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Don’t Let Your Purchases Fall Prey to Your Emotions

Many U.S. citizens would prefer to pay full price rather than negotiate.  Sometimes it is because they feel uncomfortable negotiating and other times it is because they have become emotionally attached to the thing they want to purchase and don’t want to try to negotiate for fear of losing it.

Psychologists recognize the power of emotional attachment and suggest that if you do want to negotiate for an item, do not hold it or touch it because it shows you are already emotionally attached to the item and “own” it in your mind, which lowers your negotiating power.

While many of us aren’t privy to private negotiations, a barrage of television shows allow us to watch others negotiate—successfully and unsuccessfully.  If you have ever watched TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, you may be surprised, as I often am, to see a woman go into the bridal shop with a firm budget of say, $4,000.  Perhaps a friend suggests she tries on a beautiful dress, and she does.  She falls in love with the dress and sees herself walking down the aisle in it.  It is HER dress.
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Say Goodbye to Paper Bonds, Say Hello to Electronic Bonds

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You know those paper bonds that you got from Grandma and Grandpa as a kid?  Well kiss those goodbye!  Yup, as in non-existent.  It looks like the Treasury is being forced to make some serious cut backs and one of those cutbacks is physical United States savings bonds.  The Bureau of the Public Debt made this announcement on July 12, 2011.

The official date for a 100% phasing out of paper treasury bonds is slated for January 1, 2012 according to Treasury Direct.  Their goal is to save the US tax payer 70 million dollars over the course of five years with this new procedure.
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Find the Money to Pay Down Debt

Many of us, when looking at the debt we have, feel despair: How is it possible to pay down so much debt? When my husband and I were first married, I had credit card debt, and it didn’t take long for him to get into the spirit of using credit cards, since we were poor students without jobs.

A couple years later, we were staring at the bills and wondering how we ended up with so much credit card debt.  We had income by then, but it wasn’t much.  We were already so careful about our spending!  How could we cut back even more? How could we find the money to pay down debt?

The cold, hard truth, of course, was that we really weren’t being careful with our spending.  I had an “ah-ha” moment when I read a book my mother gave me, Debt Free on Any Income.  The book suggested that studies show that the average household wastes between 10% and 15% of its monthly income.  After taking another, more honest, look at our finances, it became clear that there was still plenty of room in our budget.

All we had to do was find the waste and apply it to our debts. Continue Reading

What are Credit Unions and Why are They Good for You?

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?

What is a Credit Union?

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The New American Family: Flexibility and Unconventional Lifestyles to Make Ends Meet

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The following was written by my wife, Mrs. Craig.  She was kind enough to share her take on our current lifestyle.  We changed things up in our household  a couple of years ago…I’ll let my wife tell the story.

The last time I wrote a story for this site was almost 3 years ago.   Much has happened since then!  I wrote a narrative about my decision to take a leave of absence from my job, as a school counselor, to stay home and raise my 1 and half year old son and 8 yr old daughter.

[Glen: here's the article - A Mother’s Struggle Between Work And Kids]

Many events have taken place since I shared that story with you.  It was an account of a working mother who became a stay-at-home mom.  The story changed as you will see below.

Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom

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How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report

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According to CBS News, approximately 80% of credit reports contain errors.  These errors range from minor, such as a misspelling of your name, to an error on your address, to serious such as the same mortgage appearing twice on the report or a loan showing that it is still open when it in fact has been paid off.  These latter examples can be enough to deny you future credit, especially if your debt to income ratio is perceived to be too high thanks to the error.  I myself found an error on my credit report — a student loan I paid off over 12 years ago still shows as being current.

How do these errors occur?  Some may be simple typographical errors, while others occur when a loan is sold to another institution.  Regardless of how the errors occur, it is important that you find them and correct them so that your credit report reflects your true credit history. Continue Reading

What is Occupy Wall Street and Should You Care?

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Occupy Wall Street has become something so un-American yet American all at the same time.  Mass demonstrations happen frequently in countries around the world but here in America, not so much.

In America we protest on talk shows, twitter, facebook, and for those “radicals”, letter writing campaigns and maybe a demonstration with a dozen others in front of an abortion clinic or government building.

But 20,000 people with tents and kitchens camped out in a public park in front of the world’s financial capital?

Not in our back yard.  OccupyWallStreet has taken off and now the movement is “occupying” cities all over the nation.  This just doesn’t happen in America anymore.
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