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10 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation

Posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money, Tips for Homeowners | May 20, 2014

Photo: Velas Vallarta Resort Did you know that the United States is the only advanced economy not to provide a legal right to paid vacation time? Maybe that’s why we get so few days off each year: On average, we take just 13, according to VP Calendar. You’d expect European countries to be more generous with their vacation provision, and you’d be right: the average Brit gets 28 days, German 35 days, and Italian a whopping 42. But even South Koreans take 25 days, and that’s fewer than either Canadians or Brazilians. All this means that vacations are uniquely precious to Americans. Because ours tend to be shorter and less frequent, we have to make the most of them. And that often means wringing the very best value out of

The Best Five Free Apps to Manage Your Money

Posted in Saving Money | April 9, 2014

Photo: Sean MacEntee Face facts: There may be signs of financial chaos everywhere, but you don’t see them. If the calculator in your mobile device is your main money manager when you’re on the go, consider that a red flag. If your apps are only awesome for organizing a playlist or grabbing a selfie and blasting it to the universe… you might need help. Paycheck to Paycheck Is No Way to Live You’re not alone. A 2013 FINRA Investment Education Foundation study found that Americans don’t have enough stashed away in savings to pay three months’ worth of expenses. More than half spend every cent they make.  Some people have no idea that their money management is a FEMA-worthy disaster until they do their taxes. The good news is that

5 Ways to Save on Valentine’s Day Without Looking Cheap

Posted in Saving Money | February 7, 2014

Valentine’s Day is the Superbowl of Love. It’s a holiday packed with pressure and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and overdo the big day. If you do, you’re not alone. CNN reports Americans spend an average of $130–a whopping total of $18.6 billion dollars last year alone. But, not everyone in this recession-weary economy is looking forward to plunking down big bucks to say I love you. It’s an emotional minefield–you don’t want to look cheap, but you can’t afford to bust your budget. What can you do? 1. Run for the Roses Valentine’s Day = flowers. There is no other equation. And, no flowers at the office can mean weeks in the doghouse. Almost 2/3 of U.S. men and over 1/3 of U.S. women opt to give roses.

What’s Love Got to Do with It? 5 Valentine Scams

Posted in Saving Money | February 7, 2014

You won’t feel the love if you’re blindly suckered into one of these top-five scams that malicious companies or individuals drag out for the Holiday of Love. Although both men and women fall prey to St. Valentine’s Day scams, men are more vulnerable.  Credit Donkey reports that well-meaning Romeos cough up 75 percent more money on Valentines gifts than their fair counterparts. Let’s take the top-five Valentines scams, one-by-one: 1. Identify Theft You may want to give your heart away, but you may just be giving up your entire financial enchilada when a scammer harvests your personal data. The EMC Corporation cites phishing as the number-one online threat to consumers and retailers alike. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (SPWG) reported at least 72,758 unique phishing attempts were made worldwide during the

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