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Credit Card Surveys: False Advertising?
Added on : Tuesday April 15th 2014 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: a783783
Views: 45 Replies: 0 Igot the following e-mail:

"~~Marriott Rewards and Chase Card Services has asked IPSOS to conduct a survey about the Marriott Rewards credit card on their behalf.As a valued Marriott Rewards member, we would like to invite you to go online to answer some qualifying questions. The first 1,000 customers to qualify and fully complete this survey will have 1,500 Marriott Rewards points credited to their account. Please allow 6-8 weeks for rewards points to appear on your account. This questionnaire will take about 15 minutes to complete."

I wasted ten minutes filling out the survey and then got a random "This survey is already full" message. Shouldn't they be upfront at the BEGINNING of the survey and notonly notwaste your time but not collect personal information you provide for essentially free?

What's the play here? Even if compensation is 1500 points which by some estimates amounts to $1.50 per person, I feel companies like this need to be punished for deceptive practices. It's like going to a restaurant, ordering a steak with the understanding you will pay $20 for it, eating 3/4 of it and saying, "Nope, I don't need to eat this." and walking out without paying.
Credit Deals
Is it better to run small business under my wife?
Added on : Monday April 14th 2014 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 0 Replies: 0 So I work full time and have 401K from employer
I also have a side business under my name. I learned that I can invest 25% of the net income from this business to solo 401K. The total of 401K investments can not exceed 50.5K.

Then I read somewhere that it is better to put my wife as partner in the business so she can use salary deferral whatever that means. I guess there is an advantage to do this. I am not sure what. She works part time and not making much. But I have no employees in the side business never needed one.

Is there a benefit of showing her as an employee? Or make her my partner? which one benefits us the most in terms of 401k invesments or salary deferral or financial gain maybe paying less taxes?

any input is much appreciated
g: 0 Posted By: pixelharmony
Views: 149 Replies: 0 Parents bought a condo in Chicago (Cook County) so my brother could get instate tuition. I've been living here paying 50% of the mortgage for about 7 years. Now that my brother is out they want to give me the property.

Value is assessed at $300k and we have $110K principle left.

I spoke to my bank and I feel like they're selling me on a quitclaim deed with refinancing, but I wanted to know if there was a smarter way to do this? In the end I just want ownership and tax benefits.

Any recommendations on what programs I can leverage? I did research but could never find a definitive answer around how to leverage lifetime gift exemptions, gift tax (14k/yr) allowance, etc.

Also long term I want to setup a living trust to place my assets and properties, should I get this process started now and transfer the house under the trust?

Thanks!
Question Deals
Free Shredder (under $40) w/ Code at Staples.com
Added on : Sunday April 13th 2014 05:00:06 AM
g: 1 Posted By: Deals4mykids
Views: 320 Replies: 1 Here is a great deal at Staples: Go to Staples.com pick out any paper shredder you want UNDER $40 then I just added a 69 cent pen as a filler object... then when you go to check out add CODE:55108 ($40 off a shredder)...

enjoy your FREE new shredder.... I only ended up paying 73 cents and that's with FREE shipping to my house.
Office Equipment Deals

Staples Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: RKBA
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I've been waiting on a deal for this printer (or its bigger sibling w/fax) at the egg, but Costco.com got there first. They have an instant $70 off the Brother DCP-7065DNuntil 5/4/2014, making it $97.99 plus tax. Free shipping. And if you buy the high-yield toner for iton the same order, you get $20 off. Of course the toner is about $7 more expensive than @ the egg, but you still come out ahead. And you get Costco's great return policy if something goes wrong, as opposed to paying return shipping buying it at the egg.$97.99 After $70 OFFBrother DCP-7065DN Compact Laser Multi-Function Copier with Duplex Printing and Networking

Automatic Document Feeder: Yes
Brand: Brother
Dimensions (L x W x H): 15.7 in. x 15.9 in. x 12.4 in.
Duplex Printing: Yes
Model: DCP-7065DN
Networkable: Yes
Output Tray Capacity: 100 Sheet
Paper Size: Legal
Print From Mobile: Yes
Print Speed (Black): 27 Page per Minute
Printer Functions: Print, Copy, Scan
Printer Output Color: Black & White
Weight: 25.1 lb.
Offers an adjustable, 250-sheet capacity paper tray that handles letter or legal-size paper, as well as a manual feed slot for printing a variety of media sizes, letterhead and envelopes.
Print high-quality output at up to 2400 x 600 dpi for professional reports, spreadsheets, correspondence, or other important business documents.
Save paper and help reduce costs by using the automatic duplex (two-sided) printing feature. You can also produce two-sided copies from one-sided originals.
Includes valuable copier features including: Standalone copying, ID copy (copy two-sided documents like insurance cards onto the same side of a single sheet), sorting, reduce/enlarge documents from 25-400%, and N-in-1 copying.
With up to 19200 x 19200 dpi (interpolated) scanning resolution, you can create high-quality color scans in a variety of file formats including: PDF, JPG, TIFF, and more.
Scan multi-page documents using the 35-page capacity auto document feeder or use the document glass for bound materials or up to letter-size documents.
Offers a wide range of scan-to options including: E-mail, file, image, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
A robust suite of powerful scanning software for document management, editing and archiving, including Brother Control Center, Nuance PaperPort SE with OCR for Windows, and Presto! PageManager with OCR for Mac.
Deep Sleep mode uses minimal power (less than .9W) when the machine is not in use.


Brother TN450 High Yield Toner Cartridge Black$51.69

Shipping & Handling included *
1 - Black Toner Cartridge
Page yield: approx. 2,600 pages

8.5% Sales Tax makes it just over $140 delivered, after the $20 combo discount.
Subtotal: $149.68 Less Promo Code: -$20.00 Shipping & Handling: $0.00 Non-Member Surcharge: $0.00 Tax: $10.70 Order Total: $140.38
g: 0 Posted By: eskimo5079
Views: 168 Replies: 3 I am currently facing a very serious issue as it relates to my student loans. More specifically, I have a private student loan consolidation with Sallie Mae. Due to the very high interest rates, I was currently on what Sallie Mae has termed a rate reduction program. This program was set to end this month and I was planning to try to renegotiate an extension to this rate reduction program due to the regular interest rate causing the payments to be so high that I cannot afford them. When I called in to renegotiate, I was informed that my cosigner had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and that the loan was placed on a bankruptcy forbearance. I was also told that when in this status, Sallie Mae will not negotiate any offers.

Since, I have talked to my cosigner to try to determine exactly what was going on as they have never paid anything to the loan and I have been paying with it totally current. The cosigner has explained that the bankruptcy forbearance as a result of their filing will be in affect for 5 years and that they are unwilling to remove this account from their filling. I am very confused as to how my loan can be locked as I am the primary account holder. In summary, it seems that at the end of this month my interest rate will return to the original interest rate for the loan which is not something I can afford, which will therefore cause interest to accrue and at the end of the forbearance will obviously capitalize and thus end up costing me a significant sum of money.

Any help on getting this issue solved would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to better understand several things. First, can Sallie Mae legally change the status of my loan due to a cosigner and prevent me from continuing business as usually? Can I legally protect myself from the damages that will be incurred due to this? Also, any other help and advice on getting through this would be greatly appreciated. A preemptive thank you to anyone that can help.
Personal Finance Deals
Cancer Diagnosis -- Financial Impact
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 11:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elrp
Views: 127 Replies: 4 Long time member with a new name.

I am female, 49, don't drink, don't smoke, in good shape, healthy diet. Please don't ask for pictures (I am very attractive for my age though). Up until a few days was very healthy. Had some abdominal pain, thought maybe I was having gallbladder issues. Turns out instead I have a tumor which is 99.99999% a freakishly rare form of liver cancer. Still being evaluated, do not know prognosis, could have months, could pull through this albeit with a reduced life expectancy. I assume people will be sympathetic - thanks, but please let's try to keep this strictly to the financial end of things.

Would appreciate help thinking over the financial part of things. I am the financial person in our household, married, one kid on his own, one still in college with 2 years to go.

Owe $120k on our ~$300k house, 8 years to go at 2.5% fixed
Life insurance on me $200k through insurance company, another $80k through work.
$30k loan on 2014 car. 4 other cars paid off.
About $6k left on PLUS loan for kid #1
No other debt
$20k liquid savings
$350k in 401k
$112k lump sum pension
Spouse has own 401k, around $200k there
$5k or so in HSA
Good health insurance
90 day short term disability at full pay for me, long term is 60% of pay

Kid #2 has $100k 4 year scholarship, our expected cost for him to complete college is $24k (housing, fees, travel, food, etc) which we have been paying from income and savings.

Income me $80k, spouse $40k (should increase to $56k in the next year)

While I would really like to have more life insurance on me, other than that I think H should be o.k. should I not survive this. Agree?

What if anything should I be doing now financially? I know I will have to record all our accounts and passwords for the H who is completely financially challenged. What else?

What am I missing?


















Personal Finance Deals
IRA or Roth IRA? And other questions.
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 04:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 75 Replies: 0 Hello

I am 45 years old, expecting a child 6 months down the road. I know that the rule of thumb is;

Max out 401k contribution for 2014. That's 17.5K.
Max out IRA contribution for 2013. $5,500. Deadline for 2013 IRA contribution is April 15, 2014.
Max out IRA contribution for 2014. $5,500

So, here is my situation

Income 110K (100K day time job+ 10K side business potential to grow unlimited, I will explain later)
401K balance 80K (never maxed till this year but this year I am maxing it to 17.5K) 100% invested in VSISX thru company 401k plan
Checking balance 100K earning 0.2%
I never had IRA but for 2013 I will invest 3,640 for my IRA (That is what tax software told me) and 5,500 for wife's IRA.
I will invest same amounts to IRA in 2014 as well
Considering additional 401K thru business but not done yet. I think I am limited to 25% of the business income up to difference between 17.5K-50.5K

I am renting so no mortgage

So I need to buy a house right now. Where I live you can get something decent for $250K which I am planning to pay all cash. Here are 2 reasons for paying cash;
1) Company keeps laying off people, need to feel safe with no mortgage payments.
2) Mom is willing to give me 150K to help me out buying the house, so I add 100K and buy the house for 250K.

About the side business
With not too much effort, I can raise business income to 50K/year. The interesting thing about it is; if there is no mortgage or rent then I would lose the potential tax deduction. For 2013, my rent was 1000/month and I deducted 500/month as expense from business income. (I am using half of the house for business)

So I am confused here on what to do.

1) Should I pay all cash for the house?
2) I am very happy with VSISX but should i diversify? More money will come so I guess I need to diversify.
3) IRA or Roth IRA? Baby is on the way, which one is better for him/her?
4) Is it better to put my wife as partner in the business?

Thanks
Tax Deals
Nationwide Paid Military Study - $160
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: badsister
Views: 12 Replies: 0 Hoping this can help someone out!

I've done studies with Elliott Benson before - they are reputable and pay very quickly.

If interested, respond ASAP, as their studies fill up quickly.

Best of luck - and thank you for your service!
---------------------------------
Elliott Benson Research is currently conducting a PAID study for those affiliated with the military.

The study is taking place April 21-24 and is paying $160 for your participation.
If you, or anyone you know is interested, please click the link below to take a brief survey. If you qualify, you will be contacted by an Elliott Benson representative.

Please no calls on this project at the time, we will contact you!

Keep in mind that at no time will anyone try to sell you anything. Instead, our clients want to pay you for your opinions! All information given will be kept strictly confidential.
For more information on our company, please visitwww.elliottbenson.com/
Link to screening survey to see if you qualify: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ProjectEMPIRE
Discussion Deals
Nationwide Paid Military Study - $160
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: badsister
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hoping this can help someone out!

I've done studies with Elliott Benson before - they are reputable and pay very quickly.

If interested, respond ASAP, as their studies fill up quickly.

Best of luck - and thank you for your service!
---------------------------------
Elliott Benson Research is currently conducting a PAID study for those affiliated with the military.

The study is taking place April 21-24 and is paying $160 for your participation.
If you, or anyone you know is interested, please click the link below to take a brief survey. If you qualify, you will be contacted by an Elliott Benson representative.

Please no calls on this project at the time, we will contact you!

Keep in mind that at no time will anyone try to sell you anything. Instead, our clients want to pay you for your opinions! All information given will be kept strictly confidential.
For more information on our company, please visitwww.elliottbenson.com/
Link to screening survey to see if you qualify: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ProjectEMPIRE
Tips on seasonally living abroad with your family?
Added on : Tuesday April 08th 2014 05:00:31 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jpfern15
Views: 111 Replies: 0 I've been employed at my current job for about 2 1/2 years now. I telecommute full time and basically work out of my home 99.9% of the time. I travel to HQ 3-5 times a year but other than that I have no physical dependencies to my job. The wife and I are wrapping up our degrees in May. We have a 3 year old daughter and plan on having our second (and final) child next year.

Keeping all this in mind, we've thought about spending a few months living somewhere else for a change. Perhaps spending the summer in Australia or Germany or wherever. Our only requirement is a solid internet connection and I'm good. Here are the challenges we've thought out for actually pulling this off:

1. Paying a mortgage on our home in the USandrent for a house/apartment and transportation abroad would be a financial strain. We would need to find a way to rent out our fully furnished home for a few months without being available to assist with any issues. Has anybody done this?
2. We could use help with the kid(s). What are our options for a nanny or maid service if we are on a tourist visa? Specifically for Australia, Germany, France and/or Switzerland.
3. Are there any recommended services to find a place to rent for a few months abroad? We would prefer something comfortable in a decent urban area and it must be furnished.

Any tips or help would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Timing of applications for credit cards / auto loan
Added on : Sunday April 06th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrBison
Views: 133 Replies: 0 Hi,

I'd appreciate some informed advice. I've been urging my girlfriend for years to get a credit card and she hasn't followed through. She's relied heavily on her Visa debit card and hasn't grasped the importance of the differences between credit and debit cards. There was a period where she had a Macy's card that was also a credit card (as far as I know), but that was a source of a lot of confusion and in any case the card expired. She hasn't used much credit. She has been and still is paying a student loan and at some point she had a Care Credit account (don't know the status). I think that's about it.

I'm insisting that she get a proper credit card now. I think she should get at least 2 cards now while her finances are pretty good and she should be able to get them. The plan will be to pay in full every month. There's a possibility that she'll need an auto loan for a used car in the near future. And her finances need to get oriented around being able to get a mortgage in the next few years.

If she applies for 2-3 credit cards, what timing makes sense? Does applying for 2-3 cards on the same day have any particular advantages / disadvantages? How about same week? Month? Should she get one and wait a few months to apply for another? How would these applications affect applying for an auto loan?

I've described her credit utilization. I don't know what her credit score is. She doesn't have any defaults. No medical debt. At the moment she has good income.

If people want to recommend specific cards too, that's fine. I'll recommend to her to get something pretty straightforward. First and foremost I'll recommend that she get a Visa card. I'm thinking maybe the second card should be another kind.
Question Deals
Is there anyway to get a short term loan with 0 interest rate
Added on : Friday April 04th 2014 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ammoun
Views: 163 Replies: 4 Hello,

I'm buying a used car and I'm $7k short. The car costs about $30,000 and I'm paying the rest in cash.

Is there anyway I can take a loan with 0 interest? I don't care if it will be 6 or 12 months but it has to be exactly 0. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks
New User Question Deals
Do I Need Collision Insurance? To Cover Business Rental Cars?
Added on : Thursday April 03rd 2014 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 86 Replies: 0 My collision insurance is $140/year for a $1k deductible on a $6k car. That seems excessive. I have the liquidity to drop $6k on a new car in the time it takes to write a check. I've kept it because I travel for work 4 days a week and am in rental cars. My personal car insurance said my collision covers the rental car as long as it's under 30 days of a rental and I'm not actually using the car for business. Simply driving from the hotel to the client site isn't considered a business trip, per the phone CSR, and my personal car insurance covers me.

What I can't afford is crashing a 2014 rental car and writing them a check for $20k. I understand Visa/Mastercard offers a CDW which was really confusing to me but after reading wikipedia, makes more sense. CDW = Collision Damage Waiver meaning the rental car company waives the right to charge you for damages. It's NOT insurance. It's simply the rental car company "waiving" the right to sue you for damages. What I gather this to mean from Visa/MC is that by waiving the rental company's CDW (yes, you're waiving their waiver... >.< ) then Visa/MC will pay for any damages that might occur that the waived waiver might have covered, given additional restrictions on Visa/MCs part like possibly not covering hail damage.

I don't feel the need for $140 Collision damage on my personal car given I rarely drive it, I drive safe, and I can easily write a check for $6k to buy a new car immediately if necessary. To play the odds, I feel I'm significantly less likely than a 3% chance of totaling my car in the next year (which is $160 divided by the $5k they'd pay out after the $1k deductible). I'd rather bank the $140 because on a risk-adjused basis, it's free money to cancel the policy. It would be like a $10/hand blackjack table where you started each hand with one Ace. If you can afford to lose $10 then the odds are much in your favor to gamble as often as possible.

The downside is that I don't quite know if Visa/MC is enough to cover me, given I am driving $20k+ rental cars for approximately 250 days a year. I know AMEX offers $25/rental insurance but my clients won't pay for that and I'm not paying over $1k out of pocket to AMEX for the 50 rental cars I take out during the year.

I feel dirty paying for something that I really only need for business (the $140 annual personal collision insurance) but not being able to deduct it from my business income. It's the exact opposite feeling of using my business-deductible iPhone for personal calls (which feels amazing because it's 50% off given SE, State and Federal tax). Maybe I should find a business specific policy to cover me while in rental cars and deduct that off my income?

Or maybe my personal collision policy will be cheaper than any business policy, even if I can't deduct it as an expense, because the actuaries set the cost based on the $6k value of my car and not on the $20k+ rental cars I'm actually driving 80% of the time. In that case, maybe the actuaries are significantly underestimating their risk and it's "free money" for me (in spite of not being able to deduct it, ugh).

On a side note I have $300k/$300k liability personal insurance because that's not something to cheap out on. And I definitely can't cut a check for $300k.
Question Deals
50% off cell phone monitoring for your kids or business
Added on : Thursday April 03rd 2014 05:00:09 AM
g: -2 Posted By: rpet
Views: 233 Replies: 0 Just picked this up to monitor my kids cell phones. The code gives your 50% off their gold or business packages. Pretty cheap only like $3 a month, I was paying Sprint I think $7 for the gps tracking alone.

Cell Phone Sleuth - http://www.cellphonesleuth.com

Coupon code:FA2C4


Services Deals
A member of my family is facing a lawsuit of $35,000 by her landlord.
Added on : Wednesday April 02nd 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 1 Posted By: noelandres
Views: 189 Replies: 10 My grandmother apparently has a lease signed with a landlord in the United States since 2005. My grandmother lives in the Dominican Republic, and only goes back to the United States and Puerto Rico to visit her sons and daughters for 1-2 months. The reason she signed that lease was to help her niece. Apparently the niece would have not been able to get the place without my grandmothers help. The lease if for a commercial space. The niece has a hair salon in that place.

The niece stopped paying the rent in October 2013. The niece has been having personal and financial problems due to her son being arrested for theft. This event is probably what has caused all this. Apparently, she stopped working on the salon, and she subleased the salon to another person, not sure on when exactly this took place. Probably the person who subleased the salon didnt pay her, or didnt pay the landlord. I dont know if the landlord was aware of this sublease or not.

In December 2013, the niece was served the lawsuit, but didnt mention anything about it to my grandmother. My family found out yesterday (almost 4 months after the lawsuit was served), because a sister of my grandmother went to the nieces place to stay a couple of months, and saw the letter with my grandmothers name. The letter was in English, and she couldnt understand what it said. But she was clever enough to take photocopies of it, and sent it to my mother. I translated the document to my mom, and she gave the bad news to my grandmother.

The landlords lawyers are asking for back rent, late fees, legal fees, security, water & sewer and real estate taxes, totaling about $35,000. The funny thing is that the late fees are greater than the back rent. They are also asking for a warrant to remove the respondents from the premises. These are the details:

Back Rent: $10,120
Late Fees: $14,400
Legal Fees: $1,500
Security: $430
Water & Sewer: $6,400
Real Estate Taxes: 3,600
TOTAL: $36,450

My grandmother doesnt have that amount of money. She owns a house in the Dominican Republic, in which she lives, and she receives a Social Security check of $400/month. Her bank account barely has $1,000. Im amazed that she was able to secure that contract, given her income and assets. I guess this was way back in 2005, when creditors barely checked applications. Im not a lawyer, but I understand that you are considered served only when the letter is given to you in person. The person who delivered the lawsuit served an employee of the salon, who I assume gave it to my grandmothers niece. I am guessing that legally my grandmother is not at fault for not attending court when she had to, since she was unaware of this situation. She can prove that she has been in the Dominican Republic all this time. But my grandmother is a responsible person, and she is making plans to go personally to attend to this issue. I would have to go to, since she doesnt speak English.

I would like to know how to best help my grandmother. What are her best options. Is her house in the Dominican Republic at risk of being taken by the landlord? Is her social security check at risk? Are the landlords lawyers being reasonable with their request? Might there be an arrest warrant on my grandmothers name at this point? This is some serious stuff that just fell on my familys lap. So what are our best options?

tl;dr My grandmother signed the commercial lease of her niece back in 2005. For some reason, the lease is still on my grandmothers name. The niece stopped paying rent in October 2013. The landlord is suing my grandmother for back rent, late fees, security, water & sewage, real estate taxes, and legal fees in the amount of $36,450. My grandmother doesnt have the money, just a house in the Dominican Republic, which she owns free and clear, about $1,000 in her bank account, and an income of $400/month of Social Security. She wants to travel from the Dominican Republic to the United States to solve this issue, and I will be meeting her to help her. I need advice from my friends at FWF.
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ensignlee
Views: 298 Replies: 12 Hey y'all,Here's the situation. A few months back, I left my job in Dpt A in my company to join Dpt B, both because Dpt B was willing to pay me more and because it was something I wanted to do.

Unfortunately, my job at Dpt B is going away in April. Dpt A has approached me about going back to my old role in Dpt A, but in an expanded role.

A whole bunch of senior/important people in Dpt A have left the company in the last 3 weeks. This means I may be the only person left in the company that knows how our systems work at a deep level. You could hire someone from the outside with tons of industry experience, but they would take a long time to get up and running because our systems are so craptastic. And so I feel like I am in a strong negotiating position.

The director from Dpt A and I are supposed to talk sometime soon about the possibility of coming back.

My question is, how do I ask for a large raise from what I feel is a strong negotiation standpoint without sounding like a dick?

I mean, the subtext of what I want to say is "Hey, if you don't bring me back, Dpt A is pretty screwed. Nobody left in this company knows our valuation systems as well as I do, which is especially important now because we are trying to merge systems together with that company we just bought. So pay me", but I obviously can't come out and say literally that.

I was thinking something like the following, after I receive what will probably be a lowball offer of $85k'ish (I currently make $80k, and market is $90k, which I know from being extended an offer earlier in the year from a rival company):"Hey, I don't want to go through the song and dance of me accepting a low offer now, and then leaving soon afterwards because I'm still not paid at market value. Let's talk about numbers that would keep me here long term so that way we can both be happy.

Now, I know from past experience that sometimes salary increases are hard to sell to upper management, but contracting prices are easier to swallow. I'm willing to go that route.

Now, let's say I left today, and you had to backfill my spot. You'd be paying Sapient or Sirius a consulting fee of around $300/hr probably. Why don't we split the difference and do $150/hr for a contract position.

This way, you can be sure that I'll be around during this big transition of systems that we're about to undergo. And I can mentor the new analysts that you are hiring now to backfill the losses of <names of important team members X, Y, and Z here>, so that way they can hit the ground running instead of floundering. As you know, our systems are really unintuitive, and so you can hire someone with all the industry knowledge in the world, and they still won't be very effective because it takes forever to learn how our systems work."And then either he agrees to contract work at $100-$150/hr, or my counter proposal of a raise to $112k/yr seems cheap in comparison.

Is this a good plan? Or do y'all have any advice on how to word this?I don't want to sound adversarial, as that doesn't help negotiations but I want to be firm and use my negotiation leverage.

