If you’re like three-quarters of Americans you take part in the annual ritual of spring cleaning, according to research from the American Cleaning Institute. The places that top your list for dusting off or sprucing up include the bedroom (76%), kitchen (73%), bathroom (69%), family room (61%) and dining room (45%).
Well, I’ve got another few targets to add to that list: How about spring cleaning your desktops (both real and virtual), your wallet and your online presence as a way to protect yourself from identity theft. Nearly 8.5 million people that were victims of a data breach in 2014 were also victims of fraud, according to a survey from Javelin Strategy and Research sponsored by LifeLock. That’s not a trend that’s going away any time soon. But while it’s tough to protect yourself from becoming someone whose data is pilfered, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of a data heist turning into full-blown identity theft. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
No matter where you live, it helps to have a strategy to slog through these cold months. I retreat to the kitchen where I lean heavily on comfort foods. (Recently I made Coq Au Riesling from Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.) In last week’s newsletter I asked for your survival tips. Thanks to everyone who emailed and tweeted me back. Here are some of my favorites: (more…)
According to a study by Princeton Research Associates for CreditCards.com, many more men than women have bank accounts or credit cards that their spouse or live-in partner don’t know about. So, should a married woman have a slush fund…a stash of cash that her spouse doesn’t have access to and maybe doesn’t even know about? I tackle the question in this week’s Fortune column. Read on here.
Some providers are coming out with new offers to entice customers to switch carriers, even if they have existing contracts. They’ll happily buy that contract out, pay your early termination fees and throw in a few extra perks if you switch your service. On Bankrate I go over what you should consider before taking advantage of a deal like this.
Read more here.
Should you refinance your student loan? The answer has changed in recent months. In this week’s Fortune column I highlight the recent deals from both bank and non-bank lenders that can save both students (who hold Stafford loans with fixed rates ranging from 3.86% to 6.8%) and their parents (who hold PLUS loans with fixed rates between 6.41% and 8.5%) some decent money.
Read on here.
Awesomeness is all around us. At least that’s how it appeared during a recent #ShareAwesome Twitter party. For an hour, 140 character stories of kindness to the homeless, to people in hospitals and neighbors in need, to kids left out on the fringe pored into the twitterverse – some accompanied by pictures, one more heartening than the next. Judging by the speed at which she was retweeted @caraleeball said it best when she tweeted, “so hate to see this party end…love talking about kindness and caring #shareawesome.”
What’s the fuss all about? Believe it or not, digital safety. That and the fact that kids and teens do awesome things on a daily basis – and that they should be able to tell their friends, BFFs and the rest of their social networks in a safe way that parents approve of. (more…)
Today, we’re welcoming Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, to the blog. Royal Neighbors of America is one of the largest women-led insurers in the U.S. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and Ms. Tidwell, nationally recognized as an expert in life insurance for women, discusses the importance for women and their families to be financially protected.
When I look to the future, I see great things for women. At no other time in our country’s history have women had so much opportunity to pursue education and careers; grow as leaders in their communities; and raise healthy families. A recent Shriver Report analysis found that women — including both married and single mothers — are breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of families with children as of 2009. Plus, women dominate the global marketplace controlling more than 80 percent of consumer spending — the power of the purse! (more…)
Don’t let back-to-school shopping blow your budget this year by using some of my tips from this morning’s segment. Tweet me your thoughts and suggestions @JeanChatzky.
We’ve seen the research in the headlines for weeks now: Over half of all college graduates are still funded by the bank of mom and dad. Well, this morning on TODAY, I offered a lesson on financial independence to two graduates who make up that statistic. If you missed it, check it out below.
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For Part One, head here.
Times of transition – think: getting married, having a baby, moving into a new home, even getting divorced – are noted for being exciting and daunting, energizing and exhausting. They can make us stressed-out and blissed-out simultaneously. But did you know they also change (and sometimes increase) your risk of falling prey to identity fraud?
Truth be told, neither did I. But some surprising new research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of LifeLock shows that’s exactly what happens. By understanding how these life shifts impact your vulnerability, you also give yourself the opportunity to mount a good offense during these transitional times. Here, the highlights of the research and what you should do next.