Alpha Consumer

April 2009


How to Calculate Student Loan Debt

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Veronica, a grad student in New York, recently wrote to ask me how debt calculators treat student loan debt. The calculators she used always seemed to ask about debt that is separate from mortgage debt, but since her student loans are as large as some mortgages ($113,000), she wondered why they got ...

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personal finance

Donald Trump: Pushing Right Guard

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If you've ever watched NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, you know how it works: Donald Trump gives the two teams a business challenge, and they compete against each other in an effort to avoid getting fired. Last night, Right Guard enlisted the celebrity apprentices to create a four-page print ad ...

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personal finance

Obama: Legislate Credit Cards, Now

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President Obama lent his weight to credit card reform yesterday as he met with credit card company executives. Obama said he wants credit card fees and policies to be explained in language anyone could understand and to put an end to unexpected hikes in interest rates. "Every credit card issuer has ...

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personal finance

Go Green -- and Save Money

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Going green doesn't have to mean straining your budget. In honor of Earth Day, here are five steps you can take today to save energy -- and money.

Put your home on an energy diet. Make sure your home is properly insulated so you can use less heat and air conditioning. Closing doors to unused rooms,

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personal finance

How to Take Advantage of Falling Prices

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Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest Consumer Price Index figures, which show us how much cheaper -- or more expensive -- typical purchases have become. For the first time in 50 years, the index has declined over a 12-month period. While economists generally see such drops ...

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personal finance

Nydia Velázquez Wants Simpler Tax Code

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Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, says the IRS should do more to help small businesses get on top of their taxes. She suggests educational sessions, flexibility in making payments, and quicker processing of refunds. Yesterday, she sent a letter ...

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personal finance

IRS Calling? Probably Just a Tax Scam

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If you get a phone call sometime in the next few months, and the caller says he's from the IRS, you might want to consider hanging up on him. It could be one of the many scams that the IRS is currently warning consumers about. Sandy Botkin, tax expert and author of Lower Your Taxes: Big Time!, says ...

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personal finance

Survey: Young People Hit Hardest

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Pete Mele, a 28-year-old married father of two in Queens, New York, says that after he graduated from college with "a little bit of debt" and then got married, he felt like he hit a brick wall. He and his wife would like to buy a house, he says, but even if they managed to come up with $20,000 for ...

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personal finance

BBB: Beware of Facebook Ads

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Logging onto Facebook usually brings up advertisements, on everything from weight loss tricks to teeth whitening products, alongside notes and updates from friends. But now the Better Business Bureau is warning that some of those advertisements can get Facebook users into trouble.

The problem, says ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

Young Adults on Economy: We Need Help

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Young adults in their mid-twenties are stressed out, and not just because of the typical dating/career/school angst. They are so worried about the future of the economy, according to a new survey from Charles Schwab, that they say making better choices about managing money is more important that ...

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personal finance