As it turns out, money can make you happier. It's all in what you do with it.
This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News.
While I abhor the empty-headed entitlement of the statement, I have to say that its underpinnings are true. I've been broke and I've made a decent salary. Guess which is better?
Sales are up, and fewer vehicles are being sent to the junkyard. That could mean good news if you're in the market for a used car.
This post comes from Christine DiGangi at Credit.com.
In the second quarter this year, the number of cars and light trucks on the road reached its highest point since the third quarter of 2008: 247.9 million, according to Experian Automotive.
The average age of those vehicles is 10.9 years, a year older than it was four years ago, and when it comes to the kinds of cars out there, General Motors had the highest share, at 26.6 percent, followed by Ford (18.9 percent), Toyota (12.6 percent) and Chrysler (12.5 percent).
Vehicle sales dropped during the recession but have recently surged. That, combined with fewer vehicles being scrapped in the second quarter, contributed to the number of older cars on the road.
What This Means for Shoppers
Key financial tasks -- one every 3 months -- can help keep your finances on track. Here's what to do and when to do it.
For many people, managing their finances feels like an overwhelming task. Our lives are incredibly busy as it is, and folks in my line of work tend to throw around acronyms and jargon until too many people just throw their hands up in despair. It all can seem so overwhelming and some of us simply never get started.
Fear not. It really doesn’t have to be that way. There are four simple things you can do over the course of the year to get on the road to financial responsibility. These things don’t take very long and can help you make some sense of your finances, stay on track for your financial goals (whether you just want to pay the bills, get rid of debt or even save for a major purchase, like a house or a car) and avoid problems -- or at least deal with them early, when they’re easier to resolve.
So mark your calendars now for 2014, and use these simple steps to get and stay on track with your finances year after year. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
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The star of 'Shark Tank,' the author of a new book on money and the sexes, offers some insights on how men and women approach finances.
This post comes from Maureen Mackey at partner site The Fiscal Times.
Just get Kevin O'Leary talking about money -- and the silly and stupid mistakes a lot of us make when it comes to our finances.
A business entrepreneur who has founded, funded and sold numerous companies, O’Leary today runs O'Leary Funds, an investment company headquartered in Montreal. He’s probably best known to most of America, though, as the straight-shooting co-star of ABC's Shark Tank, the popular reality show in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their products to a panel of potential investors (O'Leary is one).
He teaches money management to audiences old and young, backing up no-nonsense principles with years of experience. We could be saving ourselves from so much grief, frustration and stress if we only did a few key things differently, he said in an interview.
Here are three of the biggest financial mistakes O'Leary, author of the new book "The Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women & Money," says we're making -- and how we can fix them:
The scariest part of the new virus is there is no fix, so it's crucial to avoid getting it in the first place.
This post comes from Deena Coffman at partner site Credit.com.
An especially nasty form of ransomware -- known as CryptoLocker -- was recently discovered, and it puts computer users at risk of losing their files forever.
In most forms of ransomware, infected computers "freeze" and essentially are held hostage until a ransom is paid. Perhaps the best-known and most widespread scheme is false messages claiming to be from the FBI, accusing computer users of watching child porn or some other illegal online activity. A “fine” is demanded to unfreeze the computer.
That and other types of ransomware usually can be fixed -- though sometimes a professional using specialized software is necessary.
There is nothing new about ransomware -- different forms of it have been circulating since 1989 -- but in recent weeks Internet security firms have reported a surge in computers affected. Once CryptoLocker infiltrates your computer, it encrypts your files -- making them unreadable and permanently unusable unless you decrypt them with the attacker’s "private key," which is unlikely to happen even if you part with the demanded ransom.
Several airlines have announced that they will require more points for travel, which means the value of your points will drop.
In August, Delta airlines announced that business class awards to many international destinations will increase 20-25%, for travel after May 31, 2014. In September, Southwest lopped about 17 percent off the value of its points for all travel booked after March 31, 2014. Finally, United waited until the morning after Halloween to announce the scariest program change of the year: Miles required for international award tickets in business and first class went up by as much as 87 percent. And for the first time, travelers will have to pay more miles for award tickets on United partners' flights than they would on flights operated by United. These changes apply for award flights booked after Jan. 31, 2014.
How these changes affect cardholders
When credit card users receive frequent flier points and miles for spending, the value of these awards points and miles depend on how many are needed for an award flight. So when an airline increases the number of miles needed for an award ticket, it decreases the rewards returned from its award cards.
Gas prices are under $3 a gallon in some states, and that means consumers could have more money to spend on the holidays.
This post comes from Jeff Reeves at partner site Investor Place.
Gas prices have a very real impact on consumer spending. That's partially because gasoline expenditures make up a decent share of U.S. household budgets, but also because they are a very common measure of pricing and inflation.
After all, there's no more public measure of how things cost than the gas prices trumpeted at dozens of service stations you pass every day.
In inflationary times, gas prices can be a drag on consumer spending -- but thankfully, right now we are seeing the opposite.
After weeks of trying to sign up, I finally get through, only to be told it will take three weeks to process my application.
This post comes from John F. Wasik at partner site The Fiscal Times.
While Obama administration officials apologized for HealthCare.gov foul-ups and sought to spin the president’s flawed promise that if people liked their health plans they could keep them, I actually made some headway in getting into the federal insurance marketplace.
Although I didn't get in through my online log-in -- that interface was still broken as I write this -- I did manage to "talk" my application to a telephone ( 800-318-2596 ) representative and get some sample policy premiums. Some 700,000 applications for insurance were submitted to the state and federal online marketplaces since the beginning of October, Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told a Congressional committee last week. I was one of them.
I managed to submit my application to a patient customer service representative ("Sasha"), who walked me through questions on income, family members, Social Security numbers, disclosures and birthdates. There were also some questions about physical limitations and foster care, which, fortunately, were not issues for us. The whole process took about a half hour.
The moment of truth with HealthCare.gov comes when you finally get to see a range of premiums to determine if the program will be competitive with private insurance.
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