5

Don’t Let Debt Dictate Your Life.

How many of you are carrying around debt that dictates how you live your life? I am sure there are many out there, for sure. I was one of them too – in my twenties and very early thirties I had about $25,000 in credit card debt to my name. I had no choice but to live where I was living, drive what I was driving, and stay at a job I absolutely hated – all because I owed so much money to the credit cards. Had an emergency come up I would have been absolutely screwed…and a few years ago I swore I would stop all that nonsense. I paid off the debt, moved to a town I wanted to live in, and quit the job I hated to strike out on my own. I have never looked back and I don’t plan on doing so anytime soon if I can help it. But the only way I could even attempt it is by not carrying around any consumer debt (other than my car payment, which I hope to get rid of this year as well) and not falling back into the debt trap. One of the major keys to living the type of life you want to lead is to not owe money. I am not too concerned with auto loans or mortgages, as most of the time the bigger ticket items do require you to borrow some money. (Last time I checked, no one I know bought their $300,000 house in cash.) If you are hanging on by a thread with a pile of debt to pay off, you are letting debt dictate your life – and that’s no way to live.

9

Open A Chase Checking Account, Get $125.

I am definitely not in the market to open yet another bank account, but it it tempting to get the free $125. I have taken up banks on offers like this in the past, but since I finally got everything switched over and working to Schwab (including ALL my direct deposits), I won’t be doing this one – but you might want to. Chase is offering up $125 to open a new checking account and set up a direct deposit to said account. Not a lot of work for $125! Here are some details of the offer:

10

Overview Of The Health Care Reform Bill.

Personally, I am happy that something was finally done about health care in this country. It’s about time we start doing something for people rather than corporations, no? While it’s not perfect, it’s a start – and I will take what I can at this point. As someone who does not have, and cannot get health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, this means a lot as long as the prices we are asked to pay are fair for everyone. The New York Times has a good run down of what this bill will mean for those with and without health insurance, and I wanted to point it out to anyone who had not seen it yet. A few highlights:

6

What’s Next With The Credit CARD Act?

On February 22, 2010, the new Credit CARD (Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure) Act of 2009 went into effect, which essentially provides more transparency and disallows credit card companies from raising interest rates on outstanding balances without due cause. With the new regulations, credit card companies are only allowed to raise interest rates if they give customers 45 days’ notice of the increase, and they must give customers the opportunity to reject the changes. While this certainly is good news, there are a few potential drawbacks and some unanswered questions.

10

Tax Savings, Part 1 Of 4: Why You NEED To Contribute To Your 401(k).

This is a guest post from My Financial Objectives. Catch the rest of his four part series at his site!

People are hesitant to start contributing to their 401(k) for many reasons; the current state of the economy, a feeling of youth, the notion that retirement is a long way off, other bills to pay, etc. Whatever the excuse, the benefits a 401(k) offer should make one’s decision to contribute a much greater priority.

This is the first of four posts outlining the four biggest reasons as to why it is so important to contribute to your 401(k). The four main reasons are:

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