Thanks for the advice master FW negotiators!

~~~
P.S. Given the choice, I'd rather contract rather than take the full time position, as I don't think this company is particularly well run from top management. Also, taking contract allows me to be in a better position in case the company decides to just string me along and pay me my higher requested salary until they can find someone to fill my shoes. That's why I mentioned it first (along with the fact that my proposal to $112k salary from $80k then seems cheap in comparison).
Discussion Deals
How Do CC Grace Periods Work, After You Lost It?
Added on : Wednesday April 02nd 2014 05:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 48 Replies: 0 I screwed up and was $5 short on paying a large CC balance down in full because I paid from several checking accounts, wasn't paying the full total due, only the "statement closing due". It's not the end of the world because it's not a "late payment", I paid the "minimum amount" on time. But it did cause me to lose the grace period on new purchases which cost me a few dollars in interest.

Once I realized that, on the following statement, I started paying the CC down on a daily basis. It's a card I use for reimbursable business expenses so rather than wait for my next paycheck to pay, which I usually do, I paid daily to keep the average daily balance down as low as possible. I didn't switch credit cards because this one gave me the best rewards so even owing a few dollars in interest, it's worth the $100 in rewards I'm getting per month.

My question is: when do I start getting the grace period back so I can stop paying daily? I overpaid my account so it has a slight negative balance (of $10), switched to another CC for the last few days to keep anything from dropping, and the statement closes today. So I'll have a $0 statement due balance for my April 2nd statement/closing date.

Does this mean my grace period is back immediately? Or do I need to wait until April 26th, which is the due date of my April 2nd statement, because on April 26th, I'll have "paid the statement balance in full, on time"?

This is the first time in my life I've ever not paid the full statement due amount on time and I feel stupid. Now I don't know how to fix it. If I just roll the dice and hope the grace period comes back tomorrow, then I'll owe $150 in CC interest based on my monthly business spend and high interest rate. That's why I don't want to just call customer service because if they are misinformed and tell me it's back, but it isn't, I'm on the hook for $150 and there's no way for me to see online until my statement closes, how much they are counting as a balance with interest accruing. I don't want to keep paying my bill daily for ever because there's still a small average daily balance that will get hit with interest and also it's a hassle. If I need to simply stop using the credit card for a full month until it resets, then I can do that but I'll lose $50 in rewards points since this pays much higher than my other cards.

Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 74 Replies: 0 Walgreens Deals (thru 4/4)
Buy (4) Well at Walgreens Diapers or Training Pants, 2/$14 B1G1 Free
= Just $3.50 EACH!


The wipes are $2.29 or 2/$4. When you add the second wipes to the transaction, the first price will change to $2 and the second wipes will be 0, so youll end up paying just $1 each.Walgreens Deals (thru 4/5)


Buy (2) Well Beginnings Wipes, 2/$4 B1G1 Free
Just $1 EACH!all prices require balance rewards store card.


thx christie/wfw
Baby Deals

Walgreens Coupons
Another IRS Audit Risk Reduction Puzzle
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ToddC
Views: 52 Replies: 1 If IRS owes me, let's say $10K, because I overpaid my tax estimates, would it reduce Audit Risk in general if I applied this to my 2014 taxes as credit (as a lump-sum advance payment for 2014 tax estimate payments) rather than requesting a refund due to its large amount, or it "absolutely" does not make any difference? I guess IRS would be happier if I extend them a free loan (although still this would be my lump-sum tax estimate payment for 2014 instead of paying them in quarterly installments).
Tax Deals
What dividend stocks holdings in your taxable account
Added on : Tuesday April 01st 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: anusha123
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Iam holding currently following dividend paying stocks in my taxable account....
T
VZ
PFE
RIG
BP
INTC

Just like to know what you have hold, thinking of better QUALIFIED dividend rates .....
Personal Finance Deals
Tax question: Paying tax on interest income; moved to another state
Added on : Sunday March 30th 2014 07:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MrNovember
Views: 244 Replies: 1 Hi all.
I made interest income in 2013 (bank sign up bonuses and interest income etc).
From Jan through mid June I was an unemployed student (NY).
Started Working in the new state (PA) July through Dec.

The interest income was about $2,760 total for the whole year. How do I pay state taxes on this?

Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: MrNovember
Views: 6 Replies: 0 Hi all.
I made interest income in 2013 (bank sign up bonuses and interest income etc).
From Jan through mid June I was an unemployed student (NY).
Started Working in the new state (PA) July through Dec.

The interest income was about $2,760 total for the whole year. How do I pay state taxes on this?
Question about ebay auction for coupons
Added on : Sunday March 30th 2014 04:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PutThatCoffeeDOWN
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Someone on eBay is selling 20 $1 off 2 coupons. The bid is over $20 right now. Can someone explain that to me? What is the point of a coupon if you are paying face value and over for it?

Here is auction link: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=191113344213
Tax treatment
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 07:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: VAIndigo
Views: 188 Replies: 0 Backgound:
Bought house in July 2005 for 440k - primary 20% down payment
Market took a hit and went way south - to around 280k
May 2012 bought another house(7 miles away from first house) for 300k and moved into it
Rented first house in 2012 Aug - cashflow negative by 250 every month without considering maintenance. Market value as of that time is around 305k but county value was 280k
Market value as of today for the first house is 340 - 350k. Remaining mortgage is 310k

Old house facts:
Not sure of the real estate future in this area as the recovery in this neighborhood is sub-par compared to other areas in the region
Metro train coming within 5 miles in next 5 - 7 years which could be good and give good uplift to values
Avg to below average rental area as of today
Paying 4.75% rate

Questions:
If I sell this house today - how will the tax treatment be -- can i deduct losses?
What if i sell and buy a rental in better location (with additional funding) would it make good business sense?
From pure financials point of view - does it make sense to sell at this point?

Have other rentals too but this is my biggest dud

Tax Deals
To Buy or not to buy a house?
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rodge
Views: 156 Replies: 0 I'm a long time lurker when it comes to FWF, but am hoping that I can lean on the wisdom of you all to give us some thoughts on the decision making.

My wife (34) and I (38) are currently planning/debating to buy a house in summer 2014 to give our kids the benefit of a better school district. We are somewhat confident but also scared about that decision.
We live in MD and currently live in a town-home we purchased in 2006 for $390,000 which is worth about $330K now with about $257K left in Mortgage. Loan is at 3%, 15 yr Fixed. Have 2 girls 6 & 2. Planning to rent this property for about $2200/mo and pay the difference for the 15 yr loan. (I could convert it to a 30 yr loan, but want to build some equity as long as we can do it)

Household Income:
I work as a contractor in the Federal Govt while my wife works in the Energy Industry as a Financial Analyst. I bill about $97/hr through my Incorporated company, my wife makes 100K as an employee. I have been averaging about $90+ an hour for 5 years now with three diff clients. If I ever loose my current gig or need to find a job quickly, I'd be able to get a 100-115K job quickly instead of waiting for a high paying job like I usually do.

Wife & I take home: $14,000/mo after taxes
Expenses: Mortgage & Escrow: $2,550/mo
All Other Family Expenses: $3,500
(Groceries, Gas, Kids classes, clothing etc)

FICO score: 787 & 798.

Savings (Cash): $85,000
Savings (Stock, Bonds): $128,000
401(K): $212,000 Combined ($60 K Wife's)
No Student or Auto Loans or Credit Card Debt

Assets which I won't use for buying house:
Condo in Asia: $100K (Gift to dad from me; might inherit it someday)
Cash Fixed Deposits abroad for parents maintenance: $100,000

The New Home Budget: $700K (upto 800K if required)

Question: If we pay 20% down which is what we'd like to do ideally to avoid PMI's, we will be down to about 30K left for emergencies after accommodating for closing costs, moving expenses, prepping existing house for renting.

Is there any way to avoid paying PMI and pay only 10-15% in down payment? We are targeting to be in a new house by July giving us some more time to build more cushion (emergency fund).

While we'd like to postpone by one more year, possible mortgage rate increases worries me. Or I read about banks giving Jumbo loans on 15% down payment and waiving the PMI if the collateral is an Investment or Money Market account.

Or Should we even buy a house this year? Or wait for another year? (We'd like to move to a school district which has better GT, Honors, AP, AAP courses down the line)
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post and offer some insight.
Question Deals
Balancing 401k contributions and income taxes
Added on : Friday March 28th 2014 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: unkinected
Views: 25 Replies: 0 Forgive (or flame) me for asking what isprobably a simple question, but I'm trying to evaluate the tax consequences of various 401k contribution rates.

Let's assume for round numbers my taxable income is $100k (agi - deductions - examptions). My effective tax rate is 23.6% (tax calculated in 1040 / taxable income).Last year I contributed $7k to my 401k (I know, it's very low, but please ignore that for the moment). Let's say I had maxed that out.. contributed a full 17k. My new taxable income would be at $140k, my new tax bill at 23.6% is obviously $2,360 less than it would have been at the lower contrib rate. So far so good.

Here's where I'm confused. Since my tax bill will be lower, and I want to avoid overpaying throughout the year, should I increase my exemptions to compensate? Or, because my taxable income will be less each paycheck, will the tax withheld automatically compensate for the reduced tax bill at the end?

I believe the answer is the latter, but I'm not totally sure on that. By increasing exemptions on W4, less taxes would come out of my paycheck each period (giving me more cash in hand)and thus my total tax payments throughout the year would be less.

TIA!
Paying credit card bills with MO's
Added on : Friday March 28th 2014 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: njdealguy
Views: 36 Replies: 1 Hi,
Over the course of past few weeks, I've racked up nearly 35k in money orders from various spending to meet different credit card bonuses, such as the Citi AA Executive card with 100k bonus. Anyways, I'm too nervous to deposit all this into my bank account if it might get shut down, as I have even more money orders to soon buy and spend. How much would be too much to either walk into the bank branch (such as Citi or Chase) to pay these credit card bills using my MO's. Would paying 10k at once to pay 1 CC at a bank branch in a single visit be considered too much and can trigger a SAR? Would it be better to make multiple visits to bank branches and make partial payments rather than large payments at once?
Social Security/part time work vs Social Security/full time work
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: watchtower77
Views: 148 Replies: 2 Hopefully some experts can chime in-
Eligible for SS (62) in November 2014, trying to figure out optimal numbers for 2015 working part time ($10k) and keeping all income under $25k total ($15k SS)=no fed tax, net @$21k(minus $2k Healthcare)- or working at a $25k job full time, taking SS for $15k, and paying @$8k in taxes, netting $31k($1k healthcare). Are numbers correct?
(EDIT: I forgot about benefits with full time, question answered lol)
I am taking SS at 62, not waiting, please don't bother suggesting otherwise.
Personal Finance Deals
Dropping out of a PhD program - how to explain resume gap to employers?
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 03:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: magika
Views: 106 Replies: 1 I am strongly considering dropping out of my PhD program, but am concerned with how to explain the huge "resume gap" between my master's degree and now (4 years). I'm not actually dropping out because I'm not capable of doing the work, I am doing well on the metrics academics use to measure success (publications). The subject is in the public policy area, and the issue I am coming to terms with is that if I continue to graduation I am limited to academia and think tanks, and while policy has a lot more faculty openings than other subjects (especially when compared to the liberal arts) getting a tenure track job these days is a bit like winning the lottery. Also, the fact is I am looking at $50k starting salary and would probably cap out at the end of my career at $80k-90k. I am also not looking forward to the tenure and promotion process, which despite rumors of academics having it easy results in most people working 60 hours a week on their research for 5-7 years to get tenured.

My masters degree is from a highly ranked policy program and I am pretty confident I could use the alumni network and the name brand to get a public sector job without much difficulty, especially in my state. Of course, public sector jobs in my area (I could do any of the following: policy analyst, management analyst, economic development, personnel) also start out in the $50k range but I like the immediate job security, 40 hour a week 9-5 schedule, and the fact that senior management positions later on pay much more than I could ever get in academia. My concern is this: How do I explain to potential employers about my resume gap? I do have "work products" to show via my publications (4 peer reviewed articles, 3 book chapters, 10 or so conference papers) these are work products that are of limited value to potential employers unless its something like a legislative research office.

A side issue here is that I do a lot of part-time work as an arbitrator, which pays well ($2k for 1-3 days worth of work) but the work is completely unreliable (I made $25k from this last year, but the year before that it was only $10k). If I remain in academia I can still do this, although not while I am trying to get tenure, and over time I can raise my fees (senior arbitrators with 20+ years of experience charge double or triple what I do). Most public sector jobs would prevent me from doing this due to conflict of interest concerns and/or the 9-5 work schedule.

My options are:
(1) Continue for the PhD which will take 2-3 years, but limits my employment to academia or policy research organizations. I would then be "overqualified" for a vast majority of public sector jobs. Keep up the arbitration work which could be 50% or more of my salary in 10 years or so.
(2) Quit now and find some way to explain a multiple year resume gap, hoping the gap doesn't make finding a job impossible to do. Quit the arbitration work or limit my job search to positions that offer telecommuting and have no conflicts of interest with the type of clients I work with.

Edit: I forgot to add that I'm not paying anything for my PhD (you'd have to be crazy to pay for a PhD, in my opinion), so continuing down this path doesn't "cost" me anything out of pocket - its just opportunity cost.
Question Deals
Safest way to receive money from abroad?
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PoodleMan
Views: 141 Replies: 5 I need to receive around 10,000 USD from Japan. I don't want to give the sender my bank account number and I would prefer not to use a service that offers the ability for the sender to clawback or dispute the transaction once made. Would xe.com or a similar service be a good fit? Though I would prefer to avoid fees, as much as possible, I'd prefer to be safe and not have issues down the road. Specifically, I don't want the sender to be able to screw me or have any more of my personal info than absolutely necessary.

In case there is any curiosity, I will be paying income tax on the amount received. I don't care how much of a paper trail is created, as I am not cheating the government out of a dime.

Anyone have any suggestions? Useful ideas? Warnings?
Personal Finance Deals
Need brains to strategize for debt payoff
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dammitpatrice
Views: 206 Replies: 4 This kind of makes my head spin. I have a lot of credit card debt and am trying to pare it down and save money in monthly payments. Our monthly payments are stretched across too many cards (paying mostly minimum), so I'd like to either pay off or consolidate.

Below is a list of my cards, the total balance, the payments I am making per month, and the approximate interest rate. I have about $1000 to throw at one or some of the cards right away, and then I can transfer up to $8000 of debt to a different card for 0% interest for about 18 months. Is that wise? Just trying to figure out the most effective strategy to start paying down debt while also saving money per month (i.e., if I pay off two cards that I'm currently paying $25 each on and therefore have $50 to pay toward another card, is that better or worse than paying the card that costs $75 per month but has 0% interest?)

What should I put the $1000 toward, and what (if any) should I transfer? Thanks in advance. Please don't judge, I know this is out of control. The good news is, I'm not behind on anything.

Card 1 balance: $600 minimum: $25 19% APR

Card 2 balance: $384 minimum: $25 19% APR

Card 3 balance: $1,800 minimum: 45 17% APR

Card 4 balance: $4,500 minimum: 105 17% APR

Card 5 balance: $207 minimum: $30 15% APR

Card 6 balance: $455 minimum: $40 (0% until Feb. 2015, hence minimum of $40 to pay before promo period ends)

Card 7 balance: $458 minimum: $25 18-20% APR

Card 8 balance: $3,640 minimum: $75 11% APR

Card 9 balance: $4,400 minimum: $1,024***This is a card that I use to pay a certain bill every month. I am paying the total new charges every month ($1024) but can't make progress on the rest of the balance of $4400 and am accruing about $85 of new interest every month. This is the balance I am considering transferring to a 0% card for 18 months.

Card 10 balance: $750 minimum: $75 0% until Feb. 2015s; minimum of $75 is to ensure balance is paid in full by the end of promotional period.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CheapToGo
Views: 30 Replies: 0 T-Mobileis offering a web-only deal on the HTC One (Glacial Silver) in a REFURBISHED condition. $312.
You can pay for it entirely or go along with their 24-month plan, although paying it off in any time period within the 24 months is also welcomed. As long as you pay for that full price then it does not matter within the 24-month stretch.
Great phone, great design, and great specs, even when it is 1 flagship behind.

I personally purchased one in January of this year when I saw this deal. Absolutely flawless when I opened the package. No scratches anywhere....ANYWHERE! Screen perfect and no dead pixels. Battery life as if I bought a new phone. I felt like I hit a jackpot when I got it. No one could tell it was refurbished.

Link to phone here...
Cell Phones Deals
g: 13 Posted By: st4rdust
Views: 1003 Replies: 10 JLab Audio is offering a Grab Bag for $5.00 plus shipping. Shipping adds $2.50 per bag. You can check out via PayPal or credit card. Limit 3 per customer. 3 bags, including shipping, will be $22.50.

Click here
Enter "rockitout" for the password
Add to your cart and check out!


Possible products include new JLab Earbuds, Crasher Bluetooth Speakers, Bombora Headphones, VOLT chargers, Bouncers, Shakers and more. Includes one year warranty. No returns.


Note: This deal was announced via JLab's Facebook pagea few minutes before I posted this deal. I'm assuming that they made a separate site specifically for the grab bag, considering all the traffic it is receiving.

There's a good chance you'll be paying for what you get- that is, a decent price for a decent pair of headphones. Here's an Amazon searchfor "JLab Earbuds" - depending on what model, the value changes, but most pairs have 4+ stars.

The possible higher end items are worth much more than $7.50 - for example, the Crasher speaker is currently $59.98 with 4.2/5 stars on Amazon (link). The Bouncer is $95.49 with positive reviews (link) and a VOLT battery charger is $49.99 (link).

Bottom line is you'll be taking a chance, and the payoff could be very worth it Good luck!
Headphones & Speakers Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Kariput
Views: 281 Replies: 0 Newegg deal of the day: Lenovo K410 (57308564) Desktop PC - Intel Core i7 3770 (3.40GHz), 8GB DDR3, 2TB HDD, Windows 8 for $599.99 with free shipping. Best price I found elsewhere is $711.99. The unit gets good reviews, Win 8 doesn't.

Lenovo K410 at Newegg

I just pulled the trigger on this to replace my home computer. My home unit had Fifefox crash 4 times and the system crashed once during the check out process, so it's definitely on its last legs.

I knocked an extra $25 off the price by paying through V.me and using code VMEMADNESS
FW Cash_back at 2% was worth another $11.50 so the final cost was $563.49.
Desktop Computer Deals

Newegg Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: vlmyfox
Views: 238 Replies: 0 http://www.citiprivatepass.com/thankyouevents/landings/tcm_film_...

TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL
Location: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel | 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Date: April 11, 2014 Time: 7:00-8:00pm cocktail reception; 8:00-10:30pm screening Price: $25 per ticket
If you're a fan of classic movies this is an offer you can't miss!As a valued Citi ThankYou cardmember, you have the special opportunity to purchase tickets to a poolside screenings at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.Presented by Turner Classic Movies and held annually in the heart of Hollywood, the TCM Classic Film Festival is a place where movie lovers from around the world gather to experience classic movies together. Citi ThankYou cardmembers can join their fellow classic movie fans under the stars for an exclusive, fun-filled experience at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. ThankYou cardmembers get access to a reserved poolside seating section and a pre-show cocktail reception with an appearance by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Tickets are limited so please respond quickly.THE MUSIC MAN (1962)
Robert Preston and Shirley Jones star in this wonderful big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical about a travelling con man set on duping a small town in to paying him to create a marching band.Ticket Price: $25 per ticket (limit 4 tickets per cardmember)*To purchase tickets, please call: (800) 301-3503*Conditions: Tickets must be purchased using your Citi ThankYou card. Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol. This offer is only available to Citi ThankYou cardmembers with the following products: Citi ThankYou, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi Prestige. Tickets are non-transferable or for re-sale.
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
g: 0 Posted By: nwill002
Views: 70 Replies: 0 I decided to redeem my Southwest Rapid Reward Points for a trip to NYC for my fam of 4 on a 4 night trip. This is our first trip here and have not researched much about NYC yet but next step is booking a room for our trip in June. I'd like to be in a hotel in NYC within a reasonable distance to the subways. I have about 80K UR points which I just checked could be transfered into Hyatt gold points and redeemed at Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South at a rate of 20K points per $329 a night for a total price of $1316. However I can also sell these points at a rate of 1.4 for $1120 so I'm essentially paying a discount of price of $1120 for a hotel that advertises for $1316.... seems like I can do better than this. My next step is to see what discounts I can find on the usual travel sites and Groupon. Any other suggestions for me to consider? thanks
Popular Destinations Deals
PayPal hassle
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 09:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: shinobi1
Views: 215 Replies: 3 PayPal is doing it to me again today. On background:

I always try to pay for my eBay auctions the same way: through PayPal using my Priceline card so I get the 2% discount.

Couple weeks ago, when I did the "pay now" thing at eBay and went over to PayPal, there was no "change" (meaning change method of payment) option showing. I made the mistake of just logging in to PayPal. It was a mistake because they instantly paid for that auction out of my bank account which cost me money. But importantly a day or two later, when I needed to pay again, everything had returned to normal, "change" appeared and I could click it and put the payment on my CC. And that's how things have been for the last couple of weeks . . . . . until today:

Now it's back again to where there's no "change" option. This time I knew enough not to put in my password since there was no opportunity to click "change" first (even when you click "change" you still have to enter your password, but instead of just paying straightaway it then gives you a chance to change over to CC payment).

I telephoned PayPal. They are having all kinds of problems and issues, but they seemed unaware of this situation. Anyone else get hassled like this? Anyone have any ideas? I want to pay with my CC and not with my bank account.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 180 Replies: 1 http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Remembering-Who-You-Are-ebook/dp/B...

5.0 out of 5 stars (23 customer reviews)

Healing is Remembering Who You Are is an uplifting book about finding your powerful healing essence within. Practical, inspirational, and easy-to read, youll find many specific self-healing processes and hypnotherapy techniques. There are fascinating stories and 22 excellent techniques for actual healing experiences, such as healing food and eating problems, abandonment, unworthiness, intimidation, loneliness, sexual abuse, and other challenges of life. Illustrated edition.

More Than Twenty-two Healing Techniques Inside

Discovering the Problem Inducing Trance The Inner Child Subpersonalities Seeing Parents as Children Asking Guidance for Answers Paying Attention to Body Paying Attention to Feelings Communications You Need to Make Pulling Out Cords Outgrowing It Healing with Touch Healing with Light Witness Consciousness Mind-Body Healing Golden Ball of Light Trance Rehearsal Posthypnotic Suggestions Techniques for Pain Experiencing Essence
And more inside the book.


The Dance Of Your Core Healing: Transforming Your MInd, Body & Soul in the New World
http://www.amazon.com/The-Dance-Your-Core-Healing-ebook/dp/B00EY...

The Sassy Chick's EFT Guide: for Confident Relationships
http://www.amazon.com/The-Sassy-Chicks-Guide-Relationships-ebook...

How To Play The Mind Game Of Your Life & Win (Life Transformation System A-Z)
http://www.amazon.com/Play-Mind-Game-Transformation-System-ebook...

Your Soul's Gift eChapters - Chapter 1: Healing: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born
http://www.amazon.com/Your-Souls-Gift-eChapters-Chapter-ebook/dp...

Women's Energetics: Healing the Subtle Body Wounds of Sexual Trauma And Abuse
http://www.amazon.com/Womens-Energetics-Healing-Subtle-Wounds-eb...

Imagine Happiness: A Simple Guide
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJUEF0M

30 Steps to Conscious Living - Simple Steps You Can Take to Help Change Yourself and the World
http://www.amazon.com/30-Steps-Conscious-Living-Yourself-ebook/d...

SPIRIT WISDOM For Daily Living: Your guide for mental, emotional and spiritual well-being
http://www.amazon.com/SPIRIT-WISDOM-For-Daily-Living-ebook/dp/B0...

Fear Busting
http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Busting-Pete-Cohen-ebook/dp/B00J3XCJ1...

Emotional Stability in an Unstable World How to Be at Peace and Feel Emotionally Stable in Times of Crisis (Emoitional Codepency, Depression, Crisis, Emotions)
http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Stability-Emotionally-Emoitional...
Books & Magazines Deals
Sell Real estate or Keep Student Loans.
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: branttucker
Views: 65 Replies: 1 =14pxI have $80,000 in school debt. I'm paying ~$1,000/month for 10 years. I have a condo (paid off; $120,000) that is bringing in $850/month. I also have a mortgage on condo I'm currently living in. I pay $650/month for 30 years. I just started a business and I hope to break even by the end of the year.
=14px
=14pxShould I sell the condo that I have renters in and pay off my school debt or keep it?
=14pxThanks, Rookie.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 19 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Remembering-Who-You-Are-ebook/dp/B...

5.0 out of 5 stars (23 customer reviews)

Healing is Remembering Who You Are is an uplifting book about finding your powerful healing essence within. Practical, inspirational, and easy-to read, youll find many specific self-healing processes and hypnotherapy techniques. There are fascinating stories and 22 excellent techniques for actual healing experiences, such as healing food and eating problems, abandonment, unworthiness, intimidation, loneliness, sexual abuse, and other challenges of life. Illustrated edition.

More Than Twenty-two Healing Techniques Inside

Discovering the Problem Inducing Trance The Inner Child Subpersonalities Seeing Parents as Children Asking Guidance for Answers Paying Attention to Body Paying Attention to Feelings Communications You Need to Make Pulling Out Cords Outgrowing It Healing with Touch Healing with Light Witness Consciousness Mind-Body Healing Golden Ball of Light Trance Rehearsal Posthypnotic Suggestions Techniques for Pain Experiencing Essence
And more inside the book.


The Dance Of Your Core Healing: Transforming Your MInd, Body & Soul in the New World
http://www.amazon.com/The-Dance-Your-Core-Healing-ebook/dp/B00EY...

The Sassy Chick's EFT Guide: for Confident Relationships
http://www.amazon.com/The-Sassy-Chicks-Guide-Relationships-ebook...

How To Play The Mind Game Of Your Life & Win (Life Transformation System A-Z)
http://www.amazon.com/Play-Mind-Game-Transformation-System-ebook...

Your Soul's Gift eChapters - Chapter 1: Healing: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born
http://www.amazon.com/Your-Souls-Gift-eChapters-Chapter-ebook/dp...

Women's Energetics: Healing the Subtle Body Wounds of Sexual Trauma And Abuse
http://www.amazon.com/Womens-Energetics-Healing-Subtle-Wounds-eb...

Imagine Happiness: A Simple Guide
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJUEF0M

30 Steps to Conscious Living - Simple Steps You Can Take to Help Change Yourself and the World
http://www.amazon.com/30-Steps-Conscious-Living-Yourself-ebook/d...
g: 10 Posted By: remick
Views: 1325 Replies: 3 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CQGBXE

4.9 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)

Your credit history and the scores that go along with it serve as your passport to full participation in the U.S. economy. Your ability to take full advantage of numerous financial benefits will be limited, to whatever extent this passport is not in good standing.

Actually several books in one, The Newest Story of O is a concisely written and highly readable source of high-quality, how-to material, creatively connecting personal credit with debt minimization. It boldly goes where no such book has gone before, offering cutting-edge inside information, while exposing many commonly perpetuated and potentially harmful myths.

With this information at your fingertips, you will be able to convert your high-interest debt to low interest and even zero interest, paying it off in a fraction of the time. If your goal is to become debt-free or simply to improve your financial position, you wont want to miss out on what this book can teach you.

The ten-chapter framework is organized as follows: (1) How the Credit System Works, (2) How to Obtain and Understand Your Reports and Scores, (3) How to Repair Bad Credit, (4) How to Build Good Credit, (5) How to Play and Win the Credit Card Game, (6) Zero-Interest Balance Transfer Offers, (7) Low-Interest Loans and Peer-to-Peer Lending, (8) Fight and Win Against the Banks and Bureaus, (9) Tips for Making Money and Tips for Saving, (10) Ten Special Topic Area "Cheat Sheets": Bankruptcy, Credit and Marriage, Credit and Divorce, Credit Counseling, Debt Collection, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement Companies, Foreclosure, Home Loans and Identity Theft.

Highly accessible in its presentation of a rich font of valuable, practical knowledge, if you only buy one book on personal credit or debt reduction, this is clearly the one to get.
Totally Free Deals
g: 1 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 451 Replies: 9 Video game trade-in money maker-Wal*Mart offering $46.92 for Ni No Kuni for PS3, Best Buy sells it for $17.99 used
Not only that but BB currently has a Buy 2 Get going on with their pre-owned titles at the moment. PLUS if you have the Gamer's Club Unlocked you can take another $1.79 off each copy you're paying for and end up paying $16.20 a copy before sales tax.

So in the end you could turn 3 copies of this game which you paid $32.40 plus tax for into $140.76 .

Right now WalMart's trade in program is ONLY online, but it's set to start in store on the 26th.

Here's the link to the Ni No Kuni page on WalMart's trade in partner site: http://walmart.cexchange.com/online/cart/BeginAppraisal-ShowAppr...

Here's the pre-owned page from BestBuy.com:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ni-no-kuni-wrath-of-the-white-witch-...

I already locked in 3 of them myself. Just have to grab them from BB to ship in, as I doubt this flip will last until the program launches in store on the 26th.

Although if your local store has them in store NEW I would probably just grab them that way since it looks like WM may want the older original black label coverart. So any precautions you can take to reduce your chances of getting denied on this trade-in should definitely be taken.

from cheapestgamer/sd

Important: The package must be postmarked by 3/30/2014 to maintain your appraisal value.
Video Games Deals

Walmart Coupons
g: 1 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 301 Replies: 0 Deal Scenario #1:
Buy 4 Up & UP Bulk Pack Diapers $26.99
Total = $107.96
Use the $20 off In-store Baby Purchase $100+ Target Mobile Coupon
(text BABYSALE to 827438)
Use the5% Off Up & Up Baby Diapers Target Cartwheel Offer(will deduct $5.40)
Pay $82.56
Get back two $15 Target gift cards (for purchasing 4, valid thru today, 3/22)
Final cost ONLY $52.56 total, just $13.14 Per Bulk Pack!
* Note that the size 2 packs have 180 diapers, so that means you are paying only .07 cents per diaper!
Baby & Kids Deals

Target Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 11 Replies: 0 Deal Scenario #1:
Buy 4 Up & UP Bulk Pack Diapers $26.99
Total = $107.96
Use the $20 off In-store Baby Purchase $100+ Target Mobile Coupon
(text BABYSALE to 827438)
Use the5% Off Up & Up Baby Diapers Target Cartwheel Offer(will deduct $5.40)
Pay $82.56
Get back two $15 Target gift cards (for purchasing 4, valid thru today, 3/22)
Final cost ONLY $52.56 total, just $13.14 Per Bulk Pack!
* Note that the size 2 packs have 180 diapers, so that means you are paying only .07 cents per diaper!
How can I get cheaper internet from Verizon? Paying $64 for 25/25 plan
Added on : Saturday March 22nd 2014 12:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: hsdubb19
Views: 56 Replies: 0 I am getting charged $84.99 but with discounts, it's $64.

I have a lot of competition around me. Time Warner's 50/10 plan is $64.
New customers from Verizon get 50/25 plan for around $50.

Should I call retention? I am new at calling to get new deals. Usually, I just cancel my service and sign under a new family member.
Personal Finance Deals
Giving away land for fun and profit
Added on : Friday March 21st 2014 05:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: peps2004
Views: 46 Replies: 3 We bought a house last year and 1 sq ft of the corner of the front yard is in a flood zone; this means we have to pay flood insurance even though the house itself isn't in any danger of flooding.

Paying for the insurance therefore feels like a wasted expense, so we're interested in finding some way around it. One thought I had was whether it's possible to give up that part of the land to the city (we live in Virginia if that would make any difference).

Has anyone else experienced anything like this or come up with a different solution?I'm assuming there would be some kind of initial cost involved in drawing up contracts, doing property searches, etc, but figured the long term savings might be more worthwhile. That's if it's even possible to do something like this.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: guy4167
Views: 35 Replies: 0 You cannot get a raise unless its in August when annual reviews happen. 3 years before employer 401k contributions vest. I am a high performer at work and have been recognized as such.

I was hired on in January 2012 at a very entry level salary. I had no experience in the field, was recently out of college, and had no leverage. so I accepted a job paying in the mid to high 30s. August 2012 I was a noob with limited experience who they liked. Got a $1000 raise and a good review. Fair enough. They started grooming me for a promotion in Spring 2013. August 2013 they promoted me at my annual review. Gave me a $2500 raise for both the promotion and annual COL. I was disappointed in this and have felt underpaid since. I cant leave until January 2015 unless I was blown away because I would be losing a lot of money from my 401k (maxed to employer match since i was hired).

What do you think I should do? Very happy with where i work other then the pay. Should I ask for a raise? How would you handle this?
Investing Deals
USDA Rural Development Dept DEMAND FOR PAYMENT
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mesquite
Views: 8 Replies: 1 So I received a letter this week from the USDA Guaranteed Loan Branch demanding payment of $82,000 to reimburse them for paying off my defaulted mortgage.

This is a pretty scary deal as it appears that I've been fooled and gotten myself into a situation that is going to cost me some money....almost my entire savings and I'm 69. I have $101,000 with Ed Jones, Inc.

Some questions I have would be how to handle this. Will they offer a reduced amount or do they stick with the first number? If I let it go I'm told the Treasury Dept will garnish my social security check. But I've read several times that they will stop at 15% of your check.

I've read enough to know that this bunch will get their money....but if anyone has any advice I would certainly appreciate hearing it.
Real Estate Deals
Citi ThankYou points: New "Select and Credit" a crock.
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dotbody
Views: 143 Replies: 3 Yesterday, I received a canned email from Citi CEO Jud Linville concerning their new "Select and Credit" program for ThankYou points. The idea is that you can redeem your points as statement credits for purchases previously made with a ThankYou reward card. This is similar to how the Amex reward cards will credit back your rewards directly to your account. The idea is that it's much easier to do that than worry about buying something with the points, or redeeming them for gift cards.

However, when I went to try redeeming my points, I saw it takes 839 points to redeem a $6.30 charge. In other words, you're paying a 25% premium just for the convenience of redeeming your points in this matter. Similar to using your points for Amazn purchases, this idea is a very expensive/inefficient way to use your points. It bothers me that Citi would not explicitly state this premium anywhere in the email, in the fine print, or even in the FAQ's when you click to learn more about it. Indeed, they simply gush about how much they "listen to suggestions" and "continually make meaningful improvements". What a crock.

Redeeming points for gift cards continues to be the best bang for your buck for the ThankYou program (unless someone knows of other possibilities).
Discussion Deals
Student loans vs. investing in employee stock purchasing programs
Added on : Thursday March 20th 2014 08:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rxgolfer
Views: 34 Replies: 0 Hello, to start it off I am a pharmacy student graduating in May.

What do you all think about paying minimum on my student loans and investing my extra money in my employee stock purchasing program?I know investing in the company you work for is a bad idea for the most part, but with Obamacare on the way, I would speculate the stock of pharmacies will be going up in the future (e.g. RAD from .20 cents to $7 in just a few years; CVS 20 - $80 in 4 years). On top of that, usually, you can buy company stocks at 10-15% discount (but you have to hold for a month to a year.) My average interest rate is 7%, crossing my fingers that my company stock doesn't dip and even possibly increase by a few percent, I could be making 2-7%+> in profit that I can contribute towards student loans later. I know this is risky and very speculative. What are your thoughts? Should I pay my loans off this way??
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 65 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CQGBXE

4.9 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)

Your credit history and the scores that go along with it serve as your passport to full participation in the U.S. economy. Your ability to take full advantage of numerous financial benefits will be limited, to whatever extent this passport is not in good standing.

Actually several books in one, The Newest Story of O is a concisely written and highly readable source of high-quality, how-to material, creatively connecting personal credit with debt minimization. It boldly goes where no such book has gone before, offering cutting-edge inside information, while exposing many commonly perpetuated and potentially harmful myths.

With this information at your fingertips, you will be able to convert your high-interest debt to low interest and even zero interest, paying it off in a fraction of the time. If your goal is to become debt-free or simply to improve your financial position, you wont want to miss out on what this book can teach you.

The ten-chapter framework is organized as follows: (1) How the Credit System Works, (2) How to Obtain and Understand Your Reports and Scores, (3) How to Repair Bad Credit, (4) How to Build Good Credit, (5) How to Play and Win the Credit Card Game, (6) Zero-Interest Balance Transfer Offers, (7) Low-Interest Loans and Peer-to-Peer Lending, (8) Fight and Win Against the Banks and Bureaus, (9) Tips for Making Money and Tips for Saving, (10) Ten Special Topic Area "Cheat Sheets": Bankruptcy, Credit and Marriage, Credit and Divorce, Credit Counseling, Debt Collection, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement Companies, Foreclosure, Home Loans and Identity Theft.

Highly accessible in its presentation of a rich font of valuable, practical knowledge, if you only buy one book on personal credit or debt reduction, this is clearly the one to get.
Totally Free Deals
g: 2 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 216 Replies: 1 credit dealnews

Staples has this item $1.49 after ordering via kiosk and paying at register using coupon

$26.49 - $25 coupon = $1.49 for a case of 10 reams

HammerMill Copy Plus Copy Paper, 8 1/2" x 11", Case
Item: 122374 Model: 105007

20 lb.
92 US / 104+ Euro Bright
Moisture and curl resistant
Excellent for long-term filing and important papers
Acid free will not yellow or crumble over time
99.99% Jam-Free guarantee
10 reams/case; 500 sheets/ream
FSC certified

I apologize if this is a repost. Thank you for reading.

(tony notes/uncertainties: I have not tried out myself, yet. I'm a little uncertain as to what the price will be at the register...because the register might consider the pre-register price as 26.49, after some online coupon...at which, the in-store coupon might not work on it....we'll see I guess)
Office & School Supplies Deals

Staples Coupons
Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card
Added on : Tuesday March 18th 2014 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cplnhouston
Views: 84 Replies: 1 I just learned recently that i owe the IRS around 8K in taxes (due to oversight on my part). i was exploring payment options and saw that payment by credit card was one option. The caveat is that i will be charged a fee ranging from 1.87% to 2.35% depending on which service i choose (IRS).

So i started thinking- If i paid using my Capital One card where i get 2 points for every dollar spent, i could get around 16,000 points which at least for redeeming travel costs (plane tickets) equates to $160. If i choose the service which charges 1.87%, that equates to a fee of approx $150. Assuming all this holds, i break even.

So, my question is, are there any other credit cards with better rewards where i can potentially get more back? I can also split the payments, so instead of doing 8K at once- i can do 4k and 4k or any other split.For example, Ijust got a mailer from Chase for a Marriott rewards card where if i spend 3K in the first 3 months, i get 70K miles upfront. for all other purchases, i get 1point per dollar. I was wondering if its worth going that route- maybe opening a card for me and one for my wife??? just a thought.


Tax Deals
Selling vintage jewelry - Ebay or something else?
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 11:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: FYGMO
Views: 138 Replies: 1 I have a vintage silver tiffany scorpion necklace that would likely sell on eBay for $3k conservatively if properly listed. I've done a forum search and the old topics basically conclude that eBay and consignment are the best two options. I live in the southwest and doubt that consignment would be a better option given the lack of a market locally. I have an eBay account that has a decent amount of feedback (all positive) but am not a fan of paying hundreds in fees if there is a better option.

Ideas? I plan to get the jewelry cleaned (it's not antique, this should be a positive thing) and provide links to back story and comps in the listing to help it get the right price. Anything else that should be done.
Personal Finance Deals
Selling antique jewelry - Ebay or something else?
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 10:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: FYGMO
Views: 31 Replies: 0 I have a vintage silver tiffany scorpion necklace that would likely sell on eBay for $3k conservatively if properly listed. I've done a forum search and the old topics basically conclude that eBay and consignment are the best two options. I live in the southwest and doubt that consignment would be a better option given the lack of a market locally. I have an eBay account that has a decent amount of feedback (all positive) but am not a fan of paying hundreds in fees if there is a better option.

Ideas? I plan to get the jewelry cleaned (it's not antique, this should be a positive thing) and provide links to back story and comps in the listing to help it get the right price. Anything else that should be done.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 98 Replies: 2 This is a warning not to make it obvious you are gaming the system as well as informative as to a specific new landmark court ruling. After reading the specifics, I believe the case would have resolved differently had it not been thoroughly obvious he was gaming the system.

In this case, Mr. Bobrow attempted to game the 60-day indirect rollover rule for IRAs that lets you "borrow" from your IRA by doing a distribution and paying it back into a different IRA within 60 days without penalty or tax consequence. IRS Publication 590 specifically states this can occur only once on a 12 month period per IRA account, which means, per Pub 590, if you have multiple IRAs at different places, or multiple IRAs within the same custodian, then the once-per-12-month limit applies separately to each.

The specifics of the case are as follows, "On April 14, 2008, Mr. Bobrow withdrew $65,064 from one of his IRAs. On June 6, 2008, he withdrew $65,064 from his other IRA. On June 10, 2008, Mr. Bobrow used that money in an attempt to complete a rollover of his first IRA distribution. On July 31, 2008, [His Wife] Ms. Bobrow withdrew $65,064 from her IRA. The money was used in an attempt to complete a rollover of Mr. Bobrow's second IRA distribution.

Finally, on Sept. 30, 2008, $40,000 was moved from a non-IRA account to Ms. Bobrow's IRA [to complete that third rollover, although he didn't have the full $65,064 in liquid cash so only paid by $40k of it but if he had the liquid cash, he likely would have moved the full amount back]."

The court ruled that all IRAs must be counted as one IRA regardless of how many custodians or separate accounts they are in, so only the first IRA rollover was permitted under the 12-month rule period and the other 2 were taxable and penalty-inducing distribution events.

In my mind, had he not done EXACTLY $65,064 in FIVE separate transactions that were so close together, it wouldn't have been so blatantly obvious that he was gaming the system. Maybe if he took out $50k the first time (a nice round number) and then $60k from the second account on distribution #2 to pay back the $50k, and then $50k from the third distribution (plus the $10k he had extra from the second), then it wouldn't have been so obvious and the IRS might not have sued.

The moral of this story is, when you're doing something that's "legal" or "seemingly legal" as per some IRS guidelines, if you're violating the intent of that law, then don't make it obvious you're doing so or you will piss off the people who realized you are getting one over on them. Realistically, the IRS processes so many documents each day that the only reason this came up was because some government bureaucrat noticed the $65,064 number written FIVE TIMES, thought it seemed fishy, looked into it, and then one of the bosses decided "screw this guy, he's trying to get one over on us." Since the IRS Pub 590 does allow what Bobrow did, there was likely no automated algorithm in place to catch this. It was just some curious looking transactions that caught the attention of someone.


http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20140316/REG/303169996

How to manage this ?
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fwvisitor
Views: 139 Replies: 0 Thanks to some genetics that we did not plan, my toddler daughter has features that are highly valued in her mom's culture. When we visited the home country, we were approached for an local opportunity that could end up paying her a decent sum of money - about 10K or so. Normally I would say no to this since I hate privacy lost when your face is visible in the town and you have to go to school & deal with it. But considering we do not live there, it has minimal if not zero impact on her day to day stuff. Being a FW reader I want to hear the perspective here and what is the best way to deal with this. We would prefer that the money goes to her somehow and are willing to pay taxes as HHI


Personal Finance Deals
Continuing Education for (Fun and) Profit?
Added on : Sunday March 16th 2014 02:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dus10
Views: 0 Replies: 0 While it is not good, I am sure that I am not alone in having student loan debt here on FWF. I am working to pay it down, however, and I have come up with a (likely unoriginal) strategy to reduce my interest payment.

A little background: I attended a private school for undergrad that was paid 50% through tuition reimbursement and then completed graduate studies that was paid for 80% by tuition reimbursement, though I took out some additional loans. All in all, I have about $60k in loans. About 50% of it originated as subsidized loans. Whenever they are set to "in-school deferment" they have subsidized interest, again. I thought that the previous rules for this were for up to 2 years... but my graduate school was just over two years... and that have been completed for over a year now and I am taking a course right now just because I want to... and it is in deferment again.

So, strategy... take a course here and there to get these subsidized loans back in deferment and keep making my payments but stick all of the money in the unsubsidized loans. That is the first item. Now, this course I am taking is out of pocket and not cheap... so it really isn't a good example, but community colleges offer courses that are much cheaper. Alternatively or correspondingly, one could use employer provided tuition reimbursement to pay for the course, then it is free (beyond any "repayment" commitment and time in school). For specific industry certifications, I have to do continuing education anyhow, and this makes that very easy for me.

This got me thinking, though, there are plenty of means for "students" to save money. How could one extrapolate this for maximum savings. So, here is my list so far:

1. In-school deferment of subsidized loans ($~200/month)
2. Amazon Prime Student with Upgrade to Full Prime (now $50/year or ~$4/month)
3. Mobile service discounts (if you don't have an employer discount... many universities have discounts ranging from 15-22%... savings, varies significantly)
4. Gym membership discounts - my local school district has a fitness facility that is open to the public (detached from the schools). Membership is $500/year for non-residents, $200/year for residents, and $80/year for adult students ($30/year for minor students) (savings varies based on what is available for you, $10/month for me).
5. Software discounts (varies) Many schools have discount programs available for students. Also, you may want to check with your employer for "home use" programs. For instance, my employer's home use program with Microsoft allows me to use MS Office for $10 on up to two home computers.
6. Various students discounts at restaurants
7. Special vehicle financing options - We are trading in our Chevy Traverse (at 0%) for a Volkswagen Passat TDI. Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Porsche) offers a grad program for that within six months of graduate or two years following graduation best terms financing plus first payment paid on vehicles. We will be getting 0.9%, but the gasoline models would get 0%. ~$500 for the first payment... $130/month (>$1500/year) in fuel savings over the Traverse after accounting for the slightly increased payment. Many automakers have similar programs.
8. Covered continuing education - many licensed professions and various certifications require some form of continuing education. Sometimes there are free options... sometimes they are a pain. Any schooling gets me a CPE per hour of weekly classroom work... for 3 cr hr course gets me 36 hours for the semester. I need 20CPE/year of specific and 40CPE/year overall... this will obviously vary greatly for folks
9. If you are paying out of pocket... you can do the lifetime learning credit on your taxes to "reduce" the expense of the course.
10. Ancestry.com - I think that some universities offer free access to students (mine does)... $20/month... but i would pay for it all of the time anyhow, so not really a savings.

What other options are out there? Things that you normally wouldn't use but the free/discounted rate makes it affordable for you? Things you already use that would become less expensive?
Just turned 18, living on my own. Any financial advice?
Added on : Saturday March 15th 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tayumi
Views: 15 Replies: 0 Sorry this is so long but please read the whole thing because everything is just really complicated

My situation right now is that I'm a high school senior, I work part-time (getting $300 a month), my mother owned the house where I live in (I say "owned" because she passed away a few days ago. The house will automatically go to my older brother, who has no use for it as he lives in a different state, so he plans on signing it over to me). It's a duplex, so right now there's a renter on the other side paying $600 a month, while I'm paying $690 a month for mortgage, $30 for water, and.. well honestly I don't know how much electric is. That, and I can probably live off about $40 a month for food, plus or minus some.

My mom owed a lot of money to people, so whenever any of her bank accounts went over about $400 they'd garnish her money. I had to have a bank account when I started my job, and being only 17 then, it had to go under her name, or she had to cosign it or something. I think in November, actually, they took about $230 from my account. Will this happen again? My card from them says her name and I've yet to talk to my bank account about this (actually it's a credit union but it's basically the same thing. I should be talking to them I guess but they're closed on weekends).

That being said, her credit rating was pretty low - about 580. So obviously the mortgage interest rate, which still has 25 years to go, is very high. It's a $70,000 house where I have to pay almost $700 a month for 30 years. I don't know the exact rate, but it's a lot that could be cut in half with a good credit score. The thing is, I have NO credit, and at this point I don't think I can afford getting credit because that would involve buying stuff, and I can't afford to pay back for the stuff that I buy, if that makes any sense.

Also, I'm guessing I'm going to owe her car too, and honestly I don't know anything about car ownership other than expensive, complicated, paperwork. I don't even have a driver's license, all I have is a permit.

Since I only get $900 a month of income, would I be eligible for foodstamps? How would I go about getting that?

Even though I'm a high school Senior and I AM college-bound, I'm taking a gap year to get everything settled down, then after that, well.. I don't know what to do with my pets, but then I'm going off to college and probably renting out the other side of the duplex, so I'd get $1200 a month from there ($1100 if I decide to be nice). Does this overall seem like a good idea?

That's about all the issues I can think of. I'd greatly appreciate any advice and suggestions!
New User Question Deals
Effort/Risk to Reward Analysis of 2014 FWF Techniques (such as MS)
Added on : Thursday March 13th 2014 05:00:15 AM
g: -1 Posted By: robronson
Views: 76 Replies: 3 I'm big on calculating effort-reward ratios to determine if something is worth my time. I also factor risk in there. It seems like most of the things being done in 2014 on FWF have substantial risk with lots of effort involved to receive the reward.

When it comes to risk mitigation, one needs to consider both the magnitude of the bad thing happening and the likelihood. Just because something is rare, like a hurricane or an earthquake, doesn't mean one should ignore insuring against it because the devastation is so high that if it occurs, you're really screwed. Apply that to MS techniques.

What if the FBI decides you might be involved in money laundering or terrorism because you suddenly start transferring tens of thousands of dollars through gift cards for MS? Now you're on the no-fly list and can never get on an airplane ever again. There's no appeal process for that. Maybe the FBI shows up at your job to interview you and it costs you a promotion or even causes you to be fired depending on how aggressive they are. Sure, the chances of this happening are small, but so is an earthquake, and you insure against that.

Then there's the effort of driving to different places to buy the gift cards and load them. And the risk of losing one of them. If you lose one of your $500 reloadable cards then you've wiped out several months of profits. And given the hundreds of cards you're carrying around, the chances of losing one of them is reasonable.

Reward checking accounts don't seem to be worth it anymore. I had one that was 2% that got dropped down to 1%. It's so close to what Alliant CU is paying in the regular checking account that it's not worth fulfilling the requirements for 1%. But I still have the CHEX ding for applying for this account plus the hassle of paperwork and logging in regularly to check for fraud. I thought I might get a new rewards checking and found one that offered a 3% rate in the FWF sticky thread. Then I realized with a $10k cap, I'm making $300 per year. But I could be making $100/year keeping it in a 1-year CD or $70/year at Alliant. So really, the marginal gain is only around $200 per year, which is maybe $120 after taxes. So I'd have to jump through hoops and make sure I use the stupid debit card 12 times per month for $10/month in profit. Subtract out the reward bonus I am losing by virtue of not using my credit card on those 12 transactions and maybe I'm gaining $5 to $8 in profit for a lot of effort. Not worth it to me.

It seems like the biggest value is in credit card signup bonuses because those can be $500 or so in value with minimal effort. The risk being that your accounts may get shut down if they think you're churning. Since Chase is the biggest one currently doing signups, and because I value maintaining my relationship with Chase for actual legitimate (non-churning reasons), I avoid doing signup bonuses with them.

Further, there is risk in doing signup bonuses because your other banks may decide to cancel your credit cards if you have too many new inquiries. That risk varies depending on your credit score and what CCs you currently have. That said, it would be terrible if one of my good credit cards like my grandfathered fee-free 5% PenFed Cash Gas card got cancelled because I had too many new inquiries and PenFed got squeamish. That would cost me a lot of money in the long run for a short-term gain of some bonus points on new card apps. Personally, I find the maximum risk-value with credit card signups to be 2 to 3 per year because that's a "reasonable" amount that won't likely get my accounts at other places closed and I'm still getting decent free stuff.

Everyone's personal value of their time, risk tolerance, and personal situation will be different so you need to decide for yourself what's worth doing and what isn't.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 43 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Obamacare-Smarties-Cat---Mouse-Healthcare-...

Obamacare For Smarties helps you choose a health plan so you don't buy more insurance than you need - or less.

But it's not just another guide to the Affordable Care Act "for dummies" - nor does it dwell on the politics of Obamacare, which can distract you from your best choices to comply with the law while protecting yourself and your family.

In addition to helping you determine any benefits you're entitled to under Obamacare, it also guides you on how to deal with your insurance company - from understanding what their plan does and doesn't cover to appealing denied medical claims. It helps demystify insurance so you get the full value of what you're paying for.
Totally Free Deals
Recharacterization Reversal Roth
Added on : Wednesday March 12th 2014 02:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jmailey
Views: 38 Replies: 2 Well Guys,

I need some advice here

Last year i put in a contribution into Roth ira for 5500 and it turned to 230k, My income limits exceeded the eligibility this year. So at that point i thought i was in eligible and did a recharacteriztion to Traditional IRA.. While the paperwork was being done by broker, I found later,i would be better off keeping it in the Roth IRA and paying a Penalty on contributions of 6% (330).. I called the broker yesterday/and emailed insiting on canceling this process. The right people to do this had already left for the day as this was 7pm at night. I woke up this morning all the funds have been moved into a Traditional IRA, i guess it was an overnight batch process that was set off. Talked to broker, sent a notarized email saying i made a mistake and would like this reversed as this action never happened.Thebroker is still waiting on the clearing house to see if it can be done. Im a little concerned here obviously the cost of this mistake is huge if i cannot get it back to the roth IRA.. Just in today's valueon a cash out its 80k in taxes, i don't retire for another 30 years, who knows what it'll be then. Has anyone had any luck inReversing a Recharacterization? I keep readingthings but sometimes i think the language of convert and recharacterize are being used interchangebly but they have2 different meanings.


Thanks in advance
Investing Deals
eBay $5 off $20+ on video games with coupon code
Added on : Tuesday March 11th 2014 11:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: purchaseacct
Views: 233 Replies: 0 http://www.reddit.com/r/GameDeals/comments/204u26/ebay_save_5_of...

Asseen on several Titanfall streams on "twitch.tv" tonight, enter coupon code "CPNGAMES" at eBay's checkout when buying $20 or more on console games and paying by PayPal.
Since the checkout total only needs to be $20+ on games and/or consoles, you can also purchase multiple Buy-It-Now games from a single seller, as long as you can add them to your cart, and apply the coupon code prior to payment via PayPal. According to the terms at http://portal.ebay.com/ebayelectronics/us/gamercouponterms
You can browse here: http://www.ebay.com/electronics/video-games/
Shop for eligible items, including any items in the Video Games [eBay.com] or Video Game Consoles [eBay.com] categories. Subtotal must be equal to or greater than $20 (for purchase price, before shipping, handling, or taxes) for coupon to qualify. Pay for your item with PayPal before the Coupon expiration date on 3/16 (@ 11:59:59 PM PDT). Enter the Coupon code in the redemption code field.
See the website above for more terms & conditions.

Add the game(s) into the cart. When the total is $20+, checkout and enter coupon code:CPNGAMESin the Promotion Code box. $5 will be discounted from the total


Terms & Conditions:
The Coupon will expire at 11:59:59 PM PT on the date shown on the Coupon. Discount applies to the purchase price (excluding shipping, handling, and taxes) of an eligible item on eBay.com. Coupon can be used once for up to the maximum Coupon discount amount, while supplies last. Restrictions and/or exclusions will be designated in each Coupon offer. Only registered eBay members paying with PayPal can receive the discount. Any unused difference between the actual discount amount received and the maximum amount will be forfeited.
Coupon is subject to U.S. laws, void where prohibited, not redeemable for cash, has no face value, and cannot be combined with any other Coupon. eBay may cancel, amend, or revoke the Coupon at any time. Use of automated devices or programs for Coupon redemption prohibited.

Video Games Deals

eBay Coupons
Tenant Threatening to Sue Because I Am Going to Increase Their Rent
Added on : Monday March 10th 2014 07:00:16 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Pesare
Views: 155 Replies: 5 I need some advice here. I have a tenant who was on a two year lease and their lease is ending soon. The lease says that they have to give 60 days notice and they have the first right to renew their lease after their current contract is finished which they have already done. For the new contract I was going to increase the rent less than 10% as the rents have gone up in my area. They have threatened to take me to court since I am increasing their rent since they feel that everything including the rent should stay the same in the new contract even though we haven't signed anything and I haven't created it yet. Since this is an unusual situation I was wondering what would you do or has anybody had this situation before. Note that this is a standard increase and I think this guy is overreacting since it is hard for him to move to another place at the price he is paying for my unit, but at the same time he knows a few lawyers and I want to avoid the hassle of going to court.
Question Deals
Maximizing low "Earned Income" due to deployment part 2
Added on : Monday March 10th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 1 Posted By: walkerbait
Views: 29 Replies: 0 The original threadwasn't real long but had a lot of very useful information in it to anyone in this position. Since that thread was archived and I would like some feedback on my plans, I thought I'd post a part two to catch any recent updates and help anyone else out in the process.

I expect to be deployed for 9 months out of this calendar year to a combat zone, which is going to make my earned income very artificially low for 2014. I want to make sure that I am managing everything appropriately so that I can maximize the benefits. I expect my earned income, not including my combat exempted pay, to fall right around $22k for the year, which includes a small bit of income from a side business. I am married with 3 kids, and my wife stays at home.

I will continue to max my own and my wife's Roth IRA ($11k), and also plan to max the Roth TSP ($17,500). I will definitely max the SDP which will provide 10% interest on $10k, tax free, for the deployment + 90 days after. I won't be able to contribute to the SDP until I've been deployed 30 days and I plan to two it over two months ($5k each month since I cannot exceed net pay).

I can qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is $6143 and refundable, but I have to make sure my "investment income" stays below $3300. Based on last year, I expect to have about $1450 in investment income, unless something significantly changes. A significant chunk of that comes from stocks which are not yet in capital gains territory but will be in August ($2k in unrealized gains).

I calculate our standard deduction + personal exemption to be $31,900, which means I *could* consider rolling some of my wife's 401k into her Roth IRA without paying any tax on it. Only about 10% of my net worth is in that 401k, whereas about 40% is in a Roth account.

I am considering contributing some additional money to the traditional TSP (can contribute up to $52k total since I will be deployed). The downside is that if I do contribute to that the money is stuck until retirement age without penalty (AFAIK one cannot withdraw contributions, even if tax-exempt, without an early withdrawal penalty). I have tried to keep a decent chunk of cash available to get into an investment property, but I haven't spent the time to find the right opportunity yet.

Some of my questions:

Should I sell some or all of the stock before it gets into capital gains territory? I'd really like to hold the stock long term, but if I can sell now and buy a few months later at a significant tax advantage I have no problem doing that. Does that profit (non-capital gains) count toward investment income or toward earned income?
Should I do a partial rollover of the 401k to Roth IRA?
Is there anything I am missing?

For what it's worth, I will not qualify for the EITC or retirement savings credit for the foreseeable future (i.e. no more deployments).


Personal Finance Deals
when a broker increases the IRA closing fee..
Added on : Saturday March 08th 2014 08:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gargam3l
Views: 84 Replies: 0 I got notice that the closing fee on an IRA account is increasing. Seems a bit ruthless, considering you're penalized no matter what. E.g., early withdrawal has a tax penalty, while staying with them enables them to increase the closing fee to unreasonable levels. Transferring to another broker and paying the current fee leaves savers paying a penalty before every increase. Usually when transferring over to the brokers who pay the closure costs of the former broker, these same brokers have closing fees of their own.

Is it possible to draw the account down to $1 after retirement, and just let the dollar sit there forever to avoid the closing cost?

Is it generally possible to transfer all but $1?
Personal Finance Deals
$51k in bank, 24 years young... time to buy my own pad?
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tol835
Views: 209 Replies: 6 I have been racking my brain about the idea of buying my own place... please read on if you are also pondering this or have something to contribute!

I live in Chester County in Pennsylvania. I have 51k in savings, 7k in other fairly liquid assets (Also it is stuff I could part with) not including my car, and 12.5k in my 401k (current total contribution is 10%). My monthly take home is $3,106. I am currently paying $600 a month for a small room in a nice 2,000 sq. ft. three story townhouse worth about $260,000 with 2 other roommates that I tolerate but don't enjoy living with all that much. The one guy owns the place. EVERYTHING is included for the $600 and I am NOT in any type of contract. The house is 2 miles from the office which is the biggest benefit of living here. I have no other financial obligations besides my car and renter's insurance.I have a 2 year specialized technology degree and have been working full time in my career for 4 years at the same company.

I have looked at a few houses, and am considering purchasing a townhouse for around 160k, putting 20% down making the loan $128,000. In addition to annual property taxes of around 2-3k, I would likely have a monthly HOA fee of $125-$215.

I am very independent and like being in control and living with 2 roommates is starting to get very taxing on me. If I get lonely at my own place (Im not sure if this would happen or not) I could always rent out a room and also pay the mortgage off faster. Also, living with only one other person in the house who I can choose myself shouldnt be too bad if I vet and choose the right person.

Having said all that the obviously other choice is to rent a one (maybe two) bedroom studio apartment for around $800-$1,000 a month plus utilities so maybe $1,200ish. Thats double what Im paying now but would likely still be within 5-7 miles of where I work. The other big downside to this choice would be that I would be in a contract, so purchasing a house wouldnt be as easy when the time came. However, I would try to get a lease with an out provided I give the landlord a 3 month or so heads up.

Thoughts from the older and wiser would be much appreciated!
Real Estate Deals
Paying off the house
Added on : Thursday March 06th 2014 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dmhudson
Views: 82 Replies: 5 All,

This is my first post on Fat Wallet and I'm wanting to get some advice regarding mortgage pay-off

Background:
-Married
-Closed on home last July
-Want to pay off the house and be debt-free
-Timeline is approximately 4 years from start to finish for pay-off

I have 2 options:

Option A.
-Funnel every spare penny towards our mortgage month-month

Option B.
-Funnel every spare penny into investments accounts month-month
-Once investment account eclipses total mortgage value, write a check to pay off the house
-This will ideally return a better rate than my current 4.375% mortgage
-More risk

Feedback?
Personal Finance Deals
#8203; Hulu Plus - 1 Free Month for Existing New Subscribers
Added on : Tuesday March 04th 2014 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Deals4mykids
Views: 138 Replies: 0 www.huluplus.com/toyota

1 Free Month good for existing or new subscribers (new subscribers see last sentence for better offer though).

Unknown whether or not this free month will stack on a currently existing free trial so best to only use it if one is already a paying subscriber or has a trial close to expiring until user experiences detail whether or not this free month will extend or replace any current trial period.


New subscribers are better off using the still available 2 free months offer fromhttp://offers.bestbuymobile.com
Services Deals

Hulu Plus Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: dxulab
Views: 10 Replies: 0 I met a RE agent/broker. She is using a standard state buyer representation form. However, in a clause of the form, she wrote "3% of selling price" as the commission minimum and "buyer agrees to pay any difference between the amount received and stated minimum". I understand it is a standard that buyer's agent gets 3% from the seller. But I'm not comfortable to assume the obligation of paying her 3% commission if, for some reason, the seller fails to pay. Can someone tell if this is a fairly standard practice or my concern is legit?

I worked with another agent before, she wrote "0%" instead of "3%" in the same clause because it is assumed the seller will pay her commission. When I asked the current agent about it, she said it is for her protection.

The reason I'm thinking about working with the current agent is that she would offer 50% commission rebate.

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CaliforniaDriver
Views: 24 Replies: 2 So first of all im debt free. I understand doing this will negatively impact my credit score as my utilization ratio will increase making my score go down. If I were to do a bunch of balance transfers across most of my credit cards, can the credit card companies see that I am doing it with other credit card companies and pose a risk factor? From my understanding, they cant pull my credit and freak out but then again, maybe they still do. My biggest concern is that if they feel that I am going to be a risk factor, it would result in decreasing my credit lines which then would really hurt me on my credit score. I plan on borrowing this money short term and plan on paying it back in full.
Credit Deals
Paying for Caribbean honeymoon and need a steal!
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mazeroth
Views: 25 Replies: 0 My son is getting married this summer and my wife and I have decided to pay for the honeymoon. They need to take the trip from July 14-20, due to work schedules, and are set on the Caribbean. Im a complete tightwad and cant purchase things unless I know Im getting a killer deal but unfortunately, planning trips is something I dont do. Id like to keep the total under $4000 for the week, including airfare. Im not sure if an all-inclusive deal would be beneficial as they dont drink or eat much and that might be money wasted. I do want it to be a very nice, memorable trip.

If you guys know of any sites with great deals or a starting point on my journey to saving money Id greatly appreciate it!
Requests Deals
OFFER OVER Free app for android - 10bii Financial Calculator
Added on : Friday February 28th 2014 01:00:04 AM
g: 4 Posted By: remick
Views: 487 Replies: 1 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W41SQK

Finally a Financial Calculator for everyone! Whether you are a seasoned investor or you just have questions about paying off your credit card, refinancing your home, or planning your 401(k) contributions, the 10bii Financial Calculator has the answers to YOUR financial questions!

Users love this app! Read what a couple of them have said:

"Amazing app! Wonderful for calculating investments and other financial decisions. Great response on suggestions. True In A Day Development."

"Hands down best financial calculator. No learning curve, works and looks just like the HP but better. Nexus One."

At times, users will post reviews saying the calculations are wrong, but please understand the calculations ARE CORRECT. The issue comes down to proper use of the calculator and almost always has to do with the Payments per Year setting. If you believe you are having any issues with your calculations, email us and we'll generally reply within the hour and can help resolve the issue. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

The 10bii Financial Calculator is a versatile and powerful financial calculator which features more than 105 different functions for financial analysis, business, statistics, and general mathematics. Modeled after the extremely popular 10bII Financial Calculator by Hewlett Packard, the 10bii Financial Calculator combines precise mathematics, intuitive display, and ease-of-use in one compact package. It allows you to easily calculate loan payments, interest rates, amortization, time value of money, investment value, and more using a combination of powerful and intuitive equation-writing functionality and helpful worksheets.

By expanding on HP's traditional presentation, the 10bii Financial Calculator allows quick and intuitive building and visualization of TVM (Time Value of Money) calculations and Uneven Cash Flow scenarios and lets you type in whole equations for easy review and one-touch evaluation.

With the 10bii Financial Calculator, you can:

Calculate Time Value of Money (Length of Term, Present Value, Nominal Interest, Loan Payments, Future Value) and see the cash flow diagram produced for you via the Graph TVM key. Values for N, PV, I, PMT, and FV are displayed right above their keys for easy reference.

Easily enter Uneven Cash Flows, including rapid calculation of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return. A dedicated interface makes adding, editing, deleting, and reordering uneven cash flows a breeze.

Switch between Nominal and Effective interest rates with the simple touch of a button.

Enter and analyze statistical data points. Includes standard calculations such as standard deviation, mean, and linear regression forecasting.

Never has using a financial calculator been so easy or intuitive. The 10bii Financial Calculator is truly powerful enough for the professional but accessible enough for everyone. It is an ideal tool for teaching the power of compounding interest, analyzing potential deals or business ventures, or just doing math problems, and sharing the results of your work with others.
Free Apps Deals
Which debt to pay down first?
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 01:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 190 Replies: 6 I have two debts that are screwing me now that I need to address. I'm paying PMI on my home and 9.5% interest on an unsecured pool loan. I'm thinking it makes more sense to try and remove PMI. I would feel comfortable throwing $30k at something. Here are the numbers:

Conventional home loan:

$327,000 purchase price (4/13), 5% down, original loan value $310,650 @ 3.625% interest rate
Current remaining balance $305,085
Monthly PMI: $173.45
Appraisal fee $385
I estimate the value at $370k.
PMI is scheduled to be removed at 78% LTV of the $327k purchase, so 10/21 when the mortgage is roughly $255k. I want it gone long before that

Pool loan:

$30,000 @ 9.5% for 60 months started 7/25/13.
Remaining balance $23,414, pay off is $24,322
I made one-time $5k payment to knock it down a bit


I'm thinking I pay the $385 to do the appraisal, and if the home comes in at $360k for example. I'd need to pay $17k to get to 288k and remove PMI...BUT I was thinking perhaps pay the full $30k and get it to $275k owed on a $360k property, and see if I could do a HELOC to pay the pool down? Or would it make more sense to just pay the minimum to remove PMI and the remainder to the pool loan?

For those curious, the reason I took on PMI and a 9.5% interest loan is because I was able to get 2-3 roommates bringing in $1250-1850 cash off the books...so it covered those expenses easily.
Personal Finance Deals
Free app for android - 10bii Financial Calculator
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 57 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W41SQK

Finally a Financial Calculator for everyone! Whether you are a seasoned investor or you just have questions about paying off your credit card, refinancing your home, or planning your 401(k) contributions, the 10bii Financial Calculator has the answers to YOUR financial questions!

Users love this app! Read what a couple of them have said:

"Amazing app! Wonderful for calculating investments and other financial decisions. Great response on suggestions. True In A Day Development."

"Hands down best financial calculator. No learning curve, works and looks just like the HP but better. Nexus One."

At times, users will post reviews saying the calculations are wrong, but please understand the calculations ARE CORRECT. The issue comes down to proper use of the calculator and almost always has to do with the Payments per Year setting. If you believe you are having any issues with your calculations, email us and we'll generally reply within the hour and can help resolve the issue. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

The 10bii Financial Calculator is a versatile and powerful financial calculator which features more than 105 different functions for financial analysis, business, statistics, and general mathematics. Modeled after the extremely popular 10bII Financial Calculator by Hewlett Packard, the 10bii Financial Calculator combines precise mathematics, intuitive display, and ease-of-use in one compact package. It allows you to easily calculate loan payments, interest rates, amortization, time value of money, investment value, and more using a combination of powerful and intuitive equation-writing functionality and helpful worksheets.

By expanding on HP's traditional presentation, the 10bii Financial Calculator allows quick and intuitive building and visualization of TVM (Time Value of Money) calculations and Uneven Cash Flow scenarios and lets you type in whole equations for easy review and one-touch evaluation.

With the 10bii Financial Calculator, you can:

Calculate Time Value of Money (Length of Term, Present Value, Nominal Interest, Loan Payments, Future Value) and see the cash flow diagram produced for you via the Graph TVM key. Values for N, PV, I, PMT, and FV are displayed right above their keys for easy reference.

Easily enter Uneven Cash Flows, including rapid calculation of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return. A dedicated interface makes adding, editing, deleting, and reordering uneven cash flows a breeze.

Switch between Nominal and Effective interest rates with the simple touch of a button.

Enter and analyze statistical data points. Includes standard calculations such as standard deviation, mean, and linear regression forecasting.

Never has using a financial calculator been so easy or intuitive. The 10bii Financial Calculator is truly powerful enough for the professional but accessible enough for everyone. It is an ideal tool for teaching the power of compounding interest, analyzing potential deals or business ventures, or just doing math problems, and sharing the results of your work with others.
Free Apps Deals
Can I withdraw my salary from my personal bank account
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 05:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nshear
Views: 11 Replies: 0 I used to have a regular well paid job; in my last year working I earned $600K on my W2. One year ago I started my own business. We have been running at a heavy loss for 2014. I setup as a single-member LLC (disregarded entity). I setup a business account, but I didnt pay myself through the business account; I have been paying living expense including mortgage etc. straight from cash in my personal account.Its tax time and my business account shows a loss of $77,000 (office expense, employees not mine - salaries etc.). I have probably spent $200,000 in living expense from my personal account. Two questions:1)Can I count the $200,000 towards my losses? My concern is that I should have put the money through the business account and then drawn it out.
2)Can I get any W2 tax back from previous years (when I paid loads of taxes)Thanks
Advice requested - Semi-Retired - When to circle the wagons?
Added on : Wednesday February 26th 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: eddot98
Views: 158 Replies: 5 My wife and I are 63 and 62 years old respectively. We do not have children and have no relatives that we need to provide for. My wife is retired, I am semi-retired. We own our home, own our 2 Camry's, have no credit card debt or any other kind of debt, and have a year's worth of emergency cash earning paltry rates of interest, but are the best available now. We have another year's worth of money in various stocks in taxable accounts. We have beencollecting my state retirement(for 4 years now)that provides 68% of my preretirement salary as long as either I or my wife lives. Unfortunately that amount is not indexed for inflation. We are not collecting Social Security yet, my wife never contributed, butwhen I am66.5 years of age (June 2017), we can collect another 42% of my preretirement salary, with my benefit and her spousal benefit. I have been working part time for the last 4 years, earning an extra 30 to 40% of my preretirement salary, but that is coming to an end very soon. We have $800K in deferred compensation accounts, Roth IRA's, IRA's, and a 401k.Three quarters ofthis money is invested in S&P 500 index funds, with almost all of the rest in the Fidelity Contra fund. I do not like Bond funds, never have.

The question I am asking the FW community finance experts is this: In my deferred compensation plan, there is a Stable Income Fund option, currentlypaying about 1.8% interest, pretty much its all time low due to the current financial conditions. Is it time to "Circle the Wagons", put about $600K into that fund and take a much lower rate of return to be assured that amount of money will be safe. As an aside, we are not extravagant, but live well enough, taking at least 3 timeshare weeks of vacation a year (sometimes flying to destination, mostly not), an off season 2 week trip to Europe yearly, and once monthly weekend trips to nearby destinations. We also have 1 million Marriott points. So, we are enjoyingourselves enough. I do not want the hassle of a second home either.
Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: JSquare293
Views: 233 Replies: 0 Received this letter from Comcast today, called I got the upgrade within few hours.
I'm located in Homestead, FL and this offer could be only for this area so YMMV.

Great News-
You are eligible to receive our Xfinity Extreme 105 Internet Service for no additional cost.
Dear Blast! Internet Customer:
We are updating several of our Double Play and Triple Play packages to include Xfinity Blast
Internet service within the monthly service rate. Based on this change, you will now receive Blast!
Internet service with your package. But for the same monthly rate you are paying now, you can
have an Internet upgrade from our Blast Internet speed with download speeds of 50Mbps to our
Extreme Internet service with 105 Mbps download speeds.
To get started with the faster speeds, we need your permission to upgrade your service. Call
1-888-228-0063 now to activate your Extreme 105 speeds.
We value our customers and look forward to continuing to serve you.
Thank you for being a Comcast customer.
Services Deals
Nature Made Vitamin D or Fish Oil - 2 Free after $5 GC @ Target
Added on : Monday February 24th 2014 09:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: imanemokid
Views: 82 Replies: 0 Nature Made Vitamin D or Fish Oil - 2 Free after $5 GC @ Target

Nature Made Vitamin D Tablets(100 ct)$5.99 Buy 2
$2 off Nature Made vitamins or supplements <targetQ
$2 off Nature Made vitamins or supplements <targetQ
Use TWO(2) $2/1 coupons from February 2 Red Plum insert
Pay $3.98 & get $5 GC when you buy 2
Final Price =FREE

Nature Made Fish Oil Softgels(100 ct)$5.99-Buy 2
$2 off Nature Made vitamins or supplements <targetQ
$2 off Nature Made vitamins or supplements <targetQ
Use TWO(2)$2 Off Any One Nature Made Fish Oilfrom coupons.com
Pay $3.98 & get $5 GC when you buy 2
Final Price =FREE after GC

There are 2 coupons on coupons.Target.com - each link can print 2

There are 2 coupons on coupons.com

$2 Off Any One Nature Made Fish Oil
&
$2 Off Any Two Nature Made Products **

There are also 3 Qz on NatureMade.com - Bricks Qz - but you have to register

Save $1.00 on any Nature Made Product **
Save $1.00 on Nature Made Fish Oil **
Save $1.00 on Nature Made Vitamin D **

If you use any of the Qz w/ a ** by it - you will end up paying $1 per bottle (+ tax if applicable)
Vitamins Deals
TurboTax Deluxe CD - Federal & State (E-File for Fed only) $39.99
Added on : Sunday February 23rd 2014 06:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dragonary
Views: 146 Replies: 0 Those weary on doing their taxes online, here's a TurboTax Deluxe CD version (State and Fed E-File included) for $39.99 at BestBuy.
Bonus gift: a $5 Best Buy Gift Card with this purchase... so it's like paying $34.99
Link

Free Shipping on orders $25 and up, or pick it up from a store.
Software Deals

Best Buy Coupons
I am terrible at math and projections: should I pay my rental or invest?
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: maxandsam
Views: 176 Replies: 1 I have about 100k extra sitting around doing nothing except losing value b/c interest rates are low. I am going to withdraw this to pay off a loan or invest. However I am terrible at math and do not know which scenario is better.

Should I:

1. pay down the note of a rental house that I own and owe 190k on. 30 year fixed at 3.625%. Rentals during the year cover my entire mortgage. (I owe more on my primary residency, but due to laws, it would be the hardest thing for me to lose so that payment is last).

2. invest the money into mutual funds. I have about 400k in mutual funds already and my goal is to get to 1 million by age 40. I'm 33 rt now. That's my goal b/c firecalc.com says at 1 million, by retirement age, I should have plenty to do nothing if I want.

If I add more to funds and get average market return, due to compounding and interest and growth, will I get more value out of investing my 100k or will paying down the rental house note (and the interest saved with prepayment) exceed investing? Let's say I think 10 years out, will my 100k investing, grow and far exceed the savings of prepayment of loan? Thanks to all you math wizzes. and PS, I could spend it on hookers and blow and crown vics, but I like German cars and don't want the herps nor a bloody nose so no H&B.
Personal Finance Deals
Take loan for credit score purposes
Added on : Friday February 21st 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: -1 Posted By: Birdman0494
Views: 142 Replies: 3 Hi everyone I'm new to fw been reading the forums for a while.
my fico has ranged from 760- 705 due to my latest AOR

I've used discover, credit karma, credit sesame to track my score. I have about 20k plus in cl from
CCs. All my reports say not having installment loans are hurting my credit due to a lack of diversity.
All ccs are paid in full

what do you guys think of taking out and paying a small loan just for credit score purposes ? I'm sorry if this topics already been covered.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Murrow
Views: 275 Replies: 0 Humble Linky

That's a lot of adventure, man.The Humble Weekly Sale features 12 adventure games from The Adventure Company and friends. Pay what you want for the 18th century murder mystery game,Dead Reefs, and the Transylvanian hidden object game,Mystery Series: A Vampire Tale. Paying $1 or more gets you access to the challenging puzzle adventure title,Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure, and the first-person puzzle exploration game,Aura: Fate of the Ages, on Steam.

If you pay $6 or more you'll also receive the Myst-style horror-adventure games,Dark Fall: The JournalandDark Fall 2: Lights Out, the comedic point-and-click titles,The Book of Unwritten Tales Digital Deluxe EditionandThe Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles Collectors Edition, the fast-paced adventure game,Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within, the brilliantly absurdDeponiaand the insane point-and-click adventure game,Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. Paying $15 or more will unlock the thrilling crime adventure game,The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief Digital Deluxe Edition.

Pay what you want.Normally, these games would cost you more than $170, but we are letting you name your price!

DRM-free and on Steam.Pay $1 or more to accessSafecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle AdventureandAura: Fate of the Ageson Steam for Windows. All games $6 or more are available on Steam for Windows, with select games available for Mac and Linux.Dead ReefsandMystery Series: A Vampire Taleare only available DRM-free for Windows.Mystery Series: A Vampire Taleis also available for Mac. For full system requirements, please clickhere.

Support vital causes.You decide how your purchase is allocated: between the content creators and/or to the non-profit organizations, Child's Play Charity and Electronic Frontier Foundation. And if you like this promotion, a tip to Humble Bundle would be greatly appreciated!

The current average price as of this posting is $7.75.
Video Games Deals
Californa: Get $30 in FREE TOLLS @ FasTrak mobile app -CA only
Added on : Thursday February 20th 2014 12:00:10 PM
g: 1 Posted By: nickradack
Views: 241 Replies: 0 https://www.thetollroads.com/whatshappening/newsroom/pressreleas... App promotion has reopenned until 3/30/14

Code :FLYER30

Open Account, Get $30 in Free Tolls on The Toll RoadsIt pays to be first when customers sign up for new ExpressAccount or FasTrak now until March 31IRVINE, Calif. - February 3, 2014- Drivers on the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads in Orange County can get $30 in free tolls if they open a new ExpressAccount or FasTrak account on or before March 31. ExpressAccount and Fastrak are the fast and convenient ways to pay tolls electronically while traveling at highway speeds.The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), which operates the 51-mile Toll Road network, introduced three new ExpressAccount types last month to give cash-paying customers more choices for how to pay tolls without stopping at toll plazas.TCA will be removing all cash toll collection from The Toll Roads in May 2014. Customers can now pay using an ExpressAccount or FasTrak, the transponder-based electronic toll collection system. To receive the $30 in free tolls, customers can use promo code FLYER30 when they establish a new account via thetollroads.com or The Toll Roads app, which is available in the Apple App and Google Play Stores."We want new customers to know that it pays to be first when you sign up for an ExpressAccount or FasTrak," said Lisa Telles, TCA's chief communications officer. "We'll be removing cash toll collection soon and $30 in free tolls is a great way to see firsthand how fast and convenient it is to drive The Toll Roads."The New ExpressAccount - New Ways to Pay Tolls Without Stopping
With the new, transponder-free ExpressAccount, images of a vehicle's license plate taken on The Toll Roads are linked to an account and the appropriate toll is collected. When customers sign up for an ExpressAccount, they choose one of three payment options:

Prepaid - Customers open an account with a prepaid balance and tolls are deducted from the amount whenever they use The Toll Roads.
Charge - At the end of each day, customers' tolls are charged to the credit card on file for each trip on The Toll Roads.
Invoice - Customers are sent an invoice at the close of the month for tolls incurred that month; no need to use a credit card or link a bank account to your account. This account type includes an invoice fee.

Customers who sign up can immediately begin using the new ExpressAccount on The Toll Roads. They may drive through the FasTrak lanes and will not need to stop at a toll plaza. An ExpressAccount can only be used on The Toll Roads (State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261) and the toll is on average 20 percent higher than the toll paid by a FasTrak customer.FasTrak: Still Lowest Tolls
FasTrak customers won't have to make any changes to their account when cash collection ceases on The Toll Roads. Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology affixed to a vehicle's windshield, will continue to pay the lowest tolls and may be used on all tolled bridges, lanes and roads in California.One-Time-Toll
TCA has also introduced One-Time-Toll, a payment option designed for infrequent toll road drivers and visitors, who may use The Toll Roads at their convenience and pay their tolls within 48 hours after their trip by downloading the Toll Roads app or by visiting www.thetollroads.com to pay online-all without the need to establish an ExpressAccount or a FasTrak account. The $30 in free tolls promotion does not apply to One-Time-Toll.
Travel Deals Deals
Plight of the overeducated, starving scientist. Advice?
Added on : Thursday February 20th 2014 02:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Rommie2k6
Views: 117 Replies: 4 First, I would like to share my experience as an overeducated, starving scientist, and then I hope to solicit some feedback and advice from fellow FWF readers (who I assume have some level of financial literacy) on how to get out of this hole that I have dug myself into.

Foremost, let's examine on why people pursue a graduate or professional degree after getting the basic Bachelors, so we're talking PhD, MBA, PharmD, MD, etc... The high minded bullshit aside (I want to save lives, it's intellectual challenging, etc...), it's all for money. Generally, the higher your education level, the higher your salary. Most people with professional degrees easily hit $100k/yr shortly after graduation and peak at $200k-500k/yr depending on your profession.

All except me. I'm an overeducated (PhD), starving scientist, working at the interface of chemistry and biology, which is unfortunately overcrowded. I did NOT know this until I was 3 years into my degree, that I had joined an overcrowded field, where supply is way more than demand. In about a year, I'm going to graduate, and I feel royally screwed.

Here's the hole that I have dug myself into. For the past 4 years of my life, I have been preparing myself for a career in the ivory tower, i.e. professor. To be honest, a professor's salary ain't too bad, most of them earn >$100k/yr. The problem is:
a) Intense competition to get a professor position that pays well (we're talking about tenure-track positions at R1/R2 institutions for those who know the lingo, not instructor positions, not teaching positions and definitely not adjunct). In today's world, I'd say you have a 10% chance of getting it.
b) Extremely long times of temporary underpaid "holding pattern" positions between graduation and landing that coveted professor position, also known as postdoc positions. As a grad student, I earn $25k. As a postdoc I earn $40-50k. In comparison, a tech with only a bachelor degree doing "grunt work" in industry gets $50k/yr. Hell, I bet most blue collar jobs earn as much or more than I do!!! In my field, it is the norm that fresh PhD graduates do not get hired as professors. Instead, they spend 5 to 7 years postdoc-ing to get more scientific publications and just hang around until they get a job. To illustrate this problem, I know of a rising superstar in my field, he spent 17 years as a student and postdoc before he finally landed a position at a R1 institution.
c) Combining (a) and (b) together, I am taking a tremendous financial hit to my earnings and retirement. I have run "salary projections" on hypothetical scenario of academic vs industry jobs, based on what information I could gather from sources like glassdoor. I won't bog down with details, but I'll highlight two scenarios:
