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Archive for 'Work' Category

Getting paid on a prepaid card? Know your options

Published 1/17/14  (Modified 1/18/14)

Getting paid on a prepaid card? Know your options By Holly Johnson

If your employer pays you on a prepaid debit card instead of a check, it doesn't have to be that way. Last fall, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to employers in regards to how employees must be paid. According to the bulletin, employers can no longer force employees to accept payment on a payroll card, although they may still offer the option. In addition, employees who choose to accept payment on a payroll card became entitled to certain federal protections.

So, what is all the hubbub about? Basically, it's this: Many employers, particularly those of hourly employees, have moved away from traditional payroll checks and toward the use of prepaid debit cards over the last few years. And apparently, they have a big incentive to do so. According to Visa payment solutions, employers have a lot to gain from making the switch, with benefits such as convenience, less paper waste and significant financial savings.

Unfortunately, the benefits of prepaid debit cards aren't necessarily as obvious for employees. Firstly, according to the CFPB bulletin, some employees have complained about fees related to the use of their prepaid debit card, including fees for ATM use, teller withdrawals and balance inquiries. Secondly, many workers didn't realize that they had other options when it comes to how they're paid. These two issues helped prompt the CFPB bulletin outlining the current rules when it comes the use of the cards for payroll purposes, according to the agency's release.

Prepaid debit cards: It's your choice

Still, accepting payment on a prepaid debit card doesn't have to be all doom and gloom.

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2 ways to stay afloat during financial storms

Published 10/6/10  (Modified 3/17/11)

2 ways to stay afloat during financial storms By Peter Andrew

The bad news

If you're a student or recent graduate, you're entitled to feel resentful. These are supposed to be among the best years of your life (I know; I sound so old), but they're turning out very differently.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), only about 25 percent of college graduates who completed job applications in May 2010 actually found work, compared with half who did so three years earlier. And the unemployment rate among college graduates aged under 25 is running at nine percent. The news isn't much more cheerful for those who do find work. Salaries fell for those with bachelor degrees from the class of 2010 when measured against those of their predecessors in 2009.

It's the same if you're a little older but are finding that you're now encountering financial challenges. In August 2010, unemployment was at or close to a 27-year high. And if you add in those highly qualified people who've had to take part-time or menial jobs to stay afloat, the number of Americans who are likely to have debt problems is staggering.

What's really frustrating is that older generations - many of whom had it easy themselves - are quick to criticize younger people who find themselves in financial difficulties. Many find it impossible to sympathize, even though - or perhaps because - they're the ones who got the country into this mess.

The slightly better news


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Day trading: Do you have what it takes?

Published 8/25/10  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

This is a guest post from Marc Pearlman.

When people ask me if they could be successful at day trading, my first response is, "Do you know what day trading is?"

Most people don't. You might think day trading is about finding the best online brokerage, grabbing a stack of financial reports, arming yourself with financial blogs and news and then diving in.

What many would-be day traders don't realize is that success doesn't come from the uncanny ability to analyze balance sheets and fundamentals like Warren Buffett. And even if you have the ability to interpret charts and price action--the primary skill for day trading--this is secondary to having the strict discipline of adhering to specific rules and guidelines.

Without these rules in place, day trading is like a child playing with a chainsaw.

I'm not judging the merits of day trading. I know both very successful day traders and those who blew themselves up financially with day trading. (For what it's worth, I know many more of the latter variety.) But if you're going to succeed at this kind of investing, you'd better understand what it takes.

What it takes to succeed

Here are observations from my experience as both a professional trader and money manager about what it takes to succeed at day trading:

  • Hard work. Brains don't hurt, but day trading is a skill, and that skill needs to be developed by treating this as a business. A lot of people day trade as a side avocation or hobby, maybe because it seems
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How I Started Blogging To Make Money Online

Published 8/14/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

My Dream Of Becoming An Internet Entrepreneur and Working For Myself

I am a part time (almost full time now) blogger who spends a great number of hours working on the Internet from home every night. For more than a year now, I've been quietly earning a sizable and consistent amount of money through blogging and my internet marketing efforts. As a multi-year veteran now to the world of making money online with a blog, I've joined a rather unique and eclectic group of young and emerging internet entrepreneurs - individuals who have not only successfully harnessed the power of the Internet to generate real money, but who have managed to turn seemingly unassuming websites into rather lucrative income producing automatons. While the phenomenon of blogging for money on a part time basis is certainly not new, the idea that one can actually become a full time professional blogger (a problogger of sorts) and generate not only a stable, but a sustainable income at a high velocity through mere blogging alone is quite a surprise to many (particularly among my friends and family).

I'm sure many of you are already well aware of a number of fairly successful bloggers and established Internet entrepreneurs like John Chow, ShoeMoney, and Darren Rowse of Problogger fame - online personalities that dominate the so-called "make money online" niche. Most of these semi famous Internet tycoons have been in the news for some time and have had many years to perfect the art of both online and mainstream personality-based sales pitches. Much

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Best Locations To Find Free Wireless Internet Access (WiFi Hotspots)

Published 7/3/08  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

While I have my own convenient and jack-rabbity-fast high speed broadband connection at home, sometimes I just want to get out of the house for a change of scenery. Ever since I began the gradual transition from traditional office life to the work from home routine, I've noticed that it can sometimes be pretty boring working from the confines of one's own house or apartment all the time. While working from home on the computer is great because it's nice to be your own boss, loneliness and lack of human contact can become troubling issues, especially if you are working by yourself all the time. While it's certainly very convenient to do business related work from one's home office (necessary supplies, kitchen amenities, and even bathroom conveniences are only a few steps away), the work at home experience can be plagued by boredom and frequent feelings of isolation. Once in a while, I just want to pick up my laptop and head out to some cafe, restaurant, or public location, and momentarily work at an Internet accessible place where there's random people milling about. That way I don't feel so cut off from the real world.

One's Home Office Can Be Any Cafe, Restaurant, Or Public Park With Free WiFi and Electrical Outlet Access

Since I'm trying to transition into running my own home based businesses full time and no longer work frequent contract attorney projects as a result, I no longer have an Internet equipped office computer outside of my home that I can go to

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How To File For Unemployment Benefits

Published 6/30/08  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

For those of you who are fortunate to have a stable job and blessed with being gainfully employed, congratulations and more power to you. For those of you who are currently unemployed or out of a job, I feel your frustration. I've been there before and know how scary and uncertain the experience can be.

In this fluctuating and unpredictable economy, you never quite know what is lurking around the corner. Life comes at us fast and sometimes job stability, occupational predictability, and all positive aspects of full time employment can disappear in a flash. Sometimes it can be due to our own fallibility and less than perfect work performance, and sometimes it can be due to slowdowns in the economy at large. Life is unpredictable and it's hard to be certain whether there is such a field that's a sure thing anymore. During the past few years, jobs and careers related to the real estate and housing market were hot and in great demand. However, years later, with the collapse of the housing bubble, many of the jobs previously fueled by the burgeoning real estate market have mostly disappeared. Even upper echelon MBA-type financial positions at top firms like Merrill Lynch have been down sized and trimmed back, resulting in many educated employees suddenly out of work.

If you find yourself one of many who have been laid off, I feel for you. I've been through a sudden job lay off before and it's not an easy feeling or experience to go through. Not only does

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