A low- or no-interest loan may blind you to the financial burden you're placing on your future self.
Brian writes in:
I was at a local car dealership looking for a replacement for my truck. I only have about $8,000 in savings so I knew I would have to take on some debt to buy. The dealer offered to sell me a new F-150 for a good price and a 0% loan for 36 months for $589-a-month car payments. This seems awesome and I am looking for any problems with it.
Over the last few months, I've received a few e-mails like Brian's, where people were strongly enticed by 0% or other extremely low-interest loans. Are they a good deal? Should they sign up for those loans before making a purchase?
Denim looks better and fits better the less it is washed, jeans makers say. Some advocate freezing instead.
If you want to have the perfect pair of jeans, molded to your body, Carl Chiara of Levi Strauss & Co. has one key piece of advice: Don't wash them.
"The less people wash their jeans, the better their jeans become," he told Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan of The Wall Street Journal. "Denim really does shape to people's bodies, and when you wash a jean you lose some of that shape."
It seems the great unwashed are also hip.
September is National Coupon Month. But don't believe the hype -- not all advice about coupons is worth your time.
When I heard this was National Coupon Month, I wondered: "Says who?" Apparently, the Promotion Marketing Association decided 13 years ago to declare September "a monthlong celebration of savings."
Except I'm not buying it, with a coupon or not.
I use coupons, but I purposefully flout a lot of the advice I've read this month about what I should be doing. For example:
For deep discounts, it can be worth navigating a maze of manic brides or conventioneers.
Meredith Schwab had been dreaming of a king-sized Simmons with memory foam and a pillow top. But as nice as it was, at $3,899 -- not including tax and delivery -- the bed was too expensive. So Schwab, an experienced haggler, asked the Mattress Warehouse salesman if there was any wiggle room on the price.
"He refused to budge," she recalled, and she walked out with nothing but a lecture on "bottom-line pricing."
Imagine Schwab's surprise a few weeks later when she spotted a Mattress Warehouse booth at a bridal show -- with reps offering 50% off all models. Schwab and her fiancée made the purchase on the spot, shelling out just $1,975, including taxes and delivery, for the same ultra-deluxe mattress.
A bridal show? Who would've thought?
Those who enter the job market now could face lower earnings for many years.
But there's another lost decade that was even more painful. And for those of you who are just starting your careers, this one was a lot more important than the S&P 500's storm. According to a recent census report, between 2000 and 2009 the inflation-adjusted median income of U.S. households dropped 4.8%. (Hat tip to The Wall Street Journal.)
The poverty rate is also the highest since 1994, and the number of people in poverty is the highest in more than 50 years (the U.S. population has grown by a lot).
I hope none of you graduated during this awful period, or are about to graduate. If you did, sit down while you read this:
|Tags:||budgetingdebteconomyeducationfamilyfinancial planninggetting startedincomemiddle classMoneyTalks News|
The government has launched a program that actually reduces mortgage principal.
We've all watched as program after program rolls out of Washington, D.C., for those hapless homeowners who can't make their mortgage payments. And we've all seen or heard stories about people who simply stop paying their mortgage and walk away from their obligations.
Where's the help for the many homeowners who continue making payments on a mortgage that exceeds their home's value? It's finally here -- if you qualify.
|Tags:||credit scoredebt reductionhome financinghomesMoneyTalks Newsmortgagereal estaterefinanceStacy Johnson|
Mortgage companies used a processor who signed 10,000 foreclosures a month -- without reading them or using a notary.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
News organizations are writing about a breathtaking revelation that potentially affects foreclosures around the country. As The Washington Post explains:
Some of the nation's largest mortgage companies used a single document processor who said he signed off on foreclosures without having read the paperwork -- an admission that may open the door for homeowners across the country to challenge foreclosure proceedings.
The legal predicament compelled Ally Financial, the nation's fourth-largest home lender, to halt evictions of homeowners in 23 states this week.
Anheuser-Busch plans a national happy hour Sept. 29, plus a month of free samples, in hopes of winning over younger drinkers.
Have we become such a nation of snobs that we've abandoned the brewskis of our forefathers and will drink only beer made in small batches no more than 10 miles from our homes?
Is the Tea Party drinking tea?
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