Why Your Brain Is Bad with Money

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If I handed you a regular-sized sheet of paper and asked you to fold it in half eight times, do you think you’d be able to? Go ahead, give it a shot—I’ll be over here casually making some tea.   For those of you who actually gave this a go (kudos to you, by the way), you probably realized by the fifth or sixth fold—faster than it took me to casually brew my tea—that getting that thin piece of paper to fold in half eight times is basically impossible (the world record is actually thirteen times, but good luck trying this at home).   Now let’s just say we have an imaginary piece of paper that we can fold as many times as we’d like. How thick would this paper be if we folded it thirty times? Fifty times? A hundred? The answers, respectively, are 1) thick enough to reach … [Read more...]

4 FREE Ways to Entertain Yourself this Weekend

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Boredom has a way of eating away at your finances. The easiest way to spice up an uneventful Saturday evening usually involves spending money. A night out at the movies, going out for a drink with friends, catching a live sporting event—if you want to enjoy any of these you better be prepared dig deep into those pockets.   But entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can even be totally free. Here are a few ways to keep yourself sufficiently stimulated, engaged, and entertained throughout the weekend without having to drop a dime.   1. Check out a book/movie/CD at the library.   It’s not as old-fashioned as it sounds. The library is a goldmine of free entertainment—it’s like if Netflix and iTunes got married, bought a brick and mortar … [Read more...]

5 Big Credit Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

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When it comes to credit, some people prefer the ignorant bliss method: Don’t look at your credit, don’t worry about your credit, don’t even think about your credit. This method can actually be quite effective for several months or even years – that is until you’re thinking about buying a new home, leasing a new car, financing a new computer, or whatever else you've been dreaming up.   When you’re actually looking for credit, it will quickly become clear that the ignorant bliss method was a mistake. Those financial decisions you carelessly made might actually hurt your FICO® Scores or credit history.   You don’t have to be the type of person that worries about credit constantly (although a periodic review of your FICO® Scores and credit reports is always a good idea). … [Read more...]

5 Totally Painless Ways To Save Money

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  It’s one of those things that sounds easy in theory. Just don’t spend so much on groceries – easy peasy! Next thing you know you’re in a Whole Foods on an empty stomach and nothing sounds better than organic, fair-trade chocolate infused with espresso and shipped directly from Brazil. 15 impulse buys later and you’re walking away with a one-night smorgasbord and 100 less dollars to your name.   Turns out, saving money is hard. It’s like your mother always told you, if it was easy everybody would be doing it. And just to be clear: A lot of you aren’t saving money. According to a study conducted by Bankrate.com1, over a quarter of Americans have no savings at all. Of those that do have savings, 67% don’t have enough to cover 6 months of expenses. If this sounds like you, … [Read more...]

3 Commonly Broken Financial New Year’s Resolutions (And How You Can Keep Them)

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According to Fidelity’ annual New Year’s Financial Resolutions Study, 51% of Americans who made financial New Year’s resolutions in 2014 said they were better off financially today. That means financial New Year’s resolutions might actually work!   Of course, that also leaves the 49% who either stuck to their resolutions and found themselves no better off than they were last year or (more likely) suffered a rare form of acute amnesia affecting the memory centers of the brain responsible for remembering New Year’s resolutions.   A year is a long time. Sticking to your financial resolutions is hard, but it’s even harder if you set impossible-to-reach goals and give up on them altogether. So if you’re determined to improve your financial health next year, resolve to take … [Read more...]

Word on the Web: Spending + Saving Smart

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Saving money isn’t just about frugality. It’s all about making smart choices at smart times. As we head into the season of spending, take a minute to focus on spending wisely. This month’s Word on the Web features tips and tricks to help you make smart financial decisions and save money in the end!       Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season You can actually come out ahead this holiday season if you play your cards right – literally. Wisebread provides a list of creative ways to maximize your credit card rewards while you’re crossing off items on your gift list. (http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season)   Saving Money on Bills It’s the continual payments and bills … [Read more...]

Money Talk Part 1: Before You Chat
About Money With Your Child

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Talking about money has always been somewhat of a taboo subject. It makes most people uncomfortable to disclose their assets and debts to peers for fear of being judged, either with envy or pity. It’s especially difficult to discuss these matters with family members. If you have too much money you may have jealous or resentful relatives or constantly have to deal with loan requests. On the contrary, if you live paycheck to paycheck you may not want to disclose your hardships for fear that your children or siblings will worry.   Many psychologists believe financial behavior is largely influenced by how one was conditioned to think and feel about money, a theory called Behaviorism (1). Thoughts and behaviors about different subject matter are often formed early on in life, which … [Read more...]

Moving and Money: One Year Later

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  When I first started at myFICO over a year ago, it required the largest change in my life— moving 3000 miles by myself to a state where I didn’t know anyone. I had to figure out how to get my first apartment by myself, change banks and a lot of other new financial issues. I recorded most of these in the first part of the series, Moving and Money – Getting Cash, and I hope some of you learned from my trials and were prepared for your own experiences.     Well here I am a year later. I am still in the same apartment, but I’m officially considering moving again. I have a fully furnished apartment, so I would definitely need to sell/donate a lot of items and compare mover expenses. I have a lot to consider, but now I know a bit more. For those of you like me, … [Read more...]

5 Personal Finance Tips for Millennials

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So people keep calling you a millennial (some say it with a nicer tone than others). Amongst a variety of other defining characteristics, you have the unique (albeit unwelcomed) experience of graduating into a recession. Cons? Lower starting salaries and a lack of options. Pros? You’ve seen what irresponsible money management can do and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.     You’re also a victim of the tuition bubble, burdened with hefty student loan payments and a 30-year payoff plan that might as well be a mortgage. Now before you get out the violin, keep in mind that your generation is also relentlessly optimistic, savvy and smart, making you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace (conceal your ego though, please). If nothing else, we can assume your … [Read more...]

6 Tips to Cut the Cost of Your Job Search

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Are you currently on the hunt for a new job or career? If so, you're not alone. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 21% of full-time working Americans plan on changing jobs this year.   In your zest to find a new position though, it can be easy to let expenses get the better of you—and if you're unemployed, of course, conserving money is absolutely essential. Regardless of your current situation, here are six ways to cut the cost of your job search.   #1. Carefully Consider the Benefits of Headhunters Back in the day, headhunters provided invaluable services to job seekers. However, with the expansion of the Internet, you can actually do a lot of this legwork on your own now.   Of course, if you're juggling too many responsibilities to tackle a … [Read more...]

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