Author Archive | Matt Bell

Giving ID Thieves the Big Chill

We will soon have a new, albeit cumbersome, weapon in the fight against identity theft. According to an article on Bankrate.com, by next month people in all 50 states will be able to freeze their credit file at all three of the major credit bureaus. Everyone already has the right to place a fraud alert […]

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The Captain Has Turned On the Spend Sign

Not only do most airlines now charge for in-flight food, but more and more are going to a no-cash policy. The airlines say it’s more convenient and more profitable to make passengers pay with plastic. According to an article in the _LA Times_, Aloha Airlines has seen a 30 percent boost in in-flight alcohol sales […]

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“The Best of Things”

“Be joyful in hope.” –Romans 12:12a In the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, prisoner Andy Dufresne demonstrates the power of hope.  Wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife, his hope that the truth would one day come out sustains him. When the truth finally does come out, but a corrupt warden refuses to acknowledge it, Andy […]

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Keeping Telemarketers at Bay

Have you been enjoying more peaceful dinners since you signed up for the telemarketer Do Not Call list? If you’d like to keep it that way you might want to check to see when your registration expires. A recent article by the _Associated Press_ noted that our registrations are only good for five years. And […]

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One Simple Way to Go Green and Save

Doing right by the environment is often inconvenient and expensive. But an article by _Yahoo Finance_ columnist Laura Rowley, offered up one very easy and effective idea for reducing electricity use. Culling from the practices of the extremely green , she recommends simply unplugging appliances when not in use. One study found that people can […]

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Fifty Years of God and Money

October 1st marks the 50th anniversary of the appearance of “In God We Trust” on U.S. paper currency. The phrase has been on coins since 1864. It became the U.S. motto in 1956 and made its first appearance on U.S. currency the following year. There’s a fascinating history of how the phrase found its way […]

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Pennies for College Add Up

Are there any future Ivy Leaguers in your family? Or some future State U’ers? You can help foot the bill by signing up for a rebate program that deposits a portion of eligible purchases into a 529 college savings plan. It used to be that was the only game in town. But an article in […]

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Just Three More Months Until Christmas

It may be a bit early to start hanging Christmas lights on the house, but an article on _Bankrate.com_ noted that now is a good time to prepare financially for what is often the biggest budget-busting season of all. Among the ideas for a more joyful/less financially painful Christmas: Plan your gift list and holiday […]

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“Signaling” Who We Are

In their quest to be cool, people choose products and brands that “signal” their membership in desired “in-groups” while carefully monitoring whether less desirable “out-groups” are starting to buy such products as well–a clear sign to stop using such products. That’s the conclusion of a marketing study described on _Knowledge@Wharton_, the Wharton School’s online business […]

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Retirement Plan Participation Stuck in Neutral

Less than two-thirds of people eligible to participate in 401(k) savings plans actually do, according to an article in the _Wall Street Journal_. What’s most surprising is the fact that the participation rate hasn’t grown for the past six years, despite frequent warnings that many people are not saving enough for their future. h3(matt). Matt’s […]

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