https://consumerist.com/2009/01/14/ready-to-apply-for-social/

Ready to apply for Social Security benefits? You can now apply online. [UCAN via unclefatlips]

https://consumerist.com/2008/11/20/if-you-have-an-account/

If you have an account with Mint, and you’ve enabled mobile alerts, you can now text “Bal” or “Balance” to 696-468 (MyMint) and receive a summary of all of your accounts. [Mint]

Report From Finovate '08: Round 3

Report From Finovate '08: Round 3

We spent yesterday at Finovate, a yearly roundup of new personal finance services available online. Here’s a recap of some of the afternoon presentations, including a mortgage comparison service that promises greater transparency, a new credit simulator feature from Credit Karma, and a site that uses reverse auctions to get banks to bid on your money.

Report From Finovate '08: Round 2

Report From Finovate '08: Round 2

Round 2 of the Finovate presentations includes online financial planning, the “match.com” of stocks, and Facebook banking. Let’s dive in and find out what they’re all about:

Report From Finovate '08: The Latest Personal Finance Tools

Report From Finovate '08: The Latest Personal Finance Tools

I’ve been dispatched by our cigar-chomping editors to midtown NYC to check out the 14 new personal finance software apps getting demoed at Finovate 2008. I’ll be reporting here and letting you know about the latest tools from the frontlines of the personal finance revolution.

Maximize Your Netflix Membership With FeedFlix

Maximize Your Netflix Membership With FeedFlix

We first discovered the very useful FeedFlix back in May, and since then the site’s been updated to present more data on how well you utilize your Netflix membership. By pasting in any of your private Netflix RSS feeds, you’ll see a breakdown of your activity stats, like how long on average you keep titles and your average cost-per-rental. A handy new feature is the “email alerts” function, where you’ll receive a weekly reminder if you’ve kept a title past a certain number of days. We’ve included a screenshot below.

Comcast Joins NY's Anti-Newsgroup Crowd, Shuts Off Access

Comcast Joins NY's Anti-Newsgroup Crowd, Shuts Off Access

Comcast has joined pretty much every other ISP in New York by shutting off access to newsgroups, effective two days ago, although current users will still have access through October 25th. A lot of stories on this topic have focused on how New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has led the overall “crackdown” due to kiddie porn, but we think this is really just a politically convenient business decision to cut costs on a service that’s declining in popularity. DSLReports seems to agree, and they offer some advice on where you can get affordable newsgroup access now that your ISP is no longer footing the bill.

PRBC Helps You Create A Credit Score From On-Time Rent, Bill Payments

PRBC Helps You Create A Credit Score From On-Time Rent, Bill Payments

Payment Reporting Builds Credit (PRBC) is an alternative credit reporting agency that will record your payment histories for things like rent and utilities bills. PRBC says you can then use this verified credit history to supplement your FICO score and credit history from the big three reporting companies. It’s meant in part as a way to help people who don’t have extensive standard credit histories, or who have always paid monthly expenses on time but have other blots (like medical bills) on their official credit histories.

BillShrink Launches Free Credit Card Comparison Service

BillShrink Launches Free Credit Card Comparison Service

BillShrink’s free credit card comparison service launches today, and you should check it out to see whether your current credit card is the best available option for you. The great thing about BillShrink is it doesn’t try to get you to sign up for a particular card—it simply aggregates the information on each one, then helps you quickly navigate your options to find the best choice for your specific needs. (The site makes money when you sign up for a new service.)

'Rudder' Provides Your Daily Financial Status Via Email

'Rudder' Provides Your Daily Financial Status Via Email

Rudder is a new personal finance service that differs from the dozens of other ones now available in two key ways: it presents a simplified overview of your available funds, which it calls “What’s Left,” and it delivers it (along with bill reminders and balance notifications) to your email inbox instead of requiring you to visit a website. Think of it as a highly customized “Very Short List” or “Daily Candy,” only the topic is always your current financial health.

Geek Squad Backs Up Your Desktop Shortcut Instead Of Your Data

Geek Squad Backs Up Your Desktop Shortcut Instead Of Your Data

Reader Mike consulted Best Buy about removing a Trojan that was infecting his computer. They suggested that he buy an external hard drive, pay Best Buy to back up his data, and use his computer’s restore disc. Mike agreed. 5 days later he got his computer and his external hard drive back — mostly empty, except for the shortcut to the folder where the data was stored. None of the files within the folder had actually been transferred.

Use FeedFlix To Monitor Your Netflix Usage Patterns

Use FeedFlix To Monitor Your Netflix Usage Patterns

If you’re the type of Netflix user who enjoys maximizing the value of your membership, you might find the new website FeedFlix interesting. The service scrapes data from your personal Netflix rss feeds and generates interesting graphs about how long you keep rentals, how many you rent per week, and your cost-per-rental. Sure, you could do this all yourself with a spreadsheet, or maybe Yahoo! Pipes, but FeedFlix is free and works instantly.

Watch Out For Cramming On Your Phone Bill

Watch Out For Cramming On Your Phone Bill

Josh discovered a mysterious $13 fee on his parents’ phone bill, and as he tracked down the source of the bogus charge, he learned a lot about cramming. The FCC describes it as “the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on your telephone bill” by third party companies, who bank on you being too confused/distracted/annoyed by your hard-to-read bill to notice.

Chase Rep Cancels Credit Card Because Of Mint

Chase Rep Cancels Credit Card Because Of Mint

A hyper-vigilant Chase CSR canceled a woman’s credit card and issued her a new one when she called in to confirm her interest rate, because Mint was showing a slightly higher rate. A Mint representative confirms that “while we can generally get pretty good info about APR, APR can vary widely by customer & there won’t always be a 100% match (that’s why we allow customers to edit their account information).”

https://consumerist.com/2008/01/09/dhl-and-walgreens-cut-a/

DHL and Walgreens cut a deal to open DHL shipping kiosks inside stores. 1,600 Walgreens will be offering DHL services around the clock.[Forbes]

Higher Taxes, Fewer Services In Subprime Meltdown's Wake

Higher Taxes, Fewer Services In Subprime Meltdown's Wake

Municipal ledger hounds are worried that local governments will slash services as the imploding housing market chokes off access to lucrative property tax revenue. The New York Times visited the future retirement destination of its readers, South Florida, to see firsthand the devastating affect the subprime meltdown can have on communities. For anyone who says “What housing crash, my community is fine,” hop across the jump for a look at your potential future.

Wesabe's New Mobile Site Helps Track Expenses On The Go

Wesabe's New Mobile Site Helps Track Expenses On The Go

Wesabe, the popular personal finance website, has unveiled a new mobile version that “lets you check your balances, see recent transactions, and… enter cash transactions, from any mobile browser.” To save time, you only need to enter the most basic information via your phone—you can add the details to the entry later from a standard web browser.

TryPhone Lets You Test Phone Interfaces Online

TryPhone Lets You Test Phone Interfaces Online

TryPhone seems like a great idea on the surface—you can preview mock-ups of current phone models and test out their interfaces through your browser. In reality, the beta launch feels underdeveloped, even for a web service beta, with only four models to choose from and limited interactivity on each. The idea is good, but we hope they work on execution.