Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the savings offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all deposit accounts available.

I Wish I Could Make Money From Fantasy Football and Other Fun Hobbies

I Wish I Could Make Money From Fantasy Football and Other Fun Hobbies

Published 12/24/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I am the type of person who likes to maximize everything that I do. Particularly when it comes to hobbies and interests, I always want to think - how can I find a way to monetize or turn the hobby into a beneficial endeavor? Not that I have to profit from everything, but I just have a very entrepreneurial and "see the bigger picture" personality. However, there are some things that I just can't seem to spin into a financially worthwhile venture - research intensive, but addictive hobbies like fantasy football. For the last few fall and winter seasons, I've been embroiled in the fun of online fantasy football. I've been the league commissioner for my church league for several years now and this is the first year where Ive made it to the final championship game. I'm so excited!

What Is Online Fantasy Football?

If you don't know what fantasy football is, allow me to explain. First of all, it's not some silly "fantasy" thing where people pretend to be in the game like some of my female friends jokingly think it is. I think people who aren't into fantasy football or other online fantasy sports see it as a childish game, but in fact, most of the online fantasy sports leagues are played by adults.

Football football is generally an online game played by participants (called owners) arranged into online leagues. Usually there is a draft at the beginning of the sports season where owners acquire players on their team comprised of real life NFL football

Read the full article »

My Experience With Lasik Eye Surgery - Thoughts About Laser Vision Correction - Is It Worth The Cost and Risks?

Published 12/22/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I had Lasik surgery a few years ago and it completely changed my life for the better. For those considering the procedure, I highly recommend it wholeheartedly. Particularly for those people like me who spent the majority of their lives dependent on corrective lenses, Lasik will truly transform your life in an almost miraculous way. Freedom from glasses and contact lenses has been such an amazing and liberating experience.

The procedure is considered elective by most health insurance companies and the cost can range between $3000 to $5000. Although the cost has gone down over the years, it's still quite an expensive procedure. But if you can afford it, the potential benefits greatly outweigh the limited health risks and possible fear factor. It's one of the best financial expenditures I've ever made for myself.

My Background Of Wearing Glasses and Contact Lenses At An Early Age

Since I was little kid I've always had terrible eye sight. I started wearing glasses during second grade and my prescription only worsened and thickened over time till they essentially became bullet proof eye guards. I went from thick plastic frames and lenses to sleeker wire frames and ultra thin prescription, but with my horrendous eyesight of -7 in the left and -8 on the right, it was impossible to reduce the lens thickness by much.

I'm not particularly vain but I guess I always felt constrained with having to wear such thick glasses and being recognized by my thick "nerdy" goggles. Since my vision was so bad, I was basically blind without

Read the full article »

Avoid The Greatest Investing Pitfall - Don't Trade On Emotion Or Gut Feelings Alone

Published 12/21/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Are you like chicken little? Are you currently huffing and puffing because you feel like financial ruin is just around the corner and that current market problems suggest you should take quick action? Well, try to relax and see the big picture. Yes the stock market has experienced quite a bit of red lately and the foggy road ahead appears to be quite bumpy, but that doesn't mean it's time to make hasty decisions.

The year is coming to a close and many anxious and disappointed investors are starting to react in predictably panicky ways. While some people want to sell off a portion of their holdings to capture tax losses that can be used to offset their current year's capital gains for tax purposes, others are reacting in more hasty and emotional ways. Those who push the red panic button now and act on this heated emotion might regret their decision down the road. Smart financial decisions were never made by people in the midst of an emotionally driven haze.

