What is the National Debt Ceiling, and Why Should You Care?

Not too long ago, the U.S. reached its debt ceiling.  The amount of money the U.S. can borrow from others is determined by law, and Congress has to approve borrowing beyond a certain point.  In the past, the debt ceiling has always been raised to accommodate the growing debt in the U.S.  Indeed, in the past, both parties have been mostly content to raise the debt ceiling.  Now, though, there is a battle brewing as Republicans refuse to vote to raise the debt ceiling.  That means that the U.S. won’t be able to borrow money in order to meet its obligations.
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Should You Cancel That Credit Card?

Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, and the resultant recession, there has been a renewed interest in canceling credit cards and getting out of debt. Additionally, the upswing in fees from many credit card issuers has prompted some to want to cancel credit cards in order to avoid those fees.  Many card issuers are instituting annual fees, leading even the most responsible and conscientious card users to feel the costs of credit card spending.

However, just because it’s tempting to cancel your credit card, doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea. Before you cancel your card, consider the effect that a cancellation could have on your credit score.Continue Reading

College Grad? Professionalism is Critical for Landing a Job

Professional appearance

There are a number of people lamenting the demise of professionalism, and bemoaning the lack of formality amongst the rising generation. While few hiring managers and employers actually expect a college student to be super formal, many of them would like to see a little more professionalism.  If you are about to attempt to enter the workforce with a newly minted degree, here are some tips on improving your image as a professional:Continue Reading

Home Businesses You Can Start in Your Underwear

You can start a business in your underwear these days

We are at a unique place in business history.  The recent recession forced many people to get creative about how they make money, and technology has provided the means for many entrepreneurs to start businesses from home.  The good news is that today’s online economy is providing plenty of opportunities for almost anyone to work from home — starting businesses in their homes without worry about a dress code.  I know this first hand; my first couple of hours of work take place in my pajamas.  The only reason I get dressed as early as I do is because I need to leave the house to take my son to school.

If you are interested in starting a business out of your home, here are a few things you can try, no matter how you dress:

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How to Figure Out How Much Life Insurance You Need

One of the biggest questions many have when it comes to financial planning has to do with how much life insurance they need.

There are some rules of thumb, such as getting seven times or 10 times your yearly salary in coverage, but, really, how much life insurance you need comes down to your personal financial situation, and what you hope your life insurance will accomplish.

Why Are You Getting Life Insurance?

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When Should You Borrow Using P2P Lending?

Peer to peer (P2P) lending has been gaining in popularity — especially since the recession began. Part of the reason for this is due to the difficulty associated with getting loans from banks.  Another issue is that traditional banks, in some cases, charge higher interest rates.  If you are looking for a way to get a loan, in some circumstances it might make sense to turn to P2P lending.

Consolidate Debt

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What Are You Doing with Your Payroll Tax Cut?

At the end of last year, Congress hurried through a tax package.

One of the credits that was allowed to expire was the Making Work Pay tax credit.  However, our representatives replaced the Making Work Pay tax credit with a reduction in the payroll tax paid by employees. This means that you should be seeing a paycheck that is a little bit bigger.

Our leaders, of course, want you to go out and spend that money, pumping it back into the economy.  The whole point of tax cuts is to encourage you to spend so that we can keep the economy, which relies a great deal on consumer spending, moving in a direction of positive growth.  However tempting it might be to spend that extra money, though, it is a good idea to consider how that money can help you down the road.
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