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Want to Win the Lottery? Better Off Creating Your Own

Roll a dice

When we took a recent trip to Montreal, I was amazed at the number of casinos as we drove through Michigan.

I am originally from Michigan, but I have not lived there for nearly 15 years.  When I did live there, the closest casino to our house was 3 hours away.  Now there are more than a handful within that same 3 hour radius.

Clearly business must be good for the casinos, otherwise they wouldn’t continue to build more.
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The Payday Loan Trap

It’s true: A payday loan provider actually sponsored the Financial Blogger Conference that took place in Chicago not too long ago. Not only did the payday loan company sponsor, but a representative actually appeared on a panel.

I’m not going to lie.  I still think he was pretty brave to get up there and tell a bunch of financial bloggers who hate payday loans that he was a payday lender.  He did try to talk up the fact that the provider also provides prepaid debit cards, but everyone zeroed in on the payday loans.

I felt bad for the guy as he tried to explain that payday lenders provide a needed service to a certain segment of the population.

Obviously, payday loans are in demand, since there are plenty of providers that seem to be doing well enough.  While a payday loan might be just the thing to hold you over if you don’t want to be kicked out of your house, or have the power turned off, you run the risk of getting caught in the payday loan trap. Continue Reading

10 Things Similar About Personal Finance And Running The NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon

It was a little over two years ago that I completed all 26.2 miles of the ING NYC Marathon.  This past weekend over 40,000 people ran the race.  Let me tell you running a marathon is an awesome experience!  There’s a lot of work and pain but it’s all worth it once it’s over.

Know what else is a lot of work and pain but well worth it?

Taking care of your personal finances! 

In fact there are a lot of similarities between running a marathon and personal finance.

Here are ten thoughts on personal finance and marathons:

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Bank of America Changes its Mind: No Debit Card Fee

A little while back we reported about Bank of America’s move to start a $5 a month debit card fee for those who used their card for purchases.  In that article, two things we talked about were 1) Making some noise and let BofA know you aren’t happy about the new debit card charge, and 2) Switch your account to another bank, like a credit union or an online bank with free checking.

Well guess what?

Bank of America is dropping their $5 fee on debit card usage!

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How We Found Over $600 to Snowflake on Our Debt in 7 Days

My husband recently completed his Ph.D., and he has since taken on a full-time job.  Now that he is settling into his career and bringing in more money than he did with his assistantship, we are ready to tackle our debt, which includes student loan and credit card debt.  We recently wrote up our debt repayment plan and found that after minimum payments, we only had $2.69 extra to apply to our debt snowball.  Using this basic formula, we would be completely debt free by February, 2017, roughly 5.5 years from now.

However, we don’t want our debt repayment to stretch out that long.
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What Are Virtual Credit Card Numbers and How Can They Protect You?

There’s no shortage of hackers in today’s cyberworld and this has many people concerned about security when shopping online. Are you looking for an option that may help alleviate the fear of giving out credit card numbers?

Then having a virtual credit card number may just be what you’re looking for.

What is a Virtual Credit Card Number?

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What is DRIP Investing and How Can it Grow Your Wealth?

drip investing

A great deal of focus has been placed on dividend investing lately, and for good reason: Dividend stocks (especially dividend aristocrats) often have solid fundamentals, and can usually weather stock market downturns.  On top of that, you receive regular income from dividend stocks.

Stocks that pay dividends are paying out portions of their profits to shareholders.  This money is paid out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, and is paid out regardless of share price.  You can use dividend income for whatever you want; it’s yours and can’t be taken back.

One aspect of dividend investing is taking part in a DRIP – a Dividend Re-Invesment Plan.  Let’s explore what DRIP investing is and how it can grow your wealth.

What is a DRIP?

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