How To Get Out Of Debt http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com Practical Tips And Advice That Will Help You Learn How To Get Out Of Debt Mon, 25 Nov 2013 18:38:10 +0000 en hourly 1 Mending Your Broken Credit Heart, Post-ID Theft http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/mending-your-broken-credit-heart-post-id-theft http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/mending-your-broken-credit-heart-post-id-theft#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 18:37:05 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1802 Identity theft is on the rise. There were roughly 12 million new identity theft victims in the U.S. last year, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research 2013 identity theft report, and that number is up for the second straight year. That works out to one new victim every three seconds, and if you or […]]]> Identity theft is on the rise. There were roughly 12 million new identity theft victims in the U.S. last year, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research 2013 identity theft report, and that number is up for the second straight year. That works out to one new victim every three seconds, and if you or someone you love was one of them, you need to take measures to repair your credit.

File a Police Report

When you learn your information has been stolen, go to the police and make a formal report of identity theft, even if you’ve already contacted your creditors. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, a police report gives you protections under federal and state laws and helps assure your creditors you are not committing fraud, since the report is considered your sworn testimony that a theft occurred. It also provides you with a security freeze on your accounts.

File the report with the police department where the crime took place or your local police department, if that is not possible. Obtain a copy of the report and submit it to your creditors and the major credit bureaus.

Scan for Accounts You Did Not Open

Identity theft can take many forms, including loans taken out in your name, unauthorized purchases and new lines of credit that you did not open. After you freeze all your accounts, you are required to identify the accounts you opened, the ones you did not open and any that were compromised when your identity was stolen.

Identity theft protection services that monitor your data for threats to your identity can help you identify the fraudulent accounts. They can also help find and remove your information from websites you did not authorize to have your data.

Show Records to the Credit Bureaus

After your accounts are frozen and you’ve made a police report, ask for a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. In cases of identity theft, you are able to obtain a free report to identify fraudulent accounts and make repairs, according to Lifelock. Send a letter to the credit agency identifying the accounts that are not yours, and include any copies of documents that will substantiate this.

Overcoming identity theft takes time and requires some work, but it’s necessary so you are not held responsible for the actions of others. With the right tools and steps, it is possible to recover from theft and move forward with accurate credit information.

Guest Author : Kevin Chung

Kevin is an accountant and business consultant with a penchant for muscle cars.

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Long-distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/long-distance-business-travel-and-crisis-preparedness http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/long-distance-business-travel-and-crisis-preparedness#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 19:45:53 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1789 Guest Post- J. Vanne

I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing.  Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol”  human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, any more than a man can […]]]> Guest Post- J. Vanne

I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing.  Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol”  human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, any more than a man can pull on his own bootstraps and lift himself up to Heaven.  We may be fortunate enough to see a renaissance in the West, much like what Reagan and Thatcher brought to light.  However, there are other indicators that do not bode well: For example, you may wish to review Reinhart and Rogarth’s book This Time is Different:  Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, on the utterly crushing nature of what out-of control debt can do to an economy and society that allowed it.  Or perhaps google work by Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, who has noted that if all unfunded liabilities in the U.S. were totalled, we are looking at not $16 trillion-ish reddish ink (now up to $17 trillion since I first began drafting this!), but actually $222 trillion. Do you really think this can be paid back? Or perhaps you may wish to consider the latest figure for derivatives – the estimated numbers are too large for comprehension –  what Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of financial mass destruction.”  In another realm, most of us are aware of the encroachment of a state that has gone feral in many ways, such as the disgusting Agenda 21, or the establishment of an Orwellian “war is peace” approach to world politics by the current administration. The threat of EMP – man-made or natural – exists, whether we wish it weren’t so or not. In sum, the powers that be have far too many spinning plates in the air, and at one point it seems more than likely that at least some of them will come crashing down. Indeed, with 48 million people now on food stamps under Obama, and 100 million not working, I would contend many of those plates – and lives – already lie smashed on the ground.

Like me, many of you may not be able to move for a wide variety of reasons.  You are stuck where you are, and with the destruction of the economy by Obama, you are also just glad to have the job you do, in fact, have.  And your job requires travel.  I needn’t bore you with further potential threats – you already know them, or you wouldn’t be reading this;  and to that end, most of you have already engaged in some level of preparedness.  I have done preparedness as well – but one thing I have seen very little commentary on is what to do when one is away from home more than a couple hundred miles for business.  For example, I live in the Chicago area, and twice in the past month I had to travel 2,000 miles away to  the People’s Socialist Republik of California (not that corrupt Illinois is much different).  And in fact, as I compose this article, I am a thousand miles from my own home and family – this time in the other direction, on the East Coast.    What would I do if, e.g., a Carrington level event were to occur, or another 9/11 attack?  What if Yellowstone had a volcanic burp of geologic indigestion?  You can fill in the blank as to the event – my concern is:  what preparations and/or actions could one engage into get home or at least ameliorate the plight of loved ones remaining at home.

Here are a few considerations:

–    A Communication Plan: There has been ample information written in many preparedness sites about family communication plans. Most I have seen are well done, but focus on someone who works, say, downtown, and needs to make it home to the suburbs.  As this topic – getting home when one is relatively local – has been adequately dealt with, I will not deal with this issue here. Most of the information is I have seen is well done, and by all means extrapolate as much of this as you can to your far away from home plans. However, for example, having a rallying point for the kids won’t help you, personally, much when you are across the country and cannot shepherd this.  Of course, having pre-set plans and communication protocols with your wife or other family will be an advantage if you are near or very far away.  However, this topic – as noted above – has been dealt with very ably at other preparedness sites, and needn’t be repeated here.

For the purposes of this article on business travel, I will assume one is within North America, ex-Hawaii or Alaska. I do this not to short-shrift people who travel to Europe or Asia, but simply restricting the scope of this article will comprise the vast majority of the business travelers.  There will, of course,  be much more profound logistical realities to attend to should one be overseas during a major crisis, which are also beyond the scope of this paper.  So, with this in mind, here are some practical considerations.

–    Time is critical:  After an event, it may be several days before the magnitude of the crisis sinks in psychologically; this is time that shouldn’t be wasted. E.g., after 9/11, when all airlines were shut-down, there still were cars to be rented for a very short window of time.  The goal is to be responsive.  Studies show that many people go into a slight catatonia during a crisis (think of those that refused to evacuate the Word Trade Center during 9/11; another example the story of the MV Estonia that sank in the 1990s, going between Estonia and Sweden, costing 852 lives. One of the few who lived recalled running past one passenger who had simply lit up a cigarette, and refused to budge when urged to do so.  You must act in a situation that demands it, even if it seems forced and mechanical; at the same time, doing the wrong thing at the wrong time may make the situation worse.  So, what is the answer to the twin horns of this dilemma? Having pre-thought out plans, insofar as you are able to analyze potential dangers.

–    Play “What if” Games”:  One problem with preparedness is that it can become an all-consuming obsession.  You may have the time, money and/or mental CPU cycles to ruminate on issues and solutions.  You may be a natural McGuyver.  On the other hand, like many of you, I am not McGuyver, and I have precious few mental CPU cycles to spare. I also have a day job, which generally bleeds over into all kinds of weekend and evening hours, as do many of you. All I am advocating is a high level reflection on possible actions at your disposal as you have downtime in your travel or leisure time (what little you have!). For example, during my trip to LA., what might I have been able to do in, e.g., an EMP situation?  If a worse case EMP scenario occurred, there may be no vehicular mobility at all. But what if an EMP left some vehicles running? Or in a 9/11 situation, what if private, small airplanes were left free to take off? As a matter of fact, back in my hitch-hiking days, more than one person I knew would go out to small airports, and simply hang around and ask for rides from pilots of single engine Piper Cubs or Cessnas.  The same might apply to marinas – say going from Miami to Boston. A long shot? Of course.  But the key here is not this specific solution, but rather the “outside the box” approach to solving the dilemma.

–    Determine places to avoid: If I were in Toronto, and needed to get to Chicago, I would not want to go through Detroit. Have a mental map in your mind of alternative routes you might take. If you are geographically challenged, this might involve nothing more than taking a 15 second glance at Rand-McNally atlas. Can you risk going from LA to Denver through the Mojave if your travel arrangements are unreliable? Similarly, where possible, you may wish to familiarize yourself with parts of the city you are in that are questionable. Taxi drivers, concierges, co-workers – all can be sources of information here.

–    When you simply cannot make it home:  The worst case scenario has taken place. You are in San Francisco, and an EMP has taken out ALL conveyances – trains, planes, automobiles – and everything else. To prepare for an eventuality like this, do you have neighbors  or family you can confidentially discuss your concerns with? Have you left your family with enough barterable items to see them through in your absence?   You may not have enough money for all the preparations you would like, but have you done as much as you are able? For example, do you own “junk” silver (pre-1965) silver coins?  As a matter of fact,  recall in the early 1970s that gas was in the low 30 cent range – and in fact it still  is today – if you pay in silver coins. Similarly, have you put simple cash away? Perhaps the crisis is just a Lehman-style meltdown, leading to a bank holiday, while you are away. Of course, readers of this article will be well aware that they should have a minimum of food and water on hand. Certainly, even if you are challenged, a few gallons of spring water, a number of cans of tuna and some bags of lentil are not expensive, and everyone should be able to afford a minimum expenditure for these.

–    Neighbors. Do you have neighbors you can trust to discuss the matter with? If this family a;sp has a business traveler, can you work out some quid pro quo – if he is gone, you would pick up the slack in his absence, and vice-versa. There is risk here in that the counterparty might not be reliable, but this is a judgment only you can make. Alternatively, many will have family local, which may be even better.

–    Concentric circles. For some time, I worked approximately 50 miles from home  – a very long day’s hike. In this case, I planned to purchase a collapsible bicycle on Amazon. I would not have felt comfortable bringing it into the workplace, given the “government will take care of me” attitudes most exhibited there. For defense while in transit, pepper spray, or another spray of your choice – is in order, and certainly making sure that water and some food is available in transit is important. I would suggest panniers (small bags that attach to your bicyle), or at minimum a cheap backpack, to allow carrying of enough supplied to make it home.

I have also spent some time working in Lansing, MI., Pittsburg, PA. and Columbus OH – between 300 and 400 miles from home. What would I do in a grid down (or similar) situation? In this situation, I was gone Mon-Fri, renting a place during weekdays.  Yes, driving, finding a ride if my car was inoperable, using a train, etc., are all obvious first choices. But what if those choices are gone? What if the major interstates are blocked? Again, my first choice would be having access to a bicycle, with ability to carry the rudiments for several days of trekking cross-country. What kind of shape are you in? A reasonably fit person should be able to do about 100 miles/day. In the case above, this would put me three to four days out from home, assuming no mishaps, delays, or the like. Should I attempt it? In a 9/11 situation, the risk of travelling would have been low (e.g., no civil disturbances en route), but the need to get home was also low – there was no serious risk to my family if I were absent.  Whether you go or stay is a judgment call – but which criteria you need to make in the clear light of day ahead of a crisis – not during the  emergency, when the “fog of war”  clouds judgment. In the situations above, if it were winter, I would not be able to go – I have bicycled on snow more than once, and one does not make much headway! Hypothermia would also quickly kill in winter – even if one was warm while riding, as soon as one stopped, the sweat would quickly chill, and be a serious threat to life.  Of course, if one were adequately prepared, with polypropylene, breathable garments, there was no snow on the road, a good set of panniers on one’s bike, no sigh of civil unrest on your selected route, etc., then it could possibly be advisable to set out.  Again, some of this will necessarily be a judgment call, and the extent of preparations you make to take advantage of situations that may be low probability, but have high risk associated. This truly is not much different than the calculations you make to purchase life, fire or auto insurance – how much should you insure for? What do I stand to lose if I don’t insure against an admittedly low probability occurrence? Clearly, unless you are a wealthy Hollywood Learjet leftist, you don’t have the money to insure against everything; on the other hand, you do have some money to insure against certain risks.

