Who wants a FREE $5 Amazon gift card??

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Who wants a FREE $5 Amazon gift card??
This is a super easy way to earn a quick $5 gift card for your holiday spending! Trying to stretch your holiday budget? I’ve got a way for you to easily earn a $5 Amazon gift card in just minutes — completely free! If you are planning to do any errands or shopping in the near future, don’t miss this! Here’s how to earn your free $5 gift card: 1. Sign up for Shopkick through this link, use code MOM5 during the registration process. 2. Go to one store listed in the app within 7 days. (Some of the stores listed: Kroger, CVS, Walmart, Target, Publix, Dollar General, Aldi, Sprouts, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, and more!). 3. When you’re at the store, open up your app and click on the store and then scans. Scan one product listed in the app. 4. That’s it! You don’t have to purchase anything. Just use the code MOM5 when signing up and then scan one item in-store. 5. Because you used the code above, you’ll get 1250 bonus “kicks” instantly added to your account. You can trade these in for a $5 Amazon gift card! (Or any other gift card!) Want to Earn Even More Points? Want to earn more points? Make sure to have the Shopkick app open when you walk in the store (you’ll earn kicks for this) and then scan all the other items listed in the app that you can earn points for. For instance, right now, I can earn 24o kicks just for scanning products in the app at Kroger, or 335 kicks for scanning products in the app at Publix, or 75 for scanning products at Aldi. I don’t have to buy anything at the stores. All I have to do is open up the app when I’m in the store and scan the specific item and I’ll earn the kicks. Best of all, I can do this every single time I go shopping — and it’s FREE points to use toward FREE gift cards! Find Out More About Shopkick Read more about how Shopkick works and how to earn more points with Shopkick here. Also, check out my post on 7 Easy Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards for other ways to earn free Amazon gift cards. Psst! Getting ready for the holiday season? Be sure to check out our Holiday Shopping Survival Guide! And don’t forget to sign up for our Hot Deals Newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of the hottest Black Friday and holiday deals! [...]
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Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

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Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
There are a few key perks that can make having a Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card worth it.. Access to the Companion Fare When you have an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, the Companion Fare is definitely one of your most valuable benefits. With a Companion Fare, you can get a significant discount... Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

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The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card stands out from other Bank of America® cards in that it comes with a $95 annual fee — which isn’t necessarily the best reason to stand out. But don’t let the fee automatically turn you off. The card also has a slew of perks and benefits that may... Chris O'Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

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7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card isn’t for everyone. This low-frills, low-cost AmEx card has little to offer travelers who are loyal to a specific airline or hotel chain and it has even less appeal for users seeking luxury perks like elite status or upgrades. But a host of unique features make this highly... June Casagrande is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Rent a Car Without a Credit Card: Use This Trick to Avoid a Big Deposit

