I’ve been protesting pennies for a long time by not using them, but how is it we might actually get rid of them? There are so many things like this that should be altered on a Federal level that I have no ability to influence. A short and unfinished list:
Daylight savings time
The electoral system and campaign funding
Fiberoptics or an equivalent US-wide internet network
Measures of digital literacy in public education
Maybe power grid infrastructure
Oberlin College has a new program going on right now that might be the perfect way to make a little extra something on top of the usual check from the ‘rents. Apparently every time between now and Friday that you poop in the Adam Joseph Lewis Center (Environmental Studies building) the department will give you a quarter. The money is to be distributed at the “Low on Cash, High on FIber Bash” on Friday night.
Lucky enough to be there? Here’s a “link”:
With the average American having eight credit cards in their wallets at a time, you might think it’s OK to have stacks of plastic. Also, you’ll always hear people saying that canceling unused cards will lower your FICO, but they’re not giving the full story. Thirty percent of your FICO is calculated using a ratio of your total statement balances divided by all your credit limits. If too high (you’re near maxed-out on all cards), your FICO drops because you’re at risk of going bankrupt. Still more, having an excess of unused credit cards lowers your FICO, too. The happy medium is to have sufficient credit limit to have a statement you can pay off in total every month that gives you a good ratio of “≤30%”:
http://credit.about.com/b/a/000019.htm. These four articles give the skinny on “what to watch out for”: http://www.fool.com/investing/small-cap/2004/08/30/beware-of-canceling-credit-cards.aspx, “good reasons to cancel”: http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/credit/2004/05/18/dump-your-duds.aspx, “how to cancel”: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20020102a.asp, and “getting that FICO up”: http://biz.yahoo.com/pfg/e35score/art021.html.
Check out “other ways”:
http://duenos.net/category/money/ to save money –a topic I am madly in love with.
For the first time ever, credit card mogul “American Express”:
www.americanexpress.com offers a card that can be used to pay a mortgage while earning points. However, this credit card can only be used with mortgages through “American Home Mortgage”: https://www.americanhm.com/ or “IndyMac Bank”: http://www.indymac.com/, at least for now. With a start-up/membership fee of $395, you’re on your way to start earning, if you’re super careful, I suppose. I caught wind of this news from the “Wall Street Journal’s”: ttp://online.wsj.com/public/us “podcast”: http://feeds.wsjonline.com/wsj/podcast_wall_street_journal_this_morning, but there is also a great “CNNMoney.com”: http://money.cnn.com/index.html “article”: http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/23/pf/amex_mortgage_charge/index.htm?postversion=2007052314 on it as well. Wanna start racking up those points? Unfortunately, this is by invitation only for now and’ll probably be for a while until or if it’s proven successful. Having trouble with credit card debt? “Start here”: http://beginnersinvest.about.com/od/creditcarddebt/Credit_Card_Debt.htm for a butt load of useful information.
Check other “duenos”:
www.duenos.net ways to “save money”: http://duenos.net/category/money/.
Although most us all love getting snail mail, some can be dangerous when it comes to “ID theft”:
http://duenos.net/article/156/UseProtectionAgainstIDThieves. Pre-approved credit card offers that come through the mail are one of the most deadly weapons ID thieves have against you. After a crook fills in your information ( a lot easy to get than you think), they check the box that will have the card sent to another address (most likely theirs). Now they’ve got control of your credit and you don’t know it. Let’s hope at the very least you shred your unwanted offers, but a thief worth their salt can intercept it before it comes your way. A simple solution to protect yourself is visiting “optoutprescreen.com”: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/opt_form.cgi and follow the instructions to take yourself off mailing lists. Keep in mind you can reverse it, but if you still want to apply for a credit card, simply go to “creditcards.com”: http://www.creditcards.com/ for the best and safest offerings available. Thanks to “Frank W. Abagnale”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_W._Abagnale and “his book”: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Steal-Yourself-Business-Americas/dp/0767906845/ref=sr_1_3/102-7252975-2802553?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178756189&sr=1-3 for this and other tips.
