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Credit Card Bonuses: The Last AOR
Added on : Friday August 01st 2014 07:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 97 Replies: 1 Okay: So now that my friend closed on his new home and did his refi (see my previous thread for that whole fiasco) it's time to do the last AOR before he quits paying on his old house (I'll make a thread about how to REALLY piss off a banks loss mit department). It's been YEARS since I did an AOR so I need FWFs advise on what cards to get. His wallet consists of just a few cards. I also have permission to AOR is wife so I can double up on everything.

Details:
HHI 150k
800+ Credit
22 Mortgage related inquiries and zero on others
3 Mortgage related inquires and zero on others for his wife.

Current Cards:
Costco AMEX
Old Discovery with 1/2% CashBack or something crazy like that
BOA Travel Card
A few store cards

Purpose:
He's planning to do some travel early next year to South America. I plan to use some of the earnings here to book some of the required travel for that. That being said cash and gift cards are also welcomed.


The Plan:
Since short term credit is going to be trashed anyways I can do as I please on this AOR. I have an easy way to do 50k+ in spending on the cards so min spending requirements are absolutely not an issue.
So far I have only chosen a few cards I plan to do. I plan to do this Monday morning so that gives me some time to plan.

Future Cards:
1.CP { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }iti Aadvantage 75k offer http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/BP-ACExec-75K.jspP { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }iti Advantage 75k Offer. My understanding is you can do one citi app every seven? days so I plan to do one card and come back in a week and do another.
2. Cap 1 Venture cards. C1 limits one app per 30 days so if I do both the venture and both the Spark cash cards back to back I can get them through. I've tested this with other C1 products and it worked (on my credit)
3. Barclays Arrival+ Card
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
5-20 ???

Thank you in advanced!
AOR Deals
So confused by Amex gold card bill (shared account)
Added on : Thursday July 31st 2014 05:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kam98
Views: 47 Replies: 0 This is my first post so please forgive me if Im duplicating a topic, I did do a search though.So I share an Amex gold card account with my mom (and dad), Im still confused as to whether it affects my credit score or not. It seems like it does not. She is the primary on the account.But even more confusing is the bill. Its so confusing trying to figure out what I owe only. I try to manage my own card online because I linked my bank account and I can easily pay. Its easier than giving my mom the money or writing my mom a check so she can pay all at once. I can only see my card but when look at the balances it shows the balances for all of our cards. When I sign in to my moms account she can see all of our cards and all of our purchases.We have a bill thats due tomorrow so Im paying my part today. When I pay online, the payment goes on the same day.So I bought something before the closing date that I returned and I just got the refund yesterday. It looks like the refund is being applied to the current balance (due sept 1st?) so I still have to pay for what I bought right?This is my first credit card and I feel like a fish out of water. Thanks in advance for your help.
Personal Finance Deals
BELIEVE the bs that your boss pays half of your SS?
Added on : Wednesday July 30th 2014 02:00:08 PM
g: -7 Posted By: nicj4070
Views: 169 Replies: 5 No, you pay all of it. your boss just helps Big Bro steal it from you, like he does your other taxes. Say you're my boss, you pay me $10 an hour. SS, unmploye, etc, add another $1 per hour. you must be able to turn a profit, after paying the ENTIRE $11 per hour. He doesn't CARE who it goes to, it's still all of it one of his expenses. Say SS magically disappeared, can he STILL charge you that $1 an hour "extra" out of your check? what if his competitor is paying the full $11 an hour to HIS workers, hmm? who will you soon work for? Whom will you be mad at? To whom will you tell everything you know about your old boss? So you see, you ARE paying all of your SS 15%. it's a tax, just like all the rest of it, and if you're less than 50 years old, you'll never see a dime of it, either. The $ bill is going to collapse before you're 70 (which will be YOUR minimum retirement age. The baby boomers are going to collapse SS, and with it, the $. Politicians don't DARE touch current SS policies, so they will just inflate the $ the rest of the way into worthlessness. it's already only worth 1.5c on what USED to be a $ (vs price of gold) A $20 bill, 100 years ago, bought an oz of gold. Now it takes (approx) 65 of those same $20 bills to buy that oz of gold.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: RhizzleBop
Views: 86 Replies: 3 I've done the reading and research on borrowing from a 401k And how its generally a bad idea.
I get that the opportunity cost of the money not being there is potentially a big hit. I'm torn as to whether double taxation is a myth or not as I'm not sure when you're paying back the loan if it comes out pretax or not.

In my families situation we have paid for our wedding and paid off my wife's student loans and a car and we are now saving rapidly for a home purchase. We need more space and our current house will become a rental. This will happen in about a year.

So as we currently stand I put money in my 401k each month and get the company match. The rest of our income that doesn't go to expenses is being saved (obviously post tax) with the intent to use much of it for a large downpayment on our next home.

The question I had was, when considering the fact that not maxing the 401k pretax is an opportunity I can never get back after 2014 cause I can only out so much a year, would I be better off maxing the 401k and then when we are ready to move on the house, borrow from that so that going forward I can continue to max that in 2015 as well as pay back the loan.

For some perspective my plan is to out down around 45-50k on a home when we are ready to do that.

I would consider borrowing as much as half of that from 401k if I saved less in my bank account and maxed the 401k this year.

If I did that borrow its likely to happen between jan and July of 2015 and if it w ere roughly 20-25k then I would be paying that 401k loan off in 12 to 14 months.

Bascally it comes down to opportunity to max 401k in. 2014 that I can never get back again vs opportunity cost of having money pulled from the 401k for about a year that I will aggressively pay right back in.

Discussion Deals
Help Dividing Home Equity between 3 People
Added on : Tuesday July 29th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: TacoSmith
Views: 123 Replies: 10 Hello FWFers. I need help finding a formula to divide up the profit from selling a house between myself, my wife, and her sister. I would love your assistance in finding a fair way to divide up whatever profit we make from selling the house.

My wife and sister bought a house together in June 2009 for $109,000 via an FHA loan. I'm still trying to find the down payment amount. They didn't keep good records.
My wife (then fiance) and I refinanced the house in our names in July 2013 (one month prior to our marriage) for $104,600 (30 year fixed) with a new lender. Her sister moved out the following month (job loss months earlier, couldn't afford her share of the rent). The cursory appraisal was $120,000.
My wife and I have been the only ones paying rent from July 2013 until now
We've spent $1000 in repairs during that time to get the house presentable to sell.
We've listed the house at $130,000 based upon comparables from our realtor.

I have no clue how much we'll have after selling since it hasn't sold yet, but I'd like to get some kind of formula in place to divy up the profit fairly. My father-in-law is trying to suggest a 50/50 split, but that fails to take into account the 12 months that I've been paying on the mortgage and the repairs we've done to get the house in sell-able condition.. Can anyone help me out in this regard?

I will do my best to provide any additional information that I can locate. I've tried doing Google searches, but they only seem to deal with divorces and selling estates that were inherited. Thank you for your time.
Question Deals
Request for long term financial guidance for my retiring mother
Added on : Monday July 28th 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Dell4600
Views: 46 Replies: 0 Hi guys, yet another post where one of us bares all (or bares enough to ask the question) and asks for financial guidance and advice.
My mother called me this weekend to lay out her current situation, asked if I was 'good at investing' and could help her. Well given that my portfolio is down about $14,000 in the last five days I can definitively say I'm not good at investing, but as a long term member of this board I know quite a few people that are

Her current situation:
Age 67. Divorced 40+ years ago, never remarried.
Her mother recently died (which is what is driving her to reconsider her current financial situation), leaving her a small inheritance. On the order of $50,000 already received, with another $100,000 to $200,000 still being sorted out.
She bought a smaller 2 bedroom condo in Chandler, AZ about 13 years ago (before the bubble), paid about $60k for it. In the time since then it doubled in value, then dropped again like everyone else's. She recently paid it off with the initial proceeds of her inheritance. She hasn't kept it current and modern and it sounds like it needs a little work, but we didn't get into details. In her mind it would sell for $35,000 to $40,000, but according to Zillow and Trulia it's worth right at $90,000.
Still working at the same job she's been working at forever (dozen years or more), recent pay raise to about $15 / hour. Raises haven't been plentiful nor numerous, and she said that over the past ten years she's been averaging between $24,000 and $28,000 per year income. I include this information to help with the Social Security calculations.

Needless to say, she's risk averse, and doesn't have the means to replace her inheritance if it vanishes. One of her concerns is that she leave me something when she eventually passes (insurance policy), but I am doing ok for myself and would rather she live a fuller life.

I asked her about the possibility of having a studious college age young woman share her condo (ie, roommate situation, not sure that's the right term when you rent to a college age kid), but she is very much against that idea.

-=-

Some of my math:
Condo breakdown : PITI - PI = ~$400 / month. Taxes = ~$40 / month. Condo fees : $170 / month. Since the condo just got paid off the $400 / month is no longer, but I mention it for baselining historical expenses vs income.

Her monthly take home has been somewhere in the $2,000 / month range, which defines her monthly outlay. She was paying all her bills from that, has no debt, but no real savings either. Thus I estimate her monthly was roughly $1900 / month including the condo $400 / month, meaning she could continue her current standard of living on roughly $1500 / month, not indexed for inflation.

Given that her mother just died, if her mother was 87'ish, I would estimate her savings would need to last her 20 years (plus or minus).

She's of the age to go onto Social Security without the 'retire early' penalties. I used the quick SS estimator to ballpark her monthly SS benefits at approximately $1150 / month. Thus she needs another $350 / month to maintain her current lifestyle, but honestly she's been living it pretty spartan and I'd like to see her have a little more to enhance her life (ie, she may not run the air conditioner in order to save money, even in the Arizona summer.)

Options include :
- The Vanguard investment fund mentioned in the last post (someone in NYC asking what to do with $250,000), so her $150,000 +/- at 4% would yield $6,000 / year ($500 / month) in passive income pretty much forever without touching the principle. Is sufficient, actually, but doesn't index for inflation so she may run thin later on in life when groceries / gas / whatever gets more expensive.
- Reverse mortgage. Requesting ideas and discussion on this one, as I'm not familiar with it from a practical perspective beyond the commercials on TV.
- I considered buying her condo from her at a price somewhere between what she thinks what it is worth and current market value, let her live in it forever (she intends on leaving it to me in her will, but if it is still in her name when she gets to means tested assistance (medicade, etc) the will likely take it from her and she won't have anything to leave behind for me, one of her concerns.) If I buy it from her now, that money can go into her investment fund (returning 4% or whatever) to increase her standard of living for the long run, and when it is finally time for her to pass I will still own it, 10-20 years from now, as it was mine, not hers for the government to liquidate before they provide her with means tested assistance. I don't know how all that works (arms length transaction is the phrase that comes to mind, but if I buy it for fair market value we weren't trying to hide it or anything.) If I have the means to buy it from her (without ripping her off), please compare and contrast this vs Reverse mortgage.
- Annuities - I've heard the phrase used plenty of times but generally in a news piece about an elderly person getting scammed. Requesting some real guidance and experience here to keep that from happening to her.

Finally, she could keep working a few more years, but does that really buy her anything. In other words, if she postpones retiring / going on SS for another two years, will her SS benefits be more each month, or would she get the same as if she retired today (thus she can decide whether she wants to stop going to work today and between her SS and investment income still have enough to live on.) ARG!!! According to this (http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/whileworking.htm ) she could have started receiving full benefits a year ago (when she turned 66) regardless of her income from work. Double ARG!! - she can apply for it retroactively, but they only back-pay 6 months worth. ARG!!! - Any advice here?

Actually given that I know that, I'm going to get her to start the paperwork on her SS, get her back pay and she can augment her monthly income by that $1150 / month (she will feel rich!). I figure she will work another year or two (or as long as they let her keep coming, she's a trooper!) But what about after that...

In light of all that, please help me point her in the right direction.

Thanks much,
Dell4600
maximizing moving expense reimbursement
Added on : Monday July 28th 2014 01:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dagr8vik
Views: 57 Replies: 1 Relocating for a job is often accompanied by perks like employer reimbursed moving expenses. Sometimes this is paid as a lump sum to 'help offset moving costs' and other times employers reimburse actual costs up to a certain limit.

Is it possible (or does anyone have any experience with) moving yourself and keeping the reimbursement. This might be facilitated by forming your own moving company, or having a friend or family member do it, and hiring them for your move (or part of it). For example, one might hire a moving company to move most of their stuff and drive their car up themselves. The car transport might be expensive, but reimbursable, and you might think to yourself, 'I could compete with that price, or even beat it.'

I have not seen a lot of discussion on this, but there was a similar thread in maximizing employer reimbursed closing costs a few years ago - http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/704849/
The consensus there seemed to be - 'keep it reasonable'
I am not suggesting outright fraud, but paying yourself for your own hard work in moving (rather than paying someone else) seems reasonable to me.
Any other ideas on maximizing this benefit?

Question Deals
maximizing moving expense reimbursement
Added on : Monday July 28th 2014 12:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dagr8vik
Views: 15 Replies: 0 Relocating for a job is often accompanied by perks like employer reimbursed moving expenses. Sometimes this is paid as a lump sum to 'help offset moving costs' and other times employers reimburse actual costs up to a certain limit.

Is it possible (or does anyone have any experience with) moving yourself and keeping the reimbursement. This might be facilitated by forming your own moving company, or having a friend or family member do it, and hiring them for your move (or part of it). For example, one might hire a moving company to move most of their stuff and drive their car up themselves. The car transport might be expensive, but reimbursable, and you might think to yourself, 'I could compete with that price, or even beat it.'

I have not seen a lot of discussion on this, but there was a similar thread in maximizing employer reimbursed closing costs a few years ago - http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/704849/
The consensus there seemed to be - 'keep it reasonable'
I am not suggesting outright fraud, but paying yourself for your own hard work in moving (rather than paying someone else) seems reasonable to me.
Any other ideas on maximizing this benefit?

Question Deals
FHA 203(k) Questions
Added on : Sunday July 27th 2014 04:00:07 PM
g: 1 Posted By: scottybweyy
Views: 50 Replies: 1 I'm considering purchasing a multi-family quadplex and had some questions on FHA 203(k) loan.

1.) When searching the lender liston the HUD site, I return 0 lenders when searching for those who have done a 203(K) loan in the post 12 months in SC. Does that mean 203(k) loans don't exist in my state?
2.) What national lenders will allow appliance purchases with this program?
3.) Is there a lender where I can qualify for both a conventional FHA and a 203(k) loan in case I decide to only go conventional?
4.) I have read that you need working capital since the draws to pay contractor milestones are typically delayed ~60 days. Is it possible to do a 203(k) without paying contractor personally?




Question Deals
replacing or rebuilding transmission
Added on : Sunday July 27th 2014 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: davidbeckham
Views: 87 Replies: 1 I had my transmission with only 70K miles out from my Kia 2008 spectra a few weeks ago and was quoted from $1200-1800 for repair in NYC, and I ended up paying $1200 for them putting in a used one with 50K miles on it. There is a couple things I noticed while shopping around. Some Auto Body was only offering me for rebuilding tranny for $1600-1800, and others told me that usually they would look for a used one first and then if there wasn't any available they would look into the rebuilt option because a high percentage of rebuilt transmissions fail after a year or two . I understand that rebuilding costs more so that the shop would earn more from labor. Other than that, Is there any incentive for shops to push for rebuilding rather than getting a used one? Why did those shops not like to offer a used replacement first? I am trying to get some insight into this industry and figure out who is the honest guy here.
Question Deals
Pay off student loans or fund 401K?
Added on : Sunday July 27th 2014 08:00:08 AM
g: 2 Posted By: dyslexiateechur
Views: 135 Replies: 8 Hi all. Hubby and I have just paid off a mortgage and we can't agree on what to do next with our spare funds.

I already fund my 401K to the full match that my company offers (3% full and then a smaller match up to 5%), but I started paying into it late so it's less than what it should be for someone my age (32) IMO.

On the other hand, I have student loan debt that I pay slightly above the monthly payment on--and I have a long way to go to pay it off. No private loans, just federal. Interest rate is around 4% I believe (I'd have to look it up to give the exact).

Hubby wants to aggressively pay down the student loans, but I'm thinking that (for tax purposes at least), it would be better to start putting more money into the 401K, even if it's not yielding a lot at the moment.

Which one (if either) would you pick?
Investing Deals
FICO scores
Added on : Saturday July 26th 2014 07:00:12 PM
g: -1 Posted By: tacomite
Views: 133 Replies: 7 Discover card has recently started showing FICO scores on their statements.

I've been holding at a steady 815 for months -- but this last month I dropped to 809

Only thing out of the norm was I charged my last vacation, which I then paid off in full by the due date. I have been paying my credit cards in full for years (maybe decades).
Is a one-time, rare, out-of-the ordinary charge and subsequent pay-off a reason to drop 6 points??
Credit Deals
Can I get rewards (cashback, cc pts) from paying off a HELOC?
Added on : Saturday July 26th 2014 03:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: evercl92
Views: 624 Replies: 4 I bought house #2 with a HELOC on my first house($50k ish). I also have a vehicle loan through the same bank ($16k ish). I'm selling house #2 shortly and had planned to pay onto both of these pretty heavy (thus the hopeful potential of a lot of bonus rewards). I checked with DiscoverCard and Chase (my account is showing offers for 0% transfers), to see if I a balance transfer or cash advance counted toward getting reward points. Both said that they didn't give points for those.

That said, is it typical for a bank to accept a credit card payment ? Any other options to get some bonus out of this?
Credit Deals
5/5 vs 15/15 vs 30
Added on : Friday July 25th 2014 10:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: pucelle
Views: 258 Replies: 4 So I'm a first time home buyer and decided to buy new construction townhouse in a planned new planned community where I had been looking at apartments. As such, I got a pre-approval from a broker I had met and was waiting until I got a closing date/finishing date from the builder before I went any further. I'm currently going through underwriting with said broker (which I found out is a Wells Fargo affiliate) and just got word the townhouse will be completed next month with a close date of the beginning of September. So I figure now is the time to start looking around at rates and I was originally looking at the 30 year fixed even though I know that I hope to be the house for 3 years and ideally 5-7 before moving to a different state or out of the country. Given that, it doesn't really make sense to me to get a 30 year fixed and when I was looking around I saw the 15/15 from PenFed and the discussion on this site regarding it. 5/5 ARMs seem to also be popular with the increase caps at 2%.

Since for me this is totally not a planned thing and more of a impulse due to timing (last group of townhomes in developement, end unit in the perfect location for me) I haven't been able to do the usual research I normally do for financial things and have decided to outsource some of the legwork. When I looked at the ARMs before, I had only known about the 3/5/7& 1 arms which never really appealed to me but the 5/5 seem like a better deal. The new 15/15 from PenFed also looks interesting but I'm guessing I will need to run numbers to see what makes sense. Which brings me to the next question; Obviously, when comparing mortgages and rates you need to plug in the numbers and look the whole picture but I'm a little confused at what whole picture I should be looking at. What's the breakeven point that people keep talking about? The only definition I am aware of for the breakeven point comes from the investment world and I wouldn't think it would make sense here; or does that only apply to refinancing? What type of things should I be considering when looking at the numbers?

Purchase Price: $282k
Down Payment: 10%
Monthly After Tax Income: $6k
Time in home: 3-7 years
Monthly Expenses: $2,065 (non-discretionary;e.g. car, utilities, student loans, etc)

I know that I could have gotten an existing townhouse in the neighborhood cheaper for the most part but the market is tight where I am so most people are paying above listing price and none of the places I looked at were worth the listing price. My credit is only average so I know that I don't qualify for the best rates. Chase quoted me 4.75% on a 30 year fixed with a mean CS of 670.
Personal Finance Deals
Slimy pop-up from Paypal for paying w/Credit card
Added on : Friday July 25th 2014 04:00:10 AM
g: -7 Posted By: yurgreat
Views: 112 Replies: 1 when you pay with paypal, it defaults to your bank acct.
the only other option on that page is Bill-me-later.

You have to click to a different page to select credit card. (and I think this is also slimy too.)
There's no way to default to your credit card.

but Paypal has gone to a new low.
there's now a pop-up when you select credit card:

"Save money when you pay with your bank account:
If you use a credit card to pay for your international purchase, your card issuer might charge you a fee (typically up to 3% of your purchase amount). That's about $1.35 USD for this purchase. Use your bank account and you won't have to pay this fee."

get charged 3%?!?! WTF sleezeballs!?!
my credit card gives me 2%

edit:
hm.. International? the website I bought from used US dollars. dontthink they're overseas??
anyway, Should not be any different from buying from China suppliers that use US dollars?
Discussion Deals
How to manage this CC debt? Any 0% APR offers?
Added on : Thursday July 24th 2014 06:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rza1
Views: 33 Replies: 0 I racked up $7500 in CC debt after a history of carrying no debt. It was from a combination of necessary purchases, required deposit costs, etc.

I don't want to open another CC card as I already have 4 (AMEX Blue, AMEX Blue Cash, BoA Visa Signature, & Fidelity AMEX). I owe the $7500 on my BoA Visa while the rest are at 0. I am paying about $80 in monthly interest charge. I am not going to be able to work until next year and need to manage this somehow. Is the best option to open a new CC with a 0% APR offer and balance transfer there? Any promotions to be aware of?
g: 1 Posted By: rockymast
Views: 212 Replies: 0 Picked up a Google ChromeCast HDMI media player at Staple for $28 ($35 - 20%) plus tax with a coupon for 20% Off Tech and Mobile Accessories. . I realize that you can pick one up for less from companies like TigerDirect, but this was the best price I could find for local pick-up. Also, if you want to be able to return it without paying a restocking fee (like with certain on-line sellers) it's not a bad deal.

Coupon link:
http://www.staples.com/coupons/

Electronics Deals

Staples Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: cyberfire
Views: 98 Replies: 2 I did some searching on older threads and didn't see much in the way of topics around renting, mainly around ownership, so I'm hoping some members with recent experience can lend some insight here...

I wouldn't normally look at mobile / manufactured homes in my market as a rental property, but a situation just came up with someone we know that is currently renting one, and the owner is selling it, which made me wonder about this. Here are some of the specifics:

It's been converted to real property, the land and unit are both owned, which qualifies for traditional mortgage lending (in theory anyways)
Located in a desirable area of town, centrally located
Was built in 1984, in immaculate shape, dated interior
Asking price is 70K - majority of the cost is from the land
Current tenants are paying about $550 / mo
If they ever decided to leave, new tenant rent would go up to $650-700

With 20% down, after all expenses it would still cash flow, although not by much, around $150 / mo.

Getting $1,800 / yr return on $14K would be 12.8% - doesn't seem terrible, but is that the best way to look at this?

Has anyone else bought and rented out mobile or manufactured homes? What was your experience like? Was it worth it?





Real Estate Deals
Paying mortgage with cash
Added on : Tuesday July 22nd 2014 12:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sam008
Views: 160 Replies: 7 Folks

Is it okay paying one's mortgage with cash i.e. walking up to the bank and giving them actual cash? Would that raise any red flags?

