I had to give a shout-out to my alma mater, the Florida Gator football team, for making it to the national championship game this January 8th in Glendale, Arizona!!! Say what you will about the imperfect BCS system, but it is all we have right now to determine a champion. I am a proponent of a playoff. Why is it that every other sport has a playoff except college football? Even high school tennis has some sort of playoff/tournament system to determine a champion. In defense of the Gators, we won the SEC – the toughest conference in the country. Also, Auburn got robbed out of the championship game in 2004, so the BCS had to give the SEC a chance at the championship this year. Anyway, I know this has nothing to do with finance, but I just wanted to say, GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!
I was driving in the card on my lunch break today, and I was listening to Bill O’Reilly. He started out the second hour of his radio show recognizing the fact that Americans have a debt problem. What struck me was when he made the statement that living paycheck to paycheck renders one “powerless”. Now, the point made was not that we should all try to be rich so that we can flaunt our power. The point was that we are slaves to the lenders that we owe money to when we are making payments and not being able to save any money. It caught my attention because O’Reilly said that we are powerless, because we will make more rash decisions and go to more drastic measures when we don’t have any money in the bank. He used the example that a boss can make you do things that you normally would not do if you had a reserve of money. An employee that lives paycheck to paycheck must keep his or her job, so employers can take advantage of that. O’Reilly is not a financial expert by any means, but he brought it up because he covers social problems — and this is a big social problem.
You may have already seen the article from USA Today titled, Young People Struggle To Deal With Kiss Of Debt. This is the first installment of a six-week series where USA Today will profile 6 different young people about their enormous financial debt and the struggles they face to pay it off. A study done by Experian showed that from 2001 to 2006, the number of young people with debt fell, but the debt load of the young people in debt rose dramatically. The highest rise was young people with more than $20,000 in debt.
My first big interview was nerve racking. I didn’t know what to wear, I didn’t know what to say, and I didn’t even really know much about the company that called me in for the interview. All college graduates will have that big day of trying to score the first real job. It is different. It’s nothing compared to walking into Chili’s and walking out with a serving position. You need to set yourself apart from the competition and all you get is one or two chances during the interview process. Here are some pointers for doing well on your first interview for a real job. A “real job” is a full-time career-like job that you plan on being there for more than a year.
This is kind of a cliche questoin, but I think it’s important to remember what the holidays are about, since it usually gets overshadowed by Black Friday, cooking way too much food, and chatting with crazy family members. Did you take time this past thursday and this weekend to reflect on what you are most thankful for this year?
Supporters of using credit cards use the claim that debit cards cannot be used in all situations. They list things such as hotel reservations, rental car reservations, airplane tickets, and other related services that traditionally started requring that people put a credit card on file for “collateral”. However, I have been travelling quite a bit in the past few years, and I have always used my Visa debit card for these purchases.
Contrary to my post from a few days ago, I opted not to wait outside for a PS3. There were already plenty of crazy people outside, so I knew that my chances were few and far between. I tried to score one on Costco.com today, but my attempts were futile. The website was locked up the entire time that they were supposedly on sale. The next thing that I knew, they were sold out. What gets me about these scarce products that pop up every year around the holidays is all of the horrible stories that arise around the country. One person waiting outside of Best Buy was actually mugged and shot. Another group of people shot a BB gun outside of a car to scare people out of line. Another story came out about a store manager having the great idea of putting ten chairs next to each other and making 50 people run to sit down in one of the chairs. Whoever ended up in the chairs, received a PS3. What a bonehead move on his part. I hate frivilous lawsuits, but I really hope someone sues him if they got hurt. I am almost positive that Sony and other manufacturers do this on purpose. They want the frenzy generated by not having enough supply to meet the demand. You cannot convince me that a multi-billion electronic juggernaut like Sony Corporation is unable to produce a video game system with the same components as an average personal computer (minus the graphics capabilities).
Most of you have heard about this, and it is true. People with pre-ordered PS3’s are selling them on Ebay, and people are actually buying them for $1,500, $1,700, even $2,200! Once I saw this, I said to myself, “Why didn’t I buy a pre-ordered PS3!” Now, I am thinking about sitting outside overnight to buy one. Target only has 8 people in line right now, and if they get 10 systems, then I would have a good chance at getting one. Let’s say I sold it for $1,600, then I would make $1,000 in profit! That is crazy. What some people will pay for convenience is beyond reason.
Men, Listen up. Many men ask their significant other to marry them during the holiday season. This means that numerous clueless men are looking for engagement rings as we speak. I was like you about 3 years ago. I was on a budget, but I wanted to get my girl a ring that she would be proud to show off to her friends. I did a ton of research, and now I am going to pass off my wisdom to my fellow gender.
Mistake 1: Not Contributing to a 401(k) that matches your contribution
If your employer offers a company match for your 401(k) contributions, then you NEED to start putting money into that fund. It is the closest thing to free money that you will ever come across. If you already have an IRA, stop putting money into it and throw that money into the company-matched 401(k), or if you have enough money to invest in both, then do that. The point is that it is ridiculous not to take advantage of a company match.
Mistake 2: Not Being Aggressive Enough with your Investments