Alpha Consumer

May 2009


Is Saving Money a Luxury?

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There has been much made of the fact that the U.S. personal savings rate has inched upwards as the recession continues. In the first quarter of 2009, it hit 4.2 percent, its highest level since 1998. But who, exactly, is able to save more money? Probably not those who lost their jobs, or those who ...

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personal finance

Senate Passes Credit Card Bill

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The Senate approved the credit card bill today, which means President Obama will likely sign it into law as soon as the House and Senate reconcile their two versions of the legislation. Almost immediately, the American Bankers Association expressed its dismay:

Credit cards are a strong ...

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personal finance

"Active Savers" Start Early and Often

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A new survey released by HSBC Direct today found that all consumers are not created equal. We can be divided into "active savers" and "everyone else."

Active savers, who make up about 22 percent of online Americans, tend to save more, even when they're not doing it for any particular reason. You are ...

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personal finance

Audio: Decoding the Credit Card Bill

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Over the weekend, I spoke with WTOP in Washington about how the new credit card legislation will affect cardholders. The changes include larger font for disclosure statements, restrictions on when interest rates can go up, and more warning before such a rate change goes into effect. The Senate will ...

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personal finance

First Time Home Buyers Hit Some Snags

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The adventures of a first-time home buyer continues.

My house hunting urge usually kicks in strongly on Sunday mornings, when my husband likes to watch Sunday morning talk shows but I’d prefer to read or work at my desk. Our one-bedroom apartment, with the living room that also serves as our dining ...

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personal finance

Audio: How to Donate to Charity for Free

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Over the weekend, I spoke with WTOP in Washington about how to give to charity during these tough times. When everyone's cutting their budget -- and charities need more help than ever -- how can we be generous? It turns out there are ways to do it without spending extra money. For example, consider ...

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personal finance

How to Buy a Domain Name, Not a Scam

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About a year ago, I decided it would be nice to own my own domain name, www.kimberlypalmer.com. So I visited www.GoDaddy.com, a popular domain name and web hosting company, and checked on its availability. (When I went to the site itself, it was blank.) The GoDaddy search function told me that ...

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personal finance