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Top 9 Twitter Follows for Personal Finance

Where would we be without Twitter? It's amazing that Twitter is only five years old. The ability to get quick information that's specifically relevant to you has revolutionized the way the world communicates. Nowadays, the world announces news, sports scores, celebrity gossip, and every other conceivable bits of information on Twitter timelines. It's not all fun, though. The one drawback of Twitter is the oversaturation of useless accounts. Finding a good account to follow can sometimes feel like picking a needle out of the world's largest haystack. Nevertheless, Twitter is an excellent source for insight on personal finance. From tips on the best no annual fee credit cards to advice on investments and saving, the Twittersphere is ripe with fruitful money knowledge. You just need to know who to follow! Here are the top 9 tweeters out there on the subject of personal finance:

What is the Future of Credit?

 

Who doesn't love the Jetsons? They had just about every far-flung technological idea imaginable, including hovercrafts, personal robot slaves and cities in the sky...but they didn't have 0% interest credit cards. Even the Jetsons were still using cash in 2062! We may not have reached the Jetson's level of space-age sophistication quite yet, but we've certainly got them beat in the payments department. So what kind of technological advancements will the next 50 years bring us in credit, credit cards, and credit scoring techniques?

Who Invented the Credit Card?

[caption id="attachment_4493" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=" "]Amex Blue credit cardPhoto by TaxBrackets.org[/caption]

Credit cards certainly aren't a new phenomenon. In fact, credit cards are nothing more than a physical representation of an old accounting technique that simply puts things “on account” –accounts payable if you owed someone and accounts receivable if you were expecting payment from a customer. Generally, such transactions were limited between businesses, and much of the system was based primarily on the integrity of the company doing the borrowing.

However, consumer credit using cards officially began in the 1920s when select oil companies and hotels would give pre-approved customers the ability to put their charges on account. Such “cards” were limited to transactions occurring only between select customers and the firm from which they were purchasing. Several years later in 1938, companies began to accept cards from other retail merchants too.

Micocredit: More Good Than Harm?

I was recently in Bangladesh working with a local nonprofit organization that specializes in microcredit programs.  To demonstrate the success of their lending, they took me to meet a woman named Baby Chakma who lived in the remote southeastern hill country.

Baby had won an award from Citibank for her use of microcredit loans to successfully turn her home into a thriving farm and business.  When I visited, her small thatch hut (shown below) consisted of a storefront facing the dirt road, a room for growing mushrooms, and various small vegetable fields and cows surrounded the structure.

Best Credit Card Commercials Ever

The recent ups and downs of the economy provided quite the challenge for credit card companies. While many think they were raking in the cash from fees and interest, we can’t forget all the money they lost because of charge-offs and bankruptcies. As many consumers fled the credit world, Visa, MasterCard and others had to kick their customer-acquisition efforts into high-gear. Because of fluctuating, and often falling, revenues, these companies wanted to be part of our every day laughs and praises to friends. The art of the commercial has thus skyrocketed, and now you can barely turn the TV on without catching a 30-second blip about credit cards. And true, we probably shouldn’t apply for a credit card simply because of an awesome commercial, but we definitely should enjoy all their great work! Below are 5 of the best credit card commercials ever: 5. Capital One, David Spade on Credit Card Rewards http://youtu.be/Mv3M-XotQkQ One of the best ways to overcome the fear and frustration of credit, is to break the tension with humor. Capital One pokes fun at an annoying conversation that we have all had at some point or another. Once we’re all nodding along with the clip, they drop the news that what they have is different - a credit card with rewards program that is easy to understand and use. Very effective.

15 Wealthiest Members of Congress

There’s quite the debate going on in Washington DC regarding the nation’s debt and what spending to cut. Democrats are proposing to eliminate tax write-offs and make cuts to military spending, while Republicans are seeking to cut discretionary and entitlement spending. Whatever the final deal includes, the hope is that it will help foster an economic recovery. Most Americans aren’t in the best financial shape right now. We're working with debt, seeing our credit scores drop, having to turn to bad credit credit cards, and we are angry at Washington for not fixing the problem. That, of course, is easier said than done. Still, it’s hard to stomach talk from politicians in either party at times when you think about their finances. Are politicians hurting as much as your family? Probably not, given the average net worth for an elected official in Washington, D.C. is just under $1 Million. In an effort to get a better idea of how much some of these people are actually worth, we did some research and compiled a list of the 15 wealthiest politicians currently serving in Congress (via estimated net worth):

5 Steps to the Best Budget

If you haven’t been following the news recently, then you’ve been missing out on quite the political battle in Washington, DC over our nation’s debt. I’d go into more detail, but the specifics and grand-standing would probably give you a headache. To make a long story short: we need to cut spending and raise revenues, but neither party can agree on a way to move forward and the President is left shaking his head at party leaders behaving more like spoiled children rather than statesmen. Our national budget may be a mess, but yours doesn’t have to be. Creditnet has an easy, 5-step process to making sure your budget is sound so you don’t end up with a crippling debt like Washington.

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

One of the most common questions I receive from Creditnet readers is "How can I rebuild my bad credit?"  My responses generally include several suggestions, but the first recommendation I give is always the same- you need to build positive payment history. Sure, there are quite a few other tricks you can try that may provide short-term credit score boosts, but building positive payment history will have more of a lasting effect on your FICO scores than anything else.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Small Business

Credit cards can often be a double-edged sword. When used incorrectly, they can destroy the most seasoned financier. However, when used in wisdom, they can be a powerful wealth generating tool. Perhaps you own a small business and supplies need to be purchased today to ship to a customer, but you won't actually receive payment for a couple of weeks? While new businesses low on cash flow may find difficulty in funding short-term operational needs, interim cash flow shortages can often be remedied through the use of credit cards and other forms of revolving credit. In fact, using no interest credit cards can be a great way for entrepreneurs to fund small expenses while getting a business up-and-running. Access to quick cash is essential for nearly any business’ operations, and even after you've passed the zero interest grace period, the card can still be useful in the normal course of one’s business dealings.

Top 4 Places to Use a Credit Card

It seems like everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there's a blog post warning of all the dangerous places to use a credit card. While there certainly are shady businesses out there that you should be wary of handing your precious plastic to, it's summer and thus a great time to focus on the positives. For every business that may have a negative impact on your credit history, there are countless more that remind us of the joys of using credit cards. Here are just a few of the best places to savor every swipe.

 

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