November 2012

The True Value of Dollar Stores

‘Dollar Store’ means very little in today’s marketplace as few products cost only a dollar.  But while the name may be somewhat anachronistic, dollar stores themselves have recently gone through a large-scale transformation, expanding their isles, diversifying their product lines, and even changing their lighting to provide a modern look for today’s shopper.

Toys R Us Angers Online Shoppers

Dozens of parents who bought items from the Toys R Us online store on Black Friday are now discovering they are out of luck.  Toys R Us initiated aggressive incentives in stores and online at the start of the holiday season which now appear to have backfired.

Credit Card Debt Linked to Parental Fighting Over Finances

A new study commissioned by East Carolina University has found that children with parents who constantly argue over money are more likely to be weighed down by credit card debt while in college.  The study was orchestrated after a passage in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues indicated post-secondary institutions are noticing an increasing number of students dropping out of school as a result of credit card debt.  Research team leader Adam Hancock hopes the study will encourage families to teach their college-bound children about financial literacy. 

Four Box Strategy for Retirement

The economic crisis that began in 2008 has wrecked havoc on Americans planning for retirement.  Markets have become increasingly unpredictable, homes are not worth as much as they once were, and near-zero interest rates have capped any significant returns on investment.  US retirees and near-retirees must rely on themselves to make up for lost savings by getting proactive with the management of income and expenses.

Teaching Children the Value of Money

According to research from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), 61 percent of American parents hand out allowances to their children, with the average child netting $65 each month, or $780 a year.  Unfortunately only 1 percent of parents surveyed reported their children had saved any portion of their allowance, which Neale Godfrey, author of ‘Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees:  A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children’ says is partly due to the US culture of spending.  Godfrey and other financial experts hope to educate parents on how to teach childr

Do Your Research and Choose an Honest, Straightforward Company for Your Insurance

It is incredibly frustrating when an insurance bill arrives in the mail that says you are now forced to pay higher premiums than you already are paying.  This is exactly what happened to Roy Minshew in Austin, Texas, when he received his annual insurance statement for his RV.  Minshew was expecting to pay his usual $569 premium, but was shocked when the statement said he owed $727, which is 27 percent more than he was expecting.  When he tried asking questions with the Texas Department of Insurance, the answers he received were nothing short of confusing.

How to Manage Your Money Effectively

Money does not buy happiness, but having it does not hurt!  Managing your money with informed decisions can improve your financial situation, add to your credit score, and reduce stress - which collectively can help you achieve happiness.  Creating financial plans, rather than relying on impulse decisions, will provide you with the motivation and logical reasoning to make smart decisions with your money.

Bridgeport Mayor Declares November 24 Small Business Saturday

Millions of Americans will be shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  While the advertisements from big retailers will be appealing to most shoppers, one Connecticut town is doing all it can to support local small business throughout the holiday season. 

American Families Counting on Survival of Mortgage Debt Relief Act

The media has focused heavily on the potential of a so-called US fiscal cliff, which would be caused by increasing taxes combined with decreased government spending.  At the end of 2012 tax cuts implemented under the Bush administration to relieve overburdened borrowers are set to expire at the same time as government stimulus is withdrawn from the economy.  President Obama has warned if an agreement is not reached to come up with another solution the US could once again enter a recession.  As a result, state attorneys and economists are lobbying Congress to extend the tax cuts to help prot

Holiday Commute Home Not Easy For Everyone

US travel agencies consider the day before Thanksgiving to be one of the busiest travel days of the year.  According to AAA’s Thanksgiving travel analysis, over 43 million Americans are expected to commute at least 50 miles home for turkey dinner this weekend.  The AAA analysis also found that travelers are cutting back in 2012, with more people driving or taking the bus, and the average trip is expected to be 120 miles less than last year.