding attractive travel deals is great, but some deals, while perfectly legal, simply smell fishy. Here are nine common travel scams to avoid. 1. Strong-arm timeshare sales Let’s say you’re soaking in the rays and drinking margaritas at your travel destination of choice. Out

Happiness happens at $75,000 per year, survey says

What is happiness? $75,000 per year, Princeton researchers claim. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Hamed Saber/Flickr) While a definitive answer to the question “What is happiness?” will forever remain elusive, doctors Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University have attempted to find happiness in numbers. Specifically, the doctor duo looked at responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being
fetus

Studies say poor economy affects birthrates and newborn health

Two independent studies released this week draw correlations between economic hardship and infant decline. One suggests that fewer babies are born during tough financial times. Another shows a decline in the health of those who are born. Fewer babies born in time of recession A study by the Pew Research Center found that birthrates dropped
Rental

How to save money on holiday travel

The holiday traveling season is quickly approaching, and that means decisions about how to travel. In many situations, renting a vehicle can actually save you money in the long run. The costs of owning a car Owning a car is about more than just making payments and putting fuel in the vehicle. Costs include maintenance,

Debt collector complaints surge along with FTC lawsuits

There are few professions as maligned as debt collectors and a good deal of that damage is self-inflicted. Federal Trade Commission complaints and lawsuits against debt collectors are at an all time high. Number of lawsuits by feds skyrocketing Debt collectors don’t have an easy job, trying to get people to pay debt they incurred

Rising prices bump up cost of Thanksgiving dinner

Global food prices have been especially volatile in recent months due to a number of factors. The result is that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner will gobble up more of the family budget this year. Turkey prices could make consumers cry foul It is almost Thanksgiving, when many gather for football, feasting and Black Friday

Small ICBA banks to occupy Times Square this holiday season

Occupy Wall Street has given a voice to the masses who feel the banking establishment has done them wrong. The Independent Community Bankers of America feel it is only fair that they have their turn to protest, reports Bankrate. The trade group will “occupy” Times Square with its “Go Local Main Street” advertising message this

Study finds cost not a vital factor in credit card purchases

Researchers recently found in a study that people don’t focus on cost when making credit card purchases as much as with cash. People in the study were far more conscious of price when not playing with plastic. Attributes of product more important when not paying with cash It would be impossible to dispute that people