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The Best Prepaid Debit Cards 2014

credit card on computer keyboard

As banks add more fees, and as it becomes difficult for some consumers to obtain accounts at some of the big banks, prepaid debit cards are becoming popular.

Prepaid debt cards look a lot like “regular” debit and credit cards, sporting the logos of major payment processors like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.  You can use them anywhere major credit cards are accepted, so it makes them convenient.

However, no matter how much like a credit card a prepaid debit card is, it’s important to understand the difference.

Credit Card vs. Prepaid Debit Card

With a credit card, you are borrowing money up to a certain limit.  You use the money first, and then repay it later.  Additionally, if you carry a balance, you end up paying interest on that balance.

A prepaid debit card functions differently.
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Five Ways Fantasy Baseball is Like Personal Finance

baseball_glove_ball

I had my draft for my fantasy baseball league I’m in earlier this week.

I’ve been in the league with these particular guys now for over ten years.  It’s not a money league but we’re real competitive nonetheless.

I gotta say I’m real excited!  Real baseball starting soon (go Mets!!) and I love following baseball along-side my fantasy league.

As I was going through all of my work for the draft I realized that fantasy baseball is a lot like personal finance.  We could probably learn a thing or two about personal finance from fantasy baseball.

Without further ado here are five ways fantasy baseball is like personal finance:

Fantasy baseball and personal finance

Research

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Is Telecommuting Bad for a Company: A Look at Yahoo!’s Decision to Ban It

macbook_keyboard

Several weeks ago, Marissa Mayer’s decision to send a memo to all Yahoo! employees letting them know that effective June, 2013, there would be no more telecommuting allowed set off an Internet fire storm.

A barrage of articles hit the web arguing everything from the fact that this memo would not be an issue if Mayer was a man instead of a woman with a young child to the fact that this decision could spell the beginning of the end for Mayer’s career and Yahoo!.

Now that the dust has settled, so to speak, and emotions have cooled, it’s time to take an objective look at the decision.

Is Telecommuting Beneficial to a Company?

On the surface, it appears that telecommuting isn’t really beneficial to a business.

Having everyone working in the same building where they can be watched and where they can interact with one another seems best, which is Mayer’s argument.  But is it best?

There are three distinct advantages for companies that allow their employees to work from home at least part of the time:

Performance

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Unsexy Personal Finance: 6 Things You Need to Take Care Of

Personal finance isn’t always the exciting place that we personal finance bloggers seem to think it is.

While there’s something sexy about finding the right index fund for your Roth IRA, there are plenty of other unsexy things that you just have to do.

Unfortunately, some of the most important items related to your financial situation are often the things that are overlooked.

So, while it might be unsexy, here are 6 personal finance actions you need to take:

1. Create a Will

Thinking about death isn’t usually a lot of fun.  But it needs to be done — preferably before it happens.

What will happen to your assets if you die unexpectedly?  Who will care for your children?

These are questions that deserve serious thought, especially if you care about your family.  Consider how you would make sure your children are cared for, and how you would make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
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3 Debt Lessons from Game of Thrones

“A Lannister always pays his debts.”

Growing up, Tyrion Lannister learned that lesson from his father.

Whether the debt was in promised payment for a deed done, or whether it was revenge for a debt of honor, that theme is something associated heavily with Tyrion Lannister in the A Song of Ice and Fire books (made famous by the HBO show Game of Thrones).

Warning: There may be spoilers, since this piece is based on the books, and not the TV show.

Even though it might take time to engineer your plan to get out of debt, it’s important to do what you can to reduce your obligations, and Tyrion Lannister is a perfect example of this.

Debt Lessons from Game of Thrones

Make a Plan to Pay Off Your Debt

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Is an Associate’s Degree the Best Path to a Lucrative Career?

The romantic ideal of going to college to study what you love and to learn how to be a learner, so to speak, is rapidly falling by the wayside. 

As college costs soar and new graduates struggle to find a job as well as pay off student loans that average $25,000 per student, many people are arguing whether going to a four year university is even worthwhile.

Another option that many don’t think about is pursuing a two year associate’s degree. 

A community college is often seen as a lesser quality, less expensive option to a four year college.  Many see it as a stepping stone for a mediocre high school student to improve his academic record to transfer into a four year college.

However, this thinking denies the student another important, cheaper, option–attending a community college to earn a practical degree and begin working right away.

How An Associate’s Degree Can Be Better Than a Four-Year Degree

All the Benefits without the Debt

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What You Must Consider Before Opening a Brokerage Account

Picking stocks

Shopping for a brokerage account is very unlike choosing a bank.

People often choose a bank based primarily on a convenient location.  Since banks are tightly regulated, and all provide essentially the same services, convenience can be the deciding factor.

There’s a lot more to consider when opening a brokerage account however, since the transactions you enter into with investments will be both more complicated and more diverse.

Consider the Following When Opening a Brokerage Account

Investment choices

How important investment choice is to you will depend on what you intend to do with the account.

For the most part, you’ll want a brokerage account that has the widest investment choices available.  That will include stocks – both foreign and domestic – mutual funds, ETF’s, options, REITs, bonds and other debt securities, and even commodities.  You’ll also want the investment choices within each asset class to also be as wide as possible.

But if you plan to maintain the account for a very specific purpose, you may be more interested in a specialized account.
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