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Credit scores aren’t static. They don’t rise and fall like temperature. No, credit scores are simply a snapshot evaluation of your credit report information at a given point in time. But when the information on your credit reports changes, your scores will generally be different the next time they’re calculated. Certain credit events may lead to a predictable difference in your credit scores. For example, if your credit report shows a new missed or late payment, a new collection account, or a …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Income change and credit limits 2. Water filter advice 3. Figuring out lifestyle inflation 4. Upgrading wardrobe to “professional” 5. Finding specific used items 6. Best place for Roth IRA? 7. Value of rice cooker 8. Resolving banking error 9. Parking money in retirement 10. Next step after …

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You probably already know that it’s important to have an emergency fund. You know, money that keeps you out of debt and on track, even when life throws you a curveball. You’ve probably also heard that you’re supposed to keep this money in a savings account, safe and sound, so that you can be sure it’s there when you need it. And while you definitely want this money to be safe, it probably bugs you at least a little bit that …

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Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or just need spending money, there’s something eerily satisfying about selling your unwanted “stuff” for cash. Your old picture frames, unworn or outgrown children’s clothing, and forgotten home décor may not hold a place in your heart any longer, but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t gladly swoop these items up – for a price, of course. Because I’ve always been obsessed with earning extra income, I’ve had a rolling garage sale my entire …

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Erika writes in: 23 years old, graduated last summer and finally got a good job in my field making $60K in a good cost of living area. I don’t know what my future holds but right now I am single and live in a tiny low-rent apartment that I am very happy with. I spend most of my time working, hiking, and building professional relationships. So, not many expenses at all. I will probably save 50% of my income this …

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Over the last several years, I’ve come to believe that if you do four things daily, you’ll see steady improvement in your life: meditate/pray, get some exercise, get plenty of sleep, and write a reflective journal entry. I’ve made it my goal to do those four things every single day. Today, I want to focus in on the value of that reflective journal entry. It’s useful for one simple reason: It provides an opportunity for you to step back and …

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“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” – The Buddha As anyone who has read this site for very long can probably guess, one of my passions is learning about new philosophies and religions and intellectual traditions in order to see what the wisdom of others can teach me about my own life. I incorporate bits and pieces of many different things that I pick up from books, conversations, and …

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It’s time to come clean about something that brings me shame: Up until a few years ago, I was a “hunt-and-peck” typist. I only used five fingers, and I had to look down at the keyboard every few seconds while I worked. I know, I know. I was supposed to learn “touch typing” — all 10 fingers dancing around the keyboard without looking down, choreographed by muscle memory — during a middle school computer class. Unfortunately, I spent more time …

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This is part of a short summer series covering smart strategies for using leftover staple foods – things like rice, beans, pasta, and so on. Here’s what you do when you cook a bit too much and don’t know what to do with the rest! I’m a huge fan of homemade bread. I’ve made it at home many, many times, to the point that I could basically do it blindfolded, and it’s always amazing when you pull it out of …

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When it comes to paying off credit cards, minimum monthly payments sound nice on paper. Who doesn’t like charging $1,000 on a purchase but only having to pay $15 a month? The problem, however, is when interest rates come into play. Suddenly, you’re having to deal with interest rates anywhere from 15% to 30%. Just to give you an idea of what that looks like, your minimum monthly payment for your balance of $1,000 starts to look more like $165 …

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