Category Archives: Daily Dimes

Daily Dimes 12/23/09

So, what’s really in a word? When you whip out your Capital One card to pay for groceries at a supermarket, what do you tell yourself you’re doing? Charging it?

Sure, you’re using a credit card to do it, but you’re charging it … right?

Well, maybe. But know that there is, in fact, a difference between a charge card and a credit card.
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Daily Dimes 12/22/09

We’re coming down to the wire for Christmas. Those of you who have been waiting — either on purpose or otherwise — to get gifts are facing the crunch, I’m sure.

You want to do something witty and creative, so you are remembered, but you have a couple of problems: One, you don’t have that much money to spend. Two, you just don’t have time.

With wrapping up items at work or around the house to prepare for the holidays, you don’t have hours to brainstorm and spend in stores looking for the perfect gift.

So, what do you do?
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Daily Dimes 12/21/09

Everyone has their own philosophies on spending money — much of it has to do with how we were all raised. For you, buying the latest Nike shoes may mean much more than to someone else. While you look at it as finally being able to afford brand name sneakers, someone else who has had them all their life may not care.

Perhaps Kanye West put it best, albeit unintentionally, when he rapped, “Tank on empty whipping my momma’s Volvo/I spent that gas money on clothes with logos,” in his song The Glory. It’s one thing to spend more on material items because it satisfies you on a deep, emotional level. It’s an entirely different story when you buy up these pricey goods without having the money to pay for basic items, like food to eat or gas to run your car.
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Daily Dimes 12/17/09

Do you look at taxes with fear and loathing? I know I do. I’m a fairly frugal person, and even I’m willing to pay an accountant to prepare my taxes every year.

Just because you might pay someone to fill out the forms and wade through your financial records doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some prep work ahead of time. It also doesn’t mean you can take some actions before the end of this year to help boost your refund come April.
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Daily Dimes 12/16/09

Ever feel like you’re throwing your money away? Feel like you had so much more cash, but when you come home from the store you dig into your pockets and wonder where it all went?

If you don’t stay on top of the gift cards you receive, you just might be. Even though there have been new rules put in place to get rid of some of the ridiculous fees associated with them, many still do lose money in seemingly benign ways. In fact, the money wasted isn’t even the fault of gift card issuers. It lies with us.

Who wins? The retailers, of course.
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Daily Dimes 12/14/09

In the run up to the end of this year, we are bombarded with articles about what things to change, rethink, and streamline financially for 2010.

This information overload may tempt you to do either one of two things:

  • go whole-hog into the hype and change everything because a faceless financial guru said so; or
  • go into your proverbial shell and ignore everything.

Both options are fraught with danger — but you can weave a path between the two extremes. What do you need? A pad and a pen.

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Daily Dimes 12/11/09

Paying for college is hard. Believe me — I know. I have about $18,500 left to pay off from my four years at Seton Hall, and I’m unbelievably lucky that’s all I have left to pay. The school cost, at that time, $35,000/year. I can’t even imagine how much it is now.

Unfortunately, most jobs now require you to have a college degree in order to even be considered. Add all of the overqualified people applying for jobs because they have been laid off, and college seems like the rule rather than the exception.

Colleges, though, are also businesses. They are in it to make a profit, and the rising costs of tuition, room, board, and other fees further complicates matters.

It wasn’t always this way, but stories show that in today’s economic climate it is becoming more and more difficult to finish college — and the ultimate losers in this battle are the ones who are unable to finish what they start.
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