And try the following links if you’re tired of: “telemarketing”: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/Reg.aspx, “other junk mail”: https://www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing, and “SPAM”: http://www.spamcop.net/.
http://www.cnwcentral.com/charities/best.shtml lists websites that donate 100% of their advertising revenue to great causes. I urge you to add at least one of these websites in your favorites and try clicking once or twice throughout your day. These websites make closing out elusive pop-ups and annoying advertisements a heart warming and fulfilling activity. My favorite website is "thehungersite.com": http://www.thehungersite.com/, which includes links to sister sites for "breast cancer": http://www.thebreastcancersite.com, "child healthcare": http://www.thechildhealthsite.com, "literacy": www.theliteracysite.com, "rainforest preservation": www.therainforestsite.com, and "animal rescue": www.theanimalrescuesite.com. This provides an effortless, yet effective way to contribute.
One of your most important things in your financial life is your “FICO score”:
http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/Files/myFICO_UYFS_Booklet.pdf. It is essentially fiscal GPA that measures how worthy of credit you are based upon several factors. It is imperative to know what yours is. Unfortunately, each time your FICO score is “officially requested”: http://www.myfico.com/Products/Products.aspx it “decreases”: http://www.fico.org/HowScoreCountsInquiries.aspx. Thanks to a great “FICO score estimator”: http://bankrate.com/brm/fico/calc.asp?lpid=BKRATE29 at “bankrate.com”: www.bankrate.com, you can get an accurate estimated range of where you’re at so you can “learn to improve it”: http://www.realtor.org/realtororg.nsf/pages/myFICO2?OpenDocument and compare yourself to the “median”: http://www.creditscoring.com/. Another thing you should get annually is your “free credit report”: www.annualcreditreport.com from one of “three agencies”: http://www.legit411.com/credit-card-bureaus.html. By monitoring both your GPA and report card, you’re more secure from “identity theft”: http://duenos.net/article/156/UseProtectionAgainstIDThieves and exponentially more attractive to loaners.
If you’re nearing graduation and about to step into the work force, changing your job, or just plain curious of the available salaries out there, then try “Salary.com”:
http://www.salary.com. This site gives you the median salaries of the jobs you’re interested from the place (zip code) you specify. If that’s still not enough for your budgeting purposes, use “this calculator”: http://www.surepayroll.com/calculator/calc_paycheck_netpay.asp to enter in information like your salary, deductions, and some other (clearly defined) stuff to get a rough estimate of your take home pay. For my whopping salary, the after tax estimator was only $50 off. Still not enough? With some quick info entered into turbotax (“here”: http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax_help/tax_calculators/tax_estimator.jhtml) you can generate an estimated tax return. If it works out that you’re just not making enough, learn the best ways “to get promoted”: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Get-Yourself-Promoted&id=500734, “how to switch fields”: http://www.jobprofiles.org/library/guidance/switch-careers.htm or, contrarily, “how to get fired”: http://careerplanning.about.com/od/workplacesurvival/a/get_fired.htm.
Though many seasoned college students may know already this, the campus book store rips you off while both buying and selling your books. “Half.com”:
www.half.com and “Amazon”: www.amazon.com are the two most popular book sites. However, these sites can be limited and typically more expensive than sites like “campus books”: http://www.campusbooks.com/, where you’ll save an average of 61% when purchasing books. When it comes to selling, I’ve personally got 10-15% more than what the book store offers. With the “cost of college”: http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/150634.html being as high as it is (and “rising”: http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/press/cost06/trends_college_pricing_06.pdf), every little bit helps. By cutting out the middle man, students get more for less during your purchase and sale. Everybody wins, except of course the bandits at the bookstore.
Whlie you’re at it, here are “118 other ways”:
http://www.scholarships-ar-us.org/student-living/save-money.htm to save money at college,
Considering the frightening “statistics”:
http://idtheft.about.com/od/dataandstat1/a/ID_Theft_Stats.htm regarding ID theft, it is extremely important knowing how to protect yourself and to act accordingly if you do become a victim. The “ITRC”: http://idtheftcenter.org/index.shtml is your best on-line tool with information on “new scams”: http://idtheftcenter.org/alerts.shtml that are happening, “prevention tips”: http://idtheftcenter.org/preventiontips.shtml, “victim guides”: http://idtheftcenter.org/vguides.shtml, and way more. Try taking the “ID theft test”: http://idtheftcenter.org/idthefttest.shtml before you peruse the site so you know in what areas to focus. There’s a lot of information to go through so it’s best to look sooner than later.