The Greatest Impact On My Finances And My Best Financial Tool

My wife keeps me afloat.

You can have your spreadsheets, online budgeting sites, statements, etc…  Want to know what the single greatest positive impact on my finances has been? I’ll tell you – it’s my wife.  Let me explain…

Back in the day I was in debt, had no savings, no investments, and my net worth was measured in “things” I owned (not like a house but more like guitars and music CD’s).  I wasn’t the picture of good financial health.

But I slowly worked my way out of my financial funk.  I educated myself.  I paid off my credit cards.  I contributed to my 401(k).  I started saving.

I did these things on my own.  Had I not met my wife I would have continued to improve my finances but not to the extent that they are at now.  My wife turbo-charged my finances, well, OUR finances.

Here’s why my wife is the greatest impact on my finances and my best financial tool: Continue Reading

The Best Personal Finance Articles of 2010

Career Ladder

The end of the year – it’s a time to look back and remember all that’s happened. It’s also a time to reflect on the best of the best for the year.  I thought it would be fun to put out a call to those in the personal finance community and ask for their best article of the year.  These are articles that either the author thought was their best work or perhaps the readers responded strongly to.  I think as you read through these you’ll find a lot of gems, great information, interesting stories, and even a little controversy.  Enjoy!

The following are the best of personal finance articles in 2010:
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Lending Club Peer to Peer Lending for Investors and Borrowers – Review

Compare Returns for Lending Club vs Alternatives

Lending Club is an online website that offers a unique borrowing and investing model to individuals who need funds and those who are looking to make some money.

Credit-worthy, pre-screened borrowers are paired up with savvy investors in what Lending Club calls a win win situation for all.  Peer to Peer or Person to Person lending is the basis of the site.  Investors sign up to make money and borrowers sign up to reduce their cost of paying back debt.  In summary, investors fund loans for approved borrowers.  Borrowers save over bank interest rates and investors profit with returns as high at 9% annually (about the average).

Information for Investors


Lending Club
Investors make their money from Lending Club when they invest in 3 to 5 year notes.  Investors get to choose which notes they want to purchase by looking through selection criteria.  Once you purchase a note you will then begin to receive monthly payments directly from Lending Club as the note is being paid back by the borrower.  Lending Club will take 1% of each payment for their fee and you get to keep the rest.  You make your money on the interest collected.  Since 2007, when Lending Club was launched, investors have earned, on average, a net annualized return of 9.5%.
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ShareBuilder $50 New Account Bonus and Free Trades

Sharebuilder 250

You know I love ING Direct products. I have both the Orange savings account for online savings and their Electric Orange checking account.  What I also have is a brokerage account with ShareBuilder (owned by ING Direct).  This is where I buy stocks outside of my IRA accounts.

ShareBuilder is offering a promotion where new customers get a $50 bonus for opening a new ShareBuilder account.  The offer is in effect until 6/30/12.  In order to receive the bonus you need to fund your account with $2,000.  And most important – make sure to enter the code 50LS12 when you sign up to make sure your account gets credited with the $50 bonus!
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Shred Your Credit Card – Giving Away Over $2000 to See You Destroy Your Credit Card

Shred Your Credit Card

Are you sick of your credit card? A lot of people are!  Now you have a chance to win cash prizes by destroying your credit card.

Perkstreet Financial and Lending Club are teaming up to help people end their reliance on credit cards. They are declaring January 31,2011 Shred Your Credit Card Day.  When credit isn’t used wisely it can snowball into tremendous debt.  Perkstreet and Lending Club want you to know there are alternatives to using a credit and that you can end your debt!

Shred Your Credit CardFrom December 15th, 2010 through January 29th, 2011, can can enter a video of yourself destroying your credit card(s) or why you are done with credit in 2011. Upload the video to ShredYourCreditCard.com and you can be entered to win!

Why you should participate (from the ShredYourCreditCard site):

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What Is Peer to Peer (Person to Person) Lending?

There has been a lot said about peer to peer (P2P) lending lately. With the economy and credit market crunch making it difficult to get more traditional loans, “alternative” lending opportunities are arising.  Peer to peer lending is a way for those who might be turned down by a bank to get the loans that they want/need, while providing an opportunity for investors to make some money by lending to others.

What is P2P (Person to Person) Lending?

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Companies That GET Customer Service

Great customer service goes a long way!

In today’s economy you would think that companies would be doing everything they can to not only get new customers, but keep the ones they already have. Unfortunately that’s not the case.  Some companies are clueless or simply don’t care.

But there are other companies out there that do totally GET customer service and understand how important the customer is.  They know that great customer service builds loyalty and keeps a customer.

Here are five companies that totally GET customer service:
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