Calculating a Car Payment, Why Smaller Isn’t Always Better

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It’s summertime, which means one thing – it’s car buying season. Manufacturers ramp up sales and, soon, next year’s models will be hitting the showroom floors. Buying a car is one of the most major purchases many make, aside from buying a house.

That being the case, most car buyers need to take out loans to drive home with new cars. When we’re sitting at home calculating a car payment, it’s important to understand that smaller isn’t always better. We’re trained to think that such a monthly obligation should be as low as possible. Recent reports, however, indicate otherwise as loan lengths have reached a record of 67 months, with loans lasting up to seven years in length reaching nearly 30 percent.

Why You Should Travel Solo This Summer

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It’s summertime, and we’re all in vacation mode looking for travel deals, last minute getaways, or just amazing places that make for jealous worthy Instagram posts. We all want to escape those workplace doldrums, but, sometimes, planning a summer vacation with someone seems like more stress than it’s worth.

That trip to the beach would be a great idea, but coordinating with your friends to take a four-day weekend, renting a car to get everyone to the beach, and even just booking an overpriced hotel that everyone can agree on seems like so much work. A long email chain and weeks later, you might never get your summer vacation.

If you haven’t solidified your travels plans yet, considering traveling by yourself this summer. As any travel memoir will teach you, traveling solo is still quite challenging, but it offers you lots of freedom that you can’t get when you travel with another person or with a group. Yes, traveling alone can provide ample time for self-reflection and self-discovery (à la Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat Pray Love, or Wild), but it can also help you save money and help you get the most out of your vacation budget.

So before you join in on yet another group trip to the lake house this summer, consider these 5 reasons for why you should try traveling solo.

Why Lending Money to Friends is a Horrible Idea

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Standing on the sidelines watching a friend struggle is never easy. We’re told to lend a hand to those in need and feel especially compelled when it’s someone we feel strongly connected to.

Most of the time, being a friend constitutes offering time and support, but what about when the type of help your friend needs is financial, not emotional?

Before you hand over cash in order to fill that need, you may want to think twice. Not only could you end up placing yourself in a similar financial bind, but your relationship could suffer greatly as a result.

7 Finance Terms That Should be in Every Millennials’ Vocabulary

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Finance generally isn’t a fun topic for most of us. It can be boring, scary, and frustrating. In Fidelity’s recent study, 39% of millennials worry about finances and 25% don’t know who to trust.

How do you know if you can afford to go to that music festival with your friends? Or how do you know where to best allocate your money? These are all common questions that millennials have. We look up to our parents for guidance and advice and fail to really learn the ropes on our own.

Here are 7 finance terms that every millennial should know and why:

How to Find a Reputable Secured Credit Card to Rebuild Credit

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We get it. We all make mistakes in the past and now we’re in a frantic rush to rebuild our credit scores. The days of having thousands of dollars in credit limit is over and now it seems impossible to even get approved for a credit card.

Luckily there are credit cards designed specifically to help people rebuild their credit scores. You won’t have the luxury of earning reward points, but this should be the last thing on your mind. If you’re thinking of applying for a secured credit card, it’s important to understand how to use this to your full advantage.

On This Day: American Railroads Become Regulated

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On June 29, 1906, Congress passed the Hepburn Act, which essentially strengthened government regulation of the railroad industry. The Hepburn Act’s strict regulations forced railroad companies to follow provisions and pay penalties for violations set by the government through the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).

It was perhaps the most important piece of legislation regarding railroads in the 20th century, since it directly affected so many aspects of American transportation by extending ICC jurisdiction over bridges, terminals, ferries, sleeping cars, express companies, and oil pipelines. Though over a hundred years have passed, the Hepburn Act remains significant for a few reasons.

5 Ways to Make Extra Money With Little Skill

extra_cash__1435340015_38.104.100.178A common excuse I hear when speaking with someone about making extra money is they don’t have the skills or talent to make it worthwhile. True, there are some areas where you need highly technical skills. I firmly believe that makes up a small minority of money making opportunities.

You might be asking yourself why you should make extra money. Can you relate to these statements?

  • I need extra cash to pay off debt.
  • I want to save more for retirement.
  • I want to take that vacation I’ve been dreaming of forever.
  • I want extra spending money.

If so, then you have a good reason to earn extra money. If you want or need to make extra cash but fear you don’t have the skills you need to do it, here are a few ways to make more money that anyone can do.

Check Your Bank Statement, You May Be Paying Unnecessary Fees

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If I had been paying closer attention, I would have noticed the monthly fee on my bank statement much sooner. I was paying $5 month for not utilizing my bank’s bill pay service as they required – a small amount, but one that irked me for the sheer fact that I didn’t even remembering signing up for the service in the first place.

Fees may be a fact of life, but not all of them should be tolerated. Paying for services you don’t actually need, or handing over an exorbitant amount for something that should be rendered for much less are just a few reasons to reexamine who you’re doing business with or how you’re managing your money.

New EMV Chip Cards Coming Soon, Here’s What You Need To Know

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I approached the counter with my souvenirs. I immediately noticed that there would be a language between the cashier and I. I handed her my credit card hoping we wouldn’t muddle in conversation and just get the transaction complete. I figured my credit card would work in Europe, but boy was I wrong. She had no clue how to slide it through the machine.

Out of cash at that point, I sheepishly put my purchase back, clearly unable to explain that my card was fine, but it required a different card reader.

This is when I first realized that the magnetic strip carrying cardholder information on the back of credit cards in the United States is considered outdated technology in Europe.

How to Kill Debt Fatigue Once and For All

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Paying off debt, in most cases, is a burden. It has been compared to having a shackle around your ankles or extra weight on your shoulders. Regardless of the analogy, debt can cause one thing – exhaustion. Exhaustion from sacrificing to make payments. Exhaustion from not being able to do other things you want. Exhaustion from feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Having paid off a large amount of debt myself I know that it’s a journey. It can take years to achieve debt freedom and, in some instances, you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up. That emotion has a name – debt fatigue. If followed through to completion, this debt fatigue can derail you from breaking the cycle of debt, but it doesn’t have to be that way.