The source of the cash is a relative who has a cellphone business purely based on cash (don't me how because I don't know). He's been helping us temporarily on home payments in return for an arrangement to help him in another country. Previously, we simply deposited the cash into a bank account and made a payment from there but I'm afraid the frequent cash deposits of $3000 a month would raise red flags

thanks
Question Deals
Shady Gas Stations?
Added on : Tuesday July 22nd 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: 3 Posted By: naranja
Views: 37 Replies: 1 I've been pumping my own gas since that became a thing back in the 1970s. I always buy "regular". Within the past month I've been "tricked" into buying premium at two stations.

The first was at a QT. I swear I hit the regular but after filling up I saw I was charged for premium. I chalked it up to operator error maybe the hose hit premium or something. A week later at the same station a family member had it happen only they caught it before they started pumping, reset and all was ok. I suppose it could have been operator error twice but we just avoid that station now.

Cut to yesterday at an Exxon station. Unlike every other station I've been to "Premium" is the first button to the left where one would instinctively hit for "Regular". Luckily I was paying attention and caught it before I started pumping. I bet lots of folks are fooled. Pretty sneaky in my book.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 138 Replies: 0 PLAY The Discipline Solution: A New System Motivates Children to Do Chores while Teaching Life Skills & Self Discipline WITHOUT Cash or Spanking
http://www.amazon.com/PLAY-Discipline-Solution-Motivates-Childre...

5.0 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)

This ready-to-use kit is a job, financial & legal system that teaches children life-skills & self-discipline while giving parents an easy way to discipline children.

For Parents:
Strengthens respect without resentment
Transforms conflict into cooperation
Provides structure with rules and boundaries
Fosters encouragement instead of demands
Implements discipline without spanking or yelling
An on-the-spot tool to organize & manage chaos

For Children:
A fun & easy way to learn
Teaches money management, math & life-skills
Raises accountability & self-discipline
Nurtures a sense of pride with independence
Deflects disagreements & false sense of entitlement
Provides a way to earn all privileges
Inspires thinking before acting
Moderates unhealthy things such as the use of video games, computers, sweets, & more.


According to the Clark University Poll of Parents of Emerging Adults --

"74% of parents say they provide financial support to their 18-29 year old children."

This may be due to the "Entitlement Epidemic" that we've recently been hearing about.


This kit was created to help decrease the issue of entitlement. It will help kids learn money management, life-skills, self-discipline and math at the same time. It helps children gain responsibility for their actions without the parent feeling the need to spank or stress so much.

The system within this book is based upon the job, monetary and legal system that adults operate within today; and it's been broken down to a child's level. It gives hands on experience to children while teaching them about self-sufficiency, life-skills, money management, earning and moderation. by bringing real life responsibility to a child's level of understanding.

This toolkit provides motivation for kids to help out with household chores and to take on responsibilities independently -- without paying a cash allowance.

Once you begin using this system, you can say 2 words that in most situations will get your kids to listen to you almost instantly.

The toolkit includes charts for chores as well as a pay, price, and fine lists, facts, rules, currency, and discipline tips for parents. Everything has a set pay, price and fine. Everyone with kids or planning on having kids can benefit from this system.

The charts make it simple to start using immediately and kids love the idea of it too.

Research and studies have been done to make this system cater to a child and parent's needs. It's been tested, tweaked and rewritten many times over the last few years to narrow things almost down to a science.

Having the knowledge of life-skills and money management are just as important as the things children learn in school because the job market and financial world is ever changing and becoming more and more competitive every day. It's essential for children to start learning life skills as soon as possible, so they can have a jump start on how things work in the real world. If they don't learn these essential life-skills now, their life and yours may be harder now, and later down the road. This is why I felt the need to share this system with the world.

Let's arm our children with tools for success; while you gain some relief. This book and kit is a positive and educational solution. PLAY "The Discipline Solution" Really does work.
Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: crazytexan
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Back story: I bought a 2014 Camaro for 18k in late April and got it financed. I am paying 1.29% APY (thank you FWF). Now my fiancee needs a new car but she has no credit. So basically I need to buy it for her and she can make the payments. After her trade in and all is said and done we are looking at another auto loan of about 9k-12k.

My details: FICO is 695, Experian 745, not sure about the other two but last I checked Equifax 780 and TU 740
Income is 38k a year
I'm 22 years old with no kids
No mortgage, I rent.
Current budget allows for $855 a month in disposable income. That is after factoring in all expenses and savings.
Current car payment is $349 a month
Credit utilization on revolving accounts is 5%

I'm not so worried about qualifying for the loan. What I am worried about is that I have made a decent amount of money from AoRs because my company reimburses me for flight expenses. Basically I turn every point I get into cash. I am averaging almost $1000/mo and have done a total of two AORs, one February 5th and the other May 7th, and would like to do one in August. Will adding this other installment loan screw up my potential for getting new cards? If not, should I apply for the auto loan before or after the AoR. Another route I was thinking of taking is to just do the AoR and apply for some 0% interest cards, and just charge the entire amount of the new car to said cards. Thoughts?

Let me know if I left out any vital info and I will post it asap.
Corp To Corp versus 1099 Sole Prop Consulting? Pros/Cons?
Added on : Sunday July 20th 2014 07:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 33 Replies: 0 I'm currently doing 1099 consulting. I've considered doing Corp To Corp (C2C) consulting such that I can form an S-Corp, hire myself as a W2, pay for things such as HSA Contribution pre-FICA tax, retain some of the money in the business to avoid SE Tax, and also to enroll in state unemployment because I believe my line of work will be dying out in the next 6 to 36 months. I see UI as a net positive given the tax-deductible cost of enrolling a single employee compared to 6 months of payouts when my consulting work eventually dries up.

Further, I work through third-party consulting firms through a loose relationship where they land me gigs, and a few of these consulting firms do not offer 1099 relationships, only W2 (through them) or C2C. I refuse to be someone else's W2.

Third point is I started a thread earlier this year that fizzled out, where I suggested it may be beneficial to have two separate entities to perform consulting through, such that you may be able to reduce state income tax. For example, perhaps you can do work in NY/CA through your S-Corp, max out your HSA contribution, Employee and Employer 401k Contribution, etc, through that S-Corp, and then the second part of the year, if you do work in TX/FL, you do it through your Sole Prop without any deductions. In theory, if you did everything through one entity, you'd have to reduce your 401k contributions/etc across all income equally such that you only get to deduct a portion of your deduction against your NY/CA income versus if you separated entities, you could say the S-Corp got all of those tax benefits and reduce taxes owed to the high-income tax states.

Fourth point is the ability to mess with income tax withholding through your S-Corp. Suppose you work Jan through August as a 1099 and decide to pay nothing in quarterly taxes. But then you withhold your entire paycheck from your W2 September through December and mail those to the IRS biweekly. I know married couples do this trick where husband does 1099 and underpays quarterly taxes and wife adjusts her withholding the last few months of the year to compensate. No penalties. Not sure if this works as an individual.

My biggest concerns with using an S-Corp are:

1) If I have to register as a foreign entity in each state I do consulting in. That seems like a hassle, and expensive. I think California was $500 to register as a foreign entity per year. I am nearly certain as a sole prop this is not necessary.

2) How difficult doing payroll for myself as a W2, filing UI payments with the state, etc. I've never used an accountant. I prefer learning things myself and handling as much as I can, and so far as a 1099, it's cake. I prefer this because as a true fatwalleteer, I use my understanding on a daily basis to plan the year out. I don't wait until April of the following year to talk to my accountant only to learn I should have done something differently the previous year. Doing things myself has a huge net positive benefit that exceeds the cost savings of paying for the accountant.

3) Anything else I missed?

Tax Deals
Holiday Inn: Up to 25% off Hotels and Resorts
Added on : Sunday July 20th 2014 07:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Advertisement
Views: 168 Replies: 0 Holiday Inn: Up to 25% off Hotels and Resorts

Terms & Conditions
Rates are per room, per night and are subject to availability. Offer includes up to 25% off room rates. Tax and service charges apply. Final bill will be presented in local currency. Full prepayment is required at time of booking, can not be amended and is non-refundable. Credit card surcharges apply. Blackout dates apply. Rates for the participating hotels are available until 30 September 2014 with a minimum of 2 nights stay, excepting Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders which requires a minimum stay of 3 nights. Offer is not valid to groups of 10 or more rooms and cannot be combined with any other special offer, including but not limited to InterContinental Ambassadors complimentary weekend night certificate. At Holiday Inn, Kids 17 years and under stay for free sharing parents guest room in existing bedding. At Holiday Inn, Kids 12 years and under eat free from the all-day dining restaurant with an accompanying paying adult guest. Rates qualify for IHG Rewards Club Points. Standard IHG Rewards Club programme terms and conditions apply
Hotel Deals

Holiday Inn Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: fivetalents
Views: 33 Replies: 0 This drive sold out quickly 10 days ago but the extra discount doesn't expire until 08-04-2014, and the drive is now back in stock.

SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) is $54.99 with free shipping at Newegg

Take an additional $15 off $50 off by buying through the Newegg Apple iOS mobile app and paying with Google Wallet at checkout, bringing the price to $39.99, shipped (add tax in CA, NJ, and TN).

Limited to one per customer.

Sequential read speeds of up to 490 MB/s**
Sequential write speeds of up to 350 MB/s**
Affordable upgrade for PCs and laptops
Designed to withstand shock and vibration for reliable operation
Low power consumption; extends laptop battery life
Three-year limited warranty3


Credit History
Added on : Sunday July 20th 2014 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: sachinsharma
Views: 19 Replies: 0 Hi All,
Greetings!
I am new to USA and I don't have any credit history. I am buying a new car and the interest rate that honda is offering me is as high as 10%. I have another option of making my cousin, a co-buyer as he has a great credit history. If I get it financed thru my cousin then the rate of interest comes down to 1-2%. I was wondering, if my cousin becomes a co-buyer and I continue paying the monthly installments then whose credit history will build?
Will the payments build on my credit history or my cousin's credit history?

Thanks,

Sachin
Micro-transactions not being processed at gas station.
Added on : Saturday July 19th 2014 04:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tedteddy
Views: 70 Replies: 2 One of the banks I signed up with has a $100 bonus for new accounts if you do 15 debit card transactions.

I went to a gas station and did 18 transactions that ranged from 10 cents to about $1.50. I kept the receipts.

I went online to look at my account about a week later. I noticed something odd right away. None of the transactions under 70 cents appeared. I obviously did get the gas, so what is happening here? Did the gas station simply not process the small transactions because of processing fees? Did my bank void the small transactions?

I told my wife about this and she flipped out! She mentioned that there is a law in my state that you automatically lose your driver's license if you drive off without paying for gas. I'm not too worried about it, as I attempted to pay.

I realize this post is dangerously close to breaking the Chipotle rule, but I am genuinely curious about how all of this works. Anyone care to share your thoughts on this?
Discussion Deals
Haggled with Dish Network and got 50% off!!!
Added on : Thursday July 17th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: tantuti
Views: 101 Replies: 0 Long time Dish customer and was paying 90.00 a month for top 200 with DVR, etc.

Went on dish chat and asked for breaks, first offer was typical 3 months free HBO, Showtime etc, told them that I don't want it since directv offers were 55 a month with free NFL package.

Got switch over to another customer specialist and offered free redzone for 3 months, I said not good deal. He came with with 46.00 month with no contract.

So happy!!!!!
Discussion Deals
Do I have to pay out of pocket for this
Added on : Thursday July 17th 2014 04:00:09 AM
g: -1 Posted By: ecomajor
Views: 168 Replies: 4 This will be a somewhat long story but please be patient. Also please read the attached contract, in particular paragraphs 2 and 4.

In December 2013 my chiropracter prescribed me a TENS machine (google it) for my back pain. My chiropracter ordered it from an out of network medical devices provider.
I signed a form (attached) that basically stated that I was not personally liable for any amount that my insurance company didnt cover. Additionally, since they were not an in network provider any payments would be sent to me and I was responsible to send them to the device company.

All seemed fine, but I never received any checks from my insurance company.

Last week I receive a letter from the device provider asking me to please forward the money as they say that the insurance company has paid the claims.

I call my insurance company and ask where are my checks. They tell me that they approved the claims but that I would not be able to receive any funds as we had a debit balance with them. This was news to me. They said that they had mistakenly sent checks to our sons physical therapy provider (the city) a couple of years ago and they had asked us to get back the money and we had never gotten back the money from the city and therefore we owed that money to our insurance company and any future out of network payments would be debited against that balance.

First of all, it was the insurance companies fault that they overpaid on my son's physical therapy provider. Second of all we had long ago requested the agency to take care of getting back the money but apparently nothing ever happened.

So the medical device company says that the claim is "paid" because it counts against our balance and that we have to pay out of pocket (eventually we hope to get the money back from the city). My arguement is that the contract explicitly states that we have to forward any monies received which we never did. I have no problem paying them once I get paid by the city, but I dont think its right that I should have to pay out of pocket when I explicitly signed a contract that I only have to forward money received.

Can I get the devices company for unfair collection practices or get them to postpone the debt until I actually get paid by insurance or do I need to pay them now.

Thanks for reading.

Personal Finance Deals
Current Financial Situation: Need Advice
Added on : Monday July 14th 2014 11:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nickygrahn
Views: 38 Replies: 0 Hello fellow forum members. This is my second topic since I've been registered here and the previous input was very helpful for me, so much so that I'm seeking advice again. This may get lengthy but I want to describe to the best of my ability what my current situation is financially. What I'm looking for is some inputs, though I know they'll be varied, on what I should do for future security. So here it is and again, I greatly appreciated the previous input. Your guys' knowledge with money is fantastic and I'm sure you have changed lives.

My Debts:
Home mortgage FHA @ 3.5% which is on the second year and already have paid off 10K in principle out of the 145K loan. This was a 30 year loan and the minimum payments is $1050 a month. This payment includes home insurance, taxes and mortgage insurance
Personal loan, which is used as my business loan, has $11,800 left @ 9%. Used to be about 19k but I sold some useless things and paid it down. Minimum payment is $450 a month.
Auto insurance is $1050 total every 6 months for wife and I.
Other misc. monthly bills which include cell phone, internet, home utilities and food average out to be around $500.


My business nets about $1,500 a month currently but I only need to pay our mortgage and my business loan. However, after doing that I have absolutely nothing left. Obviously, making $1,500 a month is not a lot and that's some of the reason I'm posting (more on this later**). The way I'm looking at things is I'm subtracting my current net of $1500 from the mortgage and personal loan, leaving literally $50 which I'm actually okay with since my wife is making $40k a year and we don't have other debts. The thing is, my money is mine and hers is hers. That's how we've agreed to do things and it actually works very well. I used to make more money when I had a job as well as my business but I left due to my inability to work under a boss.

Being self employed is something I like very much and I refuse to get a job. I've left a half dozen jobs in the past year, not even kidding, one of them being a top 100 company to work for according to Fortune Magazine. So with that said, I have the ability of expanding my current business due to someone retiring. I would need to take out an additional $20,000 for the expanding of my businesses to make another $800 net a month. I talked to a couple of bankers and they said a 5 year loan @ 8% interest would be around $650 a month of I included the current loan I have of $11,800. This would leave me with an extra $600 a month.

Is my vision wrong looking at things this way? Taking out money from a bank without having a savings or any other investments other than some business equipment frightens me. I could grind out what I'm doing currently, but this opportunity doesn't come very often. I know I could force myself to pay a loan faster to avoid paying excess interest since I've done that in the past. Judging from what you see on my post, do you have any feedback? Getting tired so I'll end the post here. Thanks for reading and chiming in!

Insurance Deals
Switch from Allstate to Geico
Added on : Sunday July 13th 2014 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: spydermonkey
Views: 96 Replies: 7 I recently married within the past year and I expected my car insurance to go down a good bit but it didn't. We just received our renewal from Allstate and its $1374.26 /6 mth, $230/mth. Ive been a Allstate customer for over 20 years, my wife over 15 years. I started getting quotes from other major insurance carrier, and Geico will give us the policy for $583.92 /6 mth, $103/mth! $127 cheaper per month. I usually stick with companies that Ive been a customer with for a long time but this is a pretty significant price difference. Im also not the type of person that just wants to save a buck, since I dont mind paying a premium for something if its worthwhile. Everything I've read about Geico seems to be good, from what I understand the reduced cost is due to them not having any B&M agents. This is no biggie to me since I haven't seen my Allstate agent in well over 15 years.

Fellow FWers, should I switch?
Discussion Deals
Going after a mortgage broker
Added on : Saturday July 12th 2014 03:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: alamo11
Views: 49 Replies: 0 I'm coming to the FWF community for help with a situation involving a close friend. This person is very deserving and has done a lot of good for others in the community myself included. Recently he purchased a short sale. His DTI wasn't good enough for a 15 year so the broker his mortgage guy put him in a 30 year at a high rate (4.875%) but with no closing costs so he could refinance after he bought the place.

Anyhow he closed and came to me asking for help.Naturally I hopped on Bankrate and found a broker who just happened to be not too far from where I used to live. After a few emails I talked him into doing 2.75% with a .75% rebate on a 15 year with a 1% broker fee. Total closing costs about $3,400. Pretty incredible so he paid for the appraisal and had that done. Three weeks later broker saids the lender denied the loan because of seasoning. Not to worry he found someone with the same rate just a much smaller rebate (about $100). Still an awesome deal so we said fine.

Another three weeks or so of stalling later broker sends an updated GFE with points, higher broker compensation, and a bunch of fees tacked on. I tell him "No Way" and he saids he will get it taken care of. Another two weeks of stalling we decide we've had enough and drive down to his office. Office looks like it was setup overnight; guy looks shocked we showed up and sends us to his secretary. She announces "Maybe we will close next week." "Your cash at close is about $9,000". We flip our shit and leave.

Now: Clearly what happen is a bait-and-switch. During this time I have a number of GFEs and emails saying "ignore the GFE. It's wrong" and now I found out he doesn't have an NMLS license. In fact no one we saw or dealt with has a licence. Just some guy who doesn't even sit in his office. How do I go about reporting this goon and his unlicensed tactics? Friend suffered real damages in increased interest charges and almost had his credit trashed when they said not to worry about paying the mortgage. This is in FL.

Since then I'm working with a direct lender and got a similar deal as he was supposed to get just about $800 more in costs. How do I go about getting this guy arrested or in serious trouble? I wanted to put the fear of god into this guy but my friend restrained me from beating the living shit out of him.
Discussion Deals
Fistful of Frags - now free to play on Steam
Added on : Thursday July 10th 2014 05:00:16 AM
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 54 Replies: 0 http://store.steampowered.com/app/265630/

Fistful of Frags born years ago as a Wild West themed modification for Source engine. It has been completely renewed for its Steam release, paying special attention to combat mechanics. Please note that current build lacks certain features and maps from past versions, as we are hoping to continue the work once the community grows.

Also note this is a completely *free* standalone mod, no micro-transactions exist, no registration required. Just install and play.
Totally Free Deals
Negotiating Equity in a Start up
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 04:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: colnelforbin
Views: 36 Replies: 0 A family friend has a therapy device that he wants to bring to market.He's reached out for me for help and insight. I know I could add a lot of value and met with him to give my thoughts. He offered me5% of the company for a $1 to help him get it off the ground. It's a nice gesture but told him it's not enough equity to give him the time commitment to make it successful and I told him I'd try to come up with something that would be attractive for each party.I'm thinking I'd want at least 20% and preferably 25% to spend real time and energy into it. I wouldn't think it would fly for him to give me that equity for $1 but at the same time I can't put a value on the business at the moment. I don't want to invest upfront at this timeand he's 65 retired with plenty of money so he's not really looking for capital. I have a high paying position in medical sales so I will only dive in but keep my day job if the payoff is substantial.Can you think of anyway I can make it attractive for him to give up more but also be able to get out if I don't bring value to the company? Any thoughts are appreciated
Small Pension Buyout
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mythosaz
Views: 30 Replies: 0 OK folks, I'd like to borrow upon your wisdom for a moment.

I've looked at a couple of calculators, and they seem to confirm what IthinkI'm seeing, but I'd like a second opinion.

When I left a long-term job last year, I was surprised to find I had earned a small pension. For purposes of this discussion, lets call it $325/mo, eligible in 2035. It has a lump sum option today in the 13-14k range, which seems to jive what what calculators tell me. It has no survivor benefits, so it's good for me alone, from 65 until death. I don't have any unusual medical conditions.

I'm in a position now where I need a new (to me) car, and a used crown vic doesn't quite meet with my needs. I drove my last 20k 2007 vehicle into the ground with almost 200,000 miles on it, and I'm weighing my options.

I try to look at things like this: If I had $13k cash now, would I use it toward/for/as-part-of a new (to me) car, or would I buy a 13k annuity with a 325/mo payout at 65? I know that it's worth much more should I survive to 70, but would I buy said annuity today versus dealing with more pressing issues.

Some minor background, as it might help determine the real value of the pension to me and my family. Because of numerous troubles in the last, well, decade, my wife and I have little cash or retirement savings, but we're both employed in good jobs, and we've got three properties. [A rented condo owned lock stock and barrel, a rented home about half way through the mortgage breaking even, and a primary residence in year 10.] After losing my long-term job, I've been contracting, so it hasn't always been easy to keep cash between gigs.

The wife and I plan to keep using bonuses and excess salary (is there such a thing) to keep paying down the rental house, and then attacking our real mortgage. I know that isn't strictly the best plan, but I enjoy the feel of ownership. Owning a house is more valuable to me than playing a game with mortgage interest or keeping it liquid to invest. This is the primary reason I'm conflicted about a small pension. Iownthat, so to speak.

I don't want to turn this too much into a car discussion. I'd just like to know the pros and cons of what to do with 14k today versus having a $325 pension.
Investing Deals
Deeply in debt and wants to retire
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 06:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: diquando
Views: 237 Replies: 8 I'm my own worst enemy and basically the root of all of my problems is my behavior.

Had to get that out of the way. Anyway, here's my story.

Mid 50's work for local government and have enough service years in that I can retire with a full pension. I make about 75k a year and will get about 50k in a pension. I have about 120k in a 457 plan that is only there because they won't let me borrow/withdrawal from it. So things seem okay as far as being "to live" in retirement. No kids, (raised my sis 2 kids though and they're both in their early 20's and working -- not a huge financial burden there), no spouse. (No savings either).

I owe about 115k total -- that's the house, the car and 50k of cc debt. Owe 53k on the house and 9k on the car.

I'm a compulsive gambler and cannot stop. I've been to GA twice and as soon as I get things cleaned up a bit and see light at the end of the tunnel financially, I start again and mess everything up. When I'm not in a casino, I manage my money well; but inside a casino I'm a stone lunatic and will gamble until every dime is gone. Afraid to retire because I'll get access to the 457 account along with other one-time lump sum monies. Many people would love to have my retirement but I see my future as being broke on the 2nd of every month and living catch as catch can until the next check. I have 10 credit cards with balances on them. Plus I do cash advance stuff that can mess up my checks. On the infrequent occasion when my money is okay (didn't lose everything), I put extra on my charges. The plan is to pay them off one at a time with the cards with the highest interest rates paid off first. But I did a lot of balance transfers last year and some are beginning to expire and I cannot pay them off so I'm paying like 18 per cent on 10k, 14% on 15k, etc. I will be drowning soon.