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Rent a Car Without a Credit Card: Use This Trick to Avoid a Big Deposit
You may know this frustration: One Christmas, I scraped together money for a flight home and budgeted enough to cover the $80 to rent a car for the weekend. But because I was paying with a debit card, I was charged a $350 deposit. To make that deposit, the company put a hold on my debit card. That meant for the duration of the rental, $350 of my money was unavailable.  Worse, I had to wait about a week and a half after the trip to see the refund available in my bank account. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t usually have the luxury to just give up $350 for a couple weeks! Renting a car is particularly difficult, because the amount of the deposit can be so high compared to the cost of rental. That’s if you’re allowed to pay with a debit card at all. These authorizations are understandable from a business’s point of view: It needs some assurance that it won’t lose money if you cause damage or fail to pay what you owe. When you pay with a credit card, the credit card company ensures you’ll make the payment, and you’re responsible for paying the credit card company. When you pay with a debit card, a business runs the risk that you could take off or cause damage that costs more than what’s available in your bank account.  But most of us are good, honest people. It’s frustrating to face barriers put in place to protect businesses against dishonest jerks. Thankfully, I’ve found a way around the dreaded debit-card authorization. How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card Instead of handing over my bank debit card to cover the deposit for a rental car, I use my PayPal debit card. With this trick, the deposit never leaves my account. First, you have to have a PayPal Business MasterCard debit card. If you don’t already have one, here’s how to get it: 1. Create a PayPal Account If you don’t already have an account, go to PayPal.com to sign up for free. 2. Upgrade to a Premier or Business Account Set this up when you open your account, or upgrade your existing account to Premier or Business. Be sure to read through the differences between these accounts to know which is best for you. Upgrading to either is free, and they both come with features not available to a personal account. Basically, if you’ll use PayPal for online business or freelance work, upgrade to a Business account. For personal use with the additional features, Premier should have you covered.  3. Apply for a PayPal Business MasterCard Debit Card Plan well in advance if you want to use your debit card for a particular trip! If you’re new to PayPal, you’ll want to apply for the Business MasterCard at least three months in advance.  Even if you’ve had a PayPal account for a while, give yourself at least a month. Note: This is NOT the same as a PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, which is also a physical card you can get from PayPal. The Prepaid card is loaded like a gift card, while the Business debit card works like your bank debit or ATM card. Even outside of this hack, I love having a PayPal debit card because: I can pull cash from my PayPal account at an ATM or use it like any other debit card. That means I can make in-real-life purchases with money I make online. I get instant access to my PayPal funds, which used to take three to four days to transfer to my bank account. I get 1% cash back for every debit purchase that doesn’t require a PIN. 3. Set Up a Backup Funding Source Select a backup funding source for your Business debit card. This is a different process from selecting a backup funding source for your PayPal account, so make sure you attach it specifically to the card. Your backup funding source will be either your checking account or another debit card (or both).  When you pay for something using your PayPal debit card, any funds in your PayPal account are used first. The backup will cover the purchase if the amount exceeds your PayPal balance. Warning: Your backup will cover a purchase that exceeds your PayPal balance, whether or not you have the funds in the backup account. Watch the balance on both accounts to avoid an overdraft fee. Renting a Car With a Debit Card When you travel, use your PayPal debit card to cover your rental car deposit. Here’s how it works: 1. Deposit $1 Into Your PayPal Account A few days before you travel, deposit a small amount into your PayPal account. I always stick with just $1. Depending on your bank, a deposit could take a few days to hit your PayPal account. Mine usually takes two or three days.  If you need it more quickly, you can coordinate with a friend or family member to transfer money directly from another PayPal account, which happens almost instantly. Make sure you keep the balance low. If you already have a higher balance in your PayPal account, withdraw most of it into your bank account. Any available funds in your PayPal account will be held for the deposit, so the less available when the card is swiped, the better. 2. Look for a Hold on the Available Balance When rental car company swipes your card, the deposit will take your available $1. The authorization will be valid, because the charge sees your backup funding and reads that as sufficient funds for the charge, regardless of your checking account’s balance.  But your checking account will not be charged, because the transaction will not be completed.  You can also subsequently receive payments or otherwise deposit money to your PayPal account and have access to it. That won’t be tied up in the hold. 3. Return the Car and Remove the Hold When you return the rental car, you’ll pay the rental fee. You can charge it to the PayPal card on file (and, subsequently, to your backup funding source), or if it’s allowed, pay with a different card or cash.  When you return the car, the hold is removed from your card, and you’ll never be out the money from the deposit. Note that if you rack up any charges beyond the car rental fee, like for smoking in the car or damaging it, your PayPal card and/or backup funding source will be charged. I don’t recommend charging a deposit to your PayPal that’s greater than the balance in your checking account. You’ll risk overdrafting if the charge for the deposit goes through for any reason. Where to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card Renting a car is a tricky process for the, uh, credit-impaired. It’s a big responsibility! Some companies simply don’t allow you to rent without a credit card in your name. Practically no one will rent to you for cash or check anymore.  But many companies do allow you to rent a car with a debit card — with a few additional caveats. Most rental car companies will run a credit check, and many will require additional identification, for renting with a debit card (versus a credit card). Check with your rental car company to ensure you show up with all the required information. You’ll always be required to show a valid driver’s license and your charge card to rent a car. Additional I.D. required for car rental with a debit card might include: A return airline ticket or itinerary U.S. passport or military I.D Current vehicle insurance card A copy of your phone or utility bill or bank statement from within 60 days As of this writing, these companies allow you to rent a car with a debit card: Dollar Thrifty Alamo (return ticket or itinerary required; no credit check at some locations) Avis  Budget  Hertz For most companies, you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car with a debit card. But Dollar allows drivers under 25 to rent with a debit card. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Teaching Your Kids to Save: I am a Bit Confused (HELP) 10/10/19 @ 12:24 PM Traveling All 50 States On a Budget 10/9/19 @ [...]
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5 Things to Know About the Key Cashback Credit Card

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5 Things to Know About the Key Cashback Credit Card
The Key Cashback credit card, issued by KeyBank, has an annual fee of $0 and features an appealing 2% cash back on every purchase, an ongoing flat rate that’s hard to beat. But there are some catches for that high rate: You will earn it only under certain conditions, and if those conditions aren’t met, you’ll... Kimberly Palmer is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: kpalmer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kimberlypalmer. The article 5 Things to Know About the Key Cashback Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Things to Know About the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

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5 Things to Know About the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
Small-business owners who want a new credit card and who are continually flying out of Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati or other strongholds of Delta Air Lines might shortlist the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card. Learn More It offers airport lounge access, progress toward elite status and other perks. The card is scheduled to get better —... Gregory Karp is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: gkarp@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @spendingsmart. The article 5 Things to Know About the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster

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How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster
According to NerdWallet, the average credit card debt for the American Family is nearly $16,000.  That is a considerable amount, and the monthly financial burdens can quickly become overwhelming You may feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel as you see no end in site.  How in the world ... Read More about How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster The post How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Maximize Your Southwest Card Sign-up Bonus

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How to Maximize Your Southwest Card Sign-up Bonus
The sign-up bonus on all three co-branded personal Southwest credit cards just increased. If you’ve been looking to give your Rapid Rewards account a boost, this is a great time to apply for one of these cards. Once you do, you’ll want to maximize not only the sign-up bonus, but also the various features associated... Ariana Arghandewal is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Maximize Your Southwest Card Sign-up Bonus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year