The key issue here is not to lay out all possible scenarios here – you don’t want to read a hundred page paper on this, nor do I wish to write it! Rather, the goal is to lay out some possible problems, and get you, dear reader, to start reflecting your own personalized solutions that will be somewhat unique to your own, individual situation.  This includes such disparate things as whether there are children at home – and how old; how safe a neighborhood one has;  what type of neighbors one has relative to their own preparedness, and if you have had time to have a heart to heart with them about your – and their – travel schedules; the degree of involvement one’s wife has in preparedness, as well as how adaptable she is to emergency situations… and more.

–    Friends, Family, Acquaintances  in Target Area:  Who do you know in, or around, the area, you will be? Have you kept in touch – or do you need to re-connect?  Do you have addresses and phone numbers? Do you have them written down, in case there were an event knocking out electronics?  Of course, as with everything else noted here, you need to conduct your own analysis. If your analysis is that you think losing electronic information is virtually impossible, then (in this example) written addresses would not be part of your plan.

If you are working in a given location long term, or regularly travel to a given city, could you make arrangements ahead of time with someone, perhaps for some kind of initial retainer? Of course, the critical issue would be judging if the person you trusted were worthy of that trust  – but recall that this type of decision is one you have to make every day in business, as well! For me, the first place I would look to make an arrangement like that would be the church. Alternatively, some of the “prepper” sites allow exchange of information, and you might be able to negotiate some kind of quid pro quo with someone who understands the threats.

–    Gold and silver coins:  I routinely bring one or two half ounce gold coins on my trips. I have never once had a problem leaving them in my computer case or briefcase. As you can imagine, they are never out of my sight. If you are concerned about the TSA spotting gold coins, leave a bit of loose change in with your case to throw them off the scent. Worst case, you can tell them you always bring it as your lucky charm.  In the event that I am thousands of miles from home -say, LA, and need to get to Chicago – and there is limited transportation – a gold coin may just be the literal ticket home. Having two half ounce, or several quarter ounce coins, will provide greater flexibility, of course.  Valcambi has recently come out with a gold wafer that will break into 1 gram sections, which is another option. And if there were no traffic on the road at all, the coins would still buy me food and perhaps some small roof over my head. Cash, you say? Mais oui! The problem with cash is that there always seems to come up situations that require “dipping in” to those reserves. If you can absolutely manage to not do this (I cannot!), that is a great solution.  Otherwise, precious metals are a better option.  As a side note, silver would not be valuable enough to be worth its weight when travelling, and platinum would not be as immediately recognizable to the common person. Stick with gold in half or quarter ounce size, and in a recognizable form (eagles, maple leafs, kruggerands or possibly several others).

–    Long term absence: Almost too horrible to contemplate, but what if I was in LA, and my home was in NY – and needed to get cross-country, in a total grid and transportation down situation. Assuming I have made preparation for my family, as noted above, striking out cross-country on a kamikaze mission would serve no one any good. Rather, for the time being, the goal would be to stay alive and bide one’s time, looking for an opportunity to return home. The key here is not only barterable items – and gold has been the very choice for this reason for thousands of years – but also to have barterable skills. Do you have one? Even a strong back might earn one’s keep in a serious societal crisis. Have you reviewed what you could do in a situation like this?

In conclusion, the goal of preparedness is not to obsess over potential catastrophes. Rather, if one has done one’s due diligence, then you should have greater peace of mind as you set out for your business trip.  For those of use of the Christian faith, preparedness is also not to deny that a sovereign God will look after us. However, we have been given a brain and common sense for a reason, and we need to use it.  We have been told to pay attention to the times and seasons – here, this passage  is specifically in regards to the return of the Lord, but I believe we can extrapolate this call to all areas of life.  The ultimate goal of preparedness is to be able to live a life not in fear, as one has done all one was able to do in good conscience, and leave the rest in God’s capable hands.

What do you think? If this paper does nothing else, hopefully it will engender some responses as to other things that can be done relative to business travel. Please comment!

Picture Credit- travelnewsyoucanuse.com

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Didn’t Save for a Rainy Day? 3 Ways to Get out of a Financial Bind http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/didnt-save-for-a-rainy-day-3-ways-to-get-out-of-a-financial-bind http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/didnt-save-for-a-rainy-day-3-ways-to-get-out-of-a-financial-bind#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 19:55:12 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1783 Guest Post- Dixie S

Practically everyone knows that they’re supposed to put away money for a rainy day. In fact, having a substantial emergency fund is one of the keys to financial security. For many people who are recovering from a big financial setback or who are just starting out their independent lives, a rainy day […]]]> Guest Post- Dixie S

Practically everyone knows that they’re supposed to put away money for a rainy day. In fact, having a substantial emergency fund is one of the keys to financial security. For many people who are recovering from a big financial setback or who are just starting out their independent lives, a rainy day fund is more of a goal than a reality. This means that when they get hit with a disaster, they will scramble to find a way to pay the bills. If this sounds like you, try the following three tips to get out of your financial bind.

Increase your income

The best way to get the money to pay for something is to earn it. Look for a part-time job that you can do around your full-time work schedule. Many bars, restaurants, and retail stores look for weekend and night-time help, and working a lot of hours will help you keep your expenses down. You may also want to consider offering your services as a babysitter, lawn mower, handyman, or even opening an online store to sell crafts to earn some money.

Short term loans

If you can’t pay for the disaster with multiple payments or put off repairs until you have money, you might want to consider your options for a short-term loan. Experts who deal with short term loans in San Antonio say that these loans can be very similar to taking on a credit card, but interest rates for people with good credit can be lower. Make sure the payments fit into your budget, and work to get the loan paid off as quickly as possible.

Keep your costs down

Many emergencies don’t have to paid in full right away. Think of ways that you can save money on the bill. For example, ask about trading services with a repair shop (the fix your car, you design their website). If that doesn’t work, ask about ways that work could be done in parts to keep costs down. For example, after a flood, focus on clean-up (and do a lot of it yourself), then move on to repairs.

Obviously, the best way to pay for a disaster is to just take the money out of your savings account. When you don’t have enough, however, you’ll have to get creative. After getting through this, continue to pay off debt and build your savings so that you don’t find yourself back in this position again.

Photo Credit- Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

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Death of the Consumer http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/death-of-the-consumer http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/death-of-the-consumer#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 17:49:45 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1779 by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Something peculiar is going on.  One data point says the economy’s improving.  Another says it’s floundering.

Nonetheless, we strive to connect the dots and draw inferences as we go.  For example, according to data released Tuesday, manufacturing and construction spending is on the rise…

“Stronger-than-expected data on U.S. manufacturing and […]]]> by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Something peculiar is going on.  One data point says the economy’s improving.  Another says it’s floundering.

Nonetheless, we strive to connect the dots and draw inferences as we go.  For example, according to data released Tuesday, manufacturing and construction spending is on the rise…

“Stronger-than-expected data on U.S. manufacturing and construction spending on Tuesday hinted the world’s biggest economy was gaining traction,” reported Reuters.

“The U.S. manufacturing sector grew last month at its fastest pace in more than two years, with the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) index of national factory activity rising to 55.7 in August from 55.4 the prior month.

“That comfortably beat expectations for 54, with the index at its highest since June 2011.

“A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.”

What’s not to like about that?

Consumers Demur

The economy’s been dragging about for so long we’ll take any positive growth signal we can get.  We’ll also delight in yesterday’s ISM report that the U.S. service sector increased in August at its fastest pace in eight years.  Maybe things finally are turning around.

But before we clock out for the day and go fishing we must first contemplate another data point that was served up last Friday.  This one came courtesy of the Commerce Department.

Evidently, when their number crunchers counted up the beans for July, they discovered consumers had demurred.  Spending hardly increased.  What’s more, the little it did increase was cancelled out by inflation.

Specifically, consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in July.  Yet when you subtract out inflation, spending was flat.  What does this tell us?

It tells us, if you believe the government’s CPI reading, inflation is practically nonexistent.  Of course, we all know latent inflation is like dry Malibu Canyon brush in search of a spark…it could conflagrate at any moment.  When that happens, inflation will push modest consumer spending increases back to negative.

It also tells us that, at least for now, consumption won’t lead the economy to recovery.  Popular academic thought considers this a bad thing.  They base this notion on the fact that consumption accounts for nearly 70 percent of economic activity.  If people aren’t buying stuff, they say, the economy sinks.  In fact, as Milton Friedman taught them, they believe a little inflation helps keep consumers spending and the economy humming.

Death of the Consumer and Other Miracles

Still, we don’t buy it.  Our thick skull isn’t as accepting of murky thought as Friedman’s must have been.  If something’s not perfectly lucid we can’t grasp it.

For instance, we don’t consider debt based growth from a consumer credit card binge a good thing.  Sure it shows up as increased growth in the GDP numbers.  But it’s phony growth that’s not attributed to real wealth creation.

It’s the result of borrowing capital from the future and burning it up today.  Naturally, juicing up the standard of living today is the expedient.  But ultimately it subtracts value from tomorrow.

Savings and investment of private capital are what’s really needed to lay a granite foundation that real economic growth can be built upon.  Unfortunately, savings and investment takes discipline, shrewd acumen, and risk.  They also take time.  So, too, creating value takes hard work…and over half the population disparages hard work.

When it comes down to it, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have traded the discipline of true economic growth based on savings and capital investment for bubble based asset price increases and credit based consumption.  Rather than encourage savings and investment, they strive to boost the economy by ruining the dollar.  It’s what they were trained to do.

Happily, for now, the consumer is dead.  They’ve thrown in the towel and are refusing to buy more stuff on bank credit.  Perhaps manufacturing and construction spending will provide the severely needed growth engine for the economy.  At the very least, it will generate some production.  Moreover, if this continues, we may finally experience real economic growth rather than bubble based asset price increases.

Considering all the damage the Federal Reserve has done over the years, just the prospect of real economic growth is an absolute miracle.  When it eventually arrives it will be unrecognizable.

[MN Gordon (send him email) is the editor of the Economic Prism.  Visit Economic Prism.  The Economic Prism is published by Direct Expressions LLC.  Subscribe Today to the Economic Prism E-Newsletter at http://www.economicprismletter.com]

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5 Things to do Before Moving into Your First Family Home http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/5-things-to-do-before-moving-into-your-first-family-home http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/5-things-to-do-before-moving-into-your-first-family-home#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 23:14:06 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1770 When a couple moves into their first family home, they want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. As such, here are five things every potential homeowner should do before moving into their first family home.

Secure A Great Mortgage

Every applicant has a certain style of mortgage that is right for them. For instance, […]]]> When a couple moves into their first family home, they want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. As such, here are five things every potential homeowner should do before moving into their first family home.

Secure A Great Mortgage

Every applicant has a certain style of mortgage that is right for them. For instance, veterans can take advantage of A VA hybrid loan, or can research a VA hybrid review to see if this type of loan is right for them. Many first time home buyers take advantage of mortgages that cater to their budgets and needs. Still others look for a larger mortgage that can be paid off in less than 30 years. Every person has a different type of mortgage that works best for their needs, and they should know the varieties available before they settle on one.

