Here’s a review of top personal finance stories, columns and studies from publications, websites and blogs across the country.
The key to scoring the best shopping deals is planning ahead
Though most shopping is still done in brick-and-mortar stores, more and more people are getting their Thanksgiving weekend deals online. Internet retailers are becoming a popular alternative, saving shoppers from the hassles and headaches of Black Friday lines and madness. Sticking with a budget, utilizing mobile shopping tools and apps, and having a plan when heading out to the stores are important steps to ensure the best use of your time and money.
Get more helpful shopping guidelines at USA Today.
Tips for the new investor
CNNMoney’s HelpDesk has some advice for young college students and graduates looking to invest for the first time. It can be daunting to try and save or invest when just starting out – without a lot of money to work with. But starting early can go a long way to reaching big personal finance goals. Get yourself in the habit, utilize tax advantaged retirement plans, and figure out an asset allocation strategy.
Read the full article at CNN Money.
Managing your holiday expenses can be tricky
Our traditional time for giving, traveling and entertaining, the holidays can quickly add to personal expenses, not to mention stress. And the closer it gets, the more likely last-minute decisions are to put further strain on already injured finances. Columnist Jason Alderman offers some good advice for making the most of the holidays while taking it easy on your pocketbook, including careful budgeting and finding ways to keep costs to a minimum.
Get all the tips at Practical Money Skills for Life.
Mortgage settlement program pushing banks to provide relief to homeowners
With intervention by the federal government, five major banks in February agreed to a $25 billion settlement to assist struggling homeowners, and many are now benefitting. The lenders have helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners with loan modifications and cash payments for wrongful foreclosures. Many others are feeling the positive effects of the mortgage solutions as well, including former homeowners who already lost their homes to foreclosure prior to December 2011 – and may be eligible for cash payments.
Read the full article at the Sacramento Bee.
How to keep your retirement nest egg working for you
Transitioning from saving for retirement, to withdrawing and spending your retirement savings, can be a frightening reality. There are a couple of good rules to follow for determining how much you can safely withdraw at a time and the best mix of stocks and bonds for the money you want to invest. Finding the right plan will assist in making those hard-earned dollars go far, even after retirement, and help you sleep better at night.
Read the entire article on USA Today.
Americans racking up more credit card debt
Credit card balances in the U.S. were on the rise in the third quarter, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. Additionally, while Americans were amassing more debt, fewer credit card payments were being made on time. However, the late payment rate of 0.75 percent is still near historical lows, as consumers continue to focus on managing credit card balances during harder financial times.
Read more on the Boston Globe website.
Black Friday deals, but only on certain products
The day after Thanksgiving is sure to send people off in hordes to stores and shopping malls hoping to find slashed prices, but good deals are not always to be found across the board. Among items most likely not to be marked down very much are toys, clothes, tablet computers and linens. And the ones that are discounted tend to be in shorter supply. So shop smart and don’t just go for the big sale promotions.
Get the full scoop at the Wall Street Journal Marketwatch.