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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year
It happened fast. In a little over a month, Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt. “Everything went haywire,” Wilmer says. The 51-year-old Bakersfield, California, resident has been an emergency medical technician on a 911 ambulance for more than 10 years. Wilmer says both he and his wife, who’s a substitute teacher, are financially responsible. They earn a modest income, but they have near-perfect credit scores, and their cars are paid for in full. Heck, they don’t even like having more than $600 on their credit card. So when $20,000 in unexpected home repairs and emergency medical procedures hit all at once, Wilmer felt stressed. He went looking for a way out and found an online lender called Figure, which offered home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) of up to $150,000 with annual percentage rates (APR)  starting at 4.99%*. This could save him hundreds of dollars in interest each month and would leave him with a single manageable monthly payment — not multiple credit card bills due on different days. Plus, Wilmer could get a free quote in five minutes and apply online. It was worth a shot, right? How a HELOC Can Alleviate the Stress of Credit Card Debt If you own a home, a HELOC allows you to borrow money against its equity — that’s the money you’ve paid toward your mortgage. Use Wilmer as an example. He’s accumulated more than $200,000 in home equity over the 20 years he’s owned his home. He applied for a five-year HELOC through Figure, which granted him access to $24,000 worth of his home’s equity with an  APR of 5.75%. He could then use that $24,000 to pay off his high-interest credit card balances. With a HELOC, you can use the money for whatever you want — but that doesn’t mean you should. HELOCs (typically) come with lower interest rates than personal loans because they’re backed by your home. This is a huge perk. But that also means if you fail to pay back what you’d borrowed, you risk losing your home. Many experts suggest only opening a HELOC to consolidate and pay off high-interest credit cards (like Wilmer) or to increase the value of your home with repairs or renovations. Don’t Let Lenders Take Advantage of Your Bad Situation Before he found Figure, Wilmer contacted his bank and other lenders about opening a HELOC. But he quickly realized: “These guys were trying to take advantage of my desperation.” “A couple of banks told me I qualified for a $190,000 line of credit,” Wilmer says. “It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity.” He didn’t need that much money, and when Wilmer told one lender that, the voice on the other end responded: “Go buy a new wardrobe! Take a vacation!” It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity. That enraged Wilmer. He knew that was the last thing anyone should do with borrowed money. Other banks offered a HELOC with a draw period of nine years, meaning he’d have more chance to spend. It was unnecessary; Wilmer just wanted to pay off his debt as soon as possible. A Line of Credit Could Save You Hundreds Each Month Right when he reached peak frustration, he learned about Figure. It offered home equity lines of credit for up to $150,000, with APRs starting at 4.99%. But because he hadn’t heard of the company before, Wilmer had questions. He picked up the phone and called Figure… several times. Everyone he spoke with was friendly, helpful and patient; no one was pushy. Wilmer even asked about the history of the company. Skepticism now aside, Wilmer got a free quote from Figure, then applied for a HELOC from his phone. He got approved for a five-year line of credit for with an APR of 5.75%. It was way better than any previous offer he’d received. Whereas his bank told him he’d have to wait three weeks for approval and to receive his funds, Figure directly deposited the money he requested into his account the next day. And, unlike some lenders might have, Figure didn’t surprise him with fees. He paid an origination fee (typical), but he wasn’t charged an application fee and doesn’t face monthly maintenance fees. Moving on From Unexpected Credit Card Debt  Once Wilmer was approved for his line of credit, he says, “It was like, ‘Wam bam bam,’ and everything was paid off. Now I just owe Figure. It took a lot of stress off.” He’s no longer worried about making payments toward his wife’s emergency eye surgery. Or paying off that air conditioning system — his old one went kaput the day his wife came home from surgery, and California summers are hot. And he went ahead and paid off a lingering $4,000 he still owed on roof repairs. It took a lot of stress off. Now he’s left with two easy-to-manage monthly payments: His mortgage and his Figure payment. He’s even throwing some extra money toward his line of credit so he can pay it off early — Figure has no early repayment penalty. It only takes five minutes to check your rate with Figure. If you like what you see and your application is approved, Figure will initiate funding within five days*. Then it’s goodbye to high interest rates and credit card debt.   *Terms and conditions apply. Visit figure.com for further information. Figure Lending LLC is an equal opportunity lender. NMLS #1717824 Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card

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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card
For serious foodies, the Uber Visa Card packs plenty of features, minus the surge pricing: The card’s annual fee is $0. To get the best performance possible from the card, here’s what to keep in mind. » MORE: Full review of the Uber Visa Card Scoop up the sign-up bonus Learn More The Uber Visa Card features the following welcome offer... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?