Have The Home Inspected And Evaluated

A professional inspection and evaluation may cost potential homeowners a little bit of money, but it’s worth every penny for the peace of mind in the end. An inspection can detect areas of concern that can affect the value of a home, including rotting wood, unauthorized additions, and even a sinking foundation. An evaluation of the home lets potential homeowners know what their new home is actually worth so they can better bargain price at closing.

Know The Neighborhood

Along with knowing the safety and value of a home, a couple wishing to buy their first family home should learn about the neighborhood as well. Knowing crime rates, actual neighbors, proximity to schools and parks, and other things that can affect children is something every person should know about any home they are interested in.

Choose A Home A Family Can Continue Growing In

Many couples choose a home with only a few bedrooms, only anticipating the immediate future. If homeowners choose a home they can see themselves living in for 15 years or more, they are more likely to go with a home they can have several children in for the entirety of their childhoods.

Stay Within Budget

As a general rule, new homeowners should stay within their income level when buying a home. If a home exceeds more than twice a family’s annual income, they should seriously consider the affordability of their new home. In choosing a real budget right away, new family homeowners can keep themselves from drowning in debt from a house they cannot really afford.

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The Joy of Going for Broke http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-joy-of-going-for-broke http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-joy-of-going-for-broke#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 18:54:53 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1762 By MN Gordon, Economic Prism

One of the fabulous familiarities of living in a fading society is that not a day goes by where something utterly flabbergasting doesn’t occur.  We don’t like it, of course.  But who are we to stand in the way of it.

Naturally there’s nothing we can do about it…except […]]]> By MN Gordon, Economic Prism

One of the fabulous familiarities of living in a fading society is that not a day goes by where something utterly flabbergasting doesn’t occur.  We don’t like it, of course.  But who are we to stand in the way of it.

Naturally there’s nothing we can do about it…except enjoy it as best we can.  Here’s what we mean…

The U.S. federal government has run up $16.8 trillion in debt.  Pencil in household, business, state, and local government debts and you get $59.6 trillion.  You’d think by now something would’ve given way.

No doubt, many things have and are giving way – like Detroit.  Still, as John Maynard Keynes, the messiah of deficit spending once remarked, “There’s a lot of ruin” in a nation.

The ruin, of course, can be enraging…if you let it be.  However, we recommend against that.  Rather, we recommend you find entertainment in it.

Feeding the Caribbean with Food Stamps

For example, as we just noted, the country is beyond broke.  What’s more, there are 47 million people who depend on food stamps for their daily bread.  These people have been tempted out by the carrots of government onto the outer spans of a brittle tree branch.  When it breaks there will be hungry stomachs and holy fury to pay.

But did you know that U.S. tax payers are not only funding the daily bread of large numbers of their fellow inhabitants…they are also footing the bill for people to eat in other country’s abroad?

We’re not just talking about foreign aid programs here.  We are talking about food stamps.  The New York Post recently discovered city residents are using food stamps to buy food and ship it to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and who knows where else.

“Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas,” The Post found.

“The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.”

From what we gather, this is occurring at a grand scale…

The Joy of Going for Broke

‘“Everybody does it,’ said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.  ‘They pay for it any way they can.  A lot of people pay with EBT.’

“Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

“Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.  They said food-stamp recipients typically take home their barrels and fill them gradually over time with food bought with EBT cards.  When the tubs are full, the welfare users call a shipping company to pick them up and send them to the Caribbean for about $70.  The shipments take about three weeks.”

Here at the Economic Prism we are all for helping our fellow man.  But we prefer to teach a man to fish so they can become self-supporting through their own contributions.

Instead, like most government plans, our leaders perpetuate a food program that makes people reliant indefinitely.  Even so, politicians refuse to acknowledge that their schemes cost too much and often fail or backfire.  They just keep pouring more and more money into them.

There’s no stopping it.  The government’s balance sheet is larded up with so many programs that several generations of citizens, noncitizens, and now residents of other nations have become reliant upon them.  These programs aren’t affordable.  So the politicians borrow money to pay for them.  After that they print money to roll over the debt.

This, unfortunately, is the unfavorable place we currently find ourselves.  We are experiencing the last joyful hurrah, in the form of EBT funded offshore shipments of food, which accompanies going for broke.  The circumstances are heinous.  Enjoy the travesty while it lasts.

[MN Gordon (send him email) is the editor of the Economic Prism.  Visit Economic Prism.  The Economic Prism is published by Direct Expressions LLC.  Subscribe Today to the Economic Prism E-Newsletter at http://www.economicprismletter.com]

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Your Summer Tax Increase http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/your-summer-tax-increase http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/your-summer-tax-increase#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:40:39 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1756 by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Oil prices are holding above $106 per barrel.  What gives?  Wasn’t all the oil fracking supposed to increase production and decrease price?

So far, part of this equation has come to be.  In fact, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, for the week ending July 5, shows the U.S. […]]]> by MN Gordon Economic Prism

Oil prices are holding above $106 per barrel.  What gives?  Wasn’t all the oil fracking supposed to increase production and decrease price?

So far, part of this equation has come to be.  In fact, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, for the week ending July 5, shows the U.S. produced 7.4 million barrels per day.  That’s up 18.4 percent from just one year ago.  What’s more, it’s the highest level for U.S. domestic oil production in over 21 years.

So even though the price of oil remains stubbornly high, the combination of increased domestic production and increased energy efficiency is having many positive benefits for the country…

“The increase of oil production in the U.S. is reversely driving down the amount of foreign oil the country is importing from OPEC countries because the fuel is less needed,” explains The Daily Beast.

“Meanwhile, the U.S. is reducing its use of oil—thanks to more efficient vehicles, less driving, the use of natural gas as a transport fuel, and greater investments in renewable energy.  Total liquid fuel consumption in the U.S. declined by 2.1 percent in 2012, according to the EIA, and is expected to rise by less than 1 percent in 2013.

“And that means the U.S. needs to import less oil—especially from OPEC countries.”

No doubt, greater U.S. energy independence is an incredible boon.  Still, we want to know when the price will come down…

Other Factors at Work

From what we gather, production is increasing and demand is decreasing.  Shouldn’t this be a recipe for falling prices?  Regrettably, there are other factors at work.

According to Bloomberg, oil inventories are down and speculators are seizing the moment…and bidding up prices…

“West Texas Intermediate crude climbed on speculation that U.S. inventories will keep declining after the largest two-week drop in at least three decades.

“Futures advanced 1 percent today and 2.6 percent this week.  Inventories slid 20.2 million barrels to 373.9 million in the two weeks ended July 5, the Energy Information Administration reported July 10.  WTI has moved into backwardation, with futures closest to expiration more expensive than those for later delivery, removing the financial incentive to hold supplies.  WTI also gained as corporate earnings topped analysts’ estimates.”

Unfortunately, the trend of declining stockpiles and strong seasonal demand will likely continue for a while longer…

Your Summer Tax Increase

‘“The fundamentals are very bullish,’ said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that focuses on energy.  ‘The inventory drop was very big and we saw some strong demand.  Next week’s report should show an additional decline in supplies.”’

Obviously, high oil prices are not bullish for the economy.  Eventually economic growth will be hindered.  Moreover, high oil prices will lead to rising consumer price inflation.

Gas prices, for instance, are on the rise.  When we checked AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Sunday, we noticed that the national average price of regular gasoline had increased to $3.60 per gallon from $3.47 the week before.  In addition, that’s up 6.2 percent from the average price of $3.39 per gallon just one year ago.

Then, as the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone, rising gas prices pushed wholesale inflation up in June by the largest amount in nine months.  As reported by the Labor Department on Friday, wholesale prices increased 0.8 percent in June…the biggest gain since last September.

But gas prices didn’t really start running up until July.  If this keeps up, July price inflation could really jump.  But, ultimately, rising gas prices mean more than rising price inflation.  Rising gas prices eventually result in a reduction to economic growth.

You see, higher gas prices, in general, act like a tax increase on household budgets.  While most households can’t cut back very much on their gas consumption, they can respond by cutting back on other spending.

The end result is that when gas prices rise overall consumer spending declines.  And less spending means slower economic growth.  We suppose tomorrow’s headlines will say something to that effect.

[MN Gordon (send him email) is the editor of the Economic Prism.  Visit Economic Prism.  The Economic Prism is published by Direct Expressions LLC.  Subscribe Today to the Economic Prism E-Newsletter at http://www.economicprismletter.com]

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Do Not Try This At Home: 5 Necessary Home Repairs You Can’t Do Alone http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/do-not-try-this-at-home-5-necessary-home-repairs-you-cant-do-alone http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/do-not-try-this-at-home-5-necessary-home-repairs-you-cant-do-alone#comments Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:17:17 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1749 When it comes to do-it-yourself projects, there are many tasks homeowners can complete on their own. However, there are certain few that require the services of a professional. While trying to save time and money, attempting home repairs can make a bad situation worse. Keep these repairs in mind.

Gas Appliances

Many of today’s homes have gas […]]]> When it comes to do-it-yourself projects, there are many tasks homeowners can complete on their own. However, there are certain few that require the services of a professional. While trying to save time and money, attempting home repairs can make a bad situation worse. Keep these repairs in mind.

Gas Appliances

Many of today’s homes have gas appliances like stoves, water heaters, and clothes dryers. When things go wrong, many people make the mistake of thinking they can move out old appliances and easily replace them. However, accidents occur when homeowners fail to properly hook up gas appliances, resulting in gas leaks. Leaks are fatal due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Roofing Repairs

When up on a roof, there is a danger of falling off and injury, one slip can be fatal. Roofing can be very complex work, and making sure it is installed right should be left to the capable hands of a professional. Do-it-yourself roofing projects, when done haphazardly, can result in extensive water damage from the leaks.

Toxin Removal

If testing for, or removing toxins, the process can be very hazardous, and should be left to professionals. Not only is it a threat to your health, but there are also strict laws governing its removal. You don’t want to put  yourself, or your neighbors at risk if the removal is done improperly. This one should always be left to a certified company.

Fencing

When your chain-link, or wrought-iron fence is wearing down, it may seem like a good idea to save money by making a temporary fix. When you need a long term solution, however, look to the pros for welding and fixing it to look new. Most fencing companies will come out and fix it when you give them a call. Find a local company by a simple internet search like, “Welding Louisville KY”.

Electrical Shocking

Electrical repairs should also be left to a Master Electrician or other licensed worker. Improper wiring connections can potentially electrocute and kill a homeowner. Improper wiring can also go against building codes, which could prevent the sale of a home in the future. Find an electrician you can trust to do all your repairs, because when it comes to certain home repairs, it’s best to leave them to the pros.

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Healthy Ways To Deal With Hoarding http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/healthy-ways-to-deal-with-hoarding http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/healthy-ways-to-deal-with-hoarding#comments Sun, 16 Jun 2013 17:59:36 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1745 For many people, hoarding becomes a serious problem when their homes are overtaken by items they’ve accumulated – likely over several years or even an entire lifetime. While many people part ways with older items when they acquire new ones, people with hoarding tendencies often don’t. While hoarding can seem like an impossible problem to […]]]> For many people, hoarding becomes a serious problem when their homes are overtaken by items they’ve accumulated – likely over several years or even an entire lifetime. While many people part ways with older items when they acquire new ones, people with hoarding tendencies often don’t. While hoarding can seem like an impossible problem to get over, the truth is that there are some healthy ways to deal with hoarding in your home or in a family member or friend’s home. It may take some time to get the house back to normal, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

Get to the Root of the Problem

If you’ve been hoarding items in your home or you’re helping a friend or family member, getting to the root of the problem is essential. Take the time to really think the problem over or talk with somebody close to you. In some cases, therapy or counseling may be necessary if the hoarding started after a traumatic event.

