Staying Smart About $$

The last two week’s columns featured websites that provide coupons, freebies, rebates and the like. This week we explore personal finance sites. But before we do that, I want to spread the word about two events you might be interested in. First, the Michiana Area Computer Society (MACS) has a meeting coming up on March 16 at 7pm at Ivy Tech on Franklin. The computer club is open to all enthusiasts of any level and serves to offer helpful information to computer users. The group usually meets monthly. The second bit of news is about our town’s very own City’s Pure Ice. Bud Lies and his crew have been up in Fairbanks, Alaska participating in Ice Alaska’s World Ice Art Championships. The competition began in mid-February and runs through March 22, and much of the action can be viewed online at http://www.icealaska.com. Find Bud and crew’s entry under the “multiblock class.” The website has still photos from current and past years, plus webcams of the participants. You can see Bud and his teamates Alfred Arroyo, Stan Horn and John Crumpacker on their entry, “Vision” at site 21. They are the only entries representing Indiana. They are competing against teams from China, Russia, France, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and other places. Have a look.

Wise Bread (www.wisebread.com). I found this to be a good place to launch my review of various blogs filled with advice about personal finance. The links are very good, but then the site is also good for learning all manner of what I will call money-handling strategies. The categories are broken down into Frugal Living, Career & Income, Life Hacks, Deals and Coupons, and Personal Finance.

Bargaineering (www.bargaineering.com). It did not take long for me to become immerserd in some of the articles archived here. I’m guessing this blogger is college age or thereabouts, because he mentions how dumpster diving in the dorm lead to a profitable side income. Another article was about the Fine Art of Line Drying Laundry. I am an expert at that one, and live where no one tells me I cannot hang laundry outdoors. Been doing it for years and have no intention to stop. Anyway, I liked the ease of reading this blog.

Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com).Advice I learned from one of the blogs mentioned above led me to this site, which purportedly gives you your credit score free of charge. I did not plug in my info to check it out, but I understand that the score you receive is not quite the same as FICO—just close enough. For your credit report, use http://www.annualcreditreport.com and scroll and read carefully. They tell you that you can obtain it online with just the last four digits of your social security number, but it did not work for me. You have other options—including writing for it or phoning online. Make sure you are ordering the free ones, unless you want to take them up on other offers that will cost you a little. Do not use freecreditreport.com unless you are prepared to pay, because the website’s name and url is misleading.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on March 12, 2009.

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