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Archive for September 2011

Got no credit? Technology offers alternatives

Published 9/14/11  (Modified 10/26/11)

Got no credit? Technology offers alternatives By Rich Mintzer

Nicki, a college student, decides it's time for a new laptop. She finds exactly what she wants online, but can't buy it because she does not have a credit card. Her close friend offers to put it on her card, but she's already over her card limit. These are not uncommon situations; in fact, a quarter of U.S. citizens do not have credit cards while so many more are in credit card debt. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, cardholders topped $886 billion in credit card debt in 2010, and that number is expected to top $1.1 trillion this year.

The alternate route

With those sobering statistics in mind, entrepreneur Danny Shader thought it was time to revitalize the basic concept of paying by cash for those without plastic, those who abuse it and those who don't want to write checks on their savings accounts to make loan payments. "We have built a transaction network, as opposed to just a payment network, which lets people make full transactions with cash," explains Shader, CEO of PayNearMe, the cash payment service that launched in the fall of 2010.

The PayNearMe cash payment process is relatively simple. Consumers purchase products online and choose PayNearMe at checkout as a means of payment. They then print a sales slip and take it to the nearest 7-Eleven where they pay in cash. The cashier simply swipes the slip, which completes the transaction. The purchase is shipped to the customer's home, not unlike paying online with a credit card.

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She spent what? How to have a Kardashian wedding on a realistic budget

Published 9/13/11  (Modified 9/19/11)

She spent what? How to have a Kardashian wedding on a realistic budget By Tracy Clark

So, you're planning your wedding and are dazzled by the extravagant weddings of celebrities like Kim Kardashian but you don't have $10M dollars laying around in your checking account? The bubbly alone for Ashley Judd's big day cost as much as the average American wedding!

In an era when the rich and famous drop $80,500 on party favors (because yes, every guest at Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's wedding deserved a $350 Tiffany clock, daaahling) it's easy to dream big. No worries though, you can make your wedding dreams come true without going broke.

Save on the wedding, plan for the future

Planning smart for a wedding is no different than looking for the best online savings account rates, the best money market accounts, or cd rates. If you do your homework, shop and compare, you will find that there are fantastic deals to be had.

Ask yourselves what you could do with the money by not overspending on your wedding. Your wedding is one day, one goal, in a lifetime of goals together. Your future may include buying a home, investments, children, and retirement.

Start your life together knowing that you are working toward those goals and not against them. You can have an elegant, stylish, and beautiful wedding without paying for that day for years to come. If you'd rather not mortgage your future on your wedding, check out the following tips for saving money on your big day.

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How to turn a vice into a vacation

Published 9/1/11  (Modified 12/12/13)

How to turn a vice into a vacation By Angela Spires

Vices--habits we would like to break, but just don't. Mine was an addiction to Dr. Pepper, but once I looked at not only the health benefit of lowering my soda intake, but also the financial impact--about $250 per year in soda alone--I knew it was time to make a change. By cutting back to one can per day, I was saving more than $150 a year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, in 2010, Americans spent between $5,800 and $7,100 per person on media, alcohol, and dining out--three of the top five vices for Americans.

Giving up a vice isn't always the easiest thing to do, but you may be more inclined if you know what else you could be doing with that money. Imagine what you could do with these savings in your personal savings accounts or savings account alternatives.

1. From Dining out to Disneyland

A Disneyland family package, including airfare, runs about $5,000. Wonder where you can come up with the money for a week of family fun?

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