Big Banks Rethink Debit Card Fees

From: Heather Stone/Chicago Tribune

A number of big banks are reconsidering charging customers a fee to have a debit card. This comes as many customers and non-customers cried foul when Bank of America (the nation’s second largest bank) announced it would begin charging customers $5 a month for the luxury of using their bank’s debit card. While BoA wasn’t alone, other big banks were toying with the charge, it seems the banker backlash heated up after the BoA announcement.

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Got Student Loans? You’re Not Alone!

Source: Guide to College Life

USA Today recently dropped a headline bombshell. Student loans taken out last year topped $100 Billion last year (first time this has happened). In addition to that staggering number, a Federal Reserve report indicated that total outstanding student loans are about to exceed $1 Trillion. (That figure is higher than Americans, the credit society, owe in credit card debt.)

Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what’s owed on home loans and credit cards.

The amount of student loans has continued to increase as the cost of college education continues to skyrocket. But, one student warns, today’s lending with have long-lasting effects.

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What do you do with a degree in anthropology?

This is becoming a serious question, in large part thanks to Florida governor Rick Scott. Florida’s gov recently indicated that he’d like to move in a direction (in-step, with Florida’s Republican leadership) and redirect money away from state degree programs that don’t necessarily lead to jobs.

According to Governor Scott:

“If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs. So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state. Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”

His comments were also reiterated, when he said of anthropology majors (such as his daughter) that while it is a great degree, they just aren’t necessary in Florida.

Of course the governor’s statements weren’t well received by the American Anthropological Association:

“It is very unfortunate that you would characterize our discipline in such a short-sighted way…. Perhaps you are unaware that anthropologists are leaders in our nation’s top science fields, making groundbreaking discoveries in areas as varied as public health, human genetics, legal history, bilingualism, the African American heritage, and infant learning.”

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Non-Stop Flight? Depends!

When it comes to flying, I have some “issues.” Mental blocks, less than rational thought processes. But the latest cost-cutting measure announced by Irish discount airline Ryanair is something I can stand sit behind!

The airline has announced its reducing the number of on-board lavatories to make room for additional seating. (This, by the way, from the same airline that earlier toyed with charging fliers a fee to use the plane bathrooms.) Now, when flying the friendly skies it will be important to go, before you go. Don’t worry, the planes will still maintain one lavatory on board for those who insist on using the facilities while flying.

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One Thing We May Have Forgotten from 9/11

Photo by: Thomas E. Franklin // The Record

No need to “remember,” as for many we have never forgotten the attacks on the United States of America that occurred on September 11, 2001. We remember where we were, we remember the emotions that we felt that day, or the lack thereof due to the shock. It was 10 years ago, but it seems like yesterday.

One thing we, collectively, seem to have forgotten was that spirit of unity that swept the nation 9/12/01 and in the days and weeks following. Marketplace Money‘s Bob Moon summed it up best: Read more of this post

You’ve Got Mail! On Second Thought, Maybe Not.

USPS Automated Postal Center

USPS Automated Postal Center

“You’ve Got Mail.” No, not that kind of mail. Snail mail, delivered to your mailbox via the United States Postal Service. However, according to the Postmaster General you’re not getting enough snail mail and the USPS may be forced to shutter some 3,700 post offices around the U.S. A list of possible closure sites was released, Connecticut has 15 offices on the chopping block, however most locations were the second or even third (or more) locations within a single city.

But, is this a bad thing? They are closing post offices because folks aren’t flocking to them.

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Even Fairies are Facing Budget Cuts

The Tooth Fairy Is Cutting Back — Daily Intel.

It seems that not even the Tooth Fairy is immune from the recession and budget cuts. In 2010, on average, the Tooth Fairy left $3.00 for each tooth collected. A year later, said fairy is leaving a mere $2.60.

WOW! Times have changed. I was lucky to get a dollar growing up in the 80s.

From the motion picture Tooth Fairy, Dwayne Johnson, Stephen Merchant and Julie Andrews.