Personal Finance

Are Credit Cards Tools?

Yesterday, I started this discussion about the dichotomy between credit lovers and credit card haters. Some people believe credit cards are evil, while others consider them simply to be tools.  Yesterday I covered the evil side of things, today the tools side of things. The “Credit Cards Are Tools” Camp I fall firmly into this camp. Before anyone attacks me, I have had credit card debt, twice. I entered…
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How to Save Money By Reading Your Credit Card’s Fine Print

Today’s post is a guest post from Green Panda Treehouse. How many times have you heard ‘read the fine print’? Sometimes we hear things so many times it becomes white noise. With credit cards, though, not reading the fine print can cost you a good amount of money. “With more than a billion cards in our wallets, we floated some $937 billion in outstanding credit-card debt as of last…
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2009 H&R Block At Home Tax Software Review

This weekend was full of accomplishments, and one of them was getting my taxes done. I’ve been using online tax software for nearly a decade, so I’d become pretty handy at it. Still, this was the first time I had to itemize my taxes and had a major life change to deal with, so I was a bit nervous about finding all the deductions. That’s why I was…
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How the 2009 New Car Tax Credit Works

The new car tax credit was included on the 2009 stimulus package, and it’s causing a lot of confusion for a lot of people. I’ve studied the brief IRS explanation and several other sources to figure out how the credit works. New Car Credit Eligibility Dates The credit applies to new cars purchased between February 17, 2009 and December 31, 2009. That means the purchase must be completed,…
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Goal Motivation: the Carrot or the StickK

For the last several months, I’ve been hearing about this theory that the risk of losing money can be more motivating than the prospect of winning money. Last week, NPR reported on a website based on the theory. It was developed by two Yale professors and is called StickK. I’ll explain how it works. The Stick Theory of Goal Motivation Many people use positive reinforcement to reach their goals,…
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Why You Don’t Need Overdraft Protection

Yesterday marked the first day that banks had to ask your permission before automatically opting you in to overdraft protection when you open a new account. They have until August 15th to beg existing customers to keep the coverage, at which point everyone who doesn’t actively choose it will be opted out. Some banks, like Bank of America, are abolishing their overdraft protection program altogether. As for the rest, don’t…
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Holiday Savings E-Book

In years past, many people felt comfortable splurging on the holiday, but this year everyone’s motto is “Save Money on Christmas.” My new holiday savings e-book will help you do just that. The Sound Money Matters Guide to Holiday Savings compiles 30 of my posts about saving money during the Christmas season. It also includes a holiday budget worksheet not available on this blog or anywhere else. Print this…
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