Alpha Consumer

May 2010


How Behind Are Your Retirement Savings?

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If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably not saving enough for retirement. Most people – 57 percent – say they are either “a little” or “far behind” their retirement savings goals, according to a new survey by TD Ameritrade.

Excuses abound, but here are the most common ones:

Everyday expenses:

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TAGS:
personal finance

6 Signs Consumer Spending is Back

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After an era of fewer restaurant meals, “stay-cations,” and other cutbacks, shoppers are ready to pull out their wallets again. Not only have retail sales rebounded, but consumers themselves are reporting that they are in the mood to shop. According to two new surveys out this week, we might be on ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

Do You Live in a High-Debt City?

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Seattle might be known for good coffee and being home to Grey’s Anatomy, but it also deserves another association: Lots of debt. According to a new report by the credit reporting agency Experian, Seattle has the highest average debt per consumer -- $26,646. Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta aren’t far ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

10 Behaviors That Hurt Your Credit Score

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Do you know the top 10 financial behaviors that can hurt your credit score? It turns out that most people don’t – especially parents. According to a new survey by ING Direct, only five parents out of 1,042 could correctly identify the following behaviors as damaging to credit scores.

  1. Keeping a small ...
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    TAGS:
    personal finance

    7 Questions for Shopaholics

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    Some two to five percent of Americans struggle with shopping addictions, a dark illness that can destroy families as it wreaks havoc on bank accounts. People who compulsively shop – dubbed “shopaholics” – often lie about their purchases, even to family and friends. They tend to buy things they ...

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    TAGS:
    personal finance

    Am I Saving Enough for Retirement?

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    Dear Alpha Consumer,

    My wife and I have been trying to max-out our 401(k) contributions while we can, which means we are currently contributing $16,500 a year into our accounts. If we continue to do that, will we have enough to retire on when we’re 65? Sometimes it feels like a hopeless battle,

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    TAGS:
    personal finance

    Budgeting with a Baby

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    After browsing through dozens of potential high-chairs for our six-month old daughter, my husband and I found ourselves at the upscale chain Giggle. “This one’s only $250!” I exclaimed, as I ran my hand over the smooth wood of the sleek model.

    My husband looked at me. “Only $250” for a high chair? A ...

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    TAGS:
    personal finance