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Questions About CSAs, Homebrewing, Toxins, Sandwich Presses, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Roommates versus money 2. On buying a rental property 3. Does homebrewing save money? 4. Best single piece of advice? 5. Joining a CSA 6. Keeping …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Can You Get a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card Now?

2014 seemed to be the year of big data breaches in the United States. Hacks at four major retailers — Home Depot, Michaels Stores, Neiman Marcus, and Target — compromised the payment-card data of more than 130 million customers. Breaches like these left consumers vulnerable to fraud and identity crimes. As of Dec. 23, there had been 761 …

How Student Loans Affect Your Credit

Whether you’re making your payments on time, paying extra every month, or struggling to pay the debt, student loans impact your credit report and score – for the good and the bad. Here’s how: Accentuate the Negative Any time you fail to make a student loan payment on time, this is going to have a …

Guide to Self-Directed IRAs

The history of retirement plans in the United States is neither as old nor as extensive as most people think. The first private pension fund was introduced by the American Express Co. in 1875 as a means of improving employee retention. By 1900, there were only 13 private pension funds in the entire country, and …

Small Business Saturday: How Tiesta Tea Brewed Up Its Success

It all began with a conversation among friends at a teahouse during a semester in Europe. It could have ended there, like so many college daydreams do, the wistful chatter that populates so much of undergraduate life. But Patrick Tannous and Daniel Klein made their dream come true. The exact date of that conversation remains …

How to Build Accountability for Your Financial Goals

It’s really easy to set a big goal for ourselves that expresses a major change we’d like to make in our lives. My goals are often related to finances, fitness, and learning. Yours could be anything. At the same time, it’s really hard to follow through on those goals for a number of reasons. First …

Categories: Getting Started

Perfect Your Sales Pitch to Convert More Customers

For the budding entrepreneur, the path to success is filled with roadblocks. What might seem like surefire strategies often flame out quickly. The challenge of attracting and keeping customers requires extensive research of your market and attention to detail. There may be false starts along the way, but this seven-step process will help you perfect your …

The Very New Deal: How FHA Mortgages Are Changing for 2015

By Peter Miller The federal government established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage program in the 1930s under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and it’s been a big hit ever since. In fact, more than 40 million FHA loans have been originated under the program, with large numbers going to first-time buyers. What makes the FHA …

Categories: Housing, Loans

Should Community College Be Free?

Attending community college is already a great way for some students to ease their student loan burdens. But President Obama unveiled a proposal Thursday that could erase that burden altogether, offering two years of free community college to students “willing to work for it.” Obama is expected to formally announce the plan while speaking at a community …

Categories: Education, Loans

Retiring Abroad? What You Need to Know About Health Insurance

So you want to pack up all your cares and woes and retire overseas. The world is full of possibilities, from hundreds of thousands of miles of warm and habitable coastline to mountain towns and cosmopolitan cities on six continents. Your retirement benefits including Social Security will travel to your destination. However, one thing that …