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Bad Credit? Rebuild it With These Secured Credit Card Offers

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One of the fastest ways to build up your credit is to use a credit card.

However, if you have little or no credit history, flat-out bad credit, or if you have a poor credit rating, it can be difficult to qualify for an unsecured credit card (unsecured means you don’t have to have any money put away as insurance, or collateral, for any purchases you make — it’s what most credit cards are).

Creditors have stepped up their lending standards, and you might not have such an easy time getting a credit card that isn’t secured by some type of asset.
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Why You Should Avoid Penny Stocks

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Have you ever received a random email touting the benefits of a company or its recent business success?

How many times have you been on a financial forum and seen some random posts about a stock that is “poised to see explosive growth” or some other crazy claim?

Or have you ever used a stock screener to find an attractive stock, but were shocked to see the share price was only 10 cents?

Whether you knew it or not you were being prospected for penny stocks.  These dangerous stocks are deployed by scammers to steal money from you, but can be confusing to understand.

Avoid Penny Stock Scams

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Tax Time: What to Bring to Your Accountant

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Sometimes, it makes sense to have someone else to do your taxes.

If you have complex taxes, an accountant can make your life a little easier — and be worth every penny.

However, your accountant can’t work miracles. He or she can only prepare your taxes based on information that you provide. This means that you need to bring in everything needed to have your taxes done properly.

What to Bring to Your Accountant for Taxes

Personal Information

First of all, you need to have all of your personal information.

Bring in your Social Security number, as well as the numbers associated with your dependents.  The first time I used an accountant for taxes, I didn’t bring in my son’s Social Security number. It slowed things down a little bit, since I had to go back home to get it.
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Real Life Bartering with Mavis of One Hundred Dollars a Month

Bartering used to be a common occurrence when people had more of an item or skill than they did money. 

Maybe you would see the doctor and pay him with some of your harvest.  Maybe you would help a neighbor build a fence, and the neighbor would then share a portion of his meat with you.

As we came to have more money than time, bartering fell out of use.  However, bartering has recently experienced a resurgence thanks to the economy.

I have bartered for a few things since I quit my full-time job and became a freelance writer.  I bartered with my son’s dance teacher–my son got free tap dance lessons, and in return, we cleaned the studio for 2 hours once a month.  Considering his lessons were $50 a month, we “made” $25 an hour.  Not a bad exchange.

While I like to barter, I don’t do it often enough.  My guess is that you probably don’t either.  We can all learn from Mavis Butterfield, a blogger at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Who Is Mavis?

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Watch Out for Senior Fraud and Scams

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It’s sad, but true: Seniors are often targets of financial fraud, and it is costing them big.

According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the average senior victim of fraud loses about $140,500.  That’s a fairly significant amount of money, especially considering that many seniors are living on a fixed income.

If you have older relatives, it’s important to be on the look out for financial abuses and outright fraud.

Here are some of the senior fraud and scams to be on the watch for:

Social Security and Medicare Scams

One of the ways that many seniors are scammed is through fraudsters claiming to be associated with Social Security and Medicare.
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ReadyForZero | Review – Pay Off and Manage Your Debt

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Some people just have a single loan or two that they want to get rid of.  Others have so much debt that what they really need most is an hour or two with a bankruptcy attorney.

But for everyone in the vast space in between the two extremes is an online debt management tool called ReadyForZero.

It isn’t a traditional debt management service that will actively manage your debts for you, but a debt management tool that will give you what you need to do the job yourself.

How ReadyForZero Works

When you sign up for ReadyForZero it links to your loan accounts and assembles your information – account balances, interest rates and minimum payments.  This will include not only credit cards, but also student loans, car loans, mortgages and any other loans you have.

It will display the information on all of your accounts on a single page and update it daily.  This will provide you with that all-important big picture view of your debt situation in one convenient place.
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Is the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Mentality Dangerous for Your Finances?

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When you are young and of limited means, access to experiences can be few and far between — at least without debt.

But to some, experiences are so important that they’ll head off on vacation in spite of mounds of debt.

One of the underlying characteristics of the “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) philosophy is that you should enjoy yourself now, before it’s too late.  What happens if you fritter away all your young and healthy years without truly living, only to find that your golden years are taken up by infirmity?  All that money you scrimped to build a nest egg just goes to paying medical bills.

YOLO says that it’s ok to be comfortable carrying a certain amount of debt, as long as you are pursuing great life experiences and enjoying the lifestyle you want to live.  In some cases, it’s even ok to incur more debt in order to travel the world — as long as you can handle the payments.

How YOLO Can Become Problematic for Your Finances

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