Weekly business rail, with tech tips, debt tips, the most valuable baseball teams and more.


 


Tech Tip: Spring Cleaning Tips for Your PC

Between rarely used programs that hamper processing speed and spyware or viruses inadvertently downloaded while surfing the Internet, the home computer needs to be maintained regularly -- just like your garden. Consider these four easy steps to help keep your PC running smoothly:

1. Remove unused programs to boost startup speed.

2. Update antivirus software.

3. Clean up temporary files.

4. Defragment your hard drive. (ARA)

The List

According to Forbes’ annual Business of Baseball report, here are Major League Baseball’s most valuable teams:

1. New York Yankees: $1,306 billion

2. New York Mets: $824 million

3. Boston Red Sox: $816 million

4. Los Angeles Dodgers: $694 million

5. Chicago Cubs: $642 million

6. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $500 million

7. Atlanta Braves: $497 million

8. San Francisco Giants: $494 million

9. St Louis Cardinals: $484 million

10. Philadelphia Phillies: $481 million

For Sale

Looking for a bullet-proof car? French leader Jean-Marie Le Pen recently put his 1991 Peugeot for sale on eBay France (www.ebay.fr) in the hopes of raising money. The auction ends in about a week, and at last check, the high bid was 3,510 euros.

Number to Know: 0.6

Percent that the economy grew in the first quarter of 2008, which was a bit better than expected but still not enough to pull the country out of its quasi-recession.

Quote of Note

"I have always had a garden but am definitely increasing what I grow just to supplement our food budget. I will have more squash because that stores very well. I'll definitely preserve more." -- Janet Engelson, 56, of Framingham, Mass., on a growing trend: growing your own vegetables to save money. (MetroWest Daily News)

Tip of the Week: How to Tell if You Have a Debt Problem

It's not news that there is a consumer debt crisis. But when the crisis comes down to the individual level, consumers must take action and do what they can to help themselves. It's easy to say there is a debt problem without actually acknowledging that you have one yourself.

"If you are in debt, it is not something you can ignore or deny, and hope it goes away," said LowCards.com CEO Bill Hardekopf. It "is not something that time will take care of. You must make a plan to deal with it now. The longer you ignore your debt, the worse your problem will be."

Here are nine signs that you have a debt problem:

- You have to use credit cards in order to pay for necessities such as gas and groceries.

- Your credit card interest rates are over 20 percent.

- Your unpaid credit card balance is four or five figures.

- You have paid only the minimum balance on your credit card for the last six months.

- You are juggling debt payments on more than three credit cards.

- Your credit utilization ratio is over 50 percent (your debt is over 50 percent of your total credit limit) on any or all of your credit cards.

- You feel like you are living on the edge, struggling to make minimum payments for all of your debts.

- You have used your credit card for a cash advance to help you survive from one month to the next.

- You haven't put any cash into savings during the past 12 months. (Canton Repository)

GateHouse News Service