ChexSystems: The 'Credit Bureau' of Checking Accounts

I can't imagine life without a checking account. But millions of Americans don't use direct deposit, write checks, or use a debit card. Some because they'd prefer not to. And some because they can't. For those that can't have a checking account, … [Read more...]

We All Have Spending Weaknesses

The guy with the $50,000 luxury car. The couple with the $3,000 a month loft apartment. The girl who spends $200 a week on locally-grown food. The guy who spends $200 a month on gym memberships and fitness classes. The guy with four motorcycles. Do … [Read more...]

Quicken Online’s Best Feature: Trends

I logged into my free Quicken Online account yesterday for the first time in a while. Now that Quicken has about 90 days of data from all of my financial accounts, I started to play around with the trends feature. And I loved it. The "trends" tab on … [Read more...]

Does Debt Settlement Work?

For better or worse, debt settlement is all the rage these days. The New York Times wrote yesterday about a debt-ridden freelance writer who settled a $5,000 credit card debt for half of the original balance. The Today Show discussed debt settlement … [Read more...]

Beware Credit Card Rate Jackings (Increases)

We saw it coming. Last month Congress and President Obama changed the rules for credit cards by signing the CARD Act into law. A few weeks later, the credit card companies are already responding by increasing interest rates on existing customers. … [Read more...]

How to Find the Best Mortgage

Everybody I know that has bought or will soon be buying a home spends countless hours searching for the perfect home. Few, if any, spend much time searching for the perfect mortgage. Make no mistake; finding the right first home is important. But … [Read more...]

Do You Keep Cash Stashed Around the House?

Even as our economy got really hairy this Winter, we avoided repeating the Great Depression in part because Americans didn't make a run on banks and withdraw cash to hide under the mattress. Keeping all of your liquid assets in cash may not be the … [Read more...]

Cash-for-Clunkers Bill Could Offer $4,500 for Your Old Car

My father drives an old Lincoln town car that has over 300,000 miles on it. That's right, 300,000. Not only does he drive it, but he commutes over 90 miles each way in it, every day. Everybody who knows him thinks he should have gotten a new car oh, … [Read more...]

How Much Money Is In Your Checking Account?

Sometimes I’m fascinated by the simplest personal finance concepts—like the difference between keeping money in your checking account versus a savings account. The way I see it, there are a few different models to divide up your cash between checking … [Read more...]

How to Save 50% on Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

Getting married? The engagement ring and wedding rings you select for your fiancée and yourself will be symbols of your love and commitment for the rest of your life. Of course, the diamond industry knows this and does a brilliant job coercing us to … [Read more...]