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Here are the biggest mistakes women make with money

Nearly 30 percent of respondents to a TODAY.com survey said they were so nervous about seeking a raise that they couldn’t ask. Nearly 40 percent said they had “no idea” what they’re doing when it comes to investing. And only 35 percent felt they were on top of managing their money. Those are sobering statistics — and it’s why we took on five of the top money mistakes women make on Her Two Cents TODAY. Number one is underestimating our value.

 

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Top 5 Fights Women and Men Have About Money — and How to End Them

In our TODAY.com survey, 36 percent of respondents said they fight most about having different money styles, and 26 percent said they fight most about having different goals for money. Check out the latest segment of Her Two Cents TODAY for some of the key fights women and men have about money — and how to put a pin in them.

 

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Top five financial fears: Inside women’s worries about money

In a TODAY survey, 20% of viewers said their biggest fear was having too much debt, and 19% felt it was outliving their money. We talked about how to overcome some of these fears this morning on a new series called Her Two Cents TODAY. Check it out!

 

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Prime Day: Amazon, Walmart offer major summer deals

Walmart and Amazon are “battling over your buck” this summer — the latter’s second annual Prime Day is on July 12, with over 100,000 deals for Prime members. Walmart, on the other hand, is introducing a free 30-day trial of ShippingPass, its unlimited two-day shipping program. I talk you through the potential deals — and if it’s worth it to shop the sales — on Today Show this morning. Separate the thing you’re buying from the process, and if you’re not sure you really wanted it at full price, then you shouldn’t be buying it on sale.

 

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Paying off student loans: How to cut your monthly payments

About 1/3 of college students with student loan debt say they’d rather not have sex for 10 years than carry that amount of debt. Did you know Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion collectively in student loan debt? You can watch it grow $2,726 every second here. This morning, I talked cutting monthly payments on TODAY. Check it out.

 

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‘Gig Economy’: How Apps Can Help You Be Your Own Boss

This morning on TODAY, I talked with Savannah Guthrie about the “gig economy.” A growing number of people are ditching the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule for non-traditional income methods. This includes app-enabled tasks like ride-sharing services, home-sharing platforms and handyman listings. I talk with one man who works as a for TaskRabbit and rents his home on Airbnb. Why is the so-called “gig economy” on the rise? A society of people wanting things done on demand.

 

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Don’t Overshare In The Sharing Economy

Temperatures and kids’ excitement levels are on the rise, summer travel is right around the corner, and this year AAA says more than one-third of Americans (35 percent) are planning to take family vacations. And chances are, as a result of the sharing economy, and the rise of services from Airbnb to Uber and all the others in between, those vacations look a little different than they did just a few years ago.

Oversharing Canva 4Sharing everything from housing to transportation offers great money-saving opportunities, no question, but it also raises new challenges as far as protecting your identity is concerned. According to a recent LifeLock survey, 25 percent of consumers have already been victimized. With nearly 10 million new cases of identity theft each year, that number is only going to climb.

So how do you keep yourself safe this season? By taking precautions before you go—and while you’re on the road.

People are nosy

Which do you think is riskier: leaving your home unlocked for a week or allowing strangers to rent out your home? You might be surprised to hear that a good half of Americans think it’s the former. But get this: 41 percent of Americans admitted to having looked through someone’s personal items when visiting their home. Yes, renting out your home to other travelers (via services like Airbnb) can be a great way to earn extra income, but while you’re away, make sure you aren’t unintentionally sharing information about your personal identity. Identity theft can be just as damaging as a break-in. Before you head out, tidy up and lock away documents and personal possessions, such as your Social Security cards, birth certificates, bills and banking statements.

In the sharing economy, leave no items behind

If you’re looking to dodge airport parking fees or rental car costs, ridesharing services, like Uber, Lyft and Via, can cut costs. That is, unless you leave valuable information behind. LifeLock found that 24 percent of people have left wallets or phones in taxis or ridesharing services. Make sure you always check the seat before you hop out so that someone doesn’t drive off with your personally identifiable information.

