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Financial News from Money Talks News

  • A fat holiday shopping fund lets you enjoy a season that’s both affordable and inner-peaceful. “More than 90 percent of Americans celebrated Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah last winter,” says the National Retail Federation, adding: In the video below, watch Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson explain how to put aside …

  • New California Law Mandates Smartphone Kill Switch Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 29, 2014 4:41 AM EDT

    It won’t be as big a concern if you live in California. A new law in the Golden State will soon require kill switches on new smartphones. California’s phone law, the first of its kind in the nation, requires that phones sold after July 1, 2015, have default kill switches. According to the San Jose Mercury News:

  • JPMorgan Chase, Other Big Banks Fall Prey to Hackers Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 29, 2014 4:35 AM EDT

    According to CNN Money, the FBI is investigating the attacks. The hackers reportedly used cutting-edge malware to forge deep into the banks’ computer systems, giving them the power to delete and manipulate records. JPMorgan Chase, the only bank named so far by investigators, said it hasn’t detected any unusual activity …

  • Want to Improve Your Health? Contribute to a 401(k) Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 29, 2014 4:28 AM EDT

    It turns out that you may be able to predict an individual’s physical health by examining their behavior when it comes to saving for their financial future. A recent study in Psychological Science found that people who contribute to their retirement plans are more likely to take the necessary steps to improve their physical …

  • Pop Quiz: Terrorists Destroy Your Home. Will the Insurance Company Pay? Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson took to Times Square to see what people know – or don’t know – about their insurance policies. Will your insurance company pay? Not unless your homeowners policy has a rider specifically for your stamp collection. Insurance company Travelers notes that standard homeowner …

  • What Cable Mergers Might Mean for Your Television Service Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    The two most hated companies in America are trying to merge. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are planning to combine forces and, presumably, lock out the competition so no other company can ever steal their coveted spot at the bottom of the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The Department of Justice just green lighted …

  • Millennials Are Best About Paying Their Mortgages on Time Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 1:12 AM EDT

    The percentage of homeowners who were more than 60 days past due on their mortgage payment has gone down for the 10th straight quarter, dropping nearly 20 percent in the last year alone. According to a ...

  • Identify That Mystery Hotel Before You Book It Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 1:03 AM EDT

    You love the money you can save with the incredible deals on travel websites like Priceline and Hotwire, but booking blindly is risky. It turns out, there’s a loophole that may let you see that secret hotel before you hand over your credit card information. The tip was shared in an article by John Matarese that appeared …

  • The Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 12:51 AM EDT

    You could be a car mechanic and live in a state with cheap gas, and it might still cost you more to own a vehicle there than in other states across the U.S., especially the Midwestern states. The study ranks the states according to spending on gasoline, vehicle repairs and car insurance. As you’re probably aware, gas …

  • 10 College Majors You May Regret Choosing Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    Selecting a college major seems to be a difficult proposition for many students. Liz Freedman of Butler University reports that anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of newly enrolled college students are undeclared ...

  • You Won’t Believe What Hotels Are Charging for Now Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 1:53 AM EDT

    Better get used to that sound, because hotel customers are paying for a growing list of chargeable services, from storing luggage to Internet use. Hotels seem to simply be following the lead of the rest of the fee-happy travel industry, the AP said.

  • Wireless Carriers Duke It Out With Unlimited Data Plans Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 1:42 AM EDT

    It’s a war of unlimited data and pricing strategies between two of America’s wireless carriers. A week after Sprint announced an aggressively priced unlimited data plan, T-Mobile fired back, quadrupling the data in its Simple Starter plan to 2GB for just $5 more per month. According to CNET, Sprint revamped its plan pricing …

  • Should the Knee Defender Be Allowed on Airline Flights? Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 1:37 AM EDT

    Two travelers were booted off a United Airlines flight this weekend after a heated exchange over the use of a Knee Defender. The Knee Defender is reportedly prohibited by all of the major airlines, including United, that still have reclining seats. “The fight started when the male passenger, seated in a middle seat of …

