You can't price colleges like cars. Few pay the 'sticker' price and there are lots of ways to get discounts.
Judging by the headlines, it's easy to believe the cost of college puts it out of reach for all but the most affluent. According to the College Board, average annual tuition at a four-year private college now tops $26,000. If you just look at the sticker price, four years at a private university approaches the cost of a Rolls Royce.
- Bing:Most expensive cars
But that doesn't mean only the rich need apply. While the sticker price may be $26,000, the College Board adds that the average price actually paid at those private colleges is less than $9,000. How can that be?
Get your stuff from Point A to Point B without spending a fortune.
Packing this time of year isn't limited to summer vacations. More Americans than ever are gearing up for a move.
- Bing:Moving company scams
Roughly 16.7 million households move annually, according to the Census Bureau, and a little less than half do so in the summer months. Last year, that added up to more than 37 million people, up from slightly more than 35 million in 2008.
Does that mean summer is the most expensive time of year to move?
Georgia has had the most bank failures since 2000, edging out Illinois. Who knew?
I really enjoy trivia posts and had a lot of fun researching facts to include in my "50 fun facts about bank failures" post, so I thought I'd bring it back. This time I wanted to cut out all the other stuff, like FDIC insurance facts and "first bank failure" type facts, and just look at the list of failures themselves.
The statistics below are based on the FDIC's list of failed banks, and we used data going back to 2000.
Bank failure facts:
- The greatest number of failed banks in one day was nine on Oct. 30, 2009:
I thought the decision to eliminate pay TV from my life would be a simple one. How wrong I was.
After months of wavering, I have finally pulled the plug. I called DirecTV and put my service on hold for six months. (OK. I didn't officially cancel; more on that wussy move below.)
Why did I get rid of pay TV, a fixture in my life for decades? Actually, I'm not the only one.
The settlement of a similar suit required Costco to install new pumps that deliver more fuel when gas is over a certain temperature.
A Kansas federal judge has granted class-action status to two lawsuits alleging that multiple retailers are ripping off consumers by selling them "hot fuel."
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil allows the suits -- which involve 12 separate retailers -- to proceed.
What is hot fuel? Simply put, it's a matter of chemistry. Since fuel is a liquid, as its temperature increases, so does its volume. That means that hotter gas has less energy than it would at lower temperatures, and that consumers thus drive off with less usable fuel in their tanks.
Couples who accrue consumer debt are much more likely to divorce, research shows, no matter how much they make.
Are couples who rack up a lot of consumer debt more likely to divorce?
They indeed are, according to research by Jeffrey Dew, an assistant professor at Utah State University, who found that couples with no assets are 70% more likely to divorce than couples who had just $10,000 in assets.
If you needed another reason to live below your means and avoid consumer debt, be warned that the fate of your relationship is intertwined with the state of your finances. Cheating with your credit card can be as corrosive as cheating with another man or woman.
Proposed legislation would limit how much credit card companies can charge merchants who accept their cards. Is this a good thing?
Every now and again, the credit union sends out a mass e-mailing to lobby members to ask elected representatives to vote this way or that on matters that affect credit unions in specific and banking in general. Normally I think: Yup yup yup! What's good for my credit union is good enough for me -- and I do as I'm told. This time, though, they're asking us to weigh in on the "interchange legislation" that is part of the proposed Financial Regulatory Reform Act.
And I'm not so sure.
My friend says he wants to change, he says he's learned his lesson from his bankruptcy, but his actions say otherwise.
I've been stewing over something for the past few days, and I'm finally ready to write about it.
I'm not a fan of judging others and their actions. Like Atticus Finch, I believe you never really know a person until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. But I'm human. Like everyone, there are times I can't help passing judgment. And although I know that judging others isn't productive, sometimes I'm at a loss to do anything else.
I had dinner with my buddy Michael recently. He is moving back to Portland after several years away, and his financial life is a mess. He's had a rough couple of years:
- He lost his home to foreclosure.
- He lost his job.
- His wife is out of work, too.
- And, last month, he filed for bankruptcy.
Not all of his problems are due to the economy. He's brought plenty of woe upon himself due to a typical consumer lifestyle. He knows that.
Over a meal of Southern-style fried chicken -- my treat -- we talked a lot about his financial situation. We've chatted some in the past, but I never felt as if what I said made much of an impact.
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