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Would You Drive a Car Covered with Advertisements?

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We live in a world filled with advertisements.  We see them on the tv, in magazines, on bus stops, on buses, at movie theaters, in schools, in public restrooms.  They are all around us.  Now, you will see advertisements on rental cars too.

Would you drive a car covered with advertisements?

Budget Rent-a-Car has launched a new pilot program in Atlanta.  They will cover red SUVs in an advertisement for Sheets Brand Energy Strips.  In return for driving an SUV covered in advertising, Budget customers will pay roughly ¼ the amount to rent a car that they would pay without the advertising.  One customer rented an SUV with advertising for four days to drive to Florida.  The regular price would have been almost $300, but the price dropped to $90 because she chose the car with advertising.
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Going to College? 5 Smart Money Moves for College Freshmen

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

Playing the Retirement Catch-Up Game in Your Forties

So, you’re in your forties and have little to no retirement savings.  “What shall I do?” you ask yourself.  First thing you need to do is not lose hope.  You have a challenge ahead of you but you can win this battle.  It’s something I like to call “Retirement Catch-Up.”  At its core, it’s a fairly simple game.  You have a certain time horizon and need a certain amount you need before you can retire.  With the proper knowledge, anyone can win this game.

Here’s you have a sort of “cheat sheet” to win the retirement catch-up game:

Max out your 401(k) plan immediately

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Can’t Pay On Time? Change Your Due Date!

Way back in the dark days when my credit card debt felt like a ball and chain around my neck I would have problems paying my credit card bills on time.

And man, was I so close a lot of those times!

I’d miss the due date by a day here, three days there.  See, my budget was timed badly such that my paycheck and my credit card due date were within days of each other (I was living paycheck-to-paycheck for a while).  By the time I could get my bills out they would already be late.  You can always ask the credit card company to waive a late fee but I had too many to ask anymore.

One day I found out I could ask the credit card company to move my due date.

“They would do that,” I thought?  I mean, why would they work with me since I owe them money?
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The Lure of the Infomercial

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Have you ever been up at night, flipping through channels, and been bombarded by the infomercials?  The Magic Bullet, for example, is a little mini blender.  Yet if you invest the time to watch the full infomercial, you will discover that the Magic Bullet is perfect for all of your kitchen tasks.  It can blend up ingredients for a personal sized smoothie, an omelet, and muffins (never mind that the blueberry muffins actually come out blue after making their way through the Magic Bullet).  You can also use the Magic Bullet for grinding coffee, chopping onions and garlic, the list goes on.

The advertisement features a pleasant man and woman surrounded by their friends.  The group could easily be away for a weekend at a lakeside cottage.  Everyone is relaxed and delighted to watch all the tasks that can be completed with the Magic Bullet.  If you, the viewer, are not careful, you may begin to subconsciously marvel at the Magic Bullet until you decide you need one too.
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Hedging Against Inflation

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One of the realities of our economy is inflation. Inflation, which is a rise in prices (or a reduction in purchasing power) has a very real effect on your finances.  As inflation increases, your ability to get more for your money decreases.  This means that it takes more money to buy the same amount of product or service as you could buy a few years ago.  Unfortunately, there is almost no way to stop inflation.  Hedging against inflation, is something you can work on so that your wealth grows at pace with inflation — or beats it.Continue Reading

How to Make More Money: Stop Watching TV!

If you are like most people, you probably have a desire or a strong need to generate more income but you just don’t know where to start or how you will find the time in with juggling all of your responsibilities. 

The question is always “how to make more money?”

You need to ask yourself,  what are you spending time on?

Have you seriously thought about it?

One of the biggest time killers is that black box that sits in your living room, bedroom, kitchen or den.  Know what I am referring to?  Yep, it’s your super sleek, shiny big flat screen TV!  You are proud of your big black box, you carefully wipe it down with all the rest of your possessions, and it may even be the “ooh and  ahh” focal point of your home when entertaining.  Heck, you probably spent a pretty penny on it, so why not get your money’s worth out of it right?

And you know what – there is nothing wrong with it.

The question you may need to ask yourself is this: how many hours a day do you find yourself zoning out in front of the television?  Is it only a couple of hours, or is it several hours in a day?  Do you use your television as a way to escape the things that aren’t working for you in your life?

If you do, you are not alone.  Most people nowadays use the television as a way to entertain themselves, as a babysitter, and as a way to escape from life’s problems.
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