However, not all hoarders need counseling. Knowing why the problem started in the first place can give many the strength and knowledge they need to overcome the issue before it affects their lives even more.

Start Slow

Whether you’re dealing with your own hoarding problem or with a beloved friend or family member, starting the cleanup process slowly is very important. For hoarders, throwing away or donating a large amount of items quickly can be traumatic, and it can lead them to stop the process completely, returning to their hoarding ways. The first few days of cleanup, you may only be able to get rid of a couple of items. That’s okay – it’s starting the process that really matters.

Consider Self Storage

Self storage is often a reasonable solution for people with a hoarding problem since they can keep some of the items that they want without having them negatively affect their daily life. Renting a self-storage unit can also give hoarders some separation from the stuff they’ve accumulated, giving them time to realize that they don’t really need everything after all. Self storage also has the benefit of allowing a homeowner to quickly get their home back to normal while still dealing with the stuff that caused the problem in the first place.

Self storage units are available all over the world, from Houston TX storage units to ExtraSpace Storage in Wahiawa Hawaii, and they’re quite affordable.

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Spending Cleanse 2013 http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/spending-cleanse-2013 http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/spending-cleanse-2013#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:08:47 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1739 So it has come to this.

June Goals

1. No one needs any clothes. We just don’t. We’re good. 2. Tchotcke, extra “stuff” purchases of any kind are a no-no. 3. I will get my internet bill down. Oh yes. . . I will. 4. Entertainment purchases/expenses for this month are completely banned. 5. Eating out is also completely banned with […]]]> So it has come to this.

June Goals

1. No one needs any clothes. We just don’t. We’re good.
2. Tchotcke, extra “stuff” purchases of any kind are a no-no.
3. I will get my internet bill down. Oh yes. . . I will.
4. Entertainment purchases/expenses for this month are completely banned.
5. Eating out is also completely banned with a couple very slight, pre-planned outings.
6. The purchasing of extra, unneccessary and always unhealthy foodstuffs at the grocery store are also against the code.
7. Lowe’s & Home Depot trips: grounded.
8. No Chinese for me.

Can we talk about what I’ve learned through all this? Again?

-I’ve learned that shopping was actually a hobby for me. And I missed it when I first cut myself off. And on that note,

-I’ve learned that in my attempt to completely organize and declutter my house, coupled with curbing excessive spending, is that my past need to purchase and collect “stuff” is absolutely counterproductive to organizing a home. Not purchasing “stuff” and keeping a home organized are 100% connected. Read more of this fantastic post at Tidbits from the Tremaynes

Other great posts –

‘Cause We Are Living In A Material World, And I Am A Material Girl.

We’ve Been Spending Most Our Lives Living In A Project Paradise.

When You Just Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone.

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How A Bridging Loan Will Help You In The Long Term http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-a-bridging-loan-will-help-you-in-the-long-term http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-a-bridging-loan-will-help-you-in-the-long-term#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 21:59:13 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1729 At one point in time, you might be faced with financial difficulties and the only way out is by getting a loan that will ultimately help in solving your financial problems. One such type of loan is a bridging loan that is usually a type of loan that will help you to take care of […]]]> At one point in time, you might be faced with financial difficulties and the only way out is by getting a loan that will ultimately help in solving your financial problems. One such type of loan is a bridging loan that is usually a type of loan that will help you to take care of your urgent financial needs. In most cases, a bridging loan is usually taken for a period not exceeding 12 months. Therefore, if you’re in a situation where you cannot benefit from a long term loan, a bridging loan would come in handy. Even though there would be no need to provide a proof of your credit worthiness, you are always required to provide some form of security.

If you happen not to be conversant with this type of loan, it would be prudent not to allow yourself to fall prey to some misconception or hearsay that is fuelled by other people. This is because you will often find that these people do not fully understand what a bridging loan is all about and how it works. Even though this loan is usually provided on a short term basis, it can also help you to solve long term needs. This is because it will allow you to solve those short term problems which will help you to create a path for solving your long term financial needs.

The main advantage of a bridging loan is that it can be approved in just a matter of days, thus you will be able to access the money within days. Nevertheless, as a borrower you are required to pay certain fees such as administration, valuation and legal fees. In most cases, since this type of loan is usually made available to you on a short terms basis, it will tend to attract a high interest rate. However, the interest rate is dependent on the amount of money borrowed and the period by which you intend to pay the loan. In other cases, the borrower might pay the loan out of the agreed window period, but this will translate to additional charges if at all the loan is paid before or after the agreed date.

Furthermore, a bridging loan is preferred due to its flexibility as it is possible for you to use the loan on any type of project. Hence, it is up to you to use the money in any way that you deem fit. Nowadays, you will find a lot of people who use bridging loans to acquire a property at auction. It is also possible to use a bridging loan to buy a new home while at the same time putting your old property up for sale. When you get to sell your old property, you can use the money to repay back the loan. Also, if you would want to increase the sale price of one of your properties, you can go for a bridging loan that will help you to finance the renovations.

There are no stiff terms and conditions that are attached to this type of loan. What is given utmost important is the security that you intend to use to secure your bridging loan. Here, the security can either be a commercial or residential property. What makes this type of loan desirable is the loan-to-value ratio. A bridging loan will always be a bridge to both your long term and short term financial needs.

Author Bio: Blogger who researchers and talks about bridging loans and commercial properties and how they can help in the current economical climate

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How Investing In Scrap Gold Can Help You Save Money http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-investing-in-scrap-gold-can-help-you-save-money http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-investing-in-scrap-gold-can-help-you-save-money#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 21:56:15 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1726 Gold is among the most popular and precious metals known by many people all over the world. Most people want to wear fancy gold jewelleries and accessories. There are many ornamental products that are manufactured with this wonderful metal. Such items are referred to scrap gold. These products include old watches, coins, […]]]> Gold is among the most popular and precious metals known by many people all over the world. Most people want to wear fancy gold jewelleries and accessories. There are many ornamental products that are manufactured with this wonderful metal. Such items are referred to scrap gold. These products include old watches, coins, broken jewellery, wires and nuggets. Gold in these items can easily be recovered and restored. For a long time, many people were unaware about selling scrap gold. The price of this precious metal has increased every month.

Selling gold when the price is high can be very profitable. Many things come to your mind when you think about selling your gold. You will think about places where you can sell it and get a good profit. Most people are not aware about the price of gold even when it is out of fashion or broken. It is important to know that the price of gold has been increasing and most people are now buying scrap gold. This gives them a chance to make more profits. Even when the prices are going down you can still sell your gold at a better price. You can sell your gold and buy more scrap gold at a lower price.

With the growth of the internet, you can now do thorough research into selling your gold. This will also give you a good idea about the market price for gold. You will also have an opportunity to gather information about people willing to buy gold. It is much easier to sell scrap gold as compared to selling new jewellery. Scrap gold is normally in demand since it can be used to manufacture new gold jewellery. Scrap gold buyers will always offer you more than the market price. Events like craft fairs will help you find potential buyers who can buy your gold at a higher price.

Ways to invest your money on scrap gold and save your money

a.) Bullion Bars

These are gold bars that are preferred by many financial institutions and governments as a form of investment. The main reason for this is because the amount of gold available in bullion bars is above 95.5%.

b.) Bullion Coins

Bullion coins are used by small investors as a preferred method of investment. An investor is able to increase the possession of these coins slowly. You are advised to be careful with the type of coins you are buying because different coins contain different amount of gold.

c.) Scrap Gold

This is a form of investment that is popular with small investors who make modest profit by selling scrap gold. Gold refineries and cash for gold shops will buy your scrap gold at a better price.

d.) Rare Gold Coins

There are gold investors who like to buy rare or historic gold coins called numismatic coins. These coins trade at higher value than the amount of gold inside them.

e.) Investing In Jewellery

One of the great ways to invest in gold is by purchasing gold jewellery. Countries like India trade at a lower premium which can give you an advantage to find a better market in other countries where the cost is significant.

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How You Can Create an Emergency Fund http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-you-can-create-an-emergency-fund http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-you-can-create-an-emergency-fund#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 02:34:57 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1717 Household budgeting can be intimidating, mainly because people envision having to create a giant spreadsheet and track every penny they spend. It’s easier to think of budgeting as planning, with at least a general idea of your fixed expenses and how much you typically need for unexpected expenses monthly, along with what you’d like to […]]]> Household budgeting can be intimidating, mainly because people envision having to create a giant spreadsheet and track every penny they spend. It’s easier to think of budgeting as planning, with at least a general idea of your fixed expenses and how much you typically need for unexpected expenses monthly, along with what you’d like to be able to spend on discretionary purchases. You’ve heard it before from the experts: a vital part of your household budget2 is an emergency fund. By having a basic understanding of your income and outgo, you can begin to set aside money to build that fund.

Start With an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a savings account that typically consists of three to six months’ worth of fixed expenses, money that you can use in the event of a job demotion or loss, a big medical expense or an unexpected repair whose cost exceeds what you can pull from your checking account. In a recovering economy, it can be tough to think about setting aside enough for an emergency fund, and if you don’t have the funding yet but find yourself faced with a large unexpected expense, you may have to consider cash advances, short-term loans that can cover an expense you can’t ignore.

If you start building your emergency fund now, though, you may be able to avoid ever having to borrow money to pay for the unexpected.

Consider These Tips

Creating an emergency fund on a minuscule scale is better than doing nothing at all. To begin the process of setting aside money for an emergency fund, consider:

  • How much money you waste every month — on restaurant meals you don’t finish,     extra trips to the grocery store and minutes on your cell phone you’re paying for but     don’t use. Some analysts estimate consumers waste up to 10 percent of their income every     month.1 That’s money you could be funneling instead into an emergency fund. It     may take some time to calculate how much you’re spending unnecessarily, but     wouldn’t a few simple changes be worth being able to save at least $300 yearly?
  • Making a small sacrifice once a week or more. Skip your morning latte every Wednesday,     bring your lunch to work on Thursday or walk, take the bus to work on Friday. It’s an     easy way to save an extra $5-$7 weekly, which translates to as much as $28 monthly for your     fund.
  • If you typically get your haircut every six weeks, stretch it to every seven and save     another $25 to $100 yearly.
  • Collecting your family’s spare change at the end of every day. This can include coins     and bills. Put the money into a jar and at the end of the month, put the money into your     emergency fund.1
  • Scheduling regular transfers from your checking account into your designated emergency fund     using online banking. That way, your money is on a schedule, to, and it’s one less thing     you have to remember.1

You’ll be happily surprised by how much you’ll have in your fund by the end of one year if you’re diligent and persistent, saving every dollar you can monthly.

Guest Post By Michelle Campbell-Michelle loves to make the mundane exciting. She shares tips on how to go on great vacations without breaking the bank.

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How Gold Storage Works http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-gold-storage-works http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/how-gold-storage-works#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 03:43:21 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1711 Gold is the ultimate value of any currency capital. Governments, companies and individuals leverage on gold for their capital and liquid cash investments against possible financial collapses and currency crushes. In the yesteryears gold used to be an exclusive preserve of the few “haves” but nowadays the proliferation of knowledge has opened up many doorways […]]]> Gold is the ultimate value of any currency capital. Governments, companies and individuals leverage on gold for their capital and liquid cash investments against possible financial collapses and currency crushes. In the yesteryears gold used to be an exclusive preserve of the few “haves” but nowadays the proliferation of knowledge has opened up many doorways for ordinary people to invest in gold.