- For a career in industry that is equally successful (in terms of salary growth) as academia, the industry path will have AT LEAST $1 million more at retirement, which is equivalent to about $300k in today's dollars. The number is conservative, I've only used base salary for these calculations, and not bonuses which are common industry but not in the academy.
- A successful academic career (no more than 5 years postdoc, no more than 10 years for promotion to full professor) will yield the same amount of money at retirement as an industry career that is mediocre (never hitting $100k/yr, some unemployment years).
If these highlights startle you, yes I was dumbfounded as well. Numbers don't lie. The reason for the huge discrepancy comes from the first 5-10 years after graduation. A high paying industry job from the start allows one to save more, and magic of compounding interest works in your favor. Not so, if you are an academic.

Now, here is the REAL kicker. I am GOOD at doing what professors do. Going by metrics like number and quality of papers published (which is how academics are evaluated), I am one of the best students to come out from the lab, I'll say top 10% to give it a number. I've got awards/fellowships that are extremely prestigious (less than 10% success rate). For all my success and good performance, what I am getting in return? NOTHING! If I stick onto the academic path, I'm salary capped below $50k for the next 5 years, regardless of how well I do, and it's unlikely I won't hit a six figure salary until 10 years after I graduate. When I compare myself to others with professional degree, PharmD, PhD in engineering, etc..., those careers make $100k almost immediately after graduation. For those who are not in the ivory tower, I'm sure this comes off as puzzling. I've read a number of finance/career blogs on how to present yourself to get raises and stuff, and it is truly another world inside the ivory tower. There is this perverse culture in the ivory tower that we all do science because we love it and not for money. Yes, I love my work, but screw it if I am not going to see tangible returns anytime soon. The anti-money culture in my opinion is religious and cult-like within the academic world, and it's really frustrating because unlike other clueless PhDs, I am financially aware of the price I am paying.

So why not go to industry then? After all, I have been doing salary comparisons between industry and academic jobs haven't I? That's tricky, here are the considerations:
- From what I have figured, preparing for an industry career is very frequently at odds with preparing for an academic career. I have to chose. Industry values skills, academe values accomplishments and papers. To give an example, let's say that I invented a new cool method to do some sciency stuff. The smart academic will basically milk this method for all its worth and publish a gazillion papers out of it. But that would mean that I have specialized in only 1 thing for the last 5 years, and unless it so happens to fit into the needs of an industry position, that ain't going to cut it. To maximize odds of getting an industry job, one would need to have diverse set of skills with some level of depth, but that would translate to less papers, since the time spent learning new and diverse skills is time taken away from using those skills to get results and publish more papers.
- A likely scenario is that I may not get any industry job offers. What do I do then? Do a postdoc, bide my time and retool/reinvent myself as the industry guy? That's a sound plan, BUT the longer I do a postdoc, the more it makes sense to go into the academic route, especially since I am already doing so well as an academic. Remember that the source of the huge financial differences comes from the first 5 years after graduation. If I can't get an industry job immediately after graduation, and spend the next 3 or so years retooling and rebranding myself for industry and finally get a job in my 4th year after graduation, the salary numbers will look pretty similar as the academic path. Sure industry salary may be a bit higher, but the fact is that 4 years of underpaid postdoc has already happened and the damage is done.

I'm going to stop here now. I'd really appreciate comments and advice from the board. Even if you are not in this field, an outside perspective is going to be a refreshing change.

Lastly, as bit of service to the FWF community, if you know of any young idealistic punk who wants to pursue a PhD in Chemistry/Biology, tell them to run salary projections on possible career path. Honestly, I wish I did it in my first year. If I had, I would have developed myself for an industry position from day 1. But as of now, I'm way deep into the academic hole, and I can't really see any easy way out.

Question Deals
Need advice on current debt situation!!
Added on : Wednesday February 19th 2014 10:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dlight1
Views: 50 Replies: 2 These type's of threads always get loaded with RED towards the OP, however I'm asking the community here on any advice to help the situation.

Debts
Home Equity Loan: $34,200 @ 5.25%
Student Loan: $5,100 @ ($4,500 @ 3.4% and $600 @ 4.5% consolidated)
Chase Credit Card: $0 @ 17.99%

Assets
Net Annual Pay: $22,000
Bank accounts: $3,072
401k: $22,000

Basically in a nutshell, the Home Equity is $224/mo for the next 19 years and the Student Loan started as 12,000, but is now just sitting in forbearance for the past year and a half. Forbearance is due to expire in October, but chances are I'll ask for an extension. The student loan offers auto-pay which reduces the interest by 0.25%, but obviously carries a $53/mo bill to stay on track, or $33/mo if extended to a 15yr term (10 original term). The Chase card has a low credit line of just over $2,000, but its sole purpose is to be used to earn 1% CashBack paying monthly bills (yeah trying every avenue to help... net CashBack is roughly $240/year), such as electric, water, and sewer bills. Based on the past 2yrs of bills, etc... In around August or early September, we no longer will be able to make payments on the monthly expenses.

Basically, I just would like to know of any other sources/ideas to eliminate this debt or at least stay steady and make it by on current income.

The next possibility to help things would be to lower health and dental plans. Currently paying around $3,276 annually from employer. Tapping into the 401k seems tempting, but would like to stay away from that option as well (unless it would actually help matters). As of right now, the only chance of hope is to get a raise in July, otherwise somethings got to give somewhere.
Question Deals
New Honda extended Warranty OUCH!!!
Added on : Tuesday February 18th 2014 03:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kenpomace
Views: 141 Replies: 4 Just bought a new 2014 pilot, after declining all the dealers junk and warranty. Several days later I was curious and I emailed the "internet manager" about the extended warranty

here is his response

The regular price of the 6yr/80k is $1,890 and the 8yr/120k is $2,690If I gave you a better price when you signed up for your new Honda, then we honor that deal up to 7 days from purchase

so basically paying almost 1900.00 for 44000 miles cuz honda has 36k bumper to bumper warranty. Ouch!




Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: NantucketSunrise
Views: 222 Replies: 8 Fortunately, my teeth are in really good condition. Most dentists I have gone to in the last few decades have told me I just need onecheckup/cleaning a year, although of coursesome of them have saidthat having a 6-month checkupis always recommended.

My previous dentist retired, so last February I went to a new dentist.

I went to one of those perhaps-franchised kind of clinicsthat seem to employ various dentists who, for whatever reason, don't have their own stand-alone, long-term kind of private practice.

I went to that clinic because 1) they had a special "coupon" offerfor new patients (everything for about $70) and 2) my teeth don't have any big issues, so I knew the dentist's assessment of myteethwould be perfunctory no matter who the dentist was, and generally I just wanted to havea cleaning done by a hygienist.

The clinic required a full set of x-rays to be taken at the start of my appointment, and I was okay with that, because it had been about 3 years since I'd hada full set done, and I understand that when you go to a new practice, they like to do a full imaging.

The dentist's assessment of me was very quick - a couple of minutes - no problems, "just keep doing what you are doing". I received an adequate cleaning from the hygienist (not the best I've ever had, but I wasn't paying a whole lot for the appointment, so I had no complaints).

Now, 12 months on, I called the same clinicto book my next appointment. The full exam price applies this time,of course, and that's fine with me -- I think it's $150 or something for a cleaning by the hygienist and a look-over by the dentist.

The receptionist told me that the dentist I saw there last year has moved on to another city where he's opened up his own private practice. I asked her if my records went with him to his new practice, or if my records remain at this clinic. She said, "Oh, your records have remainedwith us -you are considereda patient of our clinic."

I asked her how much another cleaning by the hygienist & fly-by viewing by the dentist would be, and she said it would be about $150, "...and, also,naturally, our new dentist will require you to have another full set of x-rays taken because you have never been her patient before, and there would bean extra charge for those."

I replied, "But I just had a full set of x-rays taken by your clinic last year, and my teeth are in good health. You just told me that your office has all my records from my appointment there last year. Also -- I thought the full set of dental x-rays on healthy patientswas only taken about once every 5 years?"

She said, "No, you would need to have the full set repeated, because of course you would be going to a new dentist since Dr. X has left us,andnew dentistslike to start out with a full set of x-rays for theirnew patients."

Does this make sense?It doesn't seem so to me.

The typical guideline for just bite-wing (not the full mouth) x-rays foradults with no decay is only once every 2-3 years: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/x-rays/hic_Dental_X-rays.aspx.

Therefore, I wouldn't really want that clinic even to do bite-wings on me, since I just had a huge amount of imaging done by them last year.

I toldthe receptionist thatI'd have to think about it, and that I'd call back if I wanted to set up an appointment.

Obviously, they are trying to make money. But the ADA warns againstdoing excessive x-rays on patients. Do you think that the receptionist wassimplywrong in her information,and maybe I should call back and ask to speak to the hygienistwho cleaned my teeth last year (the receptionist said thatthis hygienistis still on staff there) to ascertain if they really would require me to do a full set of x-rays again?

If Imove on toanothernew practice somewhere else in my vicinity, they might make me do a complete set again anyway -- do you think they would?
Personal Finance Deals
First Time HomeBuyer looking for Mortgage advice
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: risic
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I'm a veteran looking for advice on whether to take points or not on my mortgage. I bank with Navy Federal Credit Union.I have about $25K saved. I plan on appplying for a VA Loan which requires no down payment & no PMI, but a funding fee of 1.75-2.15%. The asking price for a home I like is $240K. Here are the interest rates, associated points,and a 1% origination fee for a 30 YR VA loan:

3.375%@ 3pt
3.5% @ 2.5pt
3.625% @ 2pt
3.75% @ 0pt
4.0% @ 0pt (no 1% origination fee)

I don't know which way to go. Should I take the loan with the most points to have a low interest rate and save $30K in interest payment(paying about $15K total in points & fees) or pay no points at all?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Personal Finance Deals
Free Wilson Golf Balls (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) 1st 327
Added on : Sunday February 16th 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 170 Replies: 0 https://www.facebook.com/WilsonGolf

Facebook: I want insert friend's name here to try the world's softest tour ball from Wilson Staff. I'm paying it #FGTourward.

Twitter: I want @insert friend's twitter name here to try the softest tour ball from @WilsonGolf so we both get a free 2-ball pack! I'm paying it #FGTourward.

Instagram: I want @insert friend's twitter name here to try the softest tour ball from @Wilson_Golf so we both get a free 2-ball pack. I'm paying it #FGTourward.

open only to legal residents of the
fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least thirteen (13) years old at the time of entry who
either have (i) a Twitter account, and who are followers of @WilsonGolf, (ii) an Instagram account, and who are
followers of @Wilson_Golf or (iii) a Facebook account, and who are fans of Wilson Staff fan page at
www.facebook.com/wilsongolf

To enter the Contest, during the Contest Period (i) tweet via Twitter, (ii) post on your wall via
Facebook, or (iii) tag via Instagram the image or text set forth in the contest announcement, as directed and including
the hashtag #FGTourward. Doing this will generate one (1) entry into the Contest. Any participant who posts after
the close of the Contest Period will not be given an entry into the Contest. Limit: Each participant may obtain only
one (1) entry into the Contest. Multiple entrants are not permitted to share the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram account.
Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant's
entries and that entrant may be disqualified from the entire Contest.
Sports & Outdoors Deals
Tax implications of repaying a gift from relatives?
Added on : Saturday February 15th 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: moxie
Views: 117 Replies: 0 When my husband and I were looking for a house last year, we found a good fit and had an accepted offer within less than 24 hours after we saw the house.My (awesome and generous) folks offered to gift us part of our down payment, but when we were applying for a loan in November they surprised us by wiring over twice the amount they had offered. This amount was well over the $52K annual exclusion amount. I wanted to give it back but they insisted that we take it as an interest free loan with no due date.

After consideration, my husband and I decided to hang on to it for a few months. My parents were right-- the extra sum sitting in our account made the bank loan go through smoothly. They saved us from having to break our laddered CDs or dip into our Roth IRAs. The house buying process turned out to have a lot of unexpected expenses too so things would have been very tight without their help.

At any rate, three months later all our money is now liquid, I got paid for some major contracts which had been outstanding in 2013, we got back rebates on our closing fees, points, agent fees, and reimbursed for moving expenses (thanks to Redfin, PenFed, and husband's employer), and we can now pay my parents back. We want to do this ASAP so that we don't get spendy with what is probably a large chunk of their retirement savings.

My question is:
What is the best way to deal with this tax-wise? Do they have to file a gift return for 2013 and will we have to file a gift return for 2014? Should we treat this as a loan (though when applying for our housing loan, they wrote us a gift letter)? I don't expect that either of us will ever approach the lifetime gift-tax exemption of $5.25 million, so is there anything to worry about at all?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice!
Tax Deals
Balancing Student Loans, Retirement Funds, and life's expenses
Added on : Friday February 14th 2014 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: itslikepaper
Views: 49 Replies: 0 Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any and all advice. I've been reading and learning quite a bit on FWF for a long time now, but this is my first time posting. FYI - I wish I knew about this forum before I took out these damn student loans.

Main Question: How should I allocate my income in order to responsibly pay off my student loans while still saving for retirement and other life expenses?

Profile:
26 years old
Employed, Full-Time, earning $48,000 per year - company does not match 401(k)
Married (26 years old, earning $25,000 per year)

Loans:
$27,718 - 6.8% Unsubsidized
$4,357 - 5.6% Subsidized
$5,512 - 6.0% Subsidized
$22,202 - 6.8% Subsidized
$2,627 - 2.35% Subsidized

Other expenses:
Rent & Utilities $1,100/month
No credit card debt
No auto loans

Assets:
$11,000 in Savings Account

Here's my two lines of thinking

A)
1. Max out Roth IRA as an emergency fund up to $11k (2014 & 2015)
2. Keep $3k in Savings, but put the remaining $2,500 (11k - 5.5k Roth contr - 3k savings) into the 6.8% Unsub student loan.
3. Pay minimum on lower interest rate loans while throwing everything else at the 6.8% Unsub loan.
5. An option (please give your opinion) is to enroll in an online course at a local Comm College to postpone interest on Subsidized loans.
6. Work hard and earn more money.

PROS:
Fastest way to pay off student loans.
Simplicity (no BTs and no crossing fingers for some kind of student loan bailout)

CONS:
No room to save on down payment for house
No retirement savings

OR

B)
1. Max out 401(k) to lower our AGI
2. Pay minimum on student loans
3. Get a job in the public sector (and probably a pay cut) to take advantage of PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness - forgives all loans after 120 monthly payments)
4. Continue to keep AGI as low as possible using 401(k).

PROS:
Paying min on student loans gives me more flexibility with my money
Significant retirement savings

CONS:
PSLF, like anything else the government does, is not guaranteed to be around in 10 years
Taking a pay cut
I'm sure there are more cons, but drawing a blank right now

So, it feels like to me that these are my only two options and that they are mutually exclusive i.e. I can't really do a hybrid of both options to take advantage of the PROS. Any other ideas and suggestions are appreciated!

Thank you all again for any advice you can contribute!!!!!!



Personal Finance Deals
Cablevision Saved myself $25 month off silver package YMMV
Added on : Friday February 14th 2014 05:00:11 AM
g: -3 Posted By: traderneal
Views: 212 Replies: 1 Getting tired of paying over $200 month for cable, tv and phone so I called cablevision to see if they could do anything.

Now first, let me say, I like Cablevision. Knock wood, I have had no problems with them and I find their phone customer service, especially when I have problems with the internet.

Anywhoo, I called them and simply asked if they could do any better. At first they said no promotions were available. I then said to them, look, I don't want to play the game and threaten to cancel my service andthat I am going to FIOS and I know that usually works. I just don't want to play that game. I just would like a reduceded cable bill. The CR said there was nothing he could do but switched me to retention.

I repeated my story, and after a 3 minute hold I had a choice with 2 offers:

$25 a monthoff my current silver package
$20 a month off the gold package.

(The gold package would have given me a few more movie channels and (allegedly) 3X faster internet.)

Saying I didn't want anymore channels and my internet service is fine, I chose the $25 monthly savings.

Again, this is prolly a huge YMMV, but worth 10 minutes total of your time. I think the key is to be honest and say you don't wanna play the "I'm leaving game"
Services Deals
Comprehensive auto insurance AND emergency fund?
Added on : Thursday February 13th 2014 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: RunToday
Views: 63 Replies: 1 What's the point of paying a risk premium for comprehensive auto insurance if you can afford any repairs with your emergency fund?
Discussion Deals
Putting It In The Backdoor (Roth) For Fun And Profit
Added on : Thursday February 13th 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 21 Posted By: robronson
Views: 3596 Replies: 21 I've been reading about backdoor Roths for a while but it never applied to me since my income has been below the threshold. For you old-timers, skip to the last two paragraphs of this post for my "new" information. The bulk of this post is a primer for people not in the know about the concept. For anyone reading who is new to the concept, the IRS disallows a person to contribute money into a Roth IRA if they earn more than a certain amount of money (in the $100k+ range). You also can't get a traditional IRA deduction at that income due to phaseouts that disallow it. Thus, people contribute to a non-deductible IRA, which has no income phaseout, and then convert it to a Roth IRA since the government recently removed the income-level restriction on a Roth conversion.

The benefit here is that with a non-deductible IRA, you get no deduction of the contribution but all of the earnings are taxable like a traditional IRA. If you contribute $5k to a non-deductible IRA and it grows to $10k over time, your $5k contribution comes out tax free but you're taxed on the $5k of earnings. With a Roth IRA, you get no deduction on the initial contribution but the earnings also come out tax-free (everything is tax-free in the Roth) so it's a much better deal.

You can convert a Traditional or Non-Deductible IRA into a Roth by simply paying the tax on any earnings to date. For example, if you put $5k into a non-deductible IRA and it's worth $6k, you pay income taxes on $1k (the earnings) and can convert all $6k (your $5k contribution and the $1k earnings) into a Roth which can grow for decades completely tax free. It's a great deal if (in this example) you believe the taxes on the $1k right now are less than the present value of the future taxes you'll pay on all earnings from it.

So what people are trying to do lately is contribute $5k into a non-deductible IRA. Then immediately convert it into a Roth IRA. They pay the "taxes" on the $0 of earnings (since they convert it in the same day), which costs $0 and like magic, they were able to bypass the income restriction on contributing money into a Roth IRA.

The problem that many people don't realize is that you can't simply convert one piece of your Traditional/Non-Deductible IRA money into a Roth. Suppose you already had $100k of money in a Traditional IRA that you built up over the years. And suppose it is 50% earnings and 50% contribution (you contributed $50k to the Traditional IRA over the years and it's grown to $100k, so if you withdrew it today, you'd owe taxes on the $50k earnings). If you then contribute $5k to a non-deductible IRA and try to convert that $5k to a Roth, it doesn't work.

This is because the IRS looks at the Traditional and Non-Deductible IRA money as one package. So to the IRS, in the above example, you have $105k in IRAs and decided to convert $5k from that, which is about 5% of it. You can't decide which of that $105k to convert, you must convert it equally split between whatever the ratio of earnings to contributions is. Thus, if you convert $5k, you're really converting around $2,500 of earnings (out of that $100k Traditional IRA money) and $2,500 of contributions. So you pay taxes on $2,500 to do the conversion, not $0. And, you didn't actually move all $5k of the non-deductible IRA into a Roth. You only moved half of it. The other half is stuck in that T-IRA/Non-Deductible IRA pool.

None of this is new information, it's simply summarized from what I've read on these forums and elsewhere. What is new is my proposal to fix the problem. You're allowed to rollover Traditional IRA money into a 401k. Thus, if in the above example you rolled over your $100k Traditional IRA into a 401k, and then contributed $5k to a non-deductible IRA, you could do the full $5k conversion to Roth, tax-free, because that $5k is the only IRA you have. The problem is that virtually no 401k custodians, through employers, allow for in-service rollovers into the 401k.

The potential solution? Open an Individual 401k, designed for Self Proprietors/Small Business Owners and roll your T-IRA into there. From the looks of things, Vanguard allows an I-401k to anyone (who claims to be a self proprietor) and there's no fees if you have at least their lowest level status (which offhand I think is $50k in assets with them). If you're not actually self employed, you won't be able to contribute money into the I-401k, but you should be able to rollover your T-IRA money into it. Then do your backdoor Roth with no problems.

Investing Deals
$10 reward card from AT&T for every account you enroll in AutoPay
Added on : Thursday February 13th 2014 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mechiah
Views: 30 Replies: 0 got this when logging into my AT&T account today.

T&C, bold mine:
https://www.att.com/olam/viewInterstitialPromo.myworldsaid:*Promotion card redemption via AT&T Reward Visa Prepaid Card(Reward Card). Automatic Payments (AutoPay) Offer effective 7/1/13 through 6/30/14. Eligibility - $10 Reward Card to AT&T Mobility, AT&T U-verse, or AT&T Home Phone/Internet residential customers who enroll in Automatic Payments during Offer effective dates for one or more AT&T accounts using a debit card or direct bank account draft. Limit of one $10 Reward Card for enrollment in AutoPay per account per 12-month period. AT&T Employees excluded. AutoPay Offer Redemption details provided to customer by email within 8 weeks of activation of qualified enrollment. For redemption, customer must retain qualified enrollment in AutoPay for a minimum of 90 days from the time processing of reward is completed.

Reward Visa Prepaid Card is not redeemable for cash and may not be used at automated gasoline pumps or for cash withdrawal at any cash dispensing locations. Card expires 90 days after issuance. For cardholder agreement and other terms and conditions go to http://rewardcenter.att.com/myrewardcard/agreement.pdf. Visa prepaid cards are issued by U.S. Bank National Association and/or MetaBank, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

the card is provided "within" 8 weeks of enrolling, then you have to remain enrolled in autopay for 90 more days. that's about 5 billing cycles.

seems worthwhile if you don't/can't pay your AT&T bill with a rewards CC
to break even vs paying with a 1.5% CashBack CC, your monthly bill would have to be $133 or less, more and your CC is a better choice
to break even vs paying with a 5% CashBack CC, your monthly bill would have to be$40 or less, more and your CC is a better choice

personally, my AT&T bill is$120, meaning i've wasted more time on this post than i could personally get value out of this program, lol.
Deal Deals
Should I discontinue/downgrade life insurance
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 02:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ecotesty
Views: 170 Replies: 5 I am7 years into a 20y termlife for $2M,I am 46, and payingabout 2k for this coverage. Iwas self-employed, with 2 young (8y & 13y now) kids, was building my asset base when I bought this first. Both of us work, have saved deligently, with all assets (401k+savings)-liabilities is about equivalent to $2M,=the payout if I were to die now.Recently accepted a fulltime position with a company paid termlife of $300k, I know insurance is front loaded to compensate for aging, so insurance company wins if I bail out now, but bigger question is, should I still hold onto the outside termlifewhen my asset base + company paid will cover any eventuality. Or should I keep this till kids move out ? Thanks for your advice.
Personal Finance Deals
The Correct Way To Do A Backdoor Roth Contribution
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 151 Replies: 2 I've been reading about backdoor Roths for a while but it never applied to me since my income has been below the threshold. For you old-timers, skip to the last two paragraphs of this post for my "new" information. The bulk of this post is a primer for people not in the know about the concept. For anyone reading who is new to the concept, the IRS disallows a person to contribute money into a Roth IRA if they earn more than a certain amount of money (in the $100k+ range). You also can't get a traditional IRA deduction at that income due to phaseouts that disallow it. Thus, people contribute to a non-deductible IRA, which has no income phaseout, and then convert it to a Roth IRA since the government recently removed the income-level restriction on a Roth conversion.

The benefit here is that with a non-deductible IRA, you get no deduction of the contribution but all of the earnings are taxable like a traditional IRA. If you contribute $5k to a non-deductible IRA and it grows to $10k over time, your $5k contribution comes out tax free but you're taxed on the $5k of earnings. With a Roth IRA, you get no deduction on the initial contribution but the earnings also come out tax-free (everything is tax-free in the Roth) so it's a much better deal.

You can convert a Traditional or Non-Deductible IRA into a Roth by simply paying the tax on any earnings to date. For example, if you put $5k into a non-deductible IRA and it's worth $6k, you pay income taxes on $1k (the earnings) and can convert all $6k (your $5k contribution and the $1k earnings) into a Roth which can grow for decades completely tax free. It's a great deal if (in this example) you believe the taxes on the $1k right now are less than the present value of the future taxes you'll pay on all earnings from it.

So what people are trying to do lately is contribute $5k into a non-deductible IRA. Then immediately convert it into a Roth IRA. They pay the "taxes" on the $0 of earnings (since they convert it in the same day), which costs $0 and like magic, they were able to bypass the income restriction on contributing money into a Roth IRA.

The problem that many people don't realize is that you can't simply convert one piece of your Traditional/Non-Deductible IRA money into a Roth. Suppose you already had $100k of money in a Traditional IRA that you built up over the years. And suppose it is 50% earnings and 50% contribution (you contributed $50k to the Traditional IRA over the years and it's grown to $100k, so if you withdrew it today, you'd owe taxes on the $50k earnings). If you then contribute $5k to a non-deductible IRA and try to convert that $5k to a Roth, it doesn't work.

This is because the IRS looks at the Traditional and Non-Deductible IRA money as one package. So to the IRS, in the above example, you have $105k in IRAs and decided to convert $5k from that, which is about 5% of it. You can't decide which of that $105k to convert, you must convert it equally split between whatever the ratio of earnings to contributions is. Thus, if you convert $5k, you're really converting around $2,500 of earnings (out of that $100k Traditional IRA money) and $2,500 of contributions. So you pay taxes on $2,500 to do the conversion, not $0. And, you didn't actually move all $5k of the non-deductible IRA into a Roth. You only moved half of it. The other half is stuck in that T-IRA/Non-Deductible IRA pool.

None of this is new information, it's simply summarized from what I've read on these forums and elsewhere. What is new is my proposal to fix the problem. You're allowed to rollover Traditional IRA money into a 401k. Thus, if in the above example you rolled over your $100k Traditional IRA into a 401k, and then contributed $5k to a non-deductible IRA, you could do the full $5k conversion to Roth, tax-free, because that $5k is the only IRA you have. The problem is that virtually no 401k custodians, through employers, allow for in-service rollovers into the 401k.

The potential solution? Open an Individual 401k, designed for Self Proprietors/Small Business Owners and roll your T-IRA into there. From the looks of things, Vanguard allows an I-401k to anyone (who claims to be a self proprietor) and there's no fees if you have at least their lowest level status (which offhand I think is $50k in assets with them). If you're not actually self employed, you won't be able to contribute money into the I-401k, but you should be able to rollover your T-IRA money into it. Then do your backdoor Roth with no problems.

Investing Deals
Getting collections removed from my CC by paying them off, any advice?
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 12:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SweetBearCub
Views: 79 Replies: 3 Greetings.

In total, I owe about $2,000-$2,500 in collection accounts on my credit reports. Though I have several credit cards open in good standing, my credit remains in the low to mid 600's, and I am hoping that paying off all of my collection accounts will raise that score. However, I have heard that collection companies will not necessarily remove collection accounts from a report after payment, but only mark them as paid. I would prefer that they get removed entirely.

I owe about $862 to a creditor, and received a settlement offer of $362, if I pay it within the next 9 days. Should I take this offer? Should I first send some kind of agreement that the collection account be completely removed? How should I word it? What are the chances that the collection agencies would agree to it?

Also, the $500 off offer only applies to this one specific creditor right now. Are my chances good that if I offer other creditors a similar unsolicited offer of 40% of the original debts and a similar "remove completely" agreement that they will accept?

Thanks!

New User Question Deals
Need advice re student loan/mortage refi with cash available
Added on : Monday February 10th 2014 08:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: throwaway2001
Views: 83 Replies: 0 So my wife and I have collectively about 300K in student loans and a $350K mortgage (house is valued at $300K currently in a yearly arm after having a 7/1 expire). We have $200k in liquid assets. My wife is a stay at home mom for now, but when full time employed, pulls in six figures as I am doing now. Okay those are the deets- now to my considerations-

1. I am in a position to perform a HARP 2.0 at any time (I haven't refi'ed yet since purchasing the house)- however, I'm concerned of having to have a higher apr due to the program- I'm also concerned about being locked into the HARP 2.0 terms- I've read that I can't refinance if I'm in the HARP2.0 program (definitely not again with another HARP 2.0 but am unsure if after paying down principle that I would be able to refi through another bank for an ARM or 30y in the next 3-5 years after having done a HARP 2.0.) I would then continue to invest as I have been doing eventually paying everything down at some point before I die.

2. With our liquid assets- my other consideration was paying down the mortgage- then refinance with a 5/5 or 30yr. basically invest $150k from assets and have $50k in case of emergency- then chip away at student loans and mortgage until I die.

3. Paying off a majority of student loans- I'm getting no benefit from student loan interest through taxes due to my earned income- paying off those loans seems premature when my house is underwater- nonetheless- eventually paying off my student loans would provide more money to pay down my mortgage until I die.

My thought was basically do #2 (pay down the house and refi)- assuming housing continues to recover- potentially refi again later on and pull some money out of the house to pay off some of the student loans- by that time, I would have made a pretty good dent in the loans to potentially pay it all off- this would be at the cost of still owing a vast majority on my house and maybe getting dinged with higher rates later on- but I'd benefit from taxes from the mortgage all the while.

Any advice into how to handle this debt load with my available assets would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Personal Finance Deals
Promissary Notes issued by high rated companies
Added on : Sunday February 09th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 167 Replies: 1 I came across to this Money market promissory note paying 1.25% by Duke Energy which is rated BBB+
The way I understand; it is just like money market account where you can invest in and out imnmediately and get paid the interest to the last day
So my question; is there a list of all these promissory notes issued by corporations rated higher than say BBB+?
BTW, I know these products are not FDIC insured.
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 92 Replies: 1 I had $6k of SE income in 2013 as my sole source of income due to burning off a non-compete and taking a large chunk of vacation time. I expect to have $200k of SE income in 2014. However, that $200k is not guaranteed. It's on a contract with provisions that allow the client to terminate my services without cause at any time.

My concern is that I'll make $50k in the first quarter of 2014 and then make $0 for the rest of the year. I don't want to pay $20k in estimated quarterly taxes on April 15th 2014 on my $50k annual income.

I'd much prefer paying a larger estimated quarterly tax payment in Q3 and/or Q4 when I know my income more precisely. May I use my $6k figure from 2013 as my expected income for 2014? I imagine the IRS will scoff at that if I wind up making 30x that amount.

Any suggestions? I'm reading through IRS Pub 505 and 1040-ES this morning and it's not really clear. I do plan on maxing out an IRA and Individual 401k this year, so that makes things stickier. If I wind up only making $50k in Q1 and $0 the rest of the year, I'll owe almost nothing in taxes since I can do a Traditional IRA, I-401k plus employer contribution, standard deduction/personal exemption. I can't afford to give the IRS an interest-free loan of $20k for 1 year if my contracts fall through after Q1 because I'll need that money for living expenses the rest of the year.
Tax Deals
Save money for house or put it in retirement account?
Added on : Saturday February 08th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: backpurge
Views: 44 Replies: 0 TLDR: Does the tax savings and potential gainsfrom putting $ in 401k negate the PMI that we'd be paying if we put less money down on a house.

Details: So the wife and I make around $170k a year combined and we have one child and are both in our early 30s. We are currently in a house worth $130k and owe about $120kbut looking to upgrade to a house valued at $300k max and just trying to figure out the best route to go. Currently we've been maxing out my 401k at work at $17500 plus 3% company match, maxing out my personal Roth IRA at $5500 and she's been putting in 6% of her check into her work's 401k which ends up being around $5000 a year. This ends up socking away around $28000 a year for retirement plus we still end up saving about $5000 in our savings account for an EF. Obviously the 401k's end up saving us paying taxes on our income now. We looked at our budget and figured out ways to probably save an extra $10k this year without changing too much lifestyle wise.

Would it be better to cut back to the company match for both of our 401k's and stockpile $ for a 20% house down payment or stick with a higher contribution to retirement accounts and do a minimal down payment or somewhere in between? Thanks in advance!

Investing Deals
g: 1 Posted By: cr3s
Views: 146 Replies: 4 Question: Am I stuck with this lease or can I get out? Landlord is not open to renegotiating the rent $.

Location: California.

Short Version:

1. Renewed 1 year lease 3 months ago.
2. 1 month in, landlord sent 60 day notice to all residents of change in lease terms, essentially increasing rent. He wants residents to pay water and sewage and trash disposal. This is an apartment complex.

Long version:
Currently on month 3 of 1 year lease agreement. Landlord for a 50+ units decided he's tired of paying water and trash so he's going to make all residents pay them to the util companies. He sent out a 60 day notice beginning Jan 2014 stating that in March, we'll be assessed and it will go from there.

The contract has a standard verbiage as well as an addendum.
Verbiage in Contract:
Utilities: Payment of all utilities shall be the responsibility of the Resident(s). Landlord does not pay for any utilities. If landlord were to pay any utilities, Resident(s) shall not make excessive or unreasonable use of such utilities. (It goes on to say, if landlord has to pay on the residents behalf, then he'll bill them...etc]

Utilities Addendum: Resident is responsible for paying for utilities at the above address and unit number stated above. IT is the resident's responsibility to pay directly to the companies listed below for their utilities (Electricity) each month.
Resident agrees to provide owner/agent with the account number for the following utility companies before moving in.
[Electricity Co Acct #]
....


Question Deals
Spec Home Financing
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dallastyme
Views: 138 Replies: 0 I'm looking for some financing ideas to fund a spec home. I already own the lot outright and have some cash to contribute but need $100,000. A construction loan is out of the question because banks are not currently offering loans forspec homes. I'm a newly licensed contractor and do not have a financial record to become an approved contractor by the bank. Homes in my area are currently selling fast and I believe I can realistically build and sell a home in under 12 months.

My current ideas are;

-Applying for credit cards with 12 month 0 percent interest and using cash advance, checks, or paying my construction company via paypal and paying the fee.
-Leveraging my automobiles (no equity in my home).
-Unsecured line of credit or personal loan from bank.
-Small business loan.

Has anyone been down this road or have any input?
Real Estate Deals
PineconeS Research Scam!
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: VerbalK
Views: 138 Replies: 3 Figure this might be relevant since I know many of us have at some point did the $5 a pop pinecone surveys. A while back I got a message in my spam box with the typical mystery shopper scam stuff, though it was a good effort (very close to the old pinecone format, though with an extra "S" for sucker). I put in my spam email address and a PO box. I didn't notice, but I did receive several more message about my approval in the spam folder.

Today I got a "check" for $2250 to assist me in testing Wal-Marts money order system, the standard send $1800 to the Philippines, keep the rest, kind of thing. Very well put together package, no obviously stilted English, or other dead giveaways... other than the "duh, why are they paying me $500 to assess the friendliness of Wal-Mart cashiers. (I could tell you they suck for free). In closer reading, there are a few giveways, capitalization in weird places, euro date format, "text only" phone numbers. I guess it makes sense filippinos would speak more idiomatically than Nigerians.

What should I do with this now? Give it to the post office to investigate mail fraud? Cash the check and flee to costa rica? Spam the text number with pictures of cats? Try to get a picture of them putting fish and bread on their head?

pineconesresearch.com is the domain, not much in the whois, phone number 202-688-8936, check came from a tina avila, 459 Country Club Rd, Newnan, GA 30265, with the name Jinni B Redmond on the fake cashiers check.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: minghi
Views: 33 Replies: 0 hi, i've an employer sponsored 401k account at t-rowe-price for the past four years struggling with their home fund (retirement 2045 fund) but recently quit to become a self employed professional. I did get a rollover option letter from them, so I was thinking of moving the money to another broker with a good transfer bonus and low fees etc. My question is what are the things that I should keep in mind before starting the rollover process. sorry, I've yet to do some googling on this but want some input from experienced pro's on this forum. thanks

current situation: self employed llc (s-corp filing status), thinking of SEP IRA and maxing out the possible limit this year (paying myself 98k/yr).
Personal Finance Deals
Private Student Loans: Best Way to Consolidate?
Added on : Tuesday February 04th 2014 08:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sbdywinski
Views: 114 Replies: 2 My Federal student loans just kicked in and paying both those and my private loans per month are near impossible to manage. I have approx $30,273 in federal loans, and $41,685 in private loans. Yeah I know, not the best situation and it is something I am regretting, but I am trying!

Info
Student Loan Provider Loan Type Payment Plan Balance Interest Total (per provider) Payment Amt. Payment Amt Per Mo. Due Date Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan Unknown Unknown $4904 9.63% $160 9th Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan Unknown Unknown $2017 9.63% $6921 $66 $226 9th Discover Bank - Student Loan Unknown Unknown $19449 11.25% $19449 $207 $207 13th CitiBank CitiAssist Undergrad Loan Unknown Unknown $9730 6.25% $74 13th CitiBank CitiAssist Undergrad Loan Unknown Unknown $6215 3.13% $15945 $37 $111 13th Nelnet - Group A Subsidized Standard $4500 6.5% $53.11 14th Nelnet - Group B Subsidized Standard $4500 6% $51.18 14th Nelnet - Group C Subsidized Standard $5500 5.6% $61.4 14th Nelnet - Group D Subsidized Standard $5500 4.5% $20000 $58.28 $223.97 14th Nelnet - Group E Unsubsidized Standard $3476.55 6.8% $46.61 14th Nelnet - Group F Unsubsidized Standard $2406.47 6.8% $32.26 14th Nelnet - Group G Unsubsidized Standard $2262.49 6.8% $30.33 14th Nelnet - Group H Unsubsidized Standard $2128.21 6.8% $10273.72 $28.53 $137.73 14th
Note: I HAVE NOT switched my federal loans to be on the income repayment plan yet, as my first payment isn't until the 14th (Happy Valentine's Day to me!). Once that is done, that payment is about $183 per month for the federal loans combined.I have every interest in paying down my credit cards ASAP so that I can apply those costs to my highest interest student loans.

Some facts about me:

Monthly income after taxes taken out: ~$1720
Credit Score: Currently 640 (working on decreasing CC utilization by getting approved for more cards)
Credit Card Debt: $6,333 (was under-employed for FAR too long)
Overall Credit Availability: $9220 (Was just approved for a 1000 credit card, reflected in total)
I am in my mid 20's, don't own a house so no collateral for personal loans. Car is worth approx $3.5k but I dont want to part with it (grad gift from mom before passing, only car that hasn't EVER had breakdowns. Costly repairs on a cheaper car don't seem like a better option in the long run).
No cosigner possibilities


Questions about private loan consolidation:

Is there a particular lender which tends to give the best rates?
If I, for example, go to CUStudentLoans.com and check what kind of rates they can give me, is that going to do a hard/soft credit inquiry? I know it is good to shop around with this sort of thing, but I am wary of heavy hits this may cause.
One of my CitiAssist student loans has a VERY low rate of 3.13%.. should I consolidate this with the others? Seems like a good one to hang onto, but it could also lower the overall interest rate I would be approved forif it was averaged with the other loans.
Is there a good "tactic" as far as getting a good rate? My boyfriend and I thought about the possibility of balance transferring my credit card debt to one of his cards to bring up my credit score pretty good and THEN apply for the consolidation.. then transfer back to me (with cards with balance transfer deals, of course)
Is there a particular credit score I should strive for before applying to consolidate?
Are there any key things I should avoid in their consolidation terms and conditions? Variable,Fixed,25 yr length,etc.

As I am sure it is apparent, I am pretty clueless about what the best option here is. I appreciate any words of wisdom you might have with this subject!
Personal Finance Deals
Would you have bought a house in my situation?
Added on : Monday February 03rd 2014 07:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gpandy
Views: 114 Replies: 4 May be a moot point as I am currently under contract and close of escrow is this week.

Currently renting, paying roughly $1200 per month (give or take depending on utilities). Current assets of approximately $140k. I saw an opportunity to purchase a home and jumped on it.

Purchase price (condo) is $400k with a $100k down payment. Closing costs and misc. fees per the estimated HUD run $10k. This will leave me with a new effective PITI payment of $2200, but will leave my assets down to $30k. I will also no longer be able to sock away $1k monthly to savings (about half to a Roth IRA, and the remaining half to misc. savings/stocks/mutual funds).

I will still be contributing to my company's 401k to achieve the maximum company match, but instead of $1k monthly to max out my Roth IRA and contribute to mutual funds monthly, it will essentially be reduced to $100-$200 monthly to an IRA only.

Currently in my mid-twenties and figured that while the cash for emergencies was nice, it wasn't really doing me any good.

Thanks,
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: IL352010
Views: 217 Replies: 2 First, thank you for your ideas and suggestions. This truly means a lot to me. I have searched and read through the required materials on this board. Again, I genuinely thank you for your time. I have tried to include the most pertinent information below.

My question is: How much should I invest in my 401k v. how quickly should I pay off my student debt.

I am 26 years old. Graduated with a professional degree in mid-2013, passed my professional licensing exam and started working at a Fortune 500 company in early January 2014.

I managed to get out of undergrad with no student loans (working during the year + summers and earning grants and scholarships). I graduated from law school with $62,000 of debt and allocated it by percentage below. (All Federal Loans).

Direct unsub. Stafford- $33,000 (6.8%)
Direct Sub. Stafford- $17,000 (6.8%)
Direct Student Plus- $12,000 (7.9%)

I've been paying off interest as it comes due throughout law school and have no other debt whatsoever. That said- my savings are nearly 0. (I will be receiving my second paycheck this week).

My starting salary is $75,000 even. I expect to hopefully be able to increase that in the near future. Truthfully, in my industry, I'm fortunate to have a job right now. That said, once I gain a few years of experience I believe I will be able to increase that figure dramatically.

My company offers a 6% 401k matching plan, which vests on a graded scale. Meaning- they will match my first 6% fully, however, after my first full year of employment 33% of their match will vest and be mine if I leave the company. After two years- 66% will vest and then after 3 years 100% of their match will vest. This worries me a bit because it is not uncommon to find or be offered a higher paying job within that time span. I suppose I'll have to decide how big a pay jump and whether it's worth it at the time.

Also my employer is a public traded company and they offer a ESPP. They will match the first 3% of contributions, after-tax, to that program.

I've also started a Roth IRA- although I have only put a few hundred dollars in it so far. I live in Chicago with a roommate and pay about $1,000/month total for rent, utilities, etc. I picked this living arrangement so that I could not have a car and walk about 4 blocks to work each day. If I need a car for a particular day for work- my employer will pick up the zipcar tab- which is great. My goal is to stay in this specific living situation for about 2-3 years. I eventually hope to save to buy a modest 1 or 2 bedroom condo.

Back to my question- Any advice on the strategy of repaying my loans and saving for retirement would be incredibly helpful. Again, thank you for your time and consideration.



Personal Finance Deals
Sell or Keep this Rental Property
Added on : Monday February 03rd 2014 11:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: callthedr
Views: 83 Replies: 4 I know there are similar threads to this but when it comes to deciding whether to keep or sell a rental property, I figure each situation is unique and I wanted to see what advice people had for this situation:

We bought a condo in 2001 for $170,000, which we lived in until 2007 when we moved to another house. We now owe around $224,000 (we took equity out of it in order to get a down payment on the house we currently live in). We just did a refi eight months ago for 15 years at 3.0% so we'll have it paid off in a little less than 15 years. However, we lose around $5,000 to $6,000 a year in cash flow (although that could be lowered a bit if we keep it since we'll be able to raise the rent as the current tenant is moving out and the rent is kind of low now). And that's with having the same good tenant in there for seven years now and never having to re-paint or find a new tenant, etc. and deal with those extra costs. They were only selling for around $260,000 a few years ago but now a few have sold in the $340,000 range or even higher. Ours is not fixed up as much as some of the condos in the complex so perhaps a $330,000 selling price might be a best guess. I figure that after a few fix-ups on the place, realtor commission, taxes, etc., we could maybe walk way with $30,000 or so in cash after it's all said and done.

Our income is steady and pretty decent so we are able to absorb the cash losses without much trouble but I'm not sure it's the best thing to have a negative cash flow for 14+ more years before finally paying it off and making money off the thing. We do pay off more than $1,000 of principal each month since our interest rate is low and it's a 15 year loan, so I guess technically we're coming out ahead each year as far as net worth goes but not cash-wise.

The condo is in a nice area of Southern California, about 4 miles from the beach, so it's an area where rents and prices of houses are likely to rise over the years.

Finally, I don't want to regret getting rid of it if it doesn't make financial sense. But I'm not too fond of being a landlord and if financially, either decision is justifiable, I'd rather just not have the headache of being a landlord and have the extra savings to pay off my wife's school debt, save for kids college, etc. Any advice that people have would be appreciated. We talked to a professional advisor that we trust. I think he kind of favored keeping it but he more or less said it comes down to the question of whether or not you want to be a landlord or not. He thought if we didn't want to be a landlord, it's fine to sell since he knows we'll do something useful with the money and not just waste it. Thanks.

Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: mrdzone
Views: 144 Replies: 0 So yea, for basically january this deal was only available with an old license for photoshop cs3 - cs6. I just went back to the site to again wish I had known about the deal in december where the program was open to anyone and lo and behold it let me register.

You got photoshop cc (full version) and lightroom 5 (full version) and all updates for 10.99 with a 1 year commitment.

Yes yes, if you stop paying you lose access to the software... c'est la vie.
Software Deals
Is it possible to change the mortgagor on a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 12:00:05 PM
g: 1 Posted By: adion4157
Views: 403 Replies: 18 When my uncle got sick, I moved into his house and started paying his mortgage because he was not able to. He recently passed away and I'm wondering if I can call the lender and have them add me on as the mortgagor. He has an excellent rate on his mortgage and I'd rather take over his than apply for a new one.

If I cannot add myself to his mortgage, what if I just continue paying it as I am now? I doubt the bank cares if he is alive or not as long as they are getting their money.

edit: Changed all the mortgagees to mortgagor. Thanks tszyeung.
Question Deals
Is it possible to change the mortgagee on a mortgage?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: adion4157
Views: 135 Replies: 7 When my uncle got sick, I moved into his house and started paying his mortgage because he was not able to. He recently passed away and I'm wondering if I can call the lender and have them add me on as the mortgagee. He has an excellent rate on his mortgage and I'd rather take over his than apply for a new one.

If I cannot add myself to his mortgage, what if I just continue paying it as I am now? I doubt the bank cares if he is alive or not as long as they are getting their money.
Question Deals
1099c from short sale, how to mitigate tax liability?
Added on : Saturday February 01st 2014 11:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Ma171aC
Views: 165 Replies: 3 In a situation much like everyone else with Florida property who was laid off during the crash. Purchased condo with intent on staying for many years, laid off and relocated for work (i was very lucky and happy with the offer) back in December 2008. Already under water, i rented the property and took my $800 hit each month. Eventually couldn't keep up and went through a 2 year short sale process. Bank wrote off 67k, i agreed to 15k promisory note at 0% interest. I understand the debt relief act that was extended through last year, but its only for primary residence..

My question i suppose is that my hardship caused all this to begin with and i made an attempt to keep up with my end of the deal. I was not insolvent at the time of sale either so that's off the table. Anyway i can take advantage of the debt relief act or are there other ways i can reduce the tax impact i'm about to receive? I do have a tax guy who will be receiving all my docs for last year, but i thought i would ask the great fatwallet community and see if anyone has experienced something similar.

To get this out of the way, i have every intention of paying my bills if thats what it comes to (although not at once, thats a mighty large tax bill). How did the "walking away" guy end up dealing with it, or did he have to? I THINK i can request removal of all late fees and other charges on the total amount that was owed to reduce the 67k number can't I, making it just what they lost on the house and not their fees?

Timeline in case it matters;

Purchased Townhouse 3/2007
Laid off 12/2008
Relocated for work (TX) 2/2009
Purchased house in TX 4/2011
Stopped paying mortgage 7/2011
Started short sale process 9/2011
Property sold 7/2013 for 141k
Total OWED 223k
Paying back 15k @ 0% to bank
they wrote off 67k which i got a 1099c for

With the deficiency "income" i'll be looking at around 180k of total income last year so that's the tax bracket.

Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: timx
Views: 231 Replies: 1 Deal of the day.
http://www.cowboom.com/

I never could justify paying a lot for headphones/earbuds....gonna give these a shot...
Headphones & Speakers Deals

CowBoom Coupons
Kiddie Tax???
Added on : Friday January 31st 2014 10:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: roboian
Views: 197 Replies: 6 Hey, everyone. New(ish) member, long time reader. I've just started doing my 2013 tax return and was wondering how people feel about the kiddie tax (Form 8615). I understand that its purpose is to prevent parents from paying lower income taxes by putting investments in their children's names, but my case is a little bit different. I'm a 20 year old college student that did some of my own investments, and now appear to be required to pay tax on those investments at my parents (higher) tax rate. Some details:

20 year old, full time student
~2,000 in earned income (wages)
~2,500 in investment income (around $600 interest, the rest capital gains)
Claimed as a dependent on my parent's taxes

Does anyone know of any (legal) ways to get around this kiddie tax? The investments were my own and it seems as if my situation is a flaw in the system.
Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: doctorofcredit
Views: 95 Replies: 0 Sign up for an asterix free checking account and make a direct deposit within 60 days of account opening. No hard pull and ACH transfers count as the direct deposit. Huntington bank always pays promos promptly.

Keep the account for a minimum of six months to avoid paying an early account termination fee of $25.

​Link to offer

Wish I lived in the promo area, hope some of you take advantage of it.

Fine print:

1Set up your direct deposit into your new checking account within 60 days of account opening and be sure at least one single direct deposit is made in the amount of $500 or more. Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit such as your paycheck or pension from your employer or government benefits (such as Social Security) from the Government. Your $150 bonus will be deposited into your new checking account within 90 days of account opening as long as the above requirement is met. For tax purposes, youll receive a Form 1099-IN from us for your bonus. New account must remain open to receive the bonus deposit and for a minimum of six months to avoid an Early Account Closing Fee. This offer is available on new Huntington checking accounts in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. Offer is not available to existing Huntington checking customers including fiduciaries or those with checking accounts closed within the last six months. Bank reserves the right to limit each customer to one new account related gift per calendar year.

Huntington is not responsible for and will not honor promotional offers that appear on third party websites not affiliated with, or authorized by, The Huntington National Bank.

Asterisk-Free Checkingis a federally registered service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.
Deposits Deals
Neighbor's leak has caused property damage - difficulty getting resolution
Added on : Wednesday January 29th 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: udonoogen
Views: 133 Replies: 1 Hello Fatwallet!

I thought I might be able to get some advice on how to resolve this issue - which has been a lot more difficult to do than I originally thought.

The Story:
- I have a detached garage in my townhome complex. Above my detached garage, there is another unit owned by another neighbor, who rents it out via a property management company. His porch is directly above a portion of the garage.
- I live in Southern California. It's usually sunny but occasionally it really pours here.
- In Spring-ish 2013, it rained pretty heavily and caused the drywall in my built-in cabinets to collapse. Water damage turned into mold.
- I began the process of contacting the HOA, which in turn contacted the other owner. No response. It's not a big deal, since it's my detached garage, so it fell through the cracks with other life priorities (e.g. new baby).
- It rained again in September/October last year and water was draining out of my cabinet again. I contacted the owner's property management company and they sent out a contractor to do an estimate. I contacted them persistently since then and they gave me various excuses. They finally told me a couple weeks ago that the owner had postponed the repair due to lack of funds.
- I contacted my insurance agent and she said my homeowner's couldn't do much because they can't repair the source of the leak. The HOA claims they are only responsible for the roof (not the porch).
- I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against the property management company yesterday and emailed their customer service, copying my HOA representative. Short of that, I'm running out of options to get this fixed (short of paying for his porch repair, myself).

Do y'all have any suggestions? I have a group legal plan through work but I understand I'll still have to pay for a portion of the attorney's fees. If I go to small claims court, do I get my attorney's fees back? If I call my homeowner's insurance (Mercury), would they fight for this on my behalf, since it is causing damage to my property? I am concerned about the black mold and (later on) resale value of this townhome when our family decides to move.

Thanks in advance!
Real Estate Deals
Interactive Brokers margin loan for real estate purchase?
Added on : Wednesday January 29th 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jkbrennan77
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I'm looking to build a new home and don't want to sell stock to do it. Interactive Brokers (IB) margin rates are 1.57% on the first $100k and 1.07% on the next $900k. I currently pay 2.875% on my mortgage and would expect to pay more on a new loan in particular if it was a construction loan. A Schwab Pledged Asset Line seems to be over 3.5% (1-month LIBOR plus 3.4+%).

I expect to borrow around $400k for the new home. Why wouldn't I just transfer ~$1.2 million worth of stock into an IB account and use margin to pay for the new home? (For tax purposes I would be taking separate cash out and using the margin to pay for the stocks).

I understand there is market risk and if the stock portfolio fell below $600k (?) I would risk a margin call. I would use mid and large cap US stocks and ETFs that presumably have low margin requirements (long holdings, no shorts, no options, etc.).

I also understand there is margin rate risk that the margin rate could go up over what I could get in a traditional mortgage. I don't believe the fed funds rate is going up to 2.5%+ in my time frame of the next 5 years. Also, I will likely sell my current home once the new one is complete (within 6-12 months of starting construction/initiating the margin loan) and could use the money from that to pay off the margin loan if rates go up.

They mention a $10 minimum trade commissions per month but a.) that's trivial compared to the interest savings b.) based on their fees I might do that anyway and c.) that seems to be waived for accounts over $100k. Will they throw me out if I just let the account sit there and just make a trade or two each month?

Are there other costs/risks to the IB accounts or margin loans I'm not accounting for?

Are there better alternatives I should be considering? Where better would be still sub-2% interest rate but with lower interest rate risk or market risk and without paying high closing costs or points. I'm willing to put up as much as $1.5 million in equities and the house worth $600k as collateral.
Investing Deals
Only working half the year then MBA... how to take advantage? Roth, etc.
Added on : Wednesday January 29th 2014 06:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dave6237
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I will be enrolling in a 2-year full-time MBA program starting this fall, and since I am taking some time off from work beforehand, I am only going to have about 25/30k of income in 2014. It is an extremely highly ranked program, so I believe this is a good investment (plus, my family is very generously paying for it).

How can I best take advantage of this taxwise (or other ways)? My plan right now is to convert my 401k into a Roth IRA. My 401k is currently traditional, but I have the option to switch to a Roth 401k going forward if I want. 401k balance is 22k (contributing 175 every 2 weeks). Other assets are 17k in a Capital One 360 savings account (adding 200 every 2 weeks) and 1k in my checking.

Also, if it matters, my income in 2015 will be roughly the same. I estimate 2016 income will be roughly 50k before going into low 6 figures 2017 and forward, but obviously that is way into the future.

Basically, my questions are:
1. Should I convert the entire 401k to a Roth IRA in 2014, or split it across 2014 and 2015? When in the year(s) should I convert?
2. Should I open a Roth IRA and contribute $5,500 before doing the conversion, do it after the conversion, or does it not matter?
3. Should I begin making Roth 401k contributions for the next 4 months, or does it not matter?
4. Can you think of any other ways I can take advantage of having income over the next 2 years that will hopefully be well below my lifetime average?

Thanks!
Tax question: income repayment
Added on : Tuesday January 28th 2014 09:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Xnarg1
Views: 172 Replies: 2 In 2013 I left my old job for a new one. As a condition for leaving my old job, I had to pay some money back to them (which was received as income), which I did and was repaid in 2013:
My old employer said: This letter confirms that your debt obligation to XXX Inc.for the amount of $XX,XXX.00 hasbeen paid in full. As originally reported, this overpayment occurred in 2013. You will not file an amended tax return for the year of overpayment and thus a W2C forthe year of overpayment will not be needed or processed. According to IRS Publication 525, you may be able to deduct the amount repaid from your income for the year in which you repaid it. Please refer to IRS Publication 525 and if necessary, consult your tax advisor.

The W2 I got from them includes my original pay only (does not include me paying them back) - so how do I subtract out what I paid them back? As far as I can tell, Pub 525 lists two ways to do this:

Form 843 - this does not seem like what I need.
Schedule A - deduct it as a miscellaneous deduction.

I am uncertain whether I am interpreting these correctly or if there is yet another place to put it. I don't think I can just adjust the W2 myself since it will then not match with what my employer sends the IRS.

I generally use TaxAct, but I also want to know where to put it instead of just entering a number somewhere (perhaps erroneously) and having the software magically just take it off.
Tax Deals
g: 2 Posted By: jaytrader
Views: 234 Replies: 14 I'll be the first to admit that this is not directly related to finance, but rather indirectly. I just got hit by a potentially huge issue last night, after connecting some dots.

See facts below.

Fiancee's father opened LLC in her name in 2004 (she was/is the sole member) because the father is in a union and cannot have his own company (to bill out side jobs) doing the same line of work he performs in his union.
Fiancee and I are getting married toward the end of this year (2014). Fiancee's father recently contacted her to help him write up an invoice for a decently high valueside job.
I dug a bit deeper and realized no income has ever been reported on behalf of the LLC, nor has any of her tax returns shown business income. It is unknown if he's ever utilized the company for billing purposes before recently.
Her father claims he "gets a W2 from [his] clients and puts it on [his] tax return." Anyone with half a brain knows this is impossible (he's not a member of the LLC), not economical for the client(s) (1099 vs W2), and would prove that he's doing side work to his union if he were ever "audited" by the union.
I looked online last night, and the state government site says the LLC is "ACTIVE" and she is listed as the DOS Process contactand Registered Agent.
In my opinion, the fact that there is now an invoice with the LLC name on it shows that there was work done by the company and poses an insurance liability.
Based on what I know about her father, the company has no insurance at all.


I know damn well that I'm not paying taxes on revenue that I didn't see/create. Not to mention, there is possible tax evasion/fraud that has happened in the past (whether intentional or not, doesn't matter). Also, there is now a potentially huge risk/liability, should any of the work her father (or his laborers) performed become faulty or fail and cause injury or death.


Questions

What do I do? I want to protect myself (meaning, want her off the company before we're married) as well as her ASAP.
Is thererisk regarding the work failing and causing injury or death, or am I incorrect? If so, who's at risk? The company or her father directly?
Is there past tax evasion/fraud risk? She had no knowledge about his use of the company up until the last week. She knew she was once on the company, but was told last year that her father "thinks she's no longer involved."
Am I paranoid? I know people do this type of thing often, but involving your kids for ten years and then billing on behalf of the child's company (legally/technically) is shady (IMO, of course).


I am prepared to dissolve the LLC and let her father be butt hurt over it, if I have to. The alternative is to push off the wedding until this is resolved. I told my fiancee that I'm not going to willingly marry her when she's part of this. I know she would never do something like this intentionally, and she told me that she didn't know any better when she signed the paper work in 2004. However, she now knows, and I told her this could potentially be a huge issue for her and her father, should anyone get audited or his clients get audited.

Thanks in advance.

Personal Finance Deals
Debt Collection from Dr office
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ggmon
Views: 139 Replies: 1 Back in late 2012 my wife went for annual Gynecological exams at a Dr office in South Jersey. Its's 100% covered by insurance . She had the Pap-smear exam and was asked about any concern. So she complained about bloating since she heard on Dr Oz that cervical cancer can be the cause of bloating. Dr said in that case you could take a Ultrasound but no prescription was written. When the bills came they was addition bill of ~80 dollar with description Patient complaint in addition to several hundred dollars for Gyne exam which insurance paid and this was not covered.
My wife then called the billing office several times to clarify and could never get hold of one and left voice messages multiple times but never received calls.
When she received another bill due in May 2013 she again called billing office but same story. Then she called insurance and they said this visit is covered 100% and has also tried to reach the Dr's billing office.
After 8 months we get a bill from debt collection agency for the balance . She has contacted insurance agency and they said that this was due to question about bloating.Now this Dr office was bought by a hospital recently so billing agency has changed and they no longer handle old bills.
So we tried reaching Dr office and old billing agency and it getting no where.

Our principle is we shouldn't be paying for something we don't owe but don't want Credit History to be ruined.
FW'ers What do u think is the right course of action ?
How do we resolve this?. Is going to court an option?


Personal Finance Deals
Student Loan Repayment Question
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 05:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: scott3084
Views: 138 Replies: 2 My wife currently has around $60k in student loan debt, with 1/3 being subsidized and 2/3 unsubsidized, both loans are at 6.5% and currently accruing interest. We have an aggressive payoff schedule, paying around $3100 a month. My wife currently started another graduate program (she's going for free) at 6 hours a semester. We can now qualify to put the subsidized portion of the loans back in limbo so that they no longer accrue interest while she's back in school. This sounds good, but we want to continue throwing the $3100 at the unsubsidized loan. Does anyone know if the gov't allows this? I know we're allowed to at least pay off the interest on the unsubsidized loan, but I can't seem to get a straight answer on paying off principal.
Personal Finance Deals
HSBC Restricts Large Cash Withdrawals
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 39 Replies: 0 "Some HSBC customers have been prevented from withdrawing large amounts of cash because they could not provide evidence of why they wanted it, the BBC has learnt.Listeners have told Radio 4's Money Box they were stopped from withdrawing amounts ranging from 5,000 to 10,000.HSBC admitted it has not informed customers of the change in policy, which was implemented in November.The bank says it has now changed its guidance to staff.New rulesStephen Cotton went to his local HSBC branch this month to withdraw 7,000 from his instant access savings account to pay back a loan from his mother.A year before, he had withdrawn a larger sum in cash from HSBC without a problem.But this time it was different, as he told Money Box: "When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for. They wanted a letter from the person involved."Mr Cotton says the staff refused to tell him how much he could have: "So I wrote out a few slips. I said, 'Can I have 5,000?' They said no. I said, 'Can I have 4,000?' They said no. And then I wrote one out for 3,000 and they said, 'OK, we'll give you that.' "He asked if he could return later that day to withdraw another 3,000, but he was told he could not do the same thing twice in one day.HSBC customer letterHe wrote to complain to HSBC about the new rules and also that he had not been informed of any change.The bank said it did not have to tell him. "As this was not a change to the Terms and Conditions of your bank account, we had no need to pre-notify customers of the change," HSBC wrote. Frustrated customersMr Cotton cannot understand HSBC's attitude: "I've been banking in that bank for 28 years. They all know me in there. You shouldn't have to explain to your bank why you want that money. It's not theirs, it's yours."Peter from Wiltshire, who wanted his surname withheld, had a similar experience.He wanted to take out 10 000 cash from HSBC, some to pay to his sons and some to fund his long-haul travel plans.Peter phoned up the day before to give HSBC notice and everything seemed to be fine.The next day he got a call from his local branch asking him to pay his sons via a bank payment and to provide booking receipts for his holidays. Peter did not have any booking receipts to show.The following day he spoke to HSBC again and this time, having examined his account, it said he could withdraw the 10,000.Belinda Bell is another customer who was initially denied her cash, in her case to pay her builder. She told Money Box she had to provide the builder's quote. Customer protectionHSBC has said that following customer feedback, it was changing its policy: "We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for.""The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We are writing to apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced."
In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent
Money Box asked other banks what their policy is on large cash withdrawals.They all said they reserved the right to ask questions about large cash withdrawals.But none of them said they would require evidence of what the money was being used for before paying out.Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, is alarmed by the new HSBC policy: "All these regulations which have been imposed on banks allow enormous interpretation. It basically infantilises the customer. In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent."t.""

From:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25861717
Also http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hsbc-under-fire-after-stopp...
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vlmyfox
Views: 27 Replies: 0 Just received an email from sweet tomatoes about Kids eat free. I still can not find the same info on their website and facebook, so better call and confirm before you go

One kid eat free with every full price paying adult, no coupon necessary

Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Path to buying a house.
Added on : Saturday January 25th 2014 06:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: e0zdk3sgna7l0
Views: 106 Replies: 0 I want to buy a house in the near future which I want to buy to rent out. To secure a downpayment quicker, should I pay my student loans off on a monthly basis even when I have the ability to pay all of it all at once. I would love any advice you guys might have about this or in general. fyi houses around the area I want to buy are about $450 starting.

A little about myself. I am 23 years old and just got out of college.I just started my job which pays me 100k/yr. I have around $10k in savings with another $8k after takes coming from my company in the form of a relocation stipend. I recently started a lease on an apartment which I will be paying $1k a month for my room and my roommate will be paying the rest. My car is totally paid for and I don't have any other monthly payments that I have to tend to or worry about. Credit karma is reporting my credit score in the 790s. The total debt on all my credit cards sit around $2k and i plan on paying all of them off when its closer to the due date. I have around $19k in student loans and the interest on them dont start for another month or two. (I'd get more info on my loans for you guys right now but the website is down.)

TLDR:
Salary: 100k/yr
Savings: 18k
Rent: 1k
Credit Score: ~790
Credit Card Debt: 2k (will be paid when due)
Real Estate Deals
Got caught in a parking scam - got letter from a debt collector
Added on : Friday January 24th 2014 10:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: HarleyQuins
Views: 79 Replies: 0 Hey all, I was hoping I could get some advice.

I parked at a private parking lot in Denver in August. Paid cash in one of those old style boxes with the slots - no receipt or electronic record. I came back later that night, and there was a "ticket" on my window for non payment - from a private company, not the city. Some of the neighbors approached me, and told me about a scam the lot owners were pulling where they wrote tickets, and used them as "evidence" to tow the cars, with their own tow company of course. It turns out the city busted them a few years ago. So I ignored the ticket, and haven't parked in the lot since.

Today I get a letter (dated 1/17) from a collection company, saying that STOP N PARK has assigned my debt to them, and I owe $57. They have my correct name, address, and plate number. I haven't gotten any alerts from CK or Credit Sesame, and my FICO is good, according to my Discover and Barclays statements from a few days ago.

I don't mind taking my lumps and paying the 57 bucks, but will they report it to the bureaus if I pay the debt collector directly? And if I send an "I dispute, please validate" letter, does the handwritten, private ticket count for debt validation, even though it wasn't valid in the first place?

Just trying to save my credit, thanks for all your help.
What to do with a car with a bad engine? Donate or Sell?
Added on : Friday January 24th 2014 02:00:16 PM
g: 0 Posted By: PlayerHaterberg
Views: 48 Replies: 0 I have 2007 vehicle with 59,000 miles on it. KBB value for trade-in is $7300 - Private sale at $9500. However - there is an engine problem that would cost a a lot to replace. Dealership quoted $7300. Private mechanic wouldn't give me a quote because he said it was minimum of $2500 but would need to start tearing engine apart before he knew exact cost. Also said that the dealer $7300 cost for a new short block would not fix the problem.
Car still runs, just one cylinder isn't working (still has the other 5!)
It terms of getting rid of this car - anyone have input? My options as I see it are:
(a) Trade in to dealership that knows it has a problem - already have a quote of $2500 for this
(b)sell privately for probably the same as the trade in value - $2500 - don't see many people paying more than that
(c) Try to trade it into a dealership without disclosing it has a problem. I'm not sure if this would work, because if they so much as start it up to evaluate for trade in they would know there is an issue. Also wouldn't want to leave myself open to them coming back to me after they know there is a problem, assuming they try to recondition and sell instead of send it to auction
(d) Donate to charity since the car will likely go straight to auction. Whomever buys it at auction would only discover the problem after they bought it, but I figure people buying cars at auction without being able to drive them know this is a risk. If it sells for $6k at auction - I would end up with ~$2,000 in tax savings, plus some charity would get $6k.

I'm leaning towards (d) but not sure if there is something else I'm not thinking of? Any input appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
As a landlord, what should I do after filing Eviction in TX?
Added on : Friday January 24th 2014 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: newbielandlord
Views: 57 Replies: 1 This is my first post. Please be easy on me.

Purchased a rental property in November 2013 and leased it for 10 months term.
Received one month security deposit and one month rent when tenant moved in.
Tenant has to pay rent on December 1st but paid in installments up to 80% of monthly rent so far.
Now it is January and tenant only postponing the rent whenever I asked. Nothing paid towards rent of January.
Gave notice to vacate in the middle of the month and after a week I filed eviction suit (In Texas, we have to wait for filing eviction 3 days after giving the notice to vacate).
Court trial is scheduled in middle of Feb (which is three weeks from now)

This is my first rental property and the tenant stopped paying from the first month itself. Now, the followingare the mistakes I did.
1) Tenant confirmed that he has some credit issuesin lease application, I never ran credit check or eviction record check.
2) I believe tenant can pay my rent (now, I feel so stupid for that assumption) and I let him in with security deposit of just one month's rent.
3) Waited to so long to file eviction suit.

I communicated tenant that I am filing eviction and offered to work with him to avoid that by offering him multiple options such as accepting rent in installments, even reducing rent etc. I also offered him that if he vacate immediately I can release him for lease (in other words, he is not responsible for rest of the lease term). Basically I asked him to either pay rent or to vacate thinking that this is 'WIN-WIN' for both of us under the current scenario.

Tenant can get away from early termination and I can get my house back and can put that back in market to avoid further losing money.

Tenant is rather interested in staying in this house as long as "legally" possible even though it means he and his wife will get eviction record on their public records. Now we are in 'Loose-Loose' situation.

Tenant will get eviction record in their record and I lose money until they vacate (I am not sure if I can collect the rent overdue from them after they vacate since it is proven that they do not care their credit rating as of now)

Since I filed eviction, now I do have lot of questions concerning me.

1) I have not used attorney for filing this eviction. Do I absolutely need one or am I OK filing this on my own?
2) Is there anything I should do now before trial?

I know I have to be careful before leasing itself but we can't change the past so at least trying to be careful in terms of my future actions.

Gurus, Please let me know your thoughtsand do not hesitate to ask me questions if you need any additional questions around this. Thanks you for your time...
Personal Finance Deals
How to hide Manufactured Spending from a Mortgage Application?
Added on : Thursday January 23rd 2014 04:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: vnuts21
Views: 87 Replies: 3 I do a fair amount of MS - on the order of 15-20k/month across 3-4 credit cards,not to mention chasing sign up bonuses (6 or so per year). The MS entails BB, MOs, and Amazon Payments. MOs are sread out across 3-4 different checking accounts.

I have a house, and thus a mortgage application, on my 2-3 year horizon. I will also be getting married in September.

How do I go about continuing the MS tactics, while also hiding the MS from a mortgage application? I will be getting a joint bank account with my wife - should I keep the other bank accounts, and use the primary joint checking account as our main account to disclose to a potential lender? The main account would have direct deposits coming in from both our incomes, and about 2-3k/mo in credit card payments going out (will try to keep paying general use credit cards only, rather than the MS cards).
Real Estate Deals
Boy's Champion C9 Motion Glyde Shoes - $12.48 (50% off) @ Target
Added on : Wednesday January 22nd 2014 05:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mmax
Views: 166 Replies: 0 Boy's Champion C9 Motion Glyde Athletic Shoes are now $12.48 at Target. Perfect if your kids need decent athletic shoes for a gym class, but without paying a high price. Free Shipping with Red Card.

Sizes Available 1-6 Boys

Deal Url:

http://www.target.com/p/boy-s-c9-by-champion-motion-glyde-blue/-...
Shoes Deals

Target Coupons
Evolve Money Billpay: Use debit card to pay billers
Added on : Wednesday January 22nd 2014 01:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: larryc
Views: 226 Replies: 2 Just came across this: Evolve Moneyis a free bill paying service that lets you use the following to pay over 10,000 billers that don't normally accept credit/debit cards:

Visa or MC Debit cards
Visa or MC Gift Cards
Reloadit cards
Evolve Paybucks


Billers seem to include common utilities (electric, gas, water, cable, etc), mortgages, loans, and insurance co's. No, before you ask, you can't use it to pay other credit cards. (Darn!)

If you have a debit card that gives CashBack, this seems like a great opportunity to earn Cash Back that otherwise wouldn't be available. Also seems like a nice way to cash out those rebate gift cards for small amounts.

Couple of negatives though:
- I don't see any way to schedule future payments. You pay a bill; they send it in two days (a few billers offer express pay, which is same day). But there's no way to schedule
- After the recent Target data breach, we should all be wary of sharing our debit card information. Think carefully about which (if any) debit card you want to share with this service

PR release here.


Discussion Deals
2 Box of Post Cereal and 2 Gal Milk for less than $4 Rite Aid B&M YMMV
Added on : Tuesday January 21st 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 1 Posted By: rajaram
Views: 69 Replies: 0 4Rite Aid has Post Cereal on sale - 2 for $ 6. There is a $2 Rewards for registered members which will be good towards any purchase from next day onward valid for couple of weeks. On Sunday's paper there was a coupon offering Free Milk up to $4 with purchase of any 2 Post Cereal anywhere. I went to a Rite Aid in Pontiac, MI which has a $1 off stickers pasted randomly on many cereal boxes (of all brands!!). I could find 2 boxes of Post Banana Nut Crunch which I wanted with $1 off coupon. Milk was priced $3.36. When I presented the coupon, it took $4 off!! Also,it spit another coupon offering free Gallon Milk at Rite Aid! After $2 CashBack, it is like paying $ 1.36 for everything. Huge YMMV on $1 off coupons but the deal is hot even without. Good Luck.
Dairy Deals
Financial Advice After Insurance Settlement
Added on : Monday January 20th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tylerAlwaysAdvancing
Views: 83 Replies: 1 First off, thanks for taking the time to read this and respond with any advice. I am a 23 year old recent college graduate. I am engaged and work as a region rep for my fathers small business he started 14 years ago. I rent an apartment with hopes of buying a home in Summer 14.

Recently I was involved in an wheeler accident with zero fault on my part. I suffered back injuries, nothing major but still very much so significant. I am expecting anywhere from 300k-600k in a settlement. I have a top attorney doing his job, all the information has been provided its in their hands.

I am wanting advice on options for me and my soon to be family here in the near future. I have zero college loans or credit debt. I own my current car (after the accident took mine and left me with cash to buy another). I currently have no investments, savings, retirement funds or anything. I have roughly 10k in the bank and my fiance is a school teacher making a living while having no expenses all through hs/college/and young profession other than a car payment. (scholarship, no school debt) she has a nice sum in her bank. I will make around 50k this year and should increase 15-20% a year after that.

The #1 thing to do is purchase my first home. I believe it is in my best interest to purchase my home by paying cash without worrying about mortgages. My budget we will say is 250k.
After that I am running laps around my head trying to figure out what to do first; insurance, retirement, investments, kids college funds etc. and how much to really dive into that right away.

Obviously I need money set aside if my back injury takes a bad turn later down the road.. I will eventually own my fathers company and insurance won't be easy to come by (fiance dreams of stay a home mom) I want to be as prepared as possible going into this.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
How should I report this income on my tax return?
Added on : Sunday January 19th 2014 05:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MisterEd
Views: 152 Replies: 2 Please, not looking for morality lectures or "why did I accept it" lectures, or "why didn't I quit" lectures all I want to find out is how to report this income properly.

Been working part time low hours, low pay for the last year (I am retired, well actually I guess I am not). For a few months out of the year my boss paid me by CHECK (he calls it cash) made out to me (yea, he's an idiot) and didn't deduct any taxes because he simply didn't want to pay them. I owned a retail business for many many years up until the late 1990's before I retired. I told him he's an idiot because if he ever gets audited he's f'd but I wanted to keep the job for convenience and mostly to be busy. The rest of the year I was paid "on the books" and in fact just got my W2. I told him after the first check payment that I am reporting all the income (he wasn't happy but didn't tell me to leave).

My question is how would I report it? Not on line 21 it seems. It wasn't a lot of money (under $2K) but I want to report it to CMA. Just for the record, he also has 2 "kids" (well, compared to me they are kids) working for him for a few years and he has ONLY paid them by CHECK with no taxes deducted. I'm tempted to sit them down and tell them how much deep shit they will be in for but I decided it's NOMFB.

There is a lot more detail to this but it doesn't matter because it doesn't change my question, I don't care what happens to him if he gets audited as long as my ass is covered. The other 2 guys are dumb enough just to do what he wants and/or simply don't understand the ramifications. If he was paying CASH I might have thought twice about it but with a check he might as well bend over and spread his cheeks if he gets audited because the checks are written to the names of his employees. At least this way I can say I reported the income and simply didn't want to lose my job. As a point of info I do have an EIN because I used to have a small eBay business and while it has been dormant for a couple years I have maintained the business name. It seems just as bad if I put it towards that long dormant business because that isn't where the income came from.

I know it's only a small amount of money but I want to report it correctly so my arse is covered when he eventually gets audited. BTW, this idiot employer is an accountant by trade (he was schooled as an accountant in Egypt where he came from) and the business is a national franchise. It's a "small" location with not a lot of business and not making a lot of meney. He probably bought it strictly for tax purposes. Maybe that's how they do it in Egypt? He's such a nice guy but definitely not a businessman.



Tax Deals
where to get money for downpayment.. 401k or Stock
Added on : Sunday January 19th 2014 01:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mrrino002
Views: 18 Replies: 0 I'm in the process of purchasing a home... I have a few options that I've been thinking about... First I need $25,000 dollars for a downpayment... I have roughly 75k in my 401k and 100k in company stock that pays a decent dividend and offers ownership incentives during bonus time... I'm 33 years old and have roughly 24 years of working, if everything goes smooth... My question is do I take a hardship loan of the 25k from my 401k, repaying it back over 15 years through a payment plan through payroll deduction, with 4.25% that I repay to myself. Or do I sell the stock, pay the capital gains tax, lose the dividend and ownership incentives, but don't have to worry about a repayment coming out my paycheck?

I was leaning more towards borrowing against my 401k cause you could only borrow from there during a few things and first time home purchase is one... If anything were to happen.. I could always sell the stock and repay the 401k loan..


the other question is... 25K is only 10% of the mortgage loan.. so Im paying PMI insurance of roughly $85 dollars a month for minimum of 3-5 years.. or do I put 50k down, dont have a pmi, but again lose a lot of my life savings and lose out on the dividends and ownership incentives plus the capital gains taxes?.. but have no pmi and $200 dollars less a month mortgage payment?

thanks any help would be great
Personal Finance Deals
taxes for a first time landlord
Added on : Saturday January 18th 2014 06:00:12 PM
g: 1 Posted By: psychtobe
Views: 210 Replies: 3 Savvy FWF real estate investors,

Can you provide any general corrections to my rudimentary understanding based on internet research and a quick book skim?

Property: a second home purchased as a rental/investment property in July 2013, $26,500 down and $160,000 borrowed (documented loan from a family member, 12 years 3.25%). We have a property manager who charges $399 to place a tenant and $100 per month. The property was rented at the end of August 2013.

Expenses and Income (I tried to group by category):

$3000 improvements (new shower/bathroom update)
$3000 repairs
$400 insurance
$1000 taxes
$1800 interest
$600 pre-purchase inspections
$500 settlement charges

$400 pre-rental cleaning, etc
$800 property management fees

$5300 total rent

This is what I believe I understand:
1. I cannot deduct any passive income against my personal income because I am not an active property manager nor a real estate professional; and also because my income is greater than $150k.
2. I can deduct depreciation of the property structure (but not the land) as part of my expenses. I can also deduct the cost of the $3000 improvement but must do so on a depreciation schedule. If I do either of these then I will have to pay tax on the lower cost basis when I sell the property.
3. All of the costs I've listed above are deductible against any income I've received, obviously excepting the purchase price (down payment and principal payment) of the property. I can also deduct mileage for travel to/from the property.

Questions:
1. Obviously I have more expenses than income in 2013. Am I able to carry forward some or all of those unused expenses for 2014 and later? The internets says I can.
2. Am I correct in understanding that I cannot count any of these excess losses against my personal income for the reasons stated above?
3. Can I carry forward losses to use against future price appreciation of the property such that when I sell it, if it has risen in price, I can mitigate any taxes owed?
4. Are any of the expenses I've listed above 'not acceptable' for the purposes of calculating my losses?
5. If I do depreciate the structure and/or the improvements, and then I move into the property for at least 2 of the previous 5 years before selling it in the future, have I just completely avoided paying tax (because of the capital gains exemption for a primary residence of $500k for a married couple)?
6. Is TaxAct Deluxe going to adequately walk me through my scenario? What are my alternatives? I'm not too interested in finding a good CPA.

thank you!

Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dmlavigne1
Views: 101 Replies: 0 If you are unable to harvest tax losses and have assets with substantial gains, you have probably looked in to donating that asset to charity. You can donate the asset at FMV and take the write-off for the whole amount.

EX you paid $10 for a stock that is now worth $20. You donate it and get to write-off $20 without paying gains on the $10.

This has always been a cool option but managing the logistics of the transfer, if the institution takes the asset, etc makes it a pain in the rear and generally not worth the hassle. I use Fidelity as a broker and the adviser recommended http://www.fidelitycharitable.org/which is Fidelity's charitable arm. The following are pro's and con's that I have found

Pro's:
Tax deduction is taken at the time of the grant to the fund and not when distributed to the organization, great for end of the year deductions.
Donations carry through the tax free status for growth.
They sell the assets and send the charitable organizations cash.
Partial integration with Fidelity for information, etc.

Con's:
Minimum of $5000 to start
.65% yearly fee, but prorated by the day so if you don't keep assets in there long, it is nominal.


Is there anything else I am missing or does anyone have any experience with these types of programs?


Discussion Deals
Girlfriend housing problem
Added on : Friday January 17th 2014 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brucesprings
Views: 70 Replies: 2 My girlfriend has rented a townhome for the last 6 years following a divorce. She was a stay at home momfor most of her marriage which her ex wanted and she enjoyed which makes it difficult to find job paying a decent wage. She is nearing the end of alimony and child support payments and was working a part time job for years up until recently when she started looking for full time employment. Then last night she finds out her landlord has decided to sell townhome which was an investment property that is worth $100,000 less than what she paid for it 8 years later. She asked my girlfriend if she wanted to buy it for $160,000 and I think my girlfriend has enough money to pay cash for it but due to no job at moment is hesitant. My question is would bank give any kind of mortgage to her so she wouldn't have to pay all cash as she will need money for other things and I would assume paying all cash is not a good thing.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice for my mom- 69 y.o., still working, no 401K
Added on : Wednesday January 15th 2014 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Rubl
Views: 16 Replies: 0 Hi everyone,

I'm seeking advice for my mom who just turned 69 y/o, and she's still working. My family immigrated here about 20 years ago. Due to their life experiences they've held little to no trust in governments or stock markets. Basically, they've saved cash or invested in gold. However, my dad passed away a few years back, and essentially everything has been entrusted to me to help my mom with her finances.
Her situation is as follows:
She is still working full time (~15/hr) and hopes to continue to work for another decade, but maybe slowing down a bit.
about 100K in Cash savings - literally 40K in bills! The rest is in two savings accounts ( .9 -1.2 APR)
Social Security - 1000/ month
So, here are my questions:
1. My mom started withdrawing here SS after turning 62 (long story). Is there any sense in paying back with her pile of cash to defer her to SS to start at 69 or later?
2. She has no 401K account or IRA account. Is there any logic in opening one for her? I couldn't find much info for retirement savings after the retirement age.
3. Will we run into any issues when making deposits with all that cash?
4. What the hell do I do with the gold they've bought?

About me: I'm a devoted daughter , have very stable 90K income, and obviously, will support my mom if there is ever any need.
Thanks in advance!


Need advise
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 03:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: GR4059
Views: 135 Replies: 3 Hi everyone,
new to this forum. I was thinking about paying off my house. I was wondering what someone else would do. Ok here is my situation
I work but don't make a lot below average 11.00 hr
credit rating is in the 800's
I own a house owe 72k
have one CC. Owe 300.00
i have a 401k 31k which is getting bout 15% return which I would use to help pay off the house
