What Do Credit Card Numbers Mean? Making Sense of Your Credit Card Number

Have you ever wondered what those numbers embossed on the front of your credit card mean? Commonly referred to as your “credit card number, ” there is a lot more information packed into that number than meets the eye… If you have a credit or debit card, you might want to pull it out so […]


Visa Credit Card Acceptance Guidelines

I was recently digging around for information on the Visa website when I ran across a document containing the Visa card acceptance guidelines for merchants. It includes some pretty interesting information that I thought was worth sharing. Visa credit card rules What follows is a summary of Visa’s rules regarding card acceptance. I’ve mentioned some […]


Beware New Credit Card Fees

The most recent issue of Money Magazine had an interesting article about protecting yourself from new “credit card traps.” In it, they highlighted a number of changes that banks have introduced to improve their bottom line in the face of recent credit card legislation. Three of the big fees changes that they highlighted were: Fees […]


Money and Happiness

Does more money result in more happiness? As my wife and I lazily follow American Idol, we’ve noticed a common statement of hope uttered by many of the contestants, “American Idol is the best thing that has ever happened to me, it’s gonna change everything!” The contestants are not alone in their zeal to believe […]


Too Young for a Credit Card?

In case you missed it, the CARD Act of 2009 went into effect on Monday. Among other things, the new legislation aims to curtail the marketing of credit cards to college students and others under the age of 21. More specifically, the CARD act requires colleges to disclose any marketing agreements they may have with […]


Learn Who to Contact to Check Your Tax Refund Status

While a lot of your probably haven’t filed your taxes yet — neither have we — many others have. It’s therefore likely that people are starting to wonder when they’ll receive their refund. How to Check Your Tax Refund Status The good news is that IRS has a refund hotline (800–829–1954) as well as an […]


Options for Reducing Your Student Loan Payments

I recently ran across an article about a woman with over $500, 000 in student loan debt. While I’m amazed at the sheer amount of debt she is in, I know that’s she’s not the only person struggling with student loans. This is especially true for those who have been laid off or otherwise had […]


Using Your HSA as a Retirement Investment Vehicle

As many of you know, we switched to a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) this year. Along with that change came the opportunity to open a health savings account (HSA) to help offset our increased deductible. For those that are unaware, an HSA is similar to a flexible spending account (FSA), but better. While both […]


Independent Contractor vs. Employee: What’s the Difference?

I just ran across an interesting post about hiring a housekeeper over at GetRichSlowly. In the comments, a reader asked JD about how they handle the tax issues. His response was: Our housekeeper is not our employee; she is an independent contractor. Because of this, taxes aren’t an issue. This is a convenient answer, but […]


Highest Paying College Degrees

Earlier this week, I ran across some interesting data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. More specifically, they had a listing of the ten highest paying college degrees of 2010. Note that they’re talking specifically about Bachelor’s degrees here, so things like doctors, lawyers, etc. are off limits. Here’s the list: Petroleum Engineering […]