The Mortgage Mess and the Credit Crunch Are Causes For Concern But In Time They Will Pass

Yes this is a scary time for short term investors but we must tread with a firm and loyal commitment to the key to successful compound growth - long term investing. While the housing market meltdown was not entirely unforeseen, I will admit that the severity of the credit crisis was unexpected. Starting with Countrywide Financial and later progressing to Etrade, financial institutions that owned and traded

Read the full article »

Back Up Plan For Those Dependent On the Internet For Financial Organization When The Internet Or Electricity Goes Out

Published 12/20/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I am part of a new generation of technology dependent people. Since the explosion and mainstream adaptation of wireless internet, cellular phones, iPods, and the growth of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, and even real time chat, I've become very dependent on technology and the digital medium. I've already transitioned the bulk of my important documents into digital format and thrown away all of my old audio compact discs in favor of mp3's. I've discarded the practice of receiving paper bills through snail mail and have already converted all of my bank and credit card statements into e-billing exclusively. I've substantially cut down on paper transactions in favor of direct deposits, ACH electronic transfers, and online payments through PayPal. With a few keystrokes and taps at my computer keyboard, I can shift my bank funds around from savings to broker to checking. My legion of credit cards are all enrolled in automatic debit payment, which automatically withdraws money from my attached bank account to pay off each month's credit card statement balances.

Everything has become electronic and my life has grown significantly more organized, paperless, and automated. I've aggregated my bank accounts, credit cards statements, investment brokerages, frequent flyer plans, hotel plans, and other reward point plans into my Yodlee powered Fidelity Full View account aggregation program where I can monitor everything from a single online access point.

However, this dependency has one obvious downside and weakness - I am heavily dependent on the reliability of computers and the internet.

Read the full article »

Tips and Advice On How To Raise and Improve Your FICO Credit Score

Published 12/19/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

If you're like most consumers, you will probably need to apply for jobs or take out loans to buy a car or a house sometime in your life. What do these things have in common? They all may require that you have a decent credit score to reasonably qualify.

Currently, the most uniformly and commonly used credit scoring system is the FICO score, developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. The competing credit bureaus have come up with their own scoring systems with various names including VantageScore and Plus score. However, they are all imitators at best and not universally used or recognized by lenders and creditors. There's a reason why many refer to these other scores as "FAKO" scores. The FICO score is still the most widely used method. If you want to compare apples with apples, then it's best to keep your historical credit scores consistent and stick with the FICO. That's the only credit score I really care about.

Many employers today use credit scores to initially gauge prospective job applicants. Even rental apartments frequently run credit checks to make sure future tenants have a history of making good on credit payments. Credit lenders use people's FICO scores to determine whether the person gets approved for credit, how quickly they get approved for credit, the extent of the credit limit, and what kind of terms they get. Those with lower credit scores tend to get stuck with terms that demand higher interest payments and stricter down payment requirements. These days, your FICO score is

Read the full article »

Knock-Offs: How to Spot a Fake Lacoste and Other Imitation Clothing

Published 12/18/07  (Modified 6/17/11)

Knock-Offs: How to Spot a Fake Lacoste and Other Imitation Clothing By MoneyBlueBook

I went to gradate school in the run down city of Baltimore, Maryland. I used to joke with my friends that more people in Baltimore City owned and carried around designer Louis Vuitton handbags than in any other city in the world. When I went to school there it seemed like every corner near the city courthouse had a vendor hawking fake designer brand products like Prada, Coach, and even Polo Ralph Lauren. Most of the merchandise were no doubt fakes - cheaply made knock offs made in countries like China, a country known for its lax efforts in stopping piracy in the marketplace.

I want to focus my analysis on the Lacoste designer clothing brand line. Companies like Lacoste spend a great deal of investment on brand building and quality control. However, with the prevalence of overseas sweatshops and people buying Lacoste clothing online, fake knockoffs have been spreading through the internet marketplace like wildfire and many buyers are unwittingly ending up with fakes. While a genuine Lacoste polo shirt can cost an average of $60-75 per shirt, buyers of fakes are frequently getting ripped off for shoddy products worth substantially less. Whether it makes any sense to pay so much for a mere polo shirt is another matter. The fact is, buyers have to be able to ensure they are getting the high end quality product they are paying top dollar for.

Unlike authentic Lacoste clothing, fakes and knock offs simply don't wear and feel like the real thing. Sometimes it's easy to spot the

Read the full article »