I have liquid saving of 42k I would use this as well
I get about 1435 a mo
Would anyone pay off the house and allow the penalty to be assessed on the 401k then
after it's paid off let the 1435 to build up again I calculated about 50k in 3 yrs
tell me what I'm missing

any Ideas. ???
Personal Finance Deals
Paying off mortgage and change of credit score
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ArmchairQB
Views: 195 Replies: 1 A few years back I rolled my mortgage in to a PenFed 5 year home equity loan for the lower rate and to accelerate paying it down. I recently paid off the loan to Penfed. I have been using CreditKarma since last summer to keep an eye on the scores that they present. I had expected with the payoff that I might get a bump in the scores. To my surprise when I logged on yesterday, the first day that CreditKarma reflected the payoff, my VantageScore dropped 61 points! This is far lower than my score has ever been. The payoff was the only change on the site. They do list one account reported as closed, which is the PenFed one that was paid off.

Anybody else ever have this happen to them?


Personal Finance Deals
Free 3-page website with free .com domain name!
Added on : Sunday January 12th 2014 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: isabellajones
Views: 143 Replies: 0 Courtesy of Google and Homestead: http://www.gybo.com/

Includes:
- free custom domain name (yes, www.your-name.com) -- ~$7.50 base cost, free!
- 3-page customize-able website
- free hosting for 1 year

Will need to start paying $2.99/m after 1 year.
Memberships & Services Deals
Fighting off wrong EZPass charges... is it possible at all?
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ilya2012
Views: 140 Replies: 1 Hi everyone,

Upfront disclaimer: amount of EZPass charges in question in my case is less than $10. It is just a matter of principle that I don't like paying for something that I should not be paying for. If you consider such an approach a complete waste of time (which it might well be) then you might better save you time on something more useful instead of reading below Thanks.

Short description: Live close to NYC, don't own a car, rent cars on a regular basis (at least 3-4 times a month). To save time and money I bought my own EZPass tag, good suction mount for it and move it from car to car together with GPS.
EZPass NY recommends to register all cars being used with a specific tag by their license plate to be able to charge a specific account if a registered car goes throw a toll plaza and the system fails to read a tag. It is a quick process and I used to do it every time renting a new car right from my smartphone, just for a peace of mind. I remove license plates from my account right after I drop the car back to the rental company (usually the same day).

It worked like a charm for a very long time, until I rented a car from Dollar Rent-a-Car for one day in April last year. I returned a car next day at around 09:00am, went to the meeting and eventually logged to my EZPass account to remove a license plate there in the afternoon.
Several days later I see several toll charges for the total of ~$8 in the area nearby coming from the plate recognition of the rental car. The timestamp says somewhere around 11:30am the same day I returned this car, but before I removed it from my EZPass account (so, obviously, a guy/girl who rented a car after me decided somehow not to pay tolls and EZPass had to read his plates and matched it to my account).

Thinking that the situation is very simple, I wrote an email request to EZPass through their website with a detailed explanation asking to credit those charges back to my account and go after the owner of this car (Dollar) for those toll violations. Several days later I get an answer to call them.

(skip many months)

Long story short - in total I tried to contact them 5 or 6 times using all types of communication (email, phone, snail mail). I sent them my rental car receipt that I asked Dollar to send me, that clearly says that I dropped the car at 09:00 and at the time of those charges it was NOT in my possession. The last LETTER I received from them made me seriously think if I speak to a brick wall and if my explanations are actually being read by someone or I'm just getting automated "F**K OFF" answers for all my communication - basically, they write that they have reconfirmed that the license plate had been recognized properly (like I argued with that) and ask me to provide documentation that I sold this car or got rid of it by other means if I was not in its possession.

My brain starts to explode here. I wrote them 2 or 3 times that it was a RENTAL car. I sent them rental receipts twice. I just don't understand what else can/should I do? )


Is it about the money? Of course, no, at least now. I think I am close to spending similar amount on postal stamps and I already spent much more in terms of my time dedicated to this. What pisses me off most is that I thought that rental receipt is going to be a universal and unquestionable proof that I was not a driver at the time of violation. "Sir, a car with a plate XXX-ZZZ was involved in bank robbery and triple homicide yesterday. We saw you in this car three days ago, so you are under arrest... - Sure, but guys, I dropped this RENTAL car 2 days ago, sorry. Bye.". Apparently it is not, at least for EZPass.

What should I do next? The most natural answer is obviously "Let it go. Forget" and I lean towards this myself, but I hate situations like that and want to make it right..

Any ideas? Is there any authority I can report EZPass to? (I guess they don't really care about BBB...)

Personal Finance Deals
Would a tax advisor do me any good?
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: -1 Posted By: don2jr
Views: 65 Replies: 0 Hi, Sorry I had to use an alternate ID but I am on FW frequently and wouldn't want this one traced back to me.

My income was $360k in 2013 and will be higher in future years. That is salary plus bonus for a regular employer where I have no business-related expenses, etc., I can write off. My wife earns about $85k. We have 3 kids, 2 of them from other marriages where we alternate deductions according to our divorce agreements. We have good-sized 401(k)s (total probably $500k), a few cars, and some money in the bank, but nothing substantial in the way of other investments and don't own property other than our home. I pay an amazing amount of taxes every year and currently just use TurboTax or another online service to complete our taxes. I was considering whether an accountant or attorney could give me any advice to help me reduce my tax load, but what would not be helpful are (1) investments (I want to work on paying our house off before putting a lot of money in investments other than the 401(k)s), (2) businesses/expenses, (3) investment property, etc. My thought is all of my income is on my W2, the AMT will likely apply, and there probably aren't any "secret" deductions or strategies that would do any better than a standard online TurboTax form. Can anyone more knowledgeable confirm?

Thank you.
Tax Deals
Planning for temporary loss of income
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RedCelicaGT
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I'm a 29 year old student. I also work full time and have no debt other than my mortgage. Through employment, Igross 88K annually including overtime.

For certification reasons, I need to take a 2 yearunpaid training after I finish school. At the end of my training, my income will be 120K-140K with 10 year potential to 190K...So the incentive to do this is clear.

I have managed to avoid student loan debt through employer tuition reimbursement. At the end of my classroom education and research I will be "employed" in a 2 year unpaid training/residency. It's good I have some time to prepare for a loss of income, but at the same time a bit nervewrecking to know I have a family to take care of while not having any income. With small children, my wife as a school teacher will not net enough money to warrant working and offset daycare. Children must come soon. Medically speaking that is the only choice. Right now we have an infant. I'm currently saving about $900/month including matched 401K contributions.My mortgage PITI is $1380 with $400 going to principal so that's kind of like sending the money to savings at this point.So far, here are my assets and liabilities:
Asset Value Loan Balance House 250K 216K 401K 56K NA Liquid 25K NA Car 1 12K NA Car 2 10K NA Total 345K 216K Net 149K
Here are my planned expenses during training:
Expense Amount Rent 700 Car/health Insurance 400 Utilities 100 Food/Baby 600 Gas 150 Life 500 Monthly Total 2450 2 year total 58800
I'd prefer to not burn through my life's savings in two years. I will sell the house which will net about 25K after expenses. Liquid+house proceeds can almost carry us through the whole time. I really don't want to dip into 401K. I can sell the cars and drive an old beater if necessary but I'd prefer to keep the cars and have reliable transportation.I don't feel bad taking some government assistance if I qualify during this time period since I've been paying taxes and have not been getting government assistance while in school. I'm considering moving all my liquid over the next few years to roth IRAs so we can qualify for WIC/SNAP and pay for most everything from the IRA.

What would you do if you were me to prepare for the loss of income? Is it unethical to plan in such a way to be able to qualify for government assistance while having a substantial amount in retirement accounts?
Personal Finance Deals
Choosing a Tax Accountant
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 06:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrToxic
Views: 74 Replies: 1 Happy New Year everyone! As we all know,each new year also means paying taxes for last year... That being said, I have some questions I wanted to draw on your collective FWF knowledge for, since my wife and I got married in November and will be filing jointly for 2013, which is a whole different animal for me. We will most likely fall int he 25% tax bracket, and have no children/dependents. I'm currently debating whether or not we should hire a tax professional, due to the reasons I'm outlining below.

My situation:I usually have quite an extensive Schedule D due to mutual fund trading. I am still carrying forward a capital loss from the past few years. I am a W-2 salaried employee with employer provided healthcare benefits that I have paid into all year, and a 401k. I am the primary income earner of our household. I currently am paying off a mortgage on our house, which I bought in 2012

My wife's situation: She is also a W-2 employee, but works from home and travels frequently for work while claiming expenses that she is reimbursed for. She has a secondary income stream which probably will not come out to more than $500, and so probably won't be claimed. She has some investments/assets that are not actively traded and are held long-term. My wife's family also has a tax accountant which they have used for years, but I am hesitant to trust that he is going to put his best effort into our return.When I was talking to my wife about this, she told me how the accountant has said that he hates itemizing and doesn't usually do it, because the standard deductions are usually about the same anyway. ...I REALLY DON"T LIKE THAT ATTITUDE...my dad and IALWAYS itemized my return... Sure, yes, sometimes we ended up taking the standard deduction for me, but only if it was greater AFTER we itemized and found what that amount was... so to me, it sounds like my wife's family's accountant doesn't really want to go through the effort...

ANYWAY... Based on the info I've given, my questions are:
1. Should we even bother hiring a tax accountant at all? Does it sound like we have a complicated enough situation that hiring someone is worth the money?
2. I understand this is a personal preference question, but if you were in my shoes, would you want to hire a new tax professional? Or trust the one who is already familiar with my wife's taxes?
3. If we hire someone, should I be looking for specifically a CPA? An Enrolled Agent? Both? Are there any real pros/cons to either?
4. Should I be getting all hot and bothered about the fact that my wife's family accountant doesn't itemize? In your experience, if you DO itemize your returns, do you feel that it's been worth your time?
5. Are there any other angles I'm not considering? Tax Professional qualities I should be looking for/looking out for? Any advice?

Tax Deals
New Sprint Framily Plan - Upto $25/Month + $20 for Unlimited Data
Added on : Saturday January 11th 2014 03:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: arira
Views: 76 Replies: 0 New Sprint Framily Plan ( Will need/be assigned a 11 Digit Code)You ought be able to do it online immediately, if you choose to. I just Called in & changed mine to this plan effective01/10/2014.

$55/Month - Unlimited Talk/Text + 1 GB Data.
$10 more for upto $3 GB & $20 unlimited Data. ( MVC for NVP Applies to Add-ons Alone)
Can add up to 7 Lines, each lines reduces bill by $5, so 7 - 10lines pay @ $25 each)

Details:https://now.sprint.com/framily/

We cant wait for you to become a Framily. Good news. If youre a Sprint customer with a discounted phone and youre eligible for an upgrade, you can change to the Sprint Framily℠ Plan. If youre not upgrade eligible, not to worry you can change your plan to the Sprint Framily Plan by paying an additional $15/mo/line until you are upgrade eligible or after 12 consecutive months of billing on the $20 per month Unlimited data + Annual upgrade buy up, whichever comes first. And for a limited time if you purchased a discounted phone prior to 1/10/14 and are not upgrade eligible, Sprint will waive the \$15/mo/line service charge to move to the Sprint Framily Plan.

______________________________
Cell Phones Deals

Sprint Coupons
PTel or PlatinumTel 2 for 1 is back...
Added on : Friday January 10th 2014 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: healthylaugh
Views: 277 Replies: 0 BIG QUESTION: CAN US PAYGO CUSTOMERS USE THIS???


http://www.ptel.com/woot

Get 2 months for the price of one!

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Add a phone and SIM card (or just a SIM card) & the 2-month activation pack for either the $40 or $50 Unlimited Everyhing plan to your shopping cart.

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Once you add everything to your cart, the promo code should automatically apply.
If you don't see the discount, simply add coupon code PTBOGOHOLIDAY13 at checkout.

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Things you should know
This deal is available for a limited time. Dr. Who just broke our time machine so...is it 1997?
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Cell Phones Deals
Copays and Doctor visits (Hospital Based Billing)
Added on : Thursday January 09th 2014 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I posted a thread several months ago in Off-Topic and updated it a week or so ago with no response (likely because it sat dormant for so long). I'm bringing some of the questions into FWF because I know there are here with good experience, and in the end - it is related to personal finances, so something we all should understand.

You can read the synopsis of my experience in this post:
http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/off-topic/1307347/messid=18208089/#bottom

Essentially, it appears that my doctor's office - which is affiliated with a hospital - has changed their billing methods. Now, instead of just a $20 copay, I am paying towards my deductibles for office visits.
Feel free to read the above post for more precise information.

The question I have now, after speaking with my doctor directly (asking her for a recommendation for another doctor not affiliated with the hospital), is this:

My doc informed me that that last few visits that we have all had were not coded as wellness/preventative visits. My daughter (infant) went in for...can't remember...a rash maybe? My wife had hurt her neck, I went in for some congestion/nasal/sleeping issue.
So - the doc said that these were not coded as standard office visits - presumably because it wasn't like a normal check-up, but because we were coming in for a specific issue.

Now I don't go to the doctor often but since I've been married and had a kid I have to deal with the insurance more than ever. IIRC, in the past when I have had insurance with a $15-30 doctor copay visit, it did not matter what I was going into the doctor for.

Whether it was a yearly checkup, or I had a cold, or I was complaining about my toes being numb, or loss of hearing (all just examples)... it didn't matter! I would just go, pay my $15-30 co-pay and that is all I would owe unless the doctor had to order some specific tests.

I'm sure my doc has pressure from the hospital to bill a certain way, and I think she is trying to work with me on this, but which of us has the more real-world view? Am I wrong in thinking that a copay should be valid for all doctor's visits? Is the doc saying otherwise clearly the hospital talking and them trying to take advantage of these billing practices?

Doc says that if she realizes it is an issue for me, that she can try to code our visits more as a "standard" visit which, I believe, should just elicit the copay. With new insurance kicking in this year, and not wanting the hassle of finding another good doctor, I would like to think I can stay with them if they can do this...but I want to know what everyone else's understanding/experience with co-pays are.

thanks.
Car rear ended, back hurts
Added on : Wednesday January 08th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Al3xK
Views: 184 Replies: 0 My girlfriend has liability only, and was rear ended by a dry-cleaning van with commercial insurance. At a red light with plenty of cars lined up, it turned green, he just rammed into her stopped car. Damage isn't too bad, but it's been 2 days and her back is pretty sore and it was hard enough to knock her water bottle out of the cup-holder and spill it and lock up her seat belt. We called and started a claim directly with their insurance. Her insurance hasn't been contacted at all, since it's just liability.

What are the best steps for possible medical? It was a fairly low-speed accident with the other driver admitting fault (no police report). I'd just guess a several chiropractor visits and a massage and she'd be fine. I know insurance companies fight paying chiropractors without a real doctor visit. Do I send her to a doctor of our choice for X-Ray/check and then just send insurance company bill or what? Should I tell their adjuster she wants to go to a doctor and have him confirm a place they'll pay for?
Question Deals
Discover Ending Secure Online Account Numbers
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 3 Posted By: NEDeals
Views: 247 Replies: 5 --------------------
From Discover:
Effective February 6, 2014, you will no longer be able to create new Secure Online Account Numbers. And effective March 15, 2014, Discover will no longer be offering this service to our cardmembers and all existing Secure Online Account Numbers will no longer be active. For your convenience, you can continue using any of your existing secure online account number(s) through March 15, 2014, or until your card account number or expiration date changes for any reason, whichever comes first.
--------------------

This is an unfortunate change of events. I have found Secure Online Account Numbers to be useful, although Discover's version is less useful than Bank of America because you cannot set an expiration date or a maximum amount for the number. You also cannot close an existing number without calling customer service. (Discover will only allow subsequent purchases to be made to the same merchant ID as the original purchase for each number).

The number you create is an alias for your card's number, so the merchant never sees your actual card number. American Express stopped these numbers (they called them Private Payments) around 10 years ago. Both American Express and Discover cited their fraud liability guarantee as their consumer protection in their notice of ending the program.

Orbiscom (an Irish company but now part of Mastercard) invented this system of "controlled payment numbers" and holds the patent. Perhaps both Amex and Discover no longer felt like paying the license fees.

Bank of America and Citibank still license the one time use (or one merchant use) numbers. Bank of America (they call it ShopSafe) allows customers to set the maximum charge (not always honored, but usually is) and the expiration date (ditto). They are extremely helpful in certain situations, like preventing merchants from charging unexpected future expenses after initial trial periods have expired, etc. Strangely transactions that set off fraud alarms with BoA (like an invalid alias number expiration date or CVV2 number) seem to set them off for the real card number and many CSRs are unfamiliar with the alias numbers.
Credit Deals
Interpreting Early IRA Distribution Rules for Education Expenses
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 12:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 53 Replies: 0 I withdrew money from an IRA to pay for expenses that may or may not be considered "educational expenses" by IRS's standards.

The IRS's rules are here:http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch09.html

The most relevant part seems to be this line: "Qualified education expenses.For purposes of the 10% additional tax, these expenses are tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution."

My situation: I have 2 kinds of educational expenses. 1. The first kind of expense is preparation for the MCAT exam. IMO, any tutoring, books, prep courses, etc. to prepare for the MCAT might be "required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution" because you cannot go to medical school without a satisfactory score on the MCAT. However, I suspect that while this might fit IRS's definition, it might not be what they meant when writing those rules. 2. The second type of educational expense I had in 2013 includes tutoring, a calculator, pens, and notebooks required to complete free online courses offered by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I looked up the definition of "enroll" online and it didn't say that paying tuition is a requirement for "enrolling." Since I registered for these classes on the website, I wonder if I was "enrolled" for tax purposes. Since it says "enrolling or attending" I'm wondering if "attending" classes virtually by watching the classes online and taking part in online discussions counts.

I suspect that this is a "gray area" that IRS reps won't be helpful with or will have conflicting advice. Before checking with a tax attorney, I figured I would post this here to see if anyone else has had these questions in the past, in 2012 or whenever, and if you have an opinion about whether or not any of this qualifies as an "educational expense" by IRS's standards.

Tutoring was from Wyzant: www.wyzant.com
Free online courses were from MIT here:http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/
Investing Deals
Citi lying about inability to reverse late charge?
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 11:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: FatWalletFan29
Views: 235 Replies: 2 I have a Citi Forward card that I've paid on time and used pretty heavily for years. The last time I made any mistake paying my monthly balance was August 2012, and I called them soon after to resolve it. I think actually that time even I had just forgotten, but they were able to reverse the fee easily due to me being an "outstanding customer".

This time I went to pay on Citi's website, and somehow I guess the payment didn't post (website error, I didn't press confirm, etc.) I was shocked when I got a balance statement for twice the amount I was expecting, plus a late fee and a finance charge. I made the payment online and called in immediately to ask to have the late and finance fee reversed. The lady on the phone said, "We don't do that unless there's been some sort of bank error or natural disaster". I was shocked by the outright lie, since they'd done it for me a year ago, so I asked her to please be honest with me or to tell me if their policy had changed. She avoided the direct question and instead just confirmed that she was sending in the request. I was upset and told her to both have a supervisor to call to confirm/give me more information and that if the request was denied that I'd be immediately closing my account.

Does anyone know what happened here or has had a similar experience? Is there anything else I can do to hold on to this account? Asking for the supervisor and threatening to close account was the only thing I could think of. I don't all the ins and outs of this system or why it was so difficult this time when last time they happily reversed it.

Personal Finance Deals
Best use for 80K cash in short term
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 10:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: americano
Views: 0 Replies: 0 =10ptThese funds will become available in a few weeks. I am looking to maximize ROI on it for a few months.Anytime after Oct I can optionally use these funds to pay downthe mortgage

=10ptRCA is too much trouble. Is my last option.
=10ptUse it for Fidelity Mileage plus. Any other good offers?
=10ptSharebuilder? Although they don't currently have anyoffers.
=10ptShould I just invest it as per my AA? Of course it rules out the option of paying down the mortgage.Worried as the market is at an all time high.

=10pt​Please share your ideas.
Seeking comprehensive dividend-stock site
Added on : Monday January 06th 2014 08:00:10 AM
g: 2 Posted By: Solomon960
Views: 102 Replies: 2 I have invested in dividend-paying stocks for several years. During my analysis of potential trades, I must consult multiple sites in order to arrive at a decision. Though it is always wise to perform due diligence when making a decision, it can be frustrating to learn that the content of one site is not reflected in another (when evaluating one specific criterion) or that no site includes the information one seeks.

Therefore, I am seeking others' thoughts on one site which includes the following two variables: (1) identifies all known U.S. and Canadian dividend-paying companies and (2) includes the number of dividends (both regular and special) each company paid out each calendar year.

To date, I have yet to find a site that includes all active dividend-paying U.S./CAN companies - those that are well known and those that are traded OTC. Accordingly, by default, since no site identifies all applicable companies, none identify the total number (and amounts of each) dividends issues each year.

For reference, I regularly visit the following sites for research purposes:

dividata.com
www.dividendchannel.com/
www.dividend.com
ycharts.com
www.gurufocus.com
seekingalpha.com
www.dividendinvestor.com
investing.money.msn.com
finance.yahoo.com
www.marketwatch.com
www.stockhouse.com


Thank you.

Investing Deals
Buying a rental house targeted at shorter-term tenants
Added on : Monday January 06th 2014 06:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bagofchips
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Here's an idea I'm toying with. Where I live (suburbs, upscale, Northern California)there is little inventory for housing (be it rental or purchase). This in turns leads to more people wanting to remodel their homes, but those who do so often have the challenge of where to live short-termduring a move-out remodel.

The cash flow on homes purchased for rental usually stinks, but am thinking MIGHT be able to make something work with a rental targeted at shorter-term occupancy. Rental terms would be front-loaded with a higher rate and the rate would decline over time (to a still-above-market rateat month-to-month). Where I am there is no rent control. Shorter-term tenants also include the recently-relocated (from outside the area or urban flight families) who are house hunting.

The ideal home for such a situation would have these qualities:

Generousgarage for storage
One level for easier move-in / out
Convenient location
Finishes / fixtures able to withstand more wear & tear

Things that ordinarily might hinderproperty value which could matter lessto shorter-termtenants (to an extent):

Road noise
Appearance of neighboring properties, house itself, grounds
Interior condition

So basically, I'm thinking there might be a way to cater to shorter-term credit-worthy tenants paying above-market rent in a property that is fundamentallylower cost / sq ft. Clearly Iwould need to manage vacancy. I can't get to the oft-advised1% rent threshold, though I will be able to self-manage given my proximity to it. Rent could cover mortgage and property taxes and minimal maintenance like landscaping. But let's say not routine repairs, insurance, home warranty...

Input?
Tips on settling debt?
Added on : Sunday January 05th 2014 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: LeonWhite38
Views: 135 Replies: 4 I'm asking this question for my mom as I've been racking my brain on how to help her get out of debt. I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey and I listen to his radio show every night I have the chance and he says to be as vicious as possible when dealing with debt collectors. Right now only one of my mom's bills has been turned over to a collection agency and it's from AT&T for $350. Dave says that most of these debt collectors will settle for as low as 10 cents on the dollar, but you have to stand your ground with them and have them send you a letter first saying that the debt is paid in full for the agreed upon price. I understand that, but does it really work like he says? Also, should I have my mom stop paying her other debts so they will be turned over to collection agencies and dealt with as Dave recommends?
Personal Finance Deals
Investment Property Advice
Added on : Saturday January 04th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: OCDSaver
Views: 105 Replies: 1
I have been renting my former primary residence for 3 years.
Current FMV $320k
Mortgage balance $200k, 2.875%, 21 years remaining. Rate resets every October, tied to average 12 month Libor+ 2%. I have the ability to refinance at any time to a fixed rate and term of my choosing based on the prevailing IRS applicable federal rate
Rents cover all expenses (Mortgage, HOA, Property Tax, Insurance, Repairs, etc.)
I do my own taxes through Turbo Tax so I am not very clear on how depreciation factors in to any decision I make
I recently hired a property manager and because I'm not losing money on the property, I would not be inclined to sell it

Questions:

How would you approach the refinance situation? Applicable federal rate is currently 3.44% and rising. How aggressive would you be in paying down this mortgage? The balance in the business checking account is steadily growing so I have surplus cash that I won't be investing for fear of a major unexpected repair. Also, my day job is in finance so I don't want to put all my eggs in the financial markets basket, and the idea of investing a little more to my only real estate holding seems attractive (we pay rent on our primary residence)
If I were to sell down the road, how is my gain computed?
How does depreciation factor in?
If this property management flows as smoothly as I hope, this seems like a nice investment. Anything I should be thinking about, considering this isn't my day job

I'm happy to answer any questions. I'm sure I've left a lot out.
Real Estate Deals
Paying for grad school with credit card?
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: brfitzp
Views: 98 Replies: 1 Hi, I just wanted to get some opinions on this.
I want to get my masters degree and the school i want to go to costs 3250 per 6 month term, a flat fee

I was considering getting a 0% for 18 months card like the citi simplicity in order to pay for school and pay about 542 a month for the next 18 months and walk away from school with a degree that's paid for without any interest.

I work a full time job and shouldn't have much of a problem paying that much per month, my idea is even if i don't pay the full 542 but instead pay 442, that would leave me with 1800 left to pay with intrest which wouldn't amount to much if i continued paying for another three or four months.

It seems like a much simpler and possibly cheaper method than paying for a student loan. Any input on this?
Credit Deals
Mortgage company late paying tax bill, any recourse?
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 11:00:19 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PsychoFan
Views: 24 Replies: 0 I'm assuming my recourse is oh well/too bad, but I just want to be sure.
Basically, sent via fax a Real Property Consolidated Tax Bill to mortgage company in the beginning of December. Receipt of the bill was acknowledged in writing via email from the company. The payment deadline was 12/31. Mortgage company never paid the bill, so got in touch with them yesterday on 1/2 to ask what's going on. They acknowledged oversight and paid the bill today (1/3). Issue is that because they paid this tax bill ($3K+) in 2014, it will not appear on the 2013 year end summary thus I cannot deduct when I file my income return, right? I know some of you may ask why I didn't contact them earlier, but my experience has been that tax bills aren't typically paid by mortgage company until the actual due date. I guess it's lesson learned to keep bugging them in the future (at least I should be able to deduct it in 2015 then, right?).
Just how unique was the run up in the market this year?
Added on : Wednesday January 01st 2014 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 193 Replies: 1 There was a 32.4% run up on stocks in the S&P 500 this year. I am relatively young and have only had money available to invest for the last few years. My basic strategy so far has been to buy large, well established companies with a good business who have stocks that are selling at a significant discount. Those kind of stocks are becoming very hard to find in this environment.

What kind of strategies would you recommend in the current market? I do not have a mortgage or any debt worth paying off to spend my excess money on until market conditions change.
Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: JayMatt19
Views: 235 Replies: 0 Use Paypal at Bath &Body Works and save
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more, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
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Beauty Deals

Bath and Body Works Coupons
Child/Kid/Baby/Newborn Roth IRA Contribution $399 Per Year
Added on : Tuesday December 31st 2013 04:00:08 PM
g: 1 Posted By: theorca
Views: 72 Replies: 0 Facts
* Roth IRA contributions are limited to earned income.
* Earned income includes net earnings from self-employment.
* There is no self-employment tax on net earnings from self-employment under $400.
* You do not have to file a federal return if net earnings from self-employment were under $400.
* You do not have to file a federal return, as a single dependent, if your earned income was under $6,100, or your gross income was less than the larger of $1,000 or earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350.

Plan
Have your child perform self-employment work for you. Pay your child $399 per year for this work. Leave a paperwork trail (i.e., canceled checks). Your child does not have to file a federal return and does not have to pay federal self-employment tax. Issue your child a 1099-MISC for $399 per year to demonstrate earned income sufficient to permit a Roth IRA contribution. Contribute $399 to a Roth IRA every year. You can still claim your child as a dependent.

Downside
Even though the amounts are small, the compensation to your child would need to be legitimate and for something. Also, again, even though the amounts are small, because the earned income comes from net self-employment earnings (as opposed to wages that require a lot of paperwork), there could be a question about whether your child's work (and thus compensation) is really in the nature of self-employment vs. employment.

Furthermore, as the goal is to permit Roth IRA contributions and nothing more, to avoid questions about whether paying your child $399 per year constitutes a legitimate business expense, you could add $399 per year to your business' gross receipts and thus neuter the $399 business deduction. For example, if you own a lawn care business, you could pay your business $399 to mow your lawn and then pay your child $399 for mowing the same lawn.

Then again, perhaps the parent does not own a business, in which case he simply issues the child a 1099-MISC using his Social Security Number as the payor, without involving any business or Employer Identification Number. Again, the parent must actually be compensating the child for something.

An amount greater than $399 can be accomplished if the parent is willing to treat the child as an employee and deal with the associated paperwork (the upside is that there are federal employment tax savings for hiring family).

Is It Worth It?
$399 per year annually compounded at 8% over 21 years is $20,778.94. Assuming no further contributions after 21 years, the $20,778.94 becomes $451,412.53 after 40 additional years (age 61).

Your monthly deposit of $33.25 for 20 years with an interest rate of 8.00% compounded Annually with an initial starting balance of $399.00.

Year...Balance
1...$844.35
2...$1,325.32
3...$1,844.77
4...$2,405.78
5...$3,011.67
6...$3,666.03
7...$4,372.74
8...$5,135.99
9...$5,960.29
10...$6,850.54
11...$7,812.01
12...$8,850.40
13...$9,971.86
14...$11,183.04
15...$12,491.11
16...$13,903.82
17...$15,429.55
18...$17,077.34
19...$18,856.96
20...$20,778.94

Your monthly deposit of $0.00 for 40 years with an interest rate of 8.00% compounded Annually with an initial starting balance of $20,778.94.

Year...Balance
1...$22,441.26
2...$24,236.56
3...$26,175.48
4...$28,269.52
5...$30,531.08
6...$32,973.57
7...$35,611.45
8...$38,460.37
9...$41,537.20
10...$44,860.17
11...$48,448.99
12...$52,324.91
13...$56,510.90
14...$61,031.77
15...$65,914.31
16...$71,187.46
17...$76,882.45
18...$83,033.05
19...$89,675.69
20...$96,849.75
21...$104,597.73
22...$112,965.55
23...$122,002.79
24...$131,763.01
25...$142,304.06
26...$153,688.38
27...$165,983.45
28...$179,262.13
29...$193,603.10
30...$209,091.34
31...$225,818.65
32...$243,884.14
33...$263,394.87
34...$284,466.46
35...$307,223.78
36...$331,801.68
37...$358,345.82
38...$387,013.48
39...$417,974.56
40...$451,412.53

Final Savings Balance: $451,412.53
Investing Deals
FREE Sony Blu Ray Player BDP-S1100 wyb 3 BD Combo Packs @ Target
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 10:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: romeo724
Views: 177 Replies: 0 Target has a deal for a FREE Sony Blu Ray Player (Sony BDP-S1100) which sells for 89.99 if you buy three selectBlu Ray Combo Packs! The eligible BD Combo Packs sell for $24.99 each and are listed below. This deal runs 12/29/13 to 2/15/14.

Elysium
Olympus Has Fallen
White House Down
The Smurfs 2
After Earth
Grown Ups 2
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
This is the End

Now for anyone who does not like three of the seven titles listed, you can always buy the items required for this deal and return whatever you don't want. Target always discounts things equally (by percentage) ina buy something andget something else freedeal. So by my calculation, your Target receipt will show youpaying approximately $40.90 for the BD player and $11.36 for each BD combo pack (since the whole package costs $24.99 x 3 = $74.97). I hope this is not too confusing for everyone. Also the best part is you will by paying tax on the $74.97. I saw this deal and did not jump on it because I am not sure if I need another BD player but someone here could use it!
Blu Ray Deals

Target Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: EatenByGrue
Views: 182 Replies: 4 I am curious if, given my situation, there may be more options open to me than an average first-time home buyer.

- I'm 40 years old, never owned a home, am debt free, and I live in the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- I have $150k+ in cash, $2.2M+ in non-retirement investment accounts, and $600k+ in retirement investment accounts (401ks, Rollovers, SEPs, and a Roth).
- My three FICO credit scores are all over 800.

I recently attempted to buy a first home -- my offer was not accepted, but I did have my "eyes opened" (partially) to the process of getting a mortgage by going through a rigorous (some might say proctological) pre-approval process.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around a mortgage's "closing costs" (in my case it was $16k+ for a $625k conforming-for-high-cost-area 30 year fixed loan. I was planning to put 25% down on an $850k house).

A few of the closing cost charges seem reasonable, but things like "loan origination fees" for processing paperwork seem excessive to me.

My mainreason for "borrowing" instead of "paying cash" is to take advantage of the "home mortgage interest deduction" to reduce my annual taxable income. A close second reason for not wanting to pay cash is to avoid creating taxable events by selling $500k+ worth of stock (I rarely sell stocks or funds, I tend to only buy them... So I'd have to sell a lot more to pay capital gains). Lastly, "Opportunity cost" doesn't mean much to me (but I'd take advantage of it for money not tied up in a house).

As I see it, I'm offering to borrow money from a company at 4+% -- seems like a good deal for them. I'm willing to "secure" that loan by using the rest of my nest egg.

If possible, I'd like to avoid paying for "the privilege" of loaning "a great credit risk" like me money. Am I being out-of-touch and unrealistic here?

I've heard of "no closing cost mortgages" where the lender eats their costs to maintain a relationship with the borrower. How do I go about developing one of these relationships?




Real Estate Deals
Pay off mortgage $375k left
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: vistaluck
Views: 168 Replies: 2 Hi there
Im hoping to get some real and confirmed info on how to do this legally? I got $375k left mortgage left with Bank of America. I got rich relatives who can help me pay if off or at least pay like 150k next year and another 150k 2015 and the rest in 2016. How can they do this for me? My first thought would be this - have them write a check directly to Bank of America with my mortgage account # and the home address on the check. Say here you go Bank of America 150k. I think this is probably the best because it doesn't even go through me. However, I just don't know if there is any limit on how much can a relative pay for your mortgage each year. They don't mind paying 200k. And how will I file tax for that? Or I don't even need to file any tax for it? And will this affect my relative. Do they need to file tax for it?

I'm sure a lot of people know this method. Each person can donate $14000 to me each year and those are tax free gift. But thats the max they can donate each year. So I guess I can have like 10 relative and friends donate $14000 to me and Ill pay Bank of America immediately after I got it. Or I can just have them write a check to Bank of America directly just like the above method. This method is for sure works and its tax free for both of the gifter and me.
General Economics Deals
How much was your electric bill last month?
Added on : Sunday December 29th 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: wtfu
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I love watching Christmas light when I am driving. Just want to find out how much are you guys paying for the electric company.
I was billed $111 last month mostly from having my heater running at night.

How much were you billed? How are you going to cut back on your electric usage?
Onlne Sales Tax WAY off
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dejanu
Views: 46 Replies: 0 I recently went to buy Prilosec OTC online. Walgreens.com was going to charge tax which amounted to 2.25%, which is exactly correct for OTC drugs in my part of Illinois. But drugstore.com -- which is ironically owned by Walgreens, and will even ship your order to a Walgreens store -- was going to charge tax which amounted to 7.7%. Why the huge discrepancy -- let alone *any* discrepancy? So I began experimenting with various other OTC drugs. All four digestive aids I looked followed the pattern just described. But for various other OTC drug products, drugstore.com was going to charge anywhere from 1% (low?!) to 10% tax, while Walgreens.com was *always* exactly 2.25%., as it should be.

Then I took a look at Prilosec OTC at WalMart.com. The tax worked out to an amount which was exactly 9% of the product price + shipping (the site specifically states they may charge tax on shipping). I'm guessing it's no coincidence that 9% is the general merchandise sales tax rate where I live. But when I buy this at a local WalMart I am charged only 2.25% tax since it is an OTC drug, so why should I be paying WalMart.com 9%?

Any idea on what's going on here? It's not discrepancies per se that concern me (I am sure there are various nuances, and obscure regulatory points that can figure in), but rather the fact that the discrepancies are so large. As much as I dislike paying sales tax on online orders I can see the rationale for requiring it, and have grudgingly supported the legislation to charge sales tax on online orders. But with these kinds of oddities that can make the taxes charged appear way out of whack (purposeful or due to persistent errors), I am re-evaluating that stance.

I would advise anyone to closely check their taxes on online orders from sites that charge tax.
Tax Deals
car loan strategy
Added on : Saturday December 28th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cameron2003
Views: 86 Replies: 3 I have a $40,000 car loan at 2% over 7 years. Its a simple interest loan. I know I can pay bi-weekly and save money, but that is partially (or maybe mostly) because I am paying more annually.

I am interested in saving money on interest payments, while at the same time not increasing my annual outlays to my lender.

I know it must save on interest just to split the monthly due down the middle and paytwice a month (not bi-weekly) since interest is compounded daily. Or even do the same thing 4 times a month (if my lender can stand it).

I cannot find a calculator or any source to help me figure out what the savings would be, or if there was another strategy that was better and basically did not cost extra, or cost much. Adding $20 to my monthly payment is another way to do it on the cheap.

Anyone ever do this?



Personal Finance Deals
Honda Lease Ends in Sept 2014 - Tips?
Added on : Friday December 27th 2013 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Jimgotkp
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I currently have a 2008 Honda Civic LX and the lease is ending in early September. Since I feel like the financing manager screwed me with the monthly payment, I don't want to get screwed again once my lease ends. Personally, I'd like to avoid Honda again since I haven't had a good experience with any of their dealerships or HFS.

I'm currently eyeballing an Infiniti G37 that has roughly the same monthly payment as what I'm paying right now... I heard I can possibly get some equity onto the new leased car, depending on my payoff amount.

Any tips or recommendations on what I should do before the lease ends? I read a few threads and I read that I should contact Carmax and see what they're offering for my vehicle?
Personal Finance Deals
Dorco razor blades $60 worth for $30 (same as Dollar Shave Club.com)
Added on : Tuesday December 24th 2013 11:00:03 AM
g: 3 Posted By: mazeroth
Views: 268 Replies: 2 I got invited to try dollar shave club and received one of their 6 blade razors with 4 cartridges for free. I've been using a Mach3 for a very long time and have tried every other cheap razor out there. When I tried this 6 blade I was shocked! It shaves BETTER than my Mach3 and I get at least 2x the shaves out of it before I have to toss it.

Well, being the FW guy I am, I Googled to see where DSC gets their razors...and I found a little site called dorcousa.com (yes, that's the name). They offer the same razors and blades that DSC does, only a lot cheaper. I ordered the 6-pack of 4 blades for $31.87 ($1.33 each) with free shipping on orders over $25. If you stay with DSC you end up paying $2.25/blade. I should note the refill blades I purchased are a tad bit different than DSC in that they don't have the extra trimmer edge that I didn't use so I opted for the ones that are about $3 less per 24 pack. The others are $34.42, or $1.43 each, still $0.82 cheaper per blade than DSC.

Now, here's where the FW deal comes in. I got an e-mail from dorcousa that gives you $30 off any $60+ purchase AND free shipping. It expires tomorrow, Christmas day. I picked up 48 additional blades just now for $33.74, or $0.70 per blade!

The coupon code is: Shavemas13

Note, you will need to purchase a handle for these. They have handles with 2 blades or you can get a kit. Do some research and find what works best to get you to $60 of spending so that you can apply the $30 discount. Also, a friend of mine tried the cheaper, 4-blade razor from DSC and said it wasn't very good. This 6-blade is where it's at.

Here are the blades I've been using that I love: http://www.dorcousa.com/sxa1040-6-pack-6-blade-system-for-men-ca...

Merry Christmas!
Beauty Deals
Financial (Debt) Advice for a New Home Owner
Added on : Tuesday December 24th 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dbess2013
Views: 60 Replies: 0 Hi all,

I am a long-time lurker, first-time poster; love your advice on this part of the forum and after lurking for quite awhile, I figured I would post and see what ideas I can get about my financial situation which has been a little hairy since my house purchase. The basic story here is that I purchased a foreclosure home that was "too good of a deal" to pass up. Indeed, it still is a great deal but I was burned by the bank in regards to obtaining "fixer-upper" funds. I was told by my originator that upon purchase, I would be able to borrow under a second mortgage right out of the gate which turned out to be entirely untrue due to the grant I received which will be forgiven in two years. Lesson learned.

The home upon purchase was listed for $50k at auction, I placed a bid at $45k with theseller paying closing costs (truly paying, not rolling into the loan).I was then able to obtain a 10k state grant for downpayment assistance since it was a vacant home which leaves me with a total mortgage of about 34k. The first valuation came in at 78k prior to my repairs. Judging by the area and what I've been told by a couple realtor friends, they believe it would fetch about 120-125k in today's market.

The good side is that its a great place with a huge yard in a city which doesn't usually have both of those attributes. It's an up and coming area so the value will likely rise pending on the market. The bad side is that since I was unable to get a second mortgage for repairs, I now am saddled with some debt that came from necessary repairs to make it liveable.

Current Debt:
Credit Card: 5k @ 15.9%.
Lowes Credit Card: 6k @ 5.99%
401K Loan: 6K @ 2% or so(to myself)

I've always been an anti-debt kind of person and I would really like to jump out of this hole ASAP. It was a seize the moment type purchase which may or may not have been a good idea given my hate of debt. My current plan is to try for a balance transfer card with 0% for 18 months and then add a second mortgage after the grant is forgiven in 07/2015 or the Penfed Promise for the 3.9% for life balance transfer and forget the mortgage. I'm unsure if I'll be approved for the Penfed as my credit score after all this house buying and whatnot is at about 730 (previously 770).

Of course, the ideal situation would have been to have cash to do these repairs and I am half-way kicking myself for doing it. On the flipside, I'm paying far less even with the high interest debt than I was renting.

Anyone have any other ideas for paying less interest with what I have going on?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vnuts21
Views: 87 Replies: 0 Pardon the lengthy post, but I wanted to get some general advice on how best to prepare for buying our first home in the next few years. Ages: 26 (Me), 27 (Her).

We will be married in September, 2014.

Income:
Me - $78k/yr
Her - $76k/yr
Average take home pay: ~7200/mo
Other income: Credit Card/MS shenanigans - ~$500/mo

Expenses:
~5000/mo (includes rent, student loan payments, Roth IRA contributions, food, traveletc) (high cost of living area)

Currently not maxing retirement savings- only contributing max Roth IRA (5500 each) and minimum to get company match. This will change once student loans are paid off (~9 months)

Assets:
Me:
$40k in 401k
$26k in Roth IRA
$5k Liquid

Her:
$35k in 401k
$10k in Roth IRA
$9k Liquid

Debts:
Me - $40k in student loans (3.5%)(being generously paid off by my brother at $14k/year, and by me at a rate of $4k/yr) - will bepaid offin ~2.5 years
Her - $10k in student loans (5% average) (will be paid off in 1 year)

I will most likely be taking a temporary new job in the DC area for 1 yearwhich will greatly increase our savings ability. The job covers all living expenses and provides a daily food stipend, allowing us to live rent, utilityand food-free (will end up saving ~30k extra over 1 year) (this assumes my fiancee will be able to find a job in DC at the same time). Paying off the student loans over the next year or so would also free up almost1000/mo.

Job prospects:
Overall good - we are both ambitious engineers

Me: BS (high ranked private university), MS in Mechanical engineering (no-name state school). Currently working for US Government (decent job security, but will most likely be leaving after the DC position in search of something higher paying and more challenging).
Her - BS in Manufacturing Engineering (high ranked private university), MBA (decently ranked private university) in May 2014. Currently working for amedical instrumentcompany (decent job security, but overall underpaid given her position, experience level). Will most likely be looking for a new job coinciding with my DC position.

2-3 year goals:
-Live in DC for 1 year
-Live in California for 1-2 years
-Settle down in northern east coast (NY, PA, VA, MD etc)(near family) in ~2017 and purchase a home (~300-350k range). I'd like to be able to put 20% down onthe house. This would require 60k, which is easy to do even now (if saving for a few months and tapping into Roth IRA), but I'd prefer not to touch the Roth accounts to do so.

Here's my questions:
- How to handle manufactured spending/credit card sign ups in the 2-3 years leading up to buying a house? Our credit scores are excellent, and we have leveraged those scores into great vacations, and a lot of extra income from manufactured spending techniques. When should we stop the spending, so that lenders do not ask questions and are not put off by the ~20 open credit cards per person?
- How to best stagger the accounts to get approved for a mortgage? I know the lenders want to see an account capable of paying off the mortgage and will scrutinize every transaction dating back almost a full year. Would opening a joint account and having the paychecks deposited into it be ok? I would keep all other accounts (rewards checking, bluebird, etc) separate. This would be our only joint account from the time we are married until the time we buy a house.
- Any other words of wisdom, advice on how to improve our financial situation?



Discussion Deals
Adult dependents. Which is cheaper under Obamacare?
Added on : Monday December 23rd 2013 05:00:06 PM
g: -1 Posted By: youngchemist2003
Views: 164 Replies: 2 Hi folks, not sure who to best ask, but I thought the finance forum is probably a good place to start.

My wife and I are both citizens, have 2 kids under 3. Her parents immigrated from Asia (greencard holders) to live with us, don't speak english, no income, takes care of the kids while we both work full time. We make too much money to qualify for subsidies under ACA. Currently we are paying ~$500/month for catastrophic insurance coverage for her parents.

I am wondering if I can refuse to claim her parents as dependent, have them file as a couple with $0 income. Would that qualify them for heavily subsidized insurance? Would that qualify them for medicaid? I will lose 2 deductions from claiming them as dependents, but I am guessing it would be a net saving if they qualify for almost free health care. Am I off on that?

Any advise and input would be awesome. Thanks in advance.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ctgeek
Views: 225 Replies: 0 Hello, long time lurker, created an account because I had not seen this information shared yet.

I had a 10% Lowes promo code and was looking for a snowblower. I liked the selection better at Home Depot, so with the item in my cart, I started a chat and asked if they would honor the Lowe's discount. They did, provided that it is an online order, item not on sale or other discount, shipped to home (which was free). I had to proceed with my order, paying the full amount, and after it was complete, gave the order number to the chat specialist. I checked the order status a few hours later and the price was adjusted.

I realize there may be better deals, butsince I needed something ASAP, I was happy to get this, especially since the shipping is free and I couldn't fit a big item in my car anyways. So if you're looking for a big item like this, and can't afford to wait for big sales, this can help ease the pain.

It's also worth noting that local HD stores will price match and beat in-stock, local stores by 10%.
Home & Garden Deals

Home Depot Coupons
Bought a christmas gift, got 2
Added on : Saturday December 21st 2013 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Tegan
Views: 131 Replies: 1 I bought dad a pair of hearing aids for christmas and received a double order yesterday. I checked my paypal account and only found payment for one pair, and the company I bought from doesn't have my credit card. The shipping info emails I received both have the payment type as being cash/ pre-paid. I sent the below email to the company:

Hi,
I bought and paid for a set of hearing aids last week (left and right
ears), and received a double order today (1 set paid for and 1 set not
-- total of 4 hearing aids). My dad will try the hearing aids I bought,
but the other pair will need to be returned. Let me know the
procedure. Thanks

Received an email back from them today letting me know their system does show 2 orders from me. They then give me instructions on how to return the hearing aids and let me know there will be a 10% restocking fee... I'm assuming I'd have to eat the return postage and tracking number since the return policy makes no statement about that. I know when they do their books they'll get this straightened out... probably with sending me a bill in the mail, but I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with it. -- I suppose if I return the extra set, I'll be out the shipping and they'll send me a refund that they will later want back. If I keep the hearing aids till they figure out the mistake they'll either bill me or expect them returned... my question would be who's going to end up paying the return shipping/ insurance/ tracking. If I end up doing it it will really take a bite out of the 10% discount code I used.
Personal Finance Deals
FHA loan vs. Conventional loan--which one is better?
Added on : Friday December 20th 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dyslexiateechur
Views: 17 Replies: 0 I posted awhile back about owning several smaller rental houses but having issues getting financed for a larger house, due to medical collections. I was advised at that time to put it off for awhile, pay off my collections, and wait for my credit to improve on its on. I've done that and my credit is now high enough to qualify me for a mortgage.

We have found a house that we think we can pick up at a very good price that would fit our family's needs. I've turned in the paperwork, and now it's time to decide which route we want to go.

The house is listed at $159K, but we think we can get it between $120K and $130K. Our household income will be around in the $150K's for this next year.

Choice A:
FHA mortgage at 4.3% interest with $171 mortgage insurance required for the life of the loan. 3.5% down

Choice B:
Conventional Mortgage at 5.3% interest with $114 mortgage insurance required until we pay it 80% of the way down. 5% down.

We've got enough saved for the down payment, so that's not an issue.

I'm really thinking about going with B and paying it down to 80% right away. My husband thinks we can pay the house off completely within 3 years if we are aggressive, but with the fed getting ready to up interest rates, I'm not sure how wise that is.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dr. Double-billing issue
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jj2292
Views: 51 Replies: 0 Can someone tell me if this is legal??!!

I had surgery (self-pay) with a doctor. He billed me for an additional surgery (never told me there would be an extra charge) that took place during the main surgery. I asked for them to put it through insurance to see what they would reimburse me, after paying $14000+ for the main surgery. I get reimbursed from the insurance company and pay the bill the doctor had given me. The doctor cashed my check AND now wants the insurance reimbursement check as well. He is out of network. Is this legal??? What can I do, if anything? They are now telling me they will add 50% to my bill if they have to put me in collections. WTF???!!!
Personal Finance Deals
16 GB Kindle Fire HDX $100.00 with Prime and new Amazon CC
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 04:00:07 AM
g: 3 Posted By: Pickster02
Views: 724 Replies: 8 Didn't see this anywhere. My first hot deal post. Just got the Kindle Fire HDX for $100 with CC offer from Amazon. When applying for a new Amazon CCI got $79.00 instant gift card. There is also an offer code KIN50ARC when paying with Amazon CC that takes off an additional $50.00.
Kindle $229.00 - $79.00 - $ 50.00 = $100.00 shipped with prime 2 day shipping. Or next day for $3.99 if you need it before Christmas. Thought this was a pretty good deal for a decent tablet. The $50.00 works on all HDX tablets.
Kindle Fire HDX
Android Tablets Deals

Amazon Coupons
Square Enix Android Sale Final Fantasy 3, 4, and 5 for $7.99 each
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 03:00:02 AM
g: 1 Posted By: View
Views: 127 Replies: 1 I've beenchecking this dailyand it looks like they finally give in. Square Enix seems to have been unwilling to participate in holiday sales since Thanksgiving 2013.
Apps by Square Enix on Google Play
In my opinion those are all good solid games but paying 15.99+taxes on old IP seems excessive to me.
If you have promotional credits you may be able to get them free without taxes. (Taxes do not apply on promotional credits that have expiration dates--usually 90 days.)

One nice thing about those games is that they are full games without In-App Purchases(aka IAP). So it's pretty safe to give them to kids. (just make sure they don't play games for the whole day!)



Apps Deals
g: 0 Posted By: dbphillips
Views: 196 Replies: 0 24 hours only! 12/19.

Been agonizing over the Sprint deal and finally gave up. Good thing, because ATT finally stepped up.

Free device plus $36 activation and $15 250MB plan yields a total cost of just under $400 with 2 years of service and a device you can take anywhere, since they will unlock it after two months and it has all the GSM radios. You could stretch this further with a T-Mo SIM card with free 200MB per month.

Or you could do $15/month installment and get it unlocked in two months and move it, but that doesn't seem to buy you anything.

Link

If you're like me and paying $30/month for T-Mo's 5GB/month plan on a 3G tablet, this is like getting faster 4G speeds at a reduced 3GB/month and getting the device for $36. Sounds like a deal to me. The only sting is losing my 100 minutes per month of voice calls.
Paying Off Vehicle with Credit Card Prior to Selling
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: e90m3
Views: 78 Replies: 1 I recently purchased a vehicle to replace my existing car. I did not do a trade-in since I can get $2,000-$3,000 more selling privately. My existing car is currently financed:

Amount Owed: $24,000
Realistic Sale Price: $22,000

I did not put any money down since the APR was low.

My options now are:

Pull $24,000 out of savings, pay off the car, and have the bonus selling point of having a title in-hand
Sell the car and take the buyer to the bank for the title transfer process. Pull $2,000 out to pay off the remainder of my loan above the selling price.
Use a Chase Southwest card with 0% interest on purchases till July to pay off vehicle. Pay off most of balance after sale and the remainder before July.

Option 1 would be simple, but I would prefer to not have to deal with paying capital gains taxes on $24,000 when I'll be depositing $22,000 right back into the account after the sale. Option 2 would make the selling process more complicated and turn off some buyers. Option 3 is the most desirable since I don't have to touch my personal savings, I get the title in my hands, and I earn points.

What are the drawbacks or negative consequences of doing this? I know that holding a large revolving balance can be bad for my credit score. I do want to refinance the new vehicle within the next few months for a better APR. Although I'll have the balance paid off on the credit card prior to refinancing, could this negatively effect the APR that I qualify for?

Any input is helpful. I used to pay cash for everything, but I'm trying to use good credit to my advantage.
Personal Finance Deals
GTA V 5 for PS3 or Xbox 360 -- $39.96 at Amazon (Freeship w/ SSS)
Added on : Tuesday December 17th 2013 12:00:04 PM
g: 1 Posted By: fatwellatio
Views: 295 Replies: 2 GTA5 linkity linkidy link

Thought I'd have to wait until 2014 for this price. $40 is the best price I've seen for the GTAV physical disc new from an online retailer that wasn't a price mistake or other risky time-waster (like a limited BF or CM deal). Goes for more than this used at the resale shops or on craigslist. Sure beats paying $59.99 + tax at BB, TRU, or WM.
PS3 Games Deals

Amazon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 138 Replies: 0 OfficeDepot.com where they are offering up BIG discounts on Higgins & Burke RealCup coffee and tea capsules for Keurig brewers. Note that most of the coffee varieties are sold out , but the tea varieties are still available. Plus, if youd like to stock up, use the promo code 45721251 to score an additional $10 off a $50 purchase! AND, all orders currently ship FREE (no minimum!).

Check out the deals:
Brown Gold 100% Colombian RealCup Coffee capsules 24 pk $7.97 (reg. $13.29)
Higgins & Burke RealCup Green Tea capsules 24 pk $5.20 (reg. $12.29)
Higgins & Burke RealCup Chai Tea capsules 24 pk $5.20 (reg. $12.29)
Higgins & Burke RealCup Peppermint Herbal Tea capsules 24 pk $5.20 (reg. $12.29)
Higgins & Burke English Breakfast Tea RealCup capsules 24 pk $5.20 (reg. $12.29)

As a deal idea, you could order 10 of the tea boxes above priced at just $5.20 each, totaling $52 for all. After using promo code 45721251, youll snag all 10 boxes for only $42. That means youre getting 240 capsules and paying just $0.18 each!

thnx h2save
Grocery Deals

Office Depot Coupons
Tenant Default Insurance paid off, surprisingly easy to claim
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 04:00:09 PM
g: 1 Posted By: SoCalJohn
Views: 166 Replies: 0 I just had my first claim on a dead beat tenant that was not paying their rent on time. As a background, I foreclosed on a property where I was a hard money lender in the desert area of southern california, near palm springs. The property is an SFR built in 1973 and in pretty rough shape. I had a tenant in the unit that lost their source of income and gave me the 3 day notice that they were moving out. A couple of months went by and I had no action on the property. Then, I received a call from a company called Approved to Rent, they explained that they had a client that was interested, but was credit challenged and had previous issues. To insure that I would receive rent, they informed me of this tenant default insurance that guaranteed the lost payments in the event of a default. The tenant even agreed to pay $25 more in monthly rent to cover the $350 annual cost of the insurance. Over the course of 10 months, the tenant only paid the full amount due twice, she would claim repairs on the property etc. and deduct from the rent. I was lazy about sending her a pay or quit notice and kept hoping that she would turn around. Finally, she stopped paying rent altogether and I served a 3 day notice. She starting talking about her rights, legal aid, was I going to evict her etc. I agreed to not evict her if she voluntarily moved out and quick. She did and that is when I filed the claim. It was simply a 1-2 page form asking about the total amount of the loss, tenants name and signing an acknowledgement regarding fraud. On a property that was leased out for $875 per month, I received a $3005 check to bring me current. The policy covers up to $1000 in eviction or court costs, I had none. Has a 1 month deductible, which the security deposit covered and payment was prompt. The company is AON, here is more information. I took a picture of the check if anyone needs proof of payment.
Payments are made until you find a new tenant, more details can be found on the websitehttp://www.aonrentprotect.com/sites/Rent/Pages/Home.aspx

Question Deals
Star Fox 64 3D for Nintendo 3DS @ Groupon - $19.99
Added on : Monday December 16th 2013 04:00:02 PM
g: -1 Posted By: Virgil27
Views: 171 Replies: 0 Star Fox 64 3D for Nintendo 3DS @ Groupon - $19.99
compare at $32.46
Free Shipping!Miss paying Star Fox? Now you can relive all the Nintendo 64 glory of the classic video game on the Nintendo 3DS for a starfighting $12 off the next lowest price with free shipping. (FatWallet Deal Hunter staff posts are certified ad-free. No money, bribes, or candy have been accepted.)
3DS Games Deals

Groupon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 218 Replies: 1 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
g: -2 Posted By: DamnoIT
Views: 112 Replies: 1 http://www.cnbc.com/id/101272416
"Merchants first sued Visa and MasterCard in 2005, accusing the two companies of fixing the fees charged to merchants each time their customers used their credit or debit cards. They were accused also of preventing merchants from steering customers to cheaper forms of payments."

Stupid that they were amonopoly when Discover or Amex is anotheralternative. Sensing this is anther nail in the coffin for credit card CashBack incentives. Even if you don't use VISA MC much them offering it keeps it standard practice and well paying to the consumer. Lets see Verizon or AT&T get sued for thier cellphone dualoply why don't we. I guess you can still backdoor on thier networks with page plus or Straight Talk but still... On this I am sure the Lawyers are getting half anyway. he he he
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
5.11 Rush Delivery Messenger Bag 77.99 @ Amazon
Added on : Friday December 13th 2013 09:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jtaylor35
Views: 282 Replies: 0 5.11 Tactical Rush Messenger Bag
Limited TIme!!!!

I have one of these and they are extremely durable and rugged.

I shopped around for a while looking for a good deal and ended up paying 99.99.
At 77.99 this is a great deal!
Sports & Outdoors Deals

Amazon Coupons
Variable Universal Life Insurance
Added on : Friday December 13th 2013 05:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cobenthorn
Views: 159 Replies: 2 I have heard all bad things about this plan, but my financial advisor thinks it is a good idea. He is a fiduciary so supposedly no kickbacks.

I am 28 yo and have no retirement ye,t I am about to take a high paying job at $320,000 dollars a year. I am going to max out 403b with $17,500 with a $15,000 employer match. I amalso going to max roth IRA at$5,500 yearly. I currently have a 2 million dollarterm life insurance policy and I am rated atpremium plus basically as healthy as youget.I am going tosavean additional $4,000 dollars a month and since I am healthy my financial advisor thinks that a variable universal life insurance plan would be best since very little of this money would go to theinsurance part and the taxsavings would be worth it plus I could withdrawal prior to 59 1/2.

Everything I've read about these plans is bad, but my situation is somewhat unique. What do you all think should I go with this or is there a better option?

Thanks for the help.
Personal Finance Deals
HTC One (Refurb) for $312 (T-Mobile Web Offer Only)
Added on : Thursday December 12th 2013 07:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CheapToGo
Views: 326 Replies: 3 T-Mobile is offering a web-only deal on the HTC One (Glacial Silver) in a REFURBISHED condition. $312.
You can pay for it entirely or go along with their 24-month plan, although paying it off in any time period within the 24 months is also effective. As long as you pay for that full price then it does not matter within the 24-month stretch.
Great phone, great design, and great specs, even it is 1 flagship behind.

REFURBISHED HTC ONE


Cell Phones Deals
35 and financially on the right track, but want to stay there.....
Added on : Thursday December 12th 2013 03:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dan812
Views: 171 Replies: 3 I know many people post about finances and thankfully I have been following the advice given for the past 10 years. I want to see where I can do a little better for down the road and that is why I am posting;
Married with a 2 year old and one on the way. We have 2 cars both paid for, we own a house which we owe $250k on (15 year mortgage at 2.5% which I am paying $5k month so it will be paid off in 7 years)
Combined Income is $140k/year, Savings is $165k, retirement and stocks $100k, no credit card debt or other debt.
Monthly bills are; electric, water, heat, cell phones, groceries = $650/month
When the second child is due we will have to have someone watch the baby and then will also be paying for school for the other one since my wife and I both work.
She has a 401k at her job, not offered at my job; My healthcare is through her work;
Currently I am on the right track and want to stay there !!

General Economics Deals
40 and almost broke - need advice
Added on : Wednesday December 11th 2013 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Eagle357
Views: 370 Replies: 11 hello everyone, new guy here looking for some financial advice. this site was the first result from a google search for 'finance forum'.

anyway, story is that i am 40 yrs old with 3 kids. i seem to live paycheck by paycheck, and barely have anything left to save at the end of the month. i have been at my job for 10 yrs, but am thinking about quitting to pull out my retirement and start all over.

right now i have the following:
-$7500 in savings
-$130,000 in retirement
-$100,000 life insurance policy at current job

my debt:
-$10,000 credit card
-$4200 car1 ($270/mo. @ 6.8%)
-$12000 car2 ($330/mo. @ 4.5%)
-$15000 home equity loan ($220/mo.@ 8.8%)
-$123,000 mortgage ($1500/mo. inc. tax/ins. @ 3.8%, 10 yrs left, est. appraisal $160k)

i make enough to live decent, but i am not saving anything towards college education, emergencies, or anything. i have the option of staying at current job and paying down house and bills. or i can sell house and take out retirement. the 2nd option will allow me to pay off all bills, car notes, and be debt free completely and have about $105,000 left. i would have to reolcate and find another job though.

what would you do? i should say that i'm pretty thankful for what i have, but i feel i wasted 15+ years squandering money, a lot of which i had no control over and due to unexpected circumstances. thanks for listening.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: DDoubleyou
Views: 392 Replies: 0 Link

Currently available for shipping from Best Buy. It's exclusive to them at this point. Free shipping with 25.00 order, otherwise add 1.99.. I picked up Woody also, so shipping was free for me.

May not be a "deal" but it's better than paying what the resellers are getting for it.. I've been watching it and this is the first time I have seen it available for shipping. Still not available at my local Best Buy, and for those of you with no store nearby, this may be hot!

Toys Deals

Best Buy Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: DDoubleyou
Views: 98 Replies: 0 Link

Currently available for shipping from Best Buy. It's exclusive to them at this point. Free shipping with 25.00 order, otherwise add 1.99.. I picked up Woody also, so shipping was free for me.

May not be a "deal" but it's better than paying what the resellers are getting for it.. I've been watching it and this is the first time I have seen it available for shipping. Still not available at my local Best Buy, and for those of you with no store nearby, this may be hot!

Toys Deals

Best Buy Coupons
Recently Deceased FIL IRA Rollover Issue
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 04:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: raringvt
Views: 75 Replies: 0 My father in-law died last week. After his diagnosis with leukemia 2 months ago, he told me that he had a pension plan with a former employer for which he had not yet made a payout election.It was obvious that it would be in his best interest to rollover the pension plan to an IRA rather than to elect monthly payments. I explained to him that he should request a direct rollover and left it up to him to fill out the paperwork. I thought it was completed prior to his death, but my mother in-law just received a check for a lump-sum distribution which had the mandatory 20% Fed w/h deducted. The check was simply made out to my father in-law & not the IRA to which he intended to directly rollover to. Presumably, he did something incorrectly on the paperwork & instructed the pension provider to send him a lump-sum.

I understand that "he" has 60 days to re-deposit the funds to his IRA to avoid it being a taxable distribution. My question is what is the best way to go about doing this? Obviously he can't endorse the check since he's dead. My mother in-law has enough cash to simply write a check for the amount prior to tax w/h...would that be the way to go? She should be able to endorse the check she rec'd after she takes his will to the local court clerk, right? She would have to wait for tax filing to get a refund of the 20% w/h, but that's better than paying unnecessary taxes on the distribution. I appreciate any help anyone can provide.
Investing Deals
Wiring Money to Overseas Gift Tax?
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: e60mmmmm
Views: 90 Replies: 0 Just a question for the more knowledgeable minds on FW. If I were to wire lets say $100,000 overseas as a gift to a non-us citizen what gift/estate tax implications will it have on me? I know the limit to not report this year is $14,000 before I have to file a gift tax return. What I don't know is the gift tax/estate tax effects on me since I will exceed that amount and since I vaguely recall there is a limit for a US Citizen (me) gifting over the $60,000 (i think that was the limit cap that you can give to non-us citizens that is not your spouse) does that mean I'll end up paying taxes on ~$40,000 since I can't use my estate tax to cover it because its to a non us citizen? A Nigerian Prince's wedding present rests in your hands FWF
Personal Finance Deals
HELP! NYC Monthly Budget Planning
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jessicalf
Views: 165 Replies: 4 This is my first post so please be gentle

I just moved back to the US from London and was lucky enough to score a job in NYC paying me $85k. I'm trying to get my head around what is realistic for out goings. In reality, as rent will be my largest outgoing, I'm wondering how much I can afford for a place without feeling strapped financially. I'm between two options at the moment, with a big price difference, among others..

Monthly Budget Option A:
Net Income: about $4500
Rent option a.) 1,033
Utilities: $170 with TV etc
Travel: $130
Groceries: $400
Dry cleaning: $100
Student loans: $150
Gym: $100

Leaves about $2,417 for discretionary money. (My work pays for my cell phone bill.)

Monthly Budget Option B:
Net Income: about $4500
Rentoption b.)1,830
Utilities: $170 with TV etc
Travel: $130
Groceries: $400
Dry cleaning: $100
Student loans: $150
Gym: $100

Leaves $1,620for discretionary money.

I realize that's a pretty big difference, but the rent of $1.830 is in a two story 2/2 and is much larger and downtown. For the other place I'm getting a shoe box on the UES sharing a bathroom with two others. I'm not all that fussy, but worried about savings, discretionary spending etc versus having a significantly nicer place... Wondering what other people's experiences have been in NYC. I don't want to get into a situation where I'm tied into a lease I feel I can't afford. I tend to go out on weekends and am sure I can definitely spend quite a bit of money experiencing all the great things NYC has to offer..

Any helpful insight would be much appreciated Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Taking advantage of a car loan to improve credit history/score
Added on : Friday December 06th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: luciusd
Views: 4 Replies: 0 I want to purchase a new 2014 car, already have model/options worked out. I have the cash to pay for the entire thing. What I want to do is take advantage of a reasonable car loan on my credit history to help improve said history/score.

The problem is I currently do not have a job or any credit history whatsoever. I'm a recent immigrant and only received my SS number a few months ago.I have a close relative with a stable, high-paying job and excellent credit score/history. She is willing to co-sign with me. I've talked to a dealer and was told I can't be on the loan if I don't have a job.

I know a loan on my credit history will help improve it in the long run, as I eventually want to purchase a house. I want to take advantage of this while I can. The various dealerships that carry my car are even doing a 0.9% APR for 60 months, which I'm sure my relative will be approved for.

Does Fatwallethave any advice on how I can go about doing this?
Rental car in US less than 30 days:liability insurance from any credit card?
Added on : Wednesday December 04th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: duna
Views: 70 Replies: 0 Friends say they decline all insurance for their car rental in the US for less than 30 days, because their credit card they used for paying for rental has rental car insurance coverage. I am confused : I do not know of any creduit cards that cover your liability coverage with such rental car being in accident and causing damage to an other car. Do you? ( Some mentioned AMEX cards--but I do not see liability coverage.) Any expert suggestions would be appreciated.
Car Rental Deals
Turbotax deluxe no longer includes schedule D!
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 05:00:08 PM
g: 2 Posted By: bankbuddy
Views: 237 Replies: 5 I started preparing my taxes for 2013 using the online version of TurboTax and found that unlike previous years, the "Deluxe" edition no longer includes schedule D. Therefore, if you have bonds/stocks/mutual funds sales, you are forced to "upgrade" to the "Premium" edition. This really sucks as I only have a handful of very simple transactions, so I don't see the benefit of paying $20 more just to get schedule D filled in.
Tax Deals
g: -28 Posted By: medion
Views: 3053 Replies: 26 I apologize, but this may be a bit long winded. Here's the full story. I'm also not going to name the company involved, as I'm not interested in dragging a company name through the mud with this post.

My initial purchase was in May 2012. I purchased an audio amplifier from an online store that also has their own store-brand equipment. As such, you go through the store not only for returns/exchanges (45-day limit), but also for warranty service (1-year limit). This amplifier died in September 2013, more than one year after purchase. I didn't want to blow another $100 on a replacement amp unless I had to, so I decided to ask them how much it would cost me to have it repaired. I was pretty much dead set on <$50 = repair, and >$50 meant paying $90 for a better amp off Amazon, but I didn't tell them that.

I was shocked when they came back and said they'd do a courtesy replacement, and all that I had to do was mail it to them at my expense (roughly $15). They then clarified that the "replacement" would be a refund of $90, issued as a store credit towards any purchase. The same $90 amp on Amazon was $130 through these guys, so I figured between the extra cost and the one-way shipping, I'm paying $55 instead of $90. So, I clarified with them, stating that the credit card used in the May 2012 purchase has since been closed. They once again reiterated via email that the credit would be store-credit used towards my next purchase.

A week goes by and I've since received a store credit via email, but it doesn't reflect online. So, I called them and the rep stated that the store credit doesn't show up, but will be applied after purchase. So, I ordered online and paid my $130. However, once my CC was charged, I had to call them again. This time they told me that the store credit could only be used for phone orders, not online, and that the previous rep has mislead me (actually, they said that I had lied).We switched to email correspondence, and they promised to issue the credit towards the credit card used for purchase. I once again clarified that my original CC was closed, and she stated that they would refund the card used for my most recent purchase. They said to allow 7 days for this to process.

I waited 8 days (even though these things usually take 2-3 business days), and no refund, so I called them. They informed me that the refund had in fact been issued to the old credit card. There was nothing more that they would/could do and that I was SOL, but I could try calling the issuing bank. I did in fact call the issuing bank, but the card was closed just short of a year ago. We argued and I stated that if they had accepted the refund, they were obligated to give it to the intended recipient, or return it to the refunder due to account closure (no legal citation, just me trying to sound smart). that seemed to work, so they cut mea check. They wanted to charge me a $4.95 processing fee, which I convinced them to waive. So, in the end, I did get my money back.

However, I have a VERY stale taste in my mouth from the bait and switch from the online electronics company. They came forward with an amazing offer, but botched it every step of the way. At one point near the end, their rep even said, "But we gave you an offer that we didn't have to. That should count for something!" It doesn't count if it was a bait and switch. So, as for the chargeback, I'm leaning 75/25 towards not doing it on the prinicipal that I did in fact get my money back. I only want to do it to hit them for their negligence so that they see a penatly for handling transactions in this manner. So, this thread is primairly for me to see other viewpoints and to see if my mind can be changed.

Also, keep in mind that I saved the email trail. At every step of the way there is email confirmation of what they promised to do, followed by them stating that they failed to do it, how they'd fix it, followed by another failure (rinse and repeat). The email trail makes it look like a refund was promised but never given, and can easily be printed and used for the CB.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: altseeker
Views: 54 Replies: 0 Hello FWF community,

I'm hoping you can offer some sound advice for my particular situation, as you've helped many others in the past. Apologies for the abundance of text to follow, but I'll try to be as concise and clear.

Situation:
I inherited my grandfather's dwelling (studio apartment) in Moscow, Russia, after his passing last year. The property has been in my name since last October (I believe). My grandmother and my cousin have power of attorney to conduct various business related to the property (leasing, collecting rent, paying bills, etc.). They do not, however, have power of attorney to sell the property.

My grandmother has been renting out the place for the last year and collecting rent on it (it's been supplementing her monthly pension). She has also been the one paying the various bills, taxes, etc. I've been very hands-off on the whole process. Speaking with grandma the last few weeks, she's asking me to just sell the place, as it's getting difficult for her to manage all the activities on her own (I'm actually surprised she hasn't asked sooner, as she's in her 80s). While my cousin does have power of attorney, I would not count on her to get much done. The only reason she was really given power of attorney is in case something happened to grandma and I required her urgent help with the apartment.

Ideally, I would like to hold on to the property and have a property management company take care of all the necessary work associated with renting, paying bills, etc. However, I'm weary of dealing with a company located in Russia, and would much rather work with someone in the U.S. that can take care of things over there (my English is far better than Russian and I feel that if things were to go south, it's far easier to deal with an entity on U.S. soil, especially if legal action needs to be taken). So far, I've not been able to locate a company that provides this service within the U.S.

If selling the place, I would also much rather go through a company located in the U.S. that can take care of all related activities. Through my searching, I've only found Sotheby's as a possible option here. But looking through their site, it appears they only specialize in high-end real-estate abroad. I doubt they would want to touch a studio apartment in Moscow (it's not located in a high cost of living part of Moscow, and from what I've been told is worth around $130k).

If the two options above aren't realistic, I need to rely on my grandmother and cousin to take care of the sale. This means I would need to give them power of attorney to conduct the sale. From past experience, this was a big pain. In a perfect world, this is supposed to be a fairly easy thing to do via the Russian consulate. In the real world, this was a waste of time due to the consulate's general incompetence and lack of giving a sh*t (I was working with the Russian consulate in San Francisco). After spending weeks trying to get this done remotely, I finally ended up booking a flight to Moscow and spending a week there going through the process of granting grandma/cousin power of attorney. I would like to avoid travelling to Russia if at all possible.

My questions are:
*Are there any property management companies based in the US that help with properties in Moscow, Russia? If not, are there any third parties based in the US that would act as a liaison between myself and a property management company in Russia?
*If I were to sell the apartment, are there any US based companies that can facilitate the entire transaction? As above, if no US company can do this, are there any that can act as a liaison?
*If the above two aren't an option, are there at least any resources that can help with granting the needed power of attorney to my grandmother/cousin without me having to deal with the Russian consulate in the US or having to travel to Russia?

Thanks in advance.
Real Estate Deals
Banksy Canvas Print Sale @ Tanga - $39.99
Added on : Monday December 02nd 2013 08:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Virgil27
Views: 169 Replies: 0 Banksy Canvas Print Sale @ Tanga - $39.99Give your house an art deco touch without paying art deco prices (or hiring a really shady street artist to spray paint your wall). The Banksy Canvas Print Sale is back with prints from $39.99. (FatWallet Deal Hunter staff posts are certified ad-free. No money, bribes, or candy have been accepted.)
Home & Garden Deals

Tanga Coupons
Vibrant Pets 50% off all products. Cyber Monday sale
Added on : Monday December 02nd 2013 08:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: titodj
Views: 84 Replies: 0 50% Off in all their products, use code "cybermonday"
www.vibrantpets.com



From their website: said:
Natural healing results you can see, and your pet will feel...
Is your pets diet more like fast food than gold standard? Are you tired of paying expensive vet bills for temporary solutions to chronic nutrition-based problems? Is your pets coat thick, shiny and lustrous or is it dull, thin, dry and brittle? What about his or her energy level? Could it be better, regardless of age?

At Vibrant Pets, we nurture your pets health, appearance and energy-level from the inside out because we believe that good nutrition is the foundation of vibrant health.

Our nutritional products are high quality and concentrated one scoop a day keeps the vet away.

With daily use, youll see noticeable results in your pets quality of life in two short weeks. Guaranteed!
The coat doesnt lie and neither do those bright and shining eyes!

For far less than 50 cents a day, treat your pet to the best health insurance nature can provide excellent high quality nutritional support from Vibrant Pets.
What Vibrant Pets will do for your pet!
Developed with small animal and equine Veterinarians, Animal and Human Nutritionists and Animal Feed Experts, Vibrant Pets has over 8 years of research and development along with 6 years in production. The results are in and reflected in the testimonials in this website, Vibrant Pets is proven to be:

- The Worlds Most Powerful All-in-One Pet Supplement in the world!
- The Worlds Most Effective Pet Supplement that helps alleviate most chronic and common health issues such as:
Depressed Immune System
Allergies
Arthritis
Lameness
Hot Spots
Excessive Shedding
Itchy Skin
Sores
Poor Digestion
Sensitive Stomach
Diarrhea
Poor Health
The World Most Cost Effective Pet Supplement For the average 70lb dog the cost is 58 per day or less than cup of a small McDonalds coffee. As the Testimonials on this Website clearly show, using Vibrant Pets will reduce your Vet bills.
The Worlds Best Guarantee See positive health results in 2 weeks or receive an immediate refund - no questions asked! Would your Vet return the money you paid if his treatment did not work in 2 weeks?
Have you tried test after test, antibiotics, and prescription food, even steroids to no avail? Then you need to try our unique Vibrant Pets Ultimate formulas designed to help maximize your pets health and performance on every level!

Maximizes your pet's health and performance on every level
Helps cure many medical conditions, even recurring issues and helps manage chronic conditions to maximize your pet's health
Provides the support your pet needs to maintain a healthy life
A healthy pet is a happy pet and a healthy pet has a happy owner
All this we guarantee
Trust your pets immune system to Vibrant Pets Ultimate Formulas
24 hour immune support small in size big in nutritional value
If you still have questions, please visit our FAQ page, read some of our client testimonials or simply navigate around our website and discover for yourself why vibrant pets will change your pet's life forever !


Pets Deals
Pathmark Gift Card OYNO offers from 11/29-12/12/13
Added on : Monday December 02nd 2013 07:00:25 AM
g: 0 Posted By: CKritiv1
Views: 120 Replies: 0 See pg. 6-7 of Pathmark circular for details (a bit hard to read). Looks like cards pictured include Lowes, Visa/Mastercard, Cheesecake Factory and Claires. However, ad states offer includes ANY GCs, with savings applied to your next visit, in the following denominations:

Buy $50 and save $5
Buy $100 and save $10
Buy $200 and save $20
Buy $500 and save $60

Not sure what no. of GC limit is. Might not be as good a deal for <$100 GC purchases when compared to ShopRite, OfficeMax, Acme, etc, but if you're planning to buy a variable spend GC (paying one $5.95 fee for up to $500) you could get some great coupon savings!

http://pathmark.apsupermarket.com/weekly-circular
Grocery Deals
Advice on paying down student loans vs. 401k contributions
Added on : Friday November 29th 2013 09:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: br435
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Hi,

Here is our (my fiance and I) situation:

Me:
401k account: 50k (currently maxing out contributions and getting some company match)
Roth IRA: 8k
Cash (savings+checking) assets: 90k @ 1%
Debt: None
Income: Approximately 110k per year right now (20% of that being bonus)

Her:
Cash assets: 10k
Debt: 137k (Some @ 5% and some @ 6.8%)
Income: 55k per year, probably going up to something around 120-140k in 1.5 years when she finishes residency

My question:
We are getting married in a few months and I think there are a couple of things we can do to benefit significantly financially. One is for her to max out her 403b contributions (to get the tax benefits). The other is to pay down her loans to reduce the interest. The question is which to do first?They are to some extent mutually exclusive (at least till her income increases) because we do not have the savings to pay down her loan in its entirety at the moment. So would we derive more benefit in the long term from the tax benefits in the 403b on in the benefits of paying down the high interest loan?

Any and all input welcome. To speed things up I have already considered the financial implications of marriage in general and have decided to take my chances as far as that goes.
Personal Finance Deals
Petsmart Blk Friday Meow Mix 16# $3.99 After 1st at $8.99
Added on : Friday November 29th 2013 05:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BigBadAndMean
Views: 36 Replies: 0 PETsMART Black Friday has Meow Mix for $8.99 ,after paying for it you get a coupon for $5.00 off next purchase of Meow Mix . Went back and got another one for $3.99 ,and was printed another coupon.The coupon expires 12/31 but the BF price on the cat food goes up
Canon Powershot SX170 + 16gb SD $99 Amazon
Added on : Thursday November 28th 2013 03:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kriskos4
Views: 15 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-SX170-Digital-Black/dp/B00...

I've been paying attention and I haven't seen this price yet. Plus you get a 16gb card in the deal.
Cameras Deals
What are you financially thankful for?
Added on : Thursday November 28th 2013 09:00:18 AM
g: 1 Posted By: mwa423
Views: 93 Replies: 2 Why not mix finance and the holiday? I'm sure many of us here are thankful for something financial that has happened to a in the past year, be it a great churn card, new rental properties, a fleet of crown vic's. I'm sure there are some hidden lessons we can take into 2014 from the successes others here are thankful for.

I'll start, I'm thankful that my financial situation was such that I was able to walk away from all my financial commitments on a month's notice and take a very cool (but lower paying) job that allows me to see the world and play with elephants.
Question Deals
STOP & SHOP - Gas Gift Card Deal - Save Up to $70.00 - Ends 12/31/13
Added on : Wednesday November 27th 2013 08:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BigBoyMichigan
Views: 230 Replies: 0 Stop & Shop Gift Card Gas DealStop & Shop will have a Gift Card Gas Rewards Deal where you can earn 4x Gas Rewards on all Gift Card Purchases. The normal rewards are 100 points for $0.10 so, for this reward, you will get $0.40 ($0.10 x 4) for every $100 you spend in gift card purchases which you can use on up to 35 gallons of gas.This turns into a money maker since you are buying the gift cards and using them as you would cash. The only variables will be buying a Visa, Mastercard or American Express which will have an activation fee. There is no activation fee for store cards.Also, the amount you make on your gift card purcahse will depend on how much you fill up at the gas station. Here is a breakdown of the different Gift Card purchases you can make with different amounts you can make based on how much you filled up. Some gas stations will allow you to fill up 2 cars or use gas containers to get the remainder of gas at the discounted price. Be sure to check with your gas station.Buying $100 Gift Cards:

Get $0.40 off per gallon for 35 gallons of gas = $14
Get $0.40 off per gallon for 30 gallons of gas = $12
Get $0.40 off per gallon for 25 gallons of gas = $10
Get $0.40 off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas = $8
Get $0.40 off per gallon for 15 gallons of gas = $6

Buying $200 in Gift Cards:

Get $0.80 off per gallon for 35 gallons of gas = $28
Get $0.80 off per gallon for 30 gallons of gas = $24
Get $0.80 off per gallon for 25 gallons of gas = $20
Get $0.80 off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas = $16
Get $0.80 off per gallon for 15 gallons of gas = $12

Buying $300 in Gift Cards:

Get $1.20 off per gallon for 35 gallons of gas = $42
Get $1.20 off per gallon for 30 gallons of gas = $36
Get $1.20 off per gallon for 25 gallons of gas = $30
Get $1.20 off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas = $24
Get $1.20 off per gallon for 15 gallons of gas = $18

Buying $400 in Gift Cards:

Get $1.60 off per gallon for 35 gallons of gas = $56
Get $1.60 off per gallon for 30 gallons of gas = $48
Get $1.60 off per gallon for 25 gallons of gas = $40
Get $1.60 off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas = $32
Get $1.60 off per gallon for 15 gallons of gas = $24

Buying $500 in Gift Cards:

Get $2.00 off per gallon for 35 gallons of gas = $70
Get $2.00 off per gallon for 30 gallons of gas = $60
Get $2.00 off per gallon for 25 gallons of gas = $50
Get $2.00 off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas = 40
Get $2.00 off per gallon for 15 gallons of gas = $30

Here are some examples of deals you can do:Buy $100 Store Gift Cards (requires no activation fees)
Pay: $100.00
Get $0.40 off per gallon of gas up to 35
Money Maker of $14 if you fill up with 35 gallons
(see Buying $100.00 Gift Cards above for the different amounts)Buy $100 Visa, MasterCard or Amex
Activation Fee $4.95 $5.95
Pay as low as $104.95
Get $0.40 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons
Money Maker of $9.05 ($14 $4.95 activation fee) if you fill up with 35 gallons
(see Buying $100.00 Gift Cards above for the different amounts)Buy $500 Store Gift Cards (requires no activation fees)
Pay: $500.00
Get $2.00 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons
Money Maker of $70 if you fill up with 35 gallons
(see Buying $500.00 Gift Cards above for the different amounts)Buy $500 Visa, MasterCard or Amex
Activation Fee $8.95 (average amount for higher value cards)
Pay as low as $508.95
Get $2.00 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons
Money Maker of $61.05 ($70 $8.95 activation fee) if you fill up with 35 gallons
(see Buying $500.00 Gift Cards above for the different amounts)Before you do these gift card deals, be sure to check to see if there is aparticipating Shell station near you. And, check their prices to be sure the savings per gallon is still a good deal in case your Shell prices are higher than other gas stations in your neighborhood.Remember, although you are paying money out of pocket for the gift card, you would be using this gift card as if you were using cash on things you would have purchased anyway, so this savings at the gas station is all extra savings! Be sure to keep your eye out for Gift Card Catalina Deals as well. These usually pop up as the holiday season gets closer and are my favorite deals.

Source: Living Rich with coupons


Check out BIGBOYMICHIGAN'S other Fatwallet Deals -Click Here
Gifts Deals
g: 0 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 146 Replies: 0 Shoprite B&M 12/1-7

