April 15th, 2013

DIY Financial Freedom: A Step-by-Step Guide

DIY Financial Freedom: A Step-by-Step Guide | Credit Karma Blog

The first dollar you make.

A trip around the world.

That movie where aliens blow up the White House.

However you define independence, we’re all working toward it. (Well, Will Smith has the aliens covered.) Some of us are independent from a young age, babysitting to pay for a puppy or cooking dinners for siblings. Some of us don’t work a single day until our twenties. Since my parents immigrated to America, they wanted to give me and my brother an easier life, protecting us from hard work growing up. As a kid, why would I complain? No chores? Sweet!

Unfortunately, this handholding not only meant I didn’t know how to do my own laundry, but it also made me lazy. With my parents providing a cushion for late-night Dairy Queen runs during college, I didn’t take full responsibility for my money. After graduation, I wanted to do something about my financial picture, but it wasn’t until I found a full-time job eight months later that I could really put my money where my mouth was.

Even so, I’m still figuring out how to take charge of my finances. If you’re in the same boat, let’s take a look at how we can both navigate the tricky path toward achieving financial independence.

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June 12th, 2012

I have an account in collections. What should I do?

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Have you ever received a notice from a collections agency? You’re not alone. Nearly half of Credit Karma members currently have at least one derogatory mark, such as an account in collections, on their credit report. In our Credit Advice Center, members often ask about the best way to deal with debt collectors.

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April 16th, 2012

Spring Cleaning Your Credit & Finances

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Ah, Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, allergies are in full-swing, and many of us have cleaning on the brain. While it’s a good idea to get out the broom and mop and get your home dust-free, have you spent some time cleaning up your financial house yet? Here are some strategies for making a clean-sweep for your credit and your finances this Spring.

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September 29th, 2011

The Nice Guy’s Guide to Haggling

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Haggle is such an ugly word. It dates back to the 1570s, when the word meant “to cut unevenly.” When we hack away at prices there’s something decidedly unpleasant about the process.

No one likes looking cheap or greedy. On the other hand, people don’t want to get taken advantage of either. Haggling has the potential to bring out the worst in us: bombastic shouting, insulting someone’s work, and lying about what we’re willing to spend.

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September 22nd, 2011

Born to Ride: How to Buy the Perfect Used Bike in Six Steps

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Like many 10 year-olds before me, I’ve taken another step towards adulthood and bought a used bike.

As is the case with thrifty people, big purchases don’t come easily to me. The bigger the purchase, the greater possibilities there are for savings... which means I can always find a better deal.

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September 15th, 2011

Money is the Root of all Evil – Hollywood Edition

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There are a lot of great movies that start out with the same basic premise: “We need some money.”

Since this problem afflicts most people, let’s explore some popular cinematic solutions to these issues and how it turned out for everyone involved.

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August 11th, 2011

How to Get Over Your Worst Financial Mistake

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Three minutes cost me nearly $1,000.

This is the story of my most expensive mistake ever.

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April 26th, 2011

Spring Cleaning Strategies for Your Debt

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Now that you’ve gotten a jumpstart on spring cleaning your finances, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and start spring cleaning your debt.

While I don’t necessarily expect all of you to become debt-free come summer vacation time, let’s take a look at the cold facts on our debts, and how we can begin cleaning them up.

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April 2nd, 2011

The “I’m Getting Audited” To-Do List

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An IRS audit is, by definition, a review of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information. A tax auditor’s job is to review this information to ensure the taxpayer or organization is complying with tax laws.

If the IRS comes knocking on your door, here are a few steps to get you ready for a tax audit.

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April 1st, 2011

Taxes Throughout the Year

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Congrats! You’ve just filed your 2010 taxes; now what?

How about making next year’s taxes easier? Here are ten easy steps to make sure that come Tax Day 2012, you’re ready for the taxman.

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