Spent Too Much? Here’s the Best Way to Pay off Your Bill

/ BY / Personal Finance

We all do it at one time or another--spent more than we should on a big shopping spree, an expensive holiday getaway or hard-to-get season tickets for the local team. But even if you enjoy the splurge, it’s no fun when you check your credit card statement at the end of a month and realize that you’ve got a big bill to pay. You’ve got a few choices: paying off the bill all at once, making larger payments for few months until the debt is gone or paying just the monthly minimum balance. While there are pros and cons to each approach there is one that’s definitely better than the rest. There are a lot of advantages to paying off a big balance right away. For one thing, you won’t be throwing away...

It’s Not Too Late to Plan Your Budget for 2015

/ BY / Personal Finance

Although we’re already a few weeks into the new year, there’s plenty of time to follow up on your resolution to make a budget and stick to it. Figure your expenses. It’s easy to identify the big items like the monthly rent or mortgage, student loan payments, car insurance, etc. But do you really have any idea of how much of your paycheck is going to meals out with friends, clothing, gifts, etc.? Track your spending for a month or so. Use a spreadsheet, or some of the free or low-cost budgeting apps available for iOS and Android. You’re likely to discover that small daily purchases you make really add up over the course of a month...

Three Easy Reminders to Make Sure You Make Your Credit Card Payments On Time

/ BY / Personal Finance

It's happened to most of us—we get busy and forget to make a credit card payment by the due date. These lapses in memory can end up being costly. Most credit card companies charge a fee for late payments, usually between $25 and $35. If you routinely make late payments, you could be spending over $400 each year just on late fees! Luckily, these frustrating fees are completely avoidable. There are plenty of easy ways to make sure you never miss a payment. Here are three of the best: Take advantage of smartphone apps. If you're one of the two-thirds of Americans who have a smartphone, download an app or two that will help you remember your bills...

My Teen Maxed Out My Credit Card -- Now What?

/ BY / Personal Finance

Imagine this scenario--you give your teenager a credit card with explicit instructions that it's only to be used in an emergency. Unfortunately, your teen's idea of an emergency (a major sale at the mall!) and your idea of an emergency (running out of gas) are two completely different things. Before you know it, your teen has maxed out your credit card. Now what? The good news is there are a number of different ways you can handle this without destroying your bank account or your credit score. First of all, it's important to know the law regarding your credit card. The Fair Credit Billing and Truth in Lending Act protects you from unauthorized purchases, meaning you're not responsible for purchases...

What is the FDIC?

/ BY / Personal Finance

Have you ever noticed the words “FDIC insured” on a bank advertisement? What kind of protection do those words promise? The FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an independent government agency that was set up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It offers protection to people who deposit their money in certain types of bank accounts; depositors have the assurance that they’ll be able to withdraw their money (up to a certain amount) even if the bank runs into some kind of financial difficulty. According to its website, the FDIC preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $250,000...


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