Bank Notes 
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When I’m saving, ‘Time Is on My Side’

Time is on my side when I'm savingThe Rolling Stones’ “Time Is on My Side” (actually written by American song writer Jerry Ragovoy) may not seem at first glance like a song about money, but the more I look at the lyrics, the more I think they could be written from a lender to a debtor.
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 Debt 
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3 ways veterans get screwed financially, and how to fight back

Veterans face special financial challenges associated with their service.On Veterans Day, when we think of the sacrifices made by those who serve in the armed services, we often think of the physical and psychological trauma associated with war. But one thing that’s often overlooked is the financial mess that many veterans face either during their years of service or afterward when trying to transition into civilian life.

Here are three ways military veterans and those currently serving are getting screwed financially, and how they can fight back.
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 Personal Finance 
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Bankruptcy can set you back for 26 years

Bankruptcy can present long-term roadblocks to financial securityMost people aren’t surprised to discover that personal bankruptcy can set you back by quite a lot financially. After all, you have to be in a pretty poor financial position to file for bankruptcy in the first place. But the effects of bankruptcy on your financial situation might be greater than you imagine.

According to a study from Ohio State University and University of Maine researchers, it can take 26 years for bankruptcy filers to catch up to their nonbankruptcy-filing peers in terms of net worth.

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 Debt 
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Struggling financially? The stress might hurt your decision-making

Stress reductionOne of the tenets of the “American Way” is that anyone can “make it,” no matter how dire their circumstances. While this is a comforting thought, the reality might not play out quite so nicely. According to research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, there are indications that financial stress can reduce the ability to make good long-term decisions.


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 Reviews 
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Debt Free for Life by David Bach

Debt Free for Life by David BachDebt Free for Life is David Bach’s latest personal finance book and the first, as far as I know, that focuses entirely on the subject of debt.

David Bach’s most well known book is The Automatic Millionaire, which pushed the idea that the easiest way to “get rich” was to put it on autopilot. Automatic savings, whether to a bank account or a retirement account, is the key to a prosperous retirement. It’s one of the powerful pieces of personal finance out there. Since then, he’s written Start Over, Finish Rich which has spawned a whole “FinishRich” line of books, live events, and coaching.

In previous books, it was always about putting together a system that sets you up for the rest of your financial life. Set an automatic monthly contribution to your 401(k), check in each year to rebalance, and retire comfortably (that’s the skeleton, you have to put the meat on it by researching investments, etc.). This is one that focuses entirely on debt, how to pay it down faster, how to get out of it (from legally walking away to working with debt settlement companies), and how to stay away from accumulating more debt in the future.

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 The Home 
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What are Mortgage Accelerator Programs?

Mortgage DeedA mortgage accelerator program is a fancy name for a program that promises to help you pay off your loan faster than you would making regular monthly payments. With the recession and with falling housing prices, advertisements for these types of programs are popping up everywhere. The real question, though, is whether they work and I have to go back to a tried and true adage – “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

These programs promise to help you pay off your loans in half the time. Half! They remind me of those ads where someone with $150,000 in IRS tax debt gets it renegotiated down to $50 (you know those ads right?) or how $10,000 in credit card debt was settled for $150 and a high five. They smell like scams but if we just left it at that, we wouldn’t really know the real answer right? (this is how debt settlement works, it’s not necessarily a scam but it’s very very dangerous)

So let’s find out what mortgage accelerator programs are and whether they’re scams.
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 Personal Finance 
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How to Kick 11 Fearful Financial Situations in the Face

This post is part of the one day blog event “The Spectrum of Personal Finance.” In this event, comic book nerd Brian of My Next Buck, will discuss 8 different emotions (taken from the Green Lantern comic series) and relate them to personal finance. Here at Bargaineering we will be looking at Fear. To view the rest of the event look at the bottom of the page to see the other blogs hosting articles.

When I started looking through the personal finance blogosphere a year ago I was frightened of all the information I was gathering. There was so much out there and I didn’t necessarily understand what I was reading. I didn’t want to make a misstep with my hard earned cash, so I didn’t do anything at first.

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 Credit 
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What is the Average Household Credit Card Debt?

When it comes to credit card debt, especially with the passing of the CARD Act, there have been a lot of statistics flying around. I wanted to find a authoritative source, in this case the Federal Reserve, and see what the real numbers are.

One of the tricky things about averages is that it’s hard to make an apples to apples comparison. If you’re 25 and have $5,000 in credit card debt, is that good or bad? It’s certainly worse than having no credit card debt, but what if you’re responsible for providing for a family? A single person with $5,000 in debt is “worse” than a family with $5,000 in debt, all in one person’s name, right? It’s questions like these that make the whole “average credit card debt” question, and others like it, so tricky.

Despite these difficulties, it’s still valuable to understand what the average is as well as what the various trends are. If nothing else, it’s fun too right? :)

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