Your friends might say 'You do what?!' when they hear about these saving strategies.
This post comes from Kentin Waits at partner blog Wise Bread.
Starting a savings plan can be fraught with stress and anxiety. People worry about not saving enough, not being consistent, giving in to spending temptations, and not knowing how to invest what they save. The whole enterprise is enough to leave some people stuck in a chronic state of analysis paralysis.
For beginners, the best approach is to make saving less work and more experimental. Dip your toes in the water by trying some unorthodox methods of spending less and saving more money. Granted, these ideas might not fully fund that retirement plan or turn your job into just a 9-to-5 hobby, but they might make saving more fun and pave the way to more serious strategies.
Eligible homeowners could get $150,000 on average knocked off the balance of their mortgages.
This post comes from Diana Olick at partner site CNBC.
A select group of struggling mortgage borrowers is about to get an offer that sounds too good to be true. Executives at Bank of America say that they will begin mailing 200,000 letters offering certain customers mortgage principal reduction.
"If people get these things and toss them, they won't be eligible," says Ron Sturzenegger, the Bank of America executive charged with providing solutions to borrowers in need of mortgage assistance.
As banking fees rise, more Americans are turning to prepaid cards -- but how do you decide if it's right for you?
This post comes from Brian O'Connell at partner siteMainStreet.
But how do you choose the right one?
Increasingly, Americans are deciding that prepaid cards are a good idea. In fact, prepaid cards are one of the few banking services products that are on the rise. A brand new study out from Javelin Research shows prepaid card use was up 18% in 2011 from 2010, from 11% of the population to 13% on a year-to-year basis.
Every vehicle has one. What exactly do those 17 numbers and letters mean?
This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.
Ever wonder how they come up with your car's VIN? VIN, which stands for vehicle identification, is a code that tells you a lot about the vehicle you're driving.
For the longest time, I thought a VIN on a car was a unique serial number that incremented with each manufactured car. As it turns out, part of the code is a unique number assigned to a single car of a single model at a single manufacturer, but much of the information contained in a VIN is not unique.
A new report on the accidental blending of credit reports by reporting agencies identifies the most likely victims.
This post comes from Kali Geldis at partner siteCredit.com.
It's not Freaky Friday, but many consumers are finding their financial lives swapped by accident -- and it's having big consequences.
A four-part series from the Columbus Dispatch called "Credit Scars" kicked off this week, examining the damage done when credit reporting agencies blend two credit reports together. The yearlong investigation by the paper uncovered thousands of examples of credit reports being blended together.
The search for a vehicle leads to CarFax, Craigslist and Twitter, conversing with dealers in 140 characters.
This guest post comes from Lindy at Minting Nickels.
Before now, I never felt the need to buy a used car.
New cars are just so effortless. They bring the benefits of long warranties and blemish-free histories. They have relatively few surprises and relatively few questionable smells. You're guaranteed to get the maximum amount of years out of them, and they are easy to find.
But during my most recent car quest I was determined to find a car within my ideal budget. So for the first time in my life, I considered buying used.
Here's what I learned in the process.
Marijuana growers are buying or renting bank-owned homes, hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Northern California and elsewhere.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
Cheap bank-owned homes in once pricey Northern California suburbs are luring low-flying marijuana farmers away from low-income and rural neighborhoods where they used to operate.
Upscale homes that sold for as much as $1 million before the housing bust "have been turned into grow houses, equipped with the high-intensity lights, water and air-filtering systems necessary to produce potent, high-quality marijuana," The New York Times reports.
The Durbin rule -- which lowered debit card fees for retailers -- is costing banks billions of dollars. Who'll pay?
This post comes from Brian O'Connell at partner siteTheStreet.
They don't like it here or there and they don't like it anywhere -- but they especially don't like it where the fee-draining amendment hits banks hardest: the pocketbook.
The Durbin rule, green-lit by Congress as part of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act of 2010, and taking effect last October, took aim at interchange fees for debit card transactions. That's the fee retailers and other service providers pay a bank any time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase.
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