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FreshBooks Review – Online Invoicing Software for Painless Billing

By Brian Martucci

freshbooks logoIf you work as a freelancer or run your own small business, you probably can’t afford a full-time accountant – but you also can’t trust your finances to manage themselves. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. With about five million global users, FreshBooks is one of the most popular cloud-based accounting programs available. It provides intuitive, non-technical tools to help with invoicing, expense tracking, timekeeping, and basic project management.

FreshBooks has many competitors in the crowded online accounting space, including Kashoo, Zoho Books, Xero, and Wave. With versatile payment options and automated accounting functions, unlike some of its cheaper competitors, it’s especially useful for busy entrepreneurs who can’t afford to devote time to manual accounting activities.

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Ally Bank Review – Online Bank With No Minimum Balance Required

By Brian Martucci

ally bank logoOnline banks are powerful personal finance tools that offer convenient access to funds – but, not all are created equal. As one of the first online-only institutions, Ally Bank has developed a reputation for responsive customer service, high interest rates on checking and savings accounts, and reasonable fees. Like many online banks, it has no physical branches, but it is an FDIC member, which means its customers’ deposits are insured up to $250,000.

Since its spinoff from GMAC in 2009, Salt Lake City-based Ally has accumulated nearly a million customers. With $54 billion in total deposits, it’s currently the 29th largest U.S. bank.

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Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Review – 0% APR for 18 Months

By Christina Majaski

citi diamond preferred cardThe Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card does not offer rewards in the way of cash back or miles, but instead provides the longest 0% introductory APR available. Non-rewards credit cards such as this one provide benefits in the way of savings and elimination of debt rather than cash back or points, and depending on your own financial situation, they may be a better deal.

By transferring existing balances to the Citi Diamond Preferred card with a 0% promotional balance transfer offer, you can gain an additional 18 months to pay off your debt without incurring additional interest charges.

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Mvelopes Review – Envelope Budgeting Software

By Laura Williams

mvelopes logoThe envelope budgeting system has been around for a long time, and because it works, it remains popular, despite its “old school” methodology. If you’re not familiar, the concept is simple: Separate your budget into different categories, such as entertainment, groceries, rent, and gasoline. Create an envelope for each category, label it, and withdraw cash from your account to place in each envelope representing the total amount you’ll spend in that category for the month. Use the cash from your envelopes to make your purchases, and when the money’s gone, stop spending in that category until the next month.

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Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Review

By Christina Majaski

citi thankyou preferredThe Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers an opportunity to earn rewards on purchases while establishing a positive credit history. It combines the opportunity to reduce your APR, which was offered by the Citi Forward for College Students (which is no longer available), with the ThankYou rewards program that Citi cards are known for.

This card falls a bit short of being the best all-around credit card for students, but depending on your personal spending habits – especially if the majority of your purchases fall into the dining and entertainment categories – it could still be a great option.

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Sharebuilder Review – Discount Broker for Long-Term Automatic Investing

By Brian Martucci

sharebuilderThe Internet age has radically changed the nature of investing, giving rise to low-cost online brokerages that cut out the middleman and allow nonprofessional retirement investors to buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, options, futures, and commodities. Sharebuilder is one such online brokerage.

As one of the oldest online trading platforms, Sharebuilder has been in operation for nearly 20 years, and is now a subsidiary of Capital One 360. Like other brokerages, Sharebuilder is a member organization of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a public corporation that compensates investors for losses of cash and securities in the event that their brokerage declares bankruptcy. SIPC provides $250,000 in insurance for cash balances held in your brokerage account, and $500,000 in insurance for securities, with a total insurance cap of $500,000 in combined cash and securities.

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Discover it® Card for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus – Review

By Christina Majaski

discover itStudent credit cards are designed to assist college students with little or no credit history in getting somewhat of a jump on building their own credit. However, in order to avoid establishing bad spending habits and lifetimes of debt, these cards need to be low-fee, low-interest rate credit cards – which is not always possible with cards that also provide rewards programs. The Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus succeeds in addressing these needs.

