Warning signs you’re being targeted by an identify thief

Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. This week’s question is from Andrew, who asks, “I’ve been thinking about signing up for one of those identity theft protection services, but I’m not sure if they’re really worth it. How much am I actually at risk of being a victim of identity theft, and will these services help me avoid identity theft?”

Online Scams You Need to Be Aware of — and How to Avoid ThemOnline scams are everywhere. Here’s how to identify them and avoid them.

Our take

Security experts say everyone’s at risk of identity theft, because so much of our personal information has been exposed in various database breaches. But the potential fallout ranges from minimal to horrific. If someone steals your credit card number, for example, you’re protected from having to pay the bogus charges once you report the fraud. If someone

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How to re-vamp your working from home set-up if you’re feeling demotivated

Whether you're looking to buy a brand new desk or update your workspace with soft furnishings alone, these are products you need: Topology Interiors
Whether you’re looking to buy a brand new desk or update your workspace with soft furnishings alone, these are products you need: Topology Interiors

If, like us, you’re bored of looking at the same four walls after four months of working from home during lockdown, then it’s time for an interiors update.

Whether you’re working from a corner of your bedroom or in a separate study, no matter how big or small a change you make, adjusting your workspace can do wonders for your productivity and motivation.

Focusing on your home set-up may feel redundant as lockdown starts to lift, but some of us could still be working from home for many more months, and sprucing up your space may get you out of that WFH funk.

As the pandemic has forced us to merge our office and personal spaces, keeping them as separate as possible is also important, so

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50 Ways You’re Throwing Money Away

You probably don’t realize all the ways you’re wasting money and leaving free money on the table — and these little missteps can add up to big dollar losses. Fortunately, once you’re aware of these bad money behaviors, you can take steps to change them. Making small tweaks to your lifestyle and spending habits could pay off in a big way.

Keep reading to find out the costly money mistakes you’re making — and how to stop making them so you can keep more money in your wallet.

While layaway might seem like a sensible way to hold onto something you want to buy, it’s not always a smart way to net savings. That’s because layaway locks you into a certain price and — if ultimately financed by a credit card — additional interest charges.

Having a high-interest savings account can help you grow your money and build an emergency … Read More

30 Money Mistakes You’re Probably Making This Summer

Summer is usually a time to cut loose and have fun, and while you may not be traveling as much this year, there are still ways to enjoy the season. If you’re not careful, though, fun can lead to overspending and a multitude of other money mistakes.

You certainly don’t want to pay for those mistakes the rest of the year. So, to maintain your financial well-being while still enjoying summer, avoid making these money mistakes.

While there may not be as much to do outside this summer, there are still plenty of ways to have a good time, especially as things open up. It’s important to keep an eye on your health and your budget though.

“For whatever reason, people can’t prevent themselves from spending out of their limits during the summer,” said Michael Cirelli, a financial advisor with SAI Financial Services in Illinois. And they do so at … Read More

Why you’re not hearing about Biden’s economic plan

Joe Biden has a slew of proposals for new economic programs, and the tax hikes to pay for them. But the Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t have much to say about his economic plan, even though the nation’s in a deep recession and some fresh ideas might be welcome.

Yahoo Finance has asked the Biden campaign several times for an interview with a Biden economic adviser able to comment on the candidate’s plans. The campaign hasn’t responded. The New York Times wrote on June 11 that “few aspects of Joseph R. Biden’s  presidential campaign are shrouded in as much secrecy as the counsel he receives on the economy.” Biden has reportedly formed an advisory committee with more than 100 economists, who are sworn to silence regarding their participation.

Why so sketchy? Part of it probably involves a strategy to let voters focus on President Trump’s negative marks for handling the coronavirus

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Want to wax eyebrows in Pennsylvania? You have to prove you’re a good person first

Courtney Haveman had a drinking problem. From 2011 to 2013, she pleaded guilty to several misdemeanors, including driving while intoxicated and possession of drug paraphernalia for smoking pot, according to state records. She reached rock bottom at age 21 when she hit a security guard while drunkenly resisting arrest at a casino.

She joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and now six years sober and the mother of a toddler, Haveman wants to become an esthetician — a cosmetologist who focuses on facial care. She paid $6,000 to take six months of courses at a beauty school, and a salon offered her a job with the condition that she get a professional license. However, because of her criminal record, the Pennsylvania Board of Cosmetology decided in 2016 that Haveman did not have the “good moral character” necessary to take the esthetician exam and denied her license.

“They picture me as some dark soul,

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31 Hidden Ways You’re Bleeding Money Every Month

There are some expenses you plan for every month — your rent or mortgage, utilities, your cellphone bill, etc. — but there are also a lot of hidden expenses you’re paying for regularly that you might not be aware of. These little costs could quickly add up, whittling away at your hard-earned paycheck.

Uncover the hidden ways you’re losing money every month, so you can start making moves to stop the bleeding.

Last updated: June 15, 2020

Not Tracking Your Spending

You should be able to account for every dollar you spend. Keep track of your spending with a budgeting app, spreadsheet or even a notebook. Simply recording what you’re spending money on will make it easier to spot any hidden expenses.

Paying Checking Account Fees

Some banks charge monthly fees or service charges for their checking accounts. Those fees could end up costing you over $100 a year —

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There are alternatives to the NHS coronavirus app if you’re worried about data privacy

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you, Tom Peck. You have summarised brilliantly exactly how I feel about the current corrupt anti-democratic government.

I have been moved to write to my MP three times in the last couple of months having almost never done so before. (I wrote twice about Dominic Cummings and once about the government stopping using online voting.) I told him that I also won’t use the NHS app, for these same reasons. I don’t trust the use they will make of my data.

However I am using the Covid-19 tracker and symptom study, developed by Tim Spector and colleagues at Kings College London with health science company Zoe. They have the minimum of my data and are doing great research, currently trying to develop an online diagnostic tool for Covid-19. And this app is easy to use, it works and already has over 3.8m people contributing.

Elizabeth Sayers

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100 Ways To Make Your Money Last Until You’re 100

The average American is expected to live to 79, which means that many people are living even longer. And when it comes to planning for retirement, it’s always better to be safe than sorry — which means it’s best to start making small (and large) changes now to make sure your money can last three decades or more in retirement, especially given that the future of Social Security is unclear and some believe that Social Security running out is a real possibility in our lifetimes.

To get advice on how to make your money work for you, save more, spend less and get financially ready for retirement, here are 100 tips for how to make your money last.

This first step to ensure you won’t be running out of money in retirement is to have a realistic sense of how much you’ll actually need.

You can use online calculators to … Read More