Monday, January 29, 2007

Attractive people make more money?

I came across an article called attractive people earn more money and I knew I had to read it. It's quite interesting. According to CNN Money, the good looking, slim, tall people tend to make an average of 5 percent more an hour than the average Joe/Sally.

"For example, the study found there was a higher beauty premium among private sector lawyers than their government-supported counterparts since private attorneys need to attract and keep clients. "

It also said that women who were considered obese in terms of their BMI (body mass index) earned 17 percent less than women within their recommended BMI range.

Sad to say but I think all this is true, especially in college life where job interviews and on campus career fairs are being taken place. If you've the following characteristics:
  • Tall
  • Slim/built
  • Good looking
  • Powerful voice

then you're more likely to get picked for that interview. I've noticed many of my friends who were obese and friends who were not and more attractive, with the same credentials go into career fairs and the only ones who came out with an interview were the more attractive ones.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Links around the corner

Here are some good finance articles I came across today, check em out:

  1. Stop overspending now, 14 ways to conquer binge buying

  2. Three purchases that will ultimately save you money

  3. Go open a roth Ira right now

  4. Ten lowcost ways to reduce money stress

  5. Cutting expenses part 1: utilities

  6. How bad of a deal is a 50 year mortgage

10 Tips for Better Money Management

  1. See where you’re spending. Start your plan by writing down where you spend every dollar over the next month. You may be surprised at what you’re spending money on – and how much you’re spending on certain things.

  2. Make a budget. Once you know what you’re spending and where, create a written budget and stick to it. It’s the most effective way to stay within your means and curb bad spending habits. Be sure to review your expenses against your budget monthly.

  3. Stick to your budget. A budget won’t do you any good if you don’t follow it religiously. Build some self-discipline, and remember why you’re on a budget in the first place.

  4. Reduce what you owe. The more debt you can pay off, the less interest you will have to pay, and the more you can funnel into savings and investments for the future.

  5. Start saving. A savings plan helps meet financial goals and provides security. Set aside a percentage of your monthly income as savings. Ten percent is a good target if you’re in your 20s or 30s, more if you’re older and behind in your retirement planning. Make it the first “bill” you pay by setting up an automatic investment.

  6. Plan for retirement. Contribute to an IRA or participate in your company’s 401k plan. The yearly maximum you can contribute to these tax-advantaged plans changes, so check with your accountant or company plan coordinator.

  7. Pay with cash. It’s one of the surest ways to stay out of debt.

  8. Get paid back. Your money is doing you no good in someone else’s pocket. Keep this in mind the next time you need to collect your roommate’s share of the gas bill or that $20 you lent to a friend.

  9. Protect yourself from identify theft. Receive an early warning of potentially fraudulent activities.It’s also smart to request a credit report annually

  10. Keep good records. Save yourself from scrambling at tax time – and don’t miss any deductions – by organizing your financial records early in the new year. Be sure to save receipts, cancelled checks, pay stubs, bank and investment statements, and proof of any other deduction you want to claim, such as alimony, charitable contributions, or mortgage interest.

This list was gathered from

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

General tips on Insurance

Most of us pay our automobile and homeowners insurance premiums by habit, rarely if ever making comparisons. With many families insurance costs totaling over $2000 a year, even a 15% savings equates to $300 annually. Some hints from the Insurance Information Institute on saving money on your homeowners insurance include:

  • Be sure to shop around. It may take a little time, but it could save you money. The insurer you select should offer both a fair price and excellent service

  • Raise your deductible. Deductibles on homeowners policies typically start at $250. By increasing your deductible to $500, you could save up to 12%.

  • Beef up your home security. You can usually get discounts of at least 5% for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks

For automobile insurance the Insurance Information Institute recommendations include:

  • Shop around. Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Surf the net, ask your friends or call your state insurance department for ideas about companies and agents to contact.

  • Ask for Higher Deductibles. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15% to 30%.

  • Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts. Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tips to make your new year happier

By Gerri Willis

A new year has arrived. So it's time to get started on that January to-do list for your home. On top tips we'll give you the tools you can use to check these chores off your list.

