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Prepaid Cards for Travel are Pricey, Hard to Come By

I’m taking a trip to Germany later this year, and that has me thinking: What’s the best way to spend money over there? Using my debit or credit card entails foreign transaction fees. And I don’t exactly fancy carrying around enough cash to finance the whole trip. Last time I was in Germany (when I [...]

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Store Loyalty Programs — Worth it or Not?

Do you ever find the credit cards in your wallet getting lost among all of those store loyalty cards you signed up for? If you’re like me, you probably carry around way too many of these cards. In fact, a January 2013 survey by Edgell Knowledge Network showed that the average U.S. household belongs to [...]

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Young People Saying “No thanks” to Credit

A couple weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about his apartment hunt. “So many places do credit checks now,” he said, lamenting the fact that he’d probably have to offer several months’ rent up front to get around it, as he has a very thin credit history. The personal finance website editor in [...]

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The Best Personal Finance Advice I’ve Ever Received

I’ve been a personal finance junkie since I got my first job after college. At first, I scoured books and websites for money advice because I was bad at the basics, like paying my bills on time and saving. I got better at managing my money, but kept reading to find new tips and tricks. [...]

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Are Personal Finance Experts Too Preoccupied with Lattes?

When I graduated from college and began my job search, money was tight. A relative suggested a personal finance book he liked by a famous money guru, and I picked it up from the library. One of the first chapters was about “easy” ways to save money. Among the suggestions: Stop buying lattes. Pack a [...]

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Is Couponing Worth the Effort?

When my husband and I first started trying to get out of debt, I decided to try couponing. At the time, it seemed like an easy way to save a few bucks. I signed up to get deal alerts from several websites, such as Couponaholic and The Krazy Coupon Lady, and starting clipping and printing [...]

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Why Speed-Reading Your Bills Can Cost You

This month’s electric bill gave me quite a shock. It was $268 — for a one-bedroom apartment! My eyes darted to the “usage” chart that appears on the left side of the bill. No problem there — our electric use for February was our lowest yet, beating our November 2012 record. My eyes darted to [...]

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How to Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt Becomes a Slog

Paying down debt is kind of like losing weight or anything else that requires hard work and a change in habits. It’s easy to get really motivated at first, then lose steam once the initial excitement wears off. For example, I was really focused when my husband and I started our debt repayment push last [...]

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Credit Unions Aren’t for Everyone

My husband and I are credit union turncoats. When big banks began toying with debit card fees in 2011, “Switch to a credit union!” was grassroots activists’ battle cry. We once made the switch, too. But a little more than a year later, we found that our friendly credit union was, well, not so friendly [...]

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Even a Small Move Can Push Your Budget

I’ve been moving into a new apartment this week. This summer, I wrote about how my boyfriend and I were willing to stay in our current apartment to save money, but that has changed. We’ve lost track of how many times our heat and air conditioning have gone out, our energy bills are astronomical because [...]

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