Picture Credit- Royal Canadian Mint On Amazon

Ordinary people can invest in gold. Even though many doorways have been opened to enable people to access this precious metal, gold is still a closely guarded metal. Some countries have opted for gold as their currency for making international payments. Various economies around the globe are well known in gold production and exportation. No matter how much this metal can be accessed, gold storage works in such way that the purchaser does not get to keep the actual gold.

Gold can be accessed through legal gold dealerships which are authorized in buying gold products and selling it to the general public. Gold dealers place a commission on their gold sells and this is where they draw profit.

As a prospective gold buyer you need to understand how gold storage works. What is important to understand about accessing gold and investing in this metal is that even if members of the general public can buy and sell gold within the confines of the law, this precious metal is stored in what is known as a safe custody. Gold is stored by authorized government entities such as reserve banks and the minting companies. Minting companies are enterprises set up for their use of gold in the production of money. Commercial banks can legally store gold under the auspices of the Reserve Bank. The Reserve bank is the ultimate custodian and guardian of all gold.

When members of the public purchase gold from a gold dealership, the dealership or selling company will issue them with a gold ownership certificate. This is what the purchaser gets as a warranty of their purchase. As a prospective gold buyer you need to understand that when you buy gold you will not be given real gold. In regular gold buying and selling businesses can provide safe custody for your purchased gold through a bank. The certificate of ownership entitles you to access your gold at any time especially when it is favourable to sell it and make a profit.

The Reserve Banks have a gold vault which is used to provide account holders with safe storage of their priced monetary gold. Governments also have to get their monetary gold stored securely in the Reserve Bank’s gold vault. Storage services can be extended to foreign governments as well as other central banks and commercial banks. Official organizations and other companies which deal with gold also get secure storage for their gold in the Reserve Bank.

Before the actual gold is stored securely in the storage vault expert inspections are conducted to ensure that the gold is of stipulated quality. In many cases gold comes in the form of gold bars or gold coins. All these gold products are evaluated thoroughly to ensure that the quality of gold is consistent with the value attached to the gold unit. Gold storage works in such a way that the gold deposits cannot be regarded as fungible.

Author Bio: Blogger who researchers and talks about how gold storage works and the benefits of it for

D-mmex  

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Overloaded with Debt and No Jobs to Be Had http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/overloaded-with-debt-and-no-jobs-to-be-had http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/overloaded-with-debt-and-no-jobs-to-be-had#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 16:54:21 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1704 By MN Gordon Economic Prism

The Federal Open Market Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The masses waited with anticipation.  What did they talk about?

Generally, they talked about price controls.  More exactly, they talked about controlling the price of the economy’s most important and fundamental element…its money.  By controlling the price of money […]]]> By MN Gordon Economic Prism

The Federal Open Market Committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The masses waited with anticipation.  What did they talk about?

Generally, they talked about price controls.  More exactly, they talked about controlling the price of the economy’s most important and fundamental element…its money.  By controlling the price of money they can influence the price of every single good and service there is.

Some believe this is for the good of the people.  That it will somehow boost consumption and stimulate demand.  That it will create a new hiring boom.  We have our reservations.

When it comes to the Fed, they believe – or at least pretend to believe – that with just the right policy mix the economy will be restored to glory.  But what’s the right mix…and how can a handful of bureaucrats with a handful of charts ever know what it is?

After several days of belaboring they concluded they’d continue loaning out federal funds for practically free.  On top of that, they concluded they’d continue to borrow money into existence – roughly $85 billion a month – and use it to buy Treasuries and mortgage bonds until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent.  This second activity, known as quantitative easing, artificially suppresses interest rates so the federal government and home buyers can borrow money at record low prices.  In other words, it encourages more public and private debt.

Where are the Jobs?

Nowhere in the Fed’s utterings did we pick up any recognition that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  In fact, a perusal of the gobbledygook leaves the impression that Fed money can actually improve the economy, lower the unemployment rate, and bring prosperity for the hoi polloi.  Somehow, by pushing and pulling on money prices, we will all enjoy fresh fruits without having to labor for them.

But the reality of it all is far different.  There are consequences for controlling prices like there are consequences for engaging in road rage.  At the same time, whatever positive effect the Fed’s designs were supposed to produce has been a grand disappointment.  Here’s it is, part way through the second quarter and, once again, the economy’s flagging.

“Private-sector job growth slowed more than expected last month, with employers adding just 119,000 net new workers in a harbinger of a stalling labor market, payroll processing firm ADP said Wednesday,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“It was the second straight decline in the widely watched reading, and marked the poorest pace of growth since September.  ADP also lowered its March figure to 131,000 from the initial estimate of 158,000.”

What’s going on?  With all the money – nearly $2.5 trillion – that’s been added to the money base over the last four years, shouldn’t we be experiencing a rip roaring boom?

Overloaded With Debt and No Jobs to Be Had

Ben Bernanke and the Fed have been pushing and pulling with everything they’ve got.  Yet, to their chagrin, Washington’s been busy doing everything they can to trip things up.  After several months with no apparent impact, the double whammy of increased payroll taxes and federal spending cuts has now come down on the economy like the blunt edge of a meat cleaver.

Later today we’ll learn if the Labor Department’s April jobs counts are much different than ADP’s. Likewise, in addition to the quantity of jobs, there’s the quality of jobs to consider…which have been a fantastic disappointment…

Professional jobs are still out of reach for many recent college graduates.  That’s the finding from a recent survey we came across on Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.

“Four-in-ten working Millennials who graduated from college in the past two years give their career paths low marks, according to new research by Accenture.

“Forty-one percent of the more than 2,050 Millennial respondents to Accenture’s 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey said they are underemployed and working in jobs that do not require their college degrees.”

What’s more, according to the New York Fed the average student loan balances among 25-year-olds with student debt grew by 91 percent over the last nine years from $10,646 in 2003 to $20,326 in 2012. Something ain’t right here…and rising stock prices won’t fix it.

[MN Gordon (send him email) is the editor of the Economic Prism.  Visit Economic Prism.  The Economic Prism is published by Direct Expressions LLC.  Subscribe Today to the Economic Prism E-Newsletter at http://www.economicprismletter.com]

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Hulu Or Netflix: Which One Is More Worth Your Dollars? http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/hulu-or-netflix-which-one-is-more-worth-your-dollars http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/hulu-or-netflix-which-one-is-more-worth-your-dollars#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:06:19 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1683 Most consumers used to just sign up for cable without thinking about the alternatives, but the era of cable bundles may be coming to an end soon. Many people are finding that they would rather watch television online using their mobile devices as well as their gaming consoles and computers for a flat-rate that is […]]]> Most consumers used to just sign up for cable without thinking about the alternatives, but the era of cable bundles may be coming to an end soon. Many people are finding that they would rather watch television online using their mobile devices as well as their gaming consoles and computers for a flat-rate that is much lower than cable.

Netflix currently has about ten times as many subscribers as Hulu, but their service has also been around much longer. Netflix has pledged to spend five billion dollars on acquiring new content throughout the next five years. They will be focusing on acquiring all of the most popular movies and television shows.

Hulu is owned by ABC, NBC and FOX. They currently offer customers the current season of shows from these networks for streaming. In addition to their large selection of television offerings, Hulu is currently experimenting with the addition of movie titles.

Accessibility and Content

Hulu and Netflix can both be streamed on many different devices, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and Blu-Ray players. They both allow customers to stream content over mobile broadband 4G and 3G networks.

Netflix is currently stocked with about 100,000 streaming options and their movie collection is constantly growing. They offer a variety of television shows, however most of the shows they offer have been cancelled. Their options for current television series usually don’t include the current season.

Hulu offers many current television shows and most current episodes are available the day after they air on television. Most people who watch Glee and other current television shows opt to subscribe to Hulu. The have shows from many networks, including ABC, BBC America, FOX, The CW and USA. The movie selection at Hulu is sparse, but their selection of television shows is excellent.

Graph Credit –www.nielsen.com

Price

Netflix streaming costs just $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming of any of the content on their site on any supported device.

Hulu offers customers many shows for free at Hulu.com, but these shows are interrupted by substantial advertisements. Customers can choose to subscribe to Hulu Plus, which costs $7.99 per month and allows customers the ability to download mobile apps and access Hulu content through gaming consoles. The amount of ads is substantially reduced for Hulu Plus customers, but a few ads still appear during streaming.

The Bottom Line

Many people who get rid of cable spend $15.98 per month to subscribe to both Netflix and Hulu. This gives you the best of both worlds, with a variety of movies and television shows available for streaming at any time. Netflix is generally the best option for customers who want to keep their cable bundle while giving themselves the option of instant streaming and more movie choices.

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Five Budgeting Tips to Help Save For Your Vacation http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/five-budgeting-tips-to-help-save-for-your-vacation http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/five-budgeting-tips-to-help-save-for-your-vacation#comments Fri, 19 Apr 2013 04:55:30 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1676 Many families take a vacation as a reward for working hard and making it through the preceding months. Vacations create unique memories that everyone will share for years to come. Coming up with the money for a trip is not always easy. There are five budgeting tips that any family can use when saving for […]]]> Many families take a vacation as a reward for working hard and making it through the preceding months. Vacations create unique memories that everyone will share for years to come. Coming up with the money for a trip is not always easy. There are five budgeting tips that any family can use when saving for a vacation.

5. Create A Savings Account

Creating a separate savings account for vacation money will help in a number of ways. It allows families to see the actual amount of money saved without having to deduct current expenses. A separate account also makes it harder to access the savings. This reduces the chances that it will be used for an impulse purchase. A dedicated savings account is useful because it is safe and separate from the main accounts used every day. Fees or other charges on a checking account will not affect the vacation savings.

4. Temporarily Eliminate Extras

A vacation is a time to relax and to have fun. One way to save money for a trip is to reduce the extra services in a home temporarily. Sacrificing a little entertainment or fun while saving will make the vacation much more enjoyable. Some extra services that could be cancelled include premium cable channels, housekeeping and expensive cell phone perks that do not affect service. These services can be reactivated after the vacation. The money from the cancelled services can be put directly into the savings account each week or month.

3. Lower Credit Card Payments

One way to help save money is to try to lower credit card payments before the vacation. Lowering interest rates will reduce monthly spending on bills. Credit card companies will sometimes lower rates for good customers who call and negotiate. This is not always possible for people with credit problems. A reputable credit repair service can often fix credit history problems quickly. This can make it possible to negotiate with a credit card company for lower rates. Anyone interested in this type of service can go to http://www.creditrepair.com to learn more.

2. Reduce Vacation Costs

An alternate way to help save money for a vacation is to lower the cost of the trip. This will make each dollar saved more valuable. Reducing the cost of a vacation can take some work. It is helpful to check regularly if there are new deals or discounts available. Finding less expensive hotel rooms or airfare will make it easier to save and will give the family more spending money once the vacation starts.

1. Create And Follow A Budget

The most effective way to save money for a vacation is to create a budget and then follow it as closely as possible. The budget should account for food, gas and other spending. Unnecessary expenses like eating out should be removed from the budget. All members of the family should resist spending money that is not listed in the budget. A good budget will predict exactly how much can be saved each week. It also shows expenses that could be reduced.

