Beware of Fast Cash

Reprinted Courtesy of “It’s a Money Thing

Predatory Lending

Like local car dealerships and personal injury law firms, short-term and payday lenders tend to have the most annoying commercials on TV. They’re often tacky and annoying, and tend to air during daytime talk shows or very late at night. Their promises of “fast cash!”, “guaranteed approval!” and no “credit check required!” are enough to make you change the channel—and yet, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get your hands on some extra money fast, those commercials might start making sense to you.

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Breaking Up with Name Brands

Reprinted Courtesy of  “It’s a Money Thing” 

Grocery shopping

Picture this scenario: you’re steering your shopping cart through the sliding doors of the supermarket, shopping list in hand. As you walk the aisles, there’s a strategy you can use to save an average of 33% on your entire purchase. It doesn’t require any coupon cutting or signing up for rewards cards. And the best part? You still get every single item on your list. The secret? Buying private-label products instead of brand-name products.

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Debt and Savings: How to Tackle Both

Erin Lowry writes Broke Millennial, a weekly blog designed to help members of “Generation Me” become fiscally responsible. 

Dealing with debt can be an anxiety inducing experience. The notion of being able to save while struggling to make ends meet is simply laughable. How dare someone suggest you build an emergency savings fund, or contribute to retirement when student loans, rent and credit card bills already eat up more than 60% of your monthly income? Even though it feels hopeless, there actually is a path to balance the opposing forces of paying off debt and saving for the future. In fact, you can get there in just five steps.

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It’s a Money Thing: How to Counter the Effects of Inflation

When most people think of inflation, their response is usually similar to when they see a vintage advertisement: reminiscing about the cheaper prices of the past (15 cents for a burger? Awesome!) while simultaneously feeling some resentment towards today’s ever-rising prices. Generally, inflation is seen as a frustrating “financial fact of life” that passively affects everyone as price levels climb and as the dollar’s purchasing power decreases over time.

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SavvyMoney Minute: Hope is Not an Investment Strategy

It’s nice to think of the glass half full, but not necessarily when it comes to money. When you’re overly optimistic, it’s easy to convince yourself it will all be okay. But complacency leaves to inaction, and your financial future depends on you taking the right steps, right now. Here are three steps you can take.

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Creating a Financial Plan

Build Your Money Roadmap

Like many people, you may be juggling multiple priorities. For instance, do you pay off all your credit card debt before saving or investing? Or, should you funnel more dollars into your retirement fund? And what about purchasing big-ticket items like a house or car? The truth is—the answers to these questions depend on your individual circumstances, your dreams and goals.

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It’s a Money Thing: Bank or Credit Union?

01_F_Social_03_USWhat was the very first financial choice you ever made? Think about it.

It likely took place before your first job, even as far back as when your annual income consisted of Tooth Fairy money and lucky pennies. The very first financial decision you ever made is also one of the most important choices, it’s where to keep your money.

When you first made that decision, piggy banks, sock drawers, and “buried-in-the-sandbox-like-pirate-treasure” all seemed like perfectly acceptable options. As it turns out, they aren’t nearly as super-secret as you might have hoped. Opening a bank account is the best solution, but in order to do that you first need to choose a financial institution—and so the choice becomes “bank or credit union?”

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