I'm done some things like get the casino's to lower my check cashing to zero available and will talk to the bank about eliminating the advance availability, but I need to do something else to help me get control and put my money on debt. I don't know what to do really. I'm asking this from a financial standpoint. I used to chair GA meetings and I know how that works but I need a way to be able to control my income so that it will not be available for me to gamble up. I'm pissed off because I started my job 31 years ago today and I have very little to show for it. All my debts, except the house, car and medical bills are from gambling. I don't have anyone I trust enough to "handle" my money; and I believe that except for the gambling I can manage my money quite well, when there's some left over. My dream of being able to spend my time traveling (not a whole lot), on hobbies, and volunteer work is just that, a dream.

Thanks for listening
Discussion Deals
Medical loan advice
Added on : Monday July 07th 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: The111
Views: 147 Replies: 2 Here is my situation:
May need to pay ~$60k out of pocket, up front, for a medical expense that insurance won't cover (long story)
Spouse and I both have excellent credit, minimal debt, and stable decent-paying jobs
I could (barely) afford to pay the bill with cash on hand, but would rather borrow it than expend my cash reserves

Question:
Do medical loans exist? I know nothing about this. Where should I look?
I would like to think that I could find one with a really low rate, considering both my credit and the fact that I have the entire amount on hand as collateral. But, I have no idea if that is a reality.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.
Personal Finance Deals
college student, house with dad after graduation
Added on : Thursday July 03rd 2014 11:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mccyjcb
Views: 134 Replies: 6 I'm a 21 year old college student going in to the field of finance and I have two years left. My dad has been looking to buy a house for the last year but since he is 53 and a blue collar worker, he didn't want to buy too expensive of a house. He has recently learned that his whole plant may be shutting down in the next 2-4 years and so he is going to lose his $45k job. After that, he says he is just going to become a trucker. That ruined his plans of buying a house. He came to me with a plan: wait til I get out of college and find a job (hopefully at least $45k a year), and then get a VA loan using his veteran status. So I won't need any down payment and we won't have to pay mortgage insurance and we get the better mortgage rate versus a conventional loan. We will live together obviously, but I will be in a house of my choosing at the age of 23 or 24, we will both be paying $800-$900 a month towards the mortgage. My name will go on the loan that way if he dies, I take over the loan which is fine by me. When I graduate, I will have about $16k in student debt. I already have a 730 FICO score. I do have a part time job and I am saving money for when I move out. My dad wants me to live a better life than him so there is no reason to think he would be trying to screw me over in any way, we are very close. This obviously depends on how long he keeps his job so we can secure a loan, and how long it takes me to find a job. I also have a friend who I know would move in with me so there's an extra $300 a month for the mortgage.

Basically:
Two years left of college, me and my dad want to buy a house after I graduate and find a job using his veteran status for a VA loan. I get no down payment, no mortgage insurance, a better interest rate and a house of my choosing at the age of 23 or 24. I don't see any downsides to this. Help me point out flaws that way I can go over them with him.
Question Deals
How to visually compare property taxes nearby?
Added on : Thursday July 03rd 2014 01:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: IStillPickUpPennies
Views: 11 Replies: 0 I found out recently that my Grandparents are paying about the same in property taxes on their 90 acres and house as we are on our 1/3 acre lot and house. Their house is actually larger by about 25%, though it is older. The main difference that I can see is that we live near a decent sized city, while they live in a very rural area.

That got me wondering - since we have been thinking of moving out to a more rural area anyway (not 90 miles away like they do!) to get more land for garden, 4-H, etc., might there be some sort of resource online where a person can quickly glance at a map or something and quickly and visually see where the places are that have lower property taxes? Something like that would allow us to see if there are any areas within commuting distance that would save us $$ in taxes each and every year. I'm just not sure where to look for a resource like what I am talking about above. Right now, the only way I've been able to do it is to look up a property at a time and simply see what the property tax is. That's a pretty slow and klunky process, so I'm hoping that there is something faster and visual out there. Thanks for any suggestions!
Tax Deals
Surprising / Interesting Business Deductions
Added on : Tuesday July 01st 2014 05:00:05 PM
g: 2 Posted By: robronson
Views: 195 Replies: 2 Being an independent contractor traveling consultant, I look for ways to max out possible business expenses. I'm not interested in ethics, only what's legal. Nothing is ethical about how taxation works so it's just a matter of following the rules to your most advantage.

As such, I've come up with a handful of neat ideas for business deductions and I'd like to hear from others with interesting ideas:

1) Do your dry cleaning at your customer site, if you travel to a dedicated customer over long periods of time. I used to take my dry cleaning home with me every weekend, and pay extra for my local dry cleaner to expedite overnight service on Friday so it'd be ready for my flight back to the customer on Sunday. Then I learned if I had my dry cleaning done at my customer, it was a business expense, tax deduction, and more importantly, my clothes would be wrinkle-free waiting for me when I flew back. Of course, you should still travel with one pair of business clothes for one day, just in case you can't pick them up first thing Monday morning or in case of a problem. Dry cleaning is NOT a business expense if it's done in your home city, but is when you do it out-of-state at your client site.

2) Switch to a prepaid phone that bills by the minute like a 10 cents per minute plan as your personal phone, and get an unlimited minutes plan for your "business phone". Your business phone will be fully tax deductible, and your personal phone, even though you're not really paying for it if you don't use minutes, is proof to the IRS during an audit that your business phone is strictly business and your personal phone is strictly personal. Much like cars as a business expense, it's better to have a second dedicated to personal use, even if it's a cheap POS beater, so you can deduct 100% of the business car or phone.

3) Do personal errands while traveling for business. Your gas mileage is deductible when driving for business. So why not do your grocery shopping and other errands on the same trip? Then the gas is deductible at 50+ cents per mile, which, if you're driving a fuel efficient vehicle, is double your actual expense. So assuming 50% tax bracket between state, federal, and SE tax, if you're only spending half of the allowable IRS rate on fuel, then the tax break on the trip makes it completely free.

I'm considering buying other things while on business trips such as deodorant and toothpaste. I haven't looked into the rules deeply enough, but I imagine if I buy toothpaste while traveling for work, it may be a business expense. Suppose the airliner lost my luggage and I had to buy more... certainly in that case re-buying hygiene products is a business necessity for me to complete that travel. I wonder what the IRS guidelines are to decide what exactly qualifies.

What tips and tricks for maximizing business deductions have you found?

Discussion Deals
Paying relative so they can contribute to ROTH
Added on : Tuesday July 01st 2014 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bluegreenturtle
Views: 21 Replies: 1 So, I haven't thought this through entirely, but I was wondering if it would be worth it, or somebody could poke holes other than the obvious ones.

1) I have a business, let's say I make $100,000 a year.
2) I pay my parents (who are retired and over 70 and have some, but not much earned income) the IRA max ($6500 each?) so $13,000 for services rendered.
3) I get to take the $13,000 off my sched C reducing all my taxes
4) They contribute all of the money to a ROTH, and slightly increase their SS benefits (I recently read an article that this is the most misunderstood thing about SS - if you keep earning after taking benefits, they keep adjusting your amount upward).
5) They gift the same amount back to me because I need it more than they do.

So obviously, they have to pay FICA taxes (and income taxes) on the paid amount. They have their own Schedule C's though so could probably reduce it some. They would be slightly increasing their SS benefits too.

Is it worth the onetime price of those taxes (let's say 20%) to get money into a ROTH for growth and income year over year? My dad's a pretty savvy investor and seems to have dividend streams in his various accounts averaging 8% + what I can only describe as astounding returns on his general portfolio the last 3 years. Although I would save that same amount in taxes, so over the entire family it's a wash, basically - they've said multiple times that the only reason they spend about 20 hours a week working on investments (research, etc) is to increase our inheritance. Their current IRA balances aren't that big so the RMD's are very low. Their taxable account is around $1M I think.

Is this a bad plan? I realize the overall dollar amounts aren't much so it may be work for little gain.


Personal Finance Deals
The best way to pay off a simple interest loan?
Added on : Monday June 30th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: HiLine
Views: 145 Replies: 2 I've recently financed a car purchase with a simple interest loan. Being a FW-er, I want to know the optimal way of paying off the loan. The interest rate is 3.24%, so I am in no hurry to pay off the loan, nor do I have any desire to front-load unless that would result in significant saving on interests. I remember somebody telling me there is a way to minimize interests by making extra payments annually at the right time, and I wonder if that is true, and if it is, what the right time is.

Several weeks ago, I made an extra payment, and that delayed the due date for the next payment by an extra month, and I don't know the impact on the interest accumulation yet.
Question Deals
The Consequences of going ALL IN! - a year later
Added on : Saturday June 28th 2014 06:00:05 AM
g: 2 Posted By: delzy
Views: 99 Replies: 4 I just got back from my annual pilgrimage to Vegas and was reminded of the saga that got me to where I am today: http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1041394/

Since I can't comment on an archived thread, I started this post.

LIFE HAS BEEN GREAT since last we talked! I'm grinding out trade lines and while the limits are nothing like they were years past, the banks are still absolutely begging me to borrow and spend.

I have successfully achieved 17 new trade lines and have only been rejected for 3. I have basically been applying for 1 or 2 per month and have been quite successful. Now I know what it feels like to get all excited when a $1000 dollar credit limit is approved.. WOOT! While all my line add up to a whopping total of less than $15k, I have been getting incremental bumps when asking for CL increases every few months.

It has been exceedingly difficult to not fully utilize my meager lines for more of the $18 shiny, I have been sinking my extra disposable into my hoard using the little credit I have. I believe that utilizing the cards and paying in full is what is helping me achieve higher CLs. At the rate I am going, I am looking at a major relapse around 2024.

Back to Vegas, most of the hosts I know have moved or transferred so I'm not really remembered by many. The few that remember me think I blew an inheritance wad and basically have said that my level of play over the last year is insufficient to warrant to the benefits I may have become accustomed to in the past. I did manage a free buffet voucher at the nugget.

Lessons learned?
Buy PMs to hold and Guns to for pulling additional cash out of the plastic.
No, the trustee will not go ask the casinos for your money back.
It is not at all uncommon for gambling to cause BK. It's 2nd or 3rd cause behind medical and drugs.
The system is made by fools for fools and I won't get fooled ever again into acting like a righteous tax slave. There is no shame in enjoying the opportunities afforded to you by the corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.

Take my lesson and enjoy.
g: 0 Posted By: swampwiz
Views: 67 Replies: 0 Here's my situation. My current income situation is to do a Roth conversion up to the limit of the 0% tax bracket, which unfortunately is only $10150. However because my governor is a jerk, my state is not participating in the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, so to get the tax credit for coverage, I need to have an official income of 100% of poverty, or $11490. I was planning on just proposing this income and just not end up having this income (i.e., legally "changing my mind at the last second of the last trading day of the year"), but I have a hunch that the bureaucrats at the Healthcare Exchange would somehow screw me over if I were do this, so grudgingly, I will do an extra $1340 in Roth conversion to get me to the magic number, paying an additional $134 in tax in the process. (Actually, as long as I were to be in the position such that if I were not to do this, I would end paying taxes on the marginal distribution from my IRA in the same amount {normalized for the investment gains}, my doing this conversion now instead of doing it later {or doing a traditional IRA distribution} would be a wash. ) Anyway, the traditional IRA account is one such that I had done a distribution (and subsequent self-rollover) that was less than 365 days ago. I think that because this would be a direct conversion, it would not be considered as a subsequent rollover, so this should not be an issue. BTW, (I am doing these distributions & self-rollovers as part of a Bobrow-esque chained IRA rollover. )
Question Deals
Car Accident, other party provided conflicting insurance information
Added on : Thursday June 26th 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: WindTurbineGuy
Views: 86 Replies: 0 So there's a long story to this that's probably for another thread, but I really only have one major question regarding the situation. So my Mother was using my old car which I've been covering the insurance for until she could begin paying for it herself and was in an accident with another guy(personally feel like the other guy was at fault due to speeding and being distracted by something like a cellphone but my insurance company says neither can be proven and it's been determined that my mother was 70% at fault). Anyways, the two swapped insurance info and the cop present said he couldn't write up a police report on the accident and to just let the insurance companies handle everything. What gets fishy is the guy supplied differing insurance information from the insurance company that contacted my insurance company. Is it even legal to do this? And also, not a single adjuster has come out to see or inspect the car's damage or the area that the accident happened in. Insurance company is USAA if anyone's experienced a similar situation with them and has any advice on it.
New User Question Deals
Paying Credit Cards with MO in Bank Branch
Added on : Wednesday June 25th 2014 07:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gaf2255
Views: 77 Replies: 1 First I wanted to see if it was possible to go into Chase branch and make a credit card payment via money order. I know that you can mail in the money order, however I work right by a branch and it would save me the postage. With the new BB restrictions at Wally World it's getting more difficult to load GC's there; therefore I've turned to MO's to make my payments and unload GC's. Would there be any problem with this, and if so could I just make the MO out to myself, deposit it into my Chase bank account and then make the payment that way. Just looking for some advice.
Credit Deals
Uncle is Arrested, can I bail him out using my Home Deed
Added on : Tuesday June 24th 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 2 Posted By: geeoye
Views: 162 Replies: 12 My uncle was arrested today and his bail is set for $150K, he asked me to hand my home deed as his bailout. He will be paying the 10% (cash) of 150K. What do I have to know before I hand out the home deed or should I hand out the home deed? I apologize in advance for not wording it correctly
Question Deals
Should I take the money?
Added on : Tuesday June 24th 2014 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bvue
Views: 218 Replies: 5 2 weeks ago my 2 year old son, husband and I got rear ended while stopped on a red light. It was definitely the other driver's fault. I would say she must have been going 25-30 mph and was not paying attention. She had no insurance so the police got involved and her car was towed. (We live in Minnesota if that matters.)

Now, since the other driver has no insurance, we are responsible for paying the deductible to fix our vehicle and the damages assessed were about $1100. Our bumper and the exhaust got damaged in the accident. The other drivers grill actually fell off her car during the impact. The deductible is $250 and will be reimbursed to us. Our insurance company has offered us $500 for "pain and suffering" and to sign a release. My husband sustained some whiplash side effects and went to the ER a couple hours after the accident. The doctor prescribed him 600mg ibuprofen and told him to take it easy. I felt fine and did not feel much soreness, but I think that is due to the fact that my husband braced himself against the steering wheel. Our insurance company is paying for the medical expenses.

The other factors are that my husband does not have a job and is currently on unemployment. I work, but our income together barely covers the bills and groceries. My husband still complains of a sore neck and back and restless sleep. My son seems fine as he was strapped securely in his carseat. My husband was not able to actively look for work due to not having a car, such as attending employment workshops and inability to schedule interviews during the time that our car was in the shop.

I did not miss work because I couldn't afford to, but was inconvenienced by using my break time to send the car to the shop. My insurance did not cover for a rental. I have had to hitch a ride with a friend to work. I don't have enough money to pay for the $250 deductible and to wait for the money to be reimbursed at a later date which has not been determined, yet.

My question is, does $500 seem like a very low offer or should I pursue for more? I am tempted to take the $500 because I need the money to pay the deductible but I can try and borrow the money somewhere else if it's likely that I can get more. I am not trying to get rich but I don't feel that $500 is fair considering my husband's distress over being hurt and unable to proactively find a job. In this situation, what would be a good amount? How would I address this to the insurance company that I think we deserve more?

Thank you for your time.
Personal Finance Deals
Best Way to Take Advantage of BT Offer?
Added on : Tuesday June 24th 2014 06:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jimmyrules712
Views: 126 Replies: 1 This should start an interesting thread.

I have a BT offer on my old AARP card (the gift that keeps on giving?). 0% APR for 1 year with a 2% fee with a $250 cap. I have a $21k credit line, so if I take it all out that comes out to a 1.12% fee. I normally ignore BT offers, but $21k at 1.12% for 1 year is hard to pass up. I'm looking for any good ideas on how to best take advantage of this, while still having access to the money to pay off the BT in 1 year. I already know how to turn the BT into cash in my checking account, just not sure what I want to do with it from there. I have a 4% mortgage and 1.99% auto loan, other then that no debt so I can't really use this to pay off higher interest debt.

1 year CDs are only paying about 1.10% so that's out.
Stock market is too risky, I don't want to be stuck with the bill if there's a crash
Bonds may be an option, but also has risk

What else?
Investing Deals
AMC Stubs Membership - $8.00 @ AMCTheatres
Added on : Monday June 23rd 2014 03:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Xenocrates
Views: 304 Replies: 1 AMC Stubs Membership- $8.00 @ AMCTheatres

Stubs Membership is normally $12. If you take a family of 4 to the movies twice per year you would have already saved the amount of your membership and then some depending on how many snacks and drinks you get. Plus the convenience of being able to order online without paying the fees is nice.

$10 reward for every $100 spent
free one size upgrade on drinks and popcorn
no ticket fees online

Also get $5 in Bonus Bucksfor signing up for Text Alerts by June 30th, 2014. - Thanks rsuaver
AMC Deals
g: 0 Posted By: beethovengirl
Views: 16 Replies: 0 Hi,

Short story: My bank did not pay interest on my RCA b/c it switched me to paper statements without my consent, though the bank claims it sent me a letter warning me this would happen. However, I never received this letter, and nor did the way they described the letter indicate it was clear I would cease to qualify for the higher rate of interest. Should I file a complaint with CFPB?

Long story: I have two joint Kasasa checking accounts with a community bank (not sure I need to name it here), one with me as primary and one with my husband as primary. When we first set up online access, we each had separate logins, though I was able to view both accounts via my login, and in practice, I was the only party who ever logged in. For the last qualification cycle, I received a notification saying we did not qualify on the account on which my husband is the primary because supposedly we did not enroll in and/or review eStatements even though we hadn't changed anything and had always qualified previously. I emailed the bank, and they initially responded with boilerplate saying we weren't enrolled in eStatements. I then pointed out we did nothing to change our preference to paper statements. They replied: "Our records shows that both you and [your husband] had Online Banking with us but one had gone dormant, which means it was no longer active, becuase of inactivity for more than 300 days. Because the account with [your husband] as the primary was linked to this Onilne Banking account that went dormant, instead of the other, your account was automatically switched to recieve paper statements."
I wrote back: "When I've logged in, I've always had access to both the checking acct on which I'm the primary and the checking acct on which [my husband] is the primary. I view the eStatements for both accounts from my login. As we did not initiate the action to revert [my husband]'s account to paper statements, I'd appreciate it if you could please credit the interest for the previous statement cycle."
After yet more emails, the bank finally claimed, "While researching this I found where a notice was mailed on Feb. 25th stating that [my husband]s online banking username had not been used in 300 days and would therefore be terminated in 65 days. This notice also stated that any eStatements tied to that online banking login would be deleted and the statements would be switched to a paper statement."
I did not receive this letter, though this is not unusual, as I have chronic issues with my mail service. However, it's still unclear how I was supposed to have interpreted this apparent letter, as I have continuously accessed both of our accounts via my login. In fact, I had actually downloaded an electronic statement for the account on which my husband is the primary owner, but the bank says I viewed this from the Statements tab, not the eStatements tab, which apparently is a crucial difference, so "too bad, so sad." The bank has been firm that they will not credit the interest, which amounts to ~$70, given that we also have an associated Kasasa saver account. Should I file a complaint with CFPB?

One of my concerns is that if I file a complaint with CFPB, the bank will just drop me, and these are high-paying Kasasa accounts.

thanks
Question Deals
High Limit Credit Card vs Personal Loan
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 11:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tierney7090
Views: 80 Replies: 0 Hello...I'm new to this site and only signed up because I have a semi complicated question to ask. I have 50k in irs debt. I set up a payment plan and have made every payment on time for the last year. I am also current on recent taxes due. Despite this, they continue to send me letters and harass me on a regular basis. I can't take it anymore. I want to pay them in full and be left alone. I don't own a house or anything like that so I need either a high limit credit card or a personal loan to pay them. I have a credit score of somewhere around 800 give or take. My tax return for last year shows 190,000 income. I have accounts with chase and Bank of America but neither of them offer personal loans, only credit cards. I also have a gold Amex with no preset spending limit. With chase I have a car loan of around 25k which I have also been overpaying for the last year since I got it every month on time. I have about the same amount of money in my savings account and another 1000 in my checking. I also have a 6000 credit card with them which is always paid on time. My Bank of America account is checking and savings but I only use it for taxes so I use it for my direct debit for the payment plan through my checking and also put money in my savings to get my checks to pay my estimated taxes with. I know that when you apply for a loan or credit card and get rejected that it makes it harder to get approved elsewhere. So what I wanna know is what I am most likely to get approved for: A credit card through chase or Bank of America for 50k...or a personal loan through citi bank who I have no relationship with for 50k?
Question Deals
High Limit Credit Card
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 10:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tierney7090
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hello...I'm new to this site and only signed up because I have a semi complicated question to ask. I have 50k in irs debt. I set up a payment plan and have made every payment on time for the last year. I am also current on recent taxes due. Despite this, they continue to send me letters and harass me on a regular basis. I can't take it anymore. I want to pay them in full and be left alone. I don't own a house or anything like that so I need either a high limit credit card or a personal loan to pay them. I have a credit score of somewhere around 800 give or take. My tax return for last year shows 190,000 income. I have accounts with chase and Bank of America but neither of them offer personal loans, only credit cards. With chase I have a car loan of around 25k which I have also been overpaying for the last year since I got it every month on time. I have about the same amount of money in my savings account and another 1000 in my checking. I also have a 6000 credit card with them which is always paid on time. My Bank of America account is checking and savings but I only use it for taxes so I use it for my direct debit for the payment plan through my checking and also put money in my savings to get my checks to pay my estimated taxes with. I know that when you apply for a loan or credit card and get rejected that it makes it harder to get approved elsewhere. So what I wanna know is what I am most likely to get approved for: A credit card through chase or Bank of America for 50k...or a personal loan through citi bank who I have no relationship with for 50k?
Hotel (non-gross) Hartford, CT for Sat, Sep 13, 2014 (one night)
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 09:00:14 PM
g: 0 Posted By: owenscott
Views: 20 Replies: 0 Hotel recommendations for Hartford, CT for Sat, Sep 13, 2014.

Planning to stick the kids, with a brought along baby sitter AKA older sister, @ recommended hotel whilst me n momma take in the Luke Bryan show at the Xfinity Theatre. So ... looking for a hotel with an indoor pool, Kids encouraged or at least well tolerated, clean (cant stand paying for dirty hotels), continental breakfast included with room (always good), cheap parking (im from the backwoods ... so paying for parking is a foreign idea to me .. we gotta drive 30 mins from home before we even see a parking meter) free wifi in the room.

This may not be FW approved but id DEF pay $10 more for the hotel to be close to the concert venue. If this goes over as well as i hope ... momma bear n me would spend the extra time not in traffic but ... walking holding hands or doing other PG romantic stuff couples do when the room(S) are occupied by the kiddos.