Buy $100 or more in ANY gift cards between 12/1 12/7 and a $15 printed on your register receipt and is redeemable from 12/8 12/14. You must use your Price Plus Card when making the purchase of the card. There is a limit of 1 per household (I believeits hard to read). The $15 can not be used on future Gift Card purchases. Also Shoprite Gift cards are excluded from the deal.Its hard to make out all the cards shown in the ad but it does say ANY gift cards except ShopRite so Im sure gas cards will be included. Remember, this is an easy money maker especially since store and gas cards do not require an activation fee.Your deal will go like this:Buy Gas or Store Gift Card $100
Get a $15 print out on the bottom of your receipt
Use your gift card as you would have used cash
$15 Money Maker!

Buy Visa, Mastercard or American Express Card $100
Activation Fee: $5.95
Use your gift card as you would have used cash
as much as a $9.05 Money Maker after paying for the activation fee

thnx livingrich blog
Considering issuing a chargeback on a purchase, requesting your insight
Added on : Monday November 25th 2013 04:00:09 AM
g: 1 Posted By: medion
Views: 100 Replies: 1 TLDR: If you don't want to comment, use the red/green to vote.
Green = stay the course, don't do the CB
Red = you're wrong, do the CB

I apologize, but this may be a bit long winded. Here's the full story. I'm also not going to name the company involved, as I'm not interested in dragging a company name through the mud with this post.

My initial purchase was in May 2012. I purchased an audio amplifier from an online store that also has their own store-brand equipment. As such, you go through the store not only for returns/exchanges (45-day limit), but also for warranty service (1-year limit). This amplifier died in September 2013, more than one year after purchase. I didn't want to blow another $100 on a replacement amp unless I had to, so I decided to ask them how much it would cost me to have it repaired. I was pretty much dead set on <$50 = repair, and >$50 meant paying $90 for a better amp off Amazon, but I didn't tell them that.

I was shocked when they came back and said they'd do a courtesy replacement, and all that I had to do was mail it to them at my expense (roughly $15). They then clarified that the "replacement" would be a refund of $90, issued as a store credit towards any purchase. The same $90 amp on Amazon was $130 through these guys, so I figured between the extra cost and the one-way shipping, I'm paying $55 instead of $90. So, I clarified with them, stating that the credit card used in the May 2012 purchase has since been closed. They once again reiterated via email that the credit would be store-credit used towards my next purchase.

A week goes by and I've since received a store credit via email, but it doesn't reflect online. So, I called them and the rep stated that the store credit doesn't show up, but will be applied after purchase. So, I ordered online and paid my $130. However, once my CC was charged, I had to call them again. This time they told me that the store credit could only be used for phone orders, not online, and that the previous rep has mislead me (actually, they said that I had lied).We switched to email correspondence, and they promised to issue the credit towards the credit card used for purchase. I once again clarified that my original CC was closed, and she stated that they would refund the card used for my most recent purchase. They said to allow 7 days for this to process.

I waited 8 days (even though these things usually take 2-3 business days), and no refund, so I called them. They informed me that the refund had in fact been issued to the old credit card. There was nothing more that they would/could do and that I was SOL, but I could try calling the issuing bank. I did in fact call the issuing bank, but the card was closed just short of a year ago. We argued and I stated that if they had accepted the refund, they were obligated to give it to the intended recipient, or return it to the refunder due to account closure (no legal citation, just me trying to sound smart). that seemed to work, so they cut mea check. They wanted to charge me a $4.95 processing fee, which I convinced them to waive. So, in the end, I did get my money back.

However, I have a VERY stale taste in my mouth from the bait and switch from the online electronics company. They came forward with an amazing offer, but botched it every step of the way. At one point near the end, their rep even said, "But we gave you an offer that we didn't have to. That should count for something!" It doesn't count if it was a bait and switch. So, as for the chargeback, I'm leaning 75/25 towards not doing it on the prinicipal that I did in fact get my money back. I only want to do it to hit them for their negligence so that they see a penatly for handling transactions in this manner. So, this thread is primairly for me to see other viewpoints and to see if my mind can be changed.

Also, keep in mind that I saved the email trail. At every step of the way there is email confirmation of what they promised to do, followed by them stating that they failed to do it, how they'd fix it, followed by another failure (rinse and repeat). The email trail makes it look like a refund was promised but never given, and can easily be printed and used for the CB.
Personal Finance Deals
Banks may charge to take deposits (FT)
Added on : Monday November 25th 2013 02:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 100 Replies: 1 From Financial Times article (link below) --

Leading US banks have warned that they could start charging companies and consumers for deposits if the US Federal Reserve cuts the interest it pays on reserves. Depositors already have to cope with near-zero interest rates, but paying just to leave money in the bank would be highly unusual and unwelcome for companies and households.

The warning by bank executives highlights the dangers of one strategy the Fed could use to offset an eventual tapering of the $85bn a month in asset purchases Executives at two of the top five US banks said a cut in the 0.25 per cent rate of interest on the $2.4tn in reserves they hold at the Fed would lead them to pass on the cost to depositors. Banks say they may have to charge because taking in deposits is not free: they have to pay premiums of a few basis points to a US government insurance programme.

http://on.ft.com/181lD4M
General Economics Deals
Consequences of offering a lot of earnest money on a foreclosure
Added on : Sunday November 24th 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 78 Replies: 1 Posting this for/about a friend of mine. My friend was asking if he should offer 25k on a 150k house in earnest money. He's not paying cash and that earnest money is his downpayment. I told him that's a bad idea but he's adamant with a financing and inspection clause he'll be fine. What should I tell him to avoid getting him screwed/what are the consequences of this (besides loosing it). He's pointing to me putting down 50k on a 200k house once, however only reason I did that was because the property was underpriced about 30% and the agent had 15 offers in place. I was paying cash and had a 14 day inspection contingency. I told him financing is different, but he won't listen.

1. Am I missing something? The property has only one other offer.
2. This is a bad idea, right?
3. How do I talk him out of this?
4. He's a very close friend; should I talk him out of this?

TIA
Real Estate Deals
g: 3 Posted By: buggleboy
Views: 507 Replies: 2 Staples selling the Ipad Retina 16gb @349 (lowest price ever ?) and Ipad mini @249 starting today (11/24/2013)
It might be slight dollor difference between WalMart (in this case $50 difference) and Target ($25 difference) which are special buy on Thanksgiving and quantities are limited etc... and expecting brutal cold this Thanksgiving in North East.. Also those are giftcards and might be paying price at @299 and salex tax..etc..


I got a gift cards existing from Bestbuy and I placed a order and price matched the Staples I got two minis @249 each.. sweet.. I can relax on thanksgiving

mini

Retina

going very fast.. use Staples weekly Ad rather than online (might be sold out)

Enjoy
iPads Deals

Staples Coupons
g: -1 Posted By: elptrainerny
Views: 222 Replies: 2 -Wonder how much money he will make after the law suits.."A man trying to pay a fee using $2 bills was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail after clerks at a Best Buy store questioned the currencys legitimacy and called police.According to an account in the Baltimore Sun, 57-year-old Mike Bolesta was shocked to find himself taken to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, Md., where he was handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service was called to weigh in on the case.Bolesta told the Sun: I am 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. To be handcuffed, to have all those people looking on, to be cuffed to a pole and to know you havent done anything wrong. And me, with a brother, Joe, who spent 33 years on the city police force. It was humiliating.After Best Buy personnel reportedly told Bolesta he would not be charged for the installation of a stereo in his sons car, he received a call from the store saying it was in fact charging him the fee. As a means of protest, Bolesta decided to pay the $114 bill using 57 crisp, new $2 bills.As the owner of Capital City Student Tours, the Baltimore resident has a hearty supply of the uncommon currency. He often gives the bills to students who take his tours for meal money.The kids dont see that many $2 bills, so they think this is the greatest thing in the world, Bolesta says. They dont want to spend em. They want to save em. Ive been doing this since I started the company. So Im thinking, Ill stage my little comic protest. Ill pay the $114 with $2 bills.Bolesta explained what happened when he presented the bills to the cashier at Best Buy Feb. 20.She looked at the $2 bills and told me, I dont have to take these if I dont want to. I said, If you dont, Im leaving. Ive tried to pay my bill twice. You dont want these bills, you can sue me. So she took the money like shes doing me a favor.Bolesta says the cashier marked each bill with a pen. Other store employees began to gather, a few of them asking, Are these real?Of course they are, Bolesta said. Theyre legal tender.According to the Sun report, the police arrest report noted one employee noticed some smearing of ink on the bills. Thats when the cops were called. One officer reportedly noticed the bills ran in sequential order.Said Bolesta: I told them, Im a tour operator. Ive got thousands of these bills. I get them from my bank. You got a problem, call the bank. Im sitting there in a chair. The stores full of people watching this. All of a sudden, hes standing me up and handcuffing me behind my back, telling me, We have to do this until we get it straightened out.Meanwhile, everybodys looking at me. Ive lived here 18 years. Im hoping my kids dont walk in and see this. And Im saying, I cant believe youre doing this. Im paying with legal American money.Bolesta was taken to the lockup, where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret Service was called.At this point, he says, Im a mass murderer.Secret Service agent Leigh Turner eventually arrived and declared the bills legitimate, adding, according to the police report, Sometimes ink on money can smear.Commenting on the incident, Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey told the Sun: Its a sign that were all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."
Discussion Deals
Dental Insurance - Good or Bad investment?
Added on : Thursday November 21st 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BenH
Views: 1 Replies: 0 So we are into Open Enrollment for 2014 at work.

My wife and I had our last dentist visits near the end of 2012.
Neither of us have any major issues (she had a cavity because she neglected the dentist for many years).
I hadn't been to the dentist in probably 3+ years and they said my teeth were perfect.

Last year I opted out of Dental coverage for my family (me, wife, 1 child under 2) because I figured we could go a year without a visit since we don't really need it.

I presumed that I would sign up again in 2014 so basically we would just "skip" a year here or there and save some money.

Looking at costs for 2014, I would end up paying about $500 for the year for coverage for the family. The plan looks like this:

$150 family deductible
Annual maximum benefit - 2K
x-rays/cleanings/exams - 100% deductible waived
basic services (root canals, filings) - 80%
Major services - 50%
Orthodontia (braces) - 50%, $1500 Lifetime maximum

I figure even if we decided to both go in for a cleaning, that's probably like what... $100-150 each? If we had one filling needed between us, that's another say $200.
That's your $500 right there.

But, in all honesty - I don't know if we even need to go in for a cleaning. I haven't had cavities in like 18 years and we are all more diligent about tooth care now.

My daughter is not even 2...and hasn't been to the dentist yet. We brush her teeth daily, and haven't had any issues (apart from well you know...teething!).

I think that we should probably take her in at least once this year...but I can't see that visit being more than $100.

I was leaning on paying for the plan this year (it is actually cheaper than last year, although our medical went up). But now that I am looking at the enrollment forms, I'm thinking..I should save the $500, pay out of pocket for my daughter and just hope the wife and I have no serious issues.

I'm basically making like a $1500 gamble because the maximum annual payout is only $2K, right? I feel it is a pretty safe gamble though, and I can save $3-400 bucks this year.

Convince me one way or another....
Sitting on cash with a student loan decision to make...
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 05:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jd2010
Views: 161 Replies: 0 Time for another installment of "pay your student loans, deadbeat."

Backstory: Over the past 2.5 years my financial picture has gone like this:
Then Now IRA 0 15000 401k 0 30000 Cash 0 25000 CC Debt -20000 0 Student Loans -140000 -125000
I am juggling a lot of variables and want to rely on the wisdom of FWF to help me make the best decision. There are multiple issues at play making the right call here murky (at least in my opinion)

As of today, all student loans are consolidated on Income Based Repayment (IBR) at a weighted 7.2%. My monthly payment is around $900, which covers interest but makes near 0 dent in principal.


1) Employment - Employment and promotion prospects are murky due to bureaucracy and being under the sales dept umbrella at Fortune 500 employer. I could be out on my ass in a month if we miss #s and mgmt wants the stock to go up a penny or two. Job is also semi unique and am not sure how easily I could find similar employment at a similar comp level. Changing comp changes my monthly loan payment, and thus, the entire game if something should happen to jobby.

2) House - I missed the bottom by a lot and am not in any rush to buy now, but I'd like the liquidity to take advantage of the next crash when helicopter ben runs out of steam, along with any other FWF shenanigans that require some capital to scale.

3)Car - Has several issues and the carfax is ugly to where I am probably best served driving it into the ground. I may need to make a vehicle purchase in next year or in 5 years, depending on how long bubblegum and duct tape holds it together.

4)Bailout possibilities/point of no return- I have been hesitant to start going hard at my loans so far. I am at the income and loan amount combination, where if I don't see a jump in pay, I am probably better off doing the status quo for a while and seeing what comes down the chute from govt. Once I commit $ to loans I am basically opting out of whatever bailout may come in the future because my debt/income will likely be too low to benefit. If I get a promotion I'll likely be making enough to where I can knock them out in 5 years or so and procrastinating won't make sense. But as it is now I feel stuck.

Wildcard: GF will be graduating with 200k in debt in 1.5 years and taking job in health sector, with potentially much more lenient student loan forgiveness terms. We have no plans of getting married or having kids. However, we would consider a paper marriage should it behoove us from a student loan perspective where my loans may be able to be shell-gamed in combination with hers to maximize forgiveness benefits and start attacking the ones that make the most sense jointly.


As I see my options, they fall into varying degrees of the following two scenarios...

Continue to stockpile cash and pay the IBR minimums, which will cover interest and wait for the house of cards to fall and pray for free $.
Pros:
1) Will be in good shape if I get canned
2) if my car takes a dump
3) if at some point I want to do a house
4) Most notably, am positioning myself as well as I can to take advantage of apotential wide-reaching student loan bailout when the whole higher ed bubble goes boom.

Cons:
1) Passing onrisk-free guaranteed 7+% return (assuming no bailout)

Throw most of the 25k at student loans
Pros
1)7% return and I am a responsible FWF citizen who PHBDB.
Cons:

1) Shoots all liquidity to hell, limited ability to do house or car for foreseeable future
2) Once I go down the path of actually paying back my loans, my loan total will shrink to where I will be far less likely to qualify for any govt cheddar. It is basically a 10 year decision if I decide to start paying them down.


Would appreciate outsider input as to whether Im overcomplicating this. If I do keep stockpiling, how aggressively do I then invest it ranging from 1% CD to putting it all on black in vegas?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: MISTERCHEAP
Views: 100 Replies: 0 :Buy Gas or Store Gift Card $100Get a $20 print out on the bottom of your receipt
Use your gift card as you would have used cash

$20 Money Maker!Buy Visa, Mastercard or American Express Card $100
Activation Fee: $4.95 $5.95
Use your gift card as you would have used cash
as much as a $15.05 Money Maker after paying for the activation fee

The deal is Buy $100 or more in ANY gift cards between 11/29 11/30 and a $20 printed on your register receipt and is redeemable from 12/1 12/7. You must use your Price Plus Card when making the purchase of the card. There is a limit of 1 per household. The $20 can not be used on future Gift Card purchases. Also Shoprite Gift cards are excluded from the deal


MORE COMING inc. Electronics and Toys Deals.

MODS Please leave in HD/BF thread, placeholder in grocery.


thnx livingrichq blog
Gifts Deals
Frys.com now offering free shipping on $23+ orders (most items)
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 06:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: billrubin
Views: 234 Replies: 0 I just noticed that Frys.com is now offering free shipping on all orders of $23 or more, whether the individual item claims to have free shipping or not. With the amount of free after rebate items that Frys has on a weekly basis, it should not be hard to get over $23 to take advantage of free shipping on smaller items you might want. Here are the details from their website:

For a limited time offer, all orders $23.00 or more will qualify for the Free Shipping promotion!

*Free shipping only applies when selecting the lowest cost shipping method available. For most orders this will be the "Ultra Saver" option. Major appliances are excluded from this offer.*

Add any "eligible" item(s) to your shopping cart and those will be shipped free, irrespective of your order size, if the lowest cost method is selected as the shipping method during checkout.Eligible items are those that have this little truck icon next to them stating "Ships Free".

PLEASE NOTE:
1. If your order contains "eligible" and "non-eligible" items, shipping will be charged for "non-eligible" item(s).
2. Free shipping only applies to eligible items which are shipped using the lowest cost shipping method available.
3. If your order contains "eligible" and "non-eligible" items, and if you choose the Free Shipping method, the entire order will be shipped by the chosen shipping method. You will still be responsible for paying for shipping for the "non-eligible" item(s).
4. Frys.com reserves the right to change or terminate the Free Shipping promotion at any time without any notice.
Home & Garden Deals
Gift of $7,000. Use it to pay down student loans or down payment?
Added on : Sunday November 17th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: packers9626
Views: 144 Replies: 3 26 years old, $44,000 salary. I own a 2009 vehicle outright. Debts as follows:

Student Loan for $8235 at 6.8% ($110 monthly)
Student Loan for $6298 at 6.3% ($85 monthly)
Student Loan for $4985 at 5.3% ($64 monthly)
Student Loan for $1266 at 1.3% ($50 monthly)

I am contributing 6% of salary to my 401k. My company throws in another 4.5%. Monthly income from my job after taxes, health insurance, 401k, etc is about $2700. I also do side work with my buddy who owns a business and average about $300 a month from that.

This $7000 gift came from my elderly grandfather. Cut a check to all of his kids and grandkids, I don't want to know all the details, but they are basically giving away his money until it gets down below a certain level for tax planning purposes. Otherwise the government taxes it. He is in his late 80s, depression era guy who worked the same job for 45 years and retired with a good pension. Bought his (small) house for $6,000 in 1950, still lives there today.

I have some savings of my own, and with this gift, I am approaching $20,000 in money I could use for a down payment, Thinking I should just save up a little bit more and buy a place of my own. Target price range would be $120,000 to $160,000. The other option would be to just cut a check paying off my most expensive student loan ($110 savings a month). I am strongly leaning towards buying a place though.

What do you folks think my best option is?
Personal Finance Deals
HDHP Premiums in 2014
Added on : Saturday November 16th 2013 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: redpoint5
Views: 77 Replies: 1 Back in June, I purchased an HSA qualified High Deductible Health Plan for my wife with a monthly cost of $92 (Portland, OR market). I researched the rates on ehealthinsurance.com, and choose the cheapest HSA qualified plan. We just got a letter in the mail saying premiums would go up in 2014. Upon further research, the cheapest HSA qualified HDHP I can find is $141. That is a 52% increase in just 1 year! What's worse, we have moved 7 miles, across the river into Washington, and the cheapest qualified HSA is $176; 91% more expensive than we were paying in 2013. Looking at other markets, LA for example, 2013 rates were $95. For 2014, they increase to $201!

I've already maxed her contribution for the year, and the rules stipulate that a HDHP must be maintained for the full 2014 year. FYI, she is a healthy 28 year old, and we currently have an annual household income of $60k.

How could rates have increased 112% in a single year? Why is there no news coverage of what appears to be a massive nationwide increase to HDHP premiums? What is the best financial move given our situation?

Discussion Deals
g: 1 Posted By: Silverthunder
Views: 115 Replies: 0 This was a post (below) by dshibb from several months ago. I set off trying to take advantage of it several months ago. after web form contacting/ emailing about 15 places and not finding anything, I put the project on hold. is it worth it for me to keep searching?
-----------------
Okay I've known about this for a very long time and I don't know why I haven't just come out and shared it with the FWF crowd this whole time.

The AOR happy crowd on here is always looking for good safe yield that they can drop short term money in right?

What if I told you that I was aware of a way to put down unlimited quantities of capital on something safer than a money market account that depending on your age paid out 2-3% guaranteed after a year and likely to yield 4%+ after a couple of years and didn't have any yield curve risk(like a MMA and deposit account)? This product also has cash available on about 2-5 weeks notice(if you're smart on how you handle it likely 2 weeks).

The low interest rate environment has created an anomaly in the single premium life insurance market. Interest crediting to permanent insurance policies is based on longer duration rates which are higher than short duration rates. There are numerous single premium products that back load their expenses allowing you to have a policy that turns positive almost immediately. You can abuse these vehicles as a short term place to drop cash and get higher yields than what you can get out of a deposit account. And this is all before taking into account that you also have a death benefit in case you pass away during the few years you're holding it.

Basically the game works like this. Due to interest rate environment strong early cash value products are getting interest rates associated with long term fixed income. You take out one of them drop in your cash and either when you need the money in the future or when short term rates(deposit rates) move up high enough to close the gap you surrender the contract and take your money out.

The counterintuitive part is that when you surrender assuming your under 59.5 you'll pay ordinary income taxes and 10% penalty *on the gain*. But if you were going to be putting money in a reward checking account, CD, etc. you would be paying ordinary income taxes anyway. Under this deal you get those deferred until surrender. So the key difference here is the 10% penalty, but since it only applies to earnings even after you account for that it's still a pretty good deal. If you're earning 3.5% on your money and surrender paying a 10% penalty the yield only drops from 3.5% to 3.15%. Still better than what you can get out of a normal deposit account. Furthermore unlike a deposit account the yield keeps on getting better year after year and is likely to be in excess of 4% after only a few years. If deposit rates stay low for a while that could result in some rather lucrative interest spreads over deposit rates.

Also, unlike a medium term bond fund you have no yield curve risk. If rates rise the bond fund falls. Instead the insurance carrier retains the yield curve risk on it's own balance sheet just like a deposit account and money market account.

For those of you asking 'Why don't I just take out policy loans instead of surrendering and paying taxes' the answer is that a single premium is practically guaranteed to be a MEC. That means that policy loans are still taxed as ordinary income. So since that is already baked in the smarter move is either surrender or combo of withdrawal and reduced death benefit. The small problem with the latter is that MECs are taxed on a LIFO basis which means that you would be withdrawing earnings first and basis would remain in the policy.

For those asking 'Why don't you take out a policy that has a long enough pay period to no longer be a MEC so you can get tax free loans?' well those things A) don't turn positive right away so you're taking a risk that short interest rates will rise canceling out the anomaly before you've had a chance to capitalize on it and B) If you use policy loans you have to keep rather large chunk in the contract long term to keep it in force; that weds you to holding it over the long term and if that's the case most people would be better off holding fixed income inside of qualified account negating any perceived benefit(hence why the usual advice to everybody is to only look at permanent insurance for what would have been fixed income holdings after you've maxed out all of your qualified accounts).


Few notes:
1) Make sure you don't take any product with surrender charges because you might be in and out within a few years.
2) The standard hold up for a surrender is that most carriers delay it and inform the agent of your intent to surrender allowing him to try to 'rescue' the policy by convincing you to not surrender if he wants. You can have that agent waive his right to hold up the surrender by a couple weeks. I'm not positive that every carrier will accept this, but when taking out a policy having a letter signed by the agent waiving his right to hold up the surrender should make the time period to withdraw your funds much shorter(a money market account holds up funds for a few days this would hold it up only for a couple weeks).
3) Particularly among products very competitive in the short term the commissions on doing this are very low. Usually it's in the 2-4% of lump sum amount and nothing recurring. That is low for any advisor used to either a lot more up front or an AUM fee that is paid out annually. You might notice agents not particularly that excited about doing this.
4) Increasingly insurance carriers have been increasing their commission 'clawback' periods. That means that an agent could have almost all of his commission clawed back if you surrender within a couple years meaning he now owes the insurance carrier. You may want to weigh whether it's worth it to inform the agent of your likely surrender down the road. If you're not it's likely you wont be able to ask for the letter I mentioned in #2, and just be stuck calling him to expedite the surrender down the road. Maybe you can work out some other arrangement so he isn't worried about doing all this work for you only to have his small commission clawed back in a couple years.


So essentially we're talking about arbitraging the interest rate market through a permanent insurance product. You get the risks of very short duration fixed income(like a money market account) while getting the yields more indicative of longer duration fixed income. The anomaly wont last forever; when interest rates rise the anomaly disappears and you surrender and move your money to something higher yielding.


Personal Finance Deals
ACA (Covered California): Health Care as Individual or Small Business?
Added on : Friday November 15th 2013 12:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: orky
Views: 97 Replies: 0 All this health insurance changes is really difficult for me to process. I have recently left a full-time paying job and am going at it on my own. For the short-term, it is just myself in my S-Corp with minimal expenses and income. Existing health care plans are expensive and I have purchased a barebones plan to ensure I have at least something.

So my question is, does it make more sense to set up a health care plan through the business to cover myself as an employee(and my spouse as a dependent), or should I just avoid it and go the individual health care route? If I go the business route, there are supposed tax benefits and perhaps the plans might be more beneficial. The individual route sounds like less headache.

Help! Thanks in advance.
Personal Finance Deals
Defaulting on Student Loans
Added on : Friday November 15th 2013 04:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: aiccdd
Views: 210 Replies: 5 I owe 34k in student loans and my husband owes $44k.

The monthly debt amount is ~$800/month.

My question is.... we already own a home and cars. What would really happen if we stopped paying on our student loans? I understand your credit gets shot, but we already have lines of credit with multiple credit cards, and already already live in our home. I understand when we purchase a car in a few years, the interest rate would probably be insanely high. But what other financial repercussions would occur?



Personal Finance Deals
Costco: Official Black Friday Week Leak - Samsung TVs
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: horizon6
Views: 553 Replies: 0 Samsung HDTVs featured for BF at Warehouses and .com Nov 24 to Dec 1 (image attached)
Selection varies by location and limited to stock on hand, but view the overhead shelves now at your Warehouse(s) to see the BF features.
These are NOT doorbusters. Expect prices to be comparable to BeeJay BF ad - Samsung is expected to be paying for this.
Hope someone here gets the sheet listign models, discounts and sell prices. Else look for it at Costco Insider.

Enjoy your BlackFridayExperiences!




TV Deals
Suggestions for Inheritance Windfall
Added on : Thursday November 14th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kainer
Views: 118 Replies: 6 Hi FW Financers,

I had a relative die, and my wife and I will be receiving a fairly significant inheritance ~ $35,000

I'm looking for suggestions as to what to do with the money. Wondering if I should pay down debt, invest, etc. I'd like to put some into an educational savings account for my newborn son. I'm really looking to get the best bang for my buck. I appreciate any advice.

Also, We have a 2 month old son and I'd like to be able to move to a house in a nicer school district by the time he is school age - ~ 5 years. Our house is unfortunately underwater, but we're current on payments, just Refinanced 1.5 years ago.

Current Debt:
1.5 years into a $150k mortgage (refi) at 4.0% APR - house currently worth $110k according to Zillow - Currently up to date on all payments (paying a little extra each month)
$7,843.91 Student Loan @ 4.0%
$10,779.10 Student Loan @ 4.25%
16,569.25 Car Loan @ 2.99% APR


Personal Finance Deals
S-corp, Keeping profits with in the company
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 05:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ucbus
Views: 45 Replies: 0 I am s-corp 100% owner and and employee. As an employee I take decent salary. However at the end of the year I have some few thousands as profit left over. Currently what I am doing is is passing this profit as bonus. This is getting added to my W2-income which means paying all payroll taxes. Is it how most of you do or is there a better way to save on taxes. To give an example. Company makes 100K. I take salary of 80K. Say after the expenses the profit is 10K. Now this 10K is added to my personal income as bonus and gets added to my W2. I believe I am paying tax on this 10K ( all individual SS tax, federal income tax etc). Now my question to y'all is : is it how you all do?

Can I keep this 10K profit in the company for any future expenses? That way 1. I will not have to pay tax in the current year 2. I could have some funds so my company may invest in real estate or use as working capital

If yes, how it needs to be done? any example/site for referring this would be helpful.
I do not have a CPA, just depending on TaxAct, we wish we could afford one.
Personal Finance Deals
Reward points to pay for business hotel expense-deductible?
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 05:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: watchtower77
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Thinking about taxes, can you deduct fair value for paying a business hotel reservation with points that you received for "free"?
Personal loan as investment vehicle - Thoughts?
Added on : Wednesday November 13th 2013 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 30 Replies: 0 Hi,

I've been mulling over the idea of getting a personal loan and using it as an investment vehicle for a while now. I've been getting letters for personal loans from various places (probably due to my rotating 0% APR CC debt) with the latest coming from Lending Club, advertising up to $35k loan with APR starting at 6.78%. This is, of course, contingent on credit score as rates go as high as 30%.

I estimate ~20% yearly returns on my investments. This is based on custom asset allocation and I understand the risk associated with it.

My understanding is that personal loans are NOT treated as taxable income. Therefore I would only be taxed on income (profit) arising from these loans, correct?

Assuming the risk, if I can get a low enough interest rate I could make some decent cash off this. Financially, I've never had a problem juggling multiple accounts, credit lines, paying on time, etc.

On loan applications, it asks for the reason. I chose 'other'. Also, I haven't checked my credit in a few months, but it's above 700, most likely below 760 due to revolving debt, so I would qualify as 'good' credit. Since they do a hard pull, I'd like to know (if possible) what kind of interest rate I'd be eligible for prior to the pull, to know if it's even worth it.

Has anyone done this? Thoughts? Pros/cons? Any caveats?

TIA
Personal Finance Deals
g: 2 Posted By: blueiedgod
Views: 181 Replies: 0 Stop renting your CableBoxes for CableTV. Samsung has released Samsung GX-SM530CF Smart Media Set Top Boxand WalMart has it for $138 ($10 less than Amazon)

All you need to do, is go to your Cable TV provider and ask for the CableCARD. They are required by the FCC to provide them to you. Some charge for them, some offer them for free, and some give you credit for bringing your own equipment.

Additionally, this box will do Netflix and Amazon instant video.

It will play media from your USB connected devices too. But it won't record TV. It is not a DVR.

The TV listings guide is provided by Samsung. Comes with 3 year warranty.

If you are paying $10/month to rent your CableBox, then this unit will pay for it self in a little bit over a year.
Cable is only the beginning. With the Smart Media Box, you will also have access to Smart Apps including Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. One remote gives you seamless use of both Smart TV and cable. Plus, it works with cable providers so no change is necessary. All you need is a CableCARD provided by your cable company. It costs less than the standard cable box and remote rental.

Samsung GX-SM530CF Smart Media Set Top Box:
Full Live TV capability + Smart Hub
Full web browser
CableCARD supported
BD wise
CableCARD supported
Audio Decoding Formats: Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, LPCM, AAC, MP3, WMA
Video Decoding Formats: MPEG-1/2/4, DivX HD, MKV, WMV, JPEG
Ethernet and WiFi
AllShare
USB 2.0 port, HDMI out

If you have multiple TV's you will need more than 1 of these boxes, which kind of defeats the purpose of a 6-stream capable CableCARD. Then you look for other solutions, which allow you to utilize single CableCARD for multiple simultaneous TV channel viewing. But for a dumb cable box replacement, this is hot!

This is perfect for 1-2 TV households.

Verizon charges $4.99/month for a CableCard
Time Warner charges $2.50/month for a CableCard
Comcast gives you the first one for free, and gives you some money back as credit for bringing your own equipment.

If your provider tells you that they do not do CableCards, you are either not in the USA, or they are in violation of FCC rule "http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/cablecards" which can be grounds for termination of their ability to operate.
Electronics Deals

Walmart Coupons
Getting rid of the car I shouldn't have bought
Added on : Tuesday November 12th 2013 04:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sc9092
Views: 206 Replies: 10 I started a thread a few months ago about how I purchased a car I shouldn't have when I got out of college. Now I am just about upside down on a 72 month loan for a 2012 Dodge Challenger have about 25,500 left on the loan payments are around 400/month. I was looking to just sell the car outright and try to make my money back on it but I never had any luck doing that. So I have been looking for other cheaper vehicles I could buy and hopefully pay off within a few year instead of having this long term loan and maybe the dealer wouldn't hurt me too bad. Well after a few visits to dealerships I could never get a good offer for my car so i was going to just start paying extra towards the Challenger and maybe put a dent in the loan. Yesterday I found a 2008 ford explorer with about 60000 miles on it listed for 13800. I went and looked at it and it is a nice vehicle and they first offered me 22000 for my car and I declined because that would be financing about 18k which I do not want to do. So they came back and offered me what I owed on the car which was very tempting but I was still worried because I am not completely sold on the explorer(have never owned one). Got one more offer of 26,000 which would be about 500 more than what i owe on the car and I would be financing about 13. I could do the loan for 42 month and pay about 350/month or 36 and make the payment i was on the challenger. Either way I would pay more and try to get it paid off, it just looks better to tackle a 3 year 13k loan that a 72 month 25k loan. Any advice on this?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: GreenTrash
Views: 238 Replies: 1 Using Sears card get you an extra 10% off. I ended up paying a net of about $45 for this 20-wrench set. And don't forget your 3% from Fatwallet

This set is $71 on Amazon.

Link

20 pc. Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set: Be Prepared for Every JobWith the GearWrench 20 pc. combination ratcheting wrench set it's a cinch to secure bolts and nuts of all sizes and models. The original patented ratcheting wrench has a slim thickness head shank allowing easy access to bolts in even the tightest spaces. This sturdy set allows you to work with both SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standard measurements and metric measurements. These 20 essential wrenches need as little 5 degree swing arc to tighten fasteners meaning you get more work done with less effort.The brightly polished high-shine finish on this 20 pc. combination ratcheting wrench set makes it a breeze to clean and maintain in top condition. SAE ratcheting wrenches range from inch up to inch. Metric ratcheting wrenches range from 6 mm up to 18 mm. Each wrench is clearly labeled-the measurement is precision etched into the handle. This well-designed set makes the perfect addition to any tool set!Using Sears card get you an extra 10% off. I ended up paying a net of about $45 for this 20-wrench set. And don't forget your 3% from Fatwallet

This set is $71 on Amazon.

GearWrench 20 pc. combination ratcheting wrench set includes 10 standard combination ratcheting wrenches and 10 metric combination ratcheting wrenches
Standard wrench sizes included: , 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2;, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4;-in.
Metric wrench sizes included: 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18-mm
Surface Drive Technology on box end provides off-corner loading for better grip and reduced fastener rounding
The bright and high polish finish results in quick and easy cleaning
Slim shank is designed to access fasteners in tight spots
Wrench swings in a small 5 degree arc to offer control and avoid unnecessary adjustments
Wide range of combination wrenches helps tackle a variety of household jobs from small to large

Tools Deals

Sears Coupons
*** DEAD *** FREE Kindle Book - The No B.S. Guitar Advantage was $9.99
Added on : Monday November 11th 2013 12:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: archena
Views: 511 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase

The No B.S. Guitar Advantage: Secret Strategies Most Guitarists Will Never Tell You About To Go From Beginner To Head-turning Guitar Player Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible [Kindle Edition] was $9.99

Johnny Lee (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GFT5HSK

Publication Date: November 3, 2013

6 Reviews ★★★★.5


#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Arts & Photography > Music > Instruments & Performers > Guitar

Are you a beginner to intermediate guitar player looking to improve your guitar playing faster and easier?

Learn your favorite songs? Play for your friends and family? Jam with other musicians? And even write and share your own songs?

This could be the single most important book you read all year. Join the thousands who have already discovered the secrets to effectively teaching themselves the guitar in their own spare time. For the first time ever, expert guitar hacker Johnny Lee reveals his little-known secrets for mastering the guitar at home, even if you possess no innate talent to begin with and hate the idea of being disciplined. In these 12 exciting lessons, youll finally learn how to do it all without struggle without complicated theory without boring lessons and without paying thousands for expensive lessons (yet still get equal or better results).

Heres what youll learn inside:

* Where to begin if youre just getting started.

* The 6 most common mistakes made by beginner guitarists.

* How to ensure youll lay the proper foundation and avoid forming bad habits.

* Pit-Stop Practice: A scientifically proven method of structuring your practice for maximum growth in the minimum possible time. This alone is worth 10X the price of this book.

* Why practice, practice, practice can actually hurt your ability to learn the guitar properly if youre a beginner/intermediate. Not understanding this can virtually guarantee you end up quitting sooner or later.

* A mental trick you can use instantly to ensure youre fingers are moving properly at all times (in a relaxed, tension-free way) while allowing you to play faster and smoother.

* Why choosing the wrong guitar to practice with could prevent you from ever playing with ease and confidence (and an inexpensive way to modify the guitar you currently have if you cant buy a new one).

* The surprising truth about talent and whether you need it for learning the guitar.

* Why using YouTube and other guitar websites have proven time and again to cause beginner guitar players to block their own lack of progress the 6-word solution to fix it (This could be life-changing for anyone who uses the internet to learn guitar.)

* 6 guaranteed ways to have more fun today, even if youre still in the beginning stages of learning the guitar.

* The simplest, most powerful way Ive ever discovered to immediately put your guitar learning on steroids that anyone can use in 5-minutes.

* How to develop speed without losing accuracy (believe it or not a metronome is not actually made for increasing your speed. Ill show you a free tool that IS.

* How to overcome any fear of playing in front of other people (this lesson has frequently been called the best article Ive ever read by guitar players of any age)

* And much much more

Been looking for a better way to learn guitar? Its finally here. And best of all, its been proven effective by guitarists of ALL ages. See for yourself


About the Author
Johnny Lee is a lover of music, guitarist, songwriter, and creator of the No B.S. Guitar website, the best-kept secret of self-taught guitarists from over 73 different countries.
When he first started learning guitar, he spent the first 3 years really struggling and sounding terrible. He couldn't play like he wanted, and even felt like giving up. But luckily, he didn't. Instead, he went looking for a "guitar teacher". Someone to show him how it was really done.

After wasting a ton of time and money on three different guitar teachers... one a "guitar guru" who even had his own column in Guitar World magazine... and still not being able to perform a single song cleanly from beginning to end... he eventually tried a different approach. He found a non-guru... a 23-year old jazz-guitar prodigy... and started taking lessons with him. Within 4 or 5 lessons, this new teacher helped him turn it all around and make more progress in 6 weeks than he had previously made in 6 months. The rest was history.

Johnny was able to teach himself the guitar, effectively, from that point forward, never paying for a single lesson more. He quickly went on to perform regularly at a local cocktail bar, to the astonishment of his friends.

In 2010, Johnny started No B.S. Guitar to see if the strategies he discovered could be used by other guitar students to improve their ability to learn, just as they did for him. What happened next was astounding. In a matter of months, the emails came pouring in. Case after case... people were sharing their success stories on how these ideas had changed their playing and their lives... all in a very short time.

Since then, No B.S. Guitar has matured into one of the premier sources of accurate information, useful knowledge, and uplifting inspiration for scores of self-taught guitarists from over 73 different countries. Johnny's lessons have appeared on top guitar websites such as Ultimate-Guitar, GuitarNoise, and many others.
Books & Magazines Deals
FREE Kindle Book - The No B.S. Guitar Advantage was $9.99
Added on : Sunday November 10th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: archena
Views: 1 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase

The No B.S. Guitar Advantage: Secret Strategies Most Guitarists Will Never Tell You About To Go From Beginner To Head-turning Guitar Player Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible [Kindle Edition] was $9.99

Johnny Lee (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GFT5HSK

Publication Date: November 3, 2013

6 Reviews ★★★★.5

Are you a beginner to intermediate guitar player looking to improve your guitar playing faster and easier?

Learn your favorite songs? Play for your friends and family? Jam with other musicians? And even write and share your own songs?

This could be the single most important book you read all year. Join the thousands who have already discovered the secrets to effectively teaching themselves the guitar in their own spare time. For the first time ever, expert guitar hacker Johnny Lee reveals his little-known secrets for mastering the guitar at home, even if you possess no innate talent to begin with and hate the idea of being disciplined. In these 12 exciting lessons, youll finally learn how to do it all without struggle without complicated theory without boring lessons and without paying thousands for expensive lessons (yet still get equal or better results).

Heres what youll learn inside:

* Where to begin if youre just getting started.

* The 6 most common mistakes made by beginner guitarists.

* How to ensure youll lay the proper foundation and avoid forming bad habits.

* Pit-Stop Practice: A scientifically proven method of structuring your practice for maximum growth in the minimum possible time. This alone is worth 10X the price of this book.

* Why practice, practice, practice can actually hurt your ability to learn the guitar properly if youre a beginner/intermediate. Not understanding this can virtually guarantee you end up quitting sooner or later.

* A mental trick you can use instantly to ensure youre fingers are moving properly at all times (in a relaxed, tension-free way) while allowing you to play faster and smoother.

* Why choosing the wrong guitar to practice with could prevent you from ever playing with ease and confidence (and an inexpensive way to modify the guitar you currently have if you cant buy a new one).

* The surprising truth about talent and whether you need it for learning the guitar.

* Why using YouTube and other guitar websites have proven time and again to cause beginner guitar players to block their own lack of progress the 6-word solution to fix it (This could be life-changing for anyone who uses the internet to learn guitar.)

* 6 guaranteed ways to have more fun today, even if youre still in the beginning stages of learning the guitar.

* The simplest, most powerful way Ive ever discovered to immediately put your guitar learning on steroids that anyone can use in 5-minutes.

* How to develop speed without losing accuracy (believe it or not a metronome is not actually made for increasing your speed. Ill show you a free tool that IS.

* How to overcome any fear of playing in front of other people (this lesson has frequently been called the best article Ive ever read by guitar players of any age)

* And much much more

Been looking for a better way to learn guitar? Its finally here. And best of all, its been proven effective by guitarists of ALL ages. See for yourself:
Books & Magazines Deals
Bodymedia Link $50, Core $24.99 @ 24hourfitness B&M
Added on : Sunday November 10th 2013 10:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rainerusa
Views: 385 Replies: 0 This morning I noticed Bodymedia products in their blowout sale.Link with 6 month free subscription for $49.99. They also have core for $24.99.
I bought one of these at costco paying $149.99 early this year. Its one of the very accurate and reliable compared to others in its class.Good deal for fitness feaks.
http://www.bodymedia.com/Support-Help/BodyMedia-FIT-BW

Sports & Outdoors Deals

24 Hour Fitness Coupons
Bodymedia link $50 24hourfitness
Added on : Sunday November 10th 2013 08:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rainerusa
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Noticed Bodymedia products in their blowout sale.Link with 6 month free subscription for $49.99. They also have core for $29.99.
good deal for fitness feaks. I bought one of these at costco paying $149.99 early this year.
creditor refuses to correct credit error
Added on : Wednesday November 06th 2013 07:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gloreglabert
Views: 23 Replies: 0 Trying to clean up a credit report situation for a family member (let's call her Mary), which is as follows: Mary had a joint checking account with her ex-husband Bob, which was associated with an overdraft line of credit. Over a decade ago, Mary was taken off the joint account. Bob passed away several months ago and left the LOC nearly maxed out, which Mary knew nothing about since she was no longer on the account. However, for some reason the overdraft LOC has remained on Mary's credit report the entire time even though she has not been on the account in years. Since Bob has no longer been making payments on the LOC, the account went delinquent and has started wreaking havoc on Mary's credit. The LOC is several thousand dollars and so simply paying it off is not ideal.

The creditor refuses to correct the error, and responded to a formal letter requesting all information in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (e.g., nature of debt and supporting documentation demonstrating ownership) with essentially a form letter simply saying the debt was valid, and provided none of the requested information. Disputes with the credit bureaus ended the same way (claiming debt was validated), presumably because the creditor simply gave them the same meaningless response.

Not sure how to proceed from here. Do I go after the creditor, the CRAs, or both? I'm guessing there are grounds for suing at this point but not sure the best way to go down that road.
Question Deals
Insurance and Contractors Miscommunication
Added on : Wednesday November 06th 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sharpie130
Views: 140 Replies: 0 Long Story Short

*Jets cracked in Jacuzzi tub destroyed wood floors, cabinets in Chicago Condo (Issue is cabinet project)

*Bought unit dirt cheap (40k sight unseen and to my surprise it was pretty pimped out with wood floors, maple cabinets. previously purchased for 250k)

*Insurance was 50k and I was at 45k. (probably should of been higher but i was being stupid. Forgot all works needs a liscensed and bonded company. I have a construction foreman that's retired that does a lot of work for me dirt cheap in the burbs usually so that would be more than enough in most cases)

*Cabinets were salvageable/use-able but contractor tried to get more out of it and recommended new cabinets (I said okay as insurance will pay for it)

*Mis-communication between contractor and state farm. Contractor thought he had go ahead but project was additional 6k above 50k(They never discussed policy limits etc etc). He already took out cabinets and broke them down(threw them away). He said I was stuck with the bill even though this is not something I approved or agreed paying for. I am paying for my tenant's hotel right now at 100$ a day so I do need something done quick.


My question is what is the best way to handle this. Changing out the cabinets was more of a luxury than a necessity as It could have been salvaged (sent picture to other contractors). My agent is saying sorry I can't pay out anymore and my contractor says sorry I already took out cabinets and we need ones purchased and installed.

Any advice would be helpful~

don't mind paying but would rather not
Personal Finance Deals
Considering Switch To W2 - Buy A Home To Reduce Taxes?
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 07:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 140 Replies: 1 I've been involved in high paying 1099 work ($100ish/hour) and been considering a switch to W2 for reasons beyond the scope of W2 versus 1099. I much prefer 1099 from a tax perspective but the other advantages of this new position are superior. For the sake of this thread, let's assume that I don't have a choice and am switching to W2 in the range of $130k to $150k per year.

I'm a renter and always thought I'd eventually buy a home, when I had enough to pay for one in cash, to avoid a mortgage. Let's assume that I've run the numbers multiple times, and ignoring any tax benefits from mortgage interest deduction, it's significantly more financially favorable for me to rent rather than buy.

That said, at $150k W2 income, there's not many possibilities for tax deductions, and as a W2 with one or two years of job history of making $150k, I imagine I can easily qualify for a mortgage on a $300k to $350k home with 20% down. So getting the mortgage will likely be easy, and potentially I can shelter more money from taxes with interest and property tax deductions.

I haven't run a detailed analysis of the numbers yet, partially because I haven't even accepted the W2 offer and partially because it will need to wait at least a year or two before a bank will be satisfied with my W2s that I have a stable job. However, I am starting to consider how this might look tax-wise. I realize I'll need to forgo the standard deduction. Running rough numbers off my head, if the mortgage is 5% on $300k borrowed, that's $15k in interest owed per year. Presumably, the first several years I'm paying interest-only on my monthly payments so presumably I get to deduct $15k per year for the first few years. That's more than the $6k standard deduction, but not much. I also assume I can deduct property taxes of $5k to $10k per year (depending on where I buy the home).

Any rules of thumb or rough numbers to consider when estimating what kind of tax breaks buying a home can lead to? How about AMT? How bad will that hurt? Does it essentially make it so I'm not really getting the deductions at all since they're being added back in for AMT calculations?
Personal Finance Deals
Avoiding California taxes in Silicon Valley? (capital gains taxes)
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 05:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: motuwallet
Views: 70 Replies: 0 I'm considering moving to Silicon Valley to start a company. It would be useful for my industry, and I like the area. The goal would be to sell it within a few years, at which point I would presumably receive a large amount of capital gains. (Let's assume long term cap gains.)

What strategies can be employed to minimize or avoid entirely paying any taxes to CA? A bunch of googling is telling me the state treats LT cap gains same as normal income, meaning the top rate will be 13.3%. I can't tell if this is accurate or just FUD and SEO crap.

Is cap gains tax only incurred in the state of residence at the time of sale? Meaning, if I work on building this company for the next 3 years in CA, then move to Las Vegas, NV on Jan 1 and sell everything, is there any way CA can come after me for taxes? What do big companies do in these situations? I have a hard time believing Zuckerberg or the Google guys have paid / will pay multiple billions in CA state taxes.

Trying to determine if it's even worth locating in CA. If the price is a 13.3% stake in my company, I'd rather check out low/no tax states like TX or NV.
Personal Finance Deals
Rear-Ended in CA
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: RWAnderson72
Views: 204 Replies: 7 Last Thursday, Halloween, I got rear-ended on the freeway in California. I called the police, and called my insurance company, and I've set up an appointment with my insurance company's Body Shop (I'm fine with their choice) to repair the damage to my rear bumper. I'm guessing it will be at least $1,500, though I don't know. I had similar, but somewhat lesser, damage to the same area of the car about seven years ago that cost $800 to fix, and this damage is at least twice as extensive.

Her car was totaled and barely driveable (though it did drive when the CHP asked her to move the car to the shoulder), while I sustained merely cosmetic damage.

As far as I know, no one was injured. I'm not going to pretend to have been injured when I wasn't. I wasn't even thrown forward, and my seat-belt didn't deploy, much less lock. I think most of the kinetic energy of the crash went into damaging my rear bumper, her car's front end, and giving my car a bit of a push forward. I suspect the fact that I was accelerating at the time may have minimized the damage to me and my car.

I'm going to let my insurance company deal with subrogating the claim--I don't need the possibility she might lie to her insurance company about how it happened, leading to a year-long headache. I have no problem paying the $500 deductible and, hopefully, I'll get it back later.

I'm wondering about who pays for a rental car while my car is being repaired. I don't have coverage on my own policy for that. If I decide to rent a car, how do I go about that and not winding up paying for it myself?
Personal Finance Deals
*** DEAD *** FREE Kindle Book - The Suitcase Entrepreneur was $8.99
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 05:00:08 AM
g: 7 Posted By: archena
Views: 2672 Replies: 3 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase

The Suitcase Entrepreneur [Kindle Edition] was $8.99

Natalie Sisson (Author)


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED0JUE0

Publication Date: August 4, 2013

Publisher: Tonawhai Press

80 Reviews ★★★★★

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > Entrepreneurship

Everybody has the right to build a business from anywhere and design a lifestyle they love.
Thats what this book will teach you to do.

If youve always thought that having the freedom to do what you want when you want was just a pipe dream, then think again. Right now there is more opportunity than ever to

Package and sell your knowledge and skills to earn enough to work and live anywhere
Build a profitable online business from just your laptop and smartphone
Use online tools, social media and outsourcing to increase to give you more time, money and freedom
Travel the world for less and experience the joys of minimalism
Live life on your own terms and create your ideal lifestyle.

This book will teach you the nuts and bolts of setting up an online business you love and give you the blueprint to create your ideal lifestyle and create freedom in business and adventure in life.

If youve always thought that running a profitable business from your laptop, and having the freedom to do what you want when you want was just a pipe dream, then think again.

After 8 years of working in the bureaucracy of the corporate world, Natalie Sisson quit her high-paying job to fly to Canada, start a blog and cofound a technology company. In just 18 whirlwind months she learned how to build an online platform from scratch, and then left to start her own business, which involved flying to Argentina to eat empanadas, play Ultimate Frisbee and launch her first digital product.

Strike forward to now and she runs a highly profitable business from her laptop, while living out of a suitcase, and making money teaching others how to build a business and lifestyle they love.

If youre just starting out, this book will show you how to package and sell your knowledge and skills, or those of others and build an online platform to earn enough to work and live anywhere.
If youre an entrepreneur, this book will show you how to establish your business online, reach a global audience and build a virtual team to give you more time, money and freedom.

This is a practical guide to learn what it takes to be a digital nomad and develop the freedom-based mindset to truly live life on your own terms.

If youre prepared to put in the work, hustle and commitment it takes, then there is no better time than now to choose your own adventure and make it a reality.

About the Author
Natalie Sisson is a global adventurer and digital nomad whose entire aim is to create freedom in business and adventure in life, for herself and thousands of others who believe that you should be able to create your ideal lifestyle on your own terms. Based out of her suitcase she runs her business from her laptop while traveling the world,teaching others how to build online businesses using social media, online tools and outsourcing.
Books & Magazines Deals
Starting New Job, Working Out Logistics and Seeking Opinions
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dus10
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Well, an opportunity and its timing have finally worked themselves out for me to make an employment move. I have been working at my current employer for nearly 4 years and it has been a tremendously positive experience. When I started, it was a 15% pay increase and had some requirements for higher end industry certifications for which they funded training. Over the years, I received good reviews with a carrot of promotion which eluded me because I took on our biggest project and it left me without any time for some of the new duties I would have in addition to it. In addition, they paid for about 4/5 of a masters degree for me and most of that has rolled off of the tuition payback timetable. Each year I have had at least one job offer that was for significantly more money, but the benefits were less; while it came out positively for the move, I decided to stay because of the short-term costs of paying back my tuition that would have been more significant and I felt I was doing good work that would benefit me into the future. This year, I have had three job offers and this latest is a good opportunity, I believe. The pay is slightly less than other opportunities, but it has a better bonus potential and benefits that are very close to what I have now.

So, I have some logistics to work out assuming I accept the offer (which is my plan). First, the new employer has a 30-day waiting period for insurance. This is a big deal for me as my wife has been ill for many years. The last time I had a small gap in insurance, it was a big deal. The new recruiter thought that perhaps my current employer would have my coverage through the end of the month, so I could have my last day be at the beginning of the month and it would give me that month to absorb those 30 days. The timing isn't working out well, though, as the next orientation opportunity would be Dec 2nd, making my last day Nov 29th. Is the "through the end of the month" common? I will definitely get the information from my insurance company to see. I would hate to do it, but perhaps I should schedule my last day to be the end of the first week, and just call in that week? Honestly, I don't like it, but the insurance is a big deal. What other options, besides COBRA do I have? COBRA is ridiculously expensive. Maybe ask for a sign on bonus that would cover COBRA, or leaving something equivalent to the premiums I would be paying with the new insurance?

Now, I still have some tuition reimbursement to pay back, but it is relatively small compared to what it would have been earlier in the years ($12k then, about $3k now). I have a full month of PTO accrued which will be enough to cover that and still give me a few thousand after taxes are taken out... so it mostly works out like a bonus.

Now, both companies offer professional services, though my new company also sells products (for which my current employer is in a partnership with them for). In these situations, how amenable do you think be current and future employers would be to working out an arrangement for my old employer to subcontract my new employer for me to continue work with them? My current employer is a federal contractor and I have privileged access that would be active for several more years. They need someone to fill my role for the next several months until the system I am supporting is outsourced. The contract they are on expires next year, so perhaps it is in their interest to have me continue to work (perhaps 50% instead of 100%) with them. My current employer offers this same kind of service and they have plenty of work, but my current utilization is 100% (meaning I must be billable for 8 hours a day each working day of the month or use flex time or PTO to cover the difference), but my new employer only requires a 65% utilization to meet bonus. I could walk in the door and have 50% of my time full utilized and take on the new work that they have for me and effectively be at 100+% utilization (more than full-time). This would have me exceeding my standard bonus requirements and get me the maximum eligible bonus. Granted, these two companies are in partnership... so they work together already, and my current contract is a foot in the door that is leading to a much broader partnership. I would like to pursue this, but if anyone has experience diving off of something like this, I would greatly appreciate your insight. I would imagine I should ask my new employer first if they would even have interest in that (I can't imagine they wouldn't... they are in business to earn money). Then, if things are doable, as the current employer when I hand in my resignation.

Now, there is a chance that when I hand in my resignation that they will walk me out. However, this has never been the case so far with folks that are leaving on good terms. It would actually work out favorable for me if they did, as they would be terminating my employment at that point, meaning I pay back none of the tuition reimbursement and I get severance. This happened to a former coworker as he gave them a resignation that was two months into the future, and they ended it within two weeks, but things were going downhill for him for a while, which is the reason he left. The difference for me is that I am on good terms and my boss has actually been hoping to get me to work on another contract with him. If I could get them to have me work with them on a continued basis on this current contact, perhaps that could extend to a new contract.

What are your thoughts? Thanks FWF.
g: 0 Posted By: rajaram
Views: 215 Replies: 0 CVS nowadays prints out lots of coupons with any purchase. You can also go to the coupon printer kiosk and scan the card to get some coupons. One coupon I got was a $4 off $10+ any Razor purchases. This is the second such coupon I got in last 2 weeks. Last Sunday of October hadthree P&G coupons for Gillette. One of them was $3 off any two Gillette purchases. Yesterday's paper had a coupon for upto 4.99 off purchase of shave gel with disposable Gillette Fusion razors. CVS has a $3 Extra Buck offer this week on Disposable Gillette Fusion twin pack jettables priced $11.79. Shave Gels are available for 3.99 or 5.79. Both coupons stacked without any problems. Though I paid only $3.99 for the shave gel, the clerk took $4.99 off! Walked out of the store with a free after coupon paper towels pack (0.79 value advertized - coupon prints at the kiosk), two razors pack of disposable Gillette Fusion Jettables and Shave Gel and a $3 Extra Buck good for next purchase, by paying under $5 after all coupons listed above. Net cost was under $2, less than half the price of just the shaving gel!! YMMV as the $4 off 10 coupon could be targetted, .

Health & Beauty Deals

CVS Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: 740il
Views: 65 Replies: 1 Hi, I'm a resident of PA with a full time telecommute software programming W-2 job. I'm planning to start consulting part time on a corp 2 corp basis and this requires opening an llc or s-corp if I didn't want to do straight 1099. Are there any risks to opening the LLC in either DE/NV/WY to avoid paying state income/unemployment taxes (just for the income from the llc)? I've been reading these articles and they sound pretty straightforward but skepticism prevails.

https://www.myusacorporation.com/articles/delaware-vs-nevada-vs-wyoming.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/how-delaware-thrives-...
Discussion Deals
33 year old - how am I doing, and how can I maximize what I have?
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 02:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: adirondak
Views: 193 Replies: 1 I am 33 years old, working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles - an industry known for not paying well - at least until you reach the upper echelons. I also own a tutoring company that is doing ok. I am struggling to save as much as possible and maximize the returns on the funds I do have. I'm curious to know how I'm doing financially in general and if there are any ways to leverage the money I have to make more that I may not be thinking of. Here are my details:

Salary: $52,000 w/ health benefits, no 401k
Earnings from Tutoring co.: approx $1-2k a month during school year
Tutoring co. expenses: About $850 a month
Savings: about $6000 (Make contributions whenever possible, usually from tutoring co. earnings)
Investments: $5000 (Monthly contribution of $200)
Retirement (Roth IRA): $31,000 (from old 401 ks) - contributing full amount this year to Roth
Credit Card debt: $5500 (about $2500 at 0%, 1500 at 4%, and the remainder at about 15%) - pay well over minimum each month, but use credit cards for nearly everything in order to get frequent flier points, which I have about 250,000 of
Car Payment: $310 / mo (2 more years until paid off)
Phone: $110 / mo. (need smartphone to run business)
Gym: $35/mo.
Rent: $840/mo.
Student Loans: $13,000 at 3.5% - pay minimum each month

Other: I live in a tiny apartment alone, for $840/mo. Own a 2010 Corolla (bought for $13,000 w 14,000 miles jan. 2013) 3 year loan. I drive a lot because in addition to owning the tutoring company, I tutor a lot of students as well. I put a lot of money into my tutoring company when I can in the hopes of growing it, adding to business. This year has been my worst ever, because with the horrible job market in LA, many people have turned to tutoring as a second job, so more competition. Also, people are willing to pay less this year for a tutor it seems.

I also often take classes in the hopes of expanding my knowledge base in entertainment. When possible, I've tried to audit. Sometimes, I've paid for the classes. Right now, I'm taking an entertainment finance class that I paid $777 for at UCLA extension. I find it very difficult to contribute everything to savings that I'd like to, but I still make contributions whenever I can.

How does it seem that I'm doing? Any advice?








Personal Finance Deals
Advice for a 24 year old - what to pay off and how much to save?
Added on : Sunday November 03rd 2013 11:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ucb11
Views: 89 Replies: 0 Here's another "what should I do about my finance?" thread.
I'm looking to save enough to buy a condo/small house (hopefully in a year or two) and trying to position myself to get there, here's some info about me and what I'm currently doing. Any suggestions on savings/paying debt would be much appreciated!

Me:
- 24 years old
- Got a master's degree right after undergrad, work in banking/investments
- Moved back in with the parents
- Income of $40k base + approx $11k in commissions (not sure what raise/bonus will look like until next month, 401k matching and pension based on base salary only)
- Net take home pay is about $2,700/month (after insurance, 401k, ESPP)

Retirement:
- Contributing 8% toward Roth 401k, or $270/month, employer matches dollar for dollar up to 5%, but deposits to Trad 401k account (Current Value: $10k/ROTH, $10k/Trad)
- Employer also contributes 4% of base salary toward pension and earns 4.5% interest

Savings/Investing:
- 18% of paycheck toward savings or about $475/month (Current Value: $11k)
- Invest $100/monthly into mutual funds (Current Value: $4k), $50/month into ESPP

Expenses:
- $220/month - cell phone for 5 lines, contract ends soon will switch plans to get it down to $150/month
- $90/month - auto insurance
- $150/month - gas
- $55/month - parking
- $400/month - auto loan ($8,800 remaining, 2.41%)
- $350/month - federal student loans, on the extended repayment plan (I budgeted for paying on the standard plan but like the idea of having a lower monthly minimum payment and can use the "difference" toward paying down individual loans instead of having it all allocated evenly
LOAN ORIG LOAN AMT CURRENT PRIN BAL RATE MONTHLY PMT 1 12,000 13,360 6.80 95 2 12,000 12,810 6.80 90 3 8,500 8,380 6.80 58 4 8,500 8,380 6.80 58 5 3,969 3,900 6.80 28 6 2,454 2,400 6.00 17
Questions:

Student Loans: I know the smart thing to do would be pay down the student loans as quick as possible due to the higher rate. However, I was planning on using bonus/tax refund to pay down/off the auto loan in the next 6 months to free up cash flow. I would then use that extra cash flow and direct most/all of it toward paying down the student loans to knock them off one at a time. Otherwise I'd have about 22 months remaining on the auto loan. Is this a dumb idea?
Savings and Mutual Funds: more or less?
401k Contributions, should I switch to Trad or some combination of both? With employer matching, I end up getting roughly 50/50 into Roth/Traditional. I figure I'll switch to Trad later on as my income increases.

I could probably do much better about aggressively paying these loans off by cutting down my spending. I end up getting about $600-700 month into my "living and fun account" that is used for gas, food and pretty much what I want.Let me know if additional data points are needed.TYIA for any advice!
Personal Finance Deals
Is paying for AAA worth it?
Added on : Saturday November 02nd 2013 11:00:05 AM
g: 1 Posted By: GuP
Views: 94 Replies: 4 I am in the tristate area and wanted to get some input whether it is worth it to pay for AAA for a family of four. If I sign up the 4 drivers, it comes to about $150 for the whole year. Any input on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks.
Question Deals
Discover it $75 Amazon GC sign up bonus, smells like $$$
Added on : Friday November 01st 2013 12:00:11 PM
g: -5 Posted By: PippiLongStockings
Views: 686 Replies: 1 Hi everyone,
Scrolled through my Amazon today's deals and I stumbled over this offer. YMMV. Greenify my post, thanks
Apply for a Discover it cc and receive $75 Amazon gc (not applicable for college students), no min purchase specified.
Here are the details:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AW3IXZO

Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card* after your first purchase.
Earn cash rewards you can spend at Amazon.com. $1 CashBack Bonus = $1 at Amazon.com.
5% CashBack Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases for Online Shopping through December 2013 with free and easy sign-up.
1% Cash Back on all other purchases.*
No annual fee, no overlimit fee, no pay-by-phone fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
No late fee the first time you pay late, plus we won't raise your APR for paying late.*
Call any time and talk to a person right here in the U.S.
Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card* within 8 weeks after first purchase.
*Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card when you are approved for a Discover it card and make your first purchase within 3 months of approval. Offer only available to new cardmembers. Offer not available to college students. Gift card will be sent within 8 weeks after first purchase. One gift card per account.
0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.



Services Deals

Discover Card Coupons
Discover it $75 Amazon GC sign up bonus, smells like $$$
Added on : Friday November 01st 2013 11:00:04 AM
g: -2 Posted By: PippiLongStockings
Views: 418 Replies: 0 Hi everyone,
Scrolled through my Amazon today's deals and I stumbled over this offer. YMMV. Greenify my post, thanks
Apply for a Discover it cc and receive $75 Amazon gc (not applicable for college students), no min purchase specified.
Here are the details:http://www.amazon.com/Discover-it%C2%AE/dp/B00AW3IXZO

Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card* after your first purchase.
Earn cash rewards you can spend at Amazon.com. $1 CashBack Bonus = $1 at Amazon.com.
5% CashBack Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases for Online Shopping through December 2013 with free and easy sign-up.
1% Cash Back on all other purchases.*
No annual fee, no overlimit fee, no pay-by-phone fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
No late fee the first time you pay late, plus we won't raise your APR for paying late.*
Call any time and talk to a person right here in the U.S.
Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card* within 8 weeks after first purchase.
*Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card when you are approved for a Discover it card and make your first purchase within 3 months of approval. Offer only available to new cardmembers. Offer not available to college students. Gift card will be sent within 8 weeks after first purchase. One gift card per account.
0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.



Services Deals

Discover Card Coupons
Stopping unwanted guests from visiting property?
Added on : Friday November 01st 2013 08:00:11 AM
g: 1 Posted By: MrSamsung
Views: 282 Replies: 13 I've been having an issue with a specific organization on one of my properties. I have some great renters I want to keep, but I might lose them because of this (I posted the name of the organization earlier but it's against FW rules so I am keeping this generic). The family in the home is a family of four, young parents and two small kids. They have a lot of friends and family visit on weekends because of the little ones, but every other Saturday morning these folks knock on their door. The problem is that they usually are bathing their children or changing their diapers, and they think there are visitors at the door so they drop everything to answer the door only to see unwanted guests. They've told them they weren't interested, asked to be on a do-not-call list, but their requests have gone nowhere. They've even spoken to someone high up in the organization that is supposed to be able to stop these things, but the people knocking on their doors continue to rotate (i.e., they are different every week) and don't care.

They've asked me (as the landlord) to figure out how to stop them from coming by. I actually installed a sign specifically targeting this organization to stop coming, but they still showed up pretending like they didn't see it and walk away. I guess I could make the sign larger but it wouldn't look very good in the neighborhood. I called the city's non-emergency line but they basically told me there was nothing else I could do. I dropped off a letter to the local organization asking them to stop visiting the home, but they are still ignoring it.

My tenants have started to look at other places to rent (they refused to sign another lease with me because of this specific issue). They are paying ~15% over market rate, and even setup ACH pushes to my account for rent payment. They take great care of my property (mow/water the lawn, clean everything etc..) and I would hate to lose them. Does anyone have any ideas?
Discussion Deals
g: 2 Posted By: mistadeal
Views: 1542 Replies: 10 Until 10/31, sign up with Ohio Natural Gas and get a 25,000 Delta SkyMiles bonus. Choose either the Winter fixed rate plan (ends 3/31/14), or the 12 month fixed rate plan to receive the bonus. Your existing provider will continue to deliver your gas, so there is no interruption in service, and after the contract is up you can choose a different provider (i.e. go back to your old one) for no fee. A $75 contract early termination fee applies. The rates for these fixed plans are competitive with what I had been paying through my provider.

Details.

Participating energy providers are:
Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio
Dominion East Ohio
Columbia Gas of Ohio
Duke Energy

Note: The online offer is likely expired, as it states the maximum 400 enrollees has been reached and you may only receive 5k miles (website is slighly ambiguous between fine print and red text), but I just called 888-466-4427 and the 25k offer is still available over the phone.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: noelandres
Views: 8 Replies: 0 My 2 year contract ended recently and I was looking for options with Verizon Wireless. The reason I'm not happy with my current situation is that I have a smartphone, and thus pay the $29,99 for data. That was fine during the 2 year contract because the smartphone cost is subsidized through that high data plan charge. But now, after 2 years, the phone is paid off. And I don't feel like paying the $29.99 for data anymore.

I saw that they have this new Share Everything Plan going on. The price for a 2GB contract is $100/month ($40 for unlimited minutes/text, and $60 for 2GB of data). But they also have the following prepaid plans:

$60/month for unlimited minutes/text and 2GB of data
$70/month for unlimited minutes/text and 4GB of data.


I just don't get it. How is it that the plans with no contract are cheaper than the ones with contract? Am I missing anything here?
Beware of CardCash.com
Added on : Thursday October 31st 2013 03:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: venkra
Views: 28 Replies: 0 I sold some gift cards last month and sent them all by priority mail to CardCash / ABC Gift cards. When I placed the order online in their cardcash.com site, I opted for Amazon.com gift code, the total was $557. I had 9 Home Depot cards and 21 itunes gift cards, all brand New and has $25 on each card. However, these people did not respond to my emails and voice mails and never sent me any gift cards. Their online status says "Escalations". After a week or so, they took one Home Depot card out of my order when I checked online. Then I filed a BBB complaint and the person responded that I need to send them my SSN, Driver's license, bank account information, since one of my card is not valid. I got hold of them once and asked about the card and it apparently has only $0.00 when I checked HD website.

I left a complaint with FTC and looking for ways to get the Amazon gift codes from them. After complaining to BBB, they told me they are going to send me the cards back. I am afraid they have all the info and they could share it with someone and the someone will use it before I receive all the cards back in the mail.

They kept harassing me and not paying me. It is $500+, otherwise, I could let it go. What options do I have with these people?
If anyone thinking of selling or buying gift cards from CardCash.com or ABC gift cards, I would be very careful, you would be better off with some other company. Please let me know if you have any solutions for my problem. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
FREE Kindle Book - The Suitcase Entrepreneur was $8.99
Added on : Thursday October 31st 2013 02:00:09 PM
g: 1 Posted By: archena
Views: 61 Replies: 1 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase

The Suitcase Entrepreneur [Kindle Edition] was $8.99

Natalie Sisson (Author)


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED0JUE0

Publication Date: August 4, 2013

Publisher: Tonawhai Press

80 Reviews ★★★★★

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > Entrepreneurship

Everybody has the right to build a business from anywhere and design a lifestyle they love.
Thats what this book will teach you to do.

If youve always thought that having the freedom to do what you want when you want was just a pipe dream, then think again. Right now there is more opportunity than ever to

Package and sell your knowledge and skills to earn enough to work and live anywhere
Build a profitable online business from just your laptop and smartphone
Use online tools, social media and outsourcing to increase to give you more time, money and freedom
Travel the world for less and experience the joys of minimalism
Live life on your own terms and create your ideal lifestyle.

This book will teach you the nuts and bolts of setting up an online business you love and give you the blueprint to create your ideal lifestyle and create freedom in business and adventure in life.

If youve always thought that running a profitable business from your laptop, and having the freedom to do what you want when you want was just a pipe dream, then think again.

After 8 years of working in the bureaucracy of the corporate world, Natalie Sisson quit her high-paying job to fly to Canada, start a blog and cofound a technology company. In just 18 whirlwind months she learned how to build an online platform from scratch, and then left to start her own business, which involved flying to Argentina to eat empanadas, play Ultimate Frisbee and launch her first digital product.

Strike forward to now and she runs a highly profitable business from her laptop, while living out of a suitcase, and making money teaching others how to build a business and lifestyle they love.

If youre just starting out, this book will show you how to package and sell your knowledge and skills, or those of others and build an online platform to earn enough to work and live anywhere.
If youre an entrepreneur, this book will show you how to establish your business online, reach a global audience and build a virtual team to give you more time, money and freedom.

This is a practical guide to learn what it takes to be a digital nomad and develop the freedom-based mindset to truly live life on your own terms.

If youre prepared to put in the work, hustle and commitment it takes, then there is no better time than now to choose your own adventure and make it a reality.

About the Author
Natalie Sisson is a global adventurer and digital nomad whose entire aim is to create freedom in business and adventure in life, for herself and thousands of others who believe that you should be able to create your ideal lifestyle on your own terms. Based out of her suitcase she runs her business from her laptop while traveling the world, teaching others how to build online businesses using social media, online tools and outsourcing.
g: 0 Posted By: GotRocks
Views: 26 Replies: 0 I purchased (and live in) a house in Cyprus. The title deeds are now available to me and I mustpay around 9000 Euros in transfer fees (one time fee). The fees are based on the assessed value of the house and are paid to the government of Cyprus. These fees are paidevery time ownership of the property changes. In Cyprus these fees are considered a tax. This is different than the annual Immovable Property Tax (IPT) that we just had to start paying here in Cyprus (thank you Troika). What I am interested in finding out is if these fees would be considered a property tax that I could deduct on my US income tax when I file my return next year. Does any one have any experience with this? I no longer have any US house sale documents so I don't know if there is an equivalent charge when a house in the US is sold.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: rajaram
Views: 188 Replies: 0 Saw $5 EB (Extra Bucks) offer for Gillette Fusion Razors and $3 EB offer for any Gillette Fusion cartridges and Gillette Shave gel offer in the CVS flier. Picked up the $6 P&G Coupon from Sunday's paper and headed to CVS. Went to the coupon printer in the store and scanned the CVS card and got few coupons including a $10 off $50 purchase, a $ 4 off any razor purchase of $12+,a $3offany hair accessories purchase of$15or more!! Purchased a Fusion Proglidemanual razor for 9.99, 8 cartridge pack for 29.99 and gel for 3.99. Added South Beach Diet meal bars which was on sale for 4.99 (had a coupon for $1 off $4 coupons in the various coupons printed at the kiosk) and a GE Oats and Honey bar which was on sale for $1.88. Afte all coupons mentioned above, paid $ 29.10 with tax and got $5 and $3 EB coupons. Net Net, I ended up paying 21.10 for Razor, 9 catridges (one came with razor), Shave jel, a box of 5 south beach diet meal bars and a box of 12 Gold Emblem Oats and Honey bars.

YMMV as not sure whether the coupons that print at the kiosk are targeted. There are lots of options for fillerswithadditional P&G coupons in Sunday's papers like tooth pastes, laundry detergents etc... Hope you will be able to take advantageof the offer.

Best,
Hair & Skincare Deals

CVS Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: dougchicago
Views: 129 Replies: 1 I'd appreciate any/all insurance advise with this case. When first hearing about their"non-cooperation" position from the AAA Insurance claim agent, I couldn't believe it. After research I learned it is a way for insurance companies to weasel out of paying a claim.Here's the case information:
Hello Janet,
I'm attaching the police report, accident pictures and accident repair invoices.
Background: On 5/11/13 my daughter, XXXX XXXX, was in an accident on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) in the Chicago suburbs. Debris came off of a rental truck causing my daughter to brake as hard as possible and skid into the ditch. One of the cars witnessing the accident sped up and wrote down the trucks identification and license plate. They drove back to my daughters accident scene when an Illinois State Police officer was aiding my daughter. The officer noted this information on the attached police report.
Harry, the owner of the truck rental operation,XXXX Rental thought his insurance company, ARA would handle my claim. =10ptHe submitted the claim through ARA and I was contacted by ARA division, North America Risk Services representativeXXXX XXXXXX(800.XXX.XXXX) that the claim (#RNXXXXX) was the responsibility of the truck renter.Harry provided me the truck renter information.
Name: Benedykt Gorzko
Policy Name: AAA - Select Insurance Company
Policy #: AUT00XXXXX
Policy Dates: 12/19/12 - 6/19/13
The accident caused $1,423.68 in damages to my daughters car. This is the full amount of my claim. Here's some further detail related to the attached invoices...

Initially Janet the AAA claims agentsaid because the policy was liability only they couldn't pay. I then went back to the truck rentals company, ARA and theysaid Janet was giving me BS and even with "just liability" they were responsible for the claim. I then called Janet back and told her what ARA said and she finally admitted yes, they are responsible. Now aftermany months she's denying the claim because of non-cooperation from Mr. Gorzko.

I'm thinking my options are: A:lick mywounds andgo on/ forget it (it's not a financial burden) or B: call others at AAA and compain/fight or C: go back to ARA to see what they can do or D:try to smear AAA Insurance publically. "D" in fact might offer me the most satisfaction. The Chicago Tribune posts a column called "What's Your Problem"that's many times on the front page.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on my next step(s) and I'd also like to hear comments on this non-cooperation clause in the insurance policy. It just seems so unfair. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: mistadeal
Views: 119 Replies: 0 Until 10/31, sign up with Ohio Natural Gas and get a 25,000 Delta SkyMiles bonus. Choose either the Winter fixed rate plan (ends 3/31/14), or the 12 month fixed rate plan to receive the bonus. Your existing provider will continue to deliver your gas, so there is no interruption in service, and after the contract is up you can choose a different provider (i.e. go back to your old one) for no fee. A $75 contract early termination fee applies. The rates for these fixed plans are competitive with what I had been paying through my provider.

Details.

Participating energy providers are:
Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio
Dominion East Ohio
Columbia Gas of Ohio
Duke Energy

Note: The online offer is likely expired, as it states the maximum 400 enrollees has been reached and you may only receive 5k miles (website is slighly ambiguous between fine print and red text), but I just called 888-466-4427 and the 25k offer is still available over the phone.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 162 Replies: 0 I'm 28, my wife is 25. We have twin daughters, 2.5 years old.
My wife will graduate from college in two semesters from Penn State World Campus with a B.S. degree in Human Resources.
She has not worked for over 5 years, since she moved in with me. She quit her job, and I've been the sole source of income.
She is currently a "stay at home mom" in addition to going to school online full-time.

I make roughly $80k a year.

I owe $70k in student loans.
My loans are on the income based repayment option.
Yes, I understand that I'm not even paying the interest. The plan is, once she graduates and gets a good job, to put all of her income (besides what it takes to pay for childcare) at paying everything off ASAP.
Right now, the goal is to just keep our heads above water. Obviously we did not expect twins, and it has incurred a lot more expense than expected when we decided to have a kid.
I am concerned, if she works, my payment goes up beyond the extra money she is bringing in (if any at all) after paying for childcare.

She is concerned about not having anything on her resume for 5 years, and has started applying at entry-level jobs, to beef her resume up.
She has an offer for $10 an hour to work as a "sample lady" at WalMart, for a contracting company. This would be roughly 30 hours a week, mostly during the afternoons.

This means, we will need to start paying for childcare. This would actually be good for my girls, because they are a bit behind speech wise, and it would be very good for them to be around other kids.

I have a couple of concerns. If she works 30 hours a week, she could potentially bring home up 15k a year. This could either raise my IBR payment, or totally knock me out of IBR, meaning my payments would almost triple.
However, if she does get the job, its just going to be barely enough to pay for childcare. She would be doing it only to get something recent on her resume, to get out of the house, and so that the kids can have some time around other kids. We've looked into playgroups, and there just aren't any in our area. We live in a rural farming area.

I found thishttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Things-to-Know-About-the-Child-and-Dependent-Care-Credit

"The credit can be up to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending upon your adjusted gross income."

So...I can only write off 35% of the child care costs? meaning, 65% of her income is still going to go towards our gross for the year.

Are there other child care tax reducing methods that I do not know off? Any advice?

Thanks!



Personal Finance Deals
Handling Rental Cars And "Rental Toll Transponders" The Fatwallet Way
Added on : Sunday October 27th 2013 09:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 78 Replies: 0 When you rent a car, if it's in an area that has tollroads such as California, Illinois, the East Coast, etc, the car rental dealer will ask if you want to pay $5 or so per day to rent a toll transponder. You can refuse to if you like however this could potentially cause problems.

I believe in most cases today (in 2013) the transponders are already in the car. So if you don't pay for the transponder, it's still in there, and you could still trigger the transponder going through the "cash only" toll lane. If this occurs, the rental company will charge you the daily fee for the entire duration of the rental, back to the day you rented it. For example, rent a car for 5 days, on day 5 you drive through a cash toll lane, the transponder triggers, and they back-bill you for $5 per day from Day 1 = $25 total.

For me, the problem comes into play because I bring my own transponder. It turns out EZ Pass is fairly universal (works on the whole East Coast and Illinois). One time a few years ago I waived the transponder rental, used my own, and I called EZ Pass to add the car tag/plate to my account for the week.

Everything was fine except that one of the 20 tolls I hit that week didn't get triggered by the transponder. So the state sent a collection letter to the car rental company, who then sent me a bill for $40 admin fee plus the toll. I explained that I had EZ pass hooked up, they told me to pound sand. Eventually after 30 minutes on the phone they reduced it to $20 admin fee plus the toll. I called EZ pass and they said they could retroactively attach the toll to my account but because the Car Rental company received the bill, they were going to rape me on the admin fee and the Rental Company can do whatever they want.

That was back at the time a few years back when EZ passes and transponders were the size of a pack of cigarettes and removable from vehicle to vehicle. Nowadays, in a lot of cases, they are semi-permanently mounted to the front license plate or built into a sticker on the windshield. So if I bring my own with me, how can I do this the fatwallet way? I presume if there's two transponders in the car then both will trigger and I'll get dinged by the rental company for backpay on the transponder rental plus the toll fee. Also, I imagine I'm opening myself up to getting raped by admin fees if my transponder doesn't register again.

I'm thinking one possibility is to find the semi-permanent transponder in the rental car and deactivating it. Ripping it off the windshield if it's a sticker, snapping it or unscrewing it off the license plate if it's mounted to that. That seems like an asshole move but so does charging me a $40 admin fee when I brought my own transponder. I've essentially avoided all personal travel that involves rental cars over the last few years. I only fly somewhere that I can borrow a relative's car because I have such a distaste in my mouth from this old incident. I do travel a lot for work, but that's all reimbursed, so I don't concern myself with how much they charge for transponders and such. The client pays regardless.

How can FWFers handle rental cars and toll transponders? I also want to note in this prior car rental experience, the manager tried to accuse me of damaging the car and paying for it. I was able to argue that off. Since that time, I've rented hundreds of cars from airports, and never had a single problem or complaint. I think perhaps renting cars at airports is superior to renting them at smaller shops where the manager is trying to screw you. Feel free to also discuss any other car rental tricks/tips to avoid getting screwed.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: emmd2001
Views: 86 Replies: 3 As many FW'ers do, I buy gift cards from the online 3rd party resellers, and have for years.

I am currently insured under a high-deductible health insurance plan. I have ~ $300/month in prescription costs that I end up paying up front. Since Walgreens allows the use of gift cards for prescriptions, I stock up on Walgreens cards when they are on sale to pay for my prescriptions.

Last month when I picked up my prescription, I was given the 3rd degree by the cashier. Questions such as "Where did you get these gift cards? Why do you have so many gift cards?" etc.

A week later, I got a phone call from a "Fraud Investigator" from Walgreens asking the same questions.

A few days ago, I went to pick up another prescription. When I tried to pay for them with gift cards, I was told that they would not accept any gift cards from me. When I asked why, the cashier said that the manager would have to explain. Apparently, there was no manager in the store as they put me on the phone with a manager from another store down the road? He states that they were concerned with fraud, and asked me the amount of the gift cards I had and what they looked like. Afterwards, he said that they would be accepted and asked to speak to the clerk again. The clerk then hung up the phone, and while they were supposedly filling my prescriptions instead the police show up to question me on the gift cards as well, and then to escort me out of the store.

Do I have any recourse here? What should my next steps be?

