Groupon, the pioneer of daily deal sites, offered its first nationwide deal yesterday and according to the Chicago Tribune, they sold 445,000 deals for its client, Gap. The $25 voucher worth up to $50 in Gap apparel became available at about 6:30 AM PST and ended at around midnight. The Gap deal offering was so popular it even crashed Groupon’s servers for a short while. Groupon normally takes 50% of all deal sales which means that they earned an estimated $5,562,500. Clearly it was a very successful day for Groupon. Unfortunately the jury is still out as to whether or not Gap came away from this deal as a winner. By our calculations they stand to lose at least $8 million unless they can convince their new customers to keep coming back. Read more »
Social lending sites, also known as peer to peer lending websites, serve as social network-based lending marketplaces where anyone can become a borrower or a lender. Generally, the social lending website applies a small service fee that constitutes a couple of percentage points of the total loan amount. Borrowers are able to secure loans at lower interest rates compared to traditional banks because lenders compete to actively bid down the interest rate their willing to earn through funding a given loan. In return, the lender obtains a nice return on investment (ROI) that scales with the amount risk associated with a specific loan. Most loans are funded by hundreds to thousands of lenders whom contribute less than $100 each. Read more »
Free online personal finance management software and money management websites offer terrific financial planning tools that help you effortlessly create budgets to save money, monitor your transactions across multiple banking and credit card accounts, as well as assist you in achieving your financial goals. Many of these online financial software services also provide expert financial advice and notify you of excellent savings on various financial products that outperform the ones your currently using. In the review list below we’ve identified some of the best online personal finance software sites. Read more »
The internet is an incredibly powerful tool for sharing information, communicating, and learning, but it’s also an excellent resource that identity thieves use to obtain your personal information. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States and nowadays most people don’t give a second thought to posting their full name, address, and phone number on popular social networks like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. Read more »
Recently my banking debit card was charged $34.84 by a company called Adipose RX for some dietary supplements. Because I have transaction alerts set for my online banking account, I was immediately notified of the unauthorized charge. Despite promptly contacting my bank’s representative and informing them of this problem, I was told that until the pending charges were processed there was nothing I could do. Thus a few days later I had to call them again to dispute the charge and begin the process of filing an official claim for the unauthorized charge. Read more »
Like many people, my financial software of choice is Quicken. It works great and for most simple transactions it’s not too difficult to figure out how to setup and use. In order to update it however, I must download the latest transactions from my bank account and then open that file in Quicken to import them all. It is possible to sync live with one’s bank account instead of downloading but some banking institutions charge for such use. I am still using Quicken Basic 2006 and while sometimes it automatically identifies common transactions and categorizes them accordingly, it doesn’t always do this, regardless if the title of the transaction clearly identifies the category it should be allocated.
One of Read more »
Social lending start-ups like UK based Zopa.com and the US based Prosper.com bring lenders and borrowers directly together to cut out the banker and help both parties save money. This business model is similar to eBay in that a listing is created and bids are taken from competing buyers. This enables the loan rate to get bid down giving the borrower a better rate while still giving the lender a good return on their investment. The loans are unsecured and amortized over three years with no penalties for early repayment. Read more »
HSBC Direct is breaking new ground with their online savings account. They report a 5.05% APY with no monthly fees! I was a bit skeptical at first so I gave them a call and verified their claims before opening my account.
I have been using my HSBC online savings account for about a week now and I must say that, not only am I pleased with it, but it has been a lot of fun. I can transfer funds between my HSBC account and my primary banking account, schedule reoccuring transactions, track my savings, and do much more with no monthly fees to worry about.
What I Like:
ï¿½ Earning 5.05% versus 0.5% with my Read more »
If you’re like me you are probably solicited from credit card companies all the time and are tempted to take advantage of their teaser rates. Well, not only can you get great rates on credit cards these days but you can make money from them! That is, if you have a decent credit rating and are approved for a credit card (CC) with 0% APR on balance transfers for up to 12 months.
Here’s how it works:
- Find a CC with 0% APR on balance transfers for at least 12 months
- Research the
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