Debt forgiveness is a fantastic thing for most people, as it means less than the whole of a debt has been paid though the debt has been satisfied. However, it’s considered taxable income and the lapse of a debt forgiveness tax break for foreclosures or short sales of homes is set to bite some taxpayers.
Debt forgiveness does not get one off the hook from Uncle Sam
Millions of people breathe sighs of relief every year when granted debt forgiveness. Also called debt relief, debt cancellation, it’s where a loans lender of some sort, like a credit card company, mortgage lender or [...]
In their efforts to save money, many car shoppers go the used car route. Unfortunately, that means that they’re forced to buy into the used car sales experience of hard sell hyperbole. Know what you’re getting into before you buy. Here are some used car sales tactics to beware.
Used car sales tactics No. 1 – The hard sell
Aggressive salespeople figure that they can twist an indecisive or otherwise weak customer into a big sale. You’re on the defensive, and the salesperson doesn’t give you a moment to breathe or walk out of the dealership. The best defense is knowledge of [...]
Colored eggs and chocolate bunnies be damned, for many, no treats say Easter quite like the chick-shaped marshmallow confections knows as Peeps. This Easter, the pop-culture holiday sensation will be 60 years old, with no intention of retiring.
Power to the Peeps!
Just Born Inc. has been making Peeps since 1953. And while growth has been slow compared to other companies, it has never lost money and closed with record profits in 2012. Sweet things, it appears, are resistant to recession.
In that time, the humble, unassuming marshmallow chick has gained pop icon cult status. A new holiday TV ad for the confections [...]
A recent InsuranceQuotes.com survey found that only one-third of respondents had renters insurance. While it’s probably a ploy to get more people to buy renters insurance from InsuranceQuotes.com, it does raise the question of why more people should at least think about it.
Renters insurance not carried by most renters
There are damn few things left anymore that don’t require or have some form of insurance industry that springs up around it. Car insurance, home insurance, renters insurance, phone insurance, life insurance, the list goes on.
Pity there isn’t “running out of beer” insurance. Now THAT is insurance worth paying for.
One type, renters [...]
I have something I feel I must get out of the way before continuing: I’m fat. Like many people, I find excuses to keep from engaging in a regular exercise program. So while I won’t claim to be an authority from experience on the matter, I can say that I plan to utilize many of the following techniques to help myself. These are some of the best tips today to start exercising, find continued inspiration to exercise and lose weight.
Start exercising tip No. 1 – Apps
Yes, when it comes time to start exercising, there’s an app for that. Health and [...]
In recent years, more people have become more amenable to prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, as a prerequisite for marriage. Prenups are good ideas in principle, because it protects assets, guards against liabilities and so forth, but only if and when they are enforceable.
More getting prenups as more people warm to them
In recent years, various reports have emerged of more people warming to the idea of prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, are contracts between two about-to-wed people, establishing certain ground rules for marriage.
Most prenups address division of assets in the event of divorce or death, such as protecting assets held [...]
A recent Congressional hearing was held, where Congresspersons lit into the Federal Reserve and Treasury officials over money laundering enforcement. There isn’t a single large bank that hasn’t been implicated and the industry apparently isn’t able to not engage in illegal activity.
Oversight lax as government regulators don’t catch money laundering
Money laundering is probably the oldest form of financial crime. Ill-gotten gains obtained by criminals like drug cartels or terrorist groups, is deposited in crooked banks and “cleaned,” so criminals can conduct financial transactions. It’s a crime basically everywhere, but the most relevant American law is the Bank Secrecy Act, which [...]
Managing others takes particular aspects of character, presentation and experience to do well. Sometimes, however, it is instructive simply knowing what not to do. Here are some of the most common mistakes managers make, wringing every drop of malaise and misery from what should be an energetic, collaborative workplace – as well as some tips for making things right.
Common mistakes managers make No. 1 – As clear as mud
If a manager is unable to deliver clear instructions, it becomes impossible for the group to work toward a satisfactory common goal. Employees without clearly defined goals are more prone to whiling [...]
Last year, a curious invention called “DipJar” was released for testing in small number of businesses, which has a credit card reader so people can tip using plastic. Results haven’t been fantastic, though there are issues with non-cash tips to begin with.
DipJar not exactly a smashing success
In summer of 2012, buzz got around the news wires about a new invention called the DipJar. It was not, as some might have believed, a jar that is marketed exclusively to tobacco chewing enthusiasts, but instead a tip jar, for the twenty-first century.
It’s a plastic contraption about the size of a coffee grinder. [...]
To sleep: perchance to hit the next day’s meetings hard. Nowhere is this more true than on the road, where the frequent business traveler, weary from shuttling in and out of connecting flights, rental car counters and taxis, needs to be broken like a wild colt. Such is their inability to rein it in for sleeping and waking. And there are now hotels that offer a sleep concierge to go along with the traditional wake-up call. Be sure to ask for your work-down call during your next stay, when mornings need to be focused on things other than what’s on [...]
The United States, generally considered a first-world nation, is rapidly losing its standing if one consider the security and life-style of it average citizens after retiring from the work force. According to a new survey, the U.S. ranks low in terms of retirement security and even lower in healthcare.
Global retirement security indexed
A new report by Paris-based Natixis Global Asset Management examines “how well retired citizens live in 150 nations,” according to 20 measures, including wealth, healthcare costs and “quality of life.” It’s conclusions surprised even those who prepared the report. The United States, long considered the place of opportunities, ranked [...]
Carrying balances on too many credit cards can damage your credit score. In order to staunch the bleeding and perhaps obtain a better interest rate, many consumers consider consolidating credit via balance transfer. Does doing this hurt your credit score? Here are some of the ins and outs.
Does consolidating credit hurt your credit score?
Credit consolidation doesn’t add to your total debt right out of the gate, so in that sense, it does not negatively impact your credit. However, shifting balance from multiple credit cards onto one card sends the credit utilization on that one card way up, likely to the [...]
How can you earn a free airline flight on a rewards card without delving into frequent flier miles? One way is to use the American Express Blue Sky credit card. Cash back and a variety of other benefits make Blue Sky more valuable, as some of the rewards can be used to book a flight at any time. Advance reservations and shorter-distance trips give AMEX holders real value for their dollars.
American Express Blue Sky Preferred on points
For every dollar spent on an American Express Blue Sky Preferred credit card, the cardholder earns 1.33 cents per dollar. That applies to all [...]
The public outcry over school shootings has remained at a fever pitch since the Dec. 14, 2012, tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Increased gun control has been on the minds of many, but South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard appears to have something else in mind. On Friday, Daugaard signed into law a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns in the classroom. Legal experts believe that this makes South Dakota the first U.S. state to allow teachers to carry firearms. Some states already allow armament, but not guns.
Guns in schools miles from emergency response
Policy experts assert [...]
Unlike most retailers, Costco is siding with President Obama in his call to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. In fact, it would do the President one better, supporting a minimum hourly wage of $10.10.
New bill to raise minimum wage
In his last State of the Union address, President Obama recommended raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. Since then, a new bill, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, has been introduced, seeking to raise it even higher, to $10.10 per hour, and thereafter indexing it keep up with inflation.
The federal [...]