Thanks!
Question Deals
Looking for ideas on using credit limits for fun (and profit)?
Added on : Sunday October 27th 2013 05:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mrand
Views: 169 Replies: 0 In the pursuit of miles and points, the wife-unit and I each have 4 credit cards that we've met the minimum spend on (on top of a few other credit cards that I hold to maintain some old credit line on our credit reports). Sum total we probably have 10 or so credit cards, each with a credit limit in the $15k to $20k range. After meeting the most recent minimum spend, I got to wondering what other reasonable risk things we could do other than just cancelling the cards and going on to the next set of offers. I'm aware of microloans, but from what I gather, the return isn't that great, although obviously I could use that to generate more mile/point activity. If the scheme involved the need for cash (or paying off a number of the credit cards), I could manage that as well. I've thought about buying expensive items (on credit card) and then turning around and reselling them for a profit, but don't have the space to be dealing cars. Considered jewels, but I don't have any first hand experience in that area, nor the time right now to become knowledgeable enough.

Anyone doing anything else along these lines? Thanks for any ideas!
Credit Deals
Free PDF "What the Plus" by Guy Kawasaki
Added on : Saturday October 26th 2013 01:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: NotSpecial
Views: 151 Replies: 0 Google's paying for this (not like a PDF really costs anyone that much), but grab your copy while you can.

Link
Books & Magazines Deals
Etymotic Headset/Earphones: $49.97 Shipped (+Tax, Less Rebate)
Added on : Saturday October 26th 2013 06:00:06 AM
g: -2 Posted By: tsipple
Views: 496 Replies: 1 MicrosoftStore.com is selling the Etymotic mc2 headset/earphones(in black) for only $49.97 plus sales tax with free shipping. There's an additional 5% rebate if you log into Shop Discover, click on the Microsoft Store link from Shop Discover, and charge the order to your Discover Card. (Plus there's another stackable 5% rebate for Discover's 4th quarter mail order promotion if you sign up for that and haven't exhausted your mail order rebate yet. So you could end up paying $44.97 after rebates plus tax.)

These are definitely the mc2 earphoneseven though Microsoft isn't too clear about that on their Web site. (Google and other search engines identify that link as the mc2, and Etymotic doesn't make anything else that would fit the description.) The mc2 works with a wide variety of smartphones and MP3 players including Apple's products, although the mc2 does not have volume up/down buttons unlike the slightly more expensive but otherwise identical mc3 model. (Though that might help improve compatibility with some devices. My Nokia phone, for example, doesn't cooperate with the mc3.) Etymotic earphones come with a 2 year warranty.

You can get custom fit earpieces made if you wish, although those cost extra of course.
Headphones & Speakers Deals

Microsoft Store Coupons
Etymotic mc2 Headset/Earphones: $49.97 Shipped (+Tax, Less Rebate)
Added on : Saturday October 26th 2013 02:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tsipple
Views: 1 Replies: 0 MicrosoftStore.com is selling the Etymotic mc2 headset/earphones (in black) for only $49.97 plus sales tax with free shipping. There's an additional 5% rebate if you log into Shop Discover, click on the Microsoft Store link from Shop Discover, and charge the order to your Discover Card. (Plus there's another stackable 5% rebate for Discover's 4th quarter mail order promotion if you sign up for that and haven't exhausted your mail order rebate yet. So you could end up paying $44.97 after rebates plus tax.)

These are definitely the mc2 earphones even though Microsoft isn't too clear about that on their Web site. (Google identifies that link as the mc2s, and Etymotic doesn't make anything else that would fit the description.) The mc2s work with a wide variety of smartphones and MP3 players including Apple's products, although the mc2s do not have volume up/down buttons (unlike the slightly more expensive but otherwise identical mc3 model). In fact, because the mc2s don't have the extra buttons they're likely to work with a few more devices. My Nokia phone, for example, doesn't cooperate with the mc3. Etymotic earphones come with a 2 year warranty.
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 84 Replies: 0 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151977769688829

No coupon or costume required. One free meal for kids for each paying adult.
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Planning to sell the house and travel 48 states for 2 years
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Free1As1A1Bird
Views: 61 Replies: 0 Hi FW friends!
My wife and I are planning to sell our house and travel the country for 2 years, startingnext year. Our youngestkid is starting college next year. We were hoping you could give us some pointers.
Our house is paid off, no other loans either. We have gathered a lot offurniture and stuffover the years. If we sell the house, we will need a place to store our belongings while we travel. I never used a public storage. Are those public storages safe? Whatabout paying a friend or relative to rent out their basement and store stuff?
We are planning to drive around the lower 48 states and stay in extended-stay type hotels/motels. I heard that people are renting their furnished houses on a weekly basis. Are these rental houses safe? Is there a reputable web site for short term personal property rentals other than Craigslist.com and the first 10 search results on Google?
Do you recommend a car or a SUV for the 2 year long road trip?
Discussion Deals
Any advice for getting healthcare if you can't afford it?
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mxmaniac
Views: 161 Replies: 4 I'm in a tough spot right now, in need of healthcare and treatment for some medical problems. I make too little to afford care, yet too much to qualify for any help. I know I'm not the only person like this, there are tons of people who live paycheck to paycheck.

Heres a brief summary of my situation. I was a successful and healthy construction worker, things were looking good. All of a sudden I'm hit with multiple health problems, thought they were minor but didn't realize how bad they were till it was too late. I could no longer work my regular job due to the health issues, and I found a lighter duty construction job which only paid half what I was making (with opportunity for increase). Just barely enough to squeak by and live paycheck to paycheck. I got minimal treatment but couldn't continue because the copays/patient responsibility was thousands of dollars, which I couldn't afford living paycheck to paycheck. My conditions got worse, and I lost my job and now can't work construction at all because my body in its current state can't take it, and I'm having tons of trouble finding any decent job/career I can live off of, with no college and a construction background. Right now my unemployment so small, that it is roughly the same as my mortgage. I'm selling things and using minimal savings just to pay the day to day food/utilities, I'll be out of things to sell very shortly. Yet the minimal unemployment which does not even pay the bills, is above the poverty level, and overall considered too high of income for any sort of low income medical help, or any sliding scale places. The obamacare is a joke, $300 a month for a plan with a $8000 deductable, how is a paycheck to paycheck person supposed to afford that? I am not willing to default on my mortgage or loose my home, it is the most important thing I have, and is the only sort of retirement savings I have. I really just need to get the proper medical treatment so that I can go back to work my former construction job, but with the ridiculous costs of healthcare, often thousands for simple little things, I don't have the money for it. I just can't believe, all my life I've been working hard, and paying money so that those too lazy to work can have their healthcare paid for, but the time I reach a rough patch I seem to be screwed.

Anyways, does anyone have advice or ideas to help? Even if they are somewhat radical like maybe going up to canada or another country long enough to get treatment (don't know if you can even do this).





Personal Finance Deals
Asus RT-N65R N750 Wireless Router, $72 @Best Buy [Olathe,KS]
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: austonia
Views: 0 Replies: 0 re:Asus RT-N65R N750 Wireless Router,at the Olathe,KS Best Buy #193.

Went in looking for this model specifically, was prepared to pay $120 as it shows online, rang up on Clearance for $71.99. $78 with tax. Nice surprise.
Newegg has equivalent model N65U for $109.

Also note Time Warner KC has Ultimate internet for $65/mo (1 year) and speeds are 100mbit in Lenexa,KS. Thanks, Google Fiber! (not in my area yet, but coming to nearby Shawnee....). I was paying $81 for 75mbit previously.

Confirmed router works great (so far) at 100mbit.
Citi Identity Monitor - Not So Real Credit Scores
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tdm757
Views: 142 Replies: 2 There is a disclaimer now about your credit score when you log into your account:

"
Please Note: The informational scores you receive with IdentityMonitorare provided to help you understand your credit and are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit."

I was under the impression that something has been fishy after I received a score that was significantly different after acredit application. Someone was committing fraud. Looks like Citi is the culprit.

I was paying for something that was represented by Citi as factual, and thought someone else might want the heads up.





General Economics Deals
g: 3 Posted By: ckazan13
Views: 1183 Replies: 3 This is very cheap! I have this and brought another one anyways. It's $99.99 with Kohl's charge card use code pumpkin30 it comes out to $69.99 and plus Kohl's$10 cash you end up paying $59.99. Free shipping code shippingmvc

Linkyhttp://www.kohls.com/product/prd-500275/keurig-k45-elite-coffee-...
Appliance Deals

Kohl's Coupons
Special Penfed 1.99% Promo Rate On All HELOCs
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 87 Replies: 0 Penfed has a special 1.99% rate, until 08/31/14, on ALL new and existing HELOCs when you take the money out before 12/31/13.

I'm currently setting up a HELOC on a non-owner occupied home and I was told that ALL HELOCs qualify for this special promo rate. Great deal since I was expecting to be paying the current rate of 4.75%

1.99% Penfed HELOC Offer
Deal Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ckazan13
Views: 135 Replies: 0 This is very cheap! I have this and brought another one anyways. It's $99.99 with Kohl's charge card use code pumpkin30 it comes out to $69.99 and plus Kohl's$10 cash you end up paying $59.99. Free shipping code shippingmvc

Linkyhttp://www.kohls.com/product/prd-500275/keurig-k45-elite-coffee-...
Appliance Deals

Kohl's Coupons
403b - Need Advice Choosing Vendor
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: degilmer
Views: 43 Replies: 0 I'm a public school teacher in Arizona. I'm having trouble choosing a "high quality" vendor for my 403b rollover & future contributions (about $40K rolling over). First, I'll tell you what I'd LIKE in a vendor: My preference would be something like Fidelity Direct or Vanguard: a lot of mutual funds, low fees, performs consistently above average compared to peers. I don't want to pay a broker or adviser. If I can't have something like Fidelity Direct or Vanguard, I'd like a vendor that lets me invest in just about any mutual fund on the market. If I'm going to be paying out the nose in fees I want access to the top 10% performing mutual funds on the market. I only will invest in equity mutual funds and prefer NOT to have ETFs, indexed or target date funds. I prefer a portfolio of Domestic Small, Mid & Large Cap Value and Growth/Income Funds and also about 25% in Foreign Equity Funds. I want to be able to "exchange funds" online by the click of a button online and with no fees. I'm not an active trader or a market timer, but I do reevaluate about every 6 months or so and make minor adjustments. Here are my options (below). Please let me know which options will meet my objectives. I have completed applications for both TIAA CREF and Oppenheimer - but upon further research on fund options & performances to their peer group I don't like TIAA CREF and Oppenheimer's fees are a lot higher then their performance warrants. HELP - thanks.
403(b) and 403(b)(7) Tax Sheltered Accounts Companies Phone Number Ameriprise Financial 1-800-386-2042 AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. 1-877-628-6673 First InvestorsCorp. 1-800-423-4026 Great American Financial Resources 1-800-854-3649 Horace Mann Insurance Company 1-800-999-1030 ING Life Insurance & Annuity Company 1-800-754-6133 http://www.metlife.com/(Formerly Travelers/Citistreet) 1-800-758-3231 MetLife Resources 1-800-758-3231 Oppenheimer Funds 1-888-470-0862 PlanMember Services 1-800-874-6910 https://www.securitybenefit.com/ 1-800-888-2461 TIAA-CREF 1-800-842-2252 VALIC 1-800-426-3753

Personal Finance Deals
Balance transfer to hold off payments for a year vs paying interest
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: amolp
Views: 129 Replies: 1 Hello FW members,
I just joined this community. I have been following the forum for sometime but never registered till now. I searched the forum before posting my question to see if there are any duplicated but couldn't find any.

Due to my job loss, I am currently without any regular pay. I have $8200 balance on my AMEX blue card, which is the only big balance I have.

I am currently finding a new job but haven't gotten one as yet. I would like to hold off paying my CC as much as possible, and would like to know your thoughts on this. the card has 0% apr till end of december. After that, it will goto 16% apr. My credit score is between 710-730. I did try applying for another card last week (with chase and citi) to try and get a new card with 12 months of 0% apr, however it was rejected.

I have an offer on an old bank of america card which offers a 0% apr on balance transfer for 15 months, with a 2% BT fee. Now this is what my thought process is: I want to hold off paying my CC as much as possible, so that I can retain as much cash as I can in my bank account, till I get a good job. I will definitely payoff the card by the end of 2014.

If I don't use the balance transfer option, and assuming that over the next 6 months, I would be charging around $2000 more to the card, that would take the total to $10000. Now as I understand it, if I assume my balance in this card remains fixed at say, $10000 for the next 1 year, I would end up paying 10000*12% = 1200 in interest, over the balance. So totally, by dec 2014, I will be required to pay 10000+1200 = 11200

If I do use the BT offer, I would transfer the entire amount to the BoA card, costing me 10000*2% = 200 in fees. no interest till dec 2014, so by dec 2014, I would eventually have to cough up 10200 in cash.

As I said, my main motivation here is to maintain the cash in me savings account as long and as much as possible. I am inclined to go with the BoA BT option. What do you feel? Am I calculating correctly or did I overlook some major detail?

Thanks you.
Amol








Personal Finance Deals
Fifth Third Mortgages - Careful with overpayment FYI
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 07:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: hcrossing
Views: 38 Replies: 0 I've been making additional principle payments to Fifth Third since mortgage inception and just recently cancelled the escrow from the payment. I kept the same payment but Fifth Third treated the additional amount of overpayment as a pre-payment versus applying the over payment to principle. The cs lady told me that autobill doesn't work directly with the mortgage department so autobill doesn't know to do anything different with the payment. Just be careful with Fifth Third when making autobill changes. In theory, applying payments as a pre-payment this way would cost you just as much as paying the minimum amount over the life of the loan.
General Economics Deals
$88k left in student loan debt - am I on the right path?
Added on : Tuesday October 22nd 2013 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Killy215
Views: 122 Replies: 4 Hi there! I am new to the forums and have been reading over other posters financial woes when it comes to their student loan debt. For the last 2 years, I have been working to get myself out of all of my debt. This is going to be long, but I want to give the whole picture! A little bit of background:

3 years ago, I moved from Jersey to Maryland to take a new job, paying a decent amount over what I was making. To be immediately frugal, I moved to a much cheaper town about 30-40 minutes away from my job with my partner. When we first moved, my partner didnt have a job so I paid the bulk of the expenses, while she paid for a small part. She ended up going to school and getting her CDL, and within a year got a job. So for our first year in the house, I wasnt able to put much extra towards any of my debt. Once my partner got the job, we worked out an agreement where she took on my portion of the rent for a year, and I got to work attacking my credit card debt, which was about $15,000. I began paying it off in January of 2012 and finished in March of 2013. Im really proud of myself for this.

Now I know its time to work on my student loan debt, which is just an enormous, crushing weight on my shoulders. I know I can pay it off much sooner than the payments have me set to do, so thats what Im going to try to do. I got a B.A. degree in Psychology that I dont even use, but it did help get me the job Im in today. When I graduated college in 2007, I had $98,000 in student loan debt, and I went to a public school. I made poor choices, taking out more money than school cost so that I could live/pay rent/groceries, etc. Also, it took me 7 years to finish instead of 4 for about 65% of that time I was working full time and going part time. I wish I understood the consequences of what I was doing more, or that someone was there to guide me a bit more/answer my questions, but unfortunately, that is not the case. I take full responsibility for the loans and taking them out, and it has certainly given me a great lesson in all of this. Bottom line is, I have this debt now and Ive got to get it out of here. My student loans are split between federal and private. Ive been paying on the loans for 5 years, since 2008. The balances Im giving you are what is current. Heres the breakdown:

Private: $55,247.13 at 6.2735% (These are multiple loans that have been consolidated into one). Their minimum payment per month is $406 over 30 years. Federal: Total is $33,293.38, breakdown below. 1. Consolidation Loan: Subsidized = $5,330.42 at 2.875% / Unsubsidized = $12,426.18 at 2.875% 2. Stafford Loans: Subsidized = $3,862.02 at 6.8% / Unsubsidized = $5,143.56 at 2.35% / Unsubsidized = $6,531.20 at 6.8%The federal loans are currently in deferment because Im going to graduate school (employer-paid), but I AM paying the accrued interest. I need to get rid of these loans, and I know I need to work on the private loan first. Here are is my total amount of monthly expenses, which I have in a budget spreadsheet and keep track of throughout every month:

Rent: $425/month (split, per person)
Car payment: $396 + $102 extra for principal (paying $500/mth so that I can have the car paid off in 3 more years, shaving 2 years off of the initial term). Interest is 1.9%.
Car insurance: $530 per year I make 1-3 bulk payments in December/January.
Cell phone: $77
Gas/Heat (home): $86
Gas (car): $240
Life insurance: $20
Water/sewer/trash: $60
Netflix: $7.99
Misc: $150
Private student loan: $455.03 (I put an extra $50 each month towards the principle, Ive been doing this for about 2 years)
Federal loans interest: $260
Savings account: $100
League dues (roller derby): $35

I bring home around $3,170 per month, which leaves me around $873 per month extra. I also put 3% towards my 401k, where my company matches 50% up to 6%. (Next year, my healthcare is going up about $30 per month, so thats a factor as well). I would like to commit to putting an extra $800 on my private student loan each month. My partner and I live a pretty frugal, simple life, so I do believe this is possible, save for any weird expenses that may come up (i.e., our renters insurance or my AAA membership, which I never take into consideration for monthly expenses).

Ive already started looking for a second job, which means I would have to quit playing roller derby (I cant do 2 jobs, plus grad school, plus derby). This disappoints me because its definitely a great outlet and a way for me to keep up my spirits and exercise, but I know a second job would really help chip away at this money. Next, I received a balance transfer offer for my credit cards at 0% for 12 months with a 2% fee. So last week, I took $8,000 from this offer and paid it towards my $55,000 private loan. I can get the $8,000 paid off in a year with payments of $666 per month towards the credit card. Then Ill take another $150 every month and add it to the student loan payments with my $455. After the $8k is paid off, I hope to use another offer of 0% and do it again.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? We dont have a lot of extras, and the ones we used to have have been cut when I started paying off my credit cards (i.e., cable). I recently looked into leaving my cell phone company, AT&T, as T-Mobile can get me a similar plan for about $20 less per month, however my cancellation fee of $260 does not make it worth it at this time. Maybe there is something Im missing with the cell phone situation that someone can give me information on. Also, Ive went through my house and pretty much sold all of my extra things on eBay and Craigslist. I have 1 or 2 other things that I might be able to get rid of. Otherwise, I take my breakfast and lunch to work every day except on Friday, where I splurge on an $8 lunch each week. This $32 is part of my $150 misc expenses.

Also, if you were me, where would you put any extra money you received (i.e., tax refund)? A part of me wants to put it on my car so I can get that paid off quicker (and thus freeing up $500 per month), but I also know it makes more sense to put it on the higher interest loan. Thoughts?

Ive really changed my outlook on money over the last few years, and Im trying to get to a better place. There are things I want to buy (like a house!) that I know I just cannot because I cant afford it. Id like to have kids, but they are going to have to wait because I cannot afford them at this time. I feel lucky to have landed such a good job and be in a place in my life where Im able to make this plan and actually execute it. Id really appreciate any insight, especially on things that Ive missed or could do better.

Thanks for listening.
New User Question Deals
Weekly/Bi-Monthly Payments on a 365/360 Mortgage
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: L1st3r
Views: 1 Replies: 0 I can't seem to get any consensus on whether paying weekly would reduce the amount of interest I pay on my mortgage. My First Payment is Dec 1st, so I was hoping to figure this all out before I start making payments. Thanks!

Should I pay off mom's credit card?
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Marsavings
Views: 78 Replies: 3 My dad died in 2005. I am an only child and live 2 hours away. He had always handled all of the money in the family, so I was concerned about how my mother would deal with it. He left a couple of small life insurance policies (one thru MetLife and one thru his former employer where he retired at age 57 in 1985). She gets a small pension payment (half of the pension he used to receive when he was alive) from his former employer, along with SS. When my dad died I paid for the cremation myself and I also paid the remainder of their car loan off for my mom so she wouldn't have that to worry about. I believe she has spent all of the life insurance monies except a small amount (less than $2000) that is left in one account. She does not want to spend that money - I don't know if it's an emotional attachment to my dad, or if it's the security of having that money available. She claims it's because it earns a higher interest rate (maybe 6%??). After my dad died she opened a checking account (my dad didn't believe in checking accts or cc's - he paid for everything in cash unless he needed a car loan, etc.) as well as a Chase Freedom card that got 5% CashBack on Gas/Groceries/DrugStores at the time. They have since changed that program so the categories are revolving every quarter. I told my mom at that time the the only way she should get this credit card is if she pays it off in full every month. Otherwise the interest charges will eat up any CashBack she might get. She also has a Discover card that she uses (supposedly) just for her medication that she has to buy thru mail order. Over the years she has bought several things that I did not agree with, but when I said anything, she would say "I needed it" or "I've never had xxxx, I deserve it", etc. Examples are new carpeting, new linoleum in the kitchen/bath, new toilet, new stove, new bedroom suite, new couch. Some - like the toilet - were a necessity. But others like the flooring and furniture were just "I want it, I deserve it" situations. For about the past year she has made casual comments to me such as "I want to get that credit card paid down," etc. But I never asked, as I didn't want to butt in. If I made a comment about something she had purchased, she would get defensive and justify it. I figured if she needed help she would ask for it.

This weekend she called and asked for my opinion. She wanted to know what I thought of taking out a loan at the bank to pay off the credit card. She said the bank has 12 months interest-free and she would pay it off in that year. I kept telling her that didn't sound right as I've never heard of a bank that doesn't charge interest...credit card companies - yes. Stores - yes, 12 months interest-free. But never banks for a loan. I asked her how much is her credit card bill, that this "loan" would be for? She said about $5,000 (I was actually afraid it would be more, but still a daunting amount). So this morning I called my local brach of that same bank for clarification. I was told they have a bank CREDIT CARD with a balance transfer deal of 12 months interest free. But not loans. So I don't know if my mom realizes it or not, but she is looking at getting yet ANOTHER credit card to pay off the Chase with a balance transfer, etc.

I think at the very least, she should take the remaining money in that life insurance account and pay down her cc bill to at least reduce it. But she doesn't want to. But it makes no sense to earn some small amount of interest on a small remaining balance of life insurance money, when you have $5K in cc debt that is probably accruing close to 30% interest every month! And maybe then contact Chase and see if they will settle the account for a less amount. I know she would take a hit to her credit for doing that, but she probably doesn't have that high of a credit score to begin with anyway. She told me that her minimum payments to Chase are $150/month right now.

And to top it all off, I asked her if she'd ever cashed in any of her CashBack rebates from the Chase card, and she said no. !!! So for 7-8 years she has never contacted Chase to get any of her CashBack sent to her or credited from her bill. I don't for for sure, but I doubt ALL of the CashBack that she would have accrued during this time would still be available, as I know most of the time the points or CashBack rewards expire after a certain period of time. But I told her to contact Chase using the 1-800 number on the statement, and askabout her CashBack rebates status. She might even have CashBack money available from Discover too. I don't know which Discover card she has.

We are in good financial shape - no kids, no car payments, mortgage paid off, pay our credit cards in full every month. I am wondering if I should let her "live and learn", or should I pay off her credit card in full for her so she doesn't have to worry about it anymore, and have her cancel the account so she can't continue to use it.

I just don't know if I should bail her out or not. She is 77 years old and this time since my dad died has been the first time in her life, I think, that she has had total control of her own money. I helped her out right after he died by paying off the car and the cremation costs, and tried to pound it into her head about paying off the cc's every month. At first I thought she was doing alright because she would take the checkbook to the bank to have the teller help her balance it every month, and she assured me when I would ask that she was paying off the credit cards every month. But then she started getting all this other credit from Lowe's, and the furniture store, as she purchased bigger items, and she knew how I felt about that.

I know it's hard for her living on such a small fixed income. Her mortgage is paid off, but she still has to pay the taxes and all of the monthly bills plus medication costs,and I know she's not rolling in dough. I just don't want her to repeat this all over again if I come to the rescue and pay it off.
Personal Finance Deals
pay property taxes with reward card?
Added on : Sunday October 20th 2013 05:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: xoomoon
Views: 10 Replies: 0 Good morning,

I was wondering if anyone has been successful in paying your property taxes with a reward card. I'm thinking about doing this but really want to know which credit card people use to offset the fees.
My fees will be 2.3% of my total of $2800. Any suggestions would help.

Thanks
Career going very well, yet the money is not there. Advice?
Added on : Saturday October 19th 2013 08:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: dynorodzilla
Views: 262 Replies: 8 I graduated HS in 2005. From 2007-2011 I was making around $16 an hour while going to school. Graduated from a well known state college in December 2010 with a bachelors in business

After graduating, I took a trainee role working at a scrap metal recycling company for $21 hourly, with no benefits until the trainee period ended. It was kind of a mismanaged company and I did not see much potential there. After 8 months I decided to start looking for a new job. I anticipated a difficult job search, but got the first job I interviewed for and was hired on to an entry level job at a salary of $38,000 with good benefits. I started in November 2011. I have had 2 reviews/raises since then. First one raised me $1000 to $39,000. I was recently reviewed again and received a promotion for which I got an 8% raise. Which really is only a 4 or 5% raise because everyone gets a standard 3 or 4% raise every year. So now I am in this position which should be paying in the $50,000's, yet I am making $42,000 a year.

Everyone at my company seems to like me. I get great reviews every year and meet every challenge I am given. The company has a good reputation and I am working in the company s main building, which has 500+ people working in it.I like everything about my job and employment situation, except my paycheck. I am not some young kid anymore and I am gonna have to support a family. I need to make more money. Considering I was recently promoted, how long do I have to put in before leaving for a competitor, if that is my best option?

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Thanks






Personal Finance Deals
Verizon wireless pulled all three credit report without my permission
Added on : Friday October 18th 2013 05:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: mikecl
Views: 1121 Replies: 14 So, I was in the market for new phone and I was checking out verizon wireless website yesterday for possibility of paying full price for the phone and ordering it without credit check.

I started the checkout process. Put in my right name/address/dob (stupid of me) but on the credit form I put all garbage for DL and SSN. But the real kicker is, I did not order the phone in the end and I closed the browser. The credit form did not have any disclaimer on the page stating it will do credit check right at that step if I continued. But as a matter of fact I got alert today morning that I've two new inquiries (transunion and experian).

Now I know that they do not need to have my correct SSN/DL information to do credit check but I did not think they would do a credit check for a line that I did not order (or open). I talked with them today morning and they seem to not find any inquires to me in their "credit pull" database.

Now my question to FWF is, what are my options here?

ETA: Today I see an alert for Equifax as well and no wonder it's a hard pull from verizon wireless.

Personal Finance Deals
Take Out Unnecessary Student Loan to Boost Credit Score?
Added on : Thursday October 17th 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: km782
Views: 67 Replies: 0 I am looking for a way to boost my credit score. My score from Transunion is 747, which is ok but I don't really think it reflects my financial situation so I'd like to increase it. Two years ago it was over 780 but I decided to close my oldest credit card which began charging an annual fee and offered no rewards. I also opened a new account in its place and my score dropped 40 points as a result.

Right now I have 2 open credit card accounts. One is a Capital One card with a $15k limit and the other is a Citi card with a $31k limit. Citi recently increased my limit but Capital One refuses my requests. I have $170k in liquid assets (stocks, savings, etc.) so I am more than capable of paying off any bill that comes my way and have no other outstanding debt.

I am a part time student in grad school right now and have been paying the tuition bills out of pocket. Would taking out a student loan and then paying it off soon after that boost my credit score? My understanding is that it is helpful to have types of debt other than just credit card debt on your credit report. Id like to purchase a house in the next few years so even though I would pay a fee for the student loan I wonder if a lower interest rate on a mortgage would more than make up for it?
Personal Finance Deals
Verizon wireless pulled credit twice without my permission
Added on : Thursday October 17th 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mikecl
Views: 176 Replies: 4 So, I was in the market for new phone and I was checking out verizon wireless website yesterday for possibility of paying full price for the phone and ordering it without credit check.

I started the checkout process. Put in my right name/address/dob (stupid of me) but on the credit form I put all garbage for DL and SSN. But the real kicker is, I did not order the phone in the end and I closed the browser. The credit form did not have any disclaimer on the page stating it will do credit check right at that step if I continued. But as a matter of fact I got alert today morning that I've two new inquiries (transunion and experian).

Now I know that they do not need to have my correct SSN/DL information to do credit check but I did not think they would do a credit check for a line that I did not order (or open). I talked with them today morning and they seem to not find any inquires to me in their "credit pull" database.

Now my question to FWF is, what are my options here?

Personal Finance Deals
Medicaid or Blue Cross, any difference in services provided?
Added on : Wednesday October 16th 2013 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: heatherton7501
Views: 133 Replies: 5 =12ptIve been checking out the government health insurance site and being a Maryland resident I have to go through http://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/ to get a plan. Im self-employed and have been buying an individual BCBS policy for the last 10 years. The last few years the rates have gone up sharply to almost $800 a month now. Being self-employed I have a lot of business expenses, the majority of which is depreciation on real property, that lowers my profit on paper to just a few thousand. That, combined with interest income will put my total annual income on the border of qualifying for Medicaid or getting a tax break on insurance. Do doctors and hospitals treat patients differently on Medicaid compared to patients on insurance? Should I make sure to go for the gold or platinum insurance even if I end up paying $400 net for it instead of free Medicaid?
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Buying foreclosed condo that is owned by my passed away dad.
Added on : Tuesday October 15th 2013 02:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: webdeveloper
Views: 59 Replies: 0 Two years ago my dad has been diagnosed with cancer. Due to his condition he wasn't able to work and decided that he will not be paying for the underwater condo that is worth around 70k and he owes 130k on.
He has passed away few months ago, in the meantime foreclosure proceedings have progressed. He was the only one on the mortgage.

My mom is currently the only person that is living in the condo. Due to foreclosure she will have to move out soon.
I'm looking for another condo for my mom in the 70k price tag, rough value of the current condo.

I will buy a place for her to live anyways, but I'm wondering what do you guys think about contacting a bank that owns it and offering them market value of the condo?
I would be making a cash offer if that makes any difference.
Real Estate Deals
Reverse Mortgage for fun and profit
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 9 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 793 Replies: 31 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. Until recently I didn't fully understand this program as I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house. Of course, the losers who made bad decisions didn't like this outcome and looked for ways to prevent it.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program (which is ridiculous).

http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/press-center/info-10-2013/Two-Sur...

Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender doesn't care if this happens as they won't lose a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed. Their goal is to just write as many of these smelly loans as possible.

In more extreme scenarios with a 62 year old male and a 45 year old wife that lives until 95... the payouts could hit $10 million. I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
General Economics Deals
Car Loan Help
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:13 AM
g: -1 Posted By: wmeadow
Views: 163 Replies: 5 Hi all,

I'll save you the story of how I got into this, but I am currently in an auto loan with a terrible interest rate. The principle is $17,500 at 17% for 72 months, giving me about a $400/month payment. $10,000 is an insane amount of interest to be paying, and I want to find out how what the best course of action is. I am getting $5,000 from my dad in 3 months, and after my monthly expenses (including the car payment) I have left with about $600. Is it better to just pay $400 each month, save my money and try to refinance when I have $7,000 in cash? Is it better to just pay more each month? How would you go about solving this?

Thanks
Personal Finance Deals
Reverse Mortgage... a hot deal
Added on : Monday October 14th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I recently read an article stating that the FHA will need a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in its reverse mortgage programs. This got me wondering how they are losing so much money on these mortgages at a time when housing prices are supposedly rising. I am a younger person and reverse mortgages have a negative stigma attached to them. They are generally used by individuals living beyond their means... but when I looked into it and ran the numbers it sounds like a pretty good deal in many scenarios.

A quick background: Reverse mortgages are only for individuals ages 62 or older. You can either take a lump sum payment or receive a payment stream. The home continues to compound principle and interest over time, however you cannot be kicked out of the home no matter how large the mortgages compounds. When that individual passes away, the family has the option to repay the balance and keep the home or leave the collateral to the lender. Any excess equity it kept by the lender. You can borrow up the 75% of the appraisal value.

The system was designed with rules to protect taxpayers such that only the individuals on the mortgage could continue to live in the home indefinitely. You could only qualify if every person on the mortgage was 62 years old, so a couple typically left the younger spouse off the mortgage. Women typically outlive men, and often this meant that when the man died the widow would need to cough up the mortgage balance or else move out of the house.

Now the interesting part is that AARP ultimately teamed up with these widows, went to court, and somehow got a judge to decide that the widows cannot be kicked out of the homes... even though they never qualified for the reverse mortgage program.

http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/press-center/info-10-2013/Two-Sur...

Ultimately, this could be a really good deal in a situation where a woman is younger than her husband. Consider a homeowner with a $400,000 property who is eligible to borrow up to $300,000. If he has a wife that is 57 years old and assuming she lives until the median expectancy of 82... that would allow her to live in the home for 25 years without ever repaying a cent.

Assuming a 7% annual investment on that $300,000.... after 25 years it would compound into a value of $1,628,230 that could be left to heirs in lieu of a house. This would probably be much larger than the future value of the home... a house is a fixed asset that simply sits there whereas the $300,000 could be employed into active business investments that will compound and generate much higher returns on investment.

What happens after the widow finally dies? As you can imagine, an individual without equity in a home is not going to take great care of the property. They aren't going to renovate the kitchen or do major repairs. The interest and principle compound over decades but the collateral is probably worth no where near that amount. The home gets sold off a large loss relative to the mortgage. Interestingly enough the lender isn't on the hook for a penny. They get to make a bunch of money off fees and interest and are made whole loans by the US taxpayer as these loans are federally guaranteed.

I also wonder how badly this ruling could be abused. What if the widow decides to marry a younger male? Does that mean he can live in the home for the rest of his life without paying a cent? Could the widow arrange a paper wedding with a 20 year old to give him a free house? Could he then marry someone in turn and keep the home? Who knows... but the losses on these loans are massive.
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 282 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00COGYQOO

A brand new collection of up-to-the-minute personal finance guidance from award-winning columnist Liz Weston 4 authoritative books, now in a convenient e-format, at a great price!

All the realistic, trustworthy money advice you need! 4 up-to-date books from Liz Weston, Americas #1 personal finance columnist

Money! Debt. Credit Scores. Investments. Retirement. College. You need answers you can understand, trust, and actually use! Thats where Liz Weston comes in. In this amazing 4 book collection, Americas #1 personal finance columnist helps you create and execute your own action plan for long-term financial security. No hype, no lectures, no nonsense: just realistic, up-to-the minute help delivered in plain English. Start with the latest edition of Westons nationwide best-seller, Your Credit Score, Fourth Edition complete with brand-new information on protecting (or rebuilding) the 3-digit number that rules your financial life. Learn how todays credit scores work exactly how much skipped payments, bankruptcies, and other actions will lower your score how companies can and cant use your score against you. Get Crucial new information on FAKO alternative scores, short sales, foreclosures, FICO 8 mortgage scores, new credit risks from social networking and mobile banking, and how to fight score-related credit limit reductions or higher rates. Next, in Easy Money, learn how to simplify and take control of your financial life, now and forever! Weston takes on the problem everyone has: the sheer hassle of managing money! Youll find practical guidance and easy checklists for investments, credit cards, insurance, mortgages, retirement, college savings, and more! Discover how to consolidate, delegate, and automate your financessave time and moneyand live a more rewarding, secure life. In Deal With Your Debt, Updated & Revised Edition , Weston offers up-to-the-minute help on averting disaster, recovering from serious money setbacks, getting real help, and taking action that works. Weston reveals why its simply impractical to live forever debt free - and why trying to do so can actually make you poorer. Youll find up-to-the-minute strategies for calculating how much debt is safe, and assessing and paying off the right debts first... and if youre too far in debt, Weston will gently and non-judgmentally guide you back into your safety zone. Finally, in There Are No Dumb Questions About Money, Weston offers up-to-date, common sense answers to the financial questions people ask most often. Youll find quick, sensible advice on setting priorities choosing investments saving for college, home-buying, retirement, or other major expenses getting past the pain, arguments, and guilt surrounding money, and doing what works!
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Amazon Coupons
Are mutual funds holding ETF's doubling down on expenses?
Added on : Sunday October 13th 2013 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dougan778
Views: 10 Replies: 0 I have a small amount of money in a mutual fund (UFSGX) that my parents got for me years ago. I have never really looked at it much until lately. I see the expense ratio is 1.44%. But, when I scroll down, I see that some of the top holdings are ETFs. For example, the biggest holding (~8%) is iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, which looks like it has a .34% expense ratio. I'm assuming that the expenses from this ETF aren't factored into my 1.44% for the mutual fund, so I think it's compounding. Right?

At a glance, 6 out of the top 10 holdings have "index" or "etf" in the name. I guess it seems pretty lame to me to have a 1.44% expense ratio on a fund that is relying on ETF holdings to do its dirty work. But beyond that, 1.44% is pretty high for me in general, so if I'm paying even more for fees in the end, I probably will cash out of this and put it into a lower-cost holding.
Investing Deals
3-pk Iphone 5 lightning cables $5.99
Added on : Sunday October 13th 2013 10:00:03 AM
g: -1 Posted By: lynxis
Views: 144 Replies: 0 This was a deal on here couple of months back but I noticed that it is still $5.99 for 3. I have ordered a total of 9 of these. The cords are a bit short....3 feet. But compared to the other non-oem cables I have used, these are by far the best ones I have used. Out of 3 cables that I have used, I have yet to come across the "this cable or accessory is not certified and may not work........" error message. The other ones I get the message after updating to IOS 7 but these cables do not get the message. And when I connect them to the computer, it connects to my itunes with no problems.

The only problem I have is that these don't seem to charge as fast as oem cables. 2 phones connected....one to OEM cable connected to the wall, the other no this cable connected to the computer. Both phones had 84% battery. After a few minutes of charging, the OEM cabled phone has 91% and the non-OEM cable has 88%.

Still, not bad paying $2.00 versus $19.99.


Itech
Electronics Deals
2 Harry Potter Illuminating Wands for $31.05 AC & GC @ Barnes & Noble
Added on : Saturday October 12th 2013 04:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: OldnCheap
Views: 286 Replies: 0 Here are 3 separate deals that you can combine to get 2 Harry Potter Illuminating Wands for $31.05 + tax from Barnes & Noble. I'm having problems with the link, so just click here: B&N and search for Harry Potter Illuminating Wands.

1) B&N has a 20% coupon code off on 1 item (excluding electronics) - FRIENDNFAM that expires 10/15.

2) That can be stacked with the Buy 1 Get 1 50% off Educational Toys (automatically applied) that expires Oct. 14.

3) HP is offering 15% off gift certificates (except Amazon) from 36 stores. You can print out the gift certificate immediately. On STEP 3 - click on "ENTER COUPON CODE" and enter: SHARESMILES Thanks oradbatic
https://www.twosmiles.com/

The illuminating wands are $26.95. You get 20% off on the 1st one (or the most expensive one if you buy something else) and 50% off the cheaper one and an additional 15% off the total purchase when paying with the GC from twosmiles.com Obviously this deal works on other educational games, but most I found were more expensive than Amazon. The Harry Potter wands are cheaper even before the 3 discounts.

Of course you could buy a nice book collection for 32% off by combining the 20% discount and 15% GC discount.

Toys Deals
g: 0 Posted By: PatrickM213
Views: 0 Replies: 0 My car is nearing the end of it's days on earth. Oil and coolant leak among other issues. My credit score is around 600. I have a few collections from 2008 that I am hoping to take care of this next year. Income is about to become more stable and increase.

I have about $2500 cash.

My credit union offers a secured loan @4.25 percent with up to 120 month terms. The bank rep said I could do multiple loans-- i.e. borrow $2500 against a deposit then deposit that loan back into the account and borrow a total of $5000.

In an effort to avoid buying a vehicle from a shady in house financing dealership, I could buy a car from a private party seller for around $5000 and help rebuild some positive payment history and build a better relationship with my CCU.

If I did 2 years on the initial loan and 5 years on the 2nd, my payment would be $200.65/month for the first 2 years and then $92.65 for the remaining 3(I would continue paying the $200 to pay off the loan faster).

Is this a decent plan? A terrible idea? Am I missing something? Thanks



Insurance claim money and paying off mortgage.
Added on : Thursday October 10th 2013 06:00:16 AM
g: 1 Posted By: foolface
Views: 181 Replies: 3 I have a rental property that had a tree fall onto it and cause $26000 in estimated damages from my insurance company. I will be able to get all the repairs done for much less than half that amount.

Since I still have a $32000 mortgage on this property, all the insurance money went to my mortgage company. They refuse to disburse the money unless the repairs are done as exactly specified by the insurance estimate. I do not want to waste all that money doing things like replacing an 8 year old roof when it only needs some minor repair work.

My Question: If I pay off the mortgage, will the mortgage company be required to send me entire balance of insurance funds?


Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: CowbellMaster
Views: 1 Replies: 0 First, a rant - I know several friends/family that subscribe to the theory of government savings plans through high withholdings. When filling out their federal and state payroll withholding forms, it's "0" all the way, so their paychecks are ravaged but come April they get this "awesome huge refund." No matter how much I try to explain that this is a 0% loan they're giving to their government, they love getting their annual 'bonus'. When my state had a funding issue and delayed refunds until the budget was straightened out, I tried to explain that not only were they get no interest on their 'investment' but as was just demonstrated, there is risk associated with these entities holding their money for them. Still no dice.

So anyways, at least I do what I can to minimize withholdings to the absolute minimum. I do this by roughly calculating my taxable income throughout the year, taking into account large deductions like property, school and state taxes, tax advantaged account contributions (401k, traditional ira, HSA), and various large credits. My primary goals are two-fold:

1) Make sure I pay as close to 90% of my expected tax liability via paycheck withholding (or 100% of last year's liability, if that is lower). I don't mind paying on 4/15, as long as it's not penalized, as that way it's a 0% loan to ME, from the government.
2) Try to adjust my taxable income to slide in under a relatively higher bracket. For me, I try to avoid the 25% bracket, meaning my taxable income for this year should optimally be under $72,500.

Every year around this time I try to gauge my trajectory and make adjustments as necessary. This time around, my taxable income is well into the $80k's (some slight early-year miscalculations on my part) so I've maxed out our HSA 401K contributions to get that level back down. I also miscalculated some credits I thought we were privy to, so I've added an additional few hundred dollars in withholding per paycheck to get me caught up. Luckily, I have enough emergency fund dry powder to get me through the next couple months which will feature extremely anemic paychecks. As every dollar I earn over $72,500 is culled by 25%, I believe it's a worthwhile exercise, even if it comes with some temporary discomfort.

I would like to hear other FWF strategies to zero in on financially optimal withholding? What do you do when unexpected or unaccounted-for income comes in, to keep you on track for that sweet spot of 90% of liability? I'm thinking of setting up a spreadsheet, with expected income to the dollar, and adjust it, and our withholdings, as necessary throughout the year. The goal is to prevent scrambling for major course adjustments at the end of the year.













How do you fund your Saturna HSA?
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dougan778
Views: 37 Replies: 0 I recently transferred my HSA over to Saturna. I've read around here and it sounds like a bunch of people here use them for HSA's as well.

I found out the hard way that I'm not able to direct-deposit to my Saturna HSA from my employer since I don't have a standard savings routing/account number for my account there. I confirmed this with customer service.

I could just write them a check, but I know direct deposit through payroll deduction saves me from paying certain taxes (FICA maybe?). My first thought is to open a "conventional" HSA with my local bank or something, and just transfer the money over to Saturna through ACH, which they are equipped to do. But I'm not sure.

For the people here that are using Saturna for their HSA, how are you contributing money? I'd have to think I'm not the first person to try and get the payroll-deposit benefits with Saturna.

Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
Buying inventory to increase tax deduction
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 31 Replies: 1 I have a successful business that is generating nice profits. I'd like to minimize taxes paid on those profits by expanding into other business ventures.

Lets say that at the end of this year I'm looking at a $100k net profit from my primary business. I expand my business by getting into selling giftcards. Can I buy $100k worth of giftcards on December 31 of this year and generate a $100k deduction on my taxes? Then, in 2014 I'll sell those giftcards, and record all of that as profit (presumably $100k+).

I'm sure I'm missing something. If not, I'm effectively delaying paying a huge chunk of taxes this year.

Please set me straight.
Personal Finance Deals
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for $49.99 w/ 2 yr Sprint $15 2GB Data Plan
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 10:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: PhoenixMan
Views: 125 Replies: 1 Get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for $49.99 when you sign up for 2 year $15 2GB data plan. So basically $419.99 for a Galaxy Tab 3 for two years with Cellular Data. Not bad.

If you assume that this sells for around $200 in many places, you end up paying less than $10 a month for 2GB of data.

It is a pretty good deal.

Call a Sprint Business Rep for details.
Android Tablets Deals

Sprint Coupons
Retained Earnings in C Corporation
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 78 Replies: 2 I've done a lot of internet searches and basically would like some confirmation, or clarification, of my understanding of the taxability of retained earnings.

Essentially, if I have a C corporation, any profits left over at the end of the year (after I've paid salaries and benefits to employees, or dividends) become retained earnings. I would then pay a 15% tax (up to $50k) on those retained earnings.

- You only pay the retained earnings tax once. So, after I paid that 15% tax on 2013 retained earnings, I can then leave those earnings in the corporation, year after year, without paying further retained earnings tax on those specific earnings. Correct?

- I can safely keep up to $150k in accumulated earnings without triggering an accumulated earnings penalty tax. Correct?

Thank you.
Tax Deals
The UN, Nigerians, and the IMF want to help me with $500,000
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Argyll
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I received this today. What do you think? They seem to be confused as to whether they are in Nigeria or Ghana.

CORPORATE & BUSINESS LAW,
COMPLEX LITIGATION, IP & GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Address: P.O. Box 13463 Lagos Nigeria .
Location: Planet House, 8 Third Ring-way, Accra Ghana .
TEL: + 233 244 982 863 . .
E-mail: phlawchambers2@aol.com

Attention: Beneficiary .

Sir .
This is to inform you that Peter Hogan is a delegate
assigned by the United Nations ( U.N ) in conjunction with
The International Monetary Fund ( I.M.F ) West Africa Regional
Payment Office to pay 521 scam victims the sum
of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars each ( $500,000.00 U.S.D only ) .

Your name was listed and approved for this payment as one of the
scammed victims to be paid this amount .
Kindly send your reply back to us, for an immediate payments of
$500,000 U.S.D .to your Account .

The rate of scam in Africa, in which Europe are also affected
was greatly alarming .
Therefore, the United Nations in conjunction with the International
Monetary Fund ( I.M.F) has mapped out the said amount to be paid
to those individuals affected.

However, the U.N,/ I.M.F is now paying 521 victims of this operators
the total amount of $500,000.00 U.S.D each in accordance with the
U. N. recommendations.

Due to the corrupt and in-efficient Banking Systems with some of the Banks,
the payments are to be paid by the assigned Bank of Ghana ( B.O.G )
sitting at IMF ( International Monetary Fund ) West Africa Regional
Payment Office as corresponding payment center under funding assistance
by World Bank .

According to the number of applicants at hand, 284 Beneficiaries
has been paid out, half of the victims are from the United States,
and we still have more 237 left to be paid the
compensation fees of $500,000.00 U.S.D each.

You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this
message to any person/persons: what so ever, as the U.S. Secret
service is already on trace of the other culprits/criminals.

Other victims who have not been Contacted can submit their
application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.


[1] Your Full Names : ...............................................

[2] Contact address:....................,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

[3] Direct Telephone:.............................................

|4| Occupation:...................................................

[5] sex:.........................................................

[6] Age:.................................

Please you are advice to stop any communication with any person
or Persons that you are currently sending money to, due to transaction
which you have online with the person, until you receive your Fund .


Yours in service,
Ms, Benita Nana .
( For Secretary )

Senior Attorney Peter Hogan .
Barrister at Law : Solicitor & Advocate.
Tel: + 233 244 982 863 . .

http://www.un.org/sg



Disclaimer:
This message may contain confidential information and is intended only
for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should
not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender
immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete
this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be
secured or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost,
destroyed, arrive late or incomplete .

Help me choose best investment option for my kid's education
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: valvo23
Views: 89 Replies: 0 Hello. I have 2 kids, currently 3yrs and 1 yr old. We are 36. I've done pretty well so far saving for my wife's and I retirement and now looking to get a better grip on our kid's college fund. Our goal is to save somewhere in the 150 - 200K range total to give the kids. I know that won't cover it all but it would be a good start. We expect to increase the investment amt in future yrs. but let's assume we don't. I currently have a NY 529 account setup for each child that last yr. returned~ 17% RoR. I don't fund these accounts that well at this point. In 20 yrs, this would have around 30K - 40 K in it.
We met with my brother-in-law who works for NE Financial on options. This is 3 he suggested all assuming a rate of 8% interest and paying $300/mo

#1 - Open a variable life insurance policy.Each of use would open a $100K policy. He assumes after 20yrs it would result in about 123K in cash value plus theaddtl life insurance should something were to happen to 1 of us. We already have term life insurance on each of us. This would put us at around 150K for their education. (this option + personal 529)

#2. - Open a Roth IRA in 1 of our names. We could pull out what what's put in w/o penalty which would be 72K in 20 yrs for theiruse and then have around 70K in earnings in the Roth. This would put us at around $105K for their education. (this option + personal 529)

#3 - Open a professionally managed 529 for each kid. After 20yrs, have around $148K in 529.Per B-I-L, thistype of fund is not sheltered when looking for aid so it would beworth at about132K with his figures.This would put us at around $162K for their education. (this option + personal 529)


Which of these would you suggest? I'm not fond of option #1but won't throw it out until I hear others opinions. I'm leaning towards #2. That way if the kids don't go to college, don't need all the funds, etcthe money can be redistributedelsewhere. For #3, is there any advantage w/ having them managea 529 versus mejust sticking with the personal 529s already created?
Any other options that we should look at besides these 3?
Investing Deals
Beware IRS criminal investigations impersonators
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 02:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 77 Replies: 2 From Tax Analysts/Tax Notes --

Is That Really IRS Criminal Investigations Calling? Maybe Not
by William Hoffman

Though most of the IRS is closed during the government shutdown, it seems some scam artists masquerading as its criminal investigators are still hard at work.

The IRS Criminal Investigation division is aware of media reports and website discussion groups regarding an apparent scam being run from a New York phone number (with a 347 area code), and is asking the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to look into the matter, according to Ed Loomis, CI communications director in Washington.

Asked if there could be a misunderstanding, and if the New York callers actually worked for CI, Loomis said, "I have no reason to believe that the individuals who are saying that they are from IRS CI are from IRS CI, but that's what TIGTA will determine."

TIGTA's media office is closed during the shutdown. The inspector general maintains a toll-free hotline, 1-800-366-4484, on which people who believe they have been contacted by a fake IRS employee can leave a message with their complaints. Loomis said it's unclear who will register or investigate complaints to TIGTA during the shutdown.

Marc Dombrowski, an enrolled agent and owner of Tax Help Associates Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., said one of his clients advised him of a suspicious call the client had received October 3 from someone presenting himself as being from CI.

Dombrowski called the number, and the phone was answered by an individual identifying himself as Damon Marshall of IRS CI. Dombrowski asked if it was really the IRS. Marshall said yes. Dombrowski pointed out that the IRS is closed for the government shutdown, and Marshall said CI was exempted. When Dombrowski identified himself as an enrolled agent and mentioned the power of attorney he held for his client, Marshall hung up, according to Dombrowski.

"I've been around the block," Dombrowski said. He suspected a scam, he said. "I assume they realized they were not going to get money out of [someone with] a power of attorney, and they hung up. Usually they want to just get along to the next person who will put money into their pockets," he said.

Meanwhile, on a website called 800notes.com, which solicits visitors' reports of phone fraud, three Web pages detail dozens of complaints about the same New York phone number, and the alleged CI scam and "Damon Marshall."

A typical example, posted on September 11 by "Tommy," reads: "Received 3 phone calls this morning from the 'IRS' stating they were from the IRS Investigating Division. . . . [S]poke with a [D]amon Marshall, telling me I owe back taxes and penalties, etc." It continues, "I pointed out to him that the IRS NEVER, ever, NEVER contacts citizens via the phone [and] that they ALWAYS correspond via mail. He then threatened me with the usual throw me in jail, confiscate bank accounts or any other asset, seize all property, etc. Another person left a message on my [answering] machine . . . from the IRS -- 'call back immediately,' 'do not ignore this phone call,' of 'utmost urgency,' etc."

A call from Tax Analysts to the New York phone number was answered by a man identifying himself as Damon Marshall of IRS CI. Asked if he would answer some questions from a reporter, Marshall replied, "What am I going to get in return if I give you all the information? Are you going to pay me something for my interview?" He was informed that Tax Analysts does not pay for interviews. Marshall said, "If you're not paying me anything, then I don't got time. If you pay me something I will give you each and every question's answer."

After again being told that Tax Analysts doesn't pay for interviews, Marshall hung up.
Discussion Deals
Maximizing Obamacare ACA Insurance Exchange Subsidies
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 11:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: calwatch
Views: 91 Replies: 0 With the new Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in place, tax planning is even more Crucial than ever because of the subsidies provided to buy health insurance on an ACA exchange. Through some income shifting, and estimation, on can take advantage of some of the loopholes in the law and gain health insurance at little cost. Conversely, there are many sub-poverty individuals who cannot qualify for Medicaid expansion since their state didn't sign up, but through a back door way can still get affordable insurance simply by making large estimated tax payments to a state or projecting future income above the poverty line. For those near the poverty line in a Medicaid expansion state, paying attention to the deadlines can avoid having to cycle back and forth between private insurance and the Medicaid system, which generally offers far less choice than most exchange plans.

All income referenced to is MAGI (which is AGI plus nontaxable Social Security, tax exempt interest, and foreign earned income). Regulations on premium tax credit (with examples)

Making too much money

If you think the phaseout for the tuition and fees credit or earned income tax credit is abrupt, the ACA phaseout is even more so. At 400% Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) the subsidy is completely eliminated and there is no cap on repayment amount.

So if you are trying to get income below 400% FPL in order to qualify you need to make sure that you'll hit that. The only way to adjust MAGI after December 31 is through deductible IRA/HSA contributions but traditional IRA deductions phase out for single/HOH AGI over ~$60k or MFJ over ~$100k. Since 400% FPL is $62k for a 2 person household and $110k for a 5 person household this quickly becomes nonviable. To qualify for HSA you have to use an HDHP - I have heard of some exchanges with HSA compatible Bronze plans in Obamacare, but you have to be eligible for HSA prior to December 1 of the tax year. So you have to reduce income below 12/31 which means the usual - contribute max to 401ks, 457s, and 403bs, tax loss harvest to get the $3000 capital loss deduction, and advance business expenses. This also makes income spiking a better deal - if you know you aren't going to qualify for the subsidy, then you could opt to spike income by taking bonuses/income or deferring expenses one year to stay far above 400% FPL, while managing expenses and deductions to remain below 400% FPL other years. Also since recoveries like state income tax refund is treated above the line it is important to manage those so that they don't send someone intentionally above 400% FPL.

The same considerations are at the break point at 133% FPL, where there is a 2% MAGI to 3% MAGI jump.

One interesting loophole in the regulations is the maximum recapture limit on the credit, which can have interesting impacts depending on how you estimate your income. Lower income means more subsidies AND access to special Silver plans that have reduced cost sharing. So for instance a single 60 year old declaring $20,000 in annual income (175% FPL) in LA County gets a $470 monthly subsidy for a "Silver 87" plan with a $2250 out of pocket cap. At the end of the year, they really had a $45,000 MAGI (390% FPL). Normally a $45,000 MAGI qualifies for a "Silver 70" plan with a $6350 OOP cap and a $199 monthly subsidy. Now let's say they got the subsidy for 12 months. The maximum recapture limitation (regulations 1.36B-4-a-3) is $1,250 for the year. But the actual "unearned" subsidy for the year is $3,252, and this for a better plan with a $4100 lower out of pocket cap. Thus, $2,002 (the unearned subsidy above $1,250) is now written off, and up to $4,100 in OOP are never incurred. Just make sure you stay below 400% FPL or else you will have to pay the whole subsidy back (although presumably not the out of pocket cost).

Generally, due to time value of money, if you can afford to repay the credit should you estimate wrong, you should do so, since those credits only need to be repaid April 15 after the year that you receive the advance credits. I can't tell if you have to pay estimated tax penalty on advance credit repayments, but most people should avoid them anyway due to the 100% of prior year tax safe harbor rule.

There are better articles that go into the farce of the "estimation" process for ACA subsidies. Still, even without fraud, one could have honest reasons not to report changes in income - perhaps the job is temporary or unstable and you want to wait until it is stable before reporting the change in income. Regardless, you take advantage of the recapture cap.

For those who want to take advantage of the subsidy this makes the usual advice to do Traditional to Roth conversions in low income periods questionable as Roth conversions are in MAGI. While this may not be an issue for higher income or younger people (a 30 or 40 year old making 390% FPL gets no subsidy anyway in CA since the Silver plan is deemed affordable as a share of MAGI), that 40 year old making $20,000 in odd jobs and unemployment gained $2,112 in subsidy. Is it worth it to convert $25,000 in the 401k to Roth to fill the 15% tax bracket (the normal advice), and lose that $2,112, which is in effect another 8% tax on the conversion?

Making too little money

First, for states without Medicaid expansion, for those below 100% FPL who can control their income, the obvious answer is to get more income. Sell and immediately rebuy winning investments to reset basis and create capital gains (which may also qualify for 0% LTCG), move tax inefficient investments to taxable, do 401k/Traditional IRA conversions, get a job, gamble and report your winnings honestly, sell things and report the income with zero basis on the items sold (since you have no documentation proving the acquisition cost), etc.

But what if you didn't have to do that?

From a Bogleheads thread (where I was admonished not to "game the system"):

My reading of the regulations states that, as long as you estimate at the time of enrollment that your MAGI is between 100% and 400% of FPL, that you are still eligible for subsidies, even though your actual income falls below 100% of FPL. This could happen, for instance, if one lost their job in the middle of the year, which takes them below 100% of FPL. Even if they had to pay back subsidies, an additional provision in regulations limits that to $300 for singles, and $600 for other taxpayers.

1.36B2 Eligibility for premium taxcredit.

[...]
(b) Applicable taxpayer(1) Ingeneral. Except as otherwise providedin this paragraph (b), an applicabletaxpayer is a taxpayer whose householdincome is at least 100 percent but notmore than 400 percent of the Federalpoverty line for the taxpayers familysize for the taxable year.
[...]
(6) Special rule for taxpayers withhousehold income below 100 percent ofthe Federal poverty line for the taxableyear. A taxpayer (other than a taxpayerdescribed in paragraph (b)(5) of thissection) whose household income for ataxable year is less than 100 percent ofthe Federal poverty line for thetaxpayers family size is treated as anapplicable taxpayer if
(i) The taxpayer or a family memberenrolls in a qualified health planthrough an Exchange;
(ii) An Exchange estimates at the timeof enrollment that the taxpayershousehold income will be between 100and 400 percent of the Federal povertyline for the taxable year;
(iii) Advance credit payments areauthorized and paid for one or moremonths during the taxable year; and
(iv) The taxpayer would be anapplicable taxpayer if the taxpayershousehold income for the taxable yearwas between 100 and 400 percent of theFederal poverty line for the taxpayersfamily size.

(7) Computation of premiumassistance amounts for taxpayers withhousehold income below 100 percent ofthe Federal poverty line. If a taxpayer istreated as an applicable taxpayer underparagraph (b)(5) or (b)(6) of this section,the taxpayers actual household incomefor the taxable year is used to computethe premium assistance amounts under 1.36B3(d).

1.36B3 Computing the premiumassistance credit amount.

[...]
(d) Premium assistance amount. Thepremium assistance amount for acoverage month is the lesser of
(1) The premiums for the month forone or more qualified health plans inwhich a taxpayer or a member of thetaxpayers family enrolls; or
(2) The excess of the adjustedmonthly premium for the applicablebenchmark plan over 1/12 of theproduct of a taxpayers householdincome and the applicable percentage
for the taxable year.

That "applicable percentage" is defined in 1.36B-3(g) and is 2.0% of household income (MAGI) for those under 200% of FPL.

Also, for those making under 400%, a "repayment" clause applies further limiting the actual tax subsidy repayment for those under 200% FPL to $300 for singles, $600 for all other taxpayers.

1.36B4 Reconciling the premium taxcredit with advance credit payments.
(a) Reconciliation
(1) Coordinationof premium tax credit with advance
credit payments
(i) In general. Ataxpayer must reconcile the amount ofcredit allowed under section 36B withadvance credit payments on thetaxpayers income tax return for ataxable year. A taxpayer whosepremium tax credit for the taxable yearexceeds the taxpayers advance creditpayments may receive the excess as anincome tax refund. A taxpayer whoseadvance credit payments for the taxableyear exceed the taxpayers premium taxcredit owes the excess as an additionalincome tax liability.

(3) Limitation on additional tax(i)In general. The additional tax imposedunder paragraph (a)(1) of this section ona taxpayer whose household income isless than 400 percent of the Federalpoverty line is limited to the amountsprovided in the table in paragraph(a)(3)(ii) of this section (or successortables). For taxable years beginning afterDecember 31, 2014, the limitationamounts may be adjusted in publishedguidance, see 601.601(d)(2) of thischapter, to reflect changes in theconsumer price index.

This refers to a table which shows the maximum subsidy repayment for single taxpayers ("determined under section 1(c)") with MAGI under 200% FPL at $300, or $600 for other taxpayers.

So for sub poverty level in non-Medicaid expansion states the answer is clear - be more optimistic in declaring income. Note that the exchanges do check reduction in income (to qualify for more subsidy) but don't check increase in income (and, even if this were the case, one paycheck from a seasonal job can be extrapolated for the year). For the super honest, Bogleheads had an interesting tactic of prepaying state estimated tax in the previous year and itemizing (taking care to pay more than the standard deduction normally received), and then receiving the entire state tax refund as income, thus generating enough MAGI to go above 100% FPL. An alternative way is to declare cash income from self employment, as described in this great Forbes article (which includes other loopholes and outright frauds).

Unfortunately, this will help dull some of the movement complaining about the "donut hole" in coveragesince some advocacy groups are already publicly encouraging people to be optimistic.

In Medicaid expansion states, there will be those at the low end that want to avoid Medicaid, since the exchanges may offer more choice. Unfortunately premium credits are not available to those who are eligible for Medicaid (called "government sponsored minimum essential coverage"). Therefore, people will cycle in and out of Medicaid and the exchange depending on income. But, there is a minimum three months grace period to application date, never mind actual receipt of Medicaid. Even if you were ultimately ineligible you are still subject to the subsidy recapture cap.

Under the final regulations,an individual who fails to complete therequirements necessary to receivebenefits available under a government sponsoredprogram by the last day of thethird full calendar month following theevent that establishes eligibility istreated as eligible for the coverage onthe first day of the fourth calendarmonth. Because an individual whotimely completes the necessaryrequirements is treated as eligible forgovernment-sponsored minimumessential coverage no earlier than thefirst month that the individual mayreceive benefits, this 3-month timeperiod does not include the time neededfor a government agency to process anapplication.

See also Example 6 under 1.36B-4. Although it uses employer coverage as an example, it calculates how much needs to be repaid and states that it is subject to the cap. So if you are below 133% of FPL in a Medicaid eligible state, then file the paperwork on the last day of the third month after you become eligible for Medicaid. (But how do you know you are eligible if you can control your income at will? That would be based on the Medicaid regulations for eligibility.)This also works great for people who originally qualify for the exchange but then work for an employer with unaffordable or undesirable coverage, but coverage that still meets Obamacare's minimum requirements. An example would be an unemployed person who has exchange insurance but then gets a job which only offers a Obamacare-qualified captive HMO as its coverage option. They don't want to switch doctors, but they never notify the exchange of their employment. They are subject to the annual recapture cap, at least until the exchange recertifies (at which point the person would then perjuring themselves by signing the certification that they have no qualified coverage).

The married filing separately vs. jointly calculations are even more interesting but that is an exercise left to the reader.





Discussion Deals
Commercial forclosure, can buyer collect rent before settlement?
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 04:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: atikovi
Views: 65 Replies: 0 There is a commercial property coming up for forclosure sale. The terms specify that the successful bidder is to secure the property after the sale and is responsible for the premises even though settlement could be months away. The property is currently leased out. Is the buyer entitled to the rent as of the date of the forclosure sale? How can you tell the tenant to start paying you the rent from now on?
Personal Finance Deals
Used car value analysis
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 07:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: njdealguy
Views: 134 Replies: 4 Hey, have been doing some analysis for used car depreciation values and how it compares to leasing a new car, based on a Lexus ES 350, and selling it with 60k more miles after 3 years/36 months. Using edmunds appraisal for the car in good condition and private party value, found that a 2010 model of this with 40k miles would need be bought for $21388 + tax (which for NJ is 7%, making it 22885)

To figure out depreciation, I pulled the value for a 2007 E350 with 100k miles which came to $11821 which is what could sell it for 3 years later.
So its $22885 - $11821 = $11064, which is my net cost based on buying the 2010 car with 40k miles and then selling 3 years later with 100k miles
Over 36 months, that comes to 11064 / 36 = 307 per month cost to have

Lets say I only put in 30k miles in 3 years which is equal to a lease, the selling price of a 2007 E350 with 70k miles is $13203.
The math comes to 22885 - 13203 = 9682 cost to have which comes to 268 per month total cost.

Now I see deals to lease the brand new car for 10k miles per year for a 36 months lease at 319 per month with a down payment of $2995 which would mean a total cost of (36*319)+2995 = $14,479,
which makes for a difference of $4797 for the cost versus driving a 3 year older car as owned, and a difference of $3415 versus driving the used car and putting in twice as many (60k) miles.

The option of owning the used car is based on paying outright in cash (so not accounting for loan interest) and assuming that there will be no maintenance or warranty covered for repairs, whereas the lease is based on those being included.

Based on the values above, trying to understand what is better from a financial standpoint, and I'm only trying to compare these two ideas, so please dont come up with with other kinds of cars, crown vic, etc. Not planning to buy any of these, but just arbritraily looking to compare these from a financial standpoint, considering the cost difference, namely whether its worth buying a 3 year older used car intending to sell a few years later, vs leasing brand new, for this luxury car model.










General Economics Deals
How long (time) did it take you to get your long term financial plan set?
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 06:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: newnorley
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Moved to this country a couple of years ago and am now needing to start thinking long term, (retirement, health care etc). I am not sure if it because I have 0 knowledge of how things work here but everything seems so complicated!

I need to do the following:

1)Evaluate wife's 401k
2)Sort out wife's old 401k (move to a IRA)
3)Sort out HSA
4)Sort out Roth IRA for both of us
5)Get rid of PMI

I've started looking at 1 & 4 and it is like going down the rabbit hole, i can't see me getting it all done before the end of the year! I could be over complicating it? BUT I don't trust any of the financial advisers who are offering me advice, general friends aren't really schooled in the FWF way (perhaps neither am I if I'm paying PMI) !

How long did it take you to plan your long term goals? Any resources you can recommend to help me speed up the process? Anything else I should add to the list?






g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 247 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BHVQV1S/

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Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
San Diego Kidvasion 100+ kids free deals in October
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 11:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cyberchou
Views: 199 Replies: 0 Deals from museums, restaurants, parksand other activities in San Diego. Free for kids in October. Most require paying adult.
Kidvasion

Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Affordable Care Act penalty-tax avoidance
Added on : Tuesday October 01st 2013 08:00:12 AM
g: -1 Posted By: okwiater
Views: 225 Replies: 15 There are some other threads already about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) specifically as it relates to healthcare premiums. However, the purpose of this thread is toexclusivelydiscuss strategies and considerations for avoidance of the penalty-tax that will be imposed for not complying with the new law. As someone who is facing monthly insurance premium increases from $483/month to over $1,200/month and a deductible increase from $5,000/year to $12,700/year, I am seriously considering not enrolling in a qualified health plan (QHP), incurring the penalty-tax, and simply managing my withholdings so as not to ever pay it.

My understanding is that the IRS's enforcement options are limited, as they can only withhold any amounts owed from future refunds. However, as we all know, refunds from the IRS are something we should be working to minimize or avoid altogether since they are essentially an interest-free loan to the government. Because of this, I am of the mindset that a diligent taxpayer could avoid the new mandate altogether by simply paying extra attention to the level of withholdings, and employing certain tax-generating strategies in the event that the taxpayer is over-withheld at the end of the year.

The strategy under consideration:

1. Manage my withholdings so that they barely exceed 90% of the total tax owed, so as to avoid any penalty for under-withholding. I will owe a check to the IRS at the end of the year.
2. In case I find myself with a larger-than-expected balance due, convert traditional 401(k) and IRA balancesto Roth, generating taxes that cancel out the balance.
3. Carefully monitor legislation that may affect IRS withholding options.

This strategy comes with risks, of course. For example, there is no way of knowing whether or not the penalty-taxes incurred during each year will ever be waived at some point in the future. It's also possible that the IRS will at some point in the future be granted increased powers to collect ACA-related balances due, perhaps even through liens or asset seizures. These powers may even be granted retroactively to any accumulated balances due. There may also be other implications, such as whether these balances would appear on a credit report or whether they need to be reported as a serious delinquency on job applications or other government forms.

Any feedback, thoughts, advice, or other considerations?
General Economics Deals
g: 0 Posted By: fantasma62
Views: 281 Replies: 6 HI Folks,

I am looking to make changes at home and decided to change my alarm system from wired to wireless. My system is almost 15 years old and is failing in certain areas. Also, I am going to change monitoring service. Paying ADT $43 per month is just not acceptable.

So, as I looked around, I found out that Honeywell is very good in alarm systems (I own a wifi thermostat and it works very well) The alarm./whole home system can be controlled via your phone or tablet. You can say that this is a system for a geek. Here are the specs.

It is very important to stress that if you would like to use anything else rather than just the alarm, you will need to have a monitoring service to activate the whole home system. Also, the system does not come with the wifi module or the Z Wave controller, which is the one that allows you to control the whole home. These sell separtately, but I had read many comments that in some cases, the unit is coming with the Z Wave controller already installed. I just bought mine today and I am hoping this is the case.

Either way, not sure if anyone would consider this a hot deal, but I did, and I bought it...

This control panel is in Amazon right now for$199.95when last week it was selling for $212.95. Also, I read yesterday that some of the systems are
Home & Garden Deals

Amazon Coupons
Save even more when printing coupons
Added on : Saturday September 28th 2013 04:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: lordoffire
Views: 114 Replies: 0 Since coupons.com changed the layout of their site, it has become a PITA just to change zip codes, which often is necessary for targeted coupon offers to show up. Fortunately, coupons.com affiliate pages are still using the old style with the zip code box on the side. As much as I despise referrals/affiliates, one of the options out there that is actually worthwhile using is Swagbucks' coupon program. For each one you print (AND REDEEM) they give you 10 "swagbucks" which you can use towards purchasing any number of items, including Amazon gift cards, which are the best deal. At last glance, $5 gift cards start at about 450 points, so every time you print 50 coupons you'd be getting back an extra $5 just for printing from their page. I don't know how much of a kickback they actually get from coupons.com, but hey, they're basically paying you $0.10 each time you print a coupon. And yes, you do get credited multiple times for the same coupon by logging in to the same account on different computers.

Even if you never do anything else with the site, you can still do pretty well if you use a lot of coupons. (There have been events in the past where they doubled or more the amount of points you'd earn from each coupon during a certain time, those were fantastic.) It does take a while to credit, at least a month or two; however I haven't had a problem with getting the points.


If it interests you, you can sign up at http://www.swagbucks.com/ (click below the login form).
You can use your cat's FB login to set up an account if you'd like, just remember to ask nicely or distract it with a stick. (I believe they do post junk to your account FYI; in a previous case, misleading ads about fake earnings.) Otherwise all it takes is an email and a password on the regular form.

Once logged in, mouseover the "Discover" menu option and click "Coupons" or just bookmark this link: http://www.swagbucks.com/p/coupons

They print normally, just using the older style to list them.




*This is not, and was not meant as, a referral post. Just a more efficient and beneficial way of retrieving coupons.*
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jaarons
Views: 59 Replies: 0 Hey folks, Blue switches are the best, IMO, and this company makes a pretty solid keyboard (I have one from them, the RK-9100 Blue)

This was in my email yesterday:
It's a really good deal on them because the quality of the kb itself is great,
even though you're not paying for a fancy brand name.

If you have never had a mech keyboard before, I'd highly suggest trying one (of any brand really) because once you get used to the clicky sound, they are really nice.

Anyway, without further adieu:

Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard RK-9000I with Cherry MX Blue Switch (White)
$49.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201052
Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard RK-9000 withCherry MX Blue Switch (Black)
$49.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201040




Keyboard & Mouse Deals

Newegg Coupons
My sister -in -law emptied out ot my business account
Added on : Thursday September 26th 2013 10:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: johndomatic
Views: 41 Replies: 0 I have a property management company that collects rent for my property, and my sister in law transfered over $20,000 from my business accountthere.I am going to have a hard time paying my bills!The management company also manages some of her properties. My property is owned by a LLC andI have51% ownership and 49% is owned by my elderly father. My father andis on vacation so its hard to talk to him about it. I believed my sister in law could of fooled my father in making the transfer. I did not know a third party who is not a member of the llc could instruct the property managent company to doso such a transfer. Isn't this illegal ? is there anything I can do? I thought in a LLc the manager is suppose to pay all of the bills and take care off LLC, not empty it out.
New User Question Deals
Get Clean: 51 Full Size Pears Soap Bars 97.7/Bar Shipped After FW
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 08:00:07 PM
g: 1 Posted By: tsipple
Views: 241 Replies: 0 Harmon Face Values is selling 3-packs of full size (4.4 ounce/125 g) bars of Pears soap for $2.99 per pack. Both varieties of Pears soap are available at the same price. There's a 2% FatWallet rebate for purchases at Harmon Face Values, and orders of at least $50 include free shipping. Thus if you order a total of 17 packs in any combination you'll end up paying 97.7 cents per bar all-in after rebate. That price is a bit less than the dollar store, and you don't have to burn any gasoline to get there.

Pears soap amber
Pears soap green

On edit: I've noticed that at least some dollar stores (e.g. Dollar Tree) have downsized to the small 75 g bars. Harmon is selling the full size bars here.
Health & Beauty Deals

Harmon Face Values Coupons
Best way to sell my car
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: MightySlacker
Views: 206 Replies: 1 Have a 2009 HHR with 93K miles, no accidents or major issues. I owe $3300 on it, I just refinanced a couple moths ago with PenFed at 1.74%, so I still owe 23 payments of $148.xx. Literally a week later, I was offered a promotion that included a company car, so I don't have a need for this one (I also have a beater in the unlikely event of job loss).

I'm thinking I should pay it off with a card, though none of my 0% APR cards have a high enough balance, it'd have to be my Chase Sapphire. I'd pay off the card immediately upon sale, though not sure how quick I could get rid of it. Should I wait to get a buyer before paying it off (or is having to wait for the title a big negative for buyers), and whats the best avenue these days for selling?

Dave
Personal Finance Deals
Expatriating to Switzerland
Added on : Tuesday September 24th 2013 10:00:05 AM
g: 1 Posted By: nasheedb
Views: 203 Replies: 16 Little bit of background first. My gf is finishing up her PhD and will likely graduate early next year. In her field, it is very common, almost expected, to do a couple of years of post-doc after graduation. When we started dating, she always said that she wanted to do her post-doc in Europe because it would help her career tremendously. I've always been firm in wanting to stay in the US since I'm pretty well established here, I have a good paying job in a niche industry and I own a house.

In August my gf had a conference in Switzerland that she attended. I went with her the FWF way, paid for the flight with miles and stayed in her hotel room that her school paid for. The week before we left, I was browsing some forums when I came across a job posting in Switzerland, a job that I was qualified for. I sent the link to her just to show her what I found. I was never planning on applying, but she strongly encouraged me to do so and I did. I figured I had nothing to lose. The company was very interested in talking to me and they setup an interview for the following week. I met with them on a Tuesday, and the interview went very well, in fact they asked me to come back for a follow-up interview two days later. After the second interview they explained to me what's going on. They're very interested in me, I'm the perfect candidate for the position, however, I am a US Citizen. Since the IRS strong-armed their banks into turning over tax cheats, they don't like Americans very much. In fact, for every job opening they have, they have to first recruit in Switzerland, then the EU before they can even consider an American. The government will not approve work visas for Americans unless it is an absolute necessity. Fast forward a month and I receive a job offer.

The details:
Age: 26
Current Salary: low 100s. No bonus, no compensation for overtime, nothing extra. I'll be very lucky if I get a 3% raise next year.
Benefits: 2 weeks vacation, 1 week sick, 9 paid holidays, 4% match on 401(k) if you max it out
Job conditions: Terrible. There are 4 of us on the team who do the same thing as me. I have about 10 years experience with this product (yeah, I really started working in this industry at 16) and not to be tooting my own horn, but I'm an expert at what I do. There are 3 others on the team, and their experience ranges from literally fresh out of training to 3 years with the product. The guy who has the 3 years experience should be able to do a lot, but he's the most incompetent person that I've ever had to work with. Because of the inexperience/incompetence on the team, very basic changes need to be made in the middle of the night and I have a lot of changes to make. I am up very late at least once a week, sometimes more. I also put in a lot of time on the weekends, sometimes I even work 20+ hours in a single weekend. All this extra work I receive absolutely no compensation for. Additionally, the company as a whole is doing really badly, we're losing clients, laying off employees, etc. Things are bad now, but they will only get worse. There is a very real chance that I will get laid off in the next 12 months, especially if the others on the team gain more experience as they probably make a lot less than I do. I'm on-call 24/7.

The offer:
Base salary: $115k when converted to USD
Bonus: 15% or a little over $17k if 100% of targets are met (not quite sure what the targets will be)
Sign-on bonus: $5.5k for relocation assistance and they provide an apartment for a month while I get my own apartment
Benefits: 5 weeks vacation, pension contribution (I think around 4.5% of salary), overtime pay (or additional time off, but I'd take the money) for anything over 45 hours/week and the Swiss don't have "Exempt" classifications, company paid accident insurance (global), $100/week extra every week that you're on-call
Job conditions: employees are much more expensive to the company since they have to pay them more and they can't abuse them and treat them like slaves. That means that they're only hiring the best of the best, employees who can get a lot done in a short amount of time. All my coworkers would all be very smart (this was apparent in the interview), I wouldn't be constantly banging my head against the desk about what a stupid mistake someone made. The Swiss also have a very good work ethic, they don't browse Facebook, Youtube, FWF etc while they're at work. When you're at work, you're expected to work. There would also be an on-call rotation.

Pros:

I get to try something new and exciting. I've lived in Texas for almost 5 years now. Texas will still be here even if I go overseas for 3 years. If I don't take this chance, I will always feel like I missed out because later on I will likely not be able to do something like this. It's just a lot harder when you have kids.
I get to see all of Europe in 3 years. Switzerland is in the dead center of Europe. Travel is really easy, you have all the cheap carriers like RyanAir and you have an awesome train system.
I'll get to visit extended family more often. My grandparents (as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)live in Eastern Europe. My grandparents aren't going to live forever...
Money. Yeah, I'll be making a little bit more money, but honestly it will be a wash because living in Switzerland is very expensive. Where the money really makes a huge difference will be with my gf. Pretty much all post-docs in the US pay $40-45k/year independent of location (basically no COL adjustment). In Switzerland, she would make $90-100k/year as a post-doc. If we lived together in Switzerland, that would certainly cut down on my living expenses.
Savings: My goal would be to save up $100k cash while living in Switzerland, probably 3 years. This would come from lower standard of living, going from a 3000 sq ft house to a 1 bedroom apartment, going from 2 cars to a bicycle.
Side income: If I quit my job, there is a very high chance that I'll get extra 1099 work from them at least in the short term, until they find someone to replace me. I work remotely now, and my employer doesn't care where I am working from currently. By the time I finish my work in Switzerland, they're just starting the day in the US, so the time-zone difference actually plays in my advantage
Career. While this job itself is essentially a lateral move for me from a responsibility perspective, gaining international experiencewill help my career in the future

Cons:

The unknown
High cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the part of Switzerland that I would be about $2000/month. Food is at least twice as expensive as it is in the US. The Swiss are very healthy, all their food is organic and they've banned a bunch of chemicals that we eat every day. This means that you're essentially forced to buy all your groceries at Whole Foods. Any restaurant meal will be at least $30-40 a person.
Lower standard of living. I'd be going from living in a 3000 sq ft house to a 1 bedroom apartment. I'd go from driving everywhere to having to bike and use public transportation, etc.
I get stuck in Switzerland alone ifmy gf isn't able to find a post-doc.
Absentee landlord. I wouldn't sell my house, I'd rent it out. I'd have to deal with the headaches of being an absentee landlord. I'd also probably end up cash-flow negative on the house since my loan is for 10 years.
Miss out on retirement contributions. No 401(k), most likely no Roth IRA either (too much income), but I've already got a pretty good head start on retirement savings, so this isn't that big of a deal. I have close to $200k saved up for retirement already.

My thoughts at this point are that the salary that they're offering me is a little bit on the low side. I'd like to get at least another 10%. They obviously couldn't find someone qualified in Switzerland or the EU, if they could then they wouldn't have made me the offer. I think I can approach this from the angle of "I'm making almost that much today, but in a much lower cost of living area". What are everyone's thoughts? Should I do this or no? How should I handle the salary negotiation?
Personal Finance Deals
What to do with small windfall
Added on : Monday September 23rd 2013 02:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: protomenace
Views: 108 Replies: 4 I was pleasantly surprised recently to learn that I will be receiving a pretty nice income boost and a pretty decent sized one time payment. I'm not sure what exactly I should do with the money. I have some debt, but the interest rates are not that high for some of the debt. I'm basically weighing my options of paying off the debt vs investing the cash. I'm not exactly sure what the tax details of the one time payout will be, but I'm fairly certain it will be treated as regular income. What does FWF think?

