If you want a better life than you have now, you're going to have to do some uncomfortable things in the short term.
"It takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place." -- The Red Queen, "Alice in Wonderland"
I receive piles of stories from readers, but the final question in a recent reader mailbag really stuck with me. I'll quote it here, so you can read it again:
So I sit here writing this at a very challenging job that I enjoy the bulk of, but zaps the life right out of me, and leaves little of me for my two young children, ages 6 and 2. (I am a paralegal.) I enjoy the majority of what I do, but there is so much of me invested in this, and I feel overworked. I am currently the only paralegal for two very busy attorneys, and I only have a helper to answer the phones for about 20 hours per week. This all leads to my question.
I am a single mother for the majority of the past two years due to a nasty divorce.
You may not realize it, but you probably can't sue your credit card company and other businesses you deal with. That may be ending. Here's why it matters.
Talk to a lawyer, and he'll tell you: You can sue anyone for any reason at any time. It's your constitutional right. (And other people can sue you as well, even for Internet posts. Check out "When free speech gets expensive.")
While it may be theoretically possible to sue on a whim, in the real world it's not as easy as it may seem -- at least not if the target is your bank, broker, cell phone provider or many other businesses you deal with. That's because, before they agree to do business with you, many of those companies require you to accept a contract provision waiving your right to sue in favor of arbitration. Why didn't you know that? Because it's in the fine print you never read.
The new rules improve the chances that you'll get more value from the card before it expires or inactivity fees eat up the balance.
Sheryl Harris of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland has some good advice: If you're planning to buy a gift card, wait until Sunday, Aug. 22.
That's when new federal gift card rules take effect, along with the final protections for credit card customers that were included in the Credit CARD Act and phased in over time since the bill was signed into law last year.
Here's what's in store:
Latest mobile shopping app 'rewards' customers for entering the store, trying on clothes and more. Useful or creepy?
The consumer bankruptcy filings, coupled with stubbornly high foreclosure numbers, paint a picture of a consumer still struggling to get footing.
There was more evidence this week that economic recovery has yet to find much traction -- at least for consumers. The number of U.S. bankruptcy filings has risen to levels not seen since 2005, when changes to the bankruptcy law took effect.
- Calculator:How much debt is too much?
Bankruptcy filings rose 20% in the 12-month period ending June 30, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. A total of 1.57 million bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts in that period, compared with 1.3 million in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009.
Credit cards are a great way to pay for nearly everything while traveling, if used correctly and with caution.
Your next vacation won't happen without money -- both prior to and during your trip. But with currency conversion discrepancies, high surcharges, and the risk of theft or loss, managing your money on the road isn't as simple as you may think. As part of our Travel and Money series, let's review the best ways for using your credit card on the road.
There is no denying that credit cards are very necessary for travel, as they're often required to book travel arrangements (like flights and accommodation) in advance. They're also incredibly convenient and useful -- but must be used correctly, and with caution.
Mosquitoes can be a dangerous and obnoxious pest. But you can bug them as much as they bug you without putting the bite on your budget.
Nothing will ruin your summer fun like mosquitoes. These pesky bugs are not only annoying, they can be dangerous disease-spreaders as well. So it pays to keep them to a minimum.
But that doesn't mean spending a ton of money on things like electronic traps or slathering yourself with unpleasant, expensive and nasty sprays. Put mosquitoes out of your misery with these five simple, inexpensive steps.
We all dream of hitting the big time but rarely consider the cost.
The other evening Husband and I had a very existential discussion ... about "Jersey Shore." I'm betting that even if you don't watch the show, you've heard about it. Cast members have been in the news recently over their reported contract negotiations for more money.
For those of you who don't know, the premise of the MTV show is a group of guido-types (as they call themselves, not me) live in a house together, go to clubs, lift weights, and tan. I've watched it and it's slightly entertaining. Don't judge me.
"What could be existential about a reality TV show?" you ask.
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