  • Is Your Online Love Interest Putting Your Money at Risk? Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 26, 2014 3:48 PM EDT

    Prince Charming is only a keystroke away, and you found him via social media or at an online dating site. Online dating scams are common, and they cost victims more than $50 million a year, says ThreatMetrix, a cybercrime prevention company. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, met the man on an online dating site …

  • Last week the Department of Justice announced the largest civil settlement ever from a single entity, an eye-popping $16.65 billion from Bank of America. The settlement arose from the handling of residential mortgages by Bank of America and subsidiaries Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. I just read about the B of A settlement …

  • Report: Big Banks Mislead Customers About Overdraft Protection Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 26, 2014 5:07 AM EDT

    The costs and risks of overdraft protection are not well understood by many Americans. So it’s no surprise that a new study using mystery shoppers found that big banks’ explanations of overdraft protection programs are inconsistent and unclear. A little background: Banks used to automatically enroll customers in so-called …

  • Leave Your (Legal) Pot at Home When Traveling Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 26, 2014 5:03 AM EDT

    In Washington and Colorado, it’s legal to possess pot for recreational use. In 23 other states, you can legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The difference is especially clear in states like Idaho. Surrounded on three sides by pot-friendly Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana, Idaho State Police seized three …

  • Rent Is Higher Than Ever in Most US Metro Areas Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 26, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

    Renting is now more costly than ever in 88 of the country’s 100 largest real estate markets, a new report from Zillow says. The Zillow report said: “The affordability of for-sale homes remains strong, which is encouraging for those buyers that can save for a down payment and capitalize on low mortgage interest rates. …

  • The 5 Most Complained About Cars in America Money Talks News - Mon, Aug 25, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    Or maybe the electrical system decides it no longer wants to open doors automatically. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the go-to source for car complaint information. The federal agency collects consumer complaints and files them away in a public database. If too many complaints come in about a …

  • 3 Odd Ways Regular People Make Money Advertising (And 2 for You to Try) Money Talks News - Mon, Aug 25, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    The duo have moved on to other things, but if you need some inspiration, their website is still up and running or you can swing by their Buy My Face Facebook page. A slightly more realistic, yet still unusual, way to earn some advertising revenue is by agreeing to turn your car into a driving billboard.

  • Saving for Kids’ College Trumps Retirement Savings for Single Parents Money Talks News - Sat, Aug 23, 2014 4:20 PM EDT

    In a perfect world, parents would not have to choose between putting money away for their retirement or saving for their children’s college education. Three in 4 single parents said trying to prepare for retirement and save money for their kids’ college simultaneously is stressful. According to USA Today, the survey’s single-parent …

  • Here’s What’s in the $50,000 Emmy Swag Bags Money Talks News - Sat, Aug 23, 2014 4:17 PM EDT

    Win or lose, all Emmy nominees will leave Sunday’s award show with arms overflowing with luxury gifts. According to WBRE-TV, a fragrance shop that opened in Pennsylvania just nine months ago is going to have one of its signature scents included in the swag bag.

  • Grandparents: Here’s Why You Should Talk Money With the Grandkids Money Talks News - Sat, Aug 23, 2014 4:14 PM EDT

    Who needs to hire a financial adviser when you have grandparents you can talk to for free? When it comes to discussing money matters, grandparents have more influence than they realize. According to a recent survey from financial firm TIAA-CREF, 85 percent of young adults said they’d like to discuss money and saving with …

  • Odds Are, Hackers Have Your Medical File Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 22, 2014 1:32 PM EDT

    The medical records of more than 4.5 million patients, including name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, were recently stolen from Community Health Systems by a group of Chinese hackers. According to CNN Money, 90 percent of health care organizations have either exposed their patients’ personal data or …

  • Here Are The Best – and Worst – Cell Companies Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 22, 2014 1:02 AM EDT

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the best mobile network of all? New technology and constant upgrades can make it difficult to decipher which mobile network would be a good fit for you. If you want the best overall network, look no further than Verizon. RootMetrics gave top honors to Verizon based on performance, …

