Month: August 2013

Credit Repair and Back-to-School: How to Save

It’s that time again. A new school year is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time for some back-to-school shopping. During a recent conversation with a mother-of-three, I was shocked to find that she’ll need to shell out at least $275.00 to cover all her kids required expenses—not including new clothes. While your kids’ school list may be a little kinder, the expense is still likely to affect your budget. If you are working on credit repair, it could also dampen your goals related to debt reduction and savings. Lessen the strain by keeping the tips below in mind. Don’t let the classroom bell signal the end of your credit repair motivation.

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Markup Madness: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

Let’s be honest: no one likes a rip-off. In one example, a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medical School revealed that doctors were less likely to order excessive laboratory tests when faced with their cost. Billing transparency among healthcare staff reduced expenditures by 9 percent and led physicians to search for alternative (and cost-effective) testing for their patients.

While one could argue that medical tests aren’t meant to “rip off” patients, the markup is undeniable. If you’ve ever complained about the cost of doctor’s visit, consider these everyday markups and the effect they impose on your bank account. Savings are the cornerstone of financial health. Why waste yours when credit repair is on the line?

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Lousy Customers? How to Protect Your Business (and Credit)

Running a business can be challenging and rewarding, but what should you do when your deserved rewards (i.e., payments) are challenged? Lousy, non-paying customers come with the territory, a terrain that becomes dangerous when your budget is on the line. Keep these safeguards in mind as you deal with the everydayness of business finance. The results will help you avoid credit repair.

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Keeping Up With the Joneses: Is Status Worth Credit Problems?

Do you feel the pressure of “Keeping up with the Joneses?” Have you ever wondered where the saying comes from? It’s no secret that the cultural phenomenon continues to influence our society today (e.g., Keeping Up with the Kardashians), but few people stop to consider where the movement of competitive consumerism originated.

Socialites Mary and Rebecca Jones coined the phrase in New York City in the mid-1800s when, to the shock and awe of their neighbors, they built an opulent mansion amongst the modest homes north of 57th Street. The Jones family became notorious for their extravagant lifestyle, sparking a cultural need to “keep up” that would become a national trend. Their niece, Edith Jones Wharton, would go on to become the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Age of Innocence.

Here’s some irony for you: Despite her lifelong wealth, Mrs. Wharton embodied none of the climber characteristics inspired by her family’s name. She maintained successful writing career, lived within her means, and even criticized the classist society in which she lived. If Edith Wharton could transcend the pressure of keeping up with her own family’s expectations, why are we still so keen to buy into the Jones mentality?

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Top Five Regrets: How They Relate to Finances

When a life ends, what remains? A home, family, photos, maybe an inheritance, memories, and perhaps the occasional regret.

Bronnie Ware experienced these utterances firsthand as a palliative care nurse. Working for years with the dying during their last 12 weeks of life, she noticed the same regrets repeated among her patients.

Below are the top five regrets outlined by Ms. Ware and our perspective on how to avoid the same issues in your financial life. Take a lesson from those who have experienced the same troubles; don’t allow yours to become a lifelong burden.

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