Here are the details:

Monthly Income (post payroll deductions):
Currently: $4170
Soon to become: $5338

One time income (pre-tax): around $37500

Debt:
Student loans:

10000 @ 6.549%
4200 @ 5.35%
5000 @ 4.25%
5000 @ 3.15%

Car loan:
15000 @ 1.5%

Assets:
Liquid: $9500
Roth IRA: $8500
Other stocks: $3500

Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $895
Transportation:$250
Utilities: $150
Auto Insurance:$139
Food: $300
Roth IRA contributions:$458
Cell phone:$60
Total: $2252







Personal Finance Deals
Need Help - Payment to Health Insurance Provider
Added on : Sunday September 22nd 2013 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: PutThatCoffeeDOWN
Views: 72 Replies: 1 I recently lost my job and am now paying a monthly premium of $1200 for family health insurance. My provider doesn't not take credit cards - just checks.

In a perfect world, I'd love to use my Discover card to take advantage of Cash Back rewards. Is there anything I can do here? For example, use my Discover card to buy a gift card (get Cash Back rewards) and then cash the gift card out, deposit into checking and then pay health provider?

Please help!
Personal Finance Deals
Buying A New Car As 1099 For Fun And Deductions
Added on : Saturday September 21st 2013 10:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: perpetualstudent
Views: 188 Replies: 0 I recently started some high paying 1099 consulting work and I'm looking at things to write off taxes that are quasi-business quasi-personal expenses but are legitimate in the eyes of the IRS.

I've wanted to buy an SUV for a while but I don't need one, my existing car is just fine, is fully paid off, and I bought my existing car brand new and own it fully. Financially it would be ridiculous for me to buy an SUV as a second vehicle. (I would keep my current car which gets great mileage).

To make the situation even more against buying an SUV, I dislike buying used cars because of the potential for headaches. I went out of my way to save up cash and buy my current car brand new, with the understanding I'd keep it for 15+ years/300k+ miles. It's a Honda Civic from 2005 and has just under 100k miles now. I hate wondering whether the previous owners smoked weed in the car and a police drug dog might ping on it. Or that they screwed something up that I find out later. And constantly needing repairs. When I buy new, and I'm the only person who drives it, I feel better about it.

Of course, buying new and taking a huge depreciation hit is what really makes buying a second vehicle stupid and how expensive collision/comprehensive insurance costs are in those first few years. Unless I buy it as a business vehicle! Here's the concept I'd like feedback on:

1) Buy the SUV that I want, brand new. Keep my Civic.
2) Claim the SUV as a business "expense", driving it to the airport, and leaving it parked there when I fly out.
3) The IRS can't argue that the SUV is a mixed personal/business use item because I'm keeping my Civic.
4) I get to depreciate something like 60% of the vehicle over 2 or 3 years, against my taxes
5) I'll probably stop doing traveling consulting work in 3 to 5 years when I get burned out, then I "keep" the SUV as a personal vehicle
6) By that point, I have a 5 year old SUV that's in nearly perfect condition with maybe 10k miles on it total because I only drove it to and from the airport twice a week. I bought it new, I maintained it well, and while on paper/KBB, it's worth less than half what I paid, it's essentially nearly worth a new SUV to me at that point compared to the value of an actual new SUV.

By doing this strategy, I still eat the depreciation of the vehicle, but I get to write off half of the depreciation against my taxes (since I'm nearly 50% tax bracket with everything added up).

In theory, one could do this with any car, and it might make more sense if doing it when you actually need to replace a car. Suppose I timed it such that I'm 5 years away from my 300k miles/15 year mark on my Civic where things start going back. I could buy a new Civic, barely drive it for 5 years just to and from the airport, and then at the 5 year mark, I have a 5 year old Civic that's like new, with 10k miles on it, and I retire/sell my old Civic.

Any flaws in this strategy? Will it work from an IRS perspective?

Is leasing better for this to work? I know little about it.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: Bigolac
Views: 220 Replies: 0 Was looking for some under cabinet lights for my kitchen, and came across these:

[url]http://www.menards.com/main/lighting-fans/indoor-lights/accent-l...[/url]

These are motion sensor battery operated led lights that have high/low/off settings.

Amazon has these priced at $11.23 plus $6.99 to ship ($18.22 per):

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-72404-Dot--Golden-Activated/dp/B0...[/url]

Amazon also has a three pack in black for $49.99 ($16.66 per):

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-72422-Battery-Operated-Under-Cabi...[/url]

I ended up paying $9.52 each including tax and 'processing fee'.

They're on clearance for the white color, single pack - of course, YMMV. I picked up five with store pickup. Batteries are included which is nice.

Note - if you choose in-store pickup, they charge a 'Processing Fee', which turned out to be $1.40 for me. You might get lucky and just go to the store to see what's in stock, but I wanted to make sure I got some.

Apparently you can remove the prism diffuser fairly easily and get a more flood type light rather than the stock spot light.
Home & Garden Deals
Online Business - Thoughts on out of state incorporation
Added on : Friday September 20th 2013 06:00:24 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mattadept
Views: 67 Replies: 0 Hi All,

I am currently residing in NYC, and thinking to incorporate an online business in one of the more tax friendly states (Wyoming specifically). I wanted to ask some thoughts on entity establishment and any filing concerns.

I am leaning towards an S-Corp, primarily due to greater familiarity with this structure, which I am aware has pass through status. As such I would, as a resident of NYC have to pay NY taxes on the salary earned from the corp.

Questions:

Would I have to file in NY as a foreign entity just because I am a resident here?
In the future, should I set it up this way and then move to another, more tax favorable state, such as Nevada, would having incorporated in Wyoming now allow me to earn without paying NY taxes? By which I mean if I opt to incorporate now in NY instead of Wyoming will I be constantly tied to paying taxes in NY, that could be avoided in the future?
Does the amount of work done on the online business impact the location of the incorporation? EG if it was a blog that required constant updating from NYC vs something that was being constantly updated from many locations.



Personal Finance Deals
Online brokers Interactive Broker vs Option House or Trade Station
Added on : Wednesday September 18th 2013 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: kd7539
Views: 120 Replies: 1 Stock commissions:
Interactive Brokers $1 per 100 shares .0035 or flat rate $.005 per share
Option House flat fee $3.95 also 100 free trade promotion with 5k account
Trade Station $.01 for 500 shares, .006 afterwards

Is IB worth trading with if you're trading more than 500 shares per trade? In the demo order executions and commissions were charged on partial fills and were separate charges even though only one order to buy or sell was entered. Is this typical of IBs commission structure or is this an error in the demo? I placed a few limit order trades in the demo. The orders were for 500-5000 shares and were not specified as all or non so having a split execution was expected. The fill costs seemed to avg .005 a share. 1 limit order to purchase 500 shares avg 2-5 partial fills at $2.5+ a trade, 2500 shares avg $12.50+ vs expected 9.4 $100 shares + .0035 x2400 shares, 5000 share orders avg commission was $25. I had different ranges in the partial commissions and fills which were $.50-$1 a fill, for some reason some were 0 commission while another partial fills from the same exchange and same size were $1. IB also charges for modified and cancelled orders (there is no specified amount on the IB fee page just that the associated exchange fees are passed to the customer). I think the cancellation-modification fee is $1-2 per order also there might be a possibility that modification/cancellation fees can be waived if you reach a monthly trade quota. So if you only get a partial fill on your 500-800 share order you may be at about the same price as Option House (does not charge for modification) and a few other flat fee $5 brokers. Most of the sub $5 commission brokers charge basic monthly fees. IB charges addiontal fees some can be waived if a trade quota is met others are just standards. In all likely hood I'll be paying monthly fees. I've read good things about IB but at the end of the month how much cheaper is it? It seems very dependent on your fills and commission costs and number of trades. It seems if you trade more than 2-3x a day or 10x a week and the majority of trade sizes are 100-1000ish share range than IB is probably the best broker if you trade more than 1000-2000 share range other brokers might be more competitive and IB would be for adding to your position size and keeping a majority of your portfolio and positions at another firm

Trade Station does not offer a demo but I called and spoke to a representative and he said that the commissions and executions are charged once based on the position size. Also No charge for unexecuted or cancelled shares. They offer free TradeStation and Radar Screen until 2014 which I think is access to their basic platform and screener, TS has been around for a very long time

Option House- geared toward options, but can trade stocks, there's no demo the platform seems ok reviews are avg. They seem like a hat toss probably save $1-2 on the trade commision when you'll get worse fills that cost you more in the end. Seems like OH needs more improvement than IB or TS
Investing Deals
Budgeting effectively using multiple accounts and automatic transfers
Added on : Wednesday September 18th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: loheiman
Views: 81 Replies: 0 I'd like to create a discussion and see how savvy FWers setup their bank accounts, credit cards and automatic transfers for the purpose of effective budgeting.

I've never really been serious about this before but I'm 26 now have little savings and want to change that (have paid off my student loans tho!). I've used Mint and Yodlee for years to track transactions and have spent the last few months using Mint to budget but I feel it's not ideal for accounting for irregular expenses or saving for future goals etc.

My goals are to:
Create scarcity and properly account for future expenses/obligations so I know exactly how much money I can spendat any given time
Ensure that I "pay myself first" and properly save for the future
Create an easy way to save for goals/big purchases such as new laptop, phone, clothes etc

I got inspiration fromthis article on the 4 hour work week blog. I like the idea of automatic transfers and divvying up money into many sub accounts but am unsure how well this will really work with credit cards. Using debit/check cards would obviously simplify this but I can't get myself to do that because I don't want to give up 1) the layer of protection from fraud 2)Lack of liquidity due to large holds and 3) CashBack, miles, points etc

FYII get paid twice a month, on the 31st and 15th via direct deposit with no 401k plan available

MONTHLY FLOW OF MONEY
31st of month:
100% of paycheck direct deposited into central checking account

2nd of month:
40% of paycheck transferred to Monthly Expenses account (used for rent, utilities, bills)
25% of paycheck transferred to Savings account (for retirement/future)
3% of paycheck transferred to Travel account (for travel/vacation)
1% of paycheck transferred to Irregular Expenses account (Misc expenses such as dr co-pays, contacts, renters insurance etc)
31% of paycheck transferred to Everyday Spending account (for food, entertainment, fun etc)

15th of month:
Same as 31st of month

17th of month:
Same as 2nd of month


PAYING FOR THINGS
My thinking here is to have a separate credit card for each type of expense (Monthly, Irregular, Travel etc) and pay each credit card off from its corresponding checking account.

Where I'm a bit stuck is how to pay for Everyday Spending:If i'm constantly using a credit card here, my "view" into how much I have to spend is clouded by two things: 1) The lag of credit card transactions posting to account and 2) Always having to do mental math of subtracting the credit card balance from my Everyday Spending account. Any ideas here? Cash only is not an option as I frequently purchase items online (Amazon prime addict here!)


MISC INFO:
I plan to use Alliant checking acounts for the bulk of my accounts because it transfers money very fast to/from external accounts and instantly between internal accounts
I'd also use Alliant checking for my Everyday Spending account but I've been spoiled by Schwab and the idea of searching for In-Network ATMs sounds terrible
I often open credit cards/checking accounts for miles/bonuses so it'd be nice if I could do that without tangling with my regular accounting


QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
What do you do?
How well does it work?
Have any of you given up credit cards to simplify your system?
How do determine how much spending money you have at any given time and make guilt-free purchases?

Any and all feedback/input/advice is welcome. Thanks!



Personal Finance Deals
Jewel Osco $5 Clearence Cigarettes **Chicago Wrigleyville Location Only**
Added on : Tuesday September 17th 2013 12:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: wonderwoman1978fl
Views: 78 Replies: 0 Attention all smokers paying $12.00 for a pack of smokes in Chicago. I was in the Jewel on Southport and Addison today and in their liquor department in a clearance bin near the checkout counter, they had a bunch of cigarettes marked down to $5.00. From what I could see 60% were no name, and 40% were name brand. Here's to coughing up a lung
Grocery Deals
g: 0 Posted By: blueiedgod
Views: 194 Replies: 0 I haven't shopped diamonds, so I may be rusty, but 1 Ct solitaire for $699 seems like a pretty good deal.

We are not talking multi-carat absolutely flawless diamonds here, but something that an average Joe can afford without having to donate a kidney, or still paying for it well after they are divorced.

Nor something that you have to look at with a magnifying glass, beause it is perfect, but ever so small.


Jewelry Deals

SharkStores Coupons
Free Glasses @ Firmoo (paid reblog program invitation) + Shipping
Added on : Monday September 16th 2013 11:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: IndianInUSA
Views: 344 Replies: 0 Thanks for reading this email. This is Firmoo Optical Co., Ltd., a worldwide popular eyeglasses store which has over 580,000 fans on Facebook. I found that your blog is so fantastic & awesome, so here I was wondering if there is any possibility of cooperating with you.

Currently we provide the following 3 kinds of cooperation.

Free eyewear trial - We send you TWO pairs of high quality and fashionable eyewear for a trial, namely one pair of glasses and one pair of sunglasses. In return, you just need to write an unbiased review on your blog after testing to tell your readers how you think about our products & service. You WON'T be charged any fee in this cooperation and you can keep the eyewear you get.

Paid reblog - Get paid by reblogging our post(s) that is (are) beneficial for your readers. For instance, you can reblog our post about the crazy giveaway.

Sponsorship - We sponsor you to do giveaways so as to reward you readers. The gifts can be vouchers/coupons or products

The final cooperation way(s) will be determined by your personal preference and the comprehensive factors of your blog.
What's more, we have a First-Pair-Free program, so your readers are able to get their first pairs by paying shipping only. Perhaps your lovely readers will like this program, especially for those who are fond of glasses.

P.S.: This offer is available for blogs based in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and some other European countries.

Please reply to mailto:freeglasses@firmoo.com if you're interested in any kind of the above cooperation.
So far, over 10,000 fashion bloggers have cooperated with us, and here we sincerely hope that you can cooperate with us as well. If you have any other better cooperation ideas, just feel free to tell us. We are looking forward to your response.

Best regards,
Firmoo Operations Team

About Firmoo
Firmoo - http://www.firmoo.com/, is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars. For this reason, we have gained a solid reputation and trust from hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook.

Beauty Deals
g: 0 Posted By: perpetualstudent
Views: 104 Replies: 0 I'm about to enter into some 1099 consulting work. It should be fairly lucrative and I want to maximize tax writeoffs for other things. Without going into specifics, here's some general details of three activities I perform, that may qualify as business activities or the IRS may rule them as hobbies.

ACTIVITY 1) Primary 1099 Consulting Work. It's what's really paying the bills. No one can argue this is a hobby. This is where 99% of my income will be derived. As of right now, I plan to do this as a Sole Prop because it's low-liability type work and Sole Prop seems easiest/cheapest to do. Also most common for my profession.

ACTIVITY 2) I have an LLC for this "activity" that I very much enjoy and is something I could potentially do as a business, and people do this work as a business, however I have yet to charge people for my services. I do it to maintain my skills and for fun with friends. I have expenses but I haven't tried to deduct any of them yet. The reason I don't do this as a business is because "ACTIVITY 1" pays 10x more than this activity could possibly pay. This is also a high liability area so the LLC is necessary. Basically over the last few years I've been filing LLC annual fees and keeping it up so I could eventually declare it a legitimate business. By most reasonable assessments, I can demonstrate that I do in fact possess the professional skillset to do this as an actual business and with my background as an MBA, I can write out a rock solid market feasibility study and business plan that would be better than those of 99% of other small businesses. That said, I'm concerned that this could be declared a "hobby" because at least as of right now, it pretty much is.

ACTIVITY 3) This is not currently an entity of any kind, nor is there any money involved yet. This is fiction writing. I enjoy it as a hobby and would love to be published and do it full-time but that's very rare to do and even if there's never any money, I'll keep doing it for fun.

Here's my question/idea:

Can I deduct expenses from Activities 2 and 3 against my 1099 income from Activity 1?

I think the answer is "maybe" and here's the assessment I've done based on some research over the years:

a) I probably need to declare all 3 business "units" as separate with respect to revenue and expenses. So I probably can't write off expenses from Activity 3 against Activity 1.

b) If I keep Activity 1 as a sole prop and Activity 3 as a sole prop, I might be able to merge the revenue/expenses on the same tax return. I assume it's just "add up all revenue from all sole prop activities and add up all expenses from sole prop activities". I don't think I'll need to separate them, however I would need to prove that I have the professional ability to actually be a professional writer and count that as a non-hobby. Without going into full details and boring people, there's a chance I could make a moderate-strength case that I have the coursework/training to be a professional writer.

c) I've read that the IRS allows you to deduct the expenses from a failed business against other income, assuming you can prove it's a legitimate business and not a hobby. As I mentioned in Activity 2 above, I'm 99% sure I can prove it's a legit business, because I have an industry certification to perform the specific professional service, and I have a legit looking business plan/marketing feasibility study. I've also read something to the effect that if the business fails year after year to earn a profit, I have to demonstrate that I've made changes to the business plan, as a real business would that is failing, to try to become profitable by mitigating whatever caused the failures. I think I can do that as well.

I will say that Activity 2 is a VERY expensive hobby. I'd like to turn it into a cheaper hobby by declaring it a legitimate business and deducting expenses.

Activity 3 is a very CHEAP hobby, but I'd like to travel to writing workshops/conferences if I can deduct that as an expense against my primary source of income.

Anyone here have experience doing anything like this? Where you have one primary source of income for 99% of your work but have a few things you really enjoy doing, but aren't really making money, but figured out how to create "legitimate" businesses around them for tax deduction purposes?
Tax Deals
Coulee RCA automatic transfer rqmt question
Added on : Sunday September 15th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dougan778
Views: 97 Replies: 0 I am looking at opening a rewards checking account w/ Coulee. I live in WI and they are somewhat local to me. I know some people here bank with Coulee since they weren't always local-only.

Most rewards checking accounts have a direct deposit requirement, but it looks like Coulee words this as, "Make an automatic payment or have a direct deposit.".

What does Coulee consider an automatic payment? Are they referring to some kind of bill-pay feature? Or does this just mean they want to see an ACH transfer coming out of the account? If so, do you think transferring $$ to my vanguard account every month (which I do already) would meet this requirement? Or having my Chase Credit Cards use this account for paying balances?

I looked around but the only info I could find on this is that the payment must be > $1.

Thanks in advance!
Personal Finance Deals
MILES KIMBELL has a bunch of items starting at $0.32 +
Added on : Saturday September 14th 2013 02:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Ayla
Views: 130 Replies: 1 I made the post this way, because I wanted you to see that the shipping is $9.99, and Processing is $1.99.

BUT: If you find several items you want, and want to get gifts ahead for christmas, paying that will be worth it.

Enjoy shopping!



http://www.mileskimball.com/buy-holiday-resin-bear-325049?parent...


List Price: $5.99
Sale: $1.12


http://www.mileskimball.com/mileskimball/displayitem.aspx?id=339...

List Price: $29.99
Sale: $8.52


http://www.mileskimball.com/mileskimball/displayitem.aspx?id=315...

List Price:$2.99
Sale: $0.32


http://www.mileskimball.com/mileskimball/displayitem.aspx?id=335...

List Price: $29.99
Sale: $4.92


http://www.mileskimball.com/mileskimball/displayitem.aspx?id=dc0...

List Price: $9.99
Sale: $6.12

REFILLS:
List Price: $1.99
Sale: $0.72



Shipping is $9.99 and Processing $1.99
The price is the same no matter how much you buy
Check out other items
Home & Garden Deals

Miles Kimball Coupons
Bad Contractor Filing a Lien?
Added on : Saturday September 14th 2013 06:00:08 AM
g: 1 Posted By: master44
Views: 1092 Replies: 21 I am working on a home improvement project in which I am filing plans with the county; for this particular project the county requires review and sign off from a structural engineer.

I couldn't find any good sources for recommendations so basically went down the phone book; I found most structural engineers don't work residential projects, they chase the big money. It took a while, but I finally found someone willing to assist.

The structural engineer came out, talked and did some rough measurements and then told me he would have plans to me within 3 days. His rate was $75/hr and he estimated 3 hours. I didn't sign anything, it was just a handshake and we'll be in touch soon.

The date he committed came and went, he never called or emailed, I caught him on the phone several days past his commitment and he told me he was busy, but would have plans to me the next day. The next day came and went and again no plans, I let another day pass and then called him again. He once again said he was busy and told me he would email me plans that afternoon or evening. Again I got nothing so the next day tried to contact him, I also followed up by writing an email detailing the poor communication. In the email and voice mail I told him he had until mid afternoon to get back to me with his intentions otherwise I would cancel my business relationship with him and go elsewhere. Mid afternoon came, hadn't heard from him so called and left another voice mail and email saying I would not be doing any business with him and will not be paying him for any work he starts.

I didn't hear from him until a few days later when I receive a letter with the Structural Plans postmarked one day after I sent him notice of not doing business with him. At the time I received the plans from him I had already signed a contract with a different engineer and they had begun work. I just basically ignored and tossed aside the plans the original engineer sent. Today I received a call with a blocked number that I answered and it was the original structural engineer requesting payment. I told him I wasn't paying, he did unauthorized work...

Long conversation short he threatened to place a lien on our property and/or bring us to small claims court. My question is can he just place a lean on my property without a judgement? With no contract and me sending notice via email can he still hold me to pay him for work he did? Not only is the letter he sent postmarked a day after I wrote him, so is the letter he sent me. I guess he could claim he didn't get the email or voice mails, but seems highly unlikely? Just want to see what headaches I have headed my way with this? I am most concerned about him being able to file a lien and then I have to sue him to get it undone, is that how it works?

Thanks! BTW this is in Colorado.

edited to correctly spell lien..












Discussion Deals
Bad Contractor Filing a Lein?
Added on : Friday September 13th 2013 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: master44
Views: 551 Replies: 10 I am working on a home improvement project in which I am filing plans with the county; for this particular project the county requires review and sign off from a structural engineer.

I couldn't find any good sources for recommendations so basically went down the phone book; I found most structural engineers don't work residential projects, they chase the big money. It took a while, but I finally found someone willing to assist.

The structural engineer came out, talked and did some rough measurements and then told me he would have plans to me within 3 days. His rate was $75/hr and he estimated 3 hours. I didn't sign anything, it was just a handshake and we'll be in touch soon.

The date he committed came and went, he never called or emailed, I caught him on the phone several days past his commitment and he told me he was busy, but would have plans to me the next day. The next day came and went and again no plans, I let another day pass and then called him again. He once again said he was busy and told me he would email me plans that afternoon or evening. Again I got nothing so the next day tried to contact him, I also followed up by writing an email detailing the poor communication. In the email and voice mail I told him he had until mid afternoon to get back to me with his intentions otherwise I would cancel my business relationship with him and go elsewhere. Mid afternoon came, hadn't heard from him so called and left another voice mail and email saying I would not be doing any business with him and will not be paying him for any work he starts.

I didn't hear from him until a few days later when I receive a letter with the Structural Plans postmarked one day after I sent him notice of not doing business with him. At the time I received the plans from him I had already signed a contract with a different engineer and they had begun work. I just basically ignored and tossed aside the plans the original engineer sent. Today I received a call with a blocked number that I answered and it was the original structural engineer requesting payment. I told him I wasn't paying, he did unauthorized work...

Long conversation short he threatened to place a lean on our property and/or bring us to small claims court. My question is can he just place a lean on my property without a judgement? With no contract and me sending notice via email can he still hold me to pay him for work he did? Not only is the letter he sent postmarked a day after I wrote him, so is the letter he sent me. I guess he could claim he didn't get the email or voice mails, but seems highly unlikely? Just want to see what headaches I have headed my way with this? I am most concerned about him being able to file a lean and then I have to sue him to get it undone, is that how it works?

Thanks! BTW this is in Colorado.












Discussion Deals
Bad Contractor Filing a Lean?
Added on : Friday September 13th 2013 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: master44
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I am working on a home improvement project in which I am filing plans with the county; for this particular project the county requires review and sign off from a structural engineer.

I couldn't find any good sources for recommendations so basically went down the phone book; I found most structural engineers don't work residential projects, they chase the big money. It took a while, but I finally found someone willing to assist.

The structural engineer came out, talked and did some rough measurements and then told me he would have plans to me within 3 days. His rate was $75/hr and he estimated 3 hours. I didn't sign anything, it was just a handshake and we'll be in touch soon.

The date he committed came and went, he never called or emailed, I caught him on the phone several days past his commitment and he told me he was busy, but would have plans to me the next day. The next day came and went and again no plans, I let another day pass and then called him again. He once again said he was busy and told me he would email me plans that afternoon or evening. Again I got nothing so the next day tried to contact him, I also followed up by writing an email detailing the poor communication. In the email and voice mail I told him he had until mid afternoon to get back to me with his intentions otherwise I would cancel my business relationship with him and go elsewhere. Mid afternoon came, hadn't heard from him so called and left another voice mail and email saying I would not be doing any business with him and will not be paying him for any work he starts.

I didn't hear from him until a few days later when I receive a letter with the Structural Plans postmarked one day after I sent him notice of not doing business with him. At the time I received the plans from him I had already signed a contract with a different engineer and they had begun work. I just basically ignored and tossed aside the plans the original engineer sent. Today I received a call with a blocked number that I answered and it was the original structural engineer requesting payment. I told him I wasn't paying, he did unauthorized work...

Long conversation short he threatened to place a lean on our property and/or bring us to small claims court. My question is can he just place a lean on my property without a judgement? With no contract and me sending notice via email can he still hold me to pay him for work he did? Not only is the letter he sent postmarked a day after I wrote him, so is the letter he sent me. I guess he could claim he didn't get the email or voice mails, but seems highly unlikely? Just want to see what headaches I have headed my way with this? I am most concerned about him being able to file a lean and then I have to sue him to get it undone, is that how it works?

Thanks! BTW this is in Colorado.











g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 227 Replies: 1 the upcoming ad for Office Depot is online on the website

The first page has this item for $8.99 after rewards
Office Depot Brand Premium Multipurpose 10-Ream Case Paper

8-" x 11", 20lb, 96 Brightness, 500 Sheets Per Ream
677-947
It's like paying $8.99 After Office Depot Rewards
You pay $48.99 - You get up to a $40 Office Depot Rewards Certificate = After Rewards $8.99

Limit 2 per household/business. See page 7 for details.
Office Depot Rewards: Points are earned on the price paid for a qualifying item before tax and after deducting all discounts and the value of any Office Depot Rewards or Merchandise Cards/Certificates applied to purchase. No points are earned on delivery fees. Points are paid monthly as an Office Depot Rewards Certificate for every 1,000 points earned. Unpaid Points expire at the end of each quarter. Limit 1 account per household/business. Bonus Reward Points valid 9/15/13 9/21/13 11:59 PM ET in-store, online by phone or fax. Allow up to 4 weeks for bonus Rewards to post to your account. Visit officedepotrewards.com or call 866.562.3872 for Terms and Conditions.

However, there's a 20% off coupon right next to it here

If combined, then it's FAC/ARewards, if not moneymaker of sorts. I would say it's also YMMV since I don't know how Office Depot and the rewards programs are nowadays.

Thank you for reading
Office & School Supplies Deals

Office Depot Coupons
Is this bank paying a negative interest rate on a savings account?
Added on : Thursday September 12th 2013 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: burgerwars
Views: 64 Replies: 0 I realize we've been earning negative interest for a while, since many rates are next to zero and don't keep up with inflation, but I came across this document from NatWest (UK). Their cash management account, if the deposit is in the foreign currency of Danish Krone, pays a negative interest rate of 0.75% compounded, effective August 2013.

I remember learning the about the power of compound interest in your savings account as a kid. They never told me about the power of negative compound interest. If you leave your money on deposit long enough, it will eventually disappear.
General Economics Deals
Adding a minor child as an AU backfired
Added on : Wednesday September 11th 2013 05:00:08 PM
g: -2 Posted By: ymf
Views: 95 Replies: 6 So two years ago I added my minor child to my high-CL daily spender account as an AU to boost the future credit score. It worked as advertised: when the child turned 18 and applied for the 1st own CC (CapOne Journey), the credit score (as reported on the denial letter from Capital One) came up a respectable 700+. The application was denied for a curious reason: "Proportion of revolving account balance to income too high." Ha! Idiots. Don't they know that the AU is not responsible for repaying the account?
Credit Deals
BOA Business Card dispute resolution question
Added on : Wednesday September 11th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: TheDave
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I'm having an e-commerce website designed by a company, and am paying for the services with my BOA cash rewards business card.

I've researched the company doing the work, and see no red flags.

But I worry that if nothing is done, will my card cover me? Worst case scenario would be that I pay and get no website, resulting in a dispute being filed.

I have little experience with BOA customer service and wondered if anyone has dealt with their dispute resolution department. Of course the are a huge company and I assume I am covered, but wanted to get the input of the FatWallet community.

Thanks
Should I do an extended mortgage rate lock?
Added on : Tuesday September 10th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: toddpublic
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of building a house that we will likely close on in February. I'm being offered by my lender a 6-month extended rate lock program with the following terms for a 30 year conventional fixed rate mortgage. I'm putting 25% down with excellent credit:

The one-time fee is $1,575 (0.5% of loan amount). The "base rate" will be 4.75% with a cap of 0.5% over the base rate, which is 5.25%. I also have the option to float down within 30 days of closing if the market rate is lower than my cap rate of 5.25%. So basically, I'm paying for a guarantee that I won't have a rate higher than 5.25%.

My question is simple, should I do it or hold out until I can do a regular (free) 60-day rate lock around December? What do people think will happen with the Fed and QE over the coming months? I'm also a little worried because we are still early in the build process (just starting framing this week) so there is the potential it could take longer than the 6 months to close, at which point I've wasted $1,575.

Thanks
Personal Finance Deals
Help. Settling for less then Full for LiveBeat
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: 74ak
Views: 207 Replies: 2 While the post may be more suited for credit boards I am not a deadbeat and am looking to improve my yield

Summary:
- Received a loan from my former employer ($22k, 1.88% fixed, 81months)
- A normal practice for my employer to sell the promissory note to a collection agency who services it
- I called the collection agency inquiring about buying the note out for less than par on the start of a repayment - the declined
- Got a offer in mail today with 5 days to respond to settle for 15% off ( ~$17.5k lump sum, currently ~ 77 months to go)
- I have no liquidity issues. Dont want to jump thru hoops of RCA and can settle, attractive IRR (imho) - 6-7% pretax
- Currently, the debt is not reported to any credit agencies
- Avg Fico Score 800
- Just completed my AOR, curtailed my mortgage to get rid of PMI and paid of a car loan - again in a quest for yield, not looking to refi or but might get a new car loan (0.75% fixed)

Qs:

1) Should I counteroffer (a quick Google search showed they offer up to 50% off ...but to deadbeats - the lady on the phone indicated my "type" (I assume paying type) does not get this kind of offers) and request the new terms in writing while waiting for inflation?
2) IF I am to accept the above 15% off offer, how should approach it?
This particular collection agency is very nasty and I am worried:
a) they will play games with me by posting the payment after the deadline and thus ripping me off of low fixed rate loans - keeping the original amortization schedule/terms and simply curtailing it (opportunity cost, etc - I did accumulate low fixed interest loans on purpose - higher reinvestment rates in the future, inflation etc - and would not want to lose it)
b) suddenly reporting "settled for less than full" to credit bureaus and thus damaging my score (I estimate 40-100pts hit and could take it but rather not OR at least for more $ off - 10k would be fair ). Should I write on a check "payment in full" - does it have any power?

I appreciate any advice, guys.
Personal Finance Deals
Ft Belvoir 1% Cash back for personal loan
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 08:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Drnoside
Views: 263 Replies: 1 Found this while scouring the internet for credit union Cash Back deals.

"The 1% Cash Back applies to any personal loan that is new the credit union. 1% Cash Back is available on personal line of credit loans and will be based on the amount advanced at loan opening. Offer can not be combined with any other promotion special."

Loans up to $25,000, this could work for a quick $250. I don't know the details on how long you have to wait before paying off the loan to get the bonus.
https://www.belvoircreditunion.org/borrow/cashback

Membership seems fairly wide open for retired military or for many organizations in the local area
https://www.belvoircreditunion.org/borrow/cashback
Deal Deals
Ft Belvoir 1% Cash back for personal load
Added on : Monday September 09th 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Drnoside
Views: 8 Replies: 0 Found this while scouring the internet for credit union Cash Back deals.

"The 1% Cash Back applies to any personal loan that is new the credit union. 1% Cash Back is available on personal line of credit loans and will be based on the amount advanced at loan opening. Offer can not be combined with any other promotion special."

Loans up to $25,000, this could work for a quick $250. I don't know the details on how long you have to wait before paying off the loan to get the bonus.
https://www.belvoircreditunion.org/borrow/cashback

Membership seems fairly wide open for retired military or for many organizations in the local area
https://www.belvoircreditunion.org/borrow/cashback
Deal Deals
Why does Sams Club, Costco, BJs charge a membership fee?
Added on : Sunday September 08th 2013 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: atikovi
Views: 184 Replies: 9 Is it just because they can? Wouldnt they get more customers if they eliminated that fee which would result in more sales and greater revenue overall? I dont buy in bulk so have no interest in paying an annual fee for the privilege, but if it was waived, I may go and buy something occasionally.
Question Deals
NCUA Warns Federal Credit Unions About Open Membership
Added on : Saturday September 07th 2013 09:00:12 PM
g: 2 Posted By: NEDeals
Views: 86 Replies: 1 The National Credit Union Administration, a federal agency based in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia has sent a letter to federal credit unions warning them against open membership policies. They seem unhappy the credit unions are advertising that their credit union is available to all via relaxed membership policies or a field of membership that contains access easily obtainable by all. This could make it much more difficult to join some credit unions (e.g. State Department, PenFed, DCU, etc.) that heavily advertise for new members. Credit union members are supposed to have common bonds and the NCUA states guidelines for associations that are used in a field of membership, including paying dues, having meetings etc. .

As the NCUA is a federal agency and thus its works are not copyrightable, here is the text of the letter which is also available at
http://www.ncua.gov/Resources/Pages/LFCU2013-03.aspx
NCUA LETTER TO FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION
1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
DATE: September 2013 LETTER No.: 13-FCU-03
TO: All Federal Credit Unions
SUBJ: Potential Violations of Common Bond Advertising Requirements

​Dear Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer:
If your credit union is advertising that anyone, without limitation, is able to become a member of your credit union, then you may be in violation of federal law and regulation.

Some overly aggressive marketing campaigns by federal credit unions to facilitate membership through associational groups are providing consumers with misleading information about single and multiple common bond membership requirements.

NCUA is particularly concerned about advertising by federal credit unions stating their fields of membership are open to anyone. Several recent examples of such overly expansive advertising focus on becoming a credit union member by first joining a particular association. Mainstream financial publications have picked up on this message, as evidenced by recent articles listing federal credit unions perceived to have open membership. This gives the false impression that there are no restrictions on joining a federal credit unionwhich is not the case.

In light of these issues, this letter is intended to remind you of the:



Common bond requirements in the Federal Credit Union Act and NCUA rules;



Requirements for accuracy of advertising in NCUA rules; and


Consequences of failing to comply with these requirements.


Common Bond Requirements
Section 109(b) of the Federal Credit Union Act limits federal credit union membership to three basic types single common bond, multiple common bond, and community: 1

A single common bond credit union consists of persons related by their occupation, (i.e., their place of employment or trade, industry or profession), or related by their association (i.e., place of worship or affiliations).

A multiple common bond credit union consists of more than one group of persons related by either their occupational or associational affiliations.

NCUA rules, specifically the Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, 2 explain the requirements for the associational common bond. 3 NCUA determines whether a group satisfies the associational common bond requirements based on a totality of the circumstances test, which has the following seven factors 4

1) Whether members pay dues;

2) Whether members participate in the furtherance of the goals of the association;

3) Whether the members have voting rights;

4) Whether the association maintains a membership list;

5) Whether the association sponsors other activities;

6) The associations membership eligibility requirements; and

7) The frequency of meetings.

NCUAs Office of Consumer Protection has begun conducting quality control reviews of federal credit unions that may be improperly using associations to sign up members without a common bond.

Advertising Requirements

Section 740.2 of NCUAs Accuracy of Advertising rule prohibits any advertising or representation that is inaccurate or deceptive. Advertisements that include language to the effect that anyone can join or membership is open to everyonewithout any qualifying languagecan give the impression that the Federal Credit Union Acts single or multiple common bond requirements do not apply. When this occurs, the advertisements are inaccurate or deceptive.

Please review your credit unions advertising and promotional practices and ensure all current and future materials accurately portray membership eligibility.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

The Federal Credit Union Act provides NCUA with a broad array of supervisory and administrative tools to enforce the law and rules. Depending on the degree of non-compliance, NCUA may initiate a supervisory contact, require a federal credit union to divest an associational group from its field of membership, and/or issue a Cease and Desist order.

The tool NCUA chooses will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of a particular violation, available methods to rectify a violation, and the extent of a federal credit unions cooperation.

Upholding the membership standards of every federal credit union charter is essential to maintaining the integrity of the federal credit union system.

If you have any questions about NCUAs common bond or advertising requirements, please contact the Office of Consumer Protection at 703-518-1140 or OCPMail@ncua.gov.

​Sincerely,

/s/

Debbie Matz
Chairman

1 12 U.S.C. 1759(b). Community credit unions serve persons and organizations within the boundaries of a well-defined local community, neighborhood, or rural district.
2 12 C.F.R. 701, Appendix B.
3 12 C.F.R. 701, Appendix B (Chapter 2, Section III.A.1). A single associational common bond consists of individuals (natural persons) and/or groups (non-natural persons) whose members participate in activities developing common loyalties, mutual benefits, and mutual interests.
4 12 C.F.R. 701, Appendix B (Chapter 2, Section III.A.1). The Chartering Manual notes specific examples of categories of groups that may or may not qualify as having an associational common bond.​
National Credit Union Association


Pirate & Princess Day at the Georgia Aquarium on Sept 7th
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 07:00:12 AM
g: 1 Posted By: turtlebug
Views: 181 Replies: 0 On theGeorgia Aquarium's fb page -


ARR! Shiver me timbers, Pirate & Princess Day at Georgia Aquarium is on Saturday, September 7, 2013. Kids 12 and under who come dressed in their finest royal attire or as a scallywag that sails the seven seas will receive FREE admission with each paying adult from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

*Special activities will be held in the atrium from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Join us for special appearances from Medieval Times, the Atlanta Wenches Guild and the Georgia Renaissance Festival costumed characters! The whole day will be fi...lled with pirates and princesses galore!

Other activities will include Whats Your Pirate or Princess Name, Deepos Chat, tattoo stations, photo opportunities and more. There will also be arts and crafts for our royal and pirated guests as well as chances to win great prizes including tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Wild Adventures, Disney on Ice presents Lets Celebrate and other local attractions.

*1 FREE child age 12 and under in princess, prince or pirate costume with each paid adult or Annual Pass Member. Each child receives 1 FREE Total Ticket, which includes Aquarium admission, AT&T Dolphin Tales show and Deepo's Undersea Wondershow.
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Direct Deposit use payrol software for bonuses
Added on : Wednesday September 04th 2013 07:00:06 PM
g: 1 Posted By: cookemperor
Views: 100 Replies: 0 does anyone know about either opening a hobby business bank account and paying yourself or buying ACH software like this or QuickBooks would work?? or is it to much hassle and the feds would think you made more income?? looking to make sure transfers qualify as direct deposit

http://www.halfpricesoft.com/direct-deposit-software/howto-gener...
Deposits Deals
Changes to Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
Added on : Wednesday September 04th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jdcthegreat
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I just got this email:
=12px=14pxSeptember 4, 2013=12pxPenFed frequently evaluates the cost effectiveness of our products so that we can continually offer incredibly low rates to all our members. This evaluation has resulted in a change to your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card and will be effective October 26, 2013.
=12px=12pxhttps://www.penfed.org/promo/20130903emailcashcit/images/first.gif
=12pxThere will be a $25 annual fee assessed once a year on the anniversary date of your PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Credit Card.=12pxHOW YOU CAN AVOID THESES CHANGES
To avoid an annual fee, you can obtain a qualifying PenFed product:

=12px=12pxActive checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
=12px=12pxMoney Market Certificate or IRA Certificate
=12px=12pxMortgage


=12px=12pxInstallment loan*
=12px=12pxEquity Loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance


=12pxCredit cards and unsecured lines of credit are not qualifying PenFed products. =12pxYOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT(S)
You can choose not to accept the changes in this notice by cancelling your account(s). Please call us at 800-247-5626, or send an email to https://dm2prd0211.outlook.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=b8pgRoe-h0u9Kc49nphp0LF3X11gfdAI3ek8tWhGhfPTXscwJ1W0lW15WIVxIEn4MnJlmfY0reY.&URL=mailto%3aosc%40omaha.penfed.org%3fSubject%3dPenFed+Cash+Cancellation with subject line: PenFed Cash Cancellation. You can also write, please include your full legal name, complete mailing address, and the last 4 digits of your credit card account number(s) and send the letter to:=12px =12pxPenFed Card Services
P.O. Box 456
Alexandria, VA 22313-0456=12pxIF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT THE CHANGES

=12pxYour card will no longer be available for use as the account(s) will be closed (if not already closed).
=12pxYou will still be responsible for paying any outstanding balances on your account(s)

=12pxIMPORTANT NOTICE: CHANGES TO YOUR REWARDS STRUCTURE
Effective in your November statement, you will begin earning 3% Cash Back on gas purchases paid at the pump** and you will no longer earn 0.25% on all other purchases on your PenFed Platinum Cash Visa Card.=12pxHOW YOU CAN CONTINUE TO EARN 5% ON GAS PURCHASES
You may continue to enjoy 5% on gas purchases paid at the pump and avoid an annual fee by obtaining a qualifying PenFed product:

=12px=12pxActive checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
=12px=12pxMoney Market Certificate or IRA Certificate
=12px=12pxMortgage


=12px=12pxInstallment loan*
=12px=12pxEquity Loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance


=12pxCredit cards and unsecured lines of credit are not qualifying PenFed products. =12pxAccounts earning 3% on gas purchases will be evaluated monthly to determine if you have obtained a qualifying product. You will begin earning 5% back on gas purchases when you obtain a qualifying product. Please allow up to 90 days for this change. Please see summary chart below.=12px
=12px=12px=12px =12px=12px=12pxWithout Qualifying Product =12px=12px=12pxWith Qualifying Product =12px=12px=12pxGas Purchase at the Pump =12px=12px=12px3% Cash Back =12px=12px=12px5% Cash Back =12px=12px=12pxAll other purchases =12px=12px=12px0% Cash Back =12px=12px=12px0% Cash Back =12px=12px=12pxAnnual Fee =12px=12px=12px$25 =12px=12px=12pxNone =12px=12px=12pxForeign Transaction Fee =12px=12px=12pxNone =12px=12px=12pxNone



Credit Deals
Homeward Residential Refinance Fiasco - Advice?
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tetij1
Views: 65 Replies: 0 We were minding our own business when Homeward Residential called us and asked if we wanted to refinance our vacation property (rental) which is currently owned by them (I believe they are an arm of Ocwen who got this loan from GMAC). The rate they were offering, 3.75 for 15 years, was considerably better than the 6.75 that we are paying for the 23 remaining years of our 30 year loan so I agreed to proceed with the re-fi. Note: I have been hesitant to do this before because the condo is underwater. We have $88,000 remaining on a property that is worth, according to the appraisal, $72K. I told this to the Loan Officer up front and he said that it was not problem.

Anyway, we jump through all their hoops and we receive an email from underwriting on July 31st that the loan was conditionally approved and we needed the appraisal. Subsequently, we pay the $495 for the appraisal, the appraisal comes back at $72K (as expected), and last Friday we get an email from the underwriter saying that we have been denied the loan "due to the property being in a resort area that has nightly rentals and the square footage of the subject is under 400 sq ft". Today in the mail we received an official denial saying that it was based on the following reasons: "value or type of collateral not sufficient" and "unacceptable property".

My question is, if this property was "unacceptable" to begin with due to square footage or whatever else (which they should've known because they own the loan plus the loan officer and I talked about the type of property it is), I don't believe I should have to pay for the appraisal. I feel like it was all just an elaborate scam or, minimally, gross incompetence on the part of the loan officer.

Of course the loan officer has not called me back or returned my email. . .so, my questions are: Do you think there's any chance of my getting the appraisal costs refunded? If so, how? The appraisal did take place. Also, do you think this is something that Homeward does regularly and would be a class action suit (seems stupid on their part, but. . .)?

Thanks for any ideas/thoughts.







Bank Holidays and Due Dates Cautionary tales, etc.
Added on : Tuesday September 03rd 2013 08:00:11 AM
g: -1 Posted By: mactv
Views: 178 Replies: 0 This past July 4, two of my "early in the month" credit cards extended their statement posting dates by a day and it worked in my favor, I had purchases that cleared and I could pay for before the statement cut.Labor Day has been a different story. One credit card cut on the 3rd but payments and postings couldn't happen on the 2nd so I couldn't pay in time before the statement cut. I had purchases that hadn't posted yet the CC wouldn't allow greater payment than 10% of the current balance.

Not the end of the world but annoying, because of credit score issues, and money with the low balance credit trick.I scheduled a Bluebird payment yesterday, and it wouldn't post/send til today. I completely understand that. But when I refilled it today and tried to do another billpay to the same vendor it wouldn't let me because it said the payment was already scheduled.

I suppose people will say "If just one day affects you you are playing the game wrong." I suppose that is true. I'm just trying to figure out ways to mitigate it. The timing was bad on this because I'm moving all my MS money around to pay off a balance so I can get the decks cleared before a special BT offer.

I'm wondering if moving some of the early in the month credit card due dates to the middle or later part of the month might be helpful for avoiding holiday issues (Jan 1, July 4, Labor Day, etc.)?

How do you all handle CCs that have pending authorizations that can't be paid via the CC's online function? Plenty of my banks and prepaid cards have billpay functions but obviously none of these are faster than paying through the CC directly. While I'm aware of statement cutoff dates, sometimes a deal comes up that I have to pounce on with a specific card.

Tl;dr = be conscious of holidays and how they'll affect your payment posting and cutoff dates.
Credit Deals
Affordable Healthcare Act
Added on : Sunday September 01st 2013 11:00:04 AM
g: -3 Posted By: syber
Views: 132 Replies: 4 October 1, 2013 Americans can sign up for Medical insurance coverage through the government. There have been a lot of misinformation and people will have to decide who they believe. From the perspective of personal finance, this will be a very big choice for many people. From my reading I will provide the basics and not argue it.

Each state will have 100 medical policies which people can choose from. These are from the same companies and the same policies we have seen in the past. They are also at the same cost as in the past. The difference is if your family income is less then 400% of the federal poverty level, the government will pay a part of your monthly income. A family of 4 making $92,000 a year is under 400% of the poverty level. A family of 2 making under $40,000 a year is under 400% of the poverty level. So how much you will pay depends on last years adjusted gross income on your federal return and the government pays the rest. Some people do not want the government helping them pay so there is an option of paying the full cost each month yourself. A decent family policy runs between $1000 and $1400 monthly and you make the pick. A family of 2 making $40,000 a year is at $250% of the poverty level and will pay about $200 monthly and the government will pay $1200 monthly for this couple. One other thing to consider if you currently have a high deductible health plan and also pay premiums. If your deductibles, co-pays, and premiums cost you more then 9.5% of your income each year, you can apply under the affordable care plan to keep your health expenses below 9.5% of total health costs. Here is a calculator you can use to see what % of the poverty level your family is at, how much your will pay and how much the government will pay. Remember, use adjusted gross income.
calculator
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Lemmata
Views: 119 Replies: 5 I know Amazon allows GC purchases as small as 15 cents, and I've taken advantage of that for KTC and meeting RCA requirements in the past. However, my local credit union is offering a deal on a reward checking account that I would like to scale by opening many accounts with them. I currently have 9 accounts with this CU and plan to open more. But, each account requires 15 transactions per month on the debit card to qualify for the rewards. I am wondering whether anyone on FWF has either been banned or heard of anyone getting banned from Amazon for buying too many small value gift cards. I have only heard of people getting banned from Amazon for abusing returns, but I can imagine they might not be too happy with me if I start buying dozens of 15 cent gift cards a day every day. But they could have also set a larger minimum than 15 cents, which leads me to think they might not care. Anyone ever scaled up purchases of small Amazon GC beyond a few a day? I would like to play it safe because continued access to Amazon is valuable to me, but Amazon GC are a super easy way to manufacture transactions so I don't want to miss out on that unnecessarily either.

Other than that, does anyone have any good suggestions for generating small transactions for RCAs? The only other methods I have both require the use of a machine that operates at a slow pace - either buy 4 cents at a time worth of gas, or load Bluebird for $1 at a time at a WalMart kiosk (the minimum used to be $20 but it went down when the software was updated to differentiate between Bluebird and the WalMart MoneyCard) - both of which probably take upwards of 1 minute per transaction which is painful if you're doing lots. I've looked into paying utility bills $1 at a time, but that's not an option for me. Does anyone know of a charity that accepts very small contributions via credit/debit card? I would get Square and eat the transaction costs to save time, but I'm sure I would get banned in short order. Maybe I could use someone else's Square, but I think they would question hundreds of 1 cent transactions from the same person even if that person weren't the business owner. The key is minimizing the time I spend per transaction, even if I have to accept some cost (though not too much) in exchange.
Deal Deals
Discover Automatic CLI
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tjguitar85
Views: 40 Replies: 0 I didn't request anything, but got an e-mail from Discover:

We're happy to inform you that we have increased your credit line on your Discover card.

Your new credit line is: $9,300 of which $2,500 is available as Cash.


It was previously stuck at 1k for like 10 years....I had been using it the past month or so for gas and kept paying it down....
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ISGall
Views: 53 Replies: 0 Latest humble bundle is up athttps://www.humblebundle.com.

Right now paying any amount will get you:

The Special Special Special by Maria Bamford(Video)
Live by Tig Notaro(Audio)
My Name is Hannibal by Hannibal Buress(Audio)
Please Be Offended by Jim Norton!(Video)

Paying more than the average donation (currently $8.60) will also get you:

Live at the Beacon Theater by Louis C.K. (Audio & Video)
Mr. P by Patrice O'Neal(Audio)
Unreleasedby Patrice O'Neal(Audio)

It's a great deal if you're a fan of comedy, especially since Louis C.K. currently sells his for $5 on his website and Unreleased (out 8/20/13) and Mr. P are selling for $9.99 each on iTunes right now.

Music & Movies Deals
Private college loans please help I've hid for too long
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dago84
Views: 231 Replies: 3 P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Hello I have some questions regarding my student loans. I know there are government loans and private loans. My government loans were garnished until a certain period of time, and then I proceeded to pay them off (on top of my garnishments). The private loans are held through Sallie Mae, and being that they're private they do not garnish. Instead, Sallie Mae has continued to hit me with very high interest rates at which are doubling and tripling my total amount due over the years. I can no longer run and hide, the more I hide the sooner my loans reach $100k mark. I am confused and not sure what to do, it seems if I start paying I will simply be paying the interest for years and years prior to even touching the principal amount due. Onto my question, and I have to ask because I don't know what to do. I have been told by many people that after 7 years and (3-4 months) private loans will fall off of my credit report. I am coming here to see if there is any truth to this and or what I should do to increase my score.I'm financially stable at this point and need to get the credit score addressed immediately for it is affecting many points in my life. If this means tackling the loans head on, then so be it. It will be a long while before they are paid, but if that's what needs done so be it.If you all tell me I should start paying them, will I see a increase in my score once I start making payments? Thanks all, sorry it's so brief but figured you didn't want a long read. Thank you all, if there is any information you need please let me know. Apprecaite any advice you can offer I'm simply looking for the most cost affective and best way to increase my score. Sadly I didn't even finish college due to a job offer at which I couldn't pass up and I am currently still employed with said company.
Thanks all
Personal Finance Deals
VERY Expensive eye exam, no notice of OOP expenses
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 09:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mortgageornot
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I remember reading a FW Finance thread this year where the eye doctor wouldn't give the patient their glasses rx and the thread started going into how doctors make very little on the eye exam and make a killing on contacts/glasses.
I can't find that thread now (anybody have a link?), but boy is my experience totally different!

I have VSP insurance. My copay for an eye exam is $5 and there is a $125 allowance combined allowance for a contact lens exam and contacts.

Last year I accidentally went to a non-member doctor so this year I went to VSP's website and found a member doctor with good Yelp reviews.

Last month I went in for my eye exam. The DR performed just about every test under the sun. I've been going to what I thought were sophisticated eye doctors for years, but this was something totally different.

DR took these super high res photos of my eyelid/lashes and said they were dirty/clogged up. DR hands me some lid scrub and a spray and tells me to use them twice daily until the follow-up exam a month later.

Also suggested I take Omega3 supplements for either the same issue or something else, I can't remember. And also provides suggestions on how to change diet for eye health.

During the contact lens exam DR says the contacts I've been wearing may be too tight and suggests a different brand and taking both RXs down by .25.

No mention during the entire exam of any out of pocket costs for what DR is doing.

At the end of the exam I'm expecting a $5 copay, but am presented with a bill for $86. This is made up of
$49 for "Digital Screening" (I think those high-res pics)
$15 for the lid scrub
$22 for the eye spray

DR bills VSP:
$214 New Patient Comprehensive exam
$89 for Refraction
$89 for the contact lens evaluation
(above is based on my receipt, I don't know what VSP actually paid DR and VSPs website isn't overly informative even though I can see the exam details there).

Receptionist says after the $89 CL eval I have $36 left of my $125 allowance that I can put towards contacts. DR quotes me $240 ($60 per box x 4) for a 1-year supply of the new contacts. I tell them I'm good for now, knowing I'll buy them myself online.

Ok, $86 out of pocket, no biggie. I move on with my life.

I buy the 1-year supply of the new contacts (4 boxes) from VisionDirect for $97 total, not including another $15 ($15%) I'll get back from ShopDiscover, so basically $20 a box...

Was expecting to submit the receipt to VSP to get that other $36 back, but apparently their website shows my $125 is now exhausted...maybe from some of the charges above?


A month goes by and I go in for my follow-up.

DR says lid scrub/spray seems to have done the trick, my lids are much better.Newer, looser contacts are working out much better and helped fix whatever they were intended to fix.

They dilate me.Again, DR does a bunch of different tests. Now there are apparently two small holes in each of my retinas, but apparently theyve healed themselves nicely. Still DR recommends I take a supplement called 4sight or something for eye health. Again talks about diet changes for eye health.

Again, no mention during the entire exam of any out of pocket costs for what DR is doing.

At the end of this exam I'm expecting to pay $0, but am presented with a bill for $335.

Receipt is broken out as follows:
$200 Existing Patient Intermediate Exam
$230 Fundus photography$240 Scanning opthal diag
$140 External ocular
-$475 Doctor discount (presumably for having VSP?)
So I hand over the credit card and am out another $335 out of pocket.


So I guess my question is: what just happened? Is this normal? Because I really feel like I've been ripped off.

I've been getting eye exams approx every other year for over a decade and can't remember ever paying more than $50-100 out of pocket. Come to think of it I don't ever remember going back for a follow-up. Did I develop some serious eye problems and now this is just the price I have to pay?

DR wants me to go in for another follow-up 2 months from now to keep an eye on the retinas or something else I can't remember.

But I don't want to drop another $300 for what is quickly becoming apparent to me is for no reason. Who knows what new tests I'll undergo next time.

Time to find a new doctor?
Question about IRS no penalty for not paying healthcare tax mandate
Added on : Wednesday August 28th 2013 06:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: KingCheap
Views: 121 Replies: 3 Could accountants and tax experts answer this question? First, I refer to this article about the final regulations just published by the White House in regards to the individual healthcare mandate tax penalty: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/28/white-house-publishes-final-regulations-for-obamacares-individual-mandate-seven-things-you-need-to-know/

Quote from article:
4. "The IRS cant go after you if you dont pay the fineSection 1501(g)(2) of the Affordable Care Act specifies that the IRS cannot subject taxpayers to any criminal prosecution or penalty for refusing to pay the mandate fine. Also, in contrast to normal tax levies, the IRS cannot file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section.Basically, the only thing the IRS can do to make you pay the mandate fine is to withhold it from your tax refund, if youre due one. So if you carefully calibrate your withholdings, such that you arent due a refund at the end of the year, the IRS has no way to collect the mandate fine."- Forbes

Question for accountants and tax experts: Let's say when a person files their 2014 tax return (example: $25,000 yearly salary) and they did not have insurance and they also don't have the money to pay the tax penalty 1% of income (2014), 2% (2015), 3% (2016) and they expect no refund, but may have to even pay $50 to Fed. So, they see $50 must be paid for the normal taxes owedand then the additional $250 obamacare tax mandate is also listed there. They send a check for $50, but don't pay the mandate. Can the IRS be sneaky and say that they took $250 out of your taxes you paid from your salary (normal fed withholding)to put towards the mandate and now you owe $250 for the normal federal taxes or is the mandate completely separate and cannot be from your salary withholding for federal taxes?

Tax Deals
Watch out: Discover removes "pay statement amount" option
Added on : Tuesday August 27th 2013 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: floatupstream
Views: 14 Replies: 0 I always pay the full statement amount on my Discover, and have been using the website since forever. It always featured a button to "pay statement amount" or something like that along with "pay current balance," "pay minimum payment," and "other amount," which you could fill in. I would just click the "statement amount" button and set the payment date. Today, I wasn't paying much attention and didn't notice there were only three buttons: "current balance," "minimum payment," and the "other amount" box. I hit the "current balance" button before I noticed it didn't match my statement; it was about $500 less.

Discover has removed the "pay statement amount" button. Now you have to enter the statement balance in the "other" box. I called Discover about it, and the guy said "There's no statement amount button," like there was never one there. Well, there was.

This is not a huge deal, but if had gone through the payment process, I would've been short on my payment and owed finance charges next month. I just wanted to give other Discover users a heads up on this.
Credit Deals
CC balance transfer on a card that's been 'locked'/sent to collections?
Added on : Thursday August 22nd 2013 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 7 Replies: 1 I have a friend who's been contacted by a collection agency to help her pay off her credit card. She hasn't used it in a couple years so it says 'cancelled' at AMEX and a collection agency just contacted her about some deal where she would pay a lower interest rate. Since I have some experience with AORs, I was going to help her apply for a few cards and do a 3% BT and then just start paying it off slowly over the course of a year without any interest.

My question - can you do a balance transfer on an account once it's gone to collections or been 'cancelled' or whatever it is that AMEX does?
Personal Finance Deals
Account Closed, NOT notified!!! Bank of Anti America
Added on : Tuesday August 20th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: TruckerGuy
Views: 88 Replies: 5 I have done some research online. Within an hour of searching, I realized that many have had a similar situation to mine and in fact for most, much worse. I use been using a small, local, community owned bank for many, many years. I am a Professional Truck Driver, and not having access to a bank while on the road is very inconvenient. I have been a customer of Chase within the past and would not do business with them again. After this issue with B of A this week, I also will not be doing business with them again. The small town I live in only have two national banks, not even any regional ones, only a Chase, B of A, and the rest are all local (1-3 branches each).

=8ptI opened a B of A MyAccess Checking the first week of August 2013. As stated before, I am a truck driver which keeps me on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time. When I finally arrived home and obtained my mail all the pertinent account documents had arrived i.e.; debit card, pin, temporary online banking password and welcome packet. My initial $100.00 opening deposit was funded via ACH with my current checking account with the small, local bank as referenced above.

08/17/2013: I receive mail, activate debit card, register for online banking

08/19/2013: In Illinois (not my home state) I visit a B of A ATM and make a personal check deposit in the amount of $350.00 ($450.00 Balance, $100.00 Available Balance, $350.00 Processing, $150.00 On Hold)

*Personal Check was from my roommate for household expenses. He is also a truck driver thus; we do not see each other often. This is our typical way of paying each other, writing personal checks and then leaving them in a designated spot in the house. NOTE: His check has the same address on it as mine, as we live together.

08/20/2013: In Illinois, same branch, same ATM. Withdrawal of $300.00. Personal check deposit in the amount of $300.00. ($450.00 Balance, $0.00 Available Balance, $350.00 Processing, $250.00 On Hold)

*Personal Check from same roommate, forgot to deposit it the previous day.

08/20/2013: Later this same day, online banking log-in attempt unsuccessful. Telephone banking states account is overdrawn. (-$8,888.88 Balance, $650.00 On Hold)

08/20/2013: Contacted B of A via online secure chat. "Account is being handled by a different department." Referred to contact via phone next business day as their office was already closed. Online CSR would give no further information on account stating, "With your account in this status, I cannot access it from my system, which is why you have to contact the other department."

I have been doing research and have come to the conclusion that this is some type of Risk Management/Fraud/Investigations account closure department. I am SERIOUSLY HOPEING that the -$8,888.88 Balance is just some sort of code for within the B of A. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that I have overdrawn my account to that extent, or any for that matter.

WHY? What is B of A's fraud matrix, so on so forth. Why would this type of legitimate transactions be considered suspicious? I spoke to a friend who works in banking. This type of activity may seem "unusual" in her opinion. And apparently in the banking world "unusual" automatically = fraud. She works for Chase and said that her BIG BANK as she called it, will shut people down at a moment's notice as well. Chase however typically places a freeze on the account and doesn't just close it all willy nilly.

I HATE large banks, because none of them seem to give a darn about Joe working man. They have much more high end personal and business customers in which they can make their money off of. I understand that banks need to make money in order to stay in business, but they shouldn't be trying to do it with deposit accounts. That's what LENDING is for. Now with my account locked out, I am stuck 500 miles away from home with no access to any money. My other bank account with the small local bank hasabout enough money left in it to buy a cheeseburger or two, as I planned on closing it after a few weeks with B of A. Not anymore!!! I may be able to get an advance on my pay check from my company in the morning and I am simply lucky to have that option to fall back on. From the information I can gather online with others who have had a similar experience, me trying to get any answers from B of A is practically pointless if it is a fraud case.I will be the %95 percent of customers who get screwed by B of A and just don't have the time nor energy to fight them.

I just want my money back...plus the other questions I asked,any suggestions??? Thank you!
Personal Finance Deals
Contest speeding ticket or not
Added on : Tuesday August 20th 2013 01:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: samjd
Views: 1 Replies: 0 Hello,

I got speeding ticket along I-25 in Thorntob, a northern suburb of Denver, few days ago. Just half an hour ago, I had received the news of a friend passing away and was in a sense was rushing to their home (73 in 55 zone). I typically drive within 5-10 miles of posted limit and thought it was a 65 MPH zone, while so many things were going through my mind. I received a 4 point violation that will lowered to 2 if I plead guilty, by paying $145. The officer refused to let go with a warning. If I appear in the court and mention my state of mind, is there a possibility the judge might dismiss the case? Anybody has any experience on such matters? Or should I just pay the fine and accept the 2 points, and not waste my time?

Thanks
Pronto PrePaid Card (5% Savings Account - Avail. Texas)
Added on : Tuesday August 20th 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lokimoki
Views: 803 Replies: 5 http://myprontocard.com/
5.1% on 5K
$3 monthly fee, waived w.$1000 DD
Paying the$3 monthly fee = 4.38%


Deal Deals
Pronto PrePaid Card (Yet Another 5% Savings Account)
Added on : Monday August 19th 2013 11:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: lokimoki
Views: 55 Replies: 0 http://myprontocard.com/
5.1% on 5K
$3 monthly fee, waived w.$1000 DD
Paying the$3 monthly fee = 4.38%


Deal Deals
Etrade: Place 45 trades and get $135 rebate
Added on : Monday August 19th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: LongDongSilver
Views: 30 Replies: 0 Not sure if this offer is targeted.

"When you place 45 or more stock or options trades by September 30th, 2013, we'll rebate you $3 per trade on the first 45 trades. That's the same as paying just $6.99 per trade.

GET A $135 REBATE

WHEN YOU PLACE 45 TRADES BY SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

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Investing Deals
Question on Validation of Debt - Possible Red Light Camera? Revisited
Added on : Sunday August 18th 2013 02:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: JHO5
Views: 63 Replies: 1 A while back, I had posted on this topic: http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1268754/Today I got a notification from Credit Karma that this had been posted against my credit score. I've still never received anything in writing regarding this and still never even heard from a real person. There was one voicemail that was completely robodialed again that left the same number that if called back was an answering machine asking for my contact information.SO how do you dispute a bill (or redlight camera ticket in this case) you never got, against a debt collector who won't speak to you directly, and won't send a letter that I can then dispute?This was never a question of paying it if it's a valid ticket...I just can't even request proof of the ticket if they don't really contact me...
Personal Finance Deals
Marriage - Raw Deal For Guys?
Added on : Saturday August 17th 2013 06:00:08 PM
g: -1 Posted By: Manning2
Views: 103 Replies: 1 I've been negative against marriage from a guys perspective. I worked hard for certifications/degrees and realize it becomes community property in a divorce.
Prenups can be out the window, as in NY, they found they if you force her to sign one to have a wedding, that could be undue stress, etc..
And after seeing my friend get married for 2 months, it not work out, and the divorce still pending after 2 yrs,(along with her initially wanting alimony)...And then there was the Boston case, where the couple got divorced in 1980 with no alimony, the woman had financial issues 28 yrs later in 2008, and the guy's girlfriend is now paying his alimony...Anyway searching the web, came across www.dontmarry.com Wondering what others feel on the subject and what can be done to make divorces more equal?
-----------------------
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703399204574505700...
Paul and Theresa Taylor were married for 17 years. He was an engineer for Boston's public-works department, while she worked in accounting at a publishing company. They had three children, a weekend cottage on the bay and a house in the suburbs, on a leafy street called Cranberry Lane. In 1982, when they got divorced, the split was amicable. She got the family home; he got the second home. Both agreed "to waive any right to past, present or future alimony."But recently, more than two decades after the divorce, Ms. Taylor, 64, told a Massachusetts judge she had no job, retirement savings or health insurance. Earlier this year, the judge ordered Mr. Taylor, now 68 and remarried, to pay $400 per week to support his ex-wife.
"This is insane," Mr. Taylor says, adding that the payments cut his after-tax pension by more than one-third. "Someone can just come back 25 years later and say, 'My life went down the toilet, and you're doing goodso now I want some of your money'?"The nature of marriage has changed dramatically over the decades. Women now make up almost half of the American work force. But alimony, a concept enshrined in ancient law, has remained remarkably constant. Now, the idea that a husband should continue to support his wife forever, even after the demise of their marriagelong a bedrock of divorce lawis being called into question.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: BennyZz
Views: 185 Replies: 0 Just saw the news. The promotion is offered in some markets in Florida as well as some markets in a few other states in the Southeast. It also states that the promotion includes a $60 mail-in rebate when a Lumia 1020 camera grip is purchased with the phone, which makes the grip free. So instead of paying roughly $300 (phone + grip, Amazon price), you only need to pay $200 + tax. The problem is that we don't yet know which stores have this promotion.Here is the link to the news (not to the sale).http://bgr.com/2013/08/16/nokia-l...-sale-att/I have called a few stores in Tampa, Florida and they do NOT have this promotion. So please report back your findings.
Cameras Deals

Amazon Coupons
Whole Life Policies
Added on : Friday August 16th 2013 01:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: HooDoo23
Views: 207 Replies: 2 I don't have a good understanding of whole life insurance policies other than recently searching about whole life and coming to realize I probably made a bad decision in purchasing them. I have 2 polices with Northwestern Mutual. A 50K whole life policy purchased 8-10 years ago:
Net Death Benefit $50,307
Net Cash Value $3,048.05
Total Loans $0.00
Available for Loan $3,024.15
Loan Interest Rate 8%
Monthly Premium $62.07
2013 Dividend $41.152nd is a 300K policy listed as a 65 life policy which I'm guessing is also whole life, purchased 3 or 4 years ago:
Net Death Benefit $307,523
Net Cash Value $1,862.27
Total Loans $0.00
Available for Loan $1,758.12
Loan Interest Rate 8%
Monthly Premium $517.80
2013 Dividend $518.25I also have 650K of term life in place.I am 38, married, 3 kids. I am a business owner, no 401K, around 20K in an IRA. My business has started to do well the past few years and I have been able to pay off credit cards and most loans from starting the company. My income was around 200K last year. This year income will be around the same amount. I haven't been putting additional money into an IRA but now that I am close to paying off my debt, I would like to max the IRA's out for my wife and myself by the end of the year. I also put money into a 529 education plan for my kids each month. My question is what should I do regarding the whole life policies? Cash them out and put that 5K cash value I would get into an IRA? Am I too far into it and just need to hold on to them now? I hate the thought of how much money I have paid on these policies and only getting 5K back but from what I have read it sounds like that might be the better option. Thanks for any advice in advance.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: johnqsmith
Views: 33 Replies: 0 I'm a first time home buyer. Comparing FHA and conventional.I hate the idea of pissing away the PMI. However, I am a business owner and could use the capital saved from not putting 20% down. I'm actually trying to take out a line of credit currently as I could use all the capital I can get.
For a 250,000 house (for example) I have calculated the following is my cost of doing FHA instead of conventional. I am not sure of the *exact* interest rate numbers because we haven't actually done the pre-approval process, but was given rough numbers.FHA - ~4.950% , 3.5% down, pay PMI
Conventional - 5.150%, 20% down, no PMIThe difference in cash outlay is 16.5% of 250k, or $41,250.The difference in "wasted money" PMI + interest rate (saving a little interest but paying PMI) is $230 (PMI) + savings of $30 slightly lower interest rate. OR $200 more per month in "wasted" funds if I go with an FHA loan.
In other words, by taking an FHA loan over conventional, I'd essentially be taking out a loan of $41,250 at 5.85% annual interest.Given that I'm trying to keep / add as much cash as possible in my business, I would happily take a loan or line of credit from a bank for my business for 5.85%Is this a no-brainer?Am I missing anything with regards to FHA vs conventional costs?
New User Question Deals
Investment/retirement plan for parent
Added on : Wednesday August 14th 2013 01:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: motuwallet
Views: 8 Replies: 0 One of my parents has asked me for some advice regarding their current investments. I thought I would poll the FWF communities for some ideas. Background info:
Age: 60
Income: hard to predict. between 0-30k from working for the next 10 years, then 0 after. presumably SSA payments after that (?) but I have no idea how that works.
Balance sheet:
IRA - about 600k, currently managed by a financial advisor who charges 1%/yr and has it in an assortment of mutual funds. it's about 70% equities, 30% bonds right now.
Home - 350k mortgage at about 6% interest. Home value is about 1 million.
Cash - about 600k, sitting in various money market accounts earning essentially 0%.
Total: 1.85MM net worth. 1.2MM liquid/IRA, 650k in houseMy parent has expressed a desire to keep some of the cash available for 1) facilitating living expenses and 2) maintaining options for investment opportunities. This parent from time to time gets presented with what are essentially "inside track" deals in the local real estate market which could be short term lending or an opportunity to partner on an investment/rental property. These are safe bets with good returns (let's say 15%/yr, 0 risk) when they come up, but there's no telling when the next one will be.
Secondly, there is an interest in shifting a portion of the investment portfolio into higher risk, higher return investments. Mortgage:
Clearly, the mortgage at 6% is bleeding money. When my parent looked into doing a refi, it was difficult to obtain one with no certain income going forward. The only option at that time required putting an extra 100-150k down on the house to refi at 3.5%. To me, this was a no-brainer, however the parent passed at that time because of the desire to maintain liquidity. I think this option should be pursued again - any suggestions on how to go about it are welcome. I gather rates have gone up recently. Should it be possible to obtain a refi w/o the additional down payment?IRA:
I've wanted my parents to dump their worthless financial advisors for a long time so this is a great opportunity. I work in this field so I'm knowledgeable. However, I want to limit my "blame risk" should something go wrong. I would be interested in finding them a fee-based financial advisor they could meet once a year to rebalance, but the effort to find a good one and then pay them is probably not worth it. As a baseline improvement, I'm thinking the returns on the IRA portfolio can be replicated by just shifting into Vanguard total stock/bond funds, the immediate benefit being saving 1%/yr on advisor fees and the higher fees of the current mutual funds. For asset allocation wonks, I'm questioning the value of having any allocation to bonds at this juncture. They're not paying much, and seem to offer much more downside than upside. I believe another mega-crash is coming, so I'm not comfortable with putting my parents in a super high beta equities-and-up only portfolio. But I have no idea when that crash will be. Seems like the current bubble can keep going for years, and like I said above, I want to limit my "blame risk" and not make any drastic shifts. I don't think about asset allocation much so any comments here are welcome. Higher risk/return goal:
This is where there's some room for creativity. One way to accomplish higher risk/return would simply be shifting more of the IRA to equities. However, I'm considering:
1) suggesting allocation a portion of the cash balance - let's say 20k - to a p2p lending portfolio like LendingClub.
2) do IRA assets count toward accredited investor status? If so it could be interesting to allocate a small amount - again say 20k - to some online crowdfunding/seed investment platforms. Insurance:
Are there any insurance needs we should be considering? A family friend recently had their spouse go through a debilitating illness for years and pass away. they had purchased some long-term care insurance for >50k which ended up paying off for them. 50k is a lot to plunk down on the chance of this happening though ...
Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: OkieDokiePoke
Views: 216 Replies: 1 Dysfunctional Auto-Pay and Fraudulent NSF Fees
My rent has been paid, without issue, using auto-pay from checking. Recently, I renewed the lease. Termination month's rate would be pro-rated new/old rate. When the new lease was signed, agent assured me auto-pay would handle pro-rate and charge accordingly. Month in question, I confirm debit to my checking, but amount is 'too small' only represents first 2/3 of month (old rate). Immediately call agent to check status and am told the account is in good standing with no outstanding balance. I logged into my online account to corroborate and account shows no outstanding bills. Subsequently, next month's rent was paid in full without any issue.However, recently received a notice of overdue balance and more importantly they charged me a NSF fee. The notice stated "ACH returned, plus NSF fee." I asked for transaction ID/s or some 'proof' that they actually attempted, but were declined payment. I checked with my bank and they never attempted to charge my account for the amount in question. How can they charge me a NSF fee? The issue was their system failed to bill me properly. Oddly enough, now that this 'inflated' bill is 'in the system' their auto-pay is going to 'correctly' debit my account for the balance due + NSF fee. I'm obviously contesting this with management, but curious what if any recourse I have otherwise. How I see it there are at least three issues: (1) auto-pay / billing system did not function adequately resulting in non-payment, (2) fraudulent fee charged for NSF when no debit even attempted and (3) auto-pay system subsequently debiting account for disputed, fraudulent fee without my consent.I did convince the young agent to print me off the e-mail chain from the accountant telling local management to "please NSF before month-end."Credit Card Surcharges / Convenience FeesAlso, I have a question about convenience fees. I live in Oklahoma where there's legislation against CC surcharges. Apartment charges a fixed $20 fee for CC and one-time ACH payments (all online), but for recurring ACH (online) no such fee is charged. My understanding of the legislation is that they can tack on a fixed (not variable) charge for all payments made via an alternative gateway. However, seems to me that NOT levying the surcharge for recurring payments would negate their protection. They either need to charge the fee for ALL online payments or NONE of them. Paying in person via check, money order incurs no fees or discounts. I would appreciate any guidance regarding particular statutes and/or regulatory bodies that I should file a complaint with.
Personal Finance Deals
Leaving Employer & 401k Loan Penalty Questions
Added on : Tuesday August 13th 2013 09:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Winded
Views: 239 Replies: 10 This is my first question in the finance forum but being I am definitely not educated in this area and know there are some great finance guru's here I figured i'd ask this here. Long story short, I have been with the same employer for 7 years and (for many reasons) have decided to leave this employer. I landed a job with a new employer where I will start in two weeks. The new employer offers a 403B option with matching (immediate) while my current employer has offered a 401k plan w/ matching since I've been with them and which I've been a part of. Last year I purchased a house but didn't have enough down payment saved so I had no other option but to tap into my 401k plan where I withdrew 9k. I've been paying this money back with each paycheck and paid down roughly 2k over the last year. I still owe about 7k. As mentioned, i'm leaving my current employer and the HR director stated there are 3 options.1) To pay back the loan in full with my own money (which I don't have) within 90 days.
2) To fill out a 1099 at the end of the year and have this remaining loan amount of ~7k taxed as income
3) To have John Hancock deduct the 7k from my 401k balanceOption 1 isn't an option as I don't have the money. Option 2 would be a possibility and option 3 (if i'm understanding correctly) would seem to be completely idiotic. I understand it was a loan I took but it was a loan from money I had already earned in my 401k. Money is extremely tight right now so of the 3 options I was given option 2 is the only one that would work for me. I guess my question is whether i'd have ANY other options that weren't mentioned to me which would be more beneficial for me? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice/help. Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Not paying negative balance on paypal -anyone else?
Added on : Monday August 12th 2013 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: welookgoodcom
Views: 84 Replies: 3 Have another thread regarding the issue in auction. (Basically sold something on eBay, 1st time in a yr, buyer received it via delivery confirmation (and mail carrier remembers giving it to him), and buyer claims not received same day knowing it was just over $250 so needed signature confirmation to qualify for seller protection. Right now it's on appeal with paypal.)Anyway I have the negative balance on paypal for just under $300. I read things on the web that said just pay(take the loss, move on), others say to just walk away and not pay it as paypal can do very little. However I still think something on the credit report even from paypal might hurt my existing credit or prevent future cc bonuses.Curious if anyone else has been in this situation and what they did. I am leaning toward just taking the loss after my appeal is heard with paypal but want to explore all sides.
Personal Finance Deals
$25 Restaurant.com Certificates @ Restaurant.com - $4.00
Added on : Monday August 12th 2013 11:00:03 AM
g: 1 Posted By: Virgil27
Views: 169 Replies: 0 $25 Restaurant.com Certificates @ Restaurant.com - $4.00Sample local cuisine without paying too much from it (well, from your wallet anyway) with this deal on $25 Restaruant.com gift certificates for 4 bucks! (FatWallet Deal Hunter staff posts are certified ad-free. No money, bribes, or candy have been accepted.)
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Restaurant.com Coupons
Condo Issue - Driveway Replacement
Added on : Monday August 12th 2013 10:00:12 AM
g: -1 Posted By: manipulator211
Views: 217 Replies: 8 Hi all,I recently purchased a condo in Ohio. It was a bank owned property but was not a foreclosure. The bank sold us the property as-is, which was fine. I believe it was a great deal, and I still do. Anyways....The driveway is considered in poor condition. We knew this when we bought it, so it's no surprise. The driveway has about FOUR decent size pits/holes along the center seams(?). It is an approx 12x12 driveway. I decided to fill in the holes with concrete. The job was good, but I think since the concrete color is off the association is having an issue. Upon talking to a board member this driveway issue has been there since 2 years prior while still owned by the bank.This board member sent me emails between him and the bank showing he tried to get the bank to repair this issue to no avail for over TWO YEARS. The driveway is not mentioned in any copy of the bylaws I have. Patios, decks, etc but not the driveway. The association however states the driveway is considered a "limited use" area. And I agree with that.My question is....since this has been a long standing issue...why did the association not set a lien against the property so that the next owner doesn't get stuck with the bill? I asked this and the board member told me he never heard of a lien for a specific issue, only liens for not paying condo fees.Do I have any recourse since the association tried getting the bank to pony up for YEARS? Thanks
Real Estate Deals
g: 0 Posted By: DaysFan
Views: 195 Replies: 2 QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll 2013
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Aug 11 thru Aug 17
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Writing a check for your employees is as easy as entering the number of hours worked and hourly rates with QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll 2013. You can choose between writing a physical check and depositing the amount directly in the bank, making distribution of pay simple. Export data directly from QuickBooks Pro 2013, so you'll always keep track of the amount coming out of your company's account.Easy Tax Forms
When it's time to send out W2 forms to your employees and 1099 forms to your contractors, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll 2013 handles all the details for you. This software includes all the forms necessary for your company and your employees to file federal, state, and local taxes, making tax time more convenient. Free Expert Support
Even if you have no accounting knowledge, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll 2013 makes bookkeeping easy. Simply input fields and the software does the work for you. It provides you with expert advice when you enter something that might draw a flag or an audit. This software will walk you through difficult areas, or you can use Intuit's customer support for live advice by phone, chat, or email.Operating System Requirements:
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Staples Coupons
About 40 Free Kindle Books - at time of posting
Added on : Friday August 09th 2013 07:00:06 AM
g: 3 Posted By: remick
Views: 93 Replies: 0 Cook With Ed: Amazing Pie & Crust Recipes [Kindle Edition]
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Saints Row IV Wad Wad Collector's Edition $1,000,000.
Added on : Friday August 09th 2013 07:00:04 AM
g: -1 Posted By: frog01
Views: 117 Replies: 0 Saw this on Reddit this morning and thought you guys may get a kick out of this -http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2013/08/weirdness_saints_row_ivs_...Saint's Row IV's Wad Wad collector's edition for a cool $1 million includes (with price breakdown):
Space Flight: 250,000
Lamborghini: 198,000
Burj Al Arab: 133,405
Prius: 24,500
Super Car Membership: 20,968
Face lift: 9,500
Capsule Wardrobe: 4968
Flight to Dubai: 15,000
Flight to DC: 3200
25 hours with personal shopper: 2,500
Jefferson Hotel: 2,450
Insurance: 1,200
Spy Training: 252
Hostage Rescue: 125
Commander in Chief Edition: 59
Dubstep gun: 20
Total: $658,037 So.. you're overpaying by about $342,000... So maybe not such a hot deal.Anyway, only 1 available anyway - so I better not see moar than 1 "in for 1!"
PS3 Games Deals
Owners title insurance when lenders is paid - Penfed 5/5
Added on : Thursday August 08th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gruntwork
Views: 149 Replies: 0 I am purchasing a house for 700K and financing with Penfed 5/5. Penfed will pay for lender's title insurance, irrespective of whether I buy owners title insurance. Generally, when the borrower pays for lender's title insurance it makes sense to buy owners title insurace as the cost of buying them together is not much different from buying just the lenders. As Penfed is paying for lenders, its a $2,800.00 question for me.
I read some great discussions on FWF regarding owners title insurance here and other threads. Here are some arguments to start of the discussion from what I understand about title insurance1) Lender will be purchasing title insurnace, therefore a title search will be done and title company will ensure a marketable title. 2) Title insurance is primarily based on public records, issues coming of unrecorded liens are not covered. So again, lender title insurance will ensure a proper search of public records is done.3) Lender title insurance protects the lender, owners title insurance protects the owner. In case of a complete claim, like fradulent signature, the insurance company will buy the note from the lender and I would still owe the borrowed amount. However how likely is a full value claim? Isn't it more likely to have a partial claim, like unrecorded mechanic lien. In case of partial claim, will lender's title insurace protect me indirectly?4) Lender's coverage reduces as the principal is paid off, while owners title insurance coverage never reduces. This is not much of a concern as I believe most of the title issues will come to fore during the inital period of ownership.5) Per Geo, a good title is better than title insurance. So how do I ensure I have a good title. I've hired a attorney for this purchase, what will be his role in title search?6) The house was built in 1990, sold in 2002, then again in 2006 and now I am purchasing it. There has been no apparent remodeling since the last owner purchased the house.FWF please help me decide whether I should plunk down 2800 on the purchase of 700k house. This is in NJ.
