Sunday, March 22, 2009

PF Spotlight - Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life

Welcome back, my friends, to the feature that never ends. I'm so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. There behind the glass stands a great PF blog, be careful as you pass, move along, move along.

Yup, I was feeling a bit odd as I wrote this, but I'm serious about my comments. The blogger of the week is Mrs. Micah, who writes the eponymous blog subtitled Finance for a Freelance Life. On top of all the great advice she dispenses in her blog, she also has helped me through the Money Blog Network, for which I am quite grateful. Some of the good columns she has written in the past few weeks include:

Do You Need to Carry a Balance to Get a Credit Score?
- Mrs. Micah answers one of the most common misconceptions regarding credit cards. The short version is no, you can get a good credit score even if you pay off the balance in full each month. And it's a good thing, too, as I have managed to get a great credit score (over 770, if you are interested) without ever paying interest to my credit company. (I take pride in being a 'freeloader' in this fashion.)

$7500 HomeBuyer Credit: What Should I Do With It? - Another question, this time looking for suggestions of what to do with the seventy-five hundred dollar credit being offered to first time homebuyers. The ideas are pretty common personal finance fare, covering debt repayment, savings for emergencies, and especially fitting for a homebuying refund, paying down some mortgage debt. All are good ideas for any 'found money', and well worth repeating.

Know the Fees on Your Unemployment Debit Card - An entry written in response to a CNN article about fees associated with unemployment debit cards in Pennsylvania. Being a Pennsylvanian receiving unemployment, I felt I should rectify some of the points that were made and clarify the fees that are assessed. I also noted that getting your funds direct deposited can save you from being nickeled and dimed as you collect your unemployment money. I might have to write more on this subject, as there seems to be much confusion at a time when many people are starting to rely on unemployment benefits.

P2P Lending is Not Like High-Interest Savings - Mrs. Micah provides some reasons why you shouldn't rely on peer to peer lending, in something like Lending Club, as a place to store your emergency funds or other money that can't be lost. The illiquidity and potential risk to your principle with investments like Lending Club make it ill-suited for savings. Better choices are high-interest online savings accounts like ING, HSBC, and SmartyPig.

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