Is the economy getting better, or are we just adjusting to the drop? People around the country are living pay check to pay check. Don’t fret, there actually have been hopeful signs that the economy really is on the rebound. Manufacturing activity still is rising. Car sales are still happening, even years after the auto bailout.
Home sales and Employment are on the rise
Even though there seems to be increases and drops in home sales, overall the number of sales for the past year has increased. Also, while unemployment is still at unbelievable levels, the number of unemployed seems to be [...]
Same sex marriage was officially made legal in Washington State last November. Now the State is seeing revenue and increase in the economy because of this bill. Besides your moral or religious convictions regarding same sex marriage, there is no denying that it is an economic booster. The first quarter reports should be coming out soon, but just how much money do you think same sex marriage will bring in?
Projected Revenue from Same Sex Marriage
Besides the cost of marriage licenses, there is also the added benefit to the community of more people using local services for their weddings. These boosts [...]
When Goldman Sachs invested $450 million into Facebook, it was big news on Wall Street. They made the news again when people sued Facebook and Goldman Sachs for misleading investors. Where does this leave people today? The Goldman Sachs Facebook deal, plus an additional $50 million investment from a Russian firm, gave Facebook an implied market value of $50 billion, but the question of Facebook’s true value led to the lawsuits.
The Goldman Sachs Facebook deal
The Goldman Sachs investment gave the social networking phenom more implied market value than eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner. Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm, [...]
Oil giant BP has agreed in a BP Settlement to pay the federal government $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest such settlement in history. BP still faces civil suits, but don’t worry. It is still making enormous profits. I am curious who has actually seen payouts yet from BP?
BP Settlement and still is doing fine
But don’t cry for BP. While it lost $17.2 billion in the quarter that the spill occurred two years ago, today it is more than profitable. In the ensuing 9 quarters it [...]
Statistics show that 2011 saw a record number of people enrolling in credit unions. Consumers continued to leave traditional banks in reaction to unending fees, and out of a continued mistrust of those institutions following the economic downturn.
A record 91.8 million members
The ranks of the nation’s credit unions swelled as another 1.3 members joined their ranks in the last year, according to figures presented by the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA collected the data from 7,094 federally insured
credit unions across the nation. A record 91.8 million people now bank with the member-owned institutions.
Bank transfer day
Bank Transfer Day was on [...]
A lot of people like to consume bottled water, believing it to be cleaner and more posh than tap water. However, there are some bottled waters that aren’t what they claim to be.
Strike over bottled water scam at famed restaurant
Workers at a posh New York restaurant have gone on strike recently over unfair labor practices and a scam they claim the owner is running. The Central Park Boathouse, according to the New York Times, is accused of firing workers such as waiters, cooks and dishwashers, for expressing interest in joining a restaurant workers’ union, which is illegal under the laws [...]
Last year, about 75 percent of Americans who filed tax returns received a refund. The average amount of those refunds was around $2,800. While many say they will use that money responsibly, recent data shows much of it is used for splurges. How do you plan to spend your 2012 tax refund? Remember, even though it is 2013, your tax refund is for the year 2012.
How you say you will spend your tax refund
According to a survey released in February by TD Ameritrade, 47 percent of those expecting a tax refund planned to use it to beef up savings. Meanwhile, [...]
Several decades ago, Congress enacted a tax credit designed to help lower-income families called the Earned Income credit. It has many critics who liken it to welfare in reverse, but the credit is probably one of the best tax credit devised.
Many kept afloat by Earned Income credit
In 1975, according to US News and World Report, Congress created a tax credit to help low-income people called the Earned Income Tax Credit, also called the Earned Income credit. It’s hung on since, at times by the skin of its teeth, and was expanded several times.
People under certain income thresholds get a tax [...]
As of this writing, tax filing day is one month away. Many of you still haven’t filed your taxes yet though, have you? You know who you are. If you were married last year and are still debating whether to file jointly or to check the “married filing separately” status, here is the lowdown.
When not to check “married filing separately”
In most cases, it makes sense for a married couple to file jointly. There are many reasons for this beyond that there is only one tax return to worry about preparing.