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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?
Deciding whether the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is right for you is simple means asking yourself a few key questions. Here are the aspects you should weigh to understand whether this card will be a smart addition to your wallet. Is the sign-up bonus appealing to me? Will I earn it? Here’s the... Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Things to Know About the Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card

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5 Things to Know About the Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card
Virtual window shoppers who use Rakuten.com — formerly known as the cash-back shopping website Ebates — could be earning even more cash back on their purchases with the Rakuten Cash Back Visa credit card. Image courtesy of Synchrony In 2019, Ebates rebranded as Rakuten, but the $0-annual-fee credit card’s rewards structure remained the same. The new name, which means... Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena. The article 5 Things to Know About the Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Pay off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Idea Where to Start

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How to Pay off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Idea Where to Start
We know how incredibly easy it is to rack up credit card debt.  More than 40% of American households carry a credit card balance, with an average balance of more than $9,000, according to a study from the financial data website ValuePenguin.  But here’s the tricky thing about credit cards: They only benefit you when you’re building credit and receiving perks — but not when you’re paying interest. If you’re paying a lot of interest on your balances, credit card companies are making money off of you. Your cards are using you, not the other way around. With average interest rates on new credit cards north of 17%, according to CreditCards.com, paying them off is a smart move. You can do it. And it’ll be worth it. 5 Ways to Pay off Debt From Multiple Credit Cards Before you start, try to stop using your credit cards altogether until you can use them without putting yourself in financial risk. Though the specifics will vary based on your situation, we only recommend using credit cards if:  You don’t have any debt outside of a mortgage or student loans. You have an emergency fund with three to six months of expenses saved. You can pay off your balance in full every month. However you do it, make paying off your credit cards — and learning to use them responsibly — a high priority.  First, determine how much credit card debt you have. You can do this using a tool like Credit Sesame, a free credit monitoring service.  Credit Sesame will also show you how to raise your credit score. James Cooper, a motivational speaker, raised his credit score 277 points following suggestions from the site. Then choose your weapons! We’ll go over five different methods for paying off your credit card debt. 1. The Debt Avalanche Instead of looking at your debt in its entirety, we recommend approaching it bit by bit. By breaking your debt down into manageable chunks, you’ll experience quicker wins and stay motivated.  Two popular ways to break down debt repayments are the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods.  Using the debt avalanche method, you’ll order your credit card debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. You’ll make minimum payments on all your cards, and any extra income you have will go toward the highest-interest card.  Eventually, that card will be paid off. Then, you’ll attack the debt with the next-highest interest rate, and so on, until all your cards are paid off. 2. The Debt Snowball With the debt snowball method, you’ll order your debts from the lowest balance to highest, regardless of the interest rates on the cards. You’ll make minimum payments on all your cards, and any extra income will go to the credit card with the smallest balance. Starting with the smallest balance allows you to experience wins faster than you would with the avalanche. This method is ideal for people who are motivated by quick wins, but it has a downside: Those who choose it could end up paying more interest over the long term.    Here’s an example of how each method would work if you’re paying off four credit cards of varying balances and interest rates. $654 with 0% interest $5,054 with 15% interest $2,541 with 23% interest $945 with 17% interest If you followed the avalanche method, you’d pay off card No. 3 first, followed by No. 4, No. 2 and No. 1. If you followed the snowball method, you’d pay off card No. 1 first, followed by No. 4, No. 3 and No. 2.  Let’s say you have $600 per month to put toward debt. Using the snowball and avalanche comparison calculator from Dough Roller, you can see that it would take you 18 months to pay all of your cards off using either method.  The debt avalanche method would save you $105.73 of interest in the end, but you’d pay off your first card six months earlier by going with the snowball. Choosing the right method comes down to deciding whether you’d rather get quick results or save money on interest. We encourage you to check out Dough Roller’s calculator yourself, so you can calculate what each method would cost you. 3. The Balance Transfer  If you have good to excellent credit (typically a FICO score of 670 or above) and can feasibly pay off your debt within a year, a balance-transfer credit card is a great option. Balance-transfer cards can save you money on interest charges by letting you transfer the balance of a card with a high interest rate to a card with 0% interest.  Most of these cards offer 0% interest for 12 to 18 months with no annual fee. They generally have a 2% to 5% balance-transfer fee, but you can easily find balance-transfer cards with no fee. A higher credit score will help you qualify for a card with better terms. 4. Take out a Loan  You might look at getting a loan to consolidate and refinance your debts. If you get a loan with a lower interest rate and pay off your credit cards, that lower rate could potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest.  This is a realistic way to pay off credit card debt if you currently have little or no money to put toward it. Let’s look at two options here: A personal loan or a home equity loan.  Personal Loan  Online marketplaces will allow you to prequalify for a personal loan without doing a hard inquiry of your credit, so if you want to shop around, head there first. It won’t affect your credit score.  A good resource here is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs. It searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than a minute. Home Equity Loan  If you own a home with equity, you have three ways to borrow money against the value of your home: a home equity loan, home equity line of credit or a cash-out refinance. With a home equity loan, the lender gives you your money all at once, and you repay it at a fixed interest rate over a set period of time. With a home equity line of credit, you’re given a limit to borrow. Within that limit, you can take as little or as much as you need whenever you want. With a cash-out refinance, you refinance your first mortgage with a mortgage that’s slightly more money than your current one, and pocket the difference. For homeowners, these options will most likely offer the lowest interest rates. But they’re also the riskiest, because your home is the collateral — something you own that your lender can take if you don’t pay off the loan.  5. Debt Settlement The world of debt collections and creditors can be confusing, intimidating and sometimes even illegal. There’s a common misconception, for example, that someone can take your house or you can go to jail for not making your payments. But credit card debt is unsecured debt, meaning no one can put you in jail or take your house if you don’t pay it. If you’re being harassed by creditors or have circumstances that make your debt repayment confusing, don’t give up before finding out your options for assistance. Debt Management Program With a debt management program, a credit counseling company will handle your consolidation in hopes of getting you better interest rates and lower fees. You’ll be assigned a counselor, who will set up a repayment and education plan for you. This program is specifically for unsecured debt, like credit cards and medical bills. A debt management program pays your creditors for you to ensure you stay current on your debt payments. Your credit score may even improve during the program. But if you miss a payment, you can be dropped, and you’ll lose all the benefits you gained. Debt management plans usually don’t reduce your debt, but they may reduce your interest rates by as much as half or extend your payment timeline to make paying your debt more manageable. Credit Card Debt Settlement If you’re in more than just a temporary season of financial instability, and you can’t see yourself affording the amount of credit card deb [...]
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5 Things to Do When You Get the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card