1. De-junk
If you found a new computer, cell phone or camera under the tree, but your pile of old gadgets keeps piling up, it's time to give the heave-ho to that e-junk.
To donate your old Mac or PC, contact the National Cristina Foundation (, which has affiliates in all 50 states. To find groups in your area that are in need of donated electronics, go to
Of course, you'll want to completely erase your hard drive when you do this. There are a number of software programs you can use to do this, like McAfee's QuickClean program for about $24.00 or Acronis' Drive Cleanser.
If you just want to recycle some ink jet cartridges or cell phone batteries, check some retailers in the area. Often places like Best Buy or Circuit City will have recycle drop-off areas.

2. Check your insurance coverage
The new year is a perfect time to check your flood insurance coverage. If your area is prone to flooding, you'll want to get insurance. Contact the National Flood Insurance Program at (888) 379-9531 or
Remember, it won't cover everything. In fact, you'll pay $400 to $500 for only about $250,000 worth of coverage. Floods aren't the only reason you might need to buy more insurance protection.
Home values have risen over 50% over the past few years. That means you'll need more insurance for your home in case it needs to be rebuilt. To get a grip on how much coverage you need, get a contractor to estimate the cost of rebuilding your house using materials at today's costs.
Oh, and while you're at it, snap a few photos inside your home. That may prove more valuable than you think when it comes to making insurance claims.

3. Call a handyman
If fixing that leaky faucet or finally patching that hole in the wall is something you want to tackle in the new year, you may want to consider hiring a handyman.
While word of mouth is still a pretty safe bet, here are some places you may want to check out:, and
To get some reviews from customers, check out sites like Angies list where people report their customer experience with handymen and other areas of home improvement.
Keep in mind there is a monthly membership fee. Generally you'll want to interview at least three handymen for the job and of course, you should get references.

4. Trim your payments
If you pay private mortgage insurance because you didn't put down 20 percent when you bought your house, now is the time to take a close look at what you're paying. If you took out your mortgage after July 1998, and you've paid off about 22 percent of the loan, your lender must cancel your PMI.
Any gain in your home's value from appreciation may help you get rid of PMI. You'll have to prove to your lender that the value of your home - including price gains - has increased enough to let you off the hook for PMI.
This annoying burden can be up to $50 a month for every $100,000 worth of debt. A word of caution though...before you spend about $300 bucks for an appraiser to find out how much your home's value has risen, understand under exactly what terms PMI can be waived. Individual mortgage terms can vary.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why you should use google

Here are some benefits of using google's search engine.

  1. Your search covers billions of URLs.Google's index, comprised of billions of URLs, is the first of its kind and represents the most comprehensive collection of the most useful web pages on the Internet. While index size alone is not the key determinant of quality results, it has an obvious effect on the likelihood of a relevant result being returned.

  2. You'll see only pages that are relevant to the terms you type. Google only produces results that match all of your search terms or, through use of a proprietary technology, results that match very close variations of the words you've entered (e.g., if you enter "comic book", we may return results for "comic books" as well). The search terms or their variants must appear in the text of the page or in the text of the links pointing to the page. This spares you the frustration of viewing a multitude of results that have nothing to do with what you're looking to find.

  3. The position of your search terms is treated with respect. Google analyzes the proximity of your search terms within the page. Google prioritizes results according to how closely your individual search terms appear and favors results that have your search terms near each other. Because of this, the result is much more likely to be relevant to your query.

  4. You see what you're getting before you click. Instead of web page summaries that never change, Google shows an excerpt (or "snippet") of the text that matches your query -- with your search terms in boldface -- right in the search results. This sneak preview gives you a good idea if a page is going to be relevant before you visit it.

  5. You can feel lucky and save time doing it. Google excels at producing extremely relevant results, and flat out nails many queries such as company names. We're so confident, in fact, that we've installed an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which takes you directly to the site of the highest ranked result in your search. Try it and let us know if our confidence is justified.

  6. You can get it, even when it's gone. As Google crawls the web, it takes a snapshot of each page and analyzes it to determine the page's relevance. You can access these cached pages if the original page is temporarily unavailable due to Internet congestion or server problems. Though the information on cached pages is frequently not the most recent version of a site, it usually contains useful information. Plus, your search terms will be highlighted in color on the cached page, making it easy to find the section of the page relevant to your query.