We are about 3 hours away and will be driving in that day and driving home that Sunday afternoon. Depending on whats available we might/prolly should get a second room.

So that about sums it up. If i get some good info here i will post pics ... especially of her ... Thanks in advance FW.
Now ... Thats my kind of night !!

Hotel Deals
Figuring Out Credit Card Interest
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 09:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: nickygrahn
Views: 165 Replies: 1 Hey guys, I've done a bit of browsing on these forums in the past and finally made an account! I am wondering if you can help me figure something out:

I have a Discover credit card that has 22% APR which I've used for months now. I've always paid off the statement balance as I use this for my business. Just lately, I had to put a major repair on my credit card and will not be able to pay off the full balance. It's currently at $2700 and the payment due date is in a couple weeks. Does anybody know what extra I would be paying if I put $1500 towards it now and wanted to the pay the rest off in August? I've never had to do this and am worrying about how much they will make on me even if I pay it off within a couple installments. Thanks so much for any responses!
Personal Finance Deals
Any real benefit to HRA over FSA?
Added on : Wednesday June 18th 2014 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 0 Replies: 0 My employer has 3 options for health insurance.

3. No frills, no HRA
2. $1000 HRA, but costs you $1000 more a year over option 3.
1. $2500 HRA, costs you $2500 more a year over option 3.

I have option 2. I also pay $500 into an FSA to help cover some of my wifes prescription drugs over the year.

As of right now, my FSA has been emptied. I have $1500 in my HRA.

I had a root canal done yesterday. Turns out, even though the IRS says HRAs can be used to pay for dental, my companies HRA will not. I do not know why they made that decision. I also can not move money from my HRA to my FSA.

Is there any advantage of an HRA, over an FSA? Or, next year, should I just go with the cheaper option, and put an extra $1000 into my FSA myself, this way I'm not limited on what I can use the money for (as long as its medical related)?

Looking through what my company deems I can use the HRA money for, its really trimmed down compared to what the IRS says I can use HRA for. Eg, I also can't use it for paying for a gym membership (my doctor said she would write me a letter for it) even though the IRS says that's ok.

Only advantage I can think of is my company prefunds my HRA. But, I have a pretty even spend over the year, so its not a big deal to me.

Very frustrated right now that I have this money sitting in this HRA account, but I have to pay for a root canal and cap out of my own pocket.

I've discussed this with HR, and they say "well, we fund that HRA for you! We're giving you money!" No your not, I still have to pay an extra $1000 over the course of a year for it, so its not free at all.
Help with buying Honda CRV EX 2WD
Added on : Tuesday June 17th 2014 11:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mpennyranger
Views: 6 Replies: 0 Hi!
I am in the market for a new car and have pretty much settled on the Honda CRV EX 2WD, although I will be going in this weekend to test drive and nail down my preferred features, color, etc. I was planning/hoping on negotiating the car price down as low as possible, and have read lots of websites for advice (including this super helpful thread:http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1001920/?start=0)

I was hoping that anyone with more experience could help me nail down the specifics for my purchase, particularly timing. I would like to get it sooner rather than later, but I am not in a super rush--so waiting an extra month or two to save $100 wouldn't be worth it to me, but it would be worth it to save $500+. I will be paying in cash, so financing deals aren't useful to me--although I would consider a 0% financing deal, although that is not available right now from Honda (I also have very good credit). I plan to solicit bids via email, since I feel better/more confident negotiating on email than over the phone or in person, although if need be I can make a few calls for the final round. I am in Los Angeles, and am willing to drive probably up to 50-75 miles for a great deal, but there are also tons of dealerships in the area.

The bottom line to me is the price, and I am sure everything else (day of pick up, color, miles) is negotiable within reason. I am willing to go for 2014, and probably even 2013 (if it is around somewhere but still new).

So, help me please! My main questions are:
1) When should I aim for closing this deal? Fourth of July weekend? Labor Day weekend? Before the 2015s are released? After?
2) Where can I find the accurate Invoice price? (or does anyone know what this is for the Honda CRV EX 2WD?)
3) Where can I find information on the amount of dealer holdbacks? (or does anyone know what this is for the Honda CRV EX 2WD?)
4) Should I get the dealer to order it for me from the factory? (I have heard this is a good method b/c its like a "free car" for the dealer, since they don't have to use any of their floorspace to sell, so any sale even with minimal profit, is good)
New User Question Deals
HOA "fee" advice
Added on : Tuesday June 17th 2014 09:00:20 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jkk4life
Views: 253 Replies: 5 I'mbuying a townhouse in NJ, contract has been signed since April and the closing is June 23rd. My HOA sent a "closing statement" to the seller's attorney only which asks for the following:

$200 HOA fee for July - no issues at all with this
$600 check to be placed in escrow account - Specifies this is *not* the first 3 months HOA fee. My lawyer says this is to protect the HOA in caseI go in foreclosure and don't pay the maintenance fee. But I see this as just an interest fee loan to the HOA until I move out 10 years(or later) from now which I am none too happy with but my lawyer says I have no way out of this.
$500 "documentation processing fee" - This one I refuse to pay(if possible)as I think it is pure extortion and there is no way they can justify having incurredthis cost. My lawyer even said he has seen a fee before but never over $200.

This fee was never disclosd to me by the HOA and was not on the listing (listing agent says she was not even aware of the fee). This was actually sent as a fax on June 11th to the seller's attorney who then sent it to my attorney's closing agent on Friday otherwise I would have no clue about it. It was also on the initial prehud I just got on Friday from the settlement agent.

My lawyer is still waiting to hear back from the HOA management company but from talking to him it seems that the only way I can get out of paying the BS $500 fee is force the seller and/or real estate agent to pay it otherwise I do not close. I know that the sellers are closing on their new house on June 30th, so I have some leverage there.

Any other thoughts on how I can approach this?


Real Estate Deals
Is it better to pay off debt or hold cash for home purchace
Added on : Monday June 16th 2014 08:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dassage1313
Views: 168 Replies: 3 We are trying to get everything in order so that we can make a home purchase in the next couple of years. We wanted to get opinions on what we should do in regards to paying off our debt or saving the extra cash we have. We are keeping up with our car/credit-card payments. We do have some extra cash at the end of the month. Would it be prudent to pay off our debt faster by making larger monthly payments, or save the cash for when we want to make the home purchase?
Personal Finance Deals
Kenmore 12 yr 50 gal Gas Water Heater $543.65 or less
Added on : Sunday June 15th 2014 05:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: momoman
Views: 130 Replies: 0 Water heaters don't normally go on sale. Sears has them on sale. I'm only posting the deal on the 12-yr 50 gal gas water heater. link

If you need a water heater and you like to jump thru hoops you can get this discounted by using a combination of the following: 6% FW Cash Back, Shop Discover 10% CashBack, discounted Sears gift cards, paying with SYWR points, etc.
You'll also earn the equivalent of $27.18 in SYWR points on the purchase.

There are other Kenmore water heaters on sale as well. I have a Bradford White water heater, but if you flush your water heater regularly they should all last much longer then the rated period.
Home & Garden Deals

Sears Coupons
Better alternative than Paypal for paying/receiving invoices??
Added on : Friday June 13th 2014 03:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: camar0
Views: 65 Replies: 1 Paypal has about 3.5% charge on money received. Is there a better solution for receiving payments with lesser charges?


Personal Finance Deals
Refinancing from 15 year loan to 30 year loan?
Added on : Friday June 13th 2014 12:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RagingBull
Views: 33 Replies: 0 Question regarding mortgage. I am not sure if it is still good idea for me to refinance. Right now I am paying 4.5% for 15 year loan
If i am qualified and able to get a 30 year loan for 3.5% with no points, and I continue to pay the same amount that I am paying now
should I refinance or not? My balance now is about $310,000, I borrowed $400,000 a few years ago
Personal Finance Deals
The Counter Burger - BOGO Burger on Father's Day
Added on : Thursday June 12th 2014 11:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 47 Replies: 0 http://www.thecounterburger.com/

Buy a burger and get a complimentary burger of equal or lesser value on us. One burger per dad with a paying guest, premium toppings are extra. Valid 6/15/14 at all U.S. The Counter locations, except airports. Dine in only. Must say BFD.

locations
http://www.thecounterburger.com/locations/
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
g: 0 Posted By: j129
Views: 105 Replies: 0 A little backstory.
I am a foreign Medical graduate with a green card (will get my citizenship later this year).
I've decided that I don't want to pursue medicine as a career. I want to try something Managerial and based on research, have decided to do a Masters in HealthCare Administration.
All that I've read, seems to say that this is a growing career path with a lot of potential.

My financial situation.
Used to work as a pharmacy tech while I was preparing for the USMLE,but after a lot of procrastination and doubtI have finally decided that I didn't want to take the USMLE.
I don't want to be a doctor.
I don't have much saved (been in the US of A for 3 years), have about $4k in my bank account.
Live with my parents but I don't ask them for any money. They put a roof over my head and food on the table for no cost, and that is more than enough for me.

Plans for the future.
After spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (am also really interested in stuff like Advertising, Media, things of that nature, but have no idea how to get into that, since I don't have any background in media whatsoever)
and decided on the MHA program.
I live in CT and there are two universities here that offer the MHA program.
The one that I like is the University of New Haven.

The cost is $825 per credit (42 credits) = $34,650. I have spoken to the Financial Aid officer at the university and he told me that I can easily get a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan (and it's not need based).
FA can pay a maximum of $20,500 per year, so for the first year (27 credits = $22,275) I'd be short a few thousand + cost of books. So there's another loan called the Graduate Plus Loan that I can get, which will pay for the rest.
Interest Rate for the former loan is 6.21% and for the latter is 7.21%.

My questions.

1. Is financial aid taxable?

2. The Median salary for someone with a Masters in Healthcare administration is about $70-80,000. A faculty member I spoke to, said that I should easily be able to start off with a $55,000 salary at least. And it'll go upwards from there.
Does taking a loan of $40,000 (assuming books etc) make sense?

3. Hoping to get an assistantship that'll cut the tuition cost by 50%. If it does get cut, would it be possible for me to hold on to the surplus FA I'm getting? Because....

4.. I'm single right now...But the plan is to get married next year. Yes...I won't have a permanent job, and I know all the problems I'll face getting married before I'm able to stand on my own feet, but it's complicated and it needs to happen by next year, or it'll never happen.
My fiance will not move here until she received her green card, and that's not going to happen till we get married, so it's going to be a while before she comes here, and hopefully by then, I'll be really close to completing. (Begins in Sept 2014. Ends in March 2016).
Iwill need about $15k..if I save that from FA, can i just use that? The reasoning behind that being, that I would not have to pay off the loan till 6 months after I graduate giving me enough time to find a job and start paying it off.
As opposed to taking a personal loan (also something I know nothing about) but which I think, I'd have to pay back sooner and the interest rate would be higher?

4. Do local universities carry more weight in their home towns? I asked local folk. Friends of my mother from church, and they all seem to have a high opinion of the University of New Haven.
It is ranked #101 here.I couldn't find a ranking for it's MHA program but I've heard that a lot of universities pay for these rankings so I don't know how much attention to pay to it.
I guess my main worry is, is it worth it? Am I getting into something that's not good for me?

5. A friend I know from medical university who later moved here to do her Masters in Public Health (she was always passionate about it), says that in her opinion $35k is a lot (no subsidized in-state costs because UNH is private) and if I'm spending that much, I'd rather go to a better university.
Problem with that reasoning is, that I'd have to move to a different state. Have to take a bigger loan to pay for housing and food and end up in even more debt. It's easy for her to say because her tuition was paid for by her parents.
But what do you guys think?

6. What's a better way to get jobs? Networking or interning? I have no problem doing tons of internships but I would rather try and find some part time work that'll put some money in my pocket.

I would highly appreciate any help that I can get.
I never went to high school or undergraduate college in the U.S so I really don't know how all this functions.
Would appreciate any suggestions, ideas that you'd provide.

Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
Refinance for mom
Added on : Wednesday June 11th 2014 03:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: corpse101
Views: 143 Replies: 1 Been around for a while here on FW, but mostly stuck on the deal side of things and never ventured to the finance side of things, but I figured this may be a good place to get a few ideas.

My situation is this, my mom is paying her current mortgage and thinking about doing a refi, but she is as clueless as I am about where to get best rates (read: avoid getting screwed). She currently owes about 106k on the house with a current fixed rate of 5.5%. She works for the county and has been hit with quite the bit of furloughs so she is looking for a lower payment, though I am trying to save her money overall by combining a lower interest rate with the same or slightly lower payment.

Are there good places to seek the refi over others? I was wondering is there a good place(s) and I have been reading and googling as I am very green when it comes to mortgages/refis so any info will be helpful to get me started.

Thanks all
g: 0 Posted By: ablang
Views: 129 Replies: 1 Is it me or does this seem suspiciously cheap?

http://www.yugster.com/deals/60522-139-for-2-round-trip-airfare-...For just $139, get 2 round-trip plane tickets plus two one-day passes to Disney World when you book your hotel accommodations with One Stop Travel,a fully-accredited ARC travel agency (A+ rating with BBB) that has provided exceptionally-valued vacations to millions of customers.If Disney World isn't your choice, you can cut off $40 and fly from over 80 North American cities to over 50 fabulous city and resort destinations that youve always dreamed of visiting in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Explore exotic destinations like Paris, London, Cancun, Canada, the Bahamas, and more. Or, enjoy California and the West Coast or the East Coast including Florida. Need a city break? New York awaits!This voucher entitles you to 2 round trip airline tickets from major carriers like Delta, American Airlines, US Air, JetBlue and others to your choice of over 50 destinations when you reserve your accommodations from One Stop Travel at published rates. Choose from 3, 4 and 5 star participating hotels such as Hilton, Wyndham, Sheraton or exclusive golf & spa resorts for a minimum number nights stay (starting at just 3 nights for some destinations) paying the published rate listed on Escape the Ordinary World, and you will receive 2 ROUND TRIP major airline tickets and 2 Disney World tickets for only $139, or 50 Other Destinations for $99, an amazing $1033 value! Plus, you also receive bonus attraction tickets, ranging from tours and museums to zoos and aquariums, to use during your vacation.

Customer may purchase unlimited number of vouchers (only one voucher is redeemable per room booked)
You have up to 2 years to request your travel dates and travel using your voucher
45 day-advance date travel request notice is required
Choose from 3, 4 and 5 star participating hotels such as Hilton, Wyndham, Sheraton or exclusive golf & spa resorts for a minimum number nights stay (starting at just 3 nights for some destinations) paying the published rate listed on Escape the Ordinary World
Use this calculatorto see sample savings!
View available destinations and related rates HERE
Pre-Purchase Questions or Comments: Please direct any pre-purchase questions to 2flyfree@ictravelworld.com or call (708) 888-1670 to speak to our representative or to request a callback.
For more information about this offer, please click HERE

Once you've purchased your voucher, your YUGSTER ORDER NUMBER will be your voucher code. To redeem, email2flyfree@ictravelworld.com with"Yugster" and your order number.Subject to availability. Not redeemable for cash. Tax or gratuity not included. Business will honour the purchase price after expiration date. Cannot be combined with any other specials, sales or discounts. The amount paid for this voucher with One Stop Travel NEVER EXPIRES. The promotional value expires April 10, 2016.Features:

Each voucher includes round-trip airline tickets for two adults or one adult and one child when you book a stay at one of our participating hotels for the minimum nights required
Must pay hotel published rates and book for the listed minimum number of nights
Guarantee all published rates do not exceed Rack Rates. (prices in US dollars)
Hotel chains participating include Hilton, Sheraton, Wyndham, Holiday Inn, Luxury Resorts
View available destinations and related rates http://escapetheordinaryworld.com/destinations
Travel package is fully transferable
Minimal blackout dates, depending on location and dates. The two weeks prior to and after December 25th are typically not available.

Yours Until Gone!
Travel Deals Deals
Need Small Claims Court advice
Added on : Tuesday June 10th 2014 08:00:33 AM
g: 0 Posted By: a1963
Views: 170 Replies: 6 Summary:
Found a Deck builder on Craigslist
Paid $800 advance as he needed to get supplies
No work done/ lot of excuses/ canceled the work/ no money back/ been few months now

I know I messed up in paying money in advance. I am regular finance forum user/very careful about such matters, (created new alt-id) and I am not sure how I had a lapse in judgement that day.

All I have is a handwritten agreement to do the work and the advance paid.It has a company name & Rural Texas county address.

Found recent reviews online with others having similar experiences with him.

Need advice on next steps. Worth pursuing in small claims court? Thanks for reading.

Personal Finance Deals
Health insurance issue
Added on : Monday June 09th 2014 12:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: soonerbrink
Views: 78 Replies: 1 Anyone had to pay more because of two insurance plans?

I have two insurance plans. Primary paid the plan amount. Secondary insurance said the primary insurance paid more than the plan allowance of secondary so secondary didn't pay anything. Secondary also told me I don't owe anything because the primary paid over secondary max allowance.

I keep getting bills and I call and tell them I don't owe anything and refer them to the secondary insurance companies comments.

When I called the secondary insurance comapny this time they put me on hold while they called the provider. Secondary insurance came back and said I owe 700 dollars that I was billed because that's how it works in this state."

I asked, "So if I would have dropped the other insurance and quit paying the premium on the other insurance I would owe nothing, but because I paid the premium now I owe 700 dollars." The response was "Yes, that's how it works."

What makes it more ironic is if I only had one insurance, the provider would get paid 500 and I would be out of pocket nothing.
Because we have the other insurance, the provider gets 2000, and now they want me to pay 700.

Thought I would ask for advice before I spend hours reading the fine print of the policies.

Thanks for your comments!
Question Deals
Zyxel CDA30360 for Time Warner and Cox $44.99
Added on : Sunday June 08th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: -2 Posted By: deeder
Views: 181 Replies: 1 Zyxel CDA30360 is still on sale through Groupon for $44.99. They also had the model for Comcast for the same price which retails for less and I believe it was less channels bonded together.

I bought one for $44.99 because Time Warner started to charge me a $5.99 fee for modem lease on an RCA DCM425 modem. Was looking for a sale and just happened to find this Groupon offer so after 9 months the fee is fully paid back for standard tier and I will get 50Mbps on it. The newer 16x4 modems up to 300Mbps should be out soon but the most I can see myself ever getting from Time Warner is 50mbps for a long time and even if they upgrade for free to 100Mbps perhaps down the road I can swap out the modem anytime. Also free returns from Groupon as well but I am not sure how long it is up to.

Excellent deal for people paying Modem lease fees who aren't going to be on the highest speed tiers which represents the vast majority of people.


Modems Deals

Groupon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 99 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JQR1EGM/

Are you sick of paying rent? Unable to buy your own home? Facing eviction or foreclosure? Or do you simply want the freedom to move freely or travel? Then living fulltime in an RV might be for you! This book was written by a single woman who quit her day job, and did just that. It's designed to help you get started; help you decide which type of RV is right for you, some of the basic workings of living with an RV, finding places to park, and also, ideas on how to earn a living on the road.
Totally Free Deals
g: 1 Posted By: Deals4mykids
Views: 208 Replies: 0 Available in Empire red, Onyx Black, and Metallic Silver

$229 - 30% off with Mastercard through 6/9/14= $160.30

No tax except in NV, KY, NV

To get this price you MUST add item to your cart through the sale page
Click on "Home" bar > Scroll down and click on "Kitchen Stock-Up: WMF, BergHOFF & More" Sale tab displaying Mastercard promo.
Mixers are towards bottom of page.
30% off will show up in checkout when paying with a Mastercard.
Does not combine with referral discounts.

[*]4.5 QT Stand Mixer:
[*]Model ksm85pber
[*]10 speed stand mixer with 4.5 quart stainless steel bowl
[*]300 watt power output
[*]Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture
[*]Includes flat beater, dough hook and wire whip
[*]Measurements: 8" W x 14" D x 14" H

http://www.gilt.com/

This is cheaper than when I got my model from guilt. Plus this one has more power than the classic model.
Appliance Deals

Gilt Groupe Coupons
A Message from GE Capital Invest Direct
Added on : Friday June 06th 2014 10:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ToddC
Views: 58 Replies: 2 Has anyone received this message, and if so, what are your plans if you have over $500K invested?

Dear Investor,

So that it continues to make economic sense to offer GE Interest Plus in light of recent regulatory changes, on July 30, 2014, GE Capital will discontinue paying interest on the portion of an investment that is greater than $500,000.

If you maintain more than $500,000 in your investment account, or have a balance that is approaching $500,000, we are notifying you now so you are mindful of the change and, if impacted, have the opportunity to act prior to July 30, 2014.

This change is designed to encourage investors to maintain investments in amounts below $500,000 and will only apply to the portion of your investment that is greater than $500,000. Investments up to $500,000 of your personal or business investment will continue to earn the applicable GE Interest Plus rate available for such investments. Current rates appear at our website, www.gecapitalinvestdirect.com.

Thank you for your continued investment in GE Interest Plus.

Sincerely,
GE Capital Invest Direct



Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ctgolfer
Views: 31 Replies: 0 use promo code: MASTERPASS at checkout when paying using Masterpass

7200 RPM performance, 6 Gb/s SATA Interface
For use in consumer and commercial computers
Halogen-free design and power-efficient operation

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149382
Hard Drives Deals

Newegg Coupons
Is this idea legal?
Added on : Thursday June 05th 2014 02:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: classicaltutor
Views: 162 Replies: 4 My father had a stroke a month ago. He was the main provider. My mom works 2 jobs, and makes about 1200 a month. He is unable to work for the foreseeable future. My mom needs cash to pay off a high interest loan they have on some property. She has an older car she is willing to "sell" me. The idea is I get a used car loan, and buy the car from her on paper. She keeps the car and makes the payments. Is this legal? I don't have $8,000 to give her, but want to help her and if this is legal, it would be an easy way to do it. She has excellent credit- 820 score as of last week. They are very modest in their finances, always lived paycheck to paycheck, but have always paid their bills. I have no concerns about her paying the loan back.
Thanks for any advice! They have no other collateral to draw $ from.
Southwest Fall Sale - Through Thursday June 5
Added on : Thursday June 05th 2014 06:00:13 AM
g: 5 Posted By: StartByServingOthers
Views: 1540 Replies: 9 I tried searching the forum, but didn't see any post on this.

Southwest has a fall sale through Thursday.

- As I was booking some complicated international itineraries I noticed some of the prices drop. - At least for my searched only the lowest prices dropped. Tickets that were already at any premium stayed at the same price.
- I did notice a drop in points on some domestic flights as well, but the months I was booking was already at a slight premium, and I noticed very few drops overall. Some months I saw no drop at all.

- I was booking using points but since points are a percentage of actual fare, prices pretty much drop evenly regardless of how you are paying.