  • Call Comcast for Help? Expect a Sales Pitch Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 22, 2014 12:56 AM EDT

    I imagine it would be incredibly frustrating to call Comcast’s customer service line to cancel your service, complain about an issue with your cable or get help with a billing question, only to have the customer service representative try to sell you additional channels or faster Internet or some other Comcast upgrade. …

  • Can You Trust Carfax? (Plus 4 Other Ways to Avoid Buying a Clunker) Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 21, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    Show me the Carfax. Remember when those commercials first hit the airwaves? It was only a matter of time before dealerships everywhere started touting a Carfax report with every used car. The reports promised ...

  • 5 Smart Money Moves First-Time College Students Should Make Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 21, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    Here are some tips to help first-time college students avoid mistakes and get in the habit of sound money management for years to come: Don’t waste your money on interest, and instead pay off the entire balance each month.

  • Store Credit Cards Are Now a Worse Deal Than They Were Before Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 21, 2014 1:11 AM EDT

    It can be tempting to sign up for a credit card at your favorite store, especially when you can save 15 percent on your entire purchase just for signing up. According to a new CreditCards.com report, the average APR on retail credit cards has increased by more than two percentage points since 2010 and now sits at 23.23 …

  • After Minnesota passed a higher minimum wage, a restaurant owner tried to offset the cost by requiring servers to pay the 2 percent credit card fee when diners use plastic to pay for their tips. Now the owner has rescinded that policy and, in fact, is raising non-tipped employees’ wages above the new $8 minimum wage rate, …

  • Most Americans Spend Some of Their Vacation Working Money Talks News - Thu, Aug 21, 2014 12:52 AM EDT

    “Of those [Americans] who check work email on vacation, 37 percent say it is an everyday habit and do not consider it to be ‘work’ while on vacation,” TripAdvisor said. A TripAdvisor survey press release said: “The TripAdvisor survey shows that Americans receive less vacation time than other countries, and when they do …

  • Your Car Is Spying On You: How to Protect Yourself Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 20, 2014 5:08 PM EDT

    Nowadays, most new cars have an electronic data recorder, which notes what your car’s sensors are picking up about your speed, braking and other factors like use of safety equipment in the event of a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “EDRs do not collect any personal identifying information …

  • 8 Personal Finance Tips From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Money Talks News - Wed, Aug 20, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    I saw “Guardians of the Galaxy” for the second time today. Yet their varied talents complement one another and move them toward a (reluctantly) shared goal.

  • Are You Preparing Your Daughter for Her Financial Future? Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 11:03 PM EDT

    The annual Parents, Kids and Money Survey by investment firm T. Rowe Price revealed that sons and daughters are not treated equally when it comes to learning about money matters at home. The survey found that parents discuss financial goals and other money issues with 58 percent of boys, compared with just 50 percent of …

  • Americans Are Tired of Being Surprised by Their Medical Bills Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 10:56 PM EDT

    Imagine the peace of mind of having a medical procedure performed and knowing the cost of the treatment beforehand. According to a survey by TransUnion Healthcare, 80 percent of consumers said pre-treatment cost estimates and insurance coverage estimates would be helpful in managing medical costs, though just 1 in 4 patients …

  • Cost of Raising a Child Increases to $245,340 Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 10:50 PM EDT

    For middle-class families, the average cost of raising a child born in 2013 to age 18 is $245,340, and that doesn’t include your pregnancy or their college. The estimated cost, which increased about 1.8 percent from the previous year, is based on food, housing, transportation, clothing, child care and non-college educational …

  • Ask Stacy: How Do I Find a Good Lawyer? Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 11:20 AM EDT

    If you think your income might qualify you for free legal aid, check LawHelp.org for connections to free legal aid programs in your local community. Keep in mind, however, that free legal aid isn’t available for all types of cases.

