Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:00:11 +0000
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:30:00 +0000
A reader recently wrote in asking about part-time, work-from-home jobs. The good news is that these jobs are easier than ever to find. The bad news is that they may also be more competitive than ever! Telecommuting is becoming easier, as technology advances and businesses see the advantages of hiring a remote workforce. In fact, […]
The post 33 Great Work-From-Home Jobs (That Are Legitimate) appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:35:00 +0000
You’re probably familiar with Goldman Sachs, at some level. The multinational banking firm, best known for investment banking, goes all the way back to 1869. But did you know that they also have a web-based arm known as Goldman Sachs Bank USA, or simply GS Bank? It’s an online bank that pays far higher rates […]
The post Think Only the Rich Have Accounts at Goldman Sachs? Think Again appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:40:07 +0000
What if you could increase your after-tax investment returns by 15% over 30 years? Betterment is claiming you can do just that with their Tax-Coordinated Portfolio. What’s more, they claim that it can even work across several accounts at the same time. Interested? Read on… Who is Betterment? Betterment is a robo-advisor. In fact, it […]
The post Can Betterment Portfolios Earn You An Extra 15 Percent? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:19:13 +0000
Ah, millennials. They are the first generation to grow up with iPhones, FaceTime, and GPS apps. Most of their banking is done online and, thanks to Amazon, the majority of web purchases arrive at their doorstep within 2 business days. They hit the generational jackpot when it comes to convenience and ease, it would seem. […]
The post Fidelity Study Finds Millennials are Moving Back Home in Droves appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:50:00 +0000
In case you didn’t know, today is National Online Bank Day! Exciting, huh? (Don’t worry, I didn’t have it marked on my calendar, either). Some online banks are offering promotional discounts and interest rates to celebrate, with Ally being one of them. Ally Bank is one of the more popular online banking institutions, offering a […]
The post Ally Celebrates National Online Bank Day with CD Bonus Rate appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 13:46:00 +0000
Over the past few years, cell phone providers have declared an out-and-out war to win over consumers. This spells good things for the consumers, who can now take advantage of more low-cost cell phone plans than ever. These days, even the “big four” cell providers — Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon — are lowering their […]
Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:03:00 +0000
Many consumers know that they can get a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. But this report only shows your credit report, not your actual credit score. When you go to get your free annual credit report, the credit bureau will likely ask if you […]
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:36:00 +0000
Beginning in January 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, issued new rules to protect mortgage borrowers. The rules deal primarily with what is known as the “servicing” side of the mortgage process. That’s everything that happens after a mortgage closes, from setting up escrows and crediting payments to foreclosures. There are nine rules […]
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:48:14 +0000
Can you believe we’re already in September? The year has flown by, and IRS Tax Year 2016 will soon be coming to a close. While your filing deadline isn’t until April 17, 2017 (the 15th will fall on a Saturday), now is the perfect time to begin thinking about your taxes, maxing out your retirement […]
The post 2016 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:36:00 +0000
After 50 years of providing higher education services, ITT Technical Institute closed its doors abruptly in September, without offering its students a fall semester. With more than 8,000 ITT Tech employees now jobless and all students left without a clear plan, this news comes as a shock to many. Exactly What Happened? In a news […]
The post Former ITT Tech Students Find Hope in Available Options appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 23:21:18 +0000
Most taxpayers can choose between itemizing tax deductions to reduce taxable income, which requires accurate record-keeping and support, and taking the standard deduction. The standard tax deduction is a fixed amount that reduces the amount of money on which year-end taxes are calculated. Generally, if you can show that you’ve had more deductible expenses than […]
The post Standard Deductions and Exemptions for Federal Income Tax appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 09 Sep 2016 15:16:38 +0000
Everyone hates bank maintenance fees. (If you don’t, email me – I have a few you’re welcome to take.) So, what would you think if you discovered that your bank had been charging you fees for an account you never opened? In fact, THEY secretly submitted an application and opened that account on your behalf. […]
The post Wells Fargo Fined for Creating 2 Million Fake Accounts to Collect Fraudulent Fees appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:21:06 +0000
If you’re unhappy with your 401(k), rest easy… you’re not alone. In fact, on August 19, over 60,000 employees joined up and filed a class action lawsuit against their employer, Morgan Stanley. Their reason: questionably managed and poorly performing 401(k) plans. It’s one thing to ask workers to stay late or forget to restock the […]
The post Why 60,000 Morgan Stanley Employees are Suing Over Their 401(k) Accounts’ Management appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:17:48 +0000
This year has been a rough one for health insurance companies of all sizes. With the recent news of Aetna withdrawing from most of its Obamacare exchanges, many Americans are beginning to worry about their shrinking options, skyrocketing premiums, and where they’ll even find services. Scarily enough, Aetna is not alone in its decision, and […]