-I'm not sure if the 'scary warnings' Southwest gives applies to me since i am booking with points, but I chose to cancel and rebook whether than process a change to the existing fare. I.e. Southwest says the following for international itineraries: If any change is made, then the itinerary becomes non-refundable.
Air Travel Deals
Homeowners Insurance - CLUE Report
Added on : Wednesday June 04th 2014 01:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: master44
Views: 75 Replies: 1 In 2011 we had a basement pipe burst from freezing outside temps while out of town on vacation; The people watching our house turned off the water, but described what seemed to be a mess. While out of town we contacted our home insurance to see how to proceed; It just happens that the cold temps hit lots of people at the same time and the insurance company was unsuccessful in getting a remediation company out. We cut our trip short and returned home to find that the water in the basement receded and didn't do nearly as much damage as we feared. It cost me maybe $500 to fix things and given our insurance deductible was $1000 we called the insurance company and told them there was no claim.

Fast forward a couple of years, we have seen our home insurance premiums increase 25-30% per year since 2011. With the first 2 increases we called and were told it was due to statewide increases and our house getting older, which sucked, but made sense. This year again we got a 30% increase so I started shopping around only to find quoted premiums are really high, i.e. in 2011 we paid ~$700 and now in 2014 we are paying $1750 and new quotes are coming in at $3900+/-.

I inquired why and was told by one company it was due to our claim in 2011 that shows up on CLUE as a $0 claim, but was still considered and treated as a recent claim. The problem I have is there was no claim ever filed, I only called to get guidance on how to do things right when being out of town so I can make sure I am covered by insurance if needed. Long story short, I called the Insurance company I had in 2011 and asked them to remove the CLUE entry and was told that it isn't possible, the best they were able to do is send me a "Letter of Loss" basically saying they made a claim that was cancelled by me without any action taken on their part.

Question is can I do anything about this? I am now looking at paying really high premiums likely because I spoke to the insurance company about remediation for potential damage. If not, maybe this will serve as a warning not to call insurance unless you are really sure you will use them.

Thanks!
Question Deals
Refinance Options
Added on : Tuesday June 03rd 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: bgwozdz
Views: 128 Replies: 5 Primary residence, intend to pay loan off(within 15 years)and keep house as rental income in the future. Plan on moving out 5-10 years from now.
Cash reserves is not an issue and no other outstanding debt accept a $6K student loan at 1.625%.

Current mortgage info:
30-year fixed -4.875%
$134K remaining after 50 payments
70-75% LTV (Conservative Estimate)
Adding $250 to the principal for the last 10 payments (sporadically added $100 in previous payments)

Refinance offer through original Lender
15-year Fixed 3.25% / 3.428% APR ($249 point cost)
If paying closing costs upfront, estimated terms at close.
$129,500K loan balance, $8,800 closing costs. Including escrows.
If rolling closing costs into loan.
$138,500k loan balance

Closing costs of course jump out to me right away. Not excited about paying $8,800 up front, or adding an additional $9,250 to the loan balance.

Questions:

Do the Closing costs seem resonable?If needed I can break it down by line items.
Should I roll in the closing costs? My thought is that I can just take that $8,800 and fund my retirement accounts.
Penfed 5/5? I just started investigating that option today, currently at 3% with the no closing costs offer. Wouldmy situation benefit going that route since I am intending to keep the home and pay off the loan? Can someone educate me on how it would be the best option for my situation.

Thanks and I understand there is similar topics as I did utilize the search feature. However, after doing some homework I still am left wondering about my scenario and I also seem to be going up against the clock as I understand rates are climbing and a favorable job report at the end of the weekis expected to push these rates higher.


Question Deals
g: 1 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 326 Replies: 5 Is it possible to convert a short term capital gain into the dividend tax rate?

Let's say someone has $10,000 in short term capital gains that will be taxes at their marginal tax rate (Let's say 28%). Then that individual goes out and buys 10,000 shares of a stock that has announced a dividend payment. Company XYZ costs $50 a share is going to pay a dividend of $1. The investor buys a share of the stock on the Ex-Dividend date and holds it through the record date, thus getting paid the dividend. The share price of the stock is revalued at $49 to account for the dividend payment that went out (assuming no market volatility for those 3 days the shares are held).

So now the investor theoretically would sell his 10,000 shares at $49, having a $1 capital loss per share. The $10,000 capital loss would offset his $10,000 capital gain turning it to $0 come tax time. Rather than paying $10,000 short term capital gain at 28%, he could now pay $10,000 on his dividend income at 15%.

Does the IRS or Brokerages have any rules in place to prevent an individual from doing a strategy like this? Are there any other downsides?
Investing Deals
Southwest Fall Sale
Added on : Tuesday June 03rd 2014 05:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: StartByServingOthers
Views: 66 Replies: 0 I tried searching the forum, but didn't see any post on this.

Southwest has a fall sale through Thursday.

- As I was booking some complicated international itineraries I noticed some of the prices drop. - At least for my searched only the lowest prices dropped. Tickets that were already at any premium stayed at the same price.
- I did notice a drop in points on some domestic flights as well, but the months I was booking was already at a slight premium, and I noticed very few drops overall. Some months I saw no drop at all.

- I was booking using points but since points are a percentage of actual fare, prices pretty much drop evenly regardless of how you are paying.

-I'm not sure if the 'scary warnings' Southwest gives applies to me since i am booking with points, but I chose to cancel and rebook whether than process a change to the existing fare. I.e. Southwest says the following for international itineraries: If any change is made, then the itinerary becomes non-refundable.
Air Travel Deals
g: 0 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 95 Replies: 2 Is it possible to convert a short term capital gain into the dividend tax rate?

Let's say someone has $10,000 in short term capital gains that will be taxes at their marginal tax rate (Let's say 28%). Then that individual goes out and buys 10,000 shares of a stock that has announced a dividend payment. Company XYZ costs $50 a share is going to pay a dividend of $1. The investor buys a share of the stock on the Ex-Dividend date and holds it through the record date, thus getting paid the dividend. The share price of the stock is revalued at $49 to account for the dividend payment that went out (assuming no market volatility for those 3 days the shares are held).

So now the investor theoretically would sell his 10,000 shares at $49, having a $1 capital loss per share. The $10,000 capital loss would offset his $10,000 capital gain turning it to $0 come tax time. Rather than paying $10,000 short term capital gain at 28%, he could now pay $10,000 on his dividend income at 15%.

Does the IRS or Brokerages have any rules in place to prevent an individual from doing a strategy like this? Are there any other downsides?
Investing Deals
Saving for a house - 401k
Added on : Sunday June 01st 2014 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nd617
Views: 6 Replies: 0 My employer will match 50% any amount I put into my 401k (up to the max of $17,500 of course). I am trying to save for a house (probably need ~150k for down payment, currently have 50k). Would it be better to put all $17,500 and get the free $8,750 from my employer and then take a loan from my 401k when it's time to buy or only put 8ish in my 401k and use non-401k money to buy. I guess what I'm asking is what are the drawbacks/penalties to using 401k moneys for a home purchase? One other complication, I still have $40k of student loan debt (about 4.5% interest). I was planning on just paying the minimum until I buy, good plan? Thanks everyone!
Real Estate Deals
Inheritance situation (mother-in-law NOT dead)
Added on : Sunday June 01st 2014 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jhuflyer
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Mother-in-law, verbally, told us about her intent of inheritance. We haven't seen the will and probably won't until executed.

She has a house which is completely paid off on the East Coast and it will go to my wife and her sister upon death, current worth about$320k. There's a clause however that her 3rd husband (deadbeat: b&e, marijuana poss, constantly on unemployment, DUI, credit issues, foreclosure), is allowed to live in the house until he dies, or wants to move out. Supposedly he has no right to the house according to a prenup (I have no access to this either).

i don't want to be laden with a house I own in the future where some deadbeat isn't paying for utilities, trashing the house, or paying property tax. Any thought,discussion, or experience?

BTW, I posted here more for entertainment purposes than anything as I'm very prepared to use a lawyer when the situation arises. And will also conjecture with a lawyer within the next couple months.
Best Way to Spend Credit Card $ For Bonus Fulfillment?
Added on : Saturday May 31st 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 98 Replies: 2 Hey FWF.

I'm about to run into a situation where I need to fulfill a $5k spent amount on a CC in order to get the initial bonus. I highly doubt in the next 2 months I can get to that amount. What are the best recommended ways to spend it?

Ways off the top of my head:
1. Is there anyway to pay for my mortgage with the $ from my credit card?
2. Is there a way to simply take the $ out as cash without paying the APR? Is it like other purchases and the APR doesn't apply until after the statement comes? Sorry if these are stupid questions, I've never gotten a cash advance from a credit card in my life.
3. Pre-paid gift cards. I'm guessing thats how most people here are doing it. $500 Visa Gift Cards? If so, what are the details here? Do you buy them and then cash them out for cash the next day (if possible?) Or do you simply spend them on your normal purchases for a while? What are the fee's associated with these?

Any help is appreciated, I have quite a few credit card offers I'm going to need to fulfill soon!
Credit Deals
g: 1 Posted By: roger2724
Views: 326 Replies: 24 Newly constructed condos/townhouses in my state are required to have a certain percentage of "affordable housing". The only requirement for this particular property was that you need to make under $49,000 to be eligible and be able to get a mortgage. They run a lottery for these properties as there is huge demand, and I just so happened to win. I am 27, went to college and have a reasonably good job making $45,000 a year, which I expect to increase a bit.

Since I won, I ambeing given the opportunity to purchase a nice 1bedroom condo for $90,000 which is a great deal as other units (which are also 1 bedroomsbut a little biggerand have a balcony)in the same complex are selling for 3x that number. So obviously I willbuy it. There are no restrictions once Ibuy the condo other then that it must be my residence. If I meet a girl she can move in, no impact as my income increases, etc. My monthly payment is going tobe around $850 including taxes and HOA.

The only "catch" is that it will alwaysbe "moderate income housing", so there will notbe much appreciation in the value of the home. It was originallybuilt in the mid 90s and has been sold twice since then. It seems to appreciateabout $1500 in value per year, on average. I do want to get married, have some kids andbuy a regular 3 or 4bedroom house once that happens at some point down the line.

How should I handle this as far as a down payment, paying extra on the mortgage, etc? What do you think the optimal play is here?
Personal Finance Deals
Getting screwed on a special assessment
Added on : Saturday May 31st 2014 11:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NYC-606
Views: 111 Replies: 2 Hey guys,

So I think I'm getting screwed here on a special assessment. I'm being charged $7,200 on balcony repairs when in my opinion they knew about the repairs coming and knew they would be a special assessment. I bought my place in May 2012 and the 22.1 provided said this:
22.1 Disclosure said: Except as noted on budget, in meeting minutes or stated here, no additional capital expenditures/specials are currently being discussed.

When I asked the management company about the special assessment, they claimed they knew about it since 2008.
Management said: The 2008 Reserve Study [updated in 2013] recommended that the balconies be addressed in 2014. [This study was updated in 2013 to say that it was still needed and then they started planning the assessment]

Management said: Check the documents provided as part of your buyer package. Minutes of meetings, the 2008 Reserve Study, and budgets should be part of that package.

Management said: Balconies are limited common elements and the responsibility of the unit the balcony is associated with. The Association has no responsibility in paying for balcony repairs, and cannot use capital reserve funds to pay for the repairs.



As I've stated, these documents were not provided and the only thing I see is a document actually saying that there is nothing planned.

I called the management out on this, and they then changed their tune to this:
Management said: Paid assessment letters state only whether special assessments are being discussed or planned for a finite period. They do not address what will funding will be expended beyond what is stated in the budget for that year, or is present in minutes.

It is not reasonable to expect that there will never be a special assessment. To determine costs of ownership, it is the responsibility of prospective unit owners and their advisors [lawyers and realtors] to request any documents which will assist in determining those costs, and then use those documents to determine whether special assessments will be required.


They are claiming that since it wasn't official, that they don't have any liability in this, but I feel that they have claimed they knew they would need to be addressed, and also that it would always be a special assessment.


I'm trying to contact my real estate lawyer, but he isn't responsive so far. Any help on these forums? Do I have a case to not pay this?


Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 205 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E0TND74

Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal city of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt. But there is one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House, a former whaling captain's home, where the quilt is stored. There she meets Army veteran Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she and Tom grow closer. And as she reads stories in a daily journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns the secrets of the quilt and Mary's own sad tale of regret. Then Tom learns secrets of his own family's past, and both Tom and Kelly learn they are tied to Gray House in ways they never imagined.



Out of Focus (An Adams Grove Novel)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0066Q40L2

In OUT OF FOCUS, Kasey Phillips thinks her biggest problem is deciding whether to photograph Cody Tuggles honky-tonkin tour, until an accident on Route 58 claims the life of her husband.
In a desperate race against time as a hurricane threatens the eastern seaboard, they search for her three-year-old son who is missing from the wreckage.
A community and friends rally to help, but someone knows more than they are telling.



Capture
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008CNJE4A

Nominated for a 2013 Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel Award

IN A CITY WHERE THE LINES BETWEEN RICH AND POOR ARE DRAWN IN BLOOD, THE TRUTH IS JUST THE LIE YOU BELIEVE THE MOST.
As four-year-old Sunny Exley drowns in the icy waters off a luxury beach house, her father, Nick, smokes weed on the shore and her mother, Caroline, is lost in the arms of a lover. Hidden on nearby boulders, rent-a-cop Vernon Saul watches the child die and chooses to act only when it is too late.
In the days following Sunny's death, gutted by grief and guilt, Nick falls under the spell of Vernon who presents himself as a friend in time of need. When the sinister Vernon's true Motives are revealed, Nick is drawn into a spiral of manipulation and murder that leaves him fighting for his sanity and his life.



THE DEADLINE (David Grossman Series)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008ISCKVS

THE DEADLINE is the story of David Grossman, a Baby Boomer approaching sixty who loses his high-paying corporate job, forcing him to review his options and priorities. Desperate for a last chance at personal fulfillment, David makes a one-year deal with his wife. If he fails, his life-long dream is likely over and he must return to the corporate grind, a life lived under the steady lash. At first, one year seems like ample time, but David had not counted on having to deal with a moody culinary genius from the Amazon, a high priestess of the dark arts, a dying mother, and sinister thugs from the Mob. With each passing day, Grossman feels the pressure of time slipping away and the likely end to his dream.



Only For You
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FEDCKK6

All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she planned.
When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded by her best friend to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleighs biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, an explosive relationship is born.
Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fatethat fickle shrew continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she casts Hunter as her prime adversary. The only complicationHunter is resolutely pursuing his vindicationby any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleighs ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.



The Gemini Factor
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089GGTXE/

Murders are common. Serial murders are less common. Serial murders committed in two different countries at exactly the same time, in exactly the same way, are unheard of. ..until now.



City of Whispers
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006N1OA4M

When an epidemic turns most New Yorkers into vampires, a handful of remaining humans find themselves struggling to survive in a quarantined Manhattan. As their numbers dwindle, Ailis Laurent undergoes a transformation of her own: she becomes a hardened vampire killer.

Books & Magazines Deals

Amazon Coupons
Significant other loves wasting money, what to do?
Added on : Saturday May 31st 2014 05:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: xynder
Views: 99 Replies: 5 I manage our budget between me and my SO.

She is not very concerned about money. Combined, we make about $140,000. As most of you know, this is not very much money when you're paying rent in a decent area (1200/month), maxing retirement accounts, and also trying to sock away some liquid cash.

Anyway, she goes to the god damned airport the other day to go to Vegas (I bought her the ticket using airline points from credit card rewards), and instead of parking in a surface lot for like $10/day, she uses a covered garage at like $30/day. I ask her why, and she says "well I don't know where anything is at so it was just easier." She didn't bother asking anyone or checking the damned airport map.

Yesterday, she phoned an order in at the local italian joint. She went to pick it up and when she paid, she left a tip. A TIP FOR WHAT?!?!?!?!?!! YOU PICKED UP THE F******* FOOD, NOBODY SERVED YOU, WHY ARE YOU LEAVING A TIP?!?!?! I ask her why and she says well because she used to be a waitress she feels bad for them.


How can I train my SO not to waste precious money?
Question Deals
may not be as simple as it seems ?
Added on : Friday May 30th 2014 11:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: vistaluck
Views: 146 Replies: 5 so long story short. some 1 owe me about $30,000 cash 1 year ago but he doesn't have cash to return it back to me so he is trying to give me some electrical equipments to cover the debts. The initial plan was to make at least double of that $30,000 but I only got $5000 as interest. The equipment worth $1800 a piece market value. However, he changed his mind again since these equipiments can sell so he don't want to give all to me at once. If its all at once, it would be 16.7 pieces of equipments so I guess its 16 pieces + $1200 cash or something.

So now, he just wants to give me discounts as pay back. He sold it to me at $1600/piece but $200 is paying the debts to me. I still have to pay him $1400/piece cash to buy. So lets say I buy 10 pieces, he is paying off $2000 debts to me. so it will take a while to pay off. Each month, I may just take 10 pieces.

My question is which method is actually a better deal. Have him give me all 16 pieces + $1200 or the slower method and may look more like a better deal because the price per piece is only $1600.

I know I made a mistake anyways. However, this guy already gave me a lot of deals before and I already made some money from him. Therefore, I can really go flip on him and get him pissed off.

Through this, I learned its never a good idea to loan money to any of your friends even the ones who made you money before because you never know when they may scam you and get a portion of your hard earn money back.

I still think this is a huge loss for me. You know how I calculate it. So if you got $30,000. You can pay this to principle of your mortgage, you will instantly save another $30,000. And when you pull out equity loan from your house, you can pull out another 75% of that $30,000 you just put in so thats $22,500 so you just put in $30,000 in and make $52,500. Plus you shorten your loan time a few years by putting in that $30,000. So this $30,000 probably has just make you $82,500 total.
Personal Finance Deals
Need help consolidating non private student loans
Added on : Thursday May 29th 2014 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: gaf2255
Views: 82 Replies: 0 I'm looking to consolidate several federal subsidized student loans, however most banks I have found will only consolidate private student loans. I started out the year with about 43k in student loan debt and paid off 13k so far this year just to bring it down. I used my BB account to pay the 13k so I accumulated CC points as well. I intend to pay off the remaining balance in 4 years. The loans range from 6-6.8%. I have applied with SOFI as they refinance student loan debt with rates as low as 3.625%, but they only do so with certain colleges so I wasn't eligible. What I was thinking I could do was to calculate what I would pay in total for the next year, fund my BB account, and pay that amount off. Therefore I would essentially be paying zero percent on lets say 8k, and then pay off that amount over the year. I would still however be paying interest on the remaining balance. I could also pay off the full balance via BB, pay no interest at all for the first year, and then transfer the balance in a year when my zero percent cards expire. Any thoughts, or suggestions would be appreciated.
Personal Finance Deals
Financial Implications of UberX
Added on : Wednesday May 28th 2014 08:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BigManonCampus
Views: 56 Replies: 3 I know this idea has partially been discussed here:http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1337560/ but I wanted to go into a bit more detail and go with a slightly better thought out "business plan" for UberX driving. I recently finished my MBA and so I suddenly have what feels like a ton of free time at night and on weekends. There are the obvious FWF solutions of how to spend this time (H&B, etc.) but it seems like some amount of this time could be spent making more money and getting me out of the house. I had an idea today to start driving for UberX a couple nights a week (I'm thinking a weekday night and a weekend night) and how it could potentially be profitable.

My current vehicle is a pickup truck, so I'd have to obtain a second vehicle for Uber driving. Their requirements are <10 years old, clean title (not salvage/rebuilt), "excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition" (frighteningly vague) and 4 doors. A bit of basic craigslist/autotrader browsing suggests I can get a suitable 4 door vehicle with ~100k miles on it that is exceptionally unpopular (Suzuki Forenza/Verona, Chrysler Sebring/PT Cruiser, Chevy HHR, etc.) for around $3,500-5k. Alternatively, there are some nicer options (Lexis IS250, Cadillac CTS/Deville) in the $7-9k range. The hope would be that I could essentially drive these cars around 20k miles and do little maintenance beyond oil changes and treat this car as my UberX whipping boy then just sell them for roughly I have in them (alternatively, if something serious breaks or the car is totaled, consider it a capital loss and see what I can get for scrap, I'm cool with this risk).

So, here's my math:
Shift Mileage $ from Mileage $ from Time (Assuming 80% time/mile ratio) $ from Base fares (assuming 5 mi/ride*$2) Total Gross Earnings Uber's Cut Gas Cost @ 25 mpg @ $3.7/gal IRS Mileage Deduction (.56/mi) Taxable Amt Tax Burden ( assumed @30%) Net Earnings 20 28 22.4 8 58.4 11.68 2.96 15.82 30.9 9.27 21.63 40 56 44.8 16 116.8 23.36 5.92 31.64 61.8 18.54 43.26 60 84 67.2 24 175.2 35.04 8.88 47.46 92.7 27.81 64.89 80 112 89.6 32 233.6 46.72 11.84 63.28 123.6 37.08 86.52 100 140 112 40 292 58.4 14.8 79.1 154.5 46.35 108.15 120 168 134.4 48 350.4 70.08 17.76 94.92 185.4 55.62 129.78 140 196 156.8 56 408.8 81.76 20.72 110.74 216.3 64.89 151.41 160 224 179.2 64 467.2 93.44 23.68 126.56 247.2 74.16 173.04 180 252 201.6 72 525.6 105.12 26.64 142.38 278.1 83.43 194.67 200 280 224 80 584 116.8 29.6 158.2 309 92.7 216.3
Here's my explanation of my assumptions/numbers
Shift Mileage: Assumed mileage driven with a paying passenger

Income:
$ from Mileage: Assumed mileage x mileage rate
$ from Time: I took my last twenty UberX trips and the average Mileage $/Time $ was around .8, so I just multiplied $/Mile * .8
$ from Base Fare: Obviously this is highly dependent on number of trips. I punted on this one and assumed each trip was 5 miles, so every 5 miles I make $2/base fare.
(Not Calculated): Any weekend night I don't spend partying in bars, I don't spend money on drinks/rides home.

Deductions:
Uber's Cut: 20%. I would probably also drive for Lyft as well, in my travels, I've seen many drivers do both UberX and Lyft at the same time, but I'm assuming whomever I'm driving for, that's commission.
Gas: My assumptions per mile
Taxes: Assume 30% for taxes and 56.5 cents per mile deducted.

The obvious things ignored here are miles with no earnings going to pick somebody up (to which I have no idea how to calculate) and insurance costs. I assume my insurance costs will be minimal because it'll be a second car on my current single driver policy and carry liability only insurance. If I have a $3,500 car that is only the UberX whipping car and I total the thing, I assume my insurance and Uber's $1 million liability will pick up the liability, and I'll just get rid of the wrecked car and decide that UberX wasn't worth it.

I'm assuming that using a normal distribution with the above numbers and assuming 60-120 paid miles, I'll average $100/night (I suspect it would be more like $50/weeknight, $150/weekend night) Whether this is realistic or not, I don't have a good way to determine, Uber's community managers swear that everybody gets $1000+ a week, blah blah blah.

So, my only unknowns are the real UberX market in my city, if I bought a car and immediately had to put a significant amount of money into it ($500 repair or something two weeks after I get it), but that is just a risk I have to take with this plan.