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5 Things to Do When You Get the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
You’ve applied for the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and were accepted. Once you receive it in the mail, what should you do next? 1. Plan your next vacation over dinner Cardholders receive 2 points per $1 on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar on other spending. Enjoy a leisurely dinner... Amanda Johnson is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 5 Things to Do When You Get the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Give Your Kids the Gift of a Good Credit Score by Adding Them to Your Card

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Give Your Kids the Gift of a Good Credit Score by Adding Them to Your Card
Teaching your kids how to fail is one of those underrated parenting skills. By making mistakes in a controlled, safe environment, kids can learn coping skills before they incur real-world consequences. That’s particularly true when it comes to teaching kids about finance. Those lessons can have an important impact on your child’s future. A Penny Hoarder survey found that one-third of adult respondents did not grow up discussing basic personal finance topics, such as credit scores or debt. The result? For those with no early financial literacy, 40% had no savings at all, compared to 17% for the group that did discuss finances. One important lesson that you can teach your kids is how to use credit responsibly — before they get credit cards of their own.  Wondering if you should get your pride and joy a credit card? Here’s why and how to do it so they can learn how to handle credit responsibly. Should Your Kid Get a Credit Card? Although it might not seem like a priority, getting your child a credit card helps them build credit history. Pro Tip You can help protect your child’s credit score from identity theft by checking their score periodically, or at least by the time they turn 15, when the score may become more relevant. Credit history makes up 15% of your credit score, which will become important to your kids in the future if they want to finance a car, buy a house or possibly even get a job. And unlike other factors — like credit utilization or credit mix— there’s no way to improve your credit history other than with time.  But simply allowing your child to sign up for a credit card presents two problems:  They may not be ready for the responsibility of handling credit and could end up thousands of dollars in debt, thus wrecking the credit score you wanted them to build. They probably can’t qualify for a card … because they don’t have a credit history. That’s where you come in. You can cosign on your child’s credit card or even consider adding your child to your credit card to build credit. Which one should you choose? Should You Be a Cosigner or Make Your Child an Authorized User? Choosing between becoming a cosigner or making your child an authorized user starts with their age — you cannot apply for a credit card until you’re at least 18 years old, so that’s the earliest age you could be their cosigner. But becoming a cosigner on your older teen’s credit card makes you legally responsible for the debt if they miss a payment, according to Todd Christensen, an Accredited Financial Counselor and education manager with MoneyFit.org.  “The problem is, cosigners are not usually 100% involved in the billing process — they do not see, typically, the monthly bill,” he said. “So often, a cosigner will be contacted six to 12 months after a payment is missed, and then be requested to make all the back payments plus fees, and this is in the meantime hurting their credit.” Pro Tip The CARD Act of 2009 made it more difficult for people under 21 to get a credit card. However, there are plenty of cards that are marketed specifically to college students who can prove they can pay. Adding your child as an authorized user means they aren’t receiving the privileges (or reward points) of having their own card — they’re essentially just carrying your card. For most issuers, an authorized user doesn’t even get a separate credit card number. That also means your kids are depending on your credit history to build theirs. If your payment record isn’t so great or you have concerns about your ability to keep up with your credit card balance, you way want to consider the cosigner option when your kids get older. But if you’re ready to teach your kids by showing them what a responsible card holder looks like (that’s you), adding them as an authorized user is the better choice. Here’s why. Adding Your Child to Your Credit Card to Build Credit  By adding your child as an authorized user on your card, they can learn to handle a credit card in a low-risk way.  “It’s a great opportunity to build credit,” Christensen said. “It doesn’t cost [parents] anything. It doesn’t affect their credit at all.” The minimum age for adding your child to your credit card depends on your credit card company — many have no minimum age requirements at all — and some premium cards charge a fee for adding an authorized user, so check your issuer’s terms and conditions before adding your child. Pro Tip Seven years is typically the amount of time needed to establish a good credit history, so adding a very young child as an authorized user won’t do much to help their score. “I typically recommend it especially in the late teens,” Christensen advised. You can track your child’s spending instantaneously by setting up text alert messages for all credit card transactions or less frequently by checking your account activity daily. Still unsure if you can trust your kid with the plastic? You don’t actually need to tell them they’re getting the card.  “I’ve done that with my own kids,” Christensen said. “I had them as an authorized user on my wife’s and my card for several years, and they never knew it until they turned 18.” FROM THE DEBT FORUM Travel Trailer Debt 6/25/19 @ 5:31 PM Suze Orman says CAR LEASES are always a BAD financial move - do you agree? 4/18/19 @ 3:47 PM debt from a scam/fraud 6/18/19 @ 6:57 PM C credit card trouble again 6/24/19 @ 5:20 PM a See more in Debt or ask a money question Even though his daughter wasn’t aware she was building her credit history, Christensen noted that she ended up reaping the benefits of having that credit history. “When my daughter went to apply for a car loan after she moved out, one of the credit ratings had her in the 700s because she was an authorized user on our accounts,” he said. Additionally, if you’re using the card to teach your older kids about handling credit cards responsibly, by allowing them to be authorized users on your card, they can reap the benefits of building credit — and make a mistake without putting your own score in danger. Pro Tip As long as your child uses the card responsibly, don’t remove them as an authorized user until they get their own credit card and have had a few years to build that credit history. “If their credit goes south, it should not make it onto [your] credit rating,” Christensen said. “But even if it did, a simple dispute online will have it removed.” Ready to give your kids the chance to learn but aren’t sure where to start? Check out The Penny Hoarder Academy’s Credit Cards 101 course and this post on how to use a credit card as guides for teaching them about using credit in a responsible way. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Spotted: A Bigger Southwest Credit Card Bonus for In-Flight Applicants

