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Alternatives to the Lottery

Are you a closet lottery player? There’s no need to hang your head in shame. If you regularly play your state lottery, you are not alone. Forty-three states now have lotteries; revenue from these lotteries has been successful in funding government programs, including education. There seems to be a bit of irony in this idea! A CNN report states that …

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Exploring Net Worth

Ever since my wife and I got married (and even a bit before that), I’ve really felt like we’ve been on the right financial track. In addition to being frugal in our day to day lives we’ve also made a number of what I believe to be sound monetary decisions. This includes contributing to multiple retirement accounts, setting money aside …

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Using Opportunity Costs to Live a Happier Life

Sometimes it’s helpful to take a concept out of its original environment and see how it fits someplace else. Today we’re going to examine an economic theory and see how it might apply to our personal lives. The Economist website defines ‘opportunity cost’ as “The true cost of something is what you give up to get it. This includes not …

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Scams in the Name of Charity

Scammers are creative, cunning and cruel — and they often mix in a little truth to spice up their big lies. This scheme shows just how low they can go. Government imposters claiming to be with the FTC, or another agency like the fictitious “Consumer Protection Agency,” are calling to inform people they have won a huge sweepstakes from the …

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Fake Loan-Matching Site Put Consumers at Risk

Some scammers build and market websites that claim to offer loan-matching services. The sites convince people to share personal information, but instead of delivering help, the operators scoop up people’s information and sell it for their own profit. The FTC settled with one online operation that followed this pattern. Blue Global, LLC hosted dozens of “loan matching” websites that invited …

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How Millennials Can Achieve Financial Freedom

It is always best to work on your financial freedom while you are young. But what is financial freedom, exactly? Financial freedom is not the same with merely “earning,” because the aim here is to maintain your chosen lifestyle without worrying when your next paycheck would come in. So basically, this means that you should not just be living from …

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North Carolina Man Indicted for Obstructing the IRS, Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns and Bankruptcy Fraud

A grand jury sitting in the Middle District of North Carolina returned an indictment charging a Greensboro, North Carolina resident with corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns, bankruptcy fraud and making false bankruptcy declarations, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division …

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National Collegiate Student Loan Trust Settles Loans for 39% of Balance

A case out of California by attorney Greg Fitzgerald’s firm Fitzgerald & Campbell caught my eye. In this case NCSLT settled a $38,918 debt for $15,200 and allowed payment interest free over 9.5 years. It always amazes me the number of time NCSLT sues consumers over debts only to have people give up and lose by default. There are plenty …

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Uber Just Upped Your Side Hustle Earning Potential

The past few months have been pretty rocky for Uber. In fact, if the company were an Uber driver, you’d probably give them one star for the nausea-inducing wild ride they’d have taken you on. But the ride-sharing pioneer and sometimes Silicon Valley darling is looking to make a U-turn, starting with the addition a feature that will certainly interest current …

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FTC Returns Money to Victims of Abusive Debt Collection Operation

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 4,380 checks totaling more than $550,000 to people harmed by Houston-based Goldman Schwartz, Inc., a debt collection operation that also used other business names, including Cole, Tanner & Wright and Harris County Check Recovery. The FTC sued Goldman Schwartz for multiple law violations, including making false threats and collecting bogus attorney’s fees and other …