So, FWF, anything I'm missing?
Question Deals
T Mobile ETF Reimbursement
Added on : Wednesday May 28th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: txrandom
Views: 125 Replies: 0 I would like to get an iPhone and Windows phone for development purposes and looked into taking advantage of the T Mobile ETF reimbursement program. Can anyone find any flaws with my plan below outside any moral issues?

Currently have an Android phone purchased from Sprint that is eligible for T Mobile ETF reimbursement.
Under contract at $30 a month for a few more months with a prorated ETF of $100.
But am eligible for an upgrade to an iPhone 5C for $50 on Sprint with a new two year contract.
Wait a month after upgrading to iPhone and cancel after paying $350 ETF.
Sign up for T Mobile $50 Simple Choice Plan and buy a Windows Phone outright for $120-$189.
Submit T Mobile ETF reimbursement form with old Android device.
Eventually receive $350 ETF reimbursement in the form of a Mastercard prepaid card.
Cancel T Mobile plan, or downgrade to cheaper prepaid plan or data only plan. No money should be due since the phone was bought outright. Windows Phone can be unlocked after 40 days if needed.

So the total cost for an iPhone 5C would be $50 (upgrade), $36 (activation on Sprint), $40 (two months of T Mobile service minus cost of current Sprint service) = $126 versus a normal retail price of $650. Yes, it will be locked to Sprint, but that's not an issue for me.
Personal Finance Deals
Using HELOC for mortgage acceleration.
Added on : Wednesday May 28th 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lovelovingdeals
Views: 121 Replies: 4 Hi,
This topic has been covered in the past, but I could not find any active threads on it. I wanted to make sure I am interpreting/applying the principles of using HELOC to accelerate mortgage payments correctly for my case.

1. I have a 25 years remaining and 98 K balance on a 6% fixed mortgage for an investment property. The property should be appraised at 170K, so I will have an equity of 70K.
2. If I get a 4% HELOC on 56K (80% of 70K) and use it to reduce the premium on the mortgage to 42K. If I leave my mortgage payment unchanged, I should be able to payoff the mortgage in 10 years from now instead of 25.
3. My normal checking+emergency fund account has a balance of 35-45K, and I can move it to the HELOC account to minimize the interest I am paying on HELOC.

Would the seasoned finance gurus here recommend this as a sane strategy. Or am I missing something here. What type of Heloc programs would be best for this strategy.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: fishbane
Views: 926 Replies: 1 Groupon has the 500 GB PS4 console for $399.99 use code GOODS10 to get 10% off then shop through Shopdiscover to get 10% CashBack. Shipping is free. Fatwallet is currently paying 6%

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-playstation-4-500gb-gaming-console

They also have the XBOX One controller for $50 same price as Amazon which is ~$40 after CashBack with shopdiscover

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-xbox-one-black-wireless-controller-1
PS4 Consoles Deals

Groupon Coupons
g: 1 Posted By: fishbane
Views: 846 Replies: 1 Groupon has the 500 GB PS4 console for $399.99 use code GOODS10 to get 10% off then shop through Shopdiscover to get 10% CashBack. Shipping is free. Fatwallet is currently paying 6%

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-playstation-4-500gb-gaming-console

They also have the XBOX One controller for $50 same price as Amazon which is ~$40 after CashBack with shopdiscover

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-xbox-one-black-wireless-controller-1
PS4 Consoles Deals

Groupon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: fishbane
Views: 145 Replies: 0 Groupon has the 500 GB PS4 console for $399.99, which is normal price, but they have freeshipping and CashBack sites typically pay a higher rate at Groupon than the usualy PS4 retailers. Use shopdiscover to get 10% CashBack. Fatwallet is currently paying 6%

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-playstation-4-500gb-gaming-console

They also have the controller for $50 same price as Amazon which is $45 after CashBack with shopdiscover

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-xbox-one-black-wireless-control...
PS4 Consoles Deals

Groupon Coupons
Should We Sell Our House or Refinance?
Added on : Sunday May 25th 2014 04:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: threehearts
Views: 31 Replies: 0 My husband and I keep going back and forth whether or not we should sell the house or refinance. We would save about 1-1.5% refinancing. We could probably make a gain of $40,000-$60,000 if we sell. The problem is that the home prices are higher so we'll have to finance a higher amount when we purchase another home (albeit at a lower interest). My husband thinks that we can use part of our earnings to pay off student loans and credit card debt, which totals about $35,000 and still have some money to put down and the payments will be roughly equal to what we are paying now because of the lower interest rate. We feel saddled with the debt and would love to be able to live debt free and save almost $1,000 in payments per month. Which route is more economically responsible. If we refinance, we will probably save about $200. per month. It would take longer but we could climate the debt by using the snowball method. Or we could try selling and knock it all out at one time. We also have a place, free or charge, to live while we look for a new house.
Question Deals
Rebuilding credit Query
Added on : Thursday May 22nd 2014 08:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: southpaw0
Views: 53 Replies: 0 I am trying to rebuild my credit. Last 8/13, I managed to get a secured credit card with Wells Fargo, also my bank, for $500. I have been paying it off in full each month. As it gets closer to the one year mark, am trying to figure out what my next steps should be to further improve my credit history. Should I apply for another credit card, or should I ask for an increase with the existing card, or just just ask them to make existing card unsecured? Please share your thoughts.
Credit Deals
More Money = More Problems/Stress? How To Stop It.
Added on : Thursday May 22nd 2014 05:00:12 AM
g: -5 Posted By: robronson
Views: 67 Replies: 7 I started making triple my old salary recently by going into consulting and it's nothing but stress and headaches. Before, when I was making roughly $70k a year, I was really happy maxing out my 401k (to the actual max, not the employer match max), maxing out my Roth IRA, maxing out my iBonds, and I didn't really have much left over after living expenses so I basically spent the rest, with the knowledge I had been doing well in my savings (hitting all the maxes), and was comfortable.

Now I have first-world 1%-er problems because being self-employed I can contribute my employer contribution to the 401k as well. I had to shift around my existing Traditional IRA money into my Solo 401k to be eligible for a back-door Roth contribution (which was a huge hassle because none of the account transfer forms worked as expected so I wasted hours and hours getting this done). I have to max out an HSA. I have two sets of I-Bonds I can max out (individually, and corporation's EIN). I have to pay quarterly estimated tax. I have to avoid overpaying the estimated tax, so I don't give the IRS a tax-free loan, but I have to keep the money liquid and free to pay the tax, so I have to maintain a Rewards Checking account and meet the requirements to get the higher rate on this money. I'm juggling multiple credit cards for their rewards, moreso than before, because of all the businesses expenses I have, reimbursable by the client.

I say "need" and "have to" somewhat facetiously because I don't really HAVE to do those things. But it would cause me great stress to let $5k per year in credit card rewards go unearned because I didn't juggle credit cards on my $10k/month business travel expenses. And it would feel bad to not earn 2% yield in a rewards checking account on $20k sitting there waiting to pay SE Taxes.

I made a spreadsheet to track my estimated earnings throughout the year, for tax planning purposes, and I'll be "in debt" to myself until November. In other words, it's not until November that my incoming consulting money will be enough to max out the 401k, IRA, HSA, IBonds, and pay the taxes owed on the income. If I can't keep getting gigs continuously through November, I'm screwed. My contingency plan is to use money earned in 2015 to pay 2014 employer-contribution 401k, IRA, and HSA because those aren't due until April 2015 (and technically I think my employer-contribution 401k can be paid by October 2015 if I file an extension). Of course, this contingency plan is only kicking the can down the road and I'll have problems meeting my 2015 contribution maxes if I use 2015 income to pay old 2014 "debts" to myself.

I thought making a lot of money was supposed to be fun and stress-free? I just feel like Damocles' Sword is dangling over my head. I don't mean this to be a thread about my personal situation. Let's discuss how more money has led to greater stress in your life and what you've done to reduce the stress.
Discussion Deals
PenFed No Closing Costs Mortgage Promotion ... one gotcha?
Added on : Wednesday May 21st 2014 04:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jrstinkfish
Views: 75 Replies: 0 We applied for a home loan through PenFed and were approved. We asked about the promotion for 5/5 ARMs where PenFed will pay closing costs. The rep told me that both seller AND buyer HAVE to use their preferred title and settlement company for the promotion to apply (in my case, Epic Real Estate Solutions). My agent had never heard of such thing (or heard of the company), and predicted the sellers would balk at having to use a company they didn't choose. We submitted the offer anyway with the requirement, and as expected, they agreed with everything except having to use PenFed's preferred company. The seller agent had the same reservations as my agent -- both obviously want to sell the home for what we're offering, but apparently this is so out of left field that it's making our (very good, imo) offer go sour.

To the people who have successfully used this promotion to cover their closing costs in the past, were you also required to have both parties use PenFed's preferred company? We can afford closing costs, but between paying $1000 or whatever PenFed does not pay, vs paying $7000, seems like a better deal for us
Discussion Deals
AZ property management. . .
Added on : Monday May 19th 2014 08:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hambirg
Views: 5 Replies: 0 My mother owns a park model in a very nice park in AZ. It is also in a prime location, about a block from the main club house, pool, etc.

She hasn't been down in a few years. From what I have found out, it can rent for $1700/month during the rental season.

She does nothing but complain about paying the HOA fees and the taxes on this property.

She did rent it for a few months a couple of years ago, but it was nothing but problems, as far as I know. It was rented through the park's office and there was some sketchy things with the man that was the agent. The story is, my mom asked about some blankets that were missing and the agent admitted to letting some friends "stay there for awhile" and they must have taken the blankets. I think the translation is that the agent was renting the place out, but not reporting it and paying my mom. . .or so she believes. Welcome to Del Boca Vista folks!

Anywhoo, it makes no sense to me that she isn't renting it out. She can easily make the HOA fees and the property taxes on it, plus some, in a season. It does need a new air conditioner, cleaning and de-weatherization (is that even a word?) at the beginning of each season, someone to clean after each renter, and someone to weatherize at the end of the season. According to her, she does not have to go through the park to rent it. Soooooo. . .my question is. . .can't we use a property management company from the area? Surely she is not the first person to ever do this, right? How much do they normally take as a cut in that area and what services do they provide as standard. Normally around here it can be anywhere between 10-20% depending on the services they provide. Also, what are the tax implications? Does she need to consult her tax attorney if she decides to do this?

TIA! Please be kind. I'm not an idiot, but I don't have any experience with this kind of thing. It just doesn't make any sense to me that she isn't using this asset for income and instead making it a liability. However, at her age, if it is too much work than it truly will be a liability. I'm just looking for a way to put this on auto pilot and at least break even. In three more years my brother will be old enough to own and can take it over. We would like to keep the property in the family.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Excelsius
Views: 167 Replies: 5 I am hoping someone can either put my mind at ease or give me a way out:

We recently bought a car using an auto loan check from Capital One. The dealer wanted to run a credit check, but we refused and instead chose to wait for the check to clear. We did not leave the down payment (30%) and said we'll pay that when we pick up the car. We were told we could pick up the car in 3 business days. After calling Capital One, we found out that our check was not even submitted to them, yet the dealership had told us that they did in fact submit it to Capital One. Then, talking to the manager, found out that the check "has to" go through their own bank over which they have no control and can take 10 business days to clear (15 days from the sale day). Capital One says that the check is cleared within 24 hours after being submitted and I even read online how dealers simply call Capital One and release the car. So they clearly mislead us and are really trying to run the credit since they keep saying that if they do that, we can pick up the car right away.

We got a really good deal on the car, with all the extras. I also have the vin number of the car we left behind. What I don't understand though is are they somehow trying to screw us over? We read and signed several contracts, but they did not give us a copy and told us we'd get them at the time of signing. I am not sure if we can get out of this now or if this is even a cause for alarm. I certainly don't want to wait for 10 days to get another unpleasant surprise. I don't understand where they're going with this. By now they know that we're not going to let them run a credit check, so the only way they can get paid is if they cash our check. The contract we signed was only about paying them with other funds if the check bounces, but that contract can't apply if they don't actually submit the check. Another question is about how long they can delay this transaction like this. I was told that 10 days is max, but I'm not so sure about what they say anymore.

An insight from a dealer would be especially welcome. Maybe there is a new scam going on that we don't know about.


New User Question Deals
g: 2 Posted By: remick
Views: 220 Replies: 1 https://www.google.com/logos/2014/rubiks/rubiks.html

The Rubiks Cube now turns 40, and Google is paying homage for the classic brain teaser with a doodle. The Google Doodle is a replica of the cube and lets you play virtually on your computer screens.
Totally Free Deals
Pre-Paying Taxes As A Form Of Asset Creditor Protection
Added on : Sunday May 18th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 125 Replies: 1 This is my first year being self employed as my full-time gig where I'm making a lot of money (by FWF standards I'm probably poor but by POTUS standards I'm wealthy). I'm very careful with my assets from a creditor protection standpoint for a variety of reasons, primarily because they overlap with my tax planning needs (401ks are both creditor protected and tax efficient).

This is my first year that I'm basically forced to keep large sums of money (10s of Thousands of Dollars) in reserve to pay my quarterly taxes. I know it's overblown but I feel queezy with $20k sitting in a checking account, easily seizable or freezable by anyone with a BS lawsuit consider I have never left more than $1k in there. (My "emergency savings" is not in my checking account and is not seizable).

Here's my tentative strategy for dealing with it. Segregate one of my checking accounts to ONLY be used to pay taxes from. I use it for no other reason. Like most FWFers, I have several from various opening promos or for reasons such as a CU that offers good CCs. I designate one checking account to be used for tax purposes only and I keep my $20k+ in there to pay taxes from.

In the event that I'm involved in a situation that could result in a lawsuit, I immediately pay the taxes from that checking account. The taxes may not be due. And the taxes may even be too much compared to how much I've earned so far in the year (but won't be too much for what my total liability at the end of the year will be). Once I use the money to pay the federal government, I highly doubt a judge would rule this as an fraudulent conveyance and reverse the money back from the federal government. In fact, I think the chances of that are zero. Even if a crazy judge ordered it, the IRS would still have to comply and send back my tax payment to my new creditor. Yeah, right.

The downsides here are if I am segregating an account just for taxes, then it can't be a high yield rewards account because those accounts need debit transactions would means I'm comingling this account for other purposes. And if I'm not getting any yield of return, I might as well pay the taxes as soon as the money comes in, if I'm worried about leaving it in my checking account. Then again, Alliant has a decent yield with no rewards account requirements.

I could probably get Alliant to open a second checking account for me just for this reason and the account can be used solely for tax payments so if it comes down to a judge accusing me of fraudulent conveyance, I can point to the history of the account and prove that I intended it to be used for taxes.

I'm sure I'm overthinking this and $20k sitting in a checking account unprotected isn't a big deal. Does this plan seem farfetched?
Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 125 Replies: 0 I travel for a living and build up a lot of free frequent flier and other reward points. However, since I travel so much for work, I have zero desire to travel for fun, at least anytime soon. I thought about saving the points for use in a few years when I eventually stop traveling consulting work, but as experience of recent years dictates, I can guarantee a huge devaluation of the points over that time frame. Also, there's no reason I couldn't cash in my points now, and then about 6 months before I decide to "retire" from this line of traveling consulting work, start saving again since 6 months worth of points for a weekly traveler is enough reward points for 3 to 5 years of vacations.

That said, how can we cash out our points for non-travel rewards in the most efficient, least-riskiest way? Selling the points is out of the question due to the high risk. The risk of getting caught and being blacklisted from ever getting any additional points is not worth it. The best I've come up with is the following:

1) Cash them out for gift cards for places like Amazon and use them for personal purchases. Southwest offers redemption for Amazon GCs at 1 point per 1 cent. 50,000 points per $500. I can easily earn 50,000 points every 3 months of travel which is $2,000 per year in Amazon gift cards. That's enough for a new laptop and a new large flat panel television per year. Pretty sweet considering it's tax-free benefit of working.

2) Cash them in for gift cards/travel on the airline/hotel itself, and then remit those expenses to the client. Unethical? Maybe. Illegal? Not sure. I can see it borderline. The way this would work is cashing in 100k+ Marriott Points for Marriott Gift Cards and then paying for your hotel stay with the Gift Card, and then submitting your receipt to the client for reimbursement. With airliners, you may be able to book flight with your points on a refundable trip, cancel the flight, get a voucher for money, apply that voucher for a future light to your client, and submit an invoice for that flight.

Option 2 seems like it would be a higher payout since you usually get higher rewards if used directly with the place you earned them and you get Cash Back from the client. The downside is option 2 seems like it could be considered unethical or illegal. I'm not a lawyer. I do know the following is legal:

I book a flight for a client, pay on my personal credit card. Client cancels the trip to meet their needs. I paid for the trip out of pocket but don't get reimbursed because I didn't actually make a trip for the client. Assuming it's refundable airfare, I can use the voucher towards a future client trip, and get reimbursed for this at that future time. Perfectly legal, perfectly ethical, no problems. However, if I received the voucher by virtue of trading in my FF points, then I can see the argument that it's wrong to use the voucher for a future trip and get reimbursed. I say this because I know it's considered unethical to book a flight with FF points and try to expense that to the client. In my new method, while I am using points to pay for the trip, I'm first using the points to book a flight, cancel it, get a voucher, and apply the voucher to the new flight.

It's also legal for me to go to Lowes with my Chase Freedom card during Q2 with 5% Lowes CashBack, buy Marriott/Southwest Gift Cards, pay for my flight with those GCs, and expense them at full cost. No problems with that ethically or legally, especially since I can prove I paid for the GCs with cash out of pocket. Thus, maybe if I use my Marriott points to buy Marriott Gift Cards, I can do the same even though it's unethical to book a room with points and expense it.

I'd justify it this way: if you get frequent flier points they are not considered taxable income but they are considered property because your ex-wife could sue you for them as an asset (as per one of the opening scenes in the movie Wedding Crashers).

Justification stated, I feel more comfortable cashing out for Amazon Gift Cards because it feels less risky and more ethical. Not sure what to do with Marriott, Hilton, IPG points since they don't appear to be able to cash out for any GCs worth using.
Question Deals
Interesting strategy to deal with a collection account
Added on : Wednesday May 14th 2014 06:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Silverthunder
Views: 39 Replies: 1 Here is my situation:
I was being careless/ somewhat silly with a small balance that I owed Comcast. First, I was keeping it around so that I could run .01-.10 charges through the account to satisfy rewards checking account requirements. Then, paying it was on my to-do list for a long while. Then, I was going to call them and get them to remove the late charges and then pay the balance. Finally got around to calling them today. It's Comcast and I am getting nothing but the runaround from them. All along, Comcast wasn't sending me bills or collection threats which is what made me too laid back about the whole thing.

I am pretty concerned that this collection account will hit my credit and affect my ability to open a lot of new credit cards like I enjoy doing

the first rep that I spoke to said that it's in Comcast's internal collection department. I told them I will pay it if you first send me something in writing that you will erase/ not report it if I pay in full (need them to send before I make a payment). No luck with that. I got them to have a supervisor call me. Supervisor was no help. Next, I called back and got someone one the phone that said that the account had been turned over to a collection agency. However, there are 5 or 6 ones that they use and he didn't know which one. He gave me the name of 2 of them. I called both of them; one I left a message for and the other one doesn't get any business from Comcast.

Since the collection account is a small amount, I think that I will probably just pay Comcast. This might "pull" the collection account back to Comcast and that way it never was a collection account. I don't believe that Comcast's internal collections department will report to the credit bureaus (this is what the 3rd Comcast rep that I talked to told me & I have personally seen over 1000 credit reports of people that live in an area that Comcast serves and I don't think I have ever seen Comcast reporting directly except for a credit pull).

If I do hear from a collection agency, I have multiple lines of defense. interestingly enough, one of them wont be "oh, I already paid that to Comcast" as they may just change it to a collection account with a 0 balance.
Discussion Deals
g: 6 Posted By: helloimalbert
Views: 1164 Replies: 18 https://creditcards.citicards.com/usc/Travel/AA/2013/q3/Exec/GA/default.htm?BT_TX=1&ProspectID=8289431BF5BC49478648B92A43DF07A8


Probably a repost but as pointed out all over BoardingArea.com and TheRewardBoss.com this card is churnable, which means you can get the bonus over and over again by simply applying for the same card over and over again. The easiest way to hit this spend is sending PayPal to your friends and family for $10,000 using the credit card and eating the 2.9% fee. The math comes out to $290 (2.9% fee on 10k spend) + $250 annual fee = $540 that you are paying to buy 110,000 AA miles.

There are reports on flyertalk that some have received bonuses for their 4th card and are working on their 5th cards. This is an offer not to be missed. If this is a repost, I think it should stay anyway because of the churnable perk that may not have been previously pointed out.

Earn 100,000American Airlines AAdvantage=12px
bonus milesafter you make $10,000 in purchases within
3 months of account opening.=11px2Plus, earn up to$200 in statement credits- earn $1 in statement credits for each $1 spent on purchases within the first 12 months of cardmembership.=11px3Enjoy these VIP benefits for an annual fee of $450*More Luxury. More Privileges

Amazing travel benefits await you:

Admirals Club=11pxMembership Privileges
(a value of up to $500)=11px4
Earn up to 10,000 Elite Qualifying Milesper calendar year=11px5
No Foreign Purchase Fees*
Enhanced Airport Experiencewith dedicated check-in and priority screening and boarding=11px6
First Checked Bag Free=11px+

Services Deals
g: 2 Posted By: helloimalbert
Views: 365 Replies: 2 https://creditcards.citicards.com/usc/Travel/AA/2013/q3/Exec/GA/default.htm?BT_TX=1&ProspectID=8289431BF5BC49478648B92A43DF07A8


Probably a repost but as pointed out all over BoardingArea.com and TheRewardBoss.com this card is churnable, which means you can get the bonus over and over again by simply applying for the same card over and over again. The easiest way to hit this spend is sending PayPal to your friends and family for $10,000 using the credit card and eating the 2.7% fee. The math comes out to $270 (2.7% fee on 10k spend) + $250 annual fee = $520 that you are paying to buy 110,000 AA miles.

There are reports on flyertalk that some have received bonuses for their 4th card and are working on their 5th cards. This is an offer not to be missed. If this is a repost, I think it should stay anyway because of the churnable perk that may not have been previously pointed out.

Earn 100,000American Airlines AAdvantage=12px
bonus milesafter you make $10,000 in purchases within
3 months of account opening.=11px2Plus, earn up to$200 in statement credits- earn $1 in statement credits for each $1 spent on purchases within the first 12 months of cardmembership.=11px3Enjoy these VIP benefits for an annual fee of $450*More Luxury. More Privileges

Amazing travel benefits await you:

Admirals Club=11pxMembership Privileges
(a value of up to $500)=11px4
Earn up to 10,000 Elite Qualifying Milesper calendar year=11px5
No Foreign Purchase Fees*
Enhanced Airport Experiencewith dedicated check-in and priority screening and boarding=11px6
First Checked Bag Free=11px+

Services Deals
Vanguard Mutual Retirement Fund
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 10:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: furlongce
Views: 55 Replies: 0 I am 22 years old, and have a well-paying job and no debt. After doing some research, I have decided to open a ROTH IRA account through Vanguard. I will have roughly 4,000 to invest initially, so I am not hindered by the 3,000 minimum on some of their mutual funds.

