Planning and being realistic are keys to a successful transition.
We love stories about people who change careers, even though we have not actually done it. Several years ago we interviewed a number of people who had changed jobs in mid-life, including an insurance agent who become a fine furniture maker, a PR specialist who became a garden designer and a science teacher who finally fulfilled her lifelong desire to be a doctor and graduated from medical school at age 50.
Who among us hasn’t dreamed of leaving a job that bores us and doing something totally different, no matter what our age?
For some, the recession has thrust that change upon them, whether they were ready for it or not. Several of our journalist colleagues have become teachers. Some are again considering law school. One is studying nursing, courtesy of a state program to retrain downsized professionals.
Starting in July, debit and ATM charges that overdraw accounts will be denied.
In other words: No more $35 charges against customers who accidentally overdraw their accounts for a $4 latte.
The new Federal Reserve rules announced Thursday require banks to notify customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered. If customers don't "opt in," any debit or ATM transactions that overdraw their accounts will be denied.
You've heard 'Turn off the lights!' before, but when's the last time you cleaned your fridge's coils?
With a list that long, there's bound to be some redundancy. A big chunk is ideas we've all heard before: Turn off lights and appliances you're not using and unplug "vampire" electronic devices. But despite the number of no-brainer solutions, several gems caught our eyes:
Why worry about thieves? Your fraud liability is zero.
I like few things more than writing posts that cause consternation. A recent gem was on my confusion over debit cards, and who can forget my assault on the irrational fear of identity theft. So why not combine the two themes?
Consumerism Commentary has a nice post on writing "Check ID" in the little strip on the back of your credit card where you are supposed to sign it. Turns out that this is a relatively common practice and that it is against Visa and MasterCard's rules. I guess I'm not really surprised at either of these facts.
Why would a person write "Check ID" on a card? I can only assume that it is an attempt to deter a potential thief from using the card if stolen. Does anybody really think this would work? How often do cashiers actually look at the back of credit and debit cards? And then there are all the situations, from the self-checkout line to Amazon.com, that there is no cashier.
You'll need to instill good habits when they're young.
In the past, I've strongly advocated for families to introduce their teenagers to financial reality as early as possible. I know that in my own case, I went off to college with almost no idea of how to manage my money, and it really showed in the spending decisions I made over the next 10 years of my life.
Over the past decade, I've had the chance to intimately watch other families raise their children through the teenage years with lots of success and some failure. I've been impressed with some of the young people that are the core of Generation Y coming of age. Two in particular, my niece and my first cousin, are the kind of people that are a big net benefit to the world, and I would be incredibly proud if my own children turned out as well as they have.
You shouldn't feel obligated to send out cards.
Some of us suffer from chronic skepticism about the annual Christmas merchandising frenzy. But you don't have to be totally cheap to come up with a pretty holiday celebration that won't leave you feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Here are a few strategies that have saved me some bucks:
Bing, Google and eBay are offering deals at airports, hotels and on planes.
What do adults want for the holidays?
If they’re travelers, free wireless Internet access in the airport is always a welcome gift. Bing, Google and eBay are all offering free wi-fi at airports and a few other locations -– including in the air -- this holiday season.
- Bing: Best free wi-fi spots
Here are the deals:
Retailers jump on the clunker trade-in bandwagon, but will you get top dollar?
- Got an old appliance your want to replace? Buy an energy-efficient model and receive rebates ranging from $50 to $250. This federally sponsored program, similar to the Cash for Clunkers program, varies by state. More details can be found here.
- Trade in old video games at Amazon.com and Toys 'R' Us in exchange for gift cards.
- Old electronic devices can be traded in to Radio Shack, Hewlett-Packard, Amazon and Costco.
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