What Happened in Internet Security this Week, Our Response, and What You Should Do

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ReadyForZero joined nearly every major website and service provider this week in responding to the vulnerability discovered on April 7th known as Heartbleed. In short, this vulnerability opened up the possibility of a technical attacker being able to view encrypted traffic to an affected website, which could include your username and password or other sensitive information. If you’re interested in more of the technical details, see the last section of this post.

Tired of Student Loan Debt? Get Rid of It

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We’re tired of hearing about it. We’re tired of thinking about it. And we’re certainly tired of paying it. What’s this “it”? Student loan debt. Yeah. I know… I want to take it off the roster of topics too. But regardless of the over-saturation of student loan debt (or maybe because if it) it’s a problem that’s going to stick around for a while.

If you’re at your wits end then it’s time to get rid of your student debt… as quickly as possible. Here are a few key ways to reframe the way you approach your student loan debt to inspire you to get rid of it even faster:

How to Prevent Student Loans from Hurting Your Finances

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Whether you’re a fresh grad or you’ve been in the workforce for a long time, student loans are a financial burden. And more and more people out there are facing student loan debt these days. Student loans now top an astonishing $1 trillion in the total amount owed, and that number is increasing every day.

With so much at stake, it’s vital that you protect your finances from being negatively impacted by student loans. Since they are the one type of loan that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, you’ll want to stay on top of the payments as much as possible.

Here are a few tips for how you can keep student loans from becoming an overwhelming obligation.

So You Want To Tackle Your Debt Like a Pro… (An Illustrated Guide)

An Illustrated Guide To The Debt Avalanche Method

Tackle Debt: Step 1

1. Take stock of your debt
List your debt in order of highest interest rate (ouch) to lowest interest rate (only slightly less ouch). Include ALL loans to be repaid. Yes, even those student loans from those three years in college when you thought you were destined to be a Beatles historian. (Don’t worry about that… we’ve been there too!)

10 Cheap/Free Things for Book Lovers

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Hi there book lovers! Or friends of book lovers. Or friends of public libraries.

You already know that you love books and all stuff literary. But you know you would love it even MORE if these things were free or cheap (unless you’re an author or publisher…you probably like a paycheck). Luckily, book-related freebies and events have always been a great, budget-friendly way to optimize on your reading hobby. It’s just a matter of exploring all the opportunities out there!

Book-lover on a budget? Check out these ideas for pursuing your passion without dropping big bucks:

Are We All Secretly Suffering from Financial Anxiety?

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Financial anxiety is a feeling I know all too well. In fact, I can hardly remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel financial anxiety. Even when my finances are feeling stable, instead of enjoying them I worry about how long they’ll be stable and whether or not I’m doing enough to prepare for the future. In other words, even when I’m not worried about my finances, that makes me worry about my finances.

Sound familiar?

Part of it stems from my worry-wart nature. (It has its good and bad sides – on the positive side I tend to be prepared for anything!) But my financial anxiety also goes back to my childhood when there were times of struggle. Going from that to working several jobs in college to picking up and moving to New York with nothing more than a little bit of money and burning desire to find a job asap, I guess I just never got rid of that feeling that I have to worry about money.

That’s why I was really excited to see this subject tackled in a survey done by Money Magazine that was recently featured in CNN Money. The survey asks 1,000 adults how they feel about their finances since The Great Recession. Results show that I’m not alone in my financial anxiety.

When Is It a Good Time to Buy a House?

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Do you have enough money saved up for a down payment? Can you afford to fix any repairs or emergencies? Is now the best time of year to get a really good deal?

These are all important questions to answer before purchasing a new home, and are crucial in order to know if now is a good time to buy. Let’s dive into what you need to know before signing on the dotted line.

Couponing Tips for Non-couponers

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The word “couponing” tends to incite drastic opinions. Most people are either in favor of it (who can live without couponing!) or very much against it (who has time for that?). If you find yourself veering towards the latter, check out some of the tips below. We’re talking about finding a way to turn couponing into a smart money saving strategy you might even like, without taking too much of your time.

This is part 2 of a companion series in which one of my oldest and dearest friends, Elizabeth Rauf, shares her story on how she was able to save more than $4,000 in the past year from couponing and rewards programs. Read on to learn how couponing played a role in her huge savings.

When Your DIY Project Isn’t Worth It (and When It Is)

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Do-it-yourself projects are taking over the internet. Seriously. If you’ve ever ventured into the depths of Pinterest and taken note of the DIY projects that inspire you, “pinning” them until you’re 500 projects deep, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s a rabbit hole that’s creatively inspiring, intimidating, and potentially costly.

Topics We’re Talking About: Traveling On a Budget

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This one’s for the wanderers out there! Actually, this one’s for anyone who dreams of traveling near or far without feeling guilty about the bill. Because honestly, what’s better than packing your suitcase and stretching your traveling legs? Doing it for a fraction of the cost, of course.