Banks need your money. They’re not doing too well on their own, and you’re not screwing up enough to generate the fees they need to make their shareholders happy. That’s why they’ve set up sneaky ways to maximize your every mistake—or in some cases, ways to change the rules so that you make new mistakes where you didn’t before—in order to penalize you. Here are five things SmartMoney says to watch out for.
Shopping is a war and you are outgunned. Stores attack your desire for self-restraint with armies of psychologists, marketers, and “brand gurus.” Defend yourself from overspending with three easy and effective tips from Alpha Consumer…
Consumers are hurting these days and they haven’t hurt this bad since Papa Bush was in office way back in 1992.
Although we are not technically in a recession, it’s starting to feel like one. As gas prices and unemployment continue to rise, we’ve rounded up a collection of useful advice for the current period of economic austerity.
US News & World Report’s Alpha Consumer Blog offers a quiz to help you determine the answer to the following ever-puzzling question: Can you afford to have a baby? [Alpha Consumer]
The price of everything in the telecom world has fallen over the past decade, except for cable. Cable is now 77% more expensive than it was ten years ago, an increase that dwarfs the rate of inflation and makes telecom executives salivate. The Times looks with pity on all of us who splay our wallets wide for the industry, and asks if there’s any salvation other than à la carte pricing.
Nationally syndicated personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary thinks you’re a sucker for using your credit cards, even if you pay off your bills in full each month.
Ron Lieber kicks off his inaugural Your Money column by presenting five excellent principles to help guide your financial decisions.
Feeling down? Money might help, according to Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The Wharton economists released a paper arguing that countries with higher gross domestic products have happier citizens. The study shatters the conventional wisdom known as the Easterlin Paradox, which holds that GDP and happiness are largely unrelated.
Vigeland: What are the traditional definitions of a recession first and also a depression? How are they different?
Do you wish you had a way to spend your money more easily, without all that opening-the-wallet or punching-the-pin-number manual labor? The trade publication Cards & Payments (registration required) says that it’s received a copy of a report filed with the FCC that indicates Citigroup is developing a Near Field Communication, or NFC, mobile phone that would allow its customers to make contactless payments at participating retailers.
The Great Wireless Auction raised $19 billion dollars for the U.S. Government. According to Wired, they’re going to use it to buy converter boxes for people who don’t have digital tvs.
Silly Bill. He thought Bank of America would let him spend $5,800 on a home theater system just because he had over $10,000 in the bank. He tried to charge the system to his Bank of America Visa Platinum Check Card but was declined. Confused, Bill called Bank of America customer support for an explanation and had the sort of conversation that makes you want to drive a fork through your ear.
Reuters says that consumer confidence has plunged to levels associated with the recessions of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers index of consumer sentiment dropped to 69.6, the lowest reading since February 1992, and below analysts’ median forecast for a preliminary reading of 76.3.
According to enterprising scientists, people buy last minute Valentine’s Day gifts to avoid a fight, rather than to express love—as any lazy lover can attest. The marketing researchers devised three experiments to prove that our susceptibility to negative advertising is directly impacted by how long we wait to whip out the wallet.
Although December marked a slight decrease in Chapter 13 filings from November, 2007 overall logged a whopping 40% rise in the number of bankruptcy filings compared to 2006, reports the Wall Street Journal—over 800,000 filings in 2007, versus around 570,000 the previous year.