The figure at which the tax brackets begin for joint filing [...]
Every year, a number of people forget to file their tax returns, even though the IRS can work out the difference between what people pay and what they were paid. As a result, a huge amount of unclaimed tax refunds are just sitting there, waiting to be cashed in – almost $1 billion, in fact.
Yes, there are unclaimed tax refunds
One would think that unclaimed tax refunds couldn’t happen. People love getting refunds, because it’s getting cash back from those Black Hands over at the Internal Revenue Service. One would be wrong.
Mostly, it’s down to unfiled tax returns. People forget and [...]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule on March 14 that will allow it greater oversight of non-bank firms that collect and keep records of student loans, both federal and private.
CFPB ‘oversight to the student loan market’
The new rule would give the federal watchdog the authority to audit the activities and procedures of non-bank student loan debt servicers that have more than a million clients. These companies handle billing and collection chores for student loan leaders. The CFPB already has oversight of large banks that act as student loan servicers.
“Our rule would bring new oversight to the [...]
Following its disastrous campaign for the last presidential election, the Republican party has faced some bouts of self-examination, with many within the party calling for reform and greater acceptance of minorities if it wishes to be the party of the people it once flattered itself to be. Rand Paul himself recently said “The Republican Party leadership is stale and moss-covered.” Yet, if a recent Conservative Political Action Conference speech given by Marco Rubio, famous for guzzling water in the middle of his rebuttal to the President’s last State of the Union address, is any indication, those realizations are being ignored [...]
An experiment was announced last year in Austin, Texas, called “Homeless Hotspots,” where homeless people were paid to carry around mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. There was a lot of criticism made of exploitation and so forth, but regardless, the experiment actually worked.
Homeless Hotspots courted controversy
There’s an annual festival in Austin, Texas called “South By Southwest,” usually abbreviated SXSW. There’s a lot of art, music, food, films and so forth – it’s basically the Gathering of the Juggalos for hipsters.
SXSW delenda est.
For SXSW 2012, BBH Labs, the experimental division of marketing company Bartle Bogle Hegarty, announced a charitable experiment, called “Homeless Hotspots.” [...]
The Department of Veterans Affairs, a.k.a. the VA, is swamped with a growing backlog of claims, a recent probe found. As a result, many veterans are waiting a year or more to receive the benefits they earned in the service of their country.
VA backlog grows 2,000 percent in four years
According to a new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the average wait time for veterans filing claims is 273 days. For those filing initial claims,the wait is even longer, between 316 and 327 days. If those first time filers are in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New [...]
Airfares and lodging rates keep going up, making travel increasingly difficult in a fragile global economy. However, with sharing sites like Airbnb, the lodging costs at least can be significantly reduced, if you are willing to embrace the unconventional.
Unconventional lodging through Airbnb
The website Airbnb matches up travelers with those willing to rent out rooms or spare homes, often for a fraction of the cost of standard hotel lodging. Others, willing to share with strangers, are also cross-indexed. By typing in your destination and the dates of your stay, you can see what is available for your travel plans.
Oddly, the site’s [...]
It absolutely is possible to grow your own food by gardening and at that, to do year-round gardening to keep the supply going. Year-round gardening doesn’t even have to be that expensive, as one doesn’t necessarily need a state-of-the-art laboratory to do it.
Year-round gardening can let you grow your own food
There are a few reasons to grow your own food. Firstly, it can save money. Once one buys seed, soil and adds in the cost of watering, fertilizer, any pesticides one might use, adding up all the units of produce can, though not necessarily will, yield a lower price per [...]
More than 600,000 taxpayers using H&R Block could see lengthy delays in the procession of their tax returns, due to a filing error. Most of those affected are college students. The delay could affect the applications for federal financial aid for many.
H&R Block blunder involves education credits
The delay has to do with those using Form 8863, used to claim education credits, filed before February 22, because of new methods the IRS is using to process the forms. Students wishing to claim the credit encountered earlier delays because of the changes, with the IRS not accepting filings using the form before [...]