Archive for March, 2013

Easter 2013 – By the Numbers

Posted on March 29, 2013 by Saldutti

Easter marks yet another holiday made for spending, and consuming copious quantities of chocolate. This year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that the average celebrant will spend approximately $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel, and food. Total spending will reach an estimated $17.2 billion.  So whether you’re hiding eggs in the backyard or planning a big family brunch, here’s the rundown on stats, spending, and trivia surrounding this holiday that dates back to the 4th century. Easter Garb: $25.91 Per Person – The NRF tells us that much of this spending will be done on behalf of the kids, in…

10 Ways Credit Doesn't Seem Fair

Posted on March 28, 2013 by Saldutti

It never fails. You think you’re doing all the right things when it comes to your credit. You pay off an old delinquent debt, close old accounts, maybe even decide to stay out of debt altogether. Then your credit score takes a dive. You thought you were being financially responsible. What gives? A credit score is a calculation of your credit behaviors that tells a lender how big of a risk it is to lend to you. They want to see if you’ve had credit, whether you’ve had it for a long time, and if you’ve managed it responsibly.  However,…

How Risky is Mobile Banking?

Posted on March 21, 2013 by Saldutti

Smartphone technology, thanks to consumer demand, is poised to become the most significant technology disrupter since the Internet and will forever change how banks serve their customers. Smartphones appeal to bank executives because of their labor-saving potential and because they provide another point of competitive distinction as banks race to create innovative handheld applications. Given the recent cyberattacks on U.S. banks however, one might ask “how safe is smartphone banking?” The answer to that question – indeed to the overall profitability of smartphone banking itself – lies with the customers. One threat challenging the success of smartphone applications has to…

Credit Cards vs. Debit Card/Cash: Part 2

Posted on March 19, 2013 by Saldutti

As we reviewed in our previous post, Credit Cards vs. Debit Card/Cash: Part 1, credit cards can simplify your daily transactions – they’re convenient, relatively secure, leave a paper trail, and can help you earn rewards and build better credit. But they also can mask your spending habits and quietly rack up hidden fees. In recent years, retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and J.C. Penney have noticing a marked shift away from credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards. Whether the reason is maxed out credit cards or better money management in a tough economy, consumers are taking the…

Young Adults Refrain from Piling Up Debt

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Saldutti

Young people are racking up larger amounts of student debt than ever before, but fresh data suggest they are becoming warier of borrowing in general: Total debt among young adults dropped in the last decade to the lowest level in 15 years.   A typical young U.S. household – defined as one led by someone under age 35 – had $15,000 in total debt in 2010, down from $18,000 in 2001 and the lowest since 1995, according to a recent Pew Research Center report and government data. Total debt includes mortgage loans, credit cards, auto lending, student loans and other consumer…

Credit Cards vs. Debit Card/Cash: Part 1

Posted on March 05, 2013 by Saldutti

In these challenging economic times, many people are trying to use their credit cards less and relying more on debit cards or cash to make purchases. Financial experts have long advised people to stay away from debt and have touted the expression that “cash is king.” While some purchases are best paid for in cash or debit card, you may get a better bang for your buck by putting some on a credit card. While it’s true that tons of people overuse their credit cards and end up with significant debt, that’s not the case for everyone. The rule is…