  • Booking a Hotel? Read This First Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 11:17 AM EDT

    If your typical routine for booking a hotel stay goes something like this: Find and book a room on Expedia, then confirm and pay for your nonrefundable two-night stay with a debit card, you’re doing it wrong. According to Airfarewatchdog, you just made three hotel booking mistakes, which could potentially be remedied by …

  • Get Free Access to Luxury Airport Lounges With Your Credit Card Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 11:02 AM EDT

    The good news is that within loud and crowded airports there are oases of relative calm available in the form of airline lounges. Relax in posh AmEx Centurion lounges There are lots of different types of airport and airline lounges out there, and while no one card gets you into all of them, you can align your credit cards …

  • Soldiers’ Hidden Struggle: Providing Food for Their Families Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 1:11 AM EDT

    Twenty-five percent of military families, or 620,000 households, rely on food pantries and other charitable programs to help feed their families, according to a new report from Feeding America, a network of U.S. The military households counted in the survey include at least one active-duty military member or member of …

  • Best Cities to Rent Out Your Home Money Talks News - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 1:04 AM EDT

    If you’re not sure if you should sell your home or rent it out, you may want to check out Zillow’s rankings of the top 10 cities where mom-and-pop landlords can make the most money. “Topping the list for short-term, month-to-month profitability on a rental property is Oklahoma City, Okla.,” said Zillow, a housing analytics …

  • Why You May Start Leaving the ‘B’ Out of Your BLT Money Talks News - Mon, Aug 18, 2014 5:18 PM EDT

    Bringing home the bacon just got more expensive. The average price of a pound of bacon in the U.S. increased by 6 cents in June, pushing it to an all-time high of $6.11 per pound, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • 12 Tips to Build a Resume That Will Get You Hired Money Talks News - Mon, Aug 18, 2014 4:46 PM EDT

    Then emphasize the details of your work experience, skills and accomplishments in your resume to highlight what the employer wants. In essence, you want to convey that you are skilled in your profession and highlight the experience and accomplishments that will advance the organization’s interests.

  • Big-City Lodgings for $29 a Night Money Talks News - Mon, Aug 18, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    Once known as “youth hostels” and geared mostly toward the young traveler, these institutions appeal more and more to frugal adults. If you have joint problems or other health issues, it could be hard to carry a suitcase up several flights.

  • Why You Should Hang Up if You Get a Call From the ‘IRS’ Money Talks News - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 1:27 AM EDT

    The most recent IRS phone scam is raking in some big numbers: 90,000 complaints to the Treasury Inspector General’s Office and more than $5 million bilked from 1,100 victims. Consumers were first warned of the IRS scam in October, CNN Money said. “Some fraudsters tell victims they owe money and will be in big trouble …

  • Burger King Customers Prefer More Fat With Their Fries Money Talks News - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 1:14 AM EDT

    Less-than-satisfying sales of Satisfries have led Burger King to pull its lower-calorie French fries from two-thirds of its restaurants. The fast-food giant sold about 100 million Satisfries in the one year they were on the Burger King menu, CNN Money said. The fries were advertised as having 40 percent less fat and 30 …

  • Should You Repair Your Own Credit? Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    You’ve managed to get back on your feet after a financial disaster , and you’ve finally reached the last hurdle: the credit repair process. It’s no secret that your credit needs to be rebuilt, but the ...

  • 7 Simple Steps to Build Your Own Business Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

    If being a business owner is on your bucket list, you’re in luck. Your successful business starts with the right idea.

  • Got a Raise? Congrats. Now Boost Your Retirement Contribution Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 4:47 AM EDT

    Next time you get a raise at work, do your future self a favor and increase your personal contribution to your retirement savings plan. Although that doesn’t sound as fun as splurging on a celebratory dinner and drinks or pampering yourself at a spa, it’s important to take steps now to ensure that you’re ready for retirement …

  • America’s Best Airline: Delta Soars to Top Spot Money Talks News - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 4:39 AM EDT

    Just a year ago, Delta Airlines finished a disappointing sixth place (out of 10) in Airfarewatchdog’s best U.S. airlines rankings. What a difference a year makes. Now Atlanta-based Delta reigns as the ...

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