7 Most Important Personal Finance Tips for Recent College Graduates

college graduate moneyYou may have graduated from college recently, or expect to in the coming months.  Either way, you’re about to enter an exciting period of your life – perhaps a new career, armed with the education you’ve received over the past few years. You’re ready to go!

But what about your finances? With all that you learned in college, it’s a good bet that personal finance wasn’t part of the agenda. It’s a shame because how you manage your finances – especially in the next few crucial years – may be every bit as important as what you do in your career.

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4 Bank Errors & Mistakes Waiting To Happen

angry money manLike most people, I rely on the wonders of banking technology to receive my pay checks and pay my bills. Banks offer the near magical feature of having money just appear in your bank account (i.e. direct deposit) or having bills paid on a schedule while you worry about other things.

Modern technology is often so seamless and convenient that it’s easy to forget that both computers, and the people using them, are not perfect. It would be nice to think that our banking system is failsafe. However, that would be ignorant, and, in the case of finances, ignorance is far from bliss.

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6 Unusual Part-time Jobs You Haven’t Heard of that Pay Well

looking for jobPlenty of life events can motivate you to get a second part-time job. Some families need the extra cash for important budget categories, and others simply like the supplemental income to help with the extras. It can also be your way of testing the waters before a career change, or a short-term method to boost savings before a large purchase like your first home.

Getting a traditional part-time job might not fit into your schedule. But several unconventional job options can give you the flexibility to choose your own hours and still make some decent side money. A career counselor might tell you to “think outside the box,” and then send you on your way.

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7 Easy Steps to Switch Banks without Worry

bank buildingIf, like many Americans, you’re fed up with big bank fees and poor customer service, you might be considering other options when it comes to banking. Three of the most popular alternatives are online banks, credit unions, and small local banks.

While switching financial institutions is a good idea in the long run, the initial choice can be intimidating and overwhelming. People worry that they are sacrificing the security of a larger bank, along with the convenience of having a branch on every corner. Closing an account and making large transfers is time consuming and inconvenient. Top all of this off with the fear that you will bounce an important check or payment in the transition, and you’ve got some major deterrents from making the big switch.

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Body Language Explained – What’s Your Body REALLY Saying?

body languageSo, you’ve just sat down for a job interview that you’re really nervous about. Unconsciously, you start jiggling your leg just a bit. You tidy your hair, shift in your seat, cross your arms in front of your body and shift your body weight to the right, leaning more on one side.

One look at you and your interviewer is going to know you’re putting up a front. Why?

Because although you might want to present a positive, confident image, your body language is telling everyone that you’re nervous, maybe even scared. Your body language can be the root cause for an unsuccessful job interview.

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5 Tips for Being a Great Tenant that Landlords Love

tenant paintRenters tend to focus their energy on their tenant rights, and rightly so. But while that’s important (you certainly don’t want to be mistreated as a tenant), renters should also think about cultivating a great relationship with their landlords and neighbors. Why? Because great tenants have an upper hand when it comes to the rental process.

Happy neighbors means less awkward confrontations in the laundry room, and a happy landlord means peaceful living without surprise visits. When it comes time to renew the lease, a great tenant knows the landlord won’t drop them suddenly and may even be able to re-negotiate the terms. Also, a favorable rental history could get you lower rent rates without moving and more perks on your lease renewal.

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What Is Travel Insurance and Do I Need to Buy It?

car highway waves crashFinding a flight with the fare you want is tough enough. When you consider the taxes and surcharges, extra fees for baggage, the cost of travel to and from the airport, and an extra five bucks a pop for a bag of peanuts, the last thing you want to add to your airfare’s bottom line is travel insurance.

Then again, when you’re already spending a few hundred dollars, protecting your itinerary with affordable travel insurance could turn out to be the best fee you ever pay.

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Portion Distortion – How to Control Food Portion Sizes & Fix Obesity Statistics in America

burger fries drinkYou’ve just walked in to your favorite fast food place. You ordered your standard Value Meal #4: hamburger with cheese, french fries, and drink.

When your order comes out everything looks just as it should be, and you dig in. But if someone from the past had traveled in time from 1965 to eat lunch with you, their mouth would be on the floor after seeing the size of your meal. Why would they be freaking out?

Because the average fast food meal is several times the size it was even a few decades ago.

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Carnival of Money Stories #95: Bedtime Story Edition

3 little pigs wolfHello boys and girls, take a look out your bedroom window. Do you know what time it is? It’s bedtime. So brush your teeth and put on your pajamas. Climb under the covers of your warm bed, and I’ll tell you a bedtime story.

It’s called the Carnival of Money Stories, and its morals are even more valuable than those in classic childhood fables. (In fact, this story has even more lessons than anyone could normally share in one carnival. Sadly, I had to cut some pieces, and if yours is one of those, I’m sorry.)

I Dedicate Tonight’s Story To…

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What is FDIC Insurance? – Coverage, Limits & Rules for Banks

fdic emblem sealI remember noticing the letters “FDIC” stenciled on the bank door when I was a little kid. Everyone has seen the acronym at some point:  in television commercials, on web advertising or posted somewhere in the bank. The term became especially well known during the financial meltdown of 2008 when FDIC insurance became a major topic.

I never really paid attention to whether or not a bank was carrying FDIC insurance until I started researching banks offering high interest rates on online savings accounts (e.g. ING Direct and Ally Bank). Many banks offered rates in excess of 5% back in 2005 to 2007 . However, I needed to be sure that if I chose to put money in an online account,  it would still be safe.

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