Real Estate Deals
Owners title when lenders is paid - Penfed 5/5
Added on : Thursday August 08th 2013 05:00:16 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gruntwork
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I am purchasing a house for 700K house and financing with Penfed 5/5. Penfed will pay for lender's title insurance, irrespective of whether I buy owners title insurance. Generally, when the borrowers is paying for lender's title insurance it makes sense to buy owners title insurace as the cost of buying them together is not much different from buying just the lenders. As Penfed is paying for lenders, its a $2,800.00 question for me.
So I read some great discussions on FWF regarding owners title insurance here and other threads. Here is jist of what I understand.1) Lender will be purchasing title insurnace, a title search will be done and title company will ensure a marketable title. 2) Title insurance is primarily based on public records, issues coming of unrecorded liens are not covered. So again, lender title insurance will ensure a proper search of public records.3) Lender title insurance protects the lender, owners title insurance protects the owner. In case of a complete claim, like fradulent signature, the insurance company will buy the note from the lender and I would still owe the borrowed amount. However how likely is a full value claim? Isn't it more likely to have a partial claim, like unrecorded mechanic lien. In case of partial claim, will lender's title insurace protect me indirectly?4) Lender's coverage reduces as the principal is paid off, while owners title insurance coverage never reduces. This is not much of a concern as I believe most of the title issues will come to fore during the inital period of ownership.5) Per Geo, a good title is better than title insurance. So how do I ensure I have a good title. I've hired a attorney for this purchase, what will be his role in title search?6) The house was built in 1990, sold in 2002, then again in 2006 and now I am purchasing it. There has been no apparent remodeling done since the last owner purchased the house.FWF please help me decide whether I should plunk down 2800 on the purchase of 700k house. This is in NJ.
g: 0 Posted By: gacobacov
Views: 192 Replies: 2 I was out yesterday visiting dealerships in Southern California to get quotes on a specific new vehicle I am looking to purchase. I found it very bizarre that two of them were pressuring me to fill out a loan application form even when I was telling them I just wanted a quote at that time and would be paying all cash if I decided to buy from them.I was able to fully resist at the first dealership, but at the second I filled out my name, address, and date of birth on that form. They were saying this would speed up the process when I return and am ready to actually purchase the car. What bothers me now is that the guy at the second dealership also asked me to sign at the bottom of the form and I did it without thinking.The form currently sporting my signature is largely incomplete (I left many other things like SSN# blank), but I am not sure if I could still be in some kind of trouble if I decide not to purchase from that dealership. Since I put my signature in the bottom, could they claim I somehow made a commitment to buy? Or could they get a loan in my name, steal my identity, etc.?
Personal Finance Deals
First time home buyer - newly constructed home
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 12:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: AltidinVA
Views: 92 Replies: 1 We just got news that the builder (MI Homes) has accepted our offer ($650k) for a new home which should be completed by end of October this year. Specific financial details:
Location: Northern Virginia
Total income: $115k
FICO: around 750
Existing car loan: $16k (about $404 a month @ 0.9% APR)
Existing credit card debt: $20k (about $210 a month @ 0.9% APR - till November this year)Anticipated down payment: $130k (20% of home so I can get rid of PMI) + closing costs of about $18k
Anticipated Mortgage: $2,598/mo (@ 4.381% - for now, lets assume this is the rate when we close)
Anticipated HOA + Insurance + Taxes: $820/mo
Thus total expenditure is $4,032/mo (incl Mortgage, HOA, taxes, car payment & credit cards) - this works out to a debt-income ratio of 42%.I expect to "roll" over the credit card debt only *AFTER* closing on the home (even if that means paying a slightly higher minimum on the credit card for a month or 2)As an alternate to the 20% down, I could put only 10% down, and use the remaining cash to pay of the car loan & the credit card debt. This results in my monthly payment going up by $65. I do save $27k upfront from the lower down payment, but end up paying $51.9k extra in interest over the 30-yr loan. I understand that the PMI can be deducted from my taxes, where as the credit card & car loan interest is not deductible.Q1. Would you put 20% down & not deal with PMI, or put 10% down + PMI, get a bigger tax deduction, but then have to deal with requesting PMI to be waived once 20% equity has been built?Q2. How easy or hard is to get PMI waived off? Do I need to pay for another appraisal or other fees at that time?Q3. Would you get "title insurance" (in case any of the contractors sue the builder for non payment)? This is about $2k, but for a brand-new home with a clear title, I am not sure if its worth it or not.Q4. Anything else? Having never owned a home before, I am hoping to get collective insight into experiences (positive & negative) that you people can share.Thanks for your time.
Real Estate Deals
Discount RE Broker - Good or Bad Idea?
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrewR
Views: 213 Replies: 2 FWF,I just received a job offer this morning in a different part of the state (7 hours away). Job starts in two months, so I need to sell my home in a hurry.I've been doing a lot of research the past few weeks because I was confident that I was going to get an offer. I've been looking into selling FSBO with a 3% commission offer to buyer's agents + flat fee MLS listing + paying an attorney to help with paperwork. I was pretty confident that I was going to go with this option until I stumbled upon a local discount RE broker. This broker claims to provide all of the traditional full service features of MLS listing, signage, flyers, lockbox, etc for 3.5% total commission. They give 2.5% to the buyer agent and keep 1% themselves. In comparing cost, this option is pretty close to what I was considering with FSBO once you factor in all of the costs. It may be $500 or so more, but the full service aspect would be worth it to me, especially since I need to sell in a hurry and I'll have a lot going on in the next 2 months. This broker has a few positive reviews online, zero negative reviews, but I can't find a whole lot in general. I think they are a pretty small shop.My question: What do you think, is this a good idea or bad one? Does anyone have experience with this type of broker? Also, since they are only offering 2.5% commission to the buyer's agent, am I risking getting skipped over by some agents?Any and all opinions are appreciated. Thanks.
Personal Finance Deals
Buying a home with the girlfriend. QUESTIONS
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SnotRocket
Views: 163 Replies: 8 I've been dating the same girl for many years, and we are going to be married in the future, just not yet. We live in NJ and are currently looking to buy a house together. My questions:
1) Is there a legal document to show how much each of us are putting down for the down deposit? If we get separated I would like to be able to avoid any issues with money regarding the sale of the home.
2) Trying to get a mortgage, her credit isn't as good as mine, can I "buy" the house myself and add her to the title or deed at a later date? Having better credit I'm offered a better rate. I'm told that the lowest of our two scores will be taken and we're not sure what her score is yet. It's only fair that since she will be paying mortgage monthly and putting some money down that her name appear on the house paperwork at some point.
3) I've been doing searched but it seems 4.5% is the lowest possible, are there other ways to save closing cost or get a better rate? The homes we are looking at, we are able to put 20% down so no penalty from that.Thanks so much!
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: RhizzleBop
Views: 147 Replies: 7 Wife teaches.Changed districts which effectively is a whole new payroll and budgeting school system here. She's supposed to be paid from the old district till late Aug, new dist will start paying after that.Basically, she was paid a base rate, plus a state supplement for her special certification, and a district supplement for the same special certification.She received steady pay from last Aug without issue till early july when the two supplement amounts suddenly stopped.Then her last July check, the supplements were still stopped, but they deducted almost a grand back from her base pay. (So she drew very little)After calling and trying to get someone ti figure out why for the past week, shes now told they overpaid her.
Basically, someone plugged in a number for her district supplement a few K too much. (She was told they put in the same number for the state and dist supp lines, but all year, those two pay lines have not been the same rate)Now, they are saying she owes back over 3.7k. They owe her two more checks this year. Told her someone would call today to setup payments for her to pay it back.I say this is BS, that if they plugged in to pay her whatever amount, that's what they paid and they have no recourse. thoughts?Furthermore, how would they possibly setup a payment plan when she doesn't work there anymore. No way in "H" she'll pay back money earned pretax with after tax dollars from a new district.We have a call in to the teacher association today to determine what to do here. She's already signed her contract with the new district.
Personal Finance Deals
ssa benefits when working spouse makes 90k and agi is 60k
Added on : Tuesday August 06th 2013 10:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mikies08
Views: 136 Replies: 1 confused by all the rules. i am 68 and thinking about retiring. my spouse who is 60 is still working and makes about 90k our agi is 70k. I have self employment around 20k a year. does it make sense to retire collect about 2k a month and not have to worry about paying back any ssa due to income limits. any advice will be appreciated. ty
Personal Finance Deals
How to deal with debt from a foreclosed lot
Added on : Monday August 05th 2013 08:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Pigtwo
Views: 117 Replies: 1 I bought a lot in 2006 for a very cheap price (~$3500). Annual cost (HOA + mowing + tax) was around $1500 / year. I have been paying these in the first few years. As year goes by, I no longer want to own it and was willing to give it up for $0 just to avoid paying the annual expense. There was no buyer after listing it for a year. I then searched for ways to donate or give it back to the county. Contacted a lawyer and was told the only way to get rid of it was to not pay any fee/tax so that the county will file lawsuit against me. Then they will foreclose the lot and take it back.A few months ago, the foreclosure process completed and one guy paid the un-paid tax and took over the lot from the court. I was happy it was finally gone.However there was still around $4000 HOA + mowing fee unpaid. The HOA sent me a notice saying they are going to file a lawsuit against me to collect this money. Question:1) I purchased the lot with cash and don't think I had provided my SSN to the county / seller when buying the lot. No bank got involved.
2) How should I respond to the HOA/their lawyer? Can I ignore them?
3) Can they still mess up my credit report without having my SSN?
4) What is the best way to deal with this situation?Hope this can serve as a lesson to other people. Thanks in advance.
Question Deals
Verizon Wireless Long Distance Call Question
Added on : Monday August 05th 2013 03:00:18 PM
g: 0 Posted By: noelandres
Views: 0 Replies: 0 This is the thing. I noticed my phone was running with a call I didn't make. The call was a long distance call and it went on for 10 minutes. I hanged the phone as quickly as I saw it running. Was lucky it was only 10 minutes. I looked up the Verizon international rate and saw that it was $1.60/minute. So this will end up costing me $16 bucks. Is there a way to get this lowered? P.S. For those thinking this is just an attempt to get away with not paying a long distance call, it is not. There are cheaper ways to make this international call. I just don't understand how it happened. In my smartphone, it takes 3 clicks to make that phone call. Also, why the person at the other end didn't hang up is beyond me. The phone number is just on my contacts. I've never called them using my phone for obvious reasons. Thanks for the flame free advice.
Personal Finance Deals
prepping for small claims court - as defendent
Added on : Monday August 05th 2013 11:00:11 AM
g: 2 Posted By: spanky42
Views: 291 Replies: 11 Not sure why I waited until the day before trial to post, but thought I would get this topic out there...other than the usual 'pay your debt, deadbeat' comments, I was looking for a little prep on going to small claims court. I am an amateur house flipper (buy foreclosure and renovate for sale or rent) and hired a contractor to run a remodel foreclosure I had recently purchased. He had done well coming into the middle of my last house (late last year) so we did a gentlemen's agreement (nothing in writing) that he would be the general contractor on this job and I would pay him per hour (hiring piecework is too hard on a foreclosure since you don't know what you are getting into)...basically I agreed $20/hour each for him and two of his workers. Everything was going ok (other than taking too long) for the first month, but eventually he started taking other jobs (when he promised he would be at my house the majority of the time) and then when I questioned why nothing was getting done, he told me that I needed to find a drywaller to finish the drywall along with an electrician and so on and so on...and that I owed him $2700 for time and materials from the last two weeks (I had paid him over $10k up to this point). I went over to the jobsite to find the drywall that his crew hung in terrible condition - walls didn't line up, screws all over the place, etc. Then the ceiling started leaking during a rain storm...I found they hadn't sealed up holes that drilled in a sidewall for blowing in insulation in the attic. I said I wasn't paying until this was fixed. He then came back with how all I did was complain and never got him material and time and it was my job to line up the finishers (I assumed that is what a 'general' does!), so he pulled off the job and left me with a mess. Then I received the court papers saying he was trying to collect what I owed him. So for prepping, I have all of the emails we sent back and forth and I'm bringing in the contractor that followed him as a witness along with pix I had taken (I'm attaching some to this post). I've never seen a bill for his materials, which I will pay if he produces one, but I don't feel I should have to pay labor based on substandard work - but maybe that is not a defense? We have no official agreement, but the emails dictate bills, etc so one could see that I was paying him by the hour. I'm just so tired of contractors coming in until the work gets too hard or they get a better offer and moving on, expecting to be paid up to that point, leaving the homeowner to find someone to come in and follow their crap work. Bascially the drywaller told me he added at least $500 to the cost of his finishing because of all the extra mud he had to use. I had a roof guy come in and fix the leaks for a couple hundred. I'm just not sure what a magistrate will say to his request and what I can do to disprove it. Did he work those hours he billed me for? I have no idea as I wasn't there, but I'm assuming he worked some - just enough to do a terrible drywall hang job.Any legit suggestions? yeah, I know I should get a written agreement, but in this case I don't think it would matter.By the way, I'm in Michigan.
Thanks for the info.
Personal Finance Deals
Shop Your Way Max automatic 3 Month Extension
Added on : Saturday August 03rd 2013 08:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: momoman
Views: 242 Replies: 0 I'm posting this under Hot Deals because it can save you money if you were planning on paying to extend your free SYWM membership when it expires.My membership was due to expire 7/29 and I got a few reminder emails and a $40 off $79 offer to renew SYWM for 1 yr. I didn't do anything and on 7/30 I got an email notifying me of a free automatic 3 month extension:CONGRATULATIONS!
Since you're a valued member, your annual SHOP YOUR WAYSM MAX membership has been extended for an additional 90 day. Your membership will now expire on 2013-10-27.I don't know if this is a targeted offer, but don't pay to renew and hopefully your membership will be extended.
Services Deals

Sears Coupons
Ebay/Paypal not disclosing foreign payee -- deserves a class action?
Added on : Saturday August 03rd 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: VeryBadENGINEER
Views: 50 Replies: 0 I've been hit several times. Buying stuff from eBay... the listing says New York USA. Paypaled the seller via CC. CC company charges me 3% for foreign transaction fees. There's nowhere in the process of buying/paying, that eBay/paypal indicated the payee is non-US based.Does this deserve a class action against eBay/Paypal?
Question Deals
FW Way to Fly Last-Minute?
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Shelbycobra
Views: 234 Replies: 9 Since the travel forum has disappeared and this is more of a general strategy question, I've posted this in Finance. My apologies if that irks anyone.My wife is about 37 weeks pregnant and she and her sister have decided that her sister is going to hop on a plane as soon as my wife goes into labor in order to be there for the birth. We will be paying for some or possibly all of her sister's ticket (sister is financially irresponsible, so instead of giving her money for some baby stuff she gave to us, we decided to pay for or subsidize the plane ticket).
I'm trying to get some ideas to find the most economical way for my sister-in-law to book a flight last-minute. So far, the best strategy is:1.) Wait to book until my wife goes into labor.
Pros: Very flexible
Cons: Ticket prices (at least online) seem significantly higher than if we book out a couple of weeks in advance.Strategies that have been pretty much ruled out:
2.) Book a ticket and pay a change fee later on:
Pros: Should be able to hop on a plane pretty quick, provided there's room.
Cons: Change fee + difference between the fares makes this a worse option than #1
3.) Fly Standby:
Pros:?
Cons: Not really applicable....already need to have a ticket for travel within 24 hours and then pay a change fee

4.) Buy a refundable ticket
Pros: Most flexible
Cons: Most likely the most expensive option. I've been looking at same-day reservations off and on for the last few weeks and they average about $400-$500 round-trip through Delta. For comparison, a refundable ticket is approx. $1,500.I'm definitely considering booking last-minute through Southwest as even though they don't have direct flights from TPA to DTW, they have a lot of options for connecting flights and they're about 1/2 the price of a direct flight for the same times through Delta. Relevant Information:
Her sister doesn't have much vacation time, so planning a long trip centered around due date is not an option.
Sister will be flying out of TPA (Florida) to DTW (Michigan) 
I'm pretty sure buying a ticket as soon as my wife goes into labor will be the best option, but I'd love to hear any advise from someone who has more knowledge or an experience with a similar situation.
Air Travel Deals
Student loan refinance/consolidation?
Added on : Friday August 02nd 2013 08:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: BecomeFreedom
Views: 161 Replies: 2 I am up to my eyeballs in student loan debt. Approximately $101k left to pay spread among 5 loans as followsFederal Government loans:
$4,582.74 5.6%
$6,414.12 6.8%Sallie Mae loans:
$29,402.84 4.5%
$34,386.97 11.5%
$26,148.92 13.25%I dropped out of school as a result of a messed up situation and treatment by the university. They outright lied about tuition costs, fraudulently charged my student loans directly for about $14k in which I was not attending school and they would not let me take classes, cancelled classes and had such limited offerings it was impossible to take a full course load or complete a degree in a normal time frame, charged me full time tuition for part time enrollment during several quarters, and wanted to charge me $42k to take one quarter worth of classes to finish the degree. Just an overview of why I did not finish. I was not willing to pay their extortionate tuition, particularly after all the bad experiences, lies, and stolen money. Sallie Mae would do nothing about the fraudulent charges, the university had no interest in resolving the issues or refunding me the stolen money. They also would not give me a transcript to transfer elsewhere even if I had the money to do so or was willing to take out any more loans for it.I would like to refinance and consolidate the two high interest Sallie Mae loans into a lower interest loans if possible but am unable to find a bank that will do so. There seem to be quite a few banks that will do student loan consolidation but none that I've found aside from Wells Fargo will even look at your financials or consider it if you don't have a degree. Wells Fargo was impossible to work with so far as what they required and contacting work to verify employment and such so I gave up on them. I'm considering a credit union I can join through work but it looks like they will only do unsecured loans up to $10k.Does anyone know of any other options for refinancing approximately $60k in student loans while I have no degree? Credit score is ~770, gross $75k or up to a few thousand more depending on overtime and bonus, same employer for over 6 years, no cc debt/car loans/etc.. Looking for some way to reduce the amount I'm paying in interest so I can put more towards principle and be done with these loans.
Personal Finance Deals
Maritime Martini Tee @ Nautica - $14.99 after Coupon
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 04:00:01 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Virgil27
Views: 239 Replies: 0 Maritime Martini Tee @ Nautica - $14.99 after Coupon
compare at $29.99
Free Shipping!If you're like me, T-shirts are pretty much all you wear. This Nautica deal is a good way to restock on tees without paying much - especially if you have to do it before school starts. And it's $15 off Amazon's price with Cash Back and Free Shipping to boot!
Coupons
AUG40 - Extra 40% off Sale Priced ItemsAvaliable in sizes Small through XXL.   (FatWallet Deal Hunter staff posts are certified ad-free. No money, bribes, or candy have been accepted.)
Clothing Deals

Nautica Coupons
paying property taxes
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rismoney
Views: 219 Replies: 4 Normally I pay my property taxes via an escrow payment on my mortgage. If I were to submit some payments online via the county's web site (via official payments) would it credit my tax bill, and then I can call my mortgage company up in a few months to lower my escrow payment? would that work?
Personal Finance Deals
Selling a house and tax credits
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jblake86
Views: 127 Replies: 1 A coworker of mine is currently selling a house he bought in 2008 with a tax credit that needs to be repaid if he sells it. He has asked his Realtor about what the circumstances of paying back the rebate are, but he can't provide any information to my coworker. He thought he may not have to pay back the credit if the house is sold for less than owed, but I thought the fatwallet universe would be able to shed some light on the subject. If you need anymore info let me know.
Personal Finance Deals
away on traveling and ceiling leak due to AC
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 10:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fatwallet21
Views: 1161 Replies: 22 I wasn't sure where to post this but thought of starting here.... we are away for past few weeks and our home in a hot and humid place was checked by our neighbor regularly... our neighbor is awesome and she used to check it every other week or so... just yesterday she found that there is a small ceiling leak and they had the exact same leak at the same place (our houses are symmetrical).... she has turned off the AC for now... and the AC guy cant come in for next day or so.... so I am wondering what to do in this situation
1) is it ok to keep the AC OFF for few days?
2) what should I do in this situation since we are not there?
3) any ways to make sure the AC guy doesn't charge an exorbitant $$ amount because of our absence? TIAUPDATE:
Ended up paying $930 for this. He said the condenser outside the house went bad and because of that the AC was frozen and there was a leak inside the unit. This caused the unit to lose all the charge too. So he fixed the condenser piece that is outside the house and charged up the unit with 6 gallons of Freon. He said the Freon we have in our unit is pretty old standard and it's price is $85 per gallon.
Personal Finance Deals
g: -3 Posted By: CowbellMaster
Views: 347 Replies: 7 I was recently at a 5 * hotel and needed to leave for the airport at 2pm but could only push back the checkout from 11am to noon. Went downstairs and checked out at 12:15 (elevators were jam packed) while my wife finished primping and packing. Returned to the room and didn't actually leave until 1:30pm. No issues.Got me thinking - what else can be pushed, and how far, before having to pony up?If you have any positive or negative experiences in regards to hotel stays (how long after you check out have you actually been in a room?), car rentals (went over mileage at all? Returned well after deadline?), tool rental (HD has 4hr tool rentals. What if you return it 15 min late? 1hr late?) etc.Another random example, I used to be an idiot and didn't have autopay set up on my Discover card. Found out that paying up to 2 days after the due date at a local Sears store resulted in no late fee. I'm hundreds of dollars richer today because of that (not sure if that's still valid, this was 10 yrs ago).If you know something, share the wealth!
General Economics Deals
Grace periods - squeezing the last drops of value out
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 08:00:10 AM
g: -2 Posted By: CowbellMaster
Views: 181 Replies: 5 I was recently at a 5 * hotel and needed to leave for the airport at 2pm but could only push back the checkout from 11am to noon. Went downstairs and checked out at 12:15 (elevators were jam packed) while my wife finished primping and packing. Returned to the room and didn't actually leave until 1:30pm. No issues.Got me thinking - what else can be pushed, and how far, before having to pony up?If you have any positive or negative experiences in regards to hotel stays (how long after you check out have you actually been in a room?), car rentals (went over mileage at all? Returned well after deadline?), tool rental (HD has 4hr tool rentals. What if you return it 15 min late? 1hr late?) etc.Another random example, I used to be an idiot and didn't have autopay set up on my Discover card. Found out that paying up to 2 days after the due date at a local Sears store resulted in no late fee. I'm hundreds of dollars richer today because of that (not sure if that's still valid, this was 10 yrs ago).If you know something, share the wealth!
General Economics Deals
Should I refinance?
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 07:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: LTLrkr
Views: 81 Replies: 3 Found FW on a random search and been reading a lot for the last 2 months. Thought I might ask for some feedback.Cliff notes since some people like it this way :
Bought condo in Dec 2011 @ 255K and 3.75% interest rate and FHA MIP ~$230/month
Condo appreciated close to 100% - $500k.
Currently owe $240k
Should I refinance @ 4.25% to remove MIP?Long story:
I bought my condo in Dec 2011 for $255k @3.75% with FHA loan (I know big mistake) and only 3% down. Didn't know I could get conventional @ 10% (I had 15% to put down). Anyways fast forward to today, my condo has appreciated a lot, ~90-100% going by the 4 other units sold in the complex in the last 2 months. No I do not want to sell it yet. Currently owe $240kI was wondering if it would be a good idea to refinance the condo. I do not see living there for more than 5 years and my plan is to rent it out when I move (current rates are $2200-2500). I have already paid $13.7k in interest to date and interest rates have gone up. I think I should be able to get 4-4.25% without paying for points and minimum OOP expenses. I guess the only thing I would be saving here is the MIP (~$230/month) for the next 3.5 years but is it really worth saving in the long run if the interest rates go up?I think I know the answer but need a sanity check.
Personal Finance Deals
2 Questions: Student Loan Payoff and Mortgage Refi
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 08:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: xkilldozer
Views: 18 Replies: 0 Here's the scenario:I have a $25K student loan at 4.95% variable.
Payments are about $160 a month.
I have $35K in my emergency fund.
Should I pay it all off right now and be done with it?My current mortgage is an FHA loan from 2010 at 4.5% and I'm paying $101 per month for insurance.
Property values have increased so if I refi it will be conventional.
Does it make sense to refi the mortgage to conventional, even at 4.5%, and save the $101 per month?
I expect my out of pocket to be around $1500 for the refi.If I do refi, are there any drawbacks if rates continue to drop and I try to refi again a year from now? Would it even be possible?Thanks!
should i use cash or a gift card?
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: doshspy
Views: 2 Replies: 0 I have a 150 gift card to babies r us and and the car seat i want is 150 +6% tax. The same seat at Amazon is 138.xx. My wife says we should buy it at Amazon because it is cheaper and we'll find other uses for the gift card. My logic is that babies will always be more expensive so we'll always be paying a higher price at babies. Plus, I don't like the idea of having the card sitting around and we have to remember to use it/bring it whenever we got to babies.Thoughts?Thanks in advance
Pay Off The Mortgage Or Invest? The $500K Question...
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: IrateConsumer
Views: 168 Replies: 5 My cousin John called and asked a financial question I thought Id get opinions on from fellow fatwalleteers before answering. It is kind of an interesting conundrum. John owes approximately $500,000 on a $650,000 house he purchased a few years ago. The home has appreciated in value to $750,000. The current mortgage rate on the residence is 5.25%. The monthly mortgage payment is $3,722.64.John has repeated tried to refinance to a lower rate, but due to a few mortgage late pays and being unemployed, no one will refinance his mortgage. Here is the twist one where I thought getting opinions from fatwalleteers might prove helpful. John sold his business a few years ago and is sitting on $750,000 cash - in the bank. I think hes like 52 or 53 years old. John asked if I thought it would be wise to pay off his $500,000 mortgage entirely. That way he would save the 5.25% compounding interest rate. Frankly, I didnt have a great answer.There is of course the ability to make money in the market with his savings. However, would the return exceed the 5.25% compounding interest on $500,000 John is currently paying? John is slightly risk adverse, preferring to invest in his own businesses, hes owned a few though for now, hes been taking time off for a couple years. Ive never been in Johns position; but I think that the mortgage interest deduction won't be beneficial for him, as John is not receiving an income. John is divorced without alimony or children.My natural inclination is to advise John to get into an income property then I realized - oh yeah John is not be able to get a loan given his circumstances. So, now I am leaning towards telling John to pay off his residential mortgage. Yes, his liquid assets would be reduced to $250,000 but absent the mortgage, he would save heartily on expenses. Any ideas? Kind of an interesting dilemma; what do you think?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: vins0010
Views: 42 Replies: 0 Hi,So, in July 2011, my wife and I took out a second mortgage (for 24,000) as part of a piggybacked 80-10-10 loan to buy our primary residence. Since, then, we've been paying back the second mortgage at about $400 total (so, covering interest and extra principal payments each month). This month, our principal owed was around 4400 dollars, so, we just decided to pay thing off and be done with it - but still keep the line of credit open. My wife stopped by the bank to do this, and she paid the $4400, but they said there was an additional $500 or so due in "interest" (their words). So, they wanted about $4900 to pay it off. Unfortunately, my wife did not ask questions and just wrote a check. This struck me as a big extra amount to pay, over 10%, of what remained of the principal. So, I'm suspicious about the transaction. I plan on following up with the bank, but want to see if this sounds normal? I couldn't find anything about this when I tried searching the web, but, at the same time, I might be missing some critical terms or language to describe the situation. Thanks...
Personal Finance Deals
How to use 529 Plans funds in case of overfunding?
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 04:00:16 AM
g: 0 Posted By: stevento
Views: 38 Replies: 0 We opened 529 plans for each of our 2 daughters shortly after their births (13 and 10 now).
Initially, we contributed $5K total for both.
Eventually, as our income rose, that grew to the max $10K deductible under state tax rules.
Last year, we tripled it to $30K by opening 529 plans in grandparents' names (all still working last year and this, perhaps their last working years), and will likely do it again.If we do make a full $30K contribution this year as well, I'll need to look into risks of overfunding, and creative uses of 529 plans funds.
I've seen mentions of buying real estate with the funds in the college town and paying for mortgage as a housing expense through the plans.
While that seems interesting, I don't know how profitable that might be as that seems to be a forced decision.
Are there any other ways to cash out of overfunded 529 plans without incurring penalties?
Personal Finance Deals
Nordstrom is screwing me. What can I do?
Added on : Sunday July 28th 2013 06:00:15 PM
g: -1 Posted By: chrislee9734
Views: 238 Replies: 13 I went shopping with my mom last year at Nordstrom Rack and bought a few pairs of shoes. When we got to the cashier, the clerk recommended me to apply for the Nordstrom store card, which essentially was a Nordstrom Bank card connected to my Wells Fargo checking account. So after the clerk rang up all the items, he charged them to my Nordstrom store card, although what he should have done was to charge against my mother's credit card which she handed to the clerk from the beginning just to do that.Next day, we found out the error and called the store manager and gave mom's credit card info over the phone as requested. So we thought that was that and she took a flight and went back home. (She lives in NY and I lived in WA)Well, that evening the manager calls and asks mom to physically bring her credit card to the store but I tell him that there's nothing I can do since she already left. Nordstrom demanded I pay for her shoes because she is my family. Of course I told them that I complied exactly with the manager's request. Anything out of that, it is on them, not me.Then I gave them my mom's phone number and address but I guess they wern't able to reach her. Long story short, after a bunch of debit attempts and disputes through my bank (Wells Fargo), the charge was put on my Nordstrom account and eventually went into collections after a year.I now live in Texas and just found out about negative item on my credit report. Anything I can do now, other than paying it off?
General Economics Deals
Compilation of KID's EAT FREE or cheap locations and days
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 04:00:04 PM
g: 1 Posted By: Butcherboy
Views: 200 Replies: 0 Compilation of KID's EAT FREE or cheap locations and daysSince this subject comes up often I figured I would post a list of restaurants where kids eat free on certain days so you can plan ahead. In some cases, a specific chain location may not take part or could offer on another day. Or they charge a much lower rate. This hopefully keeps you informed. Call ahead of course because YMMV. Also here is a link for you to search your city:
http://www.mykidseatfree.com/welcome.asp HERE YOU GO.....MONDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Applebee's For each adult entree purchase, you can get one free kids meal. If you have a big family, additional kids are just $1.00 Monday Applebee's Kids Eat Free
Brewzzi Kids 12 and under eat free: Up to two free kids menu meals with an adult food purchase of $12 or more. Monday Kids Eat Free Brewzzi
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Monday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Cinzetti's 5 pm - 9 pm Children ages 12 and under eat dinner free. Monday Kids Eat Free Cinzetti's
Cody's Original Roadhouse Kids 10 and Under Eat FREE! From Kid's Stuff Menu (Limit 2 Kids Per Adult Entree Purchase). Monday Kids Eat Free Cody's Original Roadhouse
Cross Creek Barbeque and Steakhouse Kids eat Free - Various Florida and Louisiana locations. Monday Kids Eat Free Cross Creek BBQ
Golden Corral Kids 10 and under eat free 5pm - 9pm | 2 kids per adult (3 and under are always free). Monday Kids Eat Free Golden Corral
IHOP 4pm - 8pm - Kids ages 12 and under eat free- 1 Kids' Menu item per Adult entree (Drink NOT incl). Chk Feedback for Confirmed Locations. Monday Kids Eat Free IHOP
Indigo Joe's Kids eat FREE from 5pm till close. Monday Kids Eat Free Indigo Joe's
New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant Kids 12 and under eat free from the children's menu. Monday Kids Eat Free New Orleans Riverfront
Quaker Steak and Lube Kids Meal Deals vary by locations - Please check out the Feedback section to view details on nights and promotion. Varies by Location Kids Eat Free or Cheap Quaker Steak and Lube
Quarterdecks Restaurant Kids Eat Free - Day varies by location (Check Confirmed Locations) Monday Kids Eat Free Quarterdecks
Red Robin Kids 10 and under eat for free. Monday
TGI Friday's Kids eat for free, offer varies per location. Monday TUESDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Applebee's For each adult entree purchase, you can get one free kids meal. If you have a big family, additional kids are just $1.00 Tuesday Applebee's Kids Eat Free
Backyard Burgers Buy one adult combo meal and get a kids meal free for kids 12 and under from 4 pm - close. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Backyard Burger
Beef O' Brady's 4pm - 8pm kids 12 and under eat free with adult entree purchase. Tuesday
Kids Eat Free Beef O' Brady's
Black Eyed Pea After 5pm kids 12 and under receive a free kids meal w/ every adult meal purchased. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Black Eyed Pea
Brewzzi Kids 12 and under eat free. Up to two free kids menu meals with an adult food purchase of $12 or more. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Brewzzi
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Chevys Kids Eat Free All-Day - One Free Kids Meal per regular price adult entree purchased. Tuesday Chevys Kids Eat Free
Cinzetti's 5 pm - 9 pm Children ages 12 and under eat dinner free. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Cinzetti's
Cody's Original Roadhouse Kids 10 and Under Eat FREE! From Kid's Stuff Menu (Limit 2 Kids Per Adult Entree Purchase). Tuesday Kids Eat Free Cody's Original Roadhouse
Cross Creek Barbeque and Steakhouse Kids eat Free - Various Florida and Louisiana locations. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Cross Creek BBQ
Denny's 4pm - 10pm kids eat free. Restrictions may apply, ask your server for details. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Denny's
Fazoli's 5 pm - 8 pm Children ages 12 and under,1 adult entree = 2 kids meals for 99 each. Tuesday Kids Eat Cheap Fazoli's
Gator Dockside 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Kids ages 12 and under eat free. 1 child per adult. (At participating locations) Tuesday Kids Eat Free Gator Dockside
IHOP 4pm - 8pm - Kids ages 12 and under eat free- 1 Kids' Menu item per Adult entree (Drink NOT incl). Chk Feedback for Confirmed Locations. Tuesday Kids Eat Free IHOP
Lonestar Steakhouse 2 kids eat free with each adult entree. All day, drinks included. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Lonestar Steakhouse
Lucille's Bad to the Bone BBQ One free kids' meals from the Backyard menu per adult entree for ages 12 and under. Dine in Only. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Lucille's Bad to the Bone BBQ
Marie Callender's One FREE Kid's Meal with each adult entree purchased. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Marie Callender's
Moe's Southwest Grill Kids eat free with purchase of adult entree. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Moe's Southwest Gril
Norms Restaurants Kids eat free with adult entree purchased (drinks not included). Tuesday Kids Eat Free Norms
Pizza Hut Kids eat free, offer varies per location. Tuesday evenings
Pizza Street 5pm - 8pm Children ages 4 to 9 child eat free. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Pizza Street Pluckers Kids 10 and under eat Free according to Daily Specials Page Tuesday Kids Eat Free Pluckers
Red Brick Pizza FREE kids cheese pizza w/ the purchase of adult entree. Kids 10 and under Tuesday Kids Eat Free Red Brick Pizza
Red Robin Kids 10 and under eat for free Tuesday
Rockyard American Grill Kids eat free all day - One child per adult meal purchased Tuesday Kids Eat Free Rockyard Grill
Salty Iguana Mexican Restaurant Kids eat free All Day - Children ages 12 and under eat free off the kid's menu. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Salty Iguana
TGI Friday's Kids eat for free, offer varies per location. Tuesday
Tony Roma's Kids 12 and under eat free with a purchase of an adult entree. Tuesday Kids Eat Free Tony Roma's
Uno Chicago Grill Get 1 free kids meal or gluten-free pizza with the purchase of an adult entree. Tuesday WEDNESDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Damon's 1 free kids meal w/ each adult entree Wednesday Kids Eat Free Damon's
Firehouse Subs Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult combo. Participating restaurants only. Varies by location. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Firehouse Subs
Garduno's Restaurant Kids Eat Free - Enjoy a kid's meal with beans, rice and a sopaipilla for dessert! Under 12 eat free w/ every adult meal. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Garduno's
Gatti Town Buffet Kids 10 and under get free kid's buffet w/ the purchase of adult buffet at regular price. Limit 1 child per adult. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Gatti Town Buffet
IHOP 4pm - 8pm - Kids ages 12 and under eat free- 1 Kids' Menu item per Adult entree (Drink NOT incl). Chk Feedback for Confirmed Locations. Wednesday Kids Eat Free IHOP
Jason's Deli Kids 12 and under Eat Free w/ purchase of adult meal. 2 kids meals per adult meal purchased. (Check the details page for confirmed locations)(check the details page for confirmed locations) Wednesday Kids Eat Free Jason's Deli
Jeffrey's Sports Grill Kids Eat Free from 5pm - 9pm. 12 and under - One child per paying adult. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Jeffrey's Sports Grill
Little Bitty Burger Barn Kids 10 and under eat free from 5pm - 8pm. Up to two kids with adult meal and drink purchase. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Little Bity Burger Barn
Luby's Kids under 10 eat for $2 after 4:30pm. Wednesday Kids Eat Cheap Luby's
New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant 12 and under eat free from the children's menu. Wednesday Kids Eat Free New Orleans Riverfront
Perkins One Free kid's meal w/ adult entree purchase. 12 and under from 4 - 9pm. Pennsylvania and Ohio markets - see Feedback for locations. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Perkins
Smokin Okies BBQ Kids 9 and under eat free all day with each paying adult. Kid's Meal served with milk, Sprite or apple juice. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Smokin Okies BBQ
Zarda Bar-B-Q Kids eat free All Day. Wednesday Kids Eat Free Zarda BBQTHURSDAY KIDS EAT FREE
C.B. and Potts Kids eat free - They have a clown that performs. Thursday Kids Eat Free C.B. and Potts
Captain D'S 2 kid's meals free with each per adult dinner purchased. Thursday Kids Eat Free Captain D's
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Thursday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Millies Restaurant and Bakery Kids eat for $.99 with purchase of adult entree. No limit. (Offers can be combined). Thursday Kids Eat Cheap Millies
Piccadilly All Day Kid's Meals are 99 and Kid's Big Meals are $1.99. Thursday Kids Eat Cheap PiccadillyFRIDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Friday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Chicken Out Rotisserie Kids eat free - 1 free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult size meal. Friday Kids Eat Free Chicken Out Rotisserie
Millies Restaurant and Bakery Kids eat for $.99 with purchase of adult entree. No limit. (Offers can be combined). Friday Kids Eat Cheap Millies SATURDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Chartroose Caboose Kids eat free with each adult $8 purchase. Saturday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Chicken Out Rotisserie Kids eat free 1 free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult size meal. Saturday Kids Eat Free Chicken Out Rotisserie
Denny's 4 - 10 pm Kids eat free up to two entrees per adult meal purchased. Saturday Kids Eat Free Denny's
Marie Callender's One FREE Kid's Meal with each adult entree purchased. Saturday Kids Eat Free Marie Callender's
Perkins One Free kid's meal w/ adult entree purchase. 12 and under from 4 - 9pm. Saturday Kids Eat Free Perkins
Piccadilly All Day Thursday and 11am to 4pm on Saturday Kid's Meals are 99 and Kid's Big Meals are $1.99. Saturday Kids Eat Cheap Piccadilly
Salsaritas Kids Meal is free w/ purchase of adult entree. Saturday Kids Eat Free Salsarita's
Steak n Shake Kids Eat Free - One kids combo free when adult entree of $9 or more purchased (excludes drink/shake). Dine In Only. Saturday Kids Eat Free Steak n Shake
Texas Land and Cattle Kids Eat Free off the Kid's Menu w/ the purchase of an adult entree. 12 and under-limit 2 kids per adult meal. (11am - 4pm). Saturday Kids Eat Free Texas Land and CattleSUNDAY KIDS EAT FREE
Arriba Mexican Grill Kids eat free - One kids meal per adult entree. Sunday Kids Eat Free Arriba Mexican Grill
Chartroose Caboose All Day Sunday Kids Eat Free Chartroose Caboose
Chicken Out Rotisserie Kids eat free - 1 free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult size meal. Sunday Kids Eat Free Chicken Out Rotisserie
Dickey's Barbeque Kids 12 and under eat free from the kids' menu and drink is included. One child per adult entree. Dine in Only. Sunday Kids Eat Free Dickey's BBQ
Firehouse Subs Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult combo. Participating restaurants only. Varies by location. Sunday Kids Eat Free Firehouse Subs
Garcia's Mexican Restaurant Kids' Special! Up to two free kids meals with each adult entree purchased!. Sunday Kids Eat Cheap Garcia's Mexican
Go Roma All Day - 2 kids eat free from the kids menu for every adult entree purchased. Kids 12 and under - Dine-in customers only. Sunday Kids Eat Free Go Roma
Hooter's Kid's eat free 11am - 11pm. Sunday Kids Eat Free Hooter's
Jason's Deli Kids Eat Free All Day Sunday (from 10am - 9pm). Sunday Kids Eat Free Jason's Deli
La Mesa Mexican Restaurant All Day Children ages 12 and under eat for 1 penny from the from kid's menu. Sunday Kids Eat Free La Mesa Mexican
New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant Sunday, Monday and Wednesday kids 12 and under eat free from the children's menu. Sunday Kids Eat Free New Orleans Riverfront
Planet Sub Get a free kids meal with each adult meal purchased. Sunday Kids Eat Fre Planet Sub
The River Styx Grille Kids eat for $.99 w/ purchase of adult entree 11am - 7pm. Limit 2 kids per adult entree. Sunday Kids Eat Cheap The River Styx Grille
Steak n Shake Kids Eat Free - One kids combo free when adult entree of $9 or more purchased (excludes drink/shake). Dine In Only. Sunday Kids Eat Free Steak n Shake
Souper Salad! Kids 4 and under eat free, kids 5-12 eat for $2.49. Two kids per adult (drinks not included). Sunday Kids Eat Cheap Souper Salad
Sunset Grill Kids eat free All Day. Sunday Kids Eat Free Sunset Grill
Tropical Smoothie One Big Kahuna Combo Free w/ the purcahse of each regularly priced Paradise Combo. 12 and under, child must be present. Sunday Kids Eat Free Tropical Smoothie  Thanks to Coolstrategist the OP over at S/D for this info....
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Getting out of CC Debt (My plan)
Added on : Saturday July 27th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ftroyalty
Views: 173 Replies: 4 Thanks in advance to all who reply. Any advice is appreciated as my wife and I begin to tackle our credit card debt.My wife and I have about $13,000 in credit card debt that we need to get under control. We thought we were in a manageable position, but our 3 1/2 son has autism, and we incurred some additional expenses, mainly paying about $500 out-of-pocket for therapy. This expense began toward the beginning of this year.Quick details about our income, expenses, and debts.
Monthly income after taxes: $4,976
***Expenses*** - 2520
Daycare: 135/week so about 540/month
Autism therapy: 120/week so about 480/month
Cars: 300 (Insurance is 100/month, and 200/month of gas and routine maintenance. I take care of what I can, so far just the scheduled maintenance)
*Both cars are paid off
Food: 500 (We do most of our own cooking and rarely eat out. Pizza or take-out barbecue one night on the weekends)
Utilities: 500
My cell: 30/month (just switched to prepaid)
Wife cell: 100/month (she will be switching to prepaid soon but her contract goes through October. Haven't done the math on EFT yet)
Gas: about 50-60 in winter
Water: about 50-60 per month
Internet: 50/month
Electric: between 200-300/month in the summer and about 100-50/winter
Pets (Two cats and a lab): 100/month
Gym: 100/month *This one is important to my wife, so I told her we would budget for it. I'd rather not debate the pros and cons.
***Debt*** - 1842
Mortgage: 1462/month
VISA: Balance of 10,151 @ 14.9 APR, minimun is 216/month
AmEx: Balance of 2,268 @ 16.9 APR, minimum is 52/month
My student loan: 66.50/month with 280 left
Wife student loan: 112/month with 13,000 left
***Savings*** - 200/month
***Leftover*** - 414/monthNote: I tutor over the summer (I'm a teacher), so I'll have a paycheck coming for a few hundred dollars at the end of the month. I'll use this to pay off my student loan and free up the 66.50 to put toward credit card debt.Wife and I went to our bank yesterday (Wells Fargo) and spoke with a personal banker about our options. We narrowed down to two options: open a HELOC or take out a personal loan. (Note: Credit score is 784 from the pull at Wells Fargo. I don't know which bureau)
HELOC details: 5-6% APR, 20,000 minimum, .5%/origination fee, $75/annual fee, line is good for 10 years, must be open for 3 years
*We bought the house a little over a year ago. It appraised at 250k, we paid 220k, remaining loan is 210k
Personal Loan for 13k details: 319/month, 48/months @ 8.25 *No prepayment penalties for either loan
403/month, 36/months @ 7.25 *Of these two, we are more comfortable with the 4 yr loan.My starting point toward debt reduction: 216 (Visa Min) + 52 (Am Ex min) + 66.50 (former student loan payment) = 334.50/month
Even with our budget above, we will save any money we can to pay down our debt. 334.50 is the minimum we will pay each month, hopefully more.Questions for FWF: Which sounds like a better option: the HELOC or personal loan? We understand the risk of tapping home equity, but the lower rate is appealing. Plus, having the HELOC sounds like a nice thing to have in the long run (10 years) should we need it. (Note: I know that statement sounds like we haven't learned our lesson, but we have. Wife and I are both committed to getting our debt under control. Credit cards and any HELOC checks/cards are going in a box). However, I've also read moving unsecured debt to secured should be avoided in case anything were to happen. We are both stable in our jobs and not looking to move, but you never know these days. Also, are there options I'm not considering?Again, thanks for reading and any advice offered.
Personal Finance Deals
Bankrupt, Renegotiate Rates, Shoot Myself
Added on : Friday July 26th 2013 05:00:05 PM
g: 1 Posted By: didyamissme
Views: 268 Replies: 6 Ok so the last one isn't an option....at least most days.I recently graduated college with dual degrees - unfortunately I did not have the finances to finish them. I had been working three jobs at once during my college career and built up a great credit score for my age. I had access to $40,000 worth of credit cards and used them to pay off my last 18 months of school.- They are eating me alive.I've gotten them to about $32,000 and have nothing left really to keep going. I have asked the cards for help with no avail. I even moved across the US for a higher paying job in an effort to be able to pay them down. I live in a $300 apartment AFTER utilities etc. I'm not sure what else to do. I already work NON stop. When I call the card companies they refuse to help as I am current. Should I throw in the towel and try bankruptcy and ruin my life - considering I work in business management? I'm looking any advice you have. I'm 24 and my degrees are a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Thanks KindlyFinancials:
The current Transunion score is 644 as of today.
Annual Income is $26K Was at one point $38k. At my score height it was nearly 800. I just moved from NC to KY to an entirely new company with the hopes of fast track income increase. Interest rates on 12K worth of debt is 9% the rest vary from 12% to 20%. I currently have no other bills. The credit card bills are near $1,000 a month. I only make $1,600 a month now. The oldest accounts date back to 2008. While I have been current on all of my accounts my credit score has fallen dramatically due to the debt to income ratio and credit utilization.
Personal Finance Deals
Was I right to turn down company match?
Added on : Thursday July 25th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: djtitati
Views: 195 Replies: 12 His salary: $52k
Her salary: 33k + 2-3k in bonusesI became eligible to participate in my companys 401(k) plan on 7/1/2013. Plan is run through The Hartford. Company match is 25% of the first 5% contributed (effectively 1.25% of my salary). This amounts to $650 from the company if I meet the match by contributing $2600.00.Wife and I both have Traditional IRAs with Vanguard. Im in VFORX, VMVIX, and VDAIX right now. Wife is 100% VFORX.In reading the brochures from The Hartford given to me by our CFO, the plan I would likely invest in is HTMRX, their 2040 plan most similar to VFORX. While relieved to see no load fees, I was alarmed at HTMRXs expense ratio, currently at 2.4% (VFORX is 0.18%).Despite my company match, opening this 401(k) is a losing proposition compared to my IRA for the amount of money I can currently save annually. Im ignoring past returns data, even though this also heavily leans in favor of Vanguard.Am I right in thinking about the math like this: 1.25% match 2.4% fees = -1.15%So not only am I paying 1.15% to have pre-tax contributions, but then every year my existing money gets scraped to the tune of 2.4%.I understand that Trad. IRAs are capped (currently 5.5k each) and theres a phase-out ceiling I may hit. With buying a house in June (and subsequent surprise! New HVAC system in August) and having a baby in October (saved for upfront medical costs of labor, so no debt, just ongoing cost of diapers, formula, drs visits in budget), I know that my wife and I will probably not save much more than 11k in 2013 (HHI 85k). Wife has 401(k) managed by Vanguard and gets flat $900 match from employer during profitable years. So well probably max IRAs, get her match and sit around 15% savings for the year.When I explained this to my CFO, he was impressed someone my age had run the numbers and didnt have any real answers to sway me back.I know the owner of our company, and I believe hes looking into switching to Vanguard 401(k) in the next year or two. I keep fighting that good fight.Do my numbers and logic pass the smell test? Was I correct to turn down my company match?
Personal Finance Deals
Help with potential scam?
Added on : Wednesday July 24th 2013 02:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mastroadam
Views: 79 Replies: 2 Trying to get my wife's finances together. While she was in the military a few years ago she thought it would be a good idea to get a set of encyclopedias after receiving a flyer in her mailbox from the "WEC group". Flash forward to a month ago, I found out they were charging her around 20% interest and when I googled them I found a very fishy website, http://www.wecgroup.com/ that screams of a scam. I tried calling and got a guy that wouldn't tell me the prices on their products because they only allow certain people to buy their products. I'm not sure if my wife should continue paying them or stop and close the account. She still owes over 2000 dollars for supposedly just a set of encyclopedias. What are my options?
what value do staffing firms add to justify being the middleman?
Added on : Wednesday July 24th 2013 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: rza1
Views: 36 Replies: 0 I'm sure there are some great staffing firms out there but this has been my experience.I see a job ad on Monster or whatever site and I apply. The staffing firm contacts me and I find out that it's a contractor position. All they help on after this is to coordinate the interviews with the "client firm". They then take the difference between what the company is paying them and what they're paying me (sometimes a sizable differential). For example, if the client firm pays the staffing firm $65/hr and I get paid $40/hr, they make $25/hr. Rinse and repeat. If the staffing firm had a pool of great candidates that a regular firm does not have access to, then that may be understandable. But all they do is post on popular job search sites to find candidates which is something anyone can do. I can do that right now and help "fill a role" for a client. Through the process, I find it hard to believe what value they added to justify their cut of the hourly wage.
Ways to reduce cell phone costs?
Added on : Wednesday July 24th 2013 03:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: misterspaghetti
Views: 7 Replies: 0 Currently paying $130/mo for an AT&T family plan (DW and myself) that includes 2 iphones, essentially unlimited talk, 2 data plans (one grandfathered unlimited), and 200 text messages.The cost isn't killing me, but I do think there's got to be a cheaper alternative out there.Are there other comparable plans that you've found for cheaper? I would need to keep essentially the same plan (iphones, data plans, some texts, and a reasonable number of anytime minutes). I would also prefer to keep my eligibility for a discounted phone upgrade every 18 months or so.Thoughts, ideas, and criticisms welcome!
Odds of student loan forgiveness someday?
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 08:00:20 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dougan778
Views: 140 Replies: 9 I have a 5.5% student loan (graduated 2008) that has about 10k left on it. I've thus far just made the minimum payments, even though I have been accumulating a lot in savings. Every time I start to think about paying it off, I hear about some politician getting support for student loan forgiveness programs, and these suggested programs usually include forgiving student loans after X years of repayment.If the rate was 2 points higher at 7.5, I'd have paid it off a long time ago, and if it was 2 points lower, i'd ride it out as long as I could. But at 5.5% I think I'm in a place where the burden of the interest rate might be worth it if I think there's a real chance that part of the loan will be forgiven in the future.So I'm looking for input on whether or not it's worth it to carry this loan in hopes part of it gets forgiven someday. Sorry to touch on a subject that's pretty political, but it's a big factor of my financial decision.Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
Barclays Online Savings Acct
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 05:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sage101
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Any one have any experience with Barclays online savings acct. It is relatively new with a 0.9% APY. Wondering if this is a come on rate. My NEA acct which was paying 0.6% APY is being discontinued by the bank and rates will drop to 0.12%APY
Deposits Deals
g: 0 Posted By: webdeveloper
Views: 35 Replies: 0 I currently own 4bd/2.5bt townhome appraised in April at $210k and still owe 120k. I just refinanced it in April 15yrs 3.0%.Per month:
Mortgage: $840.
Association: $350.
Taxes: $400.No cc debt.
2 more years on a car at $370/month.Steady job at $100k/year. Wife doesn't work, she is still in school, school costs 16k a year.Im considering buying a house just a mile away from my townhome. It's smaller than our townome, just about 2000sqft(including finished basement) compared to 3000sqft(including finished basement), but it is a house and it has a great yard. Plus from the investment perspective I have someone paying off my first house.I should be able to get it at $210k.
Much smaller townhomes are renting out for $1600+/month. I think I should be able to get about $1800-2k a month.I currently have about $70k in liquid assets out of which I would probably put about $44k on the downpayment.
It seems that I should be able to cover all of the expenses of owning my townhome with rent income.Is there anything I'm missing?
When I refinanced I marked it as my primary residence. Do I have to change anything with the lender when it comes to it?
From the investment perspective, should I rather look for a cheap condo that I can but with cash and rent out right away?Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
My 2 Favorite Credit Cards
Added on : Monday July 22nd 2013 08:00:08 AM
g: -1 Posted By: Matrim33
Views: 363 Replies: 1 Hey Guys. I have a business and spend a lot of money and recently got some new credit cards. I read around on here before I got them and wanted to share with you my 2 favorite cards that I think everybody should consider when shopping cards. I have a mid 700 fico and got 5 new cards on the same day a while back.#1
Fidelity Amex
No yearly fee, no bonus, just 2% CB on everything, which is awesome on an AMEX (this card is managed by BOA/FIA, not your typical AMEX). You have to setup a free fidelity cash account to get this card which is no sweat. You get the CB once a month and can easily deposit it from your fidelity account to your checking account, takes about 3 days. I shop a lot at Costco, so this card was a must. I received $7500 limit.#2
BarclayCard Arrival Mastercard
I'm not sure if there is a better travel rewards card. $89 yearly fee (waived first year), $400 bonus, 2% CB on travel (on all purchases) + 10% of your miles back when you redeem them. This makes the card better than 2% on everything! I don't want to get too long winded, but if you are using an airline card I really think you should reconsider. I have an Alaska card and I like this card better. With airline cards they charge you different point rates for different flight times. Meaning, two different flight times to the same destination on the same day can have very different rates, a 10,000 point/mile morning flight can be 30,000 or more in the afternoon. But if you pay cash the difference in cost my be 1.5x, not the 3x difference with points/miles. That's where this card shines. You can buy that afternoon flight at a relatively lower rate (as compared to using miles) from any airline. After paying with this card all you have to do is go online and take the charge off by using points. Very easy and simple. You can use points on hotels, car rentals, or airfare. I have used this card a lot and everything has been flawless. Unless you let your airline cc dictate the days and times you fly, it is very difficult to hit the 2% back with their cards. You do receive some additional perks with the airline cards, but if you want raw return on your spending I think this card may be the best. I received $5k limit.Like I said, I got 5 cards at once. These 2 are by far my favorites. They pay the most back and are both very easy to use and both have good online portals. I'm sure you could do better if you want to play the category game, but for me I need CB/rewards on all purchases for my biz. High % on gas, food, grocery, Home Depot, etc. doesn't help me much.The other cards I picked up were AMEX Sky, Chase Sapphire Visa, and Alaska Air Visa. I have used all of them quite a bit and have used their rewards. By far I like the Fidelity AMEX and the Barclaycard the best!
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 81 Replies: 1 So I have a bit of a disagreement with my fiance. She has come up with this idea of continuously buying new cars under the idea of never paying maintenance. Once the car runs out of warranty that can cover any damage, malfunction, etc...(3 years usually?) She has an idea of just to keep buying a new one. Part of the idea is to obviously do this with a HIGH-RESALE value car. That obviously makes some more sense to me. We all know how much used cars have sky-rocketed in price lately.Of course, I'm of the old fashion type of...
1) Buying slightly used
2) Maintenance maintenance maintenance!
3) Get shit taken care of BEFORE it turns to shit and explodes.I'm just curious on FWF's thoughts here. I recently had some costly repairs of slightly < $1k for general stuff (2 new tires, new AC filter, new brakes, new rotors, wheel alignment, oil change). It's quite costly given routine maintenance.
Personal Finance Deals
Advice regarding accounting fees
Added on : Sunday July 21st 2013 09:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: love2work
Views: 50 Replies: 0 Hi,I am looking for advice to minimize accounting expense in my medical practice. We are a group of 6 physicians and pay our CPA up to $110,000/year to do accounting. This includes bill pay, correspondence, deposit posting, general ledger maintenance, cash tracking, bank reconciliations, etc. Time spent on answering questions, business K1 taxes are not included and charged extra at $200/hr. We also own a surgical center for which we pay $30,000 per year in accounting costs. I feel we are grossly overpaying for this type of service. One solution I had in mind is to hire a bookkeeper at $20-25/hr to handle all accounting and use CPA to prepare K1 for both businesses. Am I being correct in assuming that we pay too much in accounting fees and is my solution correct? Are there any other alternatives? Can other physicians in group practices share how much they pay for the accounting?Thank you very much!
Personal Finance Deals
Car damage-- issue with insurance! need advice
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 05:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ovaloffice
Views: 224 Replies: 3 I have a 2004 camry which was parked in my works parking lot next to a wall. Today afternoon an 84 yo grandpa while trying to park his car on the other side of the wall hit the wall. It happened that the wall broke and fell on my car. Total of six cars were damaged and I got the biggest damage among all. on my hood, looks mostly cosmetic, but not sure if engine etc are damaged. The car appears to be drivable. Grandpa was nice.. he felt sorry and gave all the insurance info. I felt sorry of the old man too, he hit it gas pedal by mistake. Anyways I got the police report no etc. I called his insurance (all state) today and they told me to use my own insurance. She mentioned that there might be "coverage issues" and the investigation will be very long. To expedite the issue I should use my own insurance.I called my insurance (State Farm) and they told me that my current deductible will apply. She said that I will not be at fault and this incident will not be counted against me. My questions are:
1. Should I trust the allstate agent that this is going to be a long investigation or is this just a strategy to avoid paying for the damage.
2. As far as my car insurance is concerned, even though they said that they will not count this accident against me... am I still at a risk of having higher premiums next time?
3. If i ask my insurance (State Farm) to be involved, is there any possibility I can get some of the reimbusement of deductible from all state?Totally confused.. please advise.
Personal Finance Deals
Car damage-- issue with insurance! need advise
Added on : Friday July 19th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ovaloffice
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I have a 2004 camry which was parked in my works parking lot next to a wall. Today afternoon an 84 yo grandpa while trying to park his car on the other side of the wall hit the wall. It happened that the wall broke and fell on my car. Total of six cars were damaged and I got the biggest damage among all. on my hood, looks mostly cosmetic, but not sure if engine etc are damaged. The car appears to be drivable. Grandpa was nice.. he felt sorry and gave all the insurance info. I felt sorry of the old man too, he hit it gas pedal by mistake. Anyways I got the police report no etc. I called his insurance (all state) today and they told me to use my own insurance. She mentioned that there might be "coverage issues" and the investigation will be very long. To expedite the issue I should use my own insurance.I called my insurance (State Farm) and they told me that my current deductible will apply. She said that I will not be at fault and this incident will not be counted against me. My questions are:
1. Should I trust the allstate agent that this is going to be a long investigation or is this just a strategy to avoid paying for the damage.
2. As far as my car insurance is concerned, even though they said that they will not count this accident against me... am I still at a risk of having higher premiums next time?
3. If i ask my insurance (State Farm) to be involved, is there any possibility I can get some of the reimbusement of deductible from all state?Totally confused.. please advise.
paying for my newborn's delivery bills through 2 insurance plans
Added on : Thursday July 18th 2013 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nwill002
Views: 82 Replies: 1 Wife has student insurance... PPO with 20% co-insurance fee
I have high deductible plan... I pay 100% of fees up to my deductible which I dont think we will hit with these bills since we had a normal delivery with no complications and left hospital in 24 hours. But my plan also covers 100% of routine/preventive care.Currently we are just using my wife's insurance but I have already added our baby to mine just incase since the premium is so low.Is there a way to have both of our insurances work together to minimize our costs such as have my insurance only be used where it will cover the fee 100% and have my wifes cover everything else?
They mentioned if I have insurance they will use mine as the primary and wifes as secondary since I am older... I'm hesitant to put mine's on the table in fear it would do more harm than good.thanks
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: Supraman
Views: 269 Replies: 2 Just thought I'd share the deal I got for some dental implants recently. I had the implants placed about 5 months ago (it takes time for them to fuse with the bone) and my crowns were cemented last week. Everything (Implant, abutment, and crown) for $2800 per Implant. It sounds like alot, but I did my research and shopped around and for all 3 parts, the next closest deal I was getting was $3,500 in my area, so these guys beat them by almost $700.Here's the link to the office: http://www.myamazingdental.com/When you call, ask for Krista. Just tell her you know someone that got the same deal and she should match it. She is really cool and worked with me to break it down so I could pay it off in parts instead of paying it all at once. Don't talk to the other girls as I found they don't know as much. The Dr. is a real nice guy too.Hope it helps someone out.
Services Deals
g: 0 Posted By: raspino
Views: 160 Replies: 0 I have a rental property with about 37K Heloc @ 7.9%. I can't refinance because the rental property is under water. Meanwhile my recent residential property that I bought has appreciated to the point where I can get some equity line of credit from pretty soon if not earlier. Does it make business or financial sense to do this? My residential mortgage interest rate is 3.625% so I stand to gain some on a lower interest rate. However, I think I will be losing some on being able to potentially write off some of the loan in taxes towards depreciation. I guess a good option is for me to run the numbers but since this is my first year of renting, I haven't done the depreciation valuation in my tax returns before. Does anyone have experience with this and what I should look at before taking the plunge?
Personal Finance Deals
The Occassional Day Trade For Fun
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 05:00:08 PM
It started out as a every now and then I pick a stock that I see are pretty stable and usually a large cap company with dividend pay to buy and sell on the same day. I first started doing that to earn some lunch money and then my investment account gotten bigger over time (long term stocks).
So every now and then I still jump in and buy/sell on same day or sometimes wait the next day if things did not go my way. I'm not classified as a day trader but do have a margin type account. My occasional day trade now a day is usually in the 6 digits dollar range and the return (or loss) are in the thousands. Is it risky? Sure... very much so but its disposable income I can afford to lose. I have started wondering if I should start testing day trading as full time. I probably have done over a dozen day trade with large chunks of change over the past few years. Stocks I pick are usually large cap and high volume to allow easy unloading. I thought about options but always done day trading with equity stocks since I won't be holding long enough to tie up my cash. When I buy, I don't set a stop loss but have one set in mind only. I have always been a long term investor.I started reading all the day trading forums and they scare me with all the sob stories. I'm not a technical trader (looking at charts) with all those indicators and nor am I interested in paying for what I think are nonsense platforms, training software, tools, etcSo is this how it works?1) Find a set of rules and follow it strictly and keep a journal like a gambler does at a casino
2) Gamble on a stock
3) Refer to #1 again to stay on track
4) ????
5) Get rich
paying car loan with balance transfer check
Added on : Tuesday July 16th 2013 12:00:06 PM
I have a 15k car loan at 4%.I got an offer in the mail for a balance transfer at 0% until Oct 2014, with a 1% fee; I have $7k credit limit and would need to make monthly payments.I want to pay down the loan by 7k, thus saving myself 3% interest on that 7k. Is this too simple or am I overlooking something?
Auto Loan / Payoff
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 06:00:07 AM
Ok here is the deal i graduated college and have a real job now and decided to go buy me a nice car 28k. I don't have any trouble making the payments on it, I just did not put any money down on it so I am around 1000-2000 upside down on it. What i am wanting to do is get a cheaper car that i can pay off and have liability and start paying extra on student loans. My question is should i go ahead and trade it in for a cheaper car with negative equity or wait till I catch up then trade it in? any advice appreciated
Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong 4 Double Rolls $3
Use the $1/1 coupon found here http://www.save.com/coupons/syndication.html?AID=11309493&PID=19...
Plus, use the $1/1 Dollar General coupon found here http://www2.dollargeneral.com/Ads-and-Promos/Coupons/Pages/index...
Final Cost $1 just $0.25 per double roll (thats like paying $0.13 per regular roll!)
* Note that the Dollar General Coupon Policy does state that you can use both a manufacturers coupon and a Dollar General coupon on the purchase of one item
Need Help: W2 vs W2 Contract Employee vs 1099 Contractor
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 03:00:09 PM
Long time lurker here looking for some advice. I'd rather not say the name of my former employer but it's well known in the health care IT community as a company that burns out employees quickly. I wound up leaving just north of two years in, which is actually very common for this company. My one-year non-compete agreement ends in 6 weeks and I'm able to enter consulting. This is a very striving marketplace and people with my skill set and certifications are in high demand. I should easily be able to pull in $100k on the low end which is nice for a 27 year old. I also have a few years of healthcare management experience and a healthcare related degree, which is rare for someone in my position. Most employees hired by my former employee have non-industry degrees such as art-history and other silly unrelated things. Then the clients get pissed that these employees don't know how a hospital runs. Surprise, surprise.That's all spilled milk and now I'll be able to take my few years of healthcare management experience, related degree, and two years of health IT experience and go into consulting. All of my friends who left and went into consulting got 10 phone calls within the first day of posting a resume. Apparently my former employer is a top keyword search for headhunters.The problem is that most of these consulting opportunities are W2-based. For the average dumbass former employee of my last company (who is in their mid-20s and doesn't know any better), a W2 job at $110k/year plus "amazing benefits" like $30/month gym membership stipend and top-of-the-line health insurance seems great. And for the average dumbass 24 year old, it would be.Obviously if I am 1099, I have to pay my half of SE-Tax that a W2 employer would otherwise pay. However, it's my understanding 1099 positions pay at least that much more to compensate.But I'm 27, have some financial savvy, and know that making $150k as a 1099, contributing the max plus 25% of net income as employer-contribution of an individual 401k, paying for my own HDHP, maxing out an HSA, writing off a second maxed-out phone as "business" while I maintain a prepaid per-minute plan as my personal phone for IRS auditing purposes, and other interesting tricks is significantly superior.To make matters worse, it seems like another large chunk of consulting jobs are W2-Contractor roles, which from my understanding means that I have the worst of both worlds. I can't collect unemployment between gigs and I can't contribute to an Individual 401k.Finally, I'm of the impression that as a W2 based employee, I become salary exempt and when the client needs me to work more than 40 hours a week, I'm screwed - no extra money but my company can bill the client for my extra hours and keep the money themselves. I'd really like as a 1099 if the customer sends me home at the 40 hour mark because I run a few small side businesses that I've stared over the last 11 months of my non-compete period. I can keep them going over 10 to 20 hours per week, so if I keep my consulting gig to 40, then it won't be an issue since I was used to working 80 hours per week at my last employer.I've only just begin my search so I'm sure there's at least a handful of 1099 gigs out there, but so far the first 10 places I found were W2 based. A few places I emailed said they'd consider using me as a 1099, but since I've never worked as one before, I feel like I might get screwed, especially if it's a company that normally doesn't 1099 people. The problem is best defined as: "I don't know what I don't know."I'm hoping the smart minds here can help me figure out what to do. A few issues I have that I don't know the answers to are:a) 1099 vs W2 vs W2 contractor - general thoughts?b) As a 1099, can I require the client to pay me extra for overtime? I know with W2 (non-exempt) work, it's a federal law to pay 1.5x hourly pay >40 hours. With 1099 IC work, I imagine it's not a law, but I can require it in my contract. Along those lines can I hit a second time frame like >60 or >80 hours = 2x pay? With the kind of work I do, it might be a project that the client will want me to work 40 hours per week for a 12 month period and then have me work 90 hours per week for the last 3 or 4 weeks of the project as it finalizes.c) How do travel reimbursements usually work for 1099s? I'm certain with a W2, the company takes care of everything. With a 1099, do I usually have to bill the client directly, or does my "consulting/staffing" company handle that as part of their cut?d) Does the kind of job I'm describing usually involve a non-compete? I'm pretty sure the correct term for the kind of company I'm looking to work for is a "staffing company". It's not a Consulting Firm like the big 4 (e.g. Deloitte) that W2s you, overworks you, bills the client hourly, and sends you different clients every week. With my kind of work, it will be one hospital that wants to hire me on a 6 month contract term (that may be extended at their discretion) to do a certain project role, and this hospital client will want to do a brief interview with me to ensure I'm a good fit. I imagine this interview is less intensive than a regular hiring interview because the hospital is assuming the staffing agency performed full due diligence on me.e) What other questions and considerations should I be making that I might have forgotten?Thanks so much for any help.
American Home Shield and my HVAC
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 08:00:07 AM
So I'll just throw out the obligatory:1) I told you so
2) Those home warranties are a scam
3) The contractors suckOkay I'm sure there's more but here the story. Blower stopped on the furnace; ergo no cool area flowing out the vents; the AC was functioning and if left on would quickly ice the coil over. I did my own diagnostics check (multimeter) of the furnace and narrowed it to the blower or blower speed relay. I also ran the diagnostics check and there were no codes being "thrown".Invoked warranty company at this point because the board -- that contains the relays -- is quite expensive and I assumed (yes, yes, yes....) they would come to the same conclusion as me and replace the board. I treat the warranty company like my pre-paid legal plan, one must have some expectation management and understand the fine print. Yes I'm aware of my plans limitations:1) They only pay $10 a pound for refrigerant (R-22 or R-410a)
2) They will only pay up to $1500 for any HVAC related repairs
3) They don't cover the cost of recapture/recycled refrigerant
4) Et ceteraBecause I know AHS tries to reason their way out of any repair, I complete most diagnostics myself to weight the options of paying the deductible and the cost of repairing stuff myself. I really have it for the bigger stuff, water-heater, HVAC, annoying plumbing.So they come out, diagnose the same thing as me. And instead of replacing the board they jerry-rig (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jerry-rigged) some relay that bypasses the board and brings my multi-speed fan furnace down to a single-speed. And to top it off the board is left to "dangle" by the wires alone right next to the blower itself. By the way, if you energize the system the 115AC is not guarded at all and I'm surprised the hi-voltage side of the relay doesn't contact the blower cover.So.......what should I do.1) Contact AHS
2) Contact Company
3) Start blog and complain
4) Sit on thumb and spin
5) Drink beer until all seems wellOpinions
staybridge Hotels $50 rebate offer
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 07:00:11 AM
Texthttp://www.ihg.comGET $50 BACK*
SPENDING THE NIGHT
FORGETTING ABOUT WORK  Getting your $50 Vacation Pay Prepaid MasterCard is easy.* Heres how:
   
The fun doesn't have to stop when your trip ends. Stay for two consecutive weekend nights (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) and well give you a $50 Vacation Pay Prepaid MasterCard (up to $200) when you pay for your stay with a MasterCard card.
 Participating hotels include: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Alliance Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo , Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resort, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites.Register for the promotion
before your stay and print
out your registration
confirmation page (US and
Canadian residents only)Book and complete a qualifying
stay at any hotel in the IHG
Family of Brands and pay with
your MasterCard card between
May 31, 2013 and
September 1, 2013.Mail your completed rebate
form, registration confirmation
page and hotel bill showing
your qualifying stay to:

Vacation Pay
Dept. 121900
PO Box 52106
Phoenix, AZ 85072Your $50 Vacation Pay Prepaid MasterCard will arrive within 6-8 weeks.  
Eligibility:

Registration for promotion is required in advance of stay. A MasterCard card must be used to pay for the qualified stay. Registration can be completed at www.ihg.com/vacationpay. Valid email address is required for registration. Must register on or after May 14, 2013 through September 1, 2013 and stay between May 31, 2013 September 1, 2013. Registration must take place prior to the booking the stay. IHG brands are InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Resorts, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. Open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and Canada who have attained the age of majority in the jurisdiction of their residence. A stay is defined as two consecutive weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at the same hotel, regardless of frequency of check-in/out. A stay is qualified when paying qualifying rates, which include most business and leisure rates. Qualifying Room Rates do not include the following reduced room rates: net wholesale individual and group rate, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker/crew rate, 50% travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, IHG Rewards Club Nights/Airline Hotel Reward rate, Best Price Guarantee Free Reward rate, complimentary hotel stays and any other rates not defined as a Qualifying Room Rate. Also excluded are opaque rates and name your own price rates (where hotel name, location and/or rate not visible until after booking is submitted). Guests of an InterContinental Alliance Resort (The Venetian or The Palazzo) must book their qualifying reservation through IHG channels (brand websites, call centers, and GDS) to become eligible, and such guests who book in any other way, including directly with The Venetian or The Palazzo or any other hotel, will be ineligible.

Rebate:

One $50 rebate ($50 Vacation Pay Prepaid MasterCard) will be awarded on a qualifying minimum two-night weekend stay booked on or after May 31, 2013 at participating InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Resorts, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites hotels for U.S. and Canada resident stays worldwide between May 31, 2013 September 1, 2013. Guest must use their MasterCard card to pay for the stay. Up to four (4) qualified rebates awarded per household for stays during the promotional period. Limit one (1) rebate per qualifying registration confirmation per weekend period.

Rebate documents required:

1) Copy of your Registration Confirmation, 2) Hotel folio with reservation number (bill) Rebate redemption must be postmarked no later than October 3, 2013. Any rebate redemption postmarked after October 3, 2013 will not be honored. If you misplace your registration confirmation, visit Vacationpayregistration.com and click on Already Registered button to print another copy.
The Vacation Pay Prepaid MasterCard has no cash value and is not redeemable for cash or usable at any ATM. Terms and Conditions apply to the prepaid card and will be received with the prepaid card. Subject to applicable law, the prepaid card will expire six months after the card is issued.
In Canada, card is issued by Peoples Trust Company and in the U.S., card is issued by MetaBank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by MasterCard International. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. The prepaid card is given to you as a reward for which no consideration has been provided by you in exchange for the card. Card issued in the name of entrant and is not transferable; card cannot be issued to minors. Card does not have cash access and can be used wherever (Debit) MasterCard is accepted. Card valid for up to 6 months. fees may apply, see the terms that accompany your card for details regarding funds after card expiration. Card terms, conditions, and limitations apply; see http://www.cardbalancesite.com/Terms-And-Conditions/NON-REL-MC-P... in Canada, or myprepaidcenter.com/site/mastercard-promo in the U.S. for details.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reserves the right to substitute a check of equal value in lieu of a prepaid MasterCard card at its discretion. MasterCard is not the sponsor of nor shall have liability for this promotion. All rights reserved.
Offer valid only on purchase of hotel room nights at IHG brand hotels as stated above. Your rebate rights cannot be transferred. Keep copies of all materials submitted: originals will not be returned. Warning: Fraudulent submission could result in federal prosecution under mail fraud statutes (Title 18, USC Sections 1341 & 1342). Your reward will be mailed within 68 weeks after receipt of registration confirmation and folio. If you have not received your reward within 10 weeks, visit www.vacationpayrebate.com or call 877-837-3919 .
Reward will be returned to the name and address designated on the required registration confirmation U.S. addresses only will be fulfilled in U.S. dollars via a prepaid MasterCard card for US residents. Prepaid MasterCard cards mailed to Canadian residents will be in the amount of $50 in Canadian dollars. Claims postmarked after applicable dates, incomplete or illegible submissions, counterfeit copies of registration confirmation or receipts, and duplicate submissions will be rejected. IHG is not responsible for loss of registration confirmation, hotel folio or rewards due to lost or misdirected mail or for illegible entries. Good for actual purchases by end users only; excludes resellers and distributors of products and their families. Limit one reward per person, receipt, household, family or address per qualifying weekday stay. Maximum four (4) rewards per household during the promotion. IHG reserves the right to request additional information regarding this claim. IHG reserves the right to terminate promotion at any time.
Employees and their family members of any IHG company or any IHG branded hotel, Engauge, Innovar, InteliSpend or Mindshare are not eligible to participate in this promotion. Offer void where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law. Promotion sponsor is Six Continents Hotels, Inc. For full rebate details, and to download rebate form, go to www.ihg.com/vacationpay
2013 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.
The condo is a 1 BR. It is in an a well off town close to my work. 1 BR's in the association were selling for around 200k from 04-07, now are selling for 125-135 in the last year or so. the condo would be a very easy, safe financial move. Paying the mortgage would be a breeze. I would pay it off in less then 10 years, and then hold it, become a landlord and collect an inflation protected ~$600 a month for life. Other option would be to buy a 2 family house in a lower end town. Its near a college with 10,000 students. It would run around $210,000 for a 2 unit house with a couple 2 BR apts. I could rent a 2BR apartment out for $1200 a month even if its outdated and not very nice. I would probably also let a buddy live with me for like $400 a month in the spare bedroom in my apt. Thinking maybe the 2 family would be the better financial move, even if it is a bit riskier.
CPA fee justified?
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 06:00:17 PM
Hi, I wanted to ask those in accounting field (esspecially CPAs) if my CPA's fee to prepare my personal tax return for 2012 was reasonable. He charged me $1450 for it (married with 2 dependents). My previous CPA charged $600 for 2011 personal tax return. This occurred in California. Do you think his charge was reasonable for this scope of personal tax return work? Thank you.Here is what my new CPA noted changed in 2012 vs 2011:1. W-2 forms:a. 2012 had twice as many as 2011b. 2012 had 6, 2011 had 32. Interest income Schedule B:a. Sch B was required for 2012, but not 2011b. 2012 had over twice as many as 2011c. 2012 had 7, 2011 had 33. Capital Gain Schedule D:a. 2012 had over twice as many as 2011b. 2012 had 2 reportable sales and 1 carryoverc. 2011 had 0 reportable sales and 1 carryover4. California differences from Federal:a. 2012 had 6 to report, 2011 had 4 to report5. Itemize Deductions:a. 2012 had 2 mortgages to report, 2011 had 16. Partnerships & S-Corporationsa. 2012 had 5 entities; 4 with special Section 179 depreciation pass throughb. 2011 had 3 entities; 0 with special Section 179 depreciation pass through7. Under Estimated tax penalty for underpaying estimated taxes:a. 2012 computation and reporting was required, 2011 was not8. First-time set up and complete review of 2011 to insure continuity accounted for approximately $300.
Car Insurance Mess, What to Do?
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 05:00:07 PM
In December 2007, my mother bough a new car. The car was financed with a local bank. In my state, you buy insurance for the car upfront. That is, you pay your coverage for the whole time the car is financed at once, when you buy the car. She paid $1,700 for a policy that would last until she paid off her car. She financed the car to 6 years. That means that she would have insurance coverage until December 2013, or so she thought until this week. A couple of weeks ago, she got a crack in the front windshield. It probably was a small rock in the road, as I can see where it impacted the glass. The crack grew to 3-4 inches before we even noticed it (it was in the lower passenger side, and there is a black tint). After noticing it, she called the insurance company to put the claim and see if they would cover a replacement of the windshield, or if it could be fixed. They told her she had to take the car to one of the shops that do business with them, and they would take a loot at it. When she took the car to the shop they told her that it has to be replaced, can't be fixed.The story gets interesting next. When she called the insurance, they were surprised that she was making a claim, since they had the policy cancelled on their end. She told them that she paid for insurance until December 2013. They told her that the insurance was cancelled on 2010, and that they send notification to the bank. The bank was the one that made the original paperwork for the insurance coverage, etc. But it was the dealer, where she bought the car, who offered her the insurance, and who took the information of my mother, and gave her a copy of the insurance policy she was buying. Apparently the insurance was cancelled because the physical address on the insurance policy was different from the address she lives. They found that out back in 2010 because my mother had a claim for some small accident, which they covered. Apparently the policy is more expensive where my mother actually lives, vs what they had in the policy. But that mistake was not my mother's fault. My guess is that the dealer made the error, but it could have been the bank too. And the address error is only in the TOWN where she lives. Everything else is correct. Also, the insurance company has the correct postal address, the physical address is incorrect. They should have noticed that the two addresses were the same, it was an error they could have noticed. Back in 2010 the insurance sent notification, to the bank, not my mother, that my mother had to pay $400 on top of what she already paid (change of address price increase), to continue with the same coverage, or the policy was getting cancelled. Since my mother did not receive this notification, she did not pay the money. And I don't think she has to pay it, since this mistake is the dealer's or the bank. She was given a price for a policy, in which she gave her correct address, and she paid what they said the policy was worth. The insurance company extended her the policy until July 15, 2013, since they at least understand that they did the mistake of not notifying her that the policy was being cancelled. They are letting her put the claim on the broken windshield (since now the policy is valid until July 15, 2013), but they are paying for a substitute windshield, not the original one. Basically the insurance will pay for a $300 job when if they had approved the manufacturer windshield, it would all cost $900. My mother is upset because she wants the windshield that came with the car. They claimed the car was old, which is B.S (car has 30k miles). My mother said the car is not even paid off. She also mentioned that the original one is safer. My mothers deductible is $250, so basically the insurance would cover only $75. That and the previous claim would put the insurance out of pocket at $175. My mother thinks it's unfair since she paid $1,700. I agree with her, she should get the same windshield that came with the car.My mother just wants two things: to have her insurance valid until December 2013, as prior agreement AND to have the insurance replace the cracked windshield with the exact one (not a cheap one). So what should she do to achieve this? So far the insurance has been playing hard and have been taking too long to resolve it. Extending the policy until July 15, 2013 is not going to fly with me, and paying $75 while my mother puts $250 deductible for a cheap windshield is also out of the question. It seems like the insurance should determine who made the error in the address of the policy (the bank or the dealer) and reach an agreement for the $400 extra. They do business all the time, particularly the dealer, who brought my mother as a client. Regarding the windshield, I don't know how insurances determine if the cheapest windshield is fine or if they have to cover the same part. My mother has a mess and can't find the paperwork, and I'm sure that if she asked the insurance for the paperwork, they would give her the wrong ones. I don't trust them anymore. Maybe the answer is that the windshield has to be what they say, maybe not. I want your opinions. Also, funny thing, the representative of the insurance who talk to my mother said that if she got a lawyer, she would win the case. I would like to avoid that, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward and make this company do the right thing.I know it is a Friday and all, so sorry for the long post. But it had a lot of details that I'm sure I would get asked down the thread. So there it is. Thanks for any help in this issue. Have a nice weekend everybody.
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State: PA
This is my third week of living in the house. Moved in the day the previous tenant moved out.Hey guys I am a Masters student and moved into a new house. The house itself is nice, the landlords seem a little strange but nice, fully renovated 'modern' apartment with a TV and couch and bed. I did my apartment hunting really late, subletted for the first two weeks of school and fell way behind in school. A few things even as I looked at the apartment it is kind of in the basement (half way). If I look outside my two windows, I would say my torso and above is above ground while my other half is below ground.My apartment, especially me bed is by the only unfinished/not shabby part of the house-the laundry room which has a lot of dark places in it. I noticed a few drainbugs when I moved in flying around, and later that the water wouldn't evaporate two days after I had taken a shower (indicating a very humidf environment
Anyways fast foward, I see three house centipedes one night while waking up. GROSS and freaked me out,they were the BIGGEST I'd ever seen. lost two days of sleep and delayed a midterm because of it (the worst part). Turns out the last tenant slammed the bed into the wall creating a hole while boning his girlfriend. Landlord seals the hole. I don't see any around my bed walls (my bed is kind of in a corner). I mean these things are so ugly that you can't even look at them, and they move so fast you just need to kill them before they get away. Noticed the shower water wouldn't evaporate a day after I left it. Hand up a Damppdrid. Walk in the next day from school after hanging a Damprid in the bathroom and see a smaller centipede (than those by the beds sitting in the sink. I am not sure if this is a good sign after I kill it because if the Damprid worked well and it had to retreat to the most humid place under the sink faucet in the bathroom OR it crawled out of the drain.
I start putting DE in every crack seal opening I can find (and there are a few since its a basement job, in the drains, in any openings I see, coating my bed posts with it). I also make the landlord put one dehumidifier in my apartment. I think I might see a few more these next few days but hopefully when I get a humidity monitor it will tell me I have a few questions. I know house centipedes, I've seen them before at my home home in NJ (but not nearly as ginormous as the ones I saw by my bed earlier this week).
1. How long do I have to run this dehumidifier intially and at what frequency (every day during the summer- every 2 days), and what humidity level should I keep in my apartment? 2. I want to prepare for the worst- breaking a lease and the landlord keeping $1300 (one months rent) in case I want to break the lease after my finals are done and move to another place. I have been emailing every problem to them. I have not taken any photos of the centipedes but there are shoe marks and part of their bodies where I left them that I could take a photo of. At a 10 coutn right now for the week. The bad thing, in terms of written record, for the landlord is they didn't do much until I really pestered them to, from internet servicing, fixing the support beam under my bed, house centipedes, a leak in the kitchen, their response was weeks late at a time. I also realize they had a honeymoon/wedding the week I moved in, and they might be sweet and nice but they seriously didn't hustle until I wrote them an email asking them urgently to work on these things. They literally came down that night. In fact I would yell their names (without going into their bedroom) and as big as the house is, I doubt they couldn't hear me. I gues