So far, this summer has graced us with bits of optimistic economic news. There are some positive signs out there that might signal the end of the recession. While it’s important to not read too much into some of the news out there, it is refreshing to at least get occasional good news instead of constant doom and gloom. Hopefully these aren’t false signals and we really are beginning to make our way out of the recession, but only time will tell.
One of the latest figures out this morning indicated that existing home sales are at a 10 month high and have seen 4 consecutive monthly gains. Since the housing market is at the epicenter of the current economic meltdown it’s good to see some improvement, even if we still have a long way to go. I’ll be doing my part in the coming month or two as we look to purchase a new house in the coming weeks. We have a closing date set and we’re now just waiting for the financing to go through. Not only that, but once we get settled in at the new place we’ll be putting our current house up for sale. It will be priced to move so hopefully we can get a fair price while trying not to hang on to it very long. Making two mortgage payments a month isn’t going to be very fun.
So, while I’m busy packing stuff up into boxes and cleaning, you can enjoy these fine finance articles from the past week.
Credit and Debt 101 – Here’s a collection of articles I put together that should cover almost everything you need to know about using credit and managing debt. Hopefully you can find ways to improve your credit score, get the right loan, and stay out of debt.
Keep Your Cash, I Want My Clunker – Think cash for clunkers is a great opportunity? Not so fast. While it might be a good deal for some, it could ultimately do more financial harm than good. Of course, it doesn’t matter much at this point since the program is ending on Monday.
Certificate of Deposit Basics: How Do Bank CDs Work? – Looking for a safe place to put some cash and earn a little interest? One of the most common vehicles are certificates of deposit. Learn all about CDs and how they can help your portfolio.
Confessions of an Ex-Debt Collector – Ever wonder what it would be like to be a debt collector? Wonder no more. Here’s a very interesting post with the cofessions of an ex-debt collector. Wow, I know that’s not a job I’d want!
5 Tips to Avoid Overdraft Fees – Banks love fees and one of the largest come in the form of overdraft fees. If you withdraw more money from your checking account than you have your bank will often gladly pay it so the check doesn’t bounce, but it’s hardly a convenience. They will then stick you with a massive fee sometimes upwards of $50! Learn how to avoid these fees.
Do I Need a Credit Monitoring Service? – We all know how important a good credit history is and with the rise of identity theft out there it only makes sense to let someone monitor your credit for you, right? Well, here’s a detailed breakdown that gives you what you need to know before signing up for a credit monitoring service.
The Myth of Stable Employment – Think that just because you have regular hours and receive a regular paycheck that you have a stable job? It isn’t that simple. As Brip Blap discusses, there’s more to the idea of a stable job these days.
7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Shopping – It’s that time of year again where the kids are off to school and that means buying school supplies and probably some new clothes. With money tight this fall it can make back to school shopping a bit more stressful, so here are some tips to help you save money this year.
4 Reasons Why Student College Loans Are Dangerous – I know firsthand just how dangerous student loans can be. They are so easy to get that as a young adult it’s easy to just take the money and “worry about it later.” Well, later comes faster than you think and those loans can stick with you for an eternity. Here are a few more reasons to be careful with student loans.
How to Minimize the Impact of Canceling A Credit Card – While keeping your credit score up to par is important, what do you do with all of those old unused credit cards? Should you just close them out? Jim over at Bargaineering has some advice to help you make the right decision and minimize the impact on your score.
How to Save Money on Travel – I love to travel. Unfortunately, we don’t get to travel nearly enough. Between the money needed and the time required to travel it usually just gets put on the back burner. But, if you can find some ways to save money it might make the decision to set some time aside even easier. Here’s how to save money on your future travels.
6 Reasons Not to Max Your 401k – Conventional wisdom says we should max out our 401(k) plans, but is that always the best idea? Here are some things to consider that highlight some reasons it might not be the best idea.
7 Frugal Vacation Ideas in Newport, Rhode Island – While Newport might not be on the top of your list of vacation spots, there are actually some great inexpensive things to do and see as Lazy Man Points out.
Purchasing a Home: Examining the Costs – This post fits in well with what’s going on in my life right now. Purchasing a home is a big decision and there are plenty of opportunities for added costs to sneak in. Here’s some information regarding what to look out for when looking to buy your home.
How to Get Vacation-Ready – Going on vacation? Then you better plan ahead. Getting ready for a long vacation can be quite a chore, but doing it the right way can actually save you a lot of time and money. Here are some great tips to help you prepare for your next vacation.
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.