Notify your post office, paper deliverer, and card companies

A pile of newspapers and an overflowing mailbox both say, “Hey! I’m not home.” Mail theft can lead to identity theft (and not just by strangers). Despite these risks, 37 percent of Americans are unlikely to put their mail on hold with when they go on vacation. To avoid “familiar fraud” (i.e. fraud committed by people who know you), call your post office and newspaper and have them place holds on your mail and newspapers instead of asking a neighbor or friend to do the job. Also, alert your bank and credit card companies that you’re going out of town, and more specifically, where you’re going. Doing so prevents the embarrassing scenario of having your debit or credit cards denied while you’re traveling.

Avoid TMI with #latergram

As tempting as it is to live tweet, Instagram or post your fabulous vacation on social media, don’t. Because in addition to sharing the cool things you’re doing, you’re also sharing the fact that you’re not home and perhaps not paying attention to your financial accounts, either. Instead, post #latergrams. Wait until you get home to post the details of your adventures. As they say, better late than never.

There’s a lot to be said about taking advantage of the sharing economy—and the benefits it brings to our lives, including our summer vacations. That said, with any activity that may expose your personal information, use caution. Even if the sharing economy saves you money and gives you more travel options, if you lose your identity on your trip, it’ll be a bad vacation.

With Kelly Hultgren

Here’s how you can save money — quickly — for an emergency

A survey by The Federal Reserve Board found 47% of people would have to borrow money or sell something to come up with $400 for an emergency. This morning on TODAY, I talked with Matt Lauer about tracking spending and capping expenses.

 

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Tips For Recent Graduates To Help Avoid Identity Theft

If you’ve got a newly minted graduate in the family (or you’re one yourself), congratulations! Launching, whether you’re doing it from high school into a college or university, or from college into a new apartment and career, is exciting. Unfortunately, when it comes to your identity and personal information, it’s also a process that exposes you to more risk than usual.

According to research conducted by LifeLock, nearly two-thirds of students reported that they were not very concerned about fraud (one probable reason that fewer than one-quarter even detect fraud when it happens to them). Yet, when it does hit, 15% say the impact is moderate or severe—that’s higher than among other age groups.

More worrisome, colleges and universities—among them U.C. Berkeley—have been victimized fairly steadily by data thieves in recent years. As the head of information security for the school told reporters, it’s difficult to protect an academic institution because you can’t just shut it down in the face of a major breach.

Bottom line: The best way to keep yourself safe during times of life transition (graduation, as well as many others) is to take several steps to protect yourself ahead of time. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Lock up your personal information—and password-protect your computer and phone. Students are four times more likely than other computer users to be victims of “familiar fraud,” in other words, to have their information stolen by people they know. Living in a dorm with a person you don’t know (or don’t know well) and other students frequently popping in and out puts you at risk. Any documents with identifying details, from passports to bills, should be put (or even better locked) away. This is the same reason your mailbox should have a key.
  • Watch the sharing. It’s tempting to broadcast details and photos of this fabulous new life of yours on social media. Be careful. The more you share, the more you’re open to having your identity stolen. Why? Because by providing details like your pet’s name, birthday, mother’s maiden name, and location, you’re giving a smart thief all the information necessary to create a faux you and apply for credit in your name. Be selective about what you share and who you allow to see it.
  • Pay attention to your credit (or, parents, do this for your children). If you’re sending kids off to college or out into the world as an authorized user on your credit card, chances are you’re doing so to help them build a credit history. If you’re not doing this—and your kids haven’t applied for credit themselves—then the mere existence of a credit history is a sign of trouble. You can check your credit report (or your child’s) for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Finally, have the talk with your kids. Not that talk, the one about how important their identity is as they enter the adult world—and how taking steps to secure it is up to them.

‘Quickie Mortgages’: Are They Really As Easy As They Claim?

This morning on TODAY, Savannah Guthrie and I talked about “quickie mortgages” — a new, largely automated process that allows many borrowers to get loan confirmation very quickly. It’s mostly done online, but calling is also possible, and it usually takes 10 minutes or less. Now is a good time to have financing locked in before you go home shopping — it’s both spring and a seller’s market, which makes everything a little more competitive. Check out the segment below.

 

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