With Bank of America in the news for its new debit card fee, and other big banks adding fees left and right, and with free checking beginning to disappear from major financial institutions, consumers are looking for other options. Credit unions are once again receiving attention as those disgruntled with big banks turn to smaller, community financial institutions. But what are credit unions and why re they good for you?
One of the lessons many learned from the recent economic troubles is that almost no one is indispensable. You never know when your job could be on the chopping block. You can, however, decrease the chance that you will be the one laid off when these decisions are made. The key is showing that you are valuable — and possibly indispensable.
Here are some ways that by being indispensable you can prove your usefulness, keep your job, and maybe even get ahead:
When I first started working from home, my son (who is now in elementary school) was three. One of the most common questions I fielded was this: How do you get work done with a child at home? The answer: I send him to the sitter.
People are often shocked to learn that my son went to the sitter, and later to preschool, when I am a work from home parent. After all, isn’t one of the reasons some of us work from home is to avoid sending the kids to the sitter? This is only partially true. I like working from home because it provides me with flexibility, and, of course, because I can spend more time with my son. But that doesn’t mean that I keep my son home all the time. Indeed, having my son in child care has helped me be more productive, as well as provide the opportunity for more quality time with my son.
Here’s why you might consider child care when you work from home: Continue Reading
While it’s true that you need to be careful and responsible with your credit card, your credit card isn’t necessarily evil. Indeed, your credit card can actually be a source of different perks. I’m not just talking about rewards programs (which can offer great opportunities to get cash back, and free stuff). Your credit card also comes with a number of other perks that should be considered:
Don’t miss out on these credit card perks:
Once again, a natural disaster has brought the attention of many to the possible need for disaster insurance. Hurricane Irene might not have been as fierce as many expected, but there will still probably be plenty of insurance claims from floods and other damage. Whenever we hear of a hurricane, an earthquake, tornadoes or some other disaster, it often prompts a double-check of the homeowners policy to see if you would be covered in a similar disaster were to befall you. Do you need disaster insurance? See the different types available and if you need it.
Types of Disaster Coverage
One of the biggest purchases you make is your home. It is an expensive item to own, and its protection is quite important if you want to maintain financial freedom. After all, if something happens to your home, it can be quite expensive to fix. Insurance is purchased to help you afford unexpected problems, and this includes homeowners insurance. However, it is important to realize that not every situation is always covered by homeowners insurance.
Before you consider that your entire home, and everything in it is covered, it is important to double check what is actually covered by your policy. You may need to purchase additional insurance coverage if your homeowners policy is lacking. Here are some of the more common items not covered by some homeowners insurance policies:
In many ways, we are conditioned to believe that anything boring is undesirable. However, in some cases, “boring” can be a good thing. I like to think that investing is one of those things that can be better when it’s boring, rather than exciting. I consider myself a rather boring investor, focusing mainly on index funds and dividend aristocrats. Here’s why when it comes to investing, why boring is good: Continue Reading
When you file a joint tax return, you are responsible, along with your spouse, for the information in the return. If it turns out that your spouse under-reported his or her income, or claimed deductions or credits without being entitled to them, you might be liable for the resulting taxes, penalties and interest — just as your spouse is.
There are some instances in which you might find tax relief, however. The IRS, with a new rules regarding innocent spouse tax relief, is making it a little easier to get free of your spouse’s tax debt. If you want “equitable relief” there is no longer a two-year limit for applying. And, if you have been turned down because of being outside this limit, you can reapply under the new rule. But, in order to take advantage of this rule, you have to be an “innocent spouse.”Continue Reading
College! For many, leaving home for the first time to attend university is an exciting time, full of promise. As you get ready for school, or as you prepare your child to start a new chapter of his or her life, it is important to remember some of the basics.
Here are 5 smart money moves for college freshmen:
1. Get a Job
It doesn’t need to be a full-time job. It doesn’t even need to be off-campus. Many colleges hold hiring fairs one or two days before school starts so that students can see what’s available on campus. I worked part-time in the college cafeteria for two years, before getting a job as a resident advisor. A part-time job on campus is usually manageable, and many students benefit from working at least a little bit. The extra income comes in handy.Continue Reading