Sunday Money Roundup – AT&T Sent Me $2 Edition.

On Friday, I opened an envelope from AT&T, figuring it was some change in my terms and conditions. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was a single piece of paper with two $1 bills inside it. They wanted to thank me for taking some survey I took a while ago, and thus the $2. While I appreciate the dough, I can’t help but wonder why they went to the trouble of having letters and addresses printed and spending money on postage – when they could have just credited my account the $2. This is the kind of wasted money that drives me bananas because I imagine it just increases our monthly bills somehow. Thanks for the $2 bucks guys, but next time, just credit my account and save yourselves (and me, in return) some money!

Cash Money Life asks What is a Good Credit Score?

Almost Frugal says that borrow is the new buy, and I couldn’t agree more!

Finance For A Freelance Life wants you to learn effective budgeting skills.

DebtKid says to stop acting rich, and I concur. Just stop it already.

Free From Broke talks about something we all wonder – Pay Off Highest Interest Or Highest Balance Credit Card ““ Analysis Paralysis.

My Dollar Plan asks Do You Have to File a Gift Tax Return?


Money Quote Friday – Never Begin Edition.

Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” — Grace Hansen

What in the world are you waiting for? Start living today, and have a great weekend.


The Secrets Of Living A Debt Free Life.

Most people refuse to accept that it is possible to live a debt free life. Are they right? Possibly not. Millions of people worldwide are free from the shackles of debt. There is no reason to believe that you can’t be one of them. Just keep in mind the following things:

– Learn to think smart: Always remember that “A penny saved is a penny earned”. So don’t be lazy; do some research, find out which store offers the same product at a cheaper price. A wise man never accepts the first offer. Whatever you buy make sure that you get yourself the best deal. Be rest assured that you won’t look like a miser.

– Frugal living: It’s time to cut your expenses. You need not be a miser. Just watch out for the small things that you did not notice before. Switch from tap drinking soda to tap water, avoid junk food and shop less. At the end of the month you are bound to find out the difference

– Consider investing money: If you are a young man then investing money is as important as saving it. Make sure that you invest a part of your money, say 10% of it regularly. You might have to live frugally and at times you will really miss the money you invested. But look at the interest rates. They will make you a rich and happy man once you enter a ripe age. Besides you will always have the feeling that your future is secure. It’s something that will keep you relaxed and stress free.

– Ever thought of an emergency fund? Misfortune visits us at most unexpected times. So always save a small portion of your money for a rainy day. It does not matter if it is something as less as 20 cents. Make sure that this is the first thing you do every month.

– Part time jobs can be effective: In addition to your full time job, you can always work part time to earn some extra bucks. Take photographs, for instance, when you are. It will help you to combat monetary problems in a significant manner.

– Investing in stock market-safe enough? It depends. You must have a through knowledge of the stock market to do well. It is highly recommended to invest according to your means. Investing a lump sum coupled with poor understanding of stock market can leave you absolutely ruined and in knee deep debt. However if you play small it may be worth it.

– Set long term goals: It is crucial to have an idea about what you want to do with your life. Do you plan an early retirement? Are you thinking for your child’s higher education? Plan accordingly and live likewise to execute your plan properly. With long term plans you know what you are doing. That is an important step towards an organized life and hence something of prime importance.

– Credit Cards can be a menace: We use credit cards for almost everything now days. However we forget that they can create trouble if you have poor spending habits. Remember that credit card is possibly the largest reason why most people go into debt. The interest rates alone can turn an average person bankrupt. So use credit cards judiciously if you want to stay out of trouble.

– You can come out of your current debt: Understand that you are in debt and don’t add new loans. Start with your creditor to get some concessions. You may also consider debt consolidation and pay off all your debts with a single loan. Try to live a modest life and use cash instead of credit cards. Sooner or later you will be free from the shackles of debt.

– Does a debt free life mean a no to all your desires? Not really. Give yourself an allowance. Buy things within a specific budget. But don’t be extravagant. It is absolutely mandatory that you do not indulge in unwise expenses.

A debt free life does not come without sacrifices. But the compromises you make will pay off in long run. Remember that it is our guilty pleasure that lands us in trouble. So stay organized, live smart and follow the above points to live a blissful deft free life.


What Neighborhood Should You Live In?

Choosing where to “settle down” can be a daunting task. How are the schools? What’s the crime rate? How high are the taxes? Lucky for me, I suppose, is that I am not too interested in settling down anywhere – I kinda like moving every couple of years. But for many people, the idea of buying a home and getting settled for the long term is definitely a big goal on the To-Do list. If you haven’t already found your perfect place, you may want to check out the website NeighborhoodScout.com which lets you search neighborhoods across the U.S., using criteria like housing appreciate rates, crime scores, and school ratings. For example, I searched for my favorite place I have ever lived, Santa Monica, CA, and here is some of what the report came back with:

– Santa Monica is a larger medium-sized coastal city (ie. on the ocean or tidally-influenced rivers) located in the state of California. With a population of 84,084 people and 19 constituent neighborhoods, Santa Monica is the 76th largest community in California.

– Of important note, Santa Monica is also a city of artists. Santa Monica has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Santa Monica’s character.

– One thing that you will notice about Santa Monica is that there is a good-sized population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. Many singles consider Santa Monica a good place to live without being in a really big city, with opportunities for friendships and fun with others like themselves.

– Santa Monica is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Santa Monica home come from a variety of different races and ancestries. The most prevalent race in Santa Monica is White, followed by Asian. Santa Monica also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 13.50% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Santa Monica include English, German, Irish, Russian, Italian, Iranian, and Polish. Santa Monica also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 24.85%.

– Population 84,084
– Number of homes & apartments 47,863
– Home Ownership:
–27.75% Owner Occupied
–65.22% Renter Occupied
–7.03% Vacant
– Median Home Value $1,138,229
– Median Rental Price $1,542


And while I would have to pay a fee to get the full data report, just this info alone gave me a feel for what kind of place Santa Monica is – even if I had never been/lived there. It would be very easy to look up potential places to live for free, just to get a general idea of what kind of community it is. But for the fee, you get full data information along with Scout Reports – reports they have done like America’s 5 Best Elementary, Middle and High Schools;
Affordable Neighborhoods with Great Schools; Most Dangerous Cities; Safest Cities; Best Public Schools. Pretty cool info, if you are a family looking for a new place to settle down.


Citigroup May Refuse To Allow Customers To Withdraw Money.

Um, if you have a checking account with Citigroup, you may want to look into this. Supposedly it is only for accounts based in Texas, but what would stop them from doing it across the country? Seems that Citigroup sent out a letter to account holders stating that “We reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change.” How messed up is that? Personally, I would move my entire bank account somewhere else if my bank even mentioned that idea, but that’s just me. Texas or all 50 states, there is something that really stinks about this new policy. Who knows what it really means, but it still freaks the hell out of me.

Digital Journal, Motley Fool

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