The Way We Pay in America – Most Popular Payment Methods, Federal Reserve Payments Study 2010

girl shopping credit cardWhat’s the first thing you look for when you get to the cash register and dig into your purse or pull out your wallet? Are you still writing personal checks, do you whip out a plastic card, or is it cold hard cash?

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you probably pay with some type of electronic payment. According the Federal Reserve, more than three-quarters of all non-cash payments are now electronic. That includes credit, debit, prepaid cards, ATM and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments.

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Work From Home Scams List – 5 Fake Illegitimate Jobs & Opportunities to Avoid

computer hacker scam

Telecommuting and virtual offices are becoming more popular, but unfortunately, unemployment and underemployment are still very common as well. With the two worlds colliding, people looking for work or extra cash are becoming increasingly vulnerable to work from home scams and get rich quick schemes.

When trends like these emerge, new scams surface to take advantage of people — trying to rob you while you’re just trying to make a living. You might think you’re smart enough to detect obvious scams and ignore them, but schemers have mastered manipulation techniques. They know exactly what to say to victims to get in your pockets. By staying on top of the latest specific scams and signals, you can stay out of trouble.

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Health Insurance Fraud & Scams – 4 Warning Signs to Watch Out For

crazy mad doctorHealth care reform may give hope to millions of uninsured Americans. They’re waiting eagerly for their chance to get affordable health insurance coverage for themselves and their families. At the same time, unfortunately, schemers and crooks are willing to take advantage of uninsured people’s vulnerabilities and exploit them by offering bogus insurance policies.

Scam artists follow the news and understand the public’s hopes and expectations. When they try to manipulate people, they often use popular terms and buzzwords like “Obamacare” and “health care reform.” Just dropping these words often helps them gain trust and credibility with their victims.

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Is Silver a Good Investment? Analyzing Historical & Current Silver Price Forecasts for 2012

investing in silver coinsSilver fell to $10 lows in 2008 and rocketed to almost $31 highs at the end of 2010.

So, what are some silver price forecasts and predictions for 2012?

Let’s look at both sides of the freshly minted coin to study heads and tails of this issue.

Reasons For a High Silver Price Forecast

Silver bulls have an easy argument rooted in simple economics: supply and demand drives market prices. What happens when supply goes down and demand goes up? Prices skyrocket!

Here are a few things that affect supply and demand in this market:

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Setting Your Long Term Personal Financial Goals – Examples & Planning

financial goalsJanuary 1st has come and gone, and those New Year’s resolutions you made are now a fading memory (admit it, the number on your scale probably hasn’t budged).

But the year’s not over yet, and it’s not too late to set new goals – and actually stick to them.

Here are 5 financial goals that everyone can achieve, as long as you have a plan. If you haven’t already, check out the money moves you should make at the beginning of each year. Those will all apply here as you get started on your renewed goals.

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3 Basic Factors to Consider When Buying a Stock: Price, Intrinsic Value & Enterprise Value

stock price analysisNew investors may be a little tepid about investing in the stock market. After all, buying a stock can seem really scary because there are so many things to keep track of.

To help you get a better understanding of the stock market, take a look at these 3 key factors to consider before making any investments in a company stock.

1. Price

Price is the number one factor to consider when you’re making any investing decision. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a stock, bond, mutual fund, commodity, or real estate. The price that you pay for an investment will determine whether it is a winning or losing bet. Here is a perfect example to illustrate that point.

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6 Things to Consider Before Going Back to School While On Unemployment

Steps and entrance to schoolWhether you’re recently dealing with unemployment or job loss, or you’ve been sending out resumes for a while, heading back to school can be a great way to update your skills (i.e. make yourself more marketable in the job market), get health insurance, network with others, and start feeling productive again. Be careful, though, because you can also pile up debt, waste your time on unnecessary courses, and even lose your unemployment benefits in the process.

Before rushing back into the schoolyard, educate yourself on your options and the six potential pitfalls of returning to the classroom.

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9 Cheap Ways to Keep Warm This Winter and Beat the Cold

girl staying warm winterGrowing up with a “frugal” father, I have many winter memories of being huddled around the kerosene heater trying to get as warm as possible before sprinting toward my bedroom and diving under 8 layers of blankets in order to stay warm at night. Dad refused to set the thermostat higher than 66 degrees, even when there were 4 feet of snow on the ground outside.

I swore when I had a house of my own, I’d always keep it at a comfortable temperature. But with the rising gas prices this year – and a $400 heating bill last month – I finally understand my dad’s stubbornness. In honor of him (and to help you reduce your utility bill), here are 9 tips to keep warm without touching your thermostat this winter.

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How to Talk to Your Parents About Making a Family Will

reading living willA few weeks ago I was talking to my dad about a friend of his who had recently passed away. The friend hadn’t left a will for his family, which included several children and step-children. As a result, the family was in a tense situation, sorting through possessions and unsure who had a right to what.

Of course, this sad story naturally led me to ask my dad if he had written a will. Suddenly, the conversation came to a screeching halt. The tension inundated the room, and he said he hadn’t gotten to it yet. Then, he quickly changed the subject.

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Beware of the Real Cost of Rent-to-Own Stores for Furniture, Appliances & Electronics

tv in cartA few weeks ago, I sat in the parking lot at a local plaza watching people file in and out of one of those rent-to-own stores.

Without naming names, let’s just say that this particular store is a big one with locations throughout the country. I was astounded by how much business this place was getting.

It’s no secret that buyers end up paying far more than the sticker price at these stores. But are patrons even aware of this, and do they even care? What is it that keeps rent-to-own stores in business?

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