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Spotted: A Bigger Southwest Credit Card Bonus for In-Flight Applicants
Sometimes the most lucrative sign-up bonuses aren’t available online. We spotted this sign-up bonus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card in the wild world of in-flight reading materials. • Offer: Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. • Seen: June 15, 2019,... Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mcoyle@nerdwallet.com. The article Spotted: A Bigger Southwest Credit Card Bonus for In-Flight Applicants originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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*HOT* Free $5 Starbucks Gift Card with $25 Gift Card Purchase

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*HOT* Free $5 Starbucks Gift Card with $25 Gift Card Purchase
Love Starbucks? Get a free $5 gift card when you purchase a $25 Starbucks gift card. Today only, you can score a free $5 Starbucks Bonus eGift Card when you purchase ANY Starbucks eGift Card worth $25 or more in the Starbucks mobile app! Just log in to the mobile app and check your inbox to find this offer. If it’s still available, you can click on the “buy now” button to get this deal. This is only available for the first 150,000. Limit of one per account. Psst! You should also check and see if you got the limit access Starbucks deal on Groupon today!! Thanks, Freebie Shark! [...]
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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases

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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases
Bank of America® and Alaska Airlines recently rolled out new perks for cardholders of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. New and existing cardholders get 20% back on Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases and a 50% discount on lounge day passes when they pay with their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. Here’s what you... Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mcoyle@nerdwallet.com. The article Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only

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Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only
If you’re a college student who isn’t ready to throw a graduation cap into the air just yet, take a look at the hat Chase just tossed into the ring. A few months ahead of the new semester, the issuer has launched Chase Freedom Student, a credit card designed for those still in school. As of June 9,... Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena. The article Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Got Credit Card Debt? Paying Biweekly Could Save You Hundreds on Interest

