My Money

March 2011


The Hidden Benefits of Secured Cards

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The wide variety of credit card offers can be bewildering. One of the questions I hear a lot is about the difference between a secured credit card and a prepaid credit card. Particularly for those trying to build their credit, it can be a challenge understanding your best options. And to make ...

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personal finance

How to Spend Less on Lawn Maintenance

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With winter officially over, many of us are eying our dead, brown lawns, hoping to revive them back to their green and lush state. But if your first step in lawn care is to stop by your local hardware store for an expensive fertilizer and a weed control mixture, think again.

These chemical additives ...

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personal finance

10 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job

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Chances are if you are lucky enough to have a job, the thought of quitting sounds ridiculous. With the unemployment rate at an all time high, most people are thanking their lucky stars to be employed.

But even in a bad economy some jobs are just not worth it. Are there any telltale signs you should ...

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personal finance

5 Reasons to Buy a Hybrid Car

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A decade ago, hybrid cars were few and far between, but today, shopping for hybrids consists of much more than choosing which color Toyota Prius to buy. In fact, the hybrid car market is one of the fastest growing segments of the automotive industry with an enviable annual growth rate.

Although the ...

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personal finance

17 Ways to Win a Scholarship

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With the cost of education spiraling out of control, the scholarship game has become more competitive than ever. "You need to make sure you do everything—and I mean everything—to keep the cost of college down," said scholarship expert and bestselling author Mark Kantrowitz. Here are 17 great ways ...

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personal finance

How to Prepare Your Home for Emergencies

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The worsening crisis in Japan has caused many people around the world to pause and consider their own preparedness plans. For instance, if Japan's crisis was happening close to your home, would you be able to cope? Do you have enough supplies on hand to keep your family safe and fed through a ...

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personal finance

Back to School: Money Tips for Adults

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For a kid fresh out of high school, going to college represents freedom, a chance to shake off old responsibilities. For an adult headed back to college, however, it joins family, work, home maintenance and the ever-elusive personal time as one of many, many responsibilities. Struggling with the ...

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personal finance

Save Money with Store Price Match Policies

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A great way to save money, especially on higher priced items, is to take advantage of a store’s price match policy. Lots of stores have price match policies but not that many people use them either because they don’t know about them or think it is too much work to price match. Taking the time to ...

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personal finance

The Best Way to Complain to Companies

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A busted television lamp cost my parents a small fortune when the flat screen television in their living room dimmed and faded to black. During a house call, a repairman from a national appliance store chain diagnosed the problem and charged $400 to replace the burned-out television lamp.

From that ...

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personal finance

How to E-File Your Taxes for Free

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The federal income tax filing deadline is coming up next month. If you still haven’t filed your taxes you want to make sure you e-file your taxes. If you go to a big chain tax preparation firm you could pay $30 or more just to e-file your taxes. If you have them prepare your taxes they will allow ...

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personal finance

Your Guide to Health Care Credit Cards

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Health care expenses are skyrocketing. The US government predicts that out-of-pocket spending will reach over $3,300 a year per household in 2014, up from $2,500 in 2009. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to have health insurance. In 2008, two in three Americans under 65 had trouble paying their ...

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personal finance

How to Cut Your Water Bill by $170

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The average U.S. household pays up to $500 a year for water and sewer charges, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But it’s possible to cut the annual household water bill by $170, according to EPA estimates. On a national basis, if each household in the U.S. replaced older ...

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personal finance

How to Choose Your Mortgage Type

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At the moment, adjustable-rate mortgage rates are being offered for roughly one-and-a-half percentage points below fixed-rate mortgage rates, which makes them tempting. Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace, which tracks real mortgage rates offered to consumers, reports that the average rate on a 30-year ...

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personal finance

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage

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When my wife and I bought our first home (circa 1993), we had no idea what our FICO score was. Back in the day, you couldn’t simply fire up the computer and check your score. In fact, we applied for our mortgage over the phone, not over the Internet. My, how things have changed!

But one thing hasn’t ...

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personal finance

8 Facts You Should Know About Credit Unions

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Has your bank started charging you a monthly fee? This has become more common this year especially at the large banks. If you're hit by fees, you should consider moving your money. When you go looking for a new bank, don't forget credit unions. Not only is free checking more common, you will often ...

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personal finance