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Archive for 'Fun Money' Category

4 affordable US cities with great dining

Published 11/14/14

4 affordable US cities with great dining By Justin Boyle

If you're anything like me, your love of good food and residential elbow room tends to find itself at odds with your need for reasonably priced goods and services. Fortunately for people like us, though, there exist U.S. cities where it's still possible to enjoy a lively and well-fed existence in a comfortable living space while keeping your savings account intact.

Here are four of the best places to do it in 2014, in alphabetical order.

1. Albuquerque, New Mexico

The attraction here might not be immediately obvious, particularly after the city's starring turn as a den of vice and viciousness in "Breaking Bad," but you'll be cheered to know that the real Albuquerque is much friendlier than it seems on TV. This desert metropolis is home to some world-class spas and restaurants (and casino resorts, if that's how you party), and it's growing in prominence as a destination for fine food and libations.

Writers for both Women's Health magazine and the venerated Zagat Survey have listed Albuquerque among their top food cities for 2014. Such cuisine and recreation might threaten dry up your disposable income in most places, but New Mexico ranks among the 10 most affordable states in the U.S. in the mid-2014 cost-of-living index (COLI) released by the Council for Community & Economic Research.

2. Boise, Idaho

The Idaho capital could be a real sleeper hit for lovers of food and frugality, particularly those whose physical constitution can handle the freezing winter temperatures.

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Summer jobs for college students

Published 5/8/13  (Modified 5/9/13)

Summer jobs for college students By Anthony Fontana, Zing!/Quicken Loans

This story comes from our partner, Zing! by Quicken Loans

As a college student, this time of year was bittersweet. On one hand, the semester was winding down and summer vacation was just a few sleepless nights spent cramming for exams away. On the other hand, the end of the semester also meant it was time for a summer job.

A good summer job can make for a memorable summer. However, a bad summer job can make the summer seem like it’s dragging on forever. Below is a list of jobs for you to consider this summer if you want to make some money and have fun at the same time.


If you’re looking to make some quick cash, work at a restaurant or bar as a server, not a dishwasher. While your paychecks generally won’t be worth a whole lot, you won’t have to wait a week or two for payday because you’ll bring home cold, hard cash after every shift (hopefully). Look for establishments that have outdoor seating, as it’s likely they’ll need to hire extra help for the summer.

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Your money habits: nature or nurture?

Published 2/27/13  (Modified 3/14/13)

Your money habits: nature or nurture? By Jennifer Goforth Gregory

When we returned from a recent family vacation, my 11-year-old daughter's carry-on bag was crammed with colorful trinkets that she had purchased with her vacation money. My 9-year-old son, on the other hand, boarded the plane with pockets full of cash that he had decided not to spend and instead save for an iPad mini.

I have always been fascinated by the nature vs. nurture discussion, especially when it comes to spending habits. My kids are 19 months and 17 days apart (not that anyone counted) and have been raised in the same middle-class house where we try to instill good money habits. But each of their attitudes toward money has been apparent since they were preschoolers.

When my daughter received money for her third birthday, she immediately launched a campaign for one of us to take her to the toy store right that minute. And even as a toddler, my son put any money he was given directly into his piggy-bank.

The power of DNA

Recently I stumbled upon a study backing up what I have observed in my own kids. A 2011 study of 15,000 sets of twins by finance professors at the University of Washington and Claremont McKenna College showed that a high percentage of identical twins had the same investing patterns as each other -- even if they were raised apart. The researchers concluded that genetic factors account for one-third of an investor's behavior on average.

But even if our genes shape much of our money personality, that doesn't mean spenders are destined to a life of debt and savers can't learn to loosen their purse strings a little.

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Can digital rewards beat credit card rewards?

Published 11/8/12

Can digital rewards beat credit card rewards? By Justin Boyle

Times are changing in the customer loyalty game. Although credit card reward programs still offer attractive ways to get bonuses for your spending, digital rewards companies are popping up from coast to coast, offering consumers the chance to earn special perks in exchange for shopping at their favorite businesses.

But are these programs enough to lure customers away from their rewards credit cards?

How digital rewards work

You may have seen signs of this new wave already. You go to your local coffee shop for a large dark roast with an extra shot, as usual, and there's a display urging you to sign up for a program that promises rewards for the purchases you make at the store -- and perhaps at other local retailers too ...

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Looking to travel? Capital One's Venture Rewards card might be your ticket

Published 3/12/11  (Modified 8/7/14)

Looking to travel? Capital One's Venture Rewards card might be your ticket By Jim Sloan

Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available.

For those just out of college or starting fresh, a break in the form of traveling to another state or country is usually near the top of wish lists. Finding ways to fund traveling however, can be a significant barrier to actually realizing this. If you're good with credit cards, though, a new promotion from Capitol One may be able to help you with your travel ticket.

Traveling in reach?

Capital One has rolled out a new Venture Rewards credit card promotion with a "Match My Miles" promotion that will match the number of miles you have accumulated on another airline credit card up to 100,000 miles.

You earn the additional 100,000 miles--the equivalent of $1,000--if you put at least $1,000 on the card in the first three months.

The offer is good for new Venture and Venture for Business primary account holders. Current Capital One cardholders who want to upgrade to the Venture Rewards card or swap their existing Capital One card will get the mile match if they get approved, said Sukhi Sahni, a senior communications manager with Capital One.

The company will continue the offer this until they've given away a billion miles or until May 13, 2011, whichever comes first--it's a first-come, first-served proposition.

Miles on top of miles: How does it work?

If you have airline miles on one of 13 airline credit cards currently on the market, Capital One will match

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Top 5 credit cards for consumers with excellent credit

Published 2/17/11  (Modified 12/19/13)

Top 5 credit cards for consumers with excellent credit By Joe Taylor Jr.

Take care of your credit, and credit card companies will want to take care of you.

Banks have put together some hard-to-find credit card offers to attract consumers with high FICO scores. If you've built a strong credit history, you can earn unusually high cash back rebates, travel perks, and low interest rates on balance transfers. According to CardRatings.com, five credit cards rank highest at offering great perks to consumers with excellent credit: ...

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