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One of the biggest questions people ask about finances is what the 30% rule means for housing. Does it mean net or gross income? Is it just the mortgage plus interest, or does it include other expenses? You might get several different answers. The most generous answer, of course, is that you can “afford” to pay 30% of your gross income on mortgage and interest payments. While you might feel good about this plan, it…

Chase Freedom credit card is offering a pretty attractive credit card deal. They advertise that you can earn up to $1200 in bonus cash. Freed Credit Card Deal: Earn $100 Cash Back after you spend $500 in 3 Months. You can also earn 10% cash back when you shop online at select merchants using Chase. Earn an unlimited 1% Cash Back on all Purchases, Earn 5% Cash Back on select purchases (read “ad Copy” below…

One of the big pieces of news recently is that the PlayStation Network was hacked. The end result? A large number of people had their personal information compromised. I’m one of them. I had a credit card stored on the PlayStation Network, and I’m a little bit worried that it is compromised. So, what are my options? Get New Cards Rather than wait to see what happens, I decided to be proactive. I called the…

One of the things you have to watch out for when you are opening new bank accounts is the fine print associated with bank deals and cash bonuses. These ploys are used to get you to open an account, and they can provide you with competitive yields and cash bonuses, but you do have to be aware of some of the catches that might come these opportunities. Temporarily High Interest Yields Like some credit cards…

As you decide on a bank or credit union, it is a good idea to consider your options and thoroughly vet your choices. You want to make sure that your bank will provide you good service, as well as provide you with the financial products and services that you need. It is also worth noting that the era of having all of your banking in one place is over. Electronic banking via the Internet has…

Welcome to first ever Carnival of Banking and Money Management a weekly collection of the best in banking and management. If you are interested in hosting please don’t hesitate. Lauren Dzuris presents Top Money Mistakes Made by Young Parents | FindMyCarSeat.com an article on the common money mistakes new parents make. Alexander Green presents What You Should Know About Capital Gains Tax And Your Property an article about Capital Gains Tax And how to save…

One of the most common concerns for many consumers is whether or not they can afford a mortgage. Figuring out whether or not you can afford a mortgage should be more about simply figuring out what your mortgage payment should be. You should also realize that once you buy a home, there are other costs involved. Better Safe Than Sorry Many personal finance experts will tell you to keep your mortgage payment to 1/3 of…

Should you loan money to friends? We asked our users if they ever loaned money to friends, and we got back a slew of horror stories. Overwhelmingly, the responses have been of people not getting their money back. This might be a selection bias, but it was interesting to see how almost all the responders said if you’re going to loan money to someone just assume it’s a gift. Here is one particular story: I…

One of the basic rules of personal finance is to make sure you have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a short-term savings account that provides you with access to money when you need to cover unexpected expenses. It can be a wise idea to have two different emergency funds: One for short-term costs, such as car repairs, and one for long-term problems, such as unemployment. Your short-term emergency fund can find a good…

One of the consequences of the recently enacted Credit CARD Act is that many credit card issuers are changing some of the terms of their agreements. This can include providing you notice that they are changing the fee structure, as well as changing your interest rate. It’s true that credit card issuers aren’t supposed to raise interest rates on existing balances (except in a few cases), but they can up the interest rate on your…

Are you a rewards junkie? Want to strategically use credit cards like pawns in chess? Establishing credit and earning points/rewards are great ways to use credit cards. But you have to make sure that you will be using your credit card responsibly. Putting your monthly bills on your card can easily bring in thousands in points, but it’s easy to over do it. Make sure that your rewards are lined up Make sure that your…

The debate over credit unions and banks is heating up ever since the financial crisis of 2008. After the bailout consumer attitude towards traditional banks took a nose-dive. I once held a national bank, one that didn’t do much sub-prime lending: US Bank, but the urge to move to a credit union was strong. [ad#Content 300×250] It seemed everybody I knew was moving to a credit union, disgusted by fees, upset by service and unhappy…

We asked visitors who changed from a traditional bank to credit union. Besides things like customer service, community focus – credit unions provide a lot of features unmatched by traditional banks. Also be sure to check out Credit Unions vs Banks, reasons why people make the switch. Funny you should mention it. I just switched back to a credit union today. The main reasons are: Better rates Better customer service It’s a local company, so more…

An emergency fund is a lump sum of money that should pay for three to twelve months worth of living expenses. The idea behind the emergency fund is that you have easily accessible money in case of an unexpected situation that keeps you from working and earning money; or for expenses that come up you hadn’t planned for. Most people understand the value of having an emergency fund – but it’s not easy to create…

Welcome to the 97th Carnival of Money Stories hosted by yours truly.  This week will be dedicated to my new goal of read more. More specifically, reading a book a week. By budgeting in an hour here and a few hours there I’ll be able to consume more of my beloved genres. Why Read More: My weekly internet usage nearly exceeds my weekly sleep so my familiarity with the internet is pretty high. I love…

How many personal finance blogs are there? Too many to count. Here are some resources to help you discover the best personal finance blogs on the web. An Overwhelming List of PF Blogs WiseBread – Explore more than 700 personal finance blogs. Many of them include coupon, savings and mommy bloggers. I browsed several of the sites and some of the blogs are not updated regularly. Regardless, this is the most comprehensive list of blogs…

There can be quite a long list when it comes to everything you might want to see in a business bank account. Sure, a gift for opening an account is nice, and a piece of candy with your deposit is sweet, but let’s get down to the important things about a business bank account — the true essentials. Because let’s face it, having the right bank account for your business can save you time, trouble,…