The post Another Insurance Giant Withdraws from Obamacare — What Does This Mean for You? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 19 Aug 2016 21:09:00 +0000
A few weeks ago, Rick Seany of FareCompare published an article about the upcoming Cheap Flight Day. This certainly piqued my interest. While I have heard of National PB&J Day (April 2) and Men Make Dinner Day (the 1st Thursday in November — mark your calendars, ladies), I hadn’t ever heard of an airfare discount […]
The post Cheap Flight Day: Now’s the Time to Plan Those Last-Minute Getaways appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 17 May 2016 08:00:58 +0000
It’s late May, and a new crop of students is preparing to go on to college. One of my less pleasant memories was the agonizing process of securing financing so I could pursue my degree. Though it’s many years later, I’d like to share what I learned that can make paying student loans more manageable […]
Thu, 05 May 2016 03:32:57 +0000
Saving for retirement is a long game, but the idea of preparing for something decades away is counterintuitive for many of us. However, consistent saving is crucial for retirement planning. Here’s expert advice for how to prepare in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Your 30s Saving for retirement really should begin in earnest during your […]
The post How Much to Save for Retirement in Your 30s, 40s and 50s appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 25 Mar 2016 08:00:36 +0000
If travel is in your plans, you may want to know about this offer from American Express. It’s the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, and it offers 25,000 bonus points when you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months after opening your account. You can redeem those points for free nights when it […]
The post Travel reward credit cards — more vacation for your money appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 22 Mar 2016 21:05:19 +0000
Tax Day 2016 for IRS Tax Year 2015, also known as your return filing deadline, is April 18. If you haven’t yet filed, here are the IRS tax rates for your 2015 earnings with background and commentary. These change from year to year to protect against something the Tax Foundation calls “bracket creep” or when […]
The post 2015 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:00:57 +0000
Cash back credit cards can help consumers practice responsible spending while earning a little extra for their efforts when used properly. The days of earning 5 percent cash back for all credit card purchases may be just a memory, but the smart use of credit cards can still be profitable for diligent consumers. You may […]
Tue, 15 Mar 2016 08:00:42 +0000
In chemistry, a catalyst is something that triggers a reaction — but the nature of the reaction itself depends on having the right elements in place to respond to the catalyst. What brought to mind that tattered remnant of high school chemistry was thinking back on buying my first house. I’ll explain how I got […]
Sat, 20 Feb 2016 09:00:07 +0000
The Federal Reserve sure gets a lot of media attention. And yes, the discussion of when and if the Fed is going to raise interest rates can get a little tedious, but it still probably deserves some of your attention because interest rates are woven so deeply into the fabric of household finances. The Fed […]
Tue, 05 Jan 2016 09:00:53 +0000
[Editorial note: This offer was last updated on July 13, 2016.] Are you still wrestling down holiday debt? Zero-interest balance transfer credit card offers can help you meet this challenge, but only if you know what to look for. Otherwise, you will end up paying interest anyway, which is exactly what the credit card companies […]
The post Balance Transfer Cards for Fair, Average or Excellent Credit appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 09:00:28 +0000
New baby? No doubt this new arrival has turned every aspect of your life upside down in the best possible way. Now is the time to make sure your financial house is in order. Here’s a 10-step account and financial checklist to lay the groundwork for your little one’s successful future. New account checklist for […]
The post Financial Upgrades You Need After Becoming Parents appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Wed, 16 Dec 2015 00:15:31 +0000
The best high-yield online savings accounts offer strong interest rates and great customer service, making them a popular option for savers. Studies also show online savings accounts often come with lower fees. Read More “High-yield” is unfortunately a bit of a misnomer these days; a decade ago, interest rates were 4% and 5% among select […]
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:40:43 +0000
When your life is out of control, nothing seems to go right. You have the worst luck, and you can’t seem to get ahead with anything, whether a project, a goal, or even simple things like taking care of daily tasks. Regaining control of your life is imperative. For your finances, you can do that […]
The post Command and Control: From Baseball Pitches to Your Money appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:05:00 +0000
After the stock market closed on Friday, my portfolio was at an all-time high. That was likely also the case for a lot of investors living in the United States who are similar to me: earning income, investing in the stock market with a buy-and-hold strategy for the future, and leaving money invested during the […]
The post Can You Blame Them for Not Being Invested in Stocks? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:00:38 +0000
Banks in the United States are undergoing a major transformation in credit card technology, a process similar to the one Europe successfully completed several years ago. Despite the technological advances in mobile payment that have already rendered plastic cards obsolete, the financial industry wants to replace every magnetic stripe credit card in every wallet. When […]