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Five Reasons Why We Need Big Oil Drilling http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/five-reasons-why-we-need-big-oil-drilling http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/five-reasons-why-we-need-big-oil-drilling#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:02:46 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1670 The speculations regarding the need for expanding oil drilling in the United States, both offshore and inland, receives plenty of bad press. There are certainly dangers to drilling and transporting oil when it is not done properly. However, people tend to focus on the few negative events while ignoring the total impact and positive effect […]]]> The speculations regarding the need for expanding oil drilling in the United States, both offshore and inland, receives plenty of bad press. There are certainly dangers to drilling and transporting oil when it is not done properly. However, people tend to focus on the few negative events while ignoring the total impact and positive effect that drilling for oil has on this country. Considering the potential benefits of continuing to expand oil drilling might sway some of the minds of the naysayers.

Stability of the Dollar

The economic climate of the United States has changed for the better over the past decade, but we are still far from being secure and thriving. Drilling for oil continually supplies jobs that assist in maintaining the health of the American economy. Rig operators, on-site construction, administrators, and maintenance specialists all depend on this practice for their livelihood. The economic benefits are essentially a given. The government would potentially be able to lower its deficit and address other key concerns through the royalties made from exporting more oil. Additionally, reducing the dependence on foreign sources lowers the price of gasoline within the United States borders.

A Sovereign Nation

A total of 25% of the world’s oil supply is consumed by the United States. Domestic drilling is far from supporting this need despite the fact that we potentially have enough sources of untapped oil to do so. A large portion of the oil consumed comes from politically tumultuous parts of the world such as the Middle East and Afghanistan. Reducing our dependence on countries such as these aids the government’s ability to increase national security. It also costs money to import this oil. The U.S. spends millions of dollars each year importing oil from Canada alone.

From the Federal to the State Level

The extra income to the federal government will invariably trickle down to the state level. Estimates say that nearly $18 trillion dollars in domestic oil is waiting to be utilized. As the money goes into building the infrastructure to harvest the oil, the businesses and their employees pay taxes on their income to the state in which they live, making a serious impact on the struggling budgets that most U.S. states currently face.

Do Not Discount Technology

As the drilling continues to provide benefits, the technology used in the practice becomes more efficient. The industry itself does drive the need for innovation. In order to stay competitive and safe, oil drilling companies continually make technological advancements a high priority. Nan Gall Tools here in the United States are used by the workers, and the development of Fracking practices all contribute to our understanding of the drilling practice. There are constantly evolving procedures with an eye on safety.

Long-Term Benefits

Off-shore drilling in areas surrounding Alaska are the most promising ventures for exploration. Utilizing coastal plains makes only a minimal impact on the environment. Current estimations for projects off the Alaskan shores show that only 200 acres of a 1.5 million acre coastal plain would be put to use. The small amount of land would potentially lead to discoveries in oil that would yield anywhere from 9 to 16 billion barrels of oil. Taking advantage of these kinds of resources for the American economy from shores all across the country would considerably stabilize the oil industry for decades.

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The Job Security of Being an Accountant http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-job-security-of-being-an-accountant http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-job-security-of-being-an-accountant#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 20:12:29 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1665 With the economy still making its way back to normal levels, job security can be hard to find. Many companies have laid off people simply for economic reasons, leaving employees to wonder where the truly stable jobs are. Fortunately, there is hope for people who have been laid off due to economic reasons or who […]]]> With the economy still making its way back to normal levels, job security can be hard to find. Many companies have laid off people simply for economic reasons, leaving employees to wonder where the truly stable jobs are. Fortunately, there is hope for people who have been laid off due to economic reasons or who simply feel that they should pursue a more stable work environment. Certain jobs offer better prospects. Jobs in the technology sector, education and the legal profession have remained stable depending on the area. These jobs require special skills and licensing; in other words, knowledge promotes a stable occupation.

People looking for a job that promises stability in an uncertain economic environment should opt for obtaining new skills and education that can lead to better opportunities. A field that promises economic stability is accounting. People may not realize the importance of accounting jobs and their viability in the market.

Availability

Accounting encompasses more than doing taxes or rectifying business payroll. The skills an accountant learns in school and during entry level jobs can lead to other opportunities, such as financial analysis and auditing positions in private and public sectors. Many government-based jobs require accounting skills, particularly in the IRS. The job board website Indeed.com lists around 160,000 accounting jobs right now nationwide. This means that no matter where a person lives in the United States, he or she has open job availability in the field.

Education Cost vs. Compensation

When deciding whether a job in accounting is financially responsible, people need to consider how much it will cost to earn the degree and weigh it against the average salary for the position. In this case, accounting comes out as an attractive career field. For example, a student attending a four-year university can expect to pay around $16,000 per academic year, including tuition, room, and board. The price escalates for private schools. That might sound shockingly high, and it is, but fortunately, an accountant’s base salary for entry-level positions averages nearly $45,000. This means that in the course of a few years, an accountant has a high likelihood of repaying student loans or recovering a cash investment. A senior accountant can earn an average of $65,000 per year, which almost covers the tuition, room, and board costs for an average four-year public university. An investment in an accounting degree can yield impressive salary returns.

Strong Economic Future

In an uncertain economic environment, jobs that focus on strengthening finances come out on top. Accountants can offer their clients peace of mind, knowing that they have the best investment strategies in place. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting jobs have an expected growth projection of 16% over the next ten years. This is an average growth potential, but they also note that increased economic uncertainty lends itself to this job growth. This means that accountants can expect increased job security in the years ahead. Whether people are looking for a new job or a change in their current positions, accounting offers stability and growth in an otherwise stilted economy.

Byline: Brandon Carlisle has been looking into banking jobs recently since receiving his accounting degree.

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Debt-Free Isn’t for Dummies, But It Could Be for You: 4 Ways to Trim Your Monthly Bills http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/debt-free-isnt-for-dummies-but-it-could-be-for-you-4-ways-to-trim-your-monthly-bills http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/debt-free-isnt-for-dummies-but-it-could-be-for-you-4-ways-to-trim-your-monthly-bills#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:28:59 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1660 NPR reports that since the beginning of 2011, the average American wages and the cost of living have been moving in opposite directions. Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, and that’s not taking things like health insurance costs into consideration. In fact, since 2010 the average hiring wage for workers has continuously gone down, and many professionals […]]]> NPR reports that since the beginning of 2011, the average American wages and the cost of living have been moving in opposite directions. Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, and that’s not taking things like health insurance costs into consideration. In fact, since 2010 the average hiring wage for workers has continuously gone down, and many professionals have been forced into lower-paying jobs. Add in the mortgage crisis and healthcare costs, and many of us have found ourselves in dire need of downsizing our lives.

Downsizing is tough. While it seems easy for many to adjust from rags to riches, riches to rags is a humbling experience. Keep your head held high and take the time to learn and apply the practical adjustments below. Adaptability is how the strong survive.

Trade in that Lease and Go Used

Trading in your leased vehicle for a used car is one of the wisest ways to ditch a major gratuitous expense. Status and comfort are nice, but so is financial stability. There are many quality, gently used used cars out there—there’s a used car dealer in Dallas currently offering a Hyundai Sonata with great mileage for just under $10,000. You can take the money you save every month and apply it to other expenses or put in in savings.

Cut Down on Grocery Spending

You know those rewards cards the grocery store cashiers are always trying to get you to apply for? Get one. They do save you money. Combine them with coupons you can find online, and you can save a considerable amount of money over the course of the month. Of course, that’s just one easy way to cut down at the market. Another way to save money (and lose weight) is to stick to the list you made, and never go to the store hungry. Yes, your mother has told you that a thousand times, yet we still do it. The reason most people are in debt in the first place is because they took a “going to the store hungry” attitude to life.

Make a Budget

If your output exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall. Learn this. Repeat it. Make it your mantra. It’s all about getting a better hold of the money coming in and going out of your bank accounts. Our recommendation is to tally up what you know you’ll spend each month. Factor in everything. Leave that amount in your account. If there is anything left over, put it into a savings account immediately. This will be painful at first, as it’s forcing you to budget rather than set up elaborate plans. Visit Mint.com for free budgeting advice and apps that can help.

Get Outside

Skip the expensive family trip to the movies. Maybe there will be no amusement park adventure this year, either. For entertainment, take the family on a hike. Grab a camera and teach yourselves how to be a nature photographer. Do anything, as long as it’s outside and stays within your monthly budget. Enjoying the great (and free) outdoors won’t just make you richer, it’ll help you drop a few pounds and get healthier, too.

The most difficult part of making any life changes is actually doing it, but having a little faith and perseverance can help you live the life of your dreams.

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3 Ways to Wisely Invest Small Amounts of Money http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/3-ways-to-wisely-invest-small-amounts-of-money http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/3-ways-to-wisely-invest-small-amounts-of-money#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:57:44 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1652 Even small amounts of money can show substantial growth when invested wisely. Small amounts of money also have the added benefit of allowing an investor to be riskier with their investments in the hopes of larger returns. There are many great ways to invest small amounts of money, especially today.

1. Penny Stocks

Penny stocks are stocks […]]]> Even small amounts of money can show substantial growth when invested wisely. Small amounts of money also have the added benefit of allowing an investor to be riskier with their investments in the hopes of larger returns. There are many great ways to invest small amounts of money, especially today.

1. Penny Stocks


Penny stocks are stocks in extremely small businesses, so named because the stock prices are very cheap. Investors buy penny stocks in the hopes that the business will either grow dramatically or be purchased by another, larger corporation. Penny stocks are a challenge to an investor because the majority of small businesses will not grow, or will even go out of business. Penny stocks are a high-risk, high return, investment, which makes them perfect for investors that are looking to invest a small amount of money in hopes of a larger return.

2. Foreign Exchange


The foreign exchange market allows trades that are as low as just a few cents, and mini accounts will let traders begin with just a few hundred dollars. The foreign exchange market is deceptively complex, so investors looking to get into the market should do a lot of research and use demo trading platforms to simulate trades before entering the real market. The foreign exchange market is another high-risk, but high return, investment. Playing with a lot of money on the foreign exchange can be very dangerous, especially for a beginning investor.

3. Dividend Reinvestment Plans Or Index Funds


Both DRPs and index funds usually have a low financial barrier to entry. Dividend Reinvestment Plans allow people to invest in a company directly with less than a hundred dollars, and the investor can continue investing in this plan as time goes on, slowly building up their investment. DRPs are offered by the companies directly, so the investor should do their research before making an investment and select the companies they want to invest in wisely. Index funds allow an investor to invest in the stock market without having to pick specific stocks. Index funds can be priced anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and should be researched before being invested in to see their historic returns. 

Before anyone should begin investing they should already have the other aspects of their financial picture complete. This means paying down debts, creating an emergency fund, and planning for retirement.

Author Bio

Hayley is a freelance blogger. Are you struggling with debt?

Lexington Law credit repair services can help manage any debt or credit issues before you begin building your investment portfolio. For more financial advice, visit http://money.cnn.com/.

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The Most Lucrative Specialties for Surgeons http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-most-lucrative-specialties-for-surgeons http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-most-lucrative-specialties-for-surgeons#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:53:52 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1647 One of the main reasons why the price of surgical procedures is so high is to pay the high salaries earned by the surgeons who perform them. The U.S. Department of Labor states that a surgeon is the highest paid profession in the United States. The salary that a surgeon earns is directly related to […]]]> One of the main reasons why the price of surgical procedures is so high is to pay the high salaries earned by the surgeons who perform them. The U.S. Department of Labor states that a surgeon is the highest paid profession in the United States. The salary that a surgeon earns is directly related to the specialty that he or she chooses. And to lesser extent a surgeon’s salary is dependent upon their location; thus, a surgeon performing cosmetic surgery in Beverly Hills may have superior earning power over a surgeon performing Cosmetic Surgery Houston. Let’s take a look at the various surgical specialties and their salaries:

1. Orthopedic Surgeon

These surgeons specialize in the restoration of the musculoskeletal system functions. This can include the extremities, elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, and spine. They can use surgery, physical manipulation, or medicine to treat the various ailments they find in children or adults. They require four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and general surgery for one year. Their average salary is $600,000 annually.

2. Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncologists utilize radiation in the treatment of various diseases. They usually treat malignant tumors. These can be cancers related to the prostate, lung, breast, and brain. This treatment is often combined with chemotherapy or surgery performed by a surgical oncologist. The chemotherapy is given by a clinical oncologist. They are also trained to administer radiation therapy. Four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, a single year of general medical training, and four years of radiation oncology training are required to become a radiation oncologist. On average, they earn $520,000 annually.

3. Plastic Surgeon

These surgeons specialize in replacing, repairing or reconstructing physical defects that are found in the skin, musculoskeletal system, face, and extremities such as the breasts or hands. The surgeries they perform can enhance the physical appearance of a person or correct accidental trauma and congenital problems. In order to become a plastic surgeon, a person must have four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school and anywhere from five to seven years of training in a particular specialty pertaining to plastic surgery. On average, plastic surgeons earn $500,000 annually.

4. Cardio-thoracic Surgeons

This is a fancy name for a heart surgeon. They perform surgeries that pertain exclusively to the cardiovascular system. When people have open-heart surgery, this is the type of surgeon that would perform it. However they do not perform coronary catheterizations. A non-invasive cardiologist typically performs these procedures. Training to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon requires four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, three years of residency and two or three years studying your specialty. They typically earn $495,000 annually.

5. Orthopedic Surgeons

These surgeons correct deformities, injuries, and diseases related to the skeleton and its supporting system of ligaments, tendons, musculature, and nerves. These conditions can potentially affect the dexterity and mobility of a patient, which can drastically reduce their quality of life. There are various sub-specialties within the orthopedic surgery category. These can include pediatric orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, hand specialists, joint replacement surgeons, and orthopedic spinal surgeons. Requirements for this field are four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, three years of residency and one year of specialty training. Their average annual salary is $482,000.

It should be noted that these surgeons generally need to work in their field for many years before they start to see a profit. Most of them take out massive college loans. After they graduate, they frequently take out additional loans to pay for their office space and equipment. Surgeons also need to pay for varying levels of malpractice insurance, which can be extremely expensive.

Byline

This article was composed by Derek Strauss, a freelance writer who focuses on education, medical science, elective surgery, the medical profession and other assorted topics. Those interested in seeing a surgeon for elective surgery should consider Cosmetic Surgery Houston.

 

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5 Ways to Maximize Your Smartphone’s Data Limit http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/5-ways-to-maximize-your-smartphones-data-limit http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/5-ways-to-maximize-your-smartphones-data-limit#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:28:30 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1640 Guest Post By Madyson Grant

Outside of basic texting and calling options, most smartphone users will begin to eat into their data limit when it comes to the most exciting and useful features and programs. Everything from searching through maps to updating apps can become a huge drain on their data package during each billing cycle. […]]]> Guest Post By Madyson Grant

Outside of basic texting and calling options, most smartphone users will begin to eat into their data limit when it comes to the most exciting and useful features and programs. Everything from searching through maps to updating apps can become a huge drain on their data package during each billing cycle. Even those with unlimited data could have their internet speeds throttled after passing a certain threshold, and that is why everyone should keep these five easy tips in mind when it comes to maximizing their own particular data package.

5. Install a Data Maximizer

No matter the operating system that one’s phone is running on, there will be a number of options for a data maximizer. Also referred to as data managers, these simple apps offer a single stop that will keep the user up-to-date with how much data they have uploaded and downloaded for that billing cycle as well as their texts and phone calls.

4. Use Wifi Regularly

While 3G and 4G speeds are better than ever, Wifi should be used whenever it is possible. Many restaurants and other types of businesses provide free Wifi to their customer,s and this could make data usage much more efficient. All information that is uploaded or downloaded over a Wifi network will not count towards the phone’s data plan.

3. Check on App Settings

After purchasing a Bell.ca phone, most individuals will immediately hit the app market to begin skimming through hundreds of thousands of sensational programs. When each app is downloaded, the user agreement and the settings should be carefully read as many of these programs will automatically update themselves unless the user chooses to manually update at their own discretion.

2. Avoid Tethering and Hotspots

Many iPhone, Android, and Blackberry Canada experts will also suggest that users tether their phones and create hotspots sparingly. This feature will immediately provide access to any a laptop or tablet PC, but the data usage can be astronomically. Even a single video could push one over their data limit when tethered to another device.

1. Fully Close Programs and Apps

Many programs appear to shutoff when no longer in use, but they could still be actively running in the “background” of the smartphone’s processor. These background apps will continue to upload and download information and use up huge amounts of data. Some of apps to look out for include stock, weather, and social networking programs that must provide new information regularly.

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Is Cell Phone Insurance Really Necessary? http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/is-cell-phone-insurance-really-necessary http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/is-cell-phone-insurance-really-necessary#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:47:06 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1634 When a consumer buys a new phone, one question that might be asked is whether the consumer wants to purchase insurance. Cell phone insurance is usually a monthly fee that ranges from $10 to $15 a month and promises to replace a phone in the event of damage or theft. Depending on the phone, this […]]]> When a consumer buys a new phone, one question that might be asked is whether the consumer wants to purchase insurance. Cell phone insurance is usually a monthly fee that ranges from $10 to $15 a month and promises to replace a phone in the event of damage or theft. Depending on the phone, this replacement may be free or it may come at a charge. Insurance is effective only while it is being paid for,  so if the insurance coverage is dropped then the insurance premiums that were paid are lost. There are many factors to consider when thinking about whether cell phone insurance is really necessary, and much of it depends on the consumer and their cell phone habits.

How the Type of Cell Phone Affects Insurance

Cheaper phones may not merit carrying extra insurance for because the cost of the phone over a year would be fully subsidized by insurance payments. The consumer could simply set aside money every month in case their phone was lost rather than paying the cell phone provider. More expensive cell phones such as smartphones are more important to insure. More rugged phones are unlikely to become damaged, so insurance may not be as useful. More delicate phones such as those with large touchscreens are often crushed or broken, so again insurance may be more important. All of these factors need to be considered.

Another issue that needs to be considered is the cell phone’s innate tracking ability. Many consumers pick up insurance because it boasts an impressive lost phone location capability, but these consumers may not be aware that many phones today already come with this ability. Customers should be careful to ask whether the insurance features are duplicating features that are already found on their phone.

How the Type Of Consumer Affects Insurance

Not only is the type of phone a concern, but the type of person is too. Consumers who regularly switch their phone out for a newer model may not be as concerned with a lost phone as those who try to keep their phones for a long time. Consumers also need to consider their own personal habits very carefully when they are considering getting cell phone insurance. A consumer should think about how many times within the last five years or so they have actually lost or damaged their phone. If a consumer has never lost their phone in the last five years then insurance may not make sense for them. If they have lost their phone on a regular basis, they should calculate out how much insurance would have cost over the last five years and how much their replacement phones cost them. If the amount of insurance is less than the amount of their replacements then insurance is the wiser option.

Damaged phones are a little more complicated because damaged phones can be replaced, sometimes at a relatively low cost (especially if the phone is still under warrantee). A consumer should keep this in mind when trying to compare the price of their phones without insurance and the price of their phones with insurance.

The Bottom Line On Insurance

The effectiveness of cell phone insurance is based largely on the numbers and the statistical likelihood of the consumer losing their phone. This means that each individual needs to look at their own situation and their own numbers before making an educated decision. If the consumer has a $600 phone, and insurance will replace it for $200, and insurance costs $120 a year, this means that it will cost them $600 to replace their phone on their own and $320 to replace it with insurance, assuming they lose their phone within a year. However, if the consumer usually only loses phones once every two years, that price jumps up to $440. Consider carefully whether paying for phone insurance will save or cost you money.

Byline

Kyle Leonard is a freelance writer who mainly concentrates his energies on cell phones and cell phone accessories; those with iPhones seeking insurance should consider the iphone 5 insurance brand Protectyourbubble.com.

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Do You Really Need All Those Minutes? http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/do-you-really-need-all-those-minutes http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/do-you-really-need-all-those-minutes#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:31:51 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1629 Since the early days of cell phone technology cell phone users have been plagued by huge overage charges. Because of this, most cell phone owners today make sure that they pad their cell phone plans with more than enough minutes to spare. However, this can get very costly and there are usually other options. Many […]]]> Since the early days of cell phone technology cell phone users have been plagued by huge overage charges. Because of this, most cell phone owners today make sure that they pad their cell phone plans with more than enough minutes to spare. However, this can get very costly and there are usually other options. Many cell phone plans are costly primarily because of their minutes, and many users today find themselves using telephone minutes far less.

The Rise Of Text Messaging

Because most people use their cell phones for text messaging, voice minutes are much less often used. Those who have not adjusted their minutes for a long time may not have compensated for this reduction in talk time. Those who do talk on the phone often can cut down on their talk time by trading text messages instead. Text messaging is very convenient and allows users to keep a lasting record of their communication. The younger generation in particular rarely ever actually picks up the phone for a conversation which means that many lines for children and teenager may not need as many voice minutes as people might think.

How Family Plans Can Help

Family plans today are often extremely inexpensive, and those with low minutes are even more so. Since children today tend towards text messaging rather than vocal conversations, the days of having extremely large overage costs are largely over. With a family plan, it’s important to have unlimited text messaging if there are children in the house because text messaging can quickly go overboard, but voice data can be easily monitored. One way to make sure that children and teens keep track of their own voice data usage is by factoring their cell phone usage into their allowance and having them pay their own cell phone bills.

Why Change Plans Now

Changing a cell phone plan is something that many people tend to put off, but as the months pass the amount that a cell phone owner is overpaying can add up significantly. Most cell phone companies allow their users to change their plans quickly online or on the phone, which means that it’s very easy to do. Changing plans is also something that it’s easy to forget about, so it can be important to do it as soon as a person remembers.

Protection From Overages

Many cell phone owners are afraid of overages, but they don’t need to be. Today’s cell phone companies are able to send text messages, emails, and even to call a cell phone owner as they approach their limit. The cell phone user can then decide whether they want to be more cautious with their minutes or whether they want to switch back to their initial plan. This makes it easy for a cell phone user to try out a lower plan without any risk.

Other Ways To Cut Back

When changing their plan to include fewer minutes there are a lot of other things a cell phone user can do at the same time to cut their plans back a bit. Data plans can be studied to see whether the user is paying too much for their data, and text messaging plans can be looked at as well. If the user is paying for cell phone tracking they should check to see whether their phone already tracks location itself, which many smartphones already do. Further, if the user is paying for insurance but intending to buy a new phone soon they may be able to drop the insurance a little early without any issues.

Byline

This article was composed by Samuel Pilkington, a freelance technology writer who often contributes pieces on gadgetry and cell phones. Those looking to expand their gadgetry reservoir should consider the kensington ipad case with keyboard from kensington.com.

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Should You Invest in Gold? http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/should-you-invest-in-gold http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/should-you-invest-in-gold#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:11:35 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1615 Given global economic uncertainties, many investors are considering investing in gold as a store of value and hedge to inflation. Historically, gold has performed well during periods of high inflation, since the supply of gold increases only modestly each year from mining activity, whereas paper currencies can be inflated by central banks at will.

The History […]]]> Given global economic uncertainties, many investors are considering investing in gold as a store of value and hedge to inflation. Historically, gold has performed well during periods of high inflation, since the supply of gold increases only modestly each year from mining activity, whereas paper currencies can be inflated by central banks at will.

