Money

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subscriptionsFrom bacon- and stationery-of-the-month clubs to gym memberships and credit monitoring services, automatically renewed subscriptions that may start out as a free trial can easily end up as automatic renewals that bleed your bank account.

You don't notice your money slowly dripping away, and you could be forced to pay overdraft fees if your bank account balance drops to zero. Or you're stuck with charges on a credit card bill that you rarely look at for services you don't use.

The easiest solution is to monitor your bank and credit card statements, and to cancel subscriptions you no longer use. But that habit isn't common among millennials, says David Callis, co-founder and CEO of Hiatus, a new app that cancels auto-renewed subscriptions for free.

"A lot of times people aren't paying much attention to it," Callis said in a phone interview about reviewing credit card bills.

The average consumer wastes more than $500 per year in subscriptions and services they don't want because they forget or don't get around to cancelling, according to Hiatus.

In a survey it did this year, the company found that almost two-thirds of consumers paid for unwanted subscriptions because they didn't cancel the auto-renewal feature. It found that most people forgot about it, but 20 percent said it was too much of a hassle to cancel. ...continue reading

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6159071052_d160e791e4_zAmericans today are working harder than ever before. The thriving economy and the strong dollar are evidence that productivity is up. Despite their hard work, however, Americans haven’t seen a pay raise in the last 40 years, according to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

While the results of the EPI report can seem depressing to any hardworking individual, many people are coping with the pay gap by searching for better-paying jobs. Despite the lowest unemployment and inflation levels since 2007, not enough jobs are being created and job creation is expected to slow down in the near future.

All hope is not lost if you’re stuck in an underpaid position because there is a lot you can do to stretch your hard-earned dollars. Doing more with what you already have will mean that you don’t have to spend every day of your life working, simply to keep your head above water. While it seems like everything costs money, there are many ways to enhance your life without having to shell out piles of cash. There are a multitude of free services available, ranging from free investment advice to free medicine. Taking advantage of these services will help you make big savings in the long term.

...continue reading

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bank accountOpening a bank account should be a pretty straight-forward process. You give the bank some money, provide a photo ID and give it some personal information and then you're done, right? The savings and/or checking account is opened and you can bank like the rest of society.

Not so fast. You're credit score is being checked by a bank before it allows you to open even a simple savings account. The bank wants to make sure you manage your credit well and that you won't cost them money as a customer. It doesn't want new customers, or any customers, to abuse overdraft privileges, have an unpaid negative balance, or have fraudulent activity on previous accounts.

Without at least decent credit, you may be denied service or asked to add a spouse or other family member to your account who has good credit.

Or it may offer you an account and a credit card, but the interest rate on the credit card will be a lot higher than it would be if you had good credit.

But applying for a credit card is another issue entirely. Opening a savings or checking account has its own problems if you don't look out for them. Here are three things to check on before and while opening a bank account: ...continue reading