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Stores Starting Christmas Shopping Season Already

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Can you believe that stores are trying to get your money already for this Christmas shopping season? Kmart just launched their new Layaway plan last week. Allowing customers to put items on layaway with no money down. Other retailers have already started grabbing early holiday shoppers.

Other retailers in the mix trying to get a jump start are Wal-Mart and HEB, both started their Layaway plans in late August. A recent survey showed an upward trend of Americans beginning their Christmas shopping earlier.

Kmart’s no money down Layaway plan will last every day until the end of November. Last year they limited the no money down promotion to certain weeks. This could help many consumers budget their holiday spending this year.

Read More of the original article at Yahoo Personal Finance.

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Millennials Seek Retirement Savings and Paying Down Debt

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It can be hard for Millennials to get out ahead with high student loan burdens. But once they get a steady well paying job, they are making the right choices with their priorities.

A recent survey by T. Rowe Price says that 27% of millennials contributed to a 401k plan at work and 28% started paying down debt as a priority.

Millennials are making the right choices at an earlier age and will benefit from these choices later in life. When deciding how much to invest in a 401k, more than half saved enough to take advantage of the full employer match.

Of course not all millennials are investing in 401ks. Among those workers, their median salary was lower, about $28,000 verses well paying jobs of $57,000. They also saw a higher student loan balance than others.

Original Article can be found at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/sc-cons-0716-started-20150713-column.html

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9 Money Saving Tips for Labor Day Travel

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Do you have travel plans for Labor Day weekend? AAA Travel predicts more Americans will be traveling this Labor Day weekend since 2008. Here’s a list of some money saving ideas to keep the trip inexpensive from Forbes.com.

1. Don’t forget about last minute deals. Companies are always offering deals to fill up their empty seats, rooms or cars.

2. Use car rental aggregators to compare prices. Using sites like carrental.com to compare different companies can save you alot of money.

3. Camping is still popular. Nothing beats the price of admission to the great outdoors.

4. Map Apps can help you find the best route and avoid traffic during your trip to help you save on gas.

5. Gas Apps are a great tool to compare prices of gas near you. A gas station right off the highway will always cost more than a gas station a mile in from the highway.

6. Better Travel Times. By leaving a day early (Thursday) or early morning hours, you can beat the traffic of holiday travelers.

7. Packing Food and Drinks will help you avoid the costly restaurants on the highway.

8. Don’t be afraid to move to another hotel if you find a better deal mid vacation.

9. Nothing beats free attractions. Going to the beach can be an inexpensive day.

Read The Original Article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashford/2015/08/31/labor-day/

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FTC: Hang up on ‘Card Services’

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Have you ever received a call from ? If you have, next time hang up says the FTC. Rachel from Card Services or any number of names such as Anne, Tiffany or Heather; have been calling households letting you know that you are eligible for lower interest rates.

The Robocalls are illegal and out to scam you. FTC has been trying to shut them down for years. .

So why won’t they stop?

New companies popup all the time, so even though the FTC has up rooted a dozen of these companies, they can’t keep up. Alot of these are now found overseas, making it harder to shut down.

If you do get a call, just hang up. Never push a button to connect to someone or ask to be taken off their list. And never give out your personal financial information to them.

Do they actually lower your interest rates? Nope. And they will want to charge you an up front fee to do it. Sometimes as high as $5,000. All of which is highly illegal to do.

So if a charming lady by the name of Rachel calls from “Card Services”, Hang Up the phone. You won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings.

Original Story Click Here

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Fast Food? Not so fast…..

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It’s official; the amount of time consumers are waiting for service in “drive thru” lanes is getting longer. It’s not just your imagination. The fast food industries trade magazine “QSR” released the latest findings of their 2014 study, and the numbers are not encouraging.

The study shows that the averages wait time in 2014 is nearly 240 seconds, that’s an increase of more than 22% in one year. Many major fast food restaurants rely heavily on drive thru sales, some as high as 70% of total sales volume is from drive thru lanes.

The cause of the increase according to QSR may be the ever-increasing amount of choices on the menu along with consumers wanting “custom” orders.

 

 

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A Win For Anti Abortion Movement

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Texas can now enforce new abortion restrictions. The Federal Court of appeals is allowing the State of Texas to enact at least some of the new law in their ruling handed down today.

 

 

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Millions of JP Morgan Chase Account Holders Affected by Hackers

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JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States disclosed their servers have been breached for the second in the last three months. Bank officials now say the exposure was far greater than they were aware when they first reported the incident in July of this year.

Hackers believed to be in Italy and Southern Europe broke into the financial giants computer systems, a breach which has affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

JP Morgan Chase advised Federal authorities that personal information was stolen, including account holder names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers.

According to bank officials the most sensitive information, (SSI, DOB, Account Numbers & Passwords) were not compromised during the hack.

 

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Unemployment Claims Drop

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The number of people filing for unemployment fell again this week to 287,000.

That’s down from the previous weeks 295,000 number. This is a strong indicator that the job market may be improving.

This marks the third straight week of decline
In unemployment claims. The the lowest level of continuous decline in unemployment claims since 2006.

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A New Threat To The Internet

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The Internet was born 25 years ago it started out as a way for physicists at Stanford University and the University of Southern California to be able to pass research documents back-and-forth from one another. When the Internet was first built the two colleges sharing research trusted one another the issue of a breach was simply not an issue at all.

Today we use the Internet for banking, purchases and all sorts of things but the Internet was never designed for that. The privacy that people expect is not actually there.
Internet security is a major issue with banking and purchases being done online. Many people believe that the Internet is safe but the facts don’t support that thinking.

The Internet has hackers roaming around trying to find one way after another to steal information gain access to information sometimes just for fun but often times to steal government documents or to steal credit card numbers and identities. Identity theft is big business for criminals.

Now there’s a new threat. Internet security specialists are sending up red flags about Bash Bug. Bash Bug is the latest threat from hackers and it is allowing Internet thieves to get into your computers and smart phones and other devices through smart light bulbs, it’s a serious flaw.

Bash Bug targets computers and devices that use the Linux operating system. Internet security companies are calling Bash Bug potentially catastrophic.

There are ways to protect yourself, one of the best ways is to shut off your Bluetooth and WI-Fi when you’re not using the devices. They don’t need to be on 24 seven.

Changing passwords at least once a year is a good idea. Use longer and more complex passwords is always a good plan. The passwords on your bank and credit card accounts should be changed frequently. The public needs to be diligent about their own security, and pay attention to their bank accounts credit cards and over-all identities.

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Gas Prices Going Down In Time For Christmas!!

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Americans could see gas prices drop by as much as .30 cents a gallon between now and December. The US demand for oil is easing off, that in combination with oil production rising all over the world are behind the expected drop in prices at the pump. Welcome news for American consumers, and just in time to help cut some cost during the big holiday travel times. Gas prices are expected to drop to the lowest levels since 2010. Other factors in the drop are a strong US Dollar, and this year’s largest corn crop in American history. Corn is the key ingredient in ethanol that is mixed with gasoline and then sold in the United States. The largest ever corn crop along with big grain harvests have lead to the decline in food prices around the world. Food prices now at the lowest level in four years.

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