Category Archives: Personal Finance

From Rents to Haircuts, Americans Start to Feel Price Hikes

Apartment rents are up. So are prices for restaurant meals, haircuts, gym memberships and a cup of coffee.

For American consumers who have become used to flat or even falling prices for several years, an unfamiliar sight has emerged in many corners of the economy: Inflation is ticking up. Read More

Amazon Says ‘Prime Day’ Will Be Annual Event

Amazon says its “Prime Day” sale led to a sales surge and “hundreds of thousands” of new signups for its $99 annual Prime loyalty program. The company said it plans to make the sale an annual event.

Tied to its 20th anniversary, Amazon promoted Wednesday’s sale for weeks by saying there would be more deals than during the busy winter holiday shopping season. Read More

IRS Taking Steps to Combat Taxpayers’ Identity Theft

The IRS is joining with states and private industry to combat identity theft by sharing more data about how tax returns are filed, officials announced Thursday. The effort is aimed at stemming a problem that has victimized thousands of taxpayers and cost the government billions of dollars from fraudulent returns. Read More

Working 9-To-5 Becoming a Less Popular Way to Make a Living

If you want an income, or you’re an employer looking for help, it may be time to scrap the idea of the traditional 9-to-5 arrangement.

For workers, it’s become easier and less risky to go solo. Affordable health insurance plans, which kept many workers shackled to traditional jobs, are more accessible because of the Affordable Care Act. And companies are increasingly open to hiring freelancers and independent contractors. Many say independent workers bring fresh ideas without the long-term commitment. Read More

Don’t Fall for These 5 Infomercial Money-Grabbing Tricks

Infomercial.Mike Mozart

Infomercials that sell shampoos, zit creams and the latest weight loss gadgets can be hard to turn away from. But before you pick up that phone, you should know that the low, low prices and easy monthly payments advertised are not always what you’ll pay.

“There are many problems with infomercials,” says Edgar Dworsky, the editor of consumer resource guide ConsumerWorld.org. “Not all of them are misleading, but many are.” Read More

For Beginners: Retirement Accounts That Can Help You Save

Whether you’ve been working for years or are new to the work force, it’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Will you have the money you need? Establishing a retirement account may help you answer: Yes! A retirement account can help you save and prepare for your financial future so you have enough money when you’re ready to retire. Here are some of the most common retirement accounts. Read More

Tips for Parents Considering Helping Their Child Buy a Home

Rising prices and a dearth of homes for sale in many markets have made it harder for many looking to buy their first home.

One of the biggest obstacles many are facing is saving up for a down payment, particularly in hotter markets where competition for the more affordable homes can quickly drive up prices and put pressure on buyers to bring more cash up front.

That trend is prompting many parents to step in, some opening their wallets, others welcoming their adult children to live with them again temporarily while they save money or pay down debt. Read More

New Scoring System Aims to Help People with Poor Credit

credit score.GotCredit
People struggling with a bad credit score, or lack of one, could benefit from a program rolling out in the next few months aimed at making it easier to get a Visa or MasterCard.

The company behind the widely-used FICO credit score announced Thursday a pilot program to help millions of Americans get easier access to credit, based on their record of paying utility bills, instead of their history of loan repayments. Read More

Medical Expenses: Finding Your Way with a Patient Navigator

A medical emergency leaves you with tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid hospital bills. Your health insurance company rejects coverage for an important medical test. An unexpected diagnosis requires you to find three new medical specialists.

In today’s health care system, consumers are increasingly on their own when these complex — and often costly — medical problems arise. Primary care doctors once helped patients manage such situations, but many physicians now have 15 minutes or less for each appointment. It’s in this high-pressure environment that a new industry of patient advocates — sometimes called patient navigators — has emerged, offering to help guide patients through knotty health situations. Read More

Is It Better to Save or Invest?

Saving vs investing.OTA Photos.creative commons

Almost everyone has a reason to save money. Whether it’s for a specific purchase like a vehicle or home, for retirement, or simply the future in general. There are several options when it comes to deciding where to save your hard-earned money. A savings account at a bank or other financial institution may be the most familiar and perhaps you have one or even several already. Read More

Choosing Your Financial Roller Coaster

roller coaster.patrick McGarvey.creative commons 2.0
Suzie Jones, Executive Vice President of Amegy Investments, an affiliate of Zions Bank, spoke with Jacqueline Davies from Zions Direct on financial rollercoasters. Suzie oversees 80 employees, managing 11 billion dollars. Suzie started with Amegy 17 years ago and was the co-founder of the investment division. Here she dives into financial planning with Jacqueline and how to make investing play a role in that plan. Read More

Saving Made Simple: Services That Stash Cash Automatically

Sit back, relax, and save some money. Two mobile services are making it easier to build your savings without giving it much thought. Acorns and Digit automatically transfer small amounts from your checking account to a savings or investment account. … Read More

Don’t Want NSA to Spy on Your Email? 5 Things You Can Do

More than half of Americans are worried about the U.S. government’s digital spies prying into their emails, texts, search requests and other online information, but few are trying to thwart the surveillance.

That’s according to a new survey from Pew Research Center, released Monday. A main reason for the inertia? Pew researchers found that a majority of those surveyed don’t know about online shields that could help boost privacy or believe it would be too difficult to avoid the government’s espionage. Read More

How New Changes by Credit-Reporting Firms May Affect You

The three big credit reporting agencies are making changes that could help steer some consumers clear of the credit dog house.

Data collected by the agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion on hundreds of millions of people are used to create credit scores. Those scores can determine who gets a loan and how much interest is paid on it.
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100 Commission-Free Trades from Zions Direct




Qualifying customers of Zions Direct can now get 100 commission-free trades for 12 months. That includes online purchases of stocks, bonds and CDs. For details visit www.zionsdirect.com

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