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Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. When you are approved for the Discover it for Students card and make your first purchase within 3 months, you receive a $20 cash back bonus.

Capital One 360 Review – Online Checking & Savings Accounts

By Brian Martucci

capital one 360 logoCapital One is a well-known financial institution that made its name in the credit card business. Capital One 360, one of its major divisions, offers a related, if less sexy, suite of products: online banking and personal lending services. If you’re not satisfied with the brick-and-mortar banking options in your area – or you want to cast as wide a net as possible during your search for an attractive mortgage – then this institution should be on your radar.

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eSmart Tax Review 2014 – Free Online Tax Filing

By Kira Botkin

esmarttaxThe eSmart Tax service, previously called CompleteTax, was purchased in early 2013 by Liberty Tax Service and subsequently renamed. However, despite the change in name, the eSmart Tax online tax filing software remains largely the same product, designed to help you file your taxes online for a low price. If your tax filing is relatively simple, eSmart Tax can help you file for free. However, more complicated tax situations cost more, and you may find that some of your forms aren’t supported.

eSmart Tax offers three versions at different price points that address situations from simple to moderately complex.

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What’s the Best Online Tax Preparation Software? TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

By Kira Botkin

taxes-online-computerAround February 1st, advertisements for tax preparation services start flooding TVs, radios, and newspapers. Every company wants you to know how great its services are, and that it can get you a bigger refund and will make tax filing easier for you. Essentially, tax preparation companies tell you anything they think will appeal to you and get you to use their service.

However, not all tax services are created equal. Many have significant benefits and drawbacks when compared to other services and for different tax situations. What follows is a comparison of three of the largest tax prep services: H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxACT.

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TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

american express trueearnings cardMany credit cards provide rewards for purchases made at supermarkets, but specifically exclude those made at shopping warehouses and superstores. The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express is an exception. It provides minimal rewards for such purchases, and if you shop frequently at Costco or want to earn cash back on gasoline purchases, you may want to give it serious consideration.

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11 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

business credit cardsIf you own a business or do freelance work, you can keep track of your expenses and earn valuable rewards with a business credit card, all while keeping any spending and earning you do separate from your personal accounts. With countless options for rewards available, the task of picking the right card for you can be a challenge.

Here is our roundup of business credit cards that offer the best rewards programs, most manageable terms, and most exciting opportunities for business owners.

Best Business Credit Cards

1. Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

50,000 Point Sign-up Bonus; 5 Points on Office Supply Purchases; 2 Points on Gas and Hotels; Airport Lounge Access

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10 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

college student credit cardWhile college students may need their own credit cards for a number of reasons, the most important reason is to establish and build a positive credit history. However, if handled improperly, credit cards can have an extremely negative impact, and can result in an overwhelming mountain of debt.

As a student, it’s important to choose a credit card that you can easily manage. Furthermore, you must restrain yourself from overspending, and always pay your balances in full and on time. The best options on the market have minimal fees, yet provide student-friendly benefits, as well as excellent opportunities to build credit.

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5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

secured credit cards cashIt’s not easy to repair damaged credit after a series of missed payments or bankruptcy, but with the help of a secured credit card, it is possible. And while secured credit cards sometimes have a bad reputation for having heavy fees and high interest rates (which can exacerbate debt), the right card can help you build your credit history.

When choosing a secured credit card, it is important to pay attention to fees, and verify that your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Prepaid cards function similarly to debit cards – therefore, your usage of a prepaid card is not reported to the bureaus, doing nothing to improve your credit.

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9 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

credit cards walletIf you regularly carry credit card balances, it is important that you choose a credit card featuring a low interest rate, rather than a rewards credit card. Rewards cards generally have high APRs, and should only be used by those who can pay off the entire balance each month.

Many low interest options are simple, “plain vanilla” credit cards designed to allow you to make purchases and transfer balances without paying a significant amount of interest. However, some low interest cards buck industry trends and offer small bonuses and rewards programs. Here are a number of the best low APR cards available based both on the rates they charge and the rewards they offer.

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The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
Advertising Disclosure: We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
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