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Got Credit Card Debt? Paying Biweekly Could Save You Hundreds on Interest
It happens every month: The credit card bill is due. You dutifully send your minimum payment on the due date — but watch the balance grow ever larger. But what if you could pay half that amount every two weeks instead of one payment every month? More payments, you say? Thanks, I’ll pass. But what if the new payment schedule could save you hundreds of dollars? Biweekly payments are a simple way to reduce your balance and the amount you pay in interest. Here’s what you need to know. How Do Biweekly Payments Work? You may have already heard of — or received offers for — biweekly payment plans for debts like your mortgage. Here’s how one works: Let’s say your monthly payment for a debt is $500. If you pay that amount each month, you’ll make 12 payments each year for a total of $6,000. If you make biweekly payments, you pay $250 every two weeks. But because there are 52 weeks in a calendar year (thanks to that wacky Gregorian), you’ll make 26 half payments or 13 full payments each year, for a total of $6,500. That reduces your principal by $500 in one year and thus reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay on the remaining balance. Depending on how much you owe and how your debt is structured, you could shave months or years off of a payment plan. An amortization schedule is a table listing regular payments for the life of a loan. Each amount includes a little more toward principal and a little less toward interest as your balance goes down. You can check out your loan’s amortization schedule and online biweekly payment calculators to see just how much you’ll save by paying off principal early. How to Decide if a Biweekly Payment Plan Is Worth It There are three questions to ask about your debt before switching to a biweekly payment plan, according to Brian Walsh, Certified Financial Planner and manager of financial planning at SoFi, a personal finance company: 1. What is the interest rate on the debt? Before you start planning out a new payment schedule, you should first know if it’s worth your effort. That starts with knowing how much interest you’re being charged on a debt. “We consider good debt as anything with an interest rate below 7% and bad debt, anything with an interest rate above 7%,” Walsh said. Rather than paying off  “good debt” early, you can often put your money to better use by investing in IRAs, 401(k)s and other accounts that offer a higher interest rate than the one you’re paying. Pro Tip Considering biweekly payments for a student loan? Current interest rates on direct federal loans for undergraduates is 5.05%, while Direct PLUS Loans for parents or graduate students is 7.6%. So if you have a mortgage charging 5% interest and an IRA earning 8%, you’ll make more money in the long term by continuing with your current monthly debt payment plan and putting that extra money toward your IRA. But if you have an auto loan charging 9% interest, you should consider a biweekly payment plan to pay down that debt faster. 2.  Are there any prepayment penalties associated with the debt? Before starting a biweekly payment plan, review loan contracts to be sure it doesn’t include a prepayment penalty. If it does, you’ll be charged extra for paying off a loan or a large portion in a single payment, which could offset any benefits you reap in interest savings. 3. Can you apply the extra payments toward principal? This question typically requires you to simply tell your lender — via phone, email or letter — that you want extra payments applied toward your principal amount, not the interest. That allows you to pay down the debt faster and avoid paying extra in interest. When it comes to meeting all three criteria, there’s typically one debt that’s a clear winner, according to Walsh. “Whenever we come across credit cards, to me, that’s a no brainer,” Walsh said. “People should be setting up biweekly and more frequent payments when it comes to a credit card.” Why You Should Set Up Biweekly Credit Card Payments If there’s ever a chance you’ll carry over a balance from month to month on your credit card, biweekly payments can save you hundreds in interest, according to Walsh. A grace period is the time between when a statement closes and the due date. The 2009 Credit Card Act requires that if a credit card company offers a grace period, it must last at least 21 days. The problem with credit card debt is that unless you pay off the full balance every month, you lose the grace period credit cards typically offer and start accruing interest on a daily basis. By making biweekly payments, you’ll not only knock out more of the balance, you’ll avoid accruing additional interest in those 14 days between payments. Why Biweekly Mortgage Payments May Not Be Worth It So credit card biweekly payments may sound all well and good, but what about knocking out most people’s biggest debt, the mortgage? Not so fast, say the experts. Using a biweekly payment plan to pay down your mortgage typically isn’t the best financial decision, according to Jason B. Ball, a certified financial planner with Ball Comprehensive Planning in West Linn, Oregon. To illustrate this, Ball offered a scenario using the example of a house purchased for $300,000 with a down payment of $50,000 and an interest rate of 4.2%:   Traditional Monthly Payment Biweekly Payment Payment Amount $1,256.97 $628.49 Total Interest Paid $182,510.84 $153,169.81 Pay-off Date 30 years 25 years, 8 months Here’s how much you can expect to save by making a biweekly payment as opposed to a traditional monthly payment: Interest: $29,341.03 Time: 4 years, 4 months “In our example, it looks to save about four years,” he wrote in an email. “It is also interesting to note that most people do not live in their home that long. The typical buyer could be expected to stay in a single-family home roughly 12 years before moving out.” Yes, you’d save on interest (although not as much if you move out before you finish paying off the mortgage), but Ball notes that at 4.2%, you could put your extra payments to better use by investing that money in higher yielding investments like a 401(k). And although it might make you feel better about not having a mortgage hanging over your head (and there are other benefits to paying off your mortgage early), there’s a good chance a paid-off house won’t help you out that much financially even if you do decide to stay there when you retire. “If you put all your money into your mortgage, you may be house rich at retirement, but you need to look at how you will turn that asset into a monthly paycheck at retirement,” Ball wrote. “Typically, pre-paying the mortgage yields a lower probability of retirement success than other options.”   FROM THE DEBT FORUM What is the best way to consolidate my credit cards into one payment 6/5/19 @ 7:03 PM My townhome is just a money pit 6/4/19 @ 4:48 PM Senior Couple drowning in debt 1/22/19 @ 9:44 AM B Great Student Loan payoff apps. 5/8/19 @ 4:44 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question Should You DIY Biweekly Payments? So you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and you’re ready to put yourself on a biweekly payment plan. Now what [...]
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10 Purchases You Should Not Put on a Credit Card

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10 Purchases You Should Not Put on a Credit Card
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com Many credit cards offer a slew of incentives to consumers who use them — from cash back and other rewards to zero liability in case of fraud. But credit cards are not always your best form of payment, especially if you aren’t great with debt. In many cases, you are better off keeping the plastic tucked away. For some readers, this advice comes too late. [...]
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These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire

