Beth's Feed
Oct 28, 2011
Oct 27, 2011
Oct 13, 2011
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Will retailers give debit cards a new life?

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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.

Sep 15, 2011
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Why is there no killer app for paying all your bills online?

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If you want to manage all of your money and all of your monthly payments in one convenient online place, you’re pretty much out of luck.

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.

Aug 24, 2011
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Automation can save you from overdraft and late fees

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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.

Aug 15, 2011
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Film investing puts your money where your marquee is

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Looking for a win-win situation for investing your money? You might be enticed to try something like “Win Win.”

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.

Aug 8, 2011
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Gold Mine: Links and tweets from around the Web

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One consequence of the stock market decline is that everyone is talking about investing in gold as it hits record highs. But what are they saying?

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.

Aug 4, 2011
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Overworked Americans don’t take all their vacation time

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Getting a lot of out-of-office emails and feeling some vacation envy? You may feel like you’re the only one left in town during these dog days of summer, but that’s not the case.

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.

Jul 27, 2011

Investors fret about how to survive a debt default

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.

Jul 27, 2011

Insight: Americans fret about how to survive a debt default

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.

    • About Beth

      "Beth Pinsker is Reuters’ deputy Money editor. She was previously editor of WalletPop.com, the personal finance site owned by AOL. In prior jobs, she was an editor at iVillage, a reporter at Inside.com and a film critic at the Dallas Morning News. She has also maintained a successful freelance career with stories on business news and entertainment appearing in publications including Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. She's tweets at www.twitter.com/bethpinsker."
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