The post 5 Reasons Why New Chip Credit Cards Won’t Reduce Fraud appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:55:28 +0000
Congratulations to the owners of LearnVest, a financial planning start-up that is in the process of finalizing a deal with Northwestern Mutual wherein the latter will be acquiring the assets and business of the former. In a deal of more than $250 million in cash, a company that provided early funding for the start-up will […]
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:27:26 +0000
Accumulating money is not a real goal for anyone’s life. Growing wealth is not the point. People don’t work hard because they want to see their bank balance grow; those of us who track our finances and chart our net worth over time aren’t trying to compete in some financial competition. I imagine there are […]
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:11:10 +0000
For a few years, a ring of criminals believed by the U.S. government to be based in India have been involved in a pervasive tax scam. Callers impersonate IRS officials, connect with American taxpayers, and convince many that they have an outstanding bill for tax payments. The scam has been so pervasive that it has […]
The post The IRS Tax Scam and What Happens When You Owe Taxes appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:10:30 +0000
Best Buy, the big box retailer that most shoppers have abandoned sometime in the last decade and a half in favor of Amazon.com, announced better-than-expected earnings for the last three months of 2014, which includes the all-important holiday season. The announcement sent the financial media into a frenzy, as many had all but dismissed Best […]
The post How the Financial Media and Stock Market Analysts Manipulate You appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:22:14 +0000
Your money script is a story you tell yourself about money. This story, the way you approach your finances, an outlook on a certain segment of your life, can have a significant effect on your behavior. In the growing field of financial psychology, the money script is a key element for clients and patients. Financial […]
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:00:21 +0000
This is a guest article by Neal Frankle. Neal is a Certified Financial Planner® in Los Angeles. He is also the senior editor for WealthPilgrim.com, MCMHA.org and CreditPilgrim.com. Your credit report is like a financial passport. If it’s clean you’ll find the doors to the financial world wide open. Your credit journey will be carefree […]
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:37:18 +0000
How much is your time worth? This is a terrible question, and it usually begets a terrible answer. It’s a question that motivational speakers use to encourage people to make sure they’re optimizing their ability to earn an income. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it leads to some poor conclusions. For instance, […]
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:46:16 +0000
Over the last year, a friend of mine has been trying to convince me to move my financial assets. I currently have a taxable investment account at Vanguard, and my portfolio consists of a mix that includes a domestic stock index fund, an international stock index fund, and tax-advantaged municipal bond funds. This friend believes […]
The post Should All Financial Advisers Be Held to a Fiduciary Standard? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:53:47 +0000
A week ago today I was in Phoenix. I had been there for a few days, and I had been planning to spend a month with my girlfriend away from the cold New Jersey weather. It wasn’t a vacation. We each needed to continue working, but figured we might as well do so where the […]
The post Burst Sprinkler Line, Property Damage, and Renter’s Insurance appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:58:54 +0000
For several years, it was a February tradition on Consumerism Commentary to look for moderation on Valentine’s Day. Many young couples would like to use the day to express their love, but might not have the financial means to do what television commercials make you believe is normal. If you have additional ideas, feel free […]
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 17:15:05 +0000
Any self-help guru would agree that how you think about money shapes your behavior with money. If you want to improve your financial situation, whether to get out of debt or to reach financial independence, your relationship with money is the first thing that must change. If you believe you will never be able to […]
The post How My Money Mindset Changed Four Times and Helped Me Succeed appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.
Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:00:55 +0000
Over the years, I haven’t been too kind to the best-selling author, Robert Kiyosaki. He’s certainly built a successful empire, and a large community people respect him for his business acumen, his willingness to try or to appear to try to help others, and his advice. However, I’ve always found his advice thin at best […]
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:45:31 +0000
Now that the government backed down on its proposed changes to 529 plans for future education expenses, we can expect the same tax benefits present for education to be applied to families and individuals who face expenses caring for disabled people. Families will be able to deposit funds into special savings accounts, called 529As, and […]
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:33:37 +0000
Since the credit crunch in the midst of the latest recession, credit card solicitations have seen a significant increase. Unless you’ve opted out, and good luck with that, you’re probably getting junk mail from credit card issuers with invitations to apply for the latest credit card offers. Don’t get too excited, especially if you have […]
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:42:20 +0000
The 401(k) contribution limits and maximums are increasing in 2015, and there are other tax changes to 401(k) to note.