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These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire
Ah, retirement. Lazy days in the hammock, bucket list trips to Europe, leisurely drives in your sports car. Wait, you’ve spent more time jettisoning ideas than planning jet-setting excursions? Despite your best savings efforts — and unexpected expenses — those idyllic retirement plans may have run into the stark reality that you didn’t end up with the nest egg you had planned on. In fact, you’re headed toward your golden years with credit card debt. Employee Benefit Research Institute.  In 1992, 53.8% of families with the head of household ages 55 or older had debt. By 2016, that number had climbed to 68%. Unfortunately, it’s a nationwide trend, as families just reaching retirement or those recently retired are more likely to have debt — and higher levels of it — than past generations, according to a study by the Without your former income, you may be starting to worry about making the growing credit card payments on a fixed income, particularly when the average Social Security monthly benefit is $1,461. Putting a dent — permanently — in credit card debt when you’re retired is possible, and we have seven ways to help pay off your debt so you can enjoy that hammock. 8 Ways to Help Pay Down Credit Card Debt in Retirement Retirement offers unique opportunities and challenges when you’re paying off debt. You may have new sources of income, like Social Security or a pension, and new expenses, like increased healthcare costs or fun stuff like travel. So here are eight post-employment strategies that can help you pay down debt. 1. Make a Budget Tackling credit card payment as you approach retirement starts by re-examining your budget. Making changes to your lifestyle and using your free time to save money is a good place to start, according to Joseph Valenti, senior policy advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C. “One thing we know from studies of retirement is that people have fewer set costs typically compared to when they were working,” he said. “If they have more time, maybe they will be preparing more meals at home.” If you need help creating your budget, check out our step-by-step guide to budgeting or learn the basics in our Budgeting 101 Academy course. Once you know where you stand financially, you can start looking for ways to cut the credit card balance. 2. Negotiate With Credit Card Companies The best way to know where you stand is to look at the numbers — in this case, the interest rate on your cards. It’s easier to pay down a debt if you’re accumulating less interest on top of the original amount (learn more about compound interest in our Credit Cards 101 Academy course). Asking your credit card company for a new rate is one option, particularly if you’re ready to commit to living credit card-free going forward, Valenti said. “In some cases, even if you close that card, they will let you pay it down for little or no interest over a period of time,” Valenti said. “That’s assuming you don’t need the card again.” Pro Tip When you call the credit card company, the first person you talk to may not be able to help you, even if they think they can. Ask to speak with a manager who handles settlement arrangements. Check out this post for more tips on negotiating credit card debt. And if you’re too overwhelmed to deal with the creditors themselves, consider reaching out to a credit counselor, who can help you organize your accounts and may negotiate a lower interest rate for you. 3. Transfer Your Balance to a New Card Loyalty isn’t necessarily rewarding. If you’ve had the same card for years, transferring your balance to a new card could give you a lower interest rate than you current provider can offer. Reap the most benefits by paying down as much debt as you can during the promotional period. When you’re considering which card to go with, compare this information for all offers: Fees (typically at least $5 to $10 or 3% to 5% of the balance) Interest (look for 0%) Duration of the promotional APR (usually 12 to 18 months) Credit score requirements (generally good or excellent) Credit limits (make sure it’s more than your current balance) Here’s what else to consider before transferring a balance. 4. Cut (Former) Work-Related Expenses Still hanging on to that gym membership, even though you only signed up because it was close to your office? By reviewing your monthly, periodic and annual budgets, you may discover work-related expenses that have become so habitual you’ve forgotten about them, according to Valenti, who gave transportation, clothing and cell phone expenses as examples. Cancel subscriptions to professional associations and other automatic billings associated with work (an ink cartridge subscription, for instance) to avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month. If you have trouble keeping up with recurring payments, try using a subscription tracking tool. And if you still enjoy hitting the gym, cut costs by asking about senior discounts — AARP has many for its members. 5. Set Up Self-Imposed Limits Before retirement, those little expenses that broke your budget one month may have been easier to cushion with your regular paycheck. And remembering them all may have been a little easier a few years ago. To help you track the expenses and avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month, Valenti suggested setting up alerts from your bank or credit card provider. “It’s one thing to find out instantly through a text that you’ve reached a limit — even if it’s a self-imposed limit — as opposed to a statement that’s going to shock you at the end of a cycle,” Valenti said. 6. Ask for Professional (Financial) Help If you’re overwhelmed by managing your day-to-day finances or fear forgetting to pay bills and sinking further in debt, consider hiring a daily money manager. In addition to tracking bills, daily money managers can help you with balancing your checkbook, collecting tax documents, dealing with medical bills and even avoiding scams. Pro Tip Your bank must protect two months’ worth of Social Security benefits from a credit card collector’s garnishment. If your account has more than that, the bank can garnish or freeze the extra money. Depending on where you live, a daily money manager may charge $75 to $150 an hour. However, the American Association of Daily Money Managers provides a list of state agencies that provide services to low-income and disabled seniors.   7. Make Extra Money on Your Empty Nest Now that the kids have moved out (hopefully), you’re stuck with that big, empty house. One option for making money is to sell it and downsize to a smaller place, then use the profits to pay off credit card debt. But moving still requires an outlay of cash and can add additional stress as you’re adjusting to retired life. If you’re seeking something a little less drastic, think about new ways to use your house — and its contents — to earn some cash today, advises Moira Somers, a wealth psychologist based in Winnipeg, Canada, and the author of “Advice That Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Follow.” “Look at the resources you have and say, ‘Could this turn into money somehow?’” she said. “One of the cool things about this period in our life is that there are sometimes ways we can make extra money that wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago — the whole AirBnb thing, for example.” If you’re looking to make some money on your extra bedrooms, check out our post about how to become an Airbnb host. And don’t forget about all those buried treasures in the attic. (Did you know that Urban Outfitters sells five-packs of random VHS tapes for $40? Yeah. That’s a thing.) One of the cool things about this period in our life is that there are sometimes ways we can make extra money that wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago. Somers notes ta [...]
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