It seems like there is a fair amount of controversy regarding their Target Retirement Mutual Funds, so I am wary of putting money into that though I am still considering it as an option.

Although I would prefer to put my money into an account that did not require much attention, I would like to put myself in the best position possible even if that requires more effort to understand the market. I am saving for my first home, and I plan to use as much of the earnings as possible towards that goal.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance!


Question Deals
Dependent Care/Preschool Tax Implications
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 10:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: raringvt
Views: 3 Replies: 0 Wife & I are enrolling our son in a pre-school this fall for 2 days a week at a cost of $350/mo. I'm trying to get a handle on the tax treatment of our expenses. We both work, both have a dependent care flex spending option through our employer (nothing contributed to it for 2014, so unless we have a qualified event this year, we're SOL). After reviewing a generic 1040 & Form 2441 as well as reading a few articles on the topic, I'm not sure I'm 100% clear on our best course of action.

It appears from form 2441 that since our AGI is > $43k (about $68k in 2013--s/b around the same in 2014), the most we can take as a credit for our expenses is 20% of our out of pocket amount. For Aug-Dec that's 350*5=$1,750 * .2 = 350. So our credit would be $350 when our expenses total$1,750?

If I had contributed $1,750 to my dependent care FSA, it would have knocked $1,750 off my wages for tax purposes, which, excluding any technicalities (I'm not trying to be exact here) would reduce my taxable income by $1,750. Assuming we're in the 15% federal tax bracket: 1,750 * .15 = 263 benefit for using the employer dependent care FSA. Also, my state tax (VA 5.75%) would be reduced (since my AGI is reduced) by 1,750 * .0575 = $100. Bringing my total benefit to $363.

Am I following this correctly? It's only slightly adventageous to use my FSA? In 2015, I'll be paying for a full year...but it essentially works out the same. If this is correct, for 2014, I'll just take the credit and for 2015 I will plan to contribute an amount that I KNOW we will spend to my (or wife's) FSA. Any other strategies to make this cheaper?

Usenet Deal, 1 TB for $35 from NewsgroupDirect
Added on : Tuesday May 13th 2014 08:00:36 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dreamsicle
Views: 50 Replies: 0 Newsgroupdirect's Terabyte Tuesday deal is happening again now. It's my preferred way of paying for usenet.

1 TB blocks for $35, expires on May 14.

newsgroupdirect.com/terabyte-tuesday
Mobile Plan downgrade advice
Added on : Sunday May 11th 2014 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gtr2014
Views: 112 Replies: 5 We have 2 lines with AT&T paying about $110/Month

Line 1: Unlimited Data, 550 Shared Mins, 8 Months left in 24 Month Contract
Line 2: 2 GB of Data, 550 Shared Mins, 12 Months left in 24 Month Contract

I am looking to downgrade to lowest plan possible. I do not need data connection and 1 only use about 250 mins per month.

Can anyone suggest what are my options?

Thanks in advance.


Question Deals
25% Off FedEx One Rate Flat Rate Shipping AC Through 05-31-2014
Added on : Sunday May 11th 2014 08:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fivetalents
Views: 100 Replies: 0 Through the end of May, take 25% off FedEx One Rate (simple, flat rate express shipping) with coupon at participating locations when paying for cash, check, or credit card. One coupon per customer, per visit, per shipment (promo code: X-Promotions). Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount, or used for shipments billed to a FedEx account number. Weight limits apply. See Terms and Conditions for exclusions.

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1. Print the coupon above and bring it to your nearest FedEx Office location.
2. Fill out a FedEx Express airbill.
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4. Pack your item or let us help. Packing services start at just $3.99.
5. Present your coupon to our team member when you're ready to ship.

Sending a gift to Mom, a bride and groom or a new grad? Ship using FedEx One Rate pricing and get everything you love about FedEx Express, like world-class tracking and a money-back guarantee1, all at flat shipping rates. Choose from a range of box sizes, plus paks and a tube

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Save 25% on your next shipment with FedEx One RateSM:

Offer valid for FedEx Express shipments using FedEx One Rate pricing paid for at time of tender by cash, check or credit card at participating FedEx Office locations, FedEx World Service Center locations and FedEx Ship CenterSM locations beginning 5/1/2014 and ending 5/31/2014. Offer not valid at FedEx Authorized Ship Centers or FedEx ShipSite locations at OfficeMax. Discount applies to base transportation charges only. Discount does not apply to additional fees, including but not limited to fees for pickup, declared value, and signature service options. One coupon per customer, per visit, per shipment. Offer valid at time of tender only; coupon has no cash value and may not be discounted or credited toward past or future shipments. FedEx Express services eligible for FedEx One Rate pricing and the 25% Off discount include: FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day, and FedEx Express Saver. Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount, or used for shipments billed to a FedEx account number. For FedEx One Rate details, go to fedex.com/onerate. Offer void where prohibited or restricted by law. Services and hours may vary by location. Terms, conditions and weight limits apply. Proper packing required.
g: 2 Posted By: remick
Views: 201 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/How-Repair-Cars-Yourself-Mechanics-ebook/d...

Today only, get this Kindle book for FREE. Regularly priced at $5.99. Read on your PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device.

Are you tired of paying $50 dollars and more just to have your oil changed? Is it aggravating to pay hundreds of dollars for a repair that took the mechanic 2 hours or less to do? Are there repairs that you can learn to do and save money on both the fix and the tow fees to a garage?

New cars come with warrantees, but what happens when your car gets 10 or even 15 years old? You may not be able to buy a new one and the necessary upkeep and car repairs can cost a fortune. Download this book NOW and:
Learn How To Do Simple Fluid Changes.
Learn How To Do Repairs And Save Money Immediately.
Learn How To Do Some Of The More Common And Expensive Smaller Repairs.
Find Out What Basic Tools You Need To Have Around.
Learn How To Keep Your Car Going And Keep Your Transportation Budget Under Control.

A car may be a necessity today but the costs of repairs do not have to drive you to the poor house. Download this book TODAY and start saving money!
Totally Free Deals
Looking for a whole bunch of advice on saving towards a home
Added on : Thursday May 08th 2014 06:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: SyZpuzzler
Views: 84 Replies: 3 Hello,

Here is my entire backstory since I feel it is at least partially necessary to understand the situation:

29 years 5 months, currently working at Allstate making 39k a year in CA. UCLA degree in stats. Didn't finish until I was 26, long story. Current financial situation is:

Renting for $600 a month
12k student loans to one company, 17k to another. Total 29k, anywhere from 2.1% to 5.8%. $130 min payment for first, $210 for second
8.5k lien to Toyota for my 11 Yaris with 55k miles, should last a good while. 1.9% interest. $190 min payment
3.3k balance on a 4.8k limit with something absurd like 15% interest. $72 minimum payment
Car insurance + phone = $180 a month
Gas = roughly $75 a month
Food = varies

Other than that, I don't have many expenses. I go out with my girlfriend of 11 months, sometimes we eat out, or go into San Francisco (I'm currently in Pleasanton), go shopping, buy jigsaw puzzles, etc

Doing the math on the salary, after taxes and health insurance I pocket around $1200 every 2 weeks = $31.2k net a year

My plan, up through last week, was to pay off that 40k debt ASAP and then save for a house, with the aim of only ever purchasing one house in an area I really wanted. At that point I would be married, still single, whatever

At work we had a financial planner come, and he looked over everything and told me I was wrong.

Being good at math and logical thinking, he explained it to me this way:

Instead of paying off your 40k debt asap, you can make minimum payments and open up a savings account with the sole purpose of putting away money each paycheck for real estate. This money is not a 'savings account', it's just named that. This is not my money. I can't go take out 6k in a year when my car dies and I need it. This is another debt, and we can think of it as 'Jeff's future home purchase'.

This is where a part local to me comes in: Livermore, CA supposedly has a buyer program where you only need 3% down. 300k average condo prices, that's 9k. 200 a paycheck for 2 years is about 10k. I would then purchase a condo, mortgage the rest, and continue to do that while paying my minimum debt payments for a few years while the value hopefully goes up. Being that Livermore is a good, growing town in the Bay Area, the odds of this are strong. I would then sell, take the extra money and use it as a down payment on a bigger property, and continue this until I eventually have an actual 2k square foot, 3-4 bedroom house.

He said 'this is how you get wealthy and provide for your family. You can't not take any risks or else you won't own anything until you're 40'

My questions are this:

Supposedly, you can't get a mortgage for more than 34-40% of your total income after debts. The mortgage on that property would be something like $1800, which means I would need a salary of $60k. I can see a few raises within a few years which would put me between $45 and $50, but not $60.

Also, if this program is cancelled or changes, I can't afford it and interest on my other debts are accruing

I always thought you wanted 20% down to avoid PMI, but he says you don't. You need to get in a property you own immediately and start building equity.

My credit is fairly good, I don't know the actual # but I'm pretty sure I will be at least 730, which I understand is the cutoff for the best loans.

If I were to open a savings account for this reason, where should I go and why?

Is this guy right? I just don't see how I'm supposed to be able to afford an $1800 + mortgage, $500 + in other debts, and other expenses when my current monthly take home is ~ $2,500. And even if I got to a point where that was say $3,000, and my debts + mortage would be $2,300, I COULD live off $700, easily. But a bank wouldn't give me a loan because my debt to income isn't high enough

He's worked at this company for 20 years, he's well-trusted, Allstate is a big company and wouldn't have somebody giving this kind of advice if it weren't true or beneficial

I just don't see how it can work

Thanks

Investing Deals
Need Advice on HELOC or to avoid mortgage insurance
Added on : Thursday May 08th 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JayPC
Views: 40 Replies: 1 I am planning to purchase our first house (been renting for all these years). The value of the house will be around 450K and I am planning to put 10% (45K) down. I requested for a pre-qualification from one of the banks and they told me I need to pay Mortgage Insurance since my downpayment is less than 20%. Are there any ways to avoid paying this Mortgage Insurance?

Some one told me that you can open an Home Equity line of Credit along with your mortgage and use that to pay 10% additional to make it 20 to avoid MI. Is it possible since I don't own that home and have no equity in the house? Need help here...
Personal Finance Deals
Buying condo currently owned by the HOA board...a few questions
Added on : Wednesday May 07th 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nwcitizen
Views: 89 Replies: 3 I haven't bought real estate in a good many years. I plan on paying all cash for a condo that was offered to me and is owned by the HOA in the complex that I've been a renter in for the past few years. Is it absolutely necessary that I have an attorney present at the time of closing? This is an all cash deal as I mentioned. I know this may be a dumb question but does it make any difference to pay with a wire transfer or a cashier's check? I live in the state of Washington if that makes any difference. Thank you.
Waiving mortgage contingency and inspection
Added on : Wednesday May 07th 2014 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jroff1
Views: 150 Replies: 10 Wife and I recently placed a bid on a house in our neighborhood. It's a very hot neighborhood in the Boston area, and there is clearly more demand than supply, so most places are selling within a day or two, usually above asking price. We bid on a place where we were told there were 5 bidders. We bid significantly over asking. Found out yesterday that we had the highest bid, but the seller opted to go with another bidder because they had waived the mortgage contingency and had waived their right to negotiate after the inspection for any issues less than $20,000.

Curious to get the FWF crowd's perspective on these tactics in a hot RE market. With regards to the mortgage - I have pre-approval from a mortgage broker for significantly more than what we bid. (Also planning to put down at least 20%). Am I being overly cautious to keep the mortgage contingency in future offers? My understanding is that there are three types of risk in waiving the mortgage contingency:

1. If we for some reason can't get a loan, we lose our deposit which is a sizeable amount of money.
2. If the appraisal comes in below the offer price, we may be stuck making up the difference.
3. If we can't get a good rate, we are stuck paying a higher interest rate

All of these reasons (especially the first) make me wary of waiving the mortgage contingency. I also am wary of waiving the inspection contingency, as most of the houses in our neighborhood are over 100 years old, so there are lots of potentially hidden issues.

At the same time, don't want to always be non-competitive with an offer.

Any ideas on how to be competitive while also protecting myself?
Save my capital or pour it on the student loans?
Added on : Tuesday May 06th 2014 04:00:12 PM
g: 1 Posted By: jdude
Views: 113 Replies: 2 jdude back here. Four years ago I pondered how to approach my $285,000 student loans upon graduation.http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/996270/

Fast forward to today. At age 31 I've made it through a very painful tax season learning the importance of saving investment money within a corporation rather than personally. I'd been saving to find some investments to help pay down the loans for me. Turns out the real estate market where I live is somewhat overpriced and those opportunities haven't materialized. After paying a massive chunk to taxes I'm feeling demoralized on the saving money thing and looking to start aggressively paying down the student loans. For the first couple years out of school my work situation was pretty unstable and I wasn't able to do more than pay the interest on the loans. In the last year I've managed to begin making headway and as of today I still owe $240,374. I'm thinking of dropping my remaining $50k on this then upping my monthly payments to $5,000. This will not leave me much of anything to put towards retirement and I'll continue my FWF existence like a pauper. However I'm just having a hard time finding a stable investment that can beat the 6.3% tax free return of paying down my worst marginal loans.

I expect to earn about $136k and pay about $47k in taxes this year. I have between $5,000-10,000 in annual professional expenses so if I start paying $60k to the loan I'll be living pretty lean for a while.

My alternatives include buying real estate outside my immediate area, funding a tax-deferred retirement account, capitalizing a personal investment corporation and/or acting as a seed investor in a small start-up I've got my eye on.

So what do you say? Go super conservative and pay this sucker down or stick to the original plan and try to get some investment income going?
Personal Finance Deals
mansion sells for $147M in private sale, RE brokers furious
Added on : Monday May 05th 2014 05:00:13 AM
g: 2 Posted By: xerty
Views: 208 Replies: 0 After the deaths of the residents, the mansion was soldby the estate for a record $147M to a very successful, activist hedge fund manager.

http://nypost.com/2014/05/03/activist-investor-buys-east-hampton...

It was amusing to read about the brokers complaining they didn't get their traditional multimillion dollar cut of the deal because it was sold privately instead.
relatives immediately looked to sell the property and didnt use a broker, to avoid paying commissions.Top-notch brokers are furious that the deal was done in secret and not on the open market.The trustees of the estate, one would think, have a fiduciary responsibility to get the top dollar, which would have happened on an open market, one broker fumed.
I guess "top dollar" might also include not paying millions just for shopping the deal. Given the record sale price, I guess the sellers didn't do too badly without a broker.
General Economics Deals
Daughter graduated, now how can I help her long term?
Added on : Monday May 05th 2014 05:00:13 AM
g: 1 Posted By: jesrf
Views: 204 Replies: 9 On Saturday my daughter graduated from college. For the last ten years I have been saving $125 a month to help pay her way. I ended up paying for half, she took loans for the other half. She has about $30k in debt. I wanted her to have some "skin in the game" so she valued it more, & I believe she has.

I still want to help her, my question is how is the best way? I could help with her loans, but I think that's dumb. I considered investing a portion of the $125 in an ira or Roth (maybe 50-75 a month) and putting the rest in a joint account. Just till she's established and making her own way comfortably.

Im really at a loss how best to help her long term, I know some will say I should just keep the money, get a new crown Vic, spend it on H & B, but, I think I want to give her the help I never had. Any suggestions greatly appreciated....

Personal Finance Deals
Paid off Grad School Loans, Now What?
Added on : Saturday May 03rd 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: madcowdisease
Views: 150 Replies: 2 Long story short, I was able to say bye-bye to my student debt earlier this month. My monthly payment was a bit short of $500. In the short term that will go into building my emergency fund, but my question is what I can do with the cash going forward.

A few things:
-Only other debt is ~$13 K auto @ 1.49% (thanks for tipping me off to this rate, FWF!) - contemplating paying this off, but the interest rate being so low...
-I max out my 401(K) and Roth contributions annually.
-No HDHP insurance, so no HSA
-No children, so 529 doesn't seem appropriate
-No house, I am planning on leaving current city in < 1 yr
Personal Finance Deals
Another which student loan to pay off first thread
Added on : Friday May 02nd 2014 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: rifleman940
Views: 70 Replies: 0 I have 2 student loans remaining that I am hitting hard. I'm putting every extra cent towards paying them off as soon as possible. My gut tells me to pay off the lower balance subsidized loan first and snowball the payment into the higher balance loan, but I want to check to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.

Direct Sub Stafford Loan

Original Balance: $5,500.00
Current Balance: $3,861.40
Interest Rate: 5.35% fixed (subsidized)
Monthly Payment: $61.77

Direct Unsub Stafford Loan

Original Balance: $7,000.00
Current Balance: $5,481.77
Interest Rate: 6.55% fixed (unsubsidized)
Monthly Payment: $89.62








Question Deals
British debt collection practices
Added on : Friday May 02nd 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 82 Replies: 0 FWIW -- I recently had occasion to learn about debt collection practices in the UK. I was pretty shocked at how aggressive their "bailiffs" are allowed to be in pursuing repayment of unsecured debt. Some explanatory material below, and some links to additional stuff at the end.

A bailiff is someone who has a legal power to collect certain debts. They may do this by asking you to pay what you owe, or by taking and selling your belongings to raise the money.

If you owe money, a bailiff may visit your home to see if anything you own can be sold to pay the debt. Any money raised from selling belongings is used to pay the bailiff's fees and charges as well as the debts you owe.

Bailiffs are only normally used when the people you owe money to, also known as creditors, have tried other ways to get you to repay your debt. You will normally get a warning that your creditors are considering using bailiffs to get you to repay your debt. If you haven't already contacted your creditor, this is the time to do so. By discussing your problems paying the debt you owe, you may be able to come to an arrangement with your creditor and avoid bailiff action altogether.

What bailiffs can and cant take
If you let a bailiff into your home, they may take some of your belongings to sell.
Bailiffs can take luxury items - eg a TV or games console.
They cant take:things you need - eg your clothes, cooker, fridge, furniture or work tools;someone elses belongings - eg your partners computer.
Youll have to prove that someone elses goods dont belong to you.

What bailiffs can charge
Bailiff fees are fixed. In most cases, if you owe less than 1,500 the fees are:
75 when your case is sent to the bailiff
235 if you ignore a letter from bailiffs and they have to visit you
110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction
Youll still have to pay the bailiff for any action they take against you - like storing your goods or using a locksmith.

If you owe more than 1,500 youll also have to pay a percentage of your debt as an additional fee each time bailiffs visit your home.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26876432
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/campaigns/current_campaig...
Discussion Deals
Discover match - 7% back on min. payment for 12 months YMMV
Added on : Friday May 02nd 2014 09:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dpid
Views: 79 Replies: 0 I got a letter in the mail from Discover. I was going to throw it away thinking it was a bad BT offer.
But instead, this sounds like a great perk. Especially when I was going to pay off my BT balance (I was paying minimum since getting this during the 0% for life, $0 fees offers). But I'll keep letting my automatic payments go on for another year before paying balance off, seems like easy $30 (for me, others might have more benefit if minimum payments are higher) for doing nothing.

Keep a lookout of this in the mail. I'm sure its targeted.

Details:
Call 800-618-5819 to sign up (I'm sure you can find out if you are eligble)
Pay more than minimum balance each month on time
Receive 7% of minimum amount due on next statement as credit (to reduce your balance).
This offer runs from June 2014 statement to May 2015 statement.

see QS for terms & conditions
Credit Deals
Repaying judgement to bankrupt company
Added on : Friday May 02nd 2014 04:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: haloseven
Views: 85 Replies: 0 Hey guys/gals,
My wife has a judgement on her credit from a previous business venture with her ex husband. The whole thing is odd, default judgement in NYC, we live in Texas. For a credit card terminal that never supposedly had a long term lease (common issue with this company made apparent by google). Anyways - were looking to buy a house, in which this judgement must be paid/settled/vacated prior to approval. My question is, according to the research I have done, the company who was awarded the judgement; first funds lllc in New York is no longer in business. How do we go about paying for it, negotiating it, or vacating it? Hoping to accomplish this in 30 days or less.

Any words of advice are appreciated. The judgement was awarded in 2011, with improper service. We are using an attorney in New York, but the process is slow because of the courts backlog there. Hoping we can find another solution.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 5 Posted By: remick
Views: 447 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0O6KW2

4.7 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)

In this digitally dependent world, we are surrounded by buzzwords and acronyms. In Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT you will learn to tear down the walls and make sense out of it all and understand the answers to some of your most common questions:


How Can I Protect My Computer? Unfortunately, malicious software is a reality today. Learn what all those terms mean and how you can protect yourself.

Why Is My Computer So Slow? This is the most common complaint heard when dealing with technology. Learn how to address this yourself simply and safely.

How Can I Surf The Web Safely? It is hard to imagine life before the Internet. Learn how to do so safely and securely for you and your family.

What Do All These Terms Mean? Ever notice how the local computer nerd speaks a language all their own? Read on to remove the mystery of these terms with simple, easy to understand descriptions.

How Do I Set Up Wireless At Home? Wireless networking has become as common as the cold. Learn the proper way to configure and secure your wireless network.


Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT is designed to teach the normal user how to use their computers safely and securely, Using analogies and light humor the author will guide you through the common issues faced daily when dealing with that silicon monster on the desk before them.

By pointing out the many free utilities and services out there, you can gain control over your technology in ways many only thought available to large corporations or those speaking advanced nerd. Using your computer safely and securely should not have to cost you the proverbial arm and leg. For example, did you know you could have superb antivirus control without paying a cent? How about Internet monitoring to keep malicious sites from displaying on you or your childrens computers or tablets? Even that can be yours free.

While designed with the computer novice in mind, even the computer geeks in the audience can learn from the items presented. While the material is geared toward the Windows user, Apple fans will find the information extremely valuable, as the principles and practices discussed affect all users of all operating systems.

Technology should be a tool and not a task.




The 2014 Guide To Free PC Software: Over 150 Superb Programs That Won't Cost You A Single Penny!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HM9B7C2

4.7 out of 5 stars (27 customer reviews)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HM9B7C2
Totally Free Deals
g: 3 Posted By: remick
Views: 294 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0O6KW2

4.7 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)

In this digitally dependent world, we are surrounded by buzzwords and acronyms. In Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT you will learn to tear down the walls and make sense out of it all and understand the answers to some of your most common questions:


How Can I Protect My Computer? Unfortunately, malicious software is a reality today. Learn what all those terms mean and how you can protect yourself.

Why Is My Computer So Slow? This is the most common complaint heard when dealing with technology. Learn how to address this yourself simply and safely.

How Can I Surf The Web Safely? It is hard to imagine life before the Internet. Learn how to do so safely and securely for you and your family.

What Do All These Terms Mean? Ever notice how the local computer nerd speaks a language all their own? Read on to remove the mystery of these terms with simple, easy to understand descriptions.

How Do I Set Up Wireless At Home? Wireless networking has become as common as the cold. Learn the proper way to configure and secure your wireless network.


Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT is designed to teach the normal user how to use their computers safely and securely, Using analogies and light humor the author will guide you through the common issues faced daily when dealing with that silicon monster on the desk before them.

By pointing out the many free utilities and services out there, you can gain control over your technology in ways many only thought available to large corporations or those speaking advanced nerd. Using your computer safely and securely should not have to cost you the proverbial arm and leg. For example, did you know you could have superb antivirus control without paying a cent? How about Internet monitoring to keep malicious sites from displaying on you or your childrens computers or tablets? Even that can be yours free.

While designed with the computer novice in mind, even the computer geeks in the audience can learn from the items presented. While the material is geared toward the Windows user, Apple fans will find the information extremely valuable, as the principles and practices discussed affect all users of all operating systems.

Technology should be a tool and not a task.




The 2014 Guide To Free PC Software: Over 150 Superb Programs That Won't Cost You A Single Penny!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HM9B7C2

4.7 out of 5 stars (27 customer reviews)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HM9B7C2
Totally Free Deals
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 91 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0O6KW2

4.7 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)

In this digitally dependent world, we are surrounded by buzzwords and acronyms. In Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT you will learn to tear down the walls and make sense out of it all and understand the answers to some of your most common questions:


How Can I Protect My Computer? Unfortunately, malicious software is a reality today. Learn what all those terms mean and how you can protect yourself.

Why Is My Computer So Slow? This is the most common complaint heard when dealing with technology. Learn how to address this yourself simply and safely.

How Can I Surf The Web Safely? It is hard to imagine life before the Internet. Learn how to do so safely and securely for you and your family.

What Do All These Terms Mean? Ever notice how the local computer nerd speaks a language all their own? Read on to remove the mystery of these terms with simple, easy to understand descriptions.

How Do I Set Up Wireless At Home? Wireless networking has become as common as the cold. Learn the proper way to configure and secure your wireless network.


Dont Throw IT ~ Get To Know IT is designed to teach the normal user how to use their computers safely and securely, Using analogies and light humor the author will guide you through the common issues faced daily when dealing with that silicon monster on the desk before them.

By pointing out the many free utilities and services out there, you can gain control over your technology in ways many only thought available to large corporations or those speaking advanced nerd. Using your computer safely and securely should not have to cost you the proverbial arm and leg. For example, did you know you could have superb antivirus control without paying a cent? How about Internet monitoring to keep malicious sites from displaying on you or your childrens computers or tablets? Even that can be yours free.

While designed with the computer novice in mind, even the computer geeks in the audience can learn from the items presented. While the material is geared toward the Windows user, Apple fans will find the information extremely valuable, as the principles and practices discussed affect all users of all operating systems.

Technology should be a tool and not a task.
Totally Free Deals
Family financial planning? Wills? Trusts?
Added on : Tuesday April 29th 2014 04:00:04 AM
g: 0 Posted By: letsspendlotsofmoney
Views: 60 Replies: 1 Not sure where to start but here are a few basics:

46 years old
Widowed father of four children ages 12, 20, 21 and 24

Assets:
401k worth about $400k
$100k equity in home I owe about $56k with 28 years remaining and paying and additional $350 each month towards principal
$80k salary
$75k whole life policy from 20 years ago
$500k life insurance through work (thinking I need my own term 15-20years)

What type of estate planning should I do? I don't currently have a will.
Should I create a trust to care for my youngest daughter?
Who should be the beneficiaries of my insurance and 401k if something should happen? children directly? Trust?
How many years of term life should I be thinking? 15 should get my youngest through college
What amounts of insurance? 5-1 X salary? more or less?
If for some reason I were to remarry in the future, how would I protect my children financially? just in case she's a gold digger, and I don't have a lot of gold... Would a trust for the children be the best place? Prenup?

Whay type of lawyer should I use?
Approximate cost to set these types of thing up?

After my wife passed 10 year ago I knew I should have thought about this type of stuff...

I am open to suggestions and no current woman to give you photos of... I don't own a crown vic, M////,
Personal Finance Deals
Navy federal home equity loan
Added on : Friday April 25th 2014 03:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nhan1195
Views: 117 Replies: 1 Hi all,

I am doing a home equity loan with Navy federal and I have a few questions I need your help with.

Quick background: bought the house 14 months ago as REO, now appraised at 74% LTV. I have about $25k credit card debts that I want to consolidate with this loan. The APR on those cards range from 7.9% to 19.99%. The equity loan rate is 6.84% for 15 years. I know you can do a bit better some where else but this one we were ok with as they allow us to borrow up to 90% LTV. Received the HUD today, appointment to sign on Monday. Only issue I see is that they want to pay off the credit cards for me, which is fine but the form request to close all the accounts as well. I know what they try to do is to close them down so I don't run them up again, but considering I've been OK handling my money (the money was mainly expenses during college for my and my wife, not the crazy spending ones). My plan is to pay double the $225 monthly that they say until it's done so it will be done in couple years and looks to be better than my regular routine of paying credit card company.

So, I don't think the bank has the authority/right to tell you to close all your accounts, do they(as a condition to offer the loan)? These credit cards, most of them I had for about 10 years with no late payment. Having to close them down doesn't prevent me from opening new ones, but would that negatively affects my credit history? I plan to call them early on Monday to discuss about this.

Looking forwards to what your thoughts are on this case on what I should tell them. Thank you in advance for your inputs.


Question Deals
buying points ... how paying early will effect ?
Added on : Wednesday April 23rd 2014 08:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: faltutp
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Home loan 3.75 {fixed 30 years} with {buying} 1.125 points. Break even period for me is 52 weeks. Question. How will paying extra every payment or paying the loan early {accelerated payments or yearly push to principle} effect my break even or overall situation... Good or bad idea?

Thanks
Help needed - Credit card company not paying my overpayment
Added on : Wednesday April 23rd 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: deal_maker
Views: 191 Replies: 2 Hi there !

There was an over payment of about 10000 $ to my credit card company. I asked them to transfer to my bank account on April 3rd and they promised to wire transfer it. I called after a week to check with them why they hadn't transferred it yet. "Oh there was a mistake" and they added they will mail across a cheque to my bank address on April 11th. I called back last Friday again and they told it is for the third party who is mailing the cheque and they can't do or guarantee anything at that time. Two days later, I was told it was mailed to my home address. Another representative told it is money transferred to ask your bank. Yesterday they told it was sent by UPS to my home address on April 11th. When I asked tracking number, they said give us 24 hours time and we will get to the bottom of this issue and no call after 24 hours. I need to use this money for family purpose and literally this credit card company is toying upon with the investment. Where do I complain? How do I deal with them? I am paying 8% interest to my bank and until told after 21 days, it hasn't reached me. Please advice. Thanks
Question Deals
Car Insurance - Huge Drop?
Added on : Wednesday April 23rd 2014 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: smc733
Views: 89 Replies: 0 Hi All,

First time poster, long time lurker here. Looking forward to joining some awesome discussions around here.

I have a rather interesting story, I'm wondering if anything can shed light onto this unexpected but appreciated sudden drop in my car insurance rates. I'm with one of the larger companies.

Backstory
I just turned 23
Moved to a different apartment in the same complex, safe, upper-middle class town in MA, ~20min from Boston
Drive a 2011 compact, owned outright. Foreign with good accident ratings.
Been with company for roughly 2 years, same with employer, making in the high 50s. No credit inquiries in these last two years

When moving, my company re-processed my insurance rates.

My premium was a little above $2k a year before moving, but in changing the address, the new premium is $1,200 annually, NOT for the rest of the year (Yes, a $800 drop). About the only things I can think that could have influenced this drop are:
-6 years with license
-6 year old accident aged off (MA law), yes, I got in an accident right after getting my license. There are no other violations on my driving record.

Could the accident coming off REALLY have that much of an influence? Surely it wasn't moving in the same zip code. Should I expect a "we screwed up" letter soon? This figure does seem in line with what many my age are paying, though, I was always paying more than most of my peers.
Personal Finance Deals
Pay Tuition with Credit Card for Point & Minimum Spend
Added on : Tuesday April 22nd 2014 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gaf2255
Views: 20 Replies: 0 I am taking classes in the Summer semester and have accepted student loans. From what I have been reading it states that the funds will be disbursed directly to the university and and overage will be paid to the student via check. What I would like to do is use my credit card to pay my tuition to get the points, and also hit minimum spend requirements, then take the loan funds and pay off the credit cards. Does anybody have experience with this? I was thinking about paying the university directly with my credit card prior to the loan getting disbursed and then waiting for a check from them returning the full amount since it has already been paid.
New User Question Deals
Tired of paying $10-$15 for Passport or Visa Pictures?
Added on : Tuesday April 22nd 2014 07:00:12 AM
g: 2 Posted By: kingfrugal
Views: 223 Replies: 0 Here is a web site www.idphoto4you.com. You can up-load any picture and they have a cropping tool that can crop ordinary picture to correct size passport, visa, PAN card for India, and other ID photos from many countries. It is FREE - they don't even ask you for your e-mail address. Once done, it will produce a jpeg file that you can take it to WalMart and get it printed for 20 cents.

If you want to apply for US passport online the US govt. has a tool that will crop your image to the correct US passport size (2"x2"). You can up load that file with your online passport application. It is also totally FREE.

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/...IG_cropper.swf

I personally like the other site better. It also allows rotation of the crop box to fix slanted head.
Totally Free Deals
Free Overnight Shipping on Fresh Cut Flowers on Amazon
Added on : Monday April 21st 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 1 Posted By: zimzim
Views: 362 Replies: 1 Search for Fresh Cut Flowers in Grocery on Amazonand select Free Shipping.by Amazon.

I was looking to buy flowers online for an Admin at work for Admin Professionals Day (Wed). Nothing annoys me more than paying for overnight shipping. I see Amazon is now selling fresh cut flower arrangements from a company who I have used before (KaBloom) with free overnight shipping for the cost of only the shipping at some other sites. They also have some from a company I hadn't heard of before called Benchmark Bouquets, also with free shipping. My apologies to anyone who doesn't appreciate how hot this is...
Flowers Deals

Amazon Coupons
Deadbeat tenants? What can I do?
Added on : Saturday April 19th 2014 05:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sirthor
Views: 45 Replies: 2 I have a rental home, only property I have. We have a tenant who is in the home currently, she does not pay rent per the lease. We make rent due on the 1st on the month but must be paid by the 10th. She has been late several months, and tries to make several partial rent payments through out the month. I plan on evicting her, she is late on the rent and on paying back on the electric bill she stuck me with due to her not changing the utilities over for the first two months.


Is there anyway to "tarnish" her record for poor Payments? Could this be reported to a credit bureau somehow as bad debt on her part? I am just tired of dealing with deadbeat renters, and people not paying the rent on time. The home is in Kentucky, if that makes a difference.

Does anyone have any pointers on what to do in this type of situation
General Economics Deals
avoiding auto sales tax
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 10:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gooseman13
Views: 97 Replies: 1 I live in California but am moving to Texas later this year. Could I:

buy a car in Oregon, paying no sales tax but just registration fee?
Import it to Texas. TXhas a use tax, but from what I read it is not charged to new residents (there is just a $90 fee in lieu of 6.25% tax).

Car would be in CA for fewer than the 20 Day maximum to register an out of state car...
Tax Deals
Family farm dispute
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: skagen
Views: 49 Replies: 1 My wife's father and grandfather had a falling out some time ago. Her father had helped save the family farm by contributing a good amount of money starting back in 1986. There was a lot of animosity that arose when there was discussion about paying him back around 1997. Basically, the borrower (grandpa) wanted to pay $50,000 as payment in full, and the lender (wife's father) wanted $100,000. As is common with many family arrangements (or so I hear) there wasn't a great deal of documentation. Things went rather sour, and basically all relations ended.

Fast forward to 2014, and grandfather is in his mid 90s, and there appears to be some wish to reconcile at least this difference.

Here are the details.

During the period of 1986 through probably no later than 1992, there were somewhere between $36k (reasonably substantiated) and $50k in payments fromwife's father to grandpa("it could have been as high as this").
In 1997, an offer was made from grandpa to wife's father in the amount of the $50k. Wife's father, wanting $100k, disagreed. Things clearly got heated and relations broke off. No money changed hands.

I've generally been seen as a fairly objective and logical person, and so I was asked to put together my thoughts on what would be fair. I told my wife that the folks on fatwallet would likely have a lot of good insight, so please don't let me down.

While I don't know the exact payments and when they occurred (I have just $36k-$50k basically, starting from 1986 and going for a few years), I gave them a spreadsheet to work with and my opinions on the interest rate that would be reasonable. There was already some recognition by the executor of grandpa's trust that interest would be paid as he had initially stated "4.7% seems like a fair interest rate" with respect to the 1997 payout offer.

My suggestion was this -
Use annual mortgage rate averages from 1986-1997 against the principal. 1997 was when the payout was not accepted, and I think it changes the way I'd think interest should be calculated.
Post 1997, even though other asset classes would have outperformed, use inflation. While CPI may or may not be a great gauge of inflation to some, it's a gauge and it'd be a way of trying to pay him today the same amount that would have been paid in 1997.

The funny thing is that if they had just split the difference at the time, it'd have been about right based on my calculations.

Any input? I would really like to help find a fair solution for wife's family.
Question Deals
Realtor Rebates and Tax Implications
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JSnuka
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Here's my situation:

I'm buying a new construction house for ~600k. My real estate agent is my fiancee's father and works as an independent contractor through a national real estate company. He's offerred to split his portion of the commision with us. As part of the deal, the seller is paying all closing costs (up to 6%). My interest rate is already locked and mortgage amount approved. I tried to get the rebate applied to my closing, but my lender told me that normally, any real estate agent contribution/rebate would go towards closing costs -- but in my case, the seller is already paying closing costs. Also, he told me that it is illegal for the agent's rebate (enticement?) to be applied towards the down payment. He claims that there is no way to apply the rebate prior to closing and that it would have to be done afterwards and that the real estate agent will have to pay taxes on the full commission first.

1) How is the best way to structure the commission rebate/refund so that neither the real estate agent nor the buyer show that amount as earned income (and so neither has to get hit with paying taxes on it)?

2) Does it have to be done prior to/during closing?

3)Does it have to be disclosed on the HUD and/or does the actual money transfer have to take place at closing?

4) Is it any different taxwise if the agent writes me a check after closing for the full amount of the rebate and then claims the rebate as a business expense once he files his taxes?

I know rebates are typically not a taxable event, but with all the conflicting information out there, I want to make sure we do this the best way.

Thanks,

JS
American Express Platinum Card 100,000 MR Points/$450 Fee TARGETED
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lotusgardener
Views: 573 Replies: 13 Recently went on an App-O-Rama to get some points for a few vacation this year, and two months later I received this offer from AMEX.

100,000 MR Points after $3k/3 months.
$450 Annual Fee

$200 Airline Fee Credit (1 Specific Airline) for bag fees, in flight drinks, flight change fees etc.
Priority Pass for $99
Hotel Benefits

So the FW question here is, is it worth the $450 for the quick $1,000.00. The mathematician inside me says yes, my instincts are weary about paying an upfront fee to get the points. Am I crazy???
Credit Deals
Help with budget
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 10:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: elektroshok
Views: 213 Replies: 2 Hello -

Once again, new to the forums but am already getting great info from perusing.

I'll be starting residency in July (one year somewhere then 5 somewhere else) and really want to start off right with the budgeting and saving.

Student loans as follows:
160k unsub at 6.8
17k sub at 6.8
13k private at 7.9

I plan, during residency, to do income based repayment which puts my monthly loan payments (on the govt loans) at 350/mo going up to about 440/mo at the end of residency.

My plan for the first year is as follows:
3188/mo post tax
Per month:
-100 utilities
-700 rent
-460 roth
-500 (for jul-nov to get $2500 tax deduction on loans)
-500 for private loan

This will leave me (on average since I'm paying the 2500 in the first five months) ~$1200/mo for spending/saving/other.

Trying to be realistic and still be able to have fun, I think all in all I could probably spend 5-700 per month on food/fun. I had planned to just save the rest in a savings or no fee mutual fund or something.

For the next 4 years I'll be in a different city with higher rent (since I think I have been convinced to rent instead of buy by everyone here).
This program will have 403b starting right away, after 1 year they match 1:1 up to 6% and after four years there I would be vested 60% of their contributions.
Also, those four years there will be increased income beyond what I have budgeted below from moonlighting but it wont be consistent so I did not include it in the budget yet

My plan here is as follows (My income will go up around 3k per year for these four years - this is just the first year for this example):
3526/mo post tax
Per month:
-1000 rent
-100 utilities
-500 loans (IBR payment and difference directly to principal)
-460 roth
-465 401k (10%)
-~150 (in lieu of SS tax)

This leaves me with about 800 or so a month for spending/saving. My plan was to use what I could to finish paying of the private loan until that is gone.

As far as any extra money from moonlighting - my initial plan was to just dump all this into principal of the loan. Does that seem like a good idea?
I know there is the 10 year public loan forgiveness thing, for which I'm going to do the paperwork every year for but my plan is to not work at a public institution after I'm finished which is why I'm going to try to pay a little more each month to principal beyond the IBR payments I need to make.

Any thoughts/changes/comments are much appreciated as I really want to start off on the right foot and not be even more behind than I am now with regards to savings and retirement.

Thanks



Personal Finance Deals
American Express Platinum Card 100,000 MR Points/$450 Fee
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: lotusgardener
Views: 304 Replies: 5 Recently went on an App-O-Rama to get some points for a few vacation this year, and two months later I received this offer from AMEX.

100,000 MR Points after $3k/3 months.
$450 Annual Fee

$200 Airline Fee Credit (1 Specific Airline) for bag fees, in flight drinks, flight change fees etc.
Priority Pass for $99
Hotel Benefits

So the FW question here is, is it worth the $450 for the quick $1,000.00. The mathematician inside me says yes, my instincts are weary about paying an upfront fee to get the points. Am I crazy???
Credit Deals
Help Me Figure Out Sales Tax Charged on Gift Cards at Lowe's
Added on : Thursday April 17th 2014 08:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Compeek
Views: 126 Replies: 1 To make use of the current 5% Discover category, I just went to Lowe's in a town in Illinois and bought these three gift cards:

Shell - $25.00
Google Play - $10.00
Virgin Mobile - $30.00 (technically a top up card)

Subtotal: $65.00

I was charged $2.85 in sales tax (~4.38% of $65.00). Sales tax in this town is 8% on normal items, but I was not expecting any sales tax on gift cards.

I bought a Shell gift card at a Lowe's in a different town recently and paid no sales tax (but there is sales tax on that town on normal items).

Can somebody help me make sense of this? Clearly I wasn't charged the normal sales tax rate on the total, but the numbers don't make sense even if I was only charged it on one or two of them.

My guess is the Virgin Mobile top up card is treated differently, but 8% of $30.00 is $2.40, not $2.85.

I'm slightly annoyed that I canceled out most of the 5% Cash Back I earned by paying sales tax, but at least I didn't lose anything. Mostly I want to figure this out so I can buy more gift cards at 5% Cash Back and not pay sales tax. Like I said, I bought another Shell card recently and paid no tax, so there must be some special thing here I'm missing. I'm guessing the gas card is not the problem, so if I should only buy gas gift cards, that's fine, but it would be nice to know exactly so I can diversify.

Thanks!
Credit Deals
Best Strategy to pay future wife's student loan debt
Added on : Wednesday April 16th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sullim4
Views: 63 Replies: 1 Basic situation:

Me:
Age 29
2013 AGI: $165k (software engineer)
Only debt is a 15 yr fixed mortgage @ 2.875%, 231k remaining balance, 14 yrs left
$40k in company stock, dividends are roughly 3% per year
$65k in liquid savings
$162k in 401(k) (78% or so is Roth)

Her:
Age 27
2013 AGI: $58k (civil engineer)
Student Loan Debt: $6k private loan @ 6.5%; $22k consolidated sub Stafford @ 6.1%; $26kconsolidatedunsub Stafford @ 6.1%; $12k Perkins @ 2.8%; $3k Perkins @ 2.5%; $7k parent PLUS loan that dad is responsible for, but she's paying on @ 5%. She is on IBR right now.
$10k in liquid savings
No other debt
$10k in 401(k) (0% is Roth)

We are getting married at the end of May. We will be combining finances at that time; due to mutual religious beliefs we currently live separately. Her parents didn't help her out at all with her education and so she's saddled with a ton of student loan debt. I want to figure out the best way to pay down this debt and I have a few ideas that I'm throwing around, and would like advice on what the best strategy might be. When we marry, obviously the student loan deduction goes out the window (she's currently taking the full $2500 per year). We plan on lopping $10k off of the loans via her liquid savings once we get married.

Option 1:
Live off my salary, and use her salary to exclusively pay off the loans in order of highest to lowestinterest rate. This would amount to payments around $3200 per month, and by my calculations, would pay off the loans in a little over 2 years. The con to this one is that I'd like to max out her 401(k), her company match is 15% of all contribution... andfollowing thisoptionwould take a big chunk out of what we could put towards loans.

Option 2:
Combination of selling stock and taking money out of savings, pay off loans now, and simply pay my savings back over a 2-3 year period. This puts our liquid cash fairly low and I'd rather hold onto the money, but that is hard to justify given the paltry interest rates I'm earning and what the loans cost to hold.

Option 3:
Take out a loan against my 401(k) to pay off her loans, and then pay it back with interest, probably throwing more than the minimum at it. I think the market is headed down this year, so I might be sheltering my money against a correction by doing this. I feel secure in my job, so I don't think it is likely that I will need to pay the balance immediately in the case of a layoff.

Option 4:
Jump on some 0% APR bandwagons, balance transfer the student loans over to the cards, pay off remaining balances with stock/savings, and pay cards off by the time the 0% expires. The con here seems to be BT fees, though the Chase Slate seems like an appealing option here.

Any other thoughts?
Personal Finance Deals
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!

1 - Buy a Phone & Plan

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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Includes unlimited talk, text, data, picture messaging, and global text. First 250 MB is at 3G/4G speeds.
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Includes unlimited talk, text, data, picture messaging, and global text. First 2 GB is at 3G/4G speeds.

Things you should know
This deal is available for a limited time. Dr. Who just broke our time machine so...is it 1997?
Must purchase 2-month pack on $40 or $50 Unlimited Everything Plan.
2-Month Pack "card" valid for activation only. Card/PIN number cannot be used for topping up account.
Remember, PTel Mobile is a no-contract wireless carrier, so you don't have to sign a long term contract to get this deal. However, if you're famous, can we have your autograph?
Coverage is not available in all areas. Please check our coverage map to make sure PTel is available in your area.
To learn more about our different rate plans and to see which one fits you best, please visit our plans page.
4G is not available in all areas. In order to enjoy 4G data speeds, you must have a 4G capable device. ('G' is our favorite letter)
We hired a gazillionaire to run our shipping department and he insists on paying for your shipping. So free shipping for you!
We only ship within the U.S.
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
$10 off $30 or more Pamper yourself with $10 off any purchase of $30 or
more, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Use code PAYPALSALE

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.



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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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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