Some workout enthusiasts rationalize paying a lot of money for gym memberships by telling themselves that the financial commitment makes them work out more often to get their money’s worth. That’s just crazy talk. If you work at it, you can trim your monthly membership fees along with your waistline.
Credit cards are tools that can make your life easier and give you more financial power, but they also provide a quick path to financial ruin. It’s important to use common sense when wielding the massive buying power that plastic provides, especially if you’ve just started using credit.
No matter how good a game parents talk to their kids, it’s their actions and inactions that leave the most impact. This is especially true regarding money. Parents can pass on poor financial habits to their kids just as definitively as they did their genes.
If you have life insurance but want to switch to a more attractive policy, you could defeat the purpose of coverage by moving too quickly. Experts recommend proceeding carefully in order to make sure you don’t go uninsured while waiting for the new policy to kick in.
It’s easy to list ways friends blow money, but tougher to turn a similar focus on yourself. If you step back and evaluate your spending with a fresh eye, you’ll probably find several areas in which you can cut spending significantly.
Tax accountants strive to prove their worth in this age of tax software by claiming that their personal touch and intimate knowledge of the tax code can get you better returns. While some people can benefit from professional help, others can easily do their taxes on their own.
No matter what the gross domestic product says, the recession isn’t over for you unless you’re gainfully employed and not mired in pay freezes or threatened with downsizing. But as the economy slowly recovers, you can use what you’ve learned during the economic downturn to strengthen yourself for whatever is coming next.
A tipster wants to know whether adding his name to his mother’s accounts will open him up to credit issues should something go wrong.
There’s been so much resistance to the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency that Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has proposed a less powerful version of the agency in an attempt to get it passed. Here’s what’s changed:
Yesterday I was musing that Time Warner Cable was passing the cost of customer care off to other businesses, by requiring customers to take half-days or full days off of work just to wait for a cable repairman. Today I think I stumbled upon another hidden economic impact of bad customer service: it’s responsible for generating a lot of the “free” content online. The next time you’re reading an IMDB entry about “Damages” or “Big Love” for example, you can thank Verizon’s collection of angry, confused, and possibly insane employees, and all the idle time they create for a customer who has to deal with them.
Why let banks have all the fun? Run the numbers on your own personal finances, suggests a certified financial planner in the Dallas Morning News, and see whether or not you’re prepared for disruptions like a layoff or sudden interest rate increase.
Wal-Mart has launched a personal finance website at walmart.com/savemore. It offers tips and saving advice, while also pushing Wal-Mart’s own money services and weekly specials. [Wal-Mart]
This has to be the worst financial advice ever.