As an expert on the credit industry, John Ulzheimer spends his days thinking about credit cards, debit cards and credit scores. So imagine his surprise when he picked up lunch at a restaurant near his house in Atlanta, then later went on a beer run, and was directly confronted with the consumer fallout from the hot-button issue of the day in his profession: new fees for debit card purchases imposed by government regulations.
“The liquor store has an entirely new pricing structure – the cash/debit card price was 5 percent less. And, at the restaurant, for the first time ever, they asked me if I was paying by cash or debit card or credit card, even before I ordered my meal,” he said, and sent along picture at right from the liquor store.
You can pay bills with some services, manage your budget with others and organize your financial planning with still another set of programs. But if you want one system where you can auto-pay your cable bill through your checking account, review your mortgage statements from a different financial institution and coordinate payment for soccer sweatshirts on the fly, you’re dreaming of a future world that doesn’t yet exist.
When Mint.com launched in 2007, it was one of several Web-based attempts to get people to look at all their financial accounts in one place. For budgeting and planning that kind of overview is essential, and people flocked to sign up.
After a few shakeouts in the marketplace, Mint was aquired by Intuit and ended up the big winner, building to a base of six million users and counting. But one piece was always missing – bill reminders. Little bits of it appeared along the way, but there was no coordinated system. Finally, it’s here, and none too soon: Mint says its users spend $5 million a month on bank fees.
That indie wrestling movie with a heart, starring Paul Giamatti, was made for around $10 million, played at Sundance in January and then hit multiplexes in March, where it racked up a profit at the box office in the U.S. and is just about to hit the secondary market of cable, On Demand and DVD. It’s the kind of film that makes would-be Hollywood moguls pull out their checkbooks, hoping for a little touch of glamour and a big payout.
A quick trip around the Web today came up with a treasure trove of things to think about, from advice on what to do now, to historical perspectives to funny tweets. There’s analysis that says gold will go up, there’s analysis that says gold will go down. And there are worldwide repercussions that you might not have ever considered.
Paid vacation leave is the most widely available perk for employees, accessible to 91 percent of full-time workers, according to a new study on employee benefits from the Labor Department. But a new infographic on “The Overworked American” by the web magazine Good (click here or on the image at left to get the whole infographic) points out that despite these benefits, 36 percent of workers don’t use all of their allotted vacation days and a similar number take less than a seven-day vacation when they do step away from their office.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Americans are bombarding their financial advisers with questions about what to do if the U.S. government defaults on its debt.
Call volumes to major wealth managers have risen – and a lot of calls are about whether they will get badly hurt by the events in Washington.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Americans are bombarding their financial advisers with questions about what to do if the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Call volumes to major wealth managers have risen – and a lot of calls are about whether they will get badly hurt by the events in Washington.
Concerns seem to be escalating as the August 2 deadline looms for the U.S. government to extend its debt ceiling or face the prospect of being unable to pay its bills.