The History of Gold as Money

Gold has been used as money for at least 5,000 years, due to being rare, durable, divisible, and fungible. With its unique physical properties, gold is universally recognized as money, and therefore can be taken across borders to be exchanged for a local currency with ease. Though silver shares many characteristics with gold and also historically has been considered a monetary and precious metal, gold is more practical for central banks to store, since its value is about 55 times greater per ounce. Gold requires significantly less space than silver for storage and is easier to transport.

Gold As a Hedge to Inflation

Since the collapse of American and European real estate markets in 2008, Western central banks have been printing massive amounts of money to keep asset prices inflated. The belief among the central banks is that by keeping asset prices elevated, consumers will feel wealthier and spend more money, thus stimulating the economy. Additionally, large financial institutions have depended on the Federal Reserve and other central banks to purchase their toxic assets tied to real estate to prevent their insolvency. All of this money-printing by central banks has elevated the prices of commodities, such as precious metals, oil, and food, since commodities are tangible assets that cannot be inflated as easily as paper or electronic money. As a result of the monetary easing of central banks, the price of gold has risen for 12 consecutive years.

Gold As a Safe Haven

As recent financial unrest in the European Union has shown the world, bank deposits are not safe from confiscation during times of financial crises. Due to the financial gambling of Cypriot banks, they required a 10 billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) in order to remain solvent. As a condition to the bailout, deposits of over 100,000 euros have been confiscated. Though European officials have denied that the confiscation of bank deposits in Cyprus sets a wider precedent, it should be noted that two major global institutions, the IMF and ECB, pressured the Cypriot government into confiscating these deposits. Given the interdependency and interconnectedness of European economies, a problem in one area is likely to create a problem in another area, leading to contagion. Though confiscation of bank deposits may in fact be limited to Cyprus, the risk that wealthy Europeans perceive in keeping their money within the European Union financial system will encourage more of them to invest in precious metals, which are largely immune to financial calamity. Many wealthy individuals outside of Europe, by perceiving Cyprus as a financial canary in the coal mine, are also going to perceive some risk to their deposits and react by placing more of their wealth into precious metals.

The Gold Outlook

With monetary easing likely to be continued for the next few years by central banks, since it is their principal tool to stimulate the economy, the gold bull market will likely continue for at least a few more years. Additionally, with central banks moving into uncharted territory in their degree of monetary easing, significant systemic risks are being introduced into the financial markets, such as collapsing currencies and hyperinflation. In the case of high inflation or hyperinflation from a devalued currency, the price of gold will move inversely to the rate of inflation. Though gold has moved up substantially in value over the last 12 years, a serious financial collapse as a result of the massive money-printing could cause the price of gold to rise from where it is today. Given the systemic risks to the financial markets, concerned investors should allocate at least 5 to 10 percent of their wealth into precious metals.

Byline

David Francis has a keen interest in precious metals, materials science, finance, investment, chemistry, gold, silver,Investing in Oil and Gas and other related topics. Those looking to invest should consider Gold as well as Oil and Gas to properly diversify their portfolios.

 

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The Less-Than-Glamourous Costs Of A Medical Education http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-less-than-glamourous-costs-of-a-medical-education http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/the-less-than-glamourous-costs-of-a-medical-education#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 20:56:19 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1607 MDs will continue to be perceived as a well-paid group. Even “underpaid” general practitioners are very likely to be envied for their income by people outside the medical professional. This image will apply, to some extent, only to those who establish themselves as MDs. Students who do not complete all MD education requirements will be […]]]> MDs will continue to be perceived as a well-paid group. Even “underpaid” general practitioners are very likely to be envied for their income by people outside the medical professional. This image will apply, to some extent, only to those who establish themselves as MDs. Students who do not complete all MD education requirements will be saddled with tremendous debt, typically without correspondingly high income. The image of the wealthy MD will remain with some merit, but it will gloss over very real and significant costs and risks for existing, and especially prospective MDs.

Implicit Costs

Medical doctors need to commit at least seven years, maybe as much as ten or eleven, to hefty student loans and low pay during schooling. Assuming an average salary of $45,000 for at least seven years for an undergrad who forgoes med school, an MD’s wealth is implicitly $45,000 x 7 = $315,000 in the red when starting out.

Supply and Demand

The BLS estimates physician demand to rise significantly faster than average through 2020, with especially strong job opportunities and compensation in rural and other areas experiencing a doctor shortage. Despite legal regulations, malpractice insurance and other expenses, demand for MDs is not likely to wane anytime soon. The high financial and time commitments needed to become an MD create a barrier to entry for new MDs that would lower the pay commanded by existing doctors. Note that demand for MDs is based on a “commodity” of ubiquitous concern: health. Since MDs do not deal in a service subject to popular whims, such as gadgets or clothing styles, they can rely on a continuous stream of health care needs to justify high salaries.

The costs to becoming an MD are exceptionally high. These costs can deter prospective MDs. However, note that such an effective filter to new entrants helps to prop demand for the relatively few MDs that overcome the rigors and expenses of medical training. That fact, combined with the fact that a desire for health does not go out of style, will help to compensate MDs for high training costs. However, it should be emphasized that those who wish to train as medical doctors should not fall for the generalized, rose-colored view of the MD career. Financial and mental strain, risk of failure and other educational and professional pitfalls are unpleasant facts for existing and prospective MDs.

School Costs

Medical doctor education costs of up to $300,000-400,000 are common. Taking the optimistic view from the above cost estimates, total cost of medical school would be $300,000 of loans explicitly for school and about $315,000 in foregone wages a student would have earned if he/she went to work with only a bachelor’s degree. MDs start their path to wealth over $600,000 in the red. This figure can rise another $100,000 or more, depending on alternative available job prospects, details of student loan repayment agreements and medical specialty. It should be noted that college costs are rising faster than inflation, with no sign of decreasing in the near future.

Byline

This piece was composed by Ronald Copperpot, a freelancer who focuses on various topics related to the medical field. Those interested in nursing should view the resources at nursingclassesonline.net.

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Future Shock And Our Jobs . . . http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/future-shock-and-our-jobs http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/future-shock-and-our-jobs#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:06:29 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1602 Authored By Dave Webb

In the printing business, we had an over scale position($5 a day over scale in the 1950s). That is equivalent in today’s currency to $50 a day over scale. No one ever made $50 a day over scale while I was there. Instead the money disappeared as our business changed.

Marking up advertising […]]]> Authored By Dave Webb

In the printing business, we had an over scale position($5 a day over scale in the 1950s). That is equivalent in today’s currency to $50 a day over scale. No one ever made $50 a day over scale while I was there. Instead the money disappeared as our business changed.

Marking up advertising from sales people’s layouts was a kind of mechanical engineering. My mentor in this part of the trade was a man who knew his type so well, he could give it the proper markup in his sleep. He could literally visualize what it would look like as a finished product.

This was hot type. It was done on linotype machines. If he made an error it cost the company money to get it right. That was why very few printers ever became markup men in advertising.

Because this man was my friend, he went out on a limb and taught me that part of the trade the right way. Most apprentices did not learn it well enough to become markup men.

Later on, the business changed again and again, and each time the skill level to do this markup was reduced. Eventually we built ads on lcd monitors and Apple Macs. By then the trade had become a graphic artist trade. Graphic artists were trained by colleges.

The difference between a creative and talented Graphic Artist and a printer was often their ability to recognize existing fonts. Most Graphic Artists were not trained in this area of our trade. So duplicating an existing advertisement in type was not something they were capable of doing. Most skilled printers could duplicate that ad pretty close to the original.

Computers can be frustrating at times. Most graphic artists do not know the tricks of the trade. Most Printers never learned Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. So there is always a trade off of skills.

I was lucky. I had graphic artists willing to teach me the areas of the trade that I did not know very well. In return I taught them areas that they did not know.

If you look at any car ad in the country right now, it is most likely being produced by graphic artists either here or in India. How do I know? When they use an apostrophe it is often turned the wrong direction. That is the computer programs doing this. They do not know how to turn it around. Our printers discovered how to turn it around to the proper way.

Like Blacksmiths, the trade as originally practiced is gone. This is the case with many skills in our modern world as computers have invaded our lives. I only comment on this because I am an engineering type of person.

I get frustrated by poor engineering in other areas. I guess it is because I have been in a field of engineering type most of my life.

Today we had a rather heavy 4-5 inches of snow. It was right around freezing last night when it fell. The snow is one small step away from being compact ice. The gasoline snowblower will not work with this type of snow. So I have to go back to the electric paddle snowblower that is one step removed from a shovel. What is frustrating is I know I could design a snowblower much better than the one I have. Yet they are all pretty much designed the same way.

If I were designing a snowblower it would be designed to channel the ice/snow differently. A plow handles it fine. So what I would do is put a plow attachment on the front of the blower to be used as an alternative snow removal. This is easy enough as most blowers are self-propelled. The plow would be about the size of a snow shovel. It would have to cover the width of the machine.

I would probably use paddles instead of the iron tillers that most use. The electric models have this designed in and it works better on compacted snow that is almost liquid. I would offer paddles as an alternative to the tiller blades.

I would probably heat the paddles so ice cannot stick on them. Or use a slick surface that enables the blades to work with sticky snow. I would most likely put paddles in front of the plow and channel it into the front so the excess snow is plowed forward in front of the blower.

What they have done is put a second blower in the channel to push the snow over our heads. It really doesn’t work that well.

I am by nature someone that invents personal things for my own needs. I think next year, I will probably put one of these designs on my existing gas snow blower. Usually if I have thought of something, then others have also. It is a business figuring our if someone has patented a machine similar to one for personal use.

The Internet is a fine resource to research whether someone has or has not done some idea and whether or not it is original or not.

What I cannot understand is why we are using yesterday’s technology and engineering on Snow Blowers you can find in stores right now.

In the time it has taken for my trade to become obsolete, the channels of communication have made graphic artists obsolete as well. The place I worked for just laid the entire crew of Graphic Artists off and replaced them with contracted workers in India. This was done last Thanksgiving time. The company can now channel the work to people half a world away and get the work back in time for an edition. This is future shock for all of us. The last printer in the place retired last year.

I have given no names here and will not say which company this is. The point is not any one company doing things like this. The point is we no longer get taxes from people contracted in countries other than our own.

The point is if we are going to have a world economy then the outrageously poor working conditions and wages of these people are not in competition with us. The question is what are our representatives going to do to protect all of us ? Or can we protect our people at all? The laid off people were about 30 citizens of this country with college educations and mountains of experience doing the job.

The problem is that there is a huge gap between their economic circumstance in their countries and us. If we fail to protect our people, then the entire wage system of this country is in jeopardy. The wage system is what pays the taxes that supports the government. If it goes, the government goes too.

This is not a problem of any one minority economic group like the rich. It cannot be solved by discriminatory taxes against the rich.

The problem is the common people in this country paying taxes compounds. When it compounds with the common people being laid off by workers in foreign lands, something is going to have to be done to stop it cold. Otherwise, there will be no one left to support the government with income taxes.

The compounding of taxes created by the common people is far larger than any one group in this country. But that is what is happening to cause the economic disaster we face right now.

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Livin’ in a Buyer’s Paradise: Use the Recession to Your Advantage When Car Shopping http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/livin-in-a-buyers-paradise-use-the-recession-to-your-advantage-when-car-shopping http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/livin-in-a-buyers-paradise-use-the-recession-to-your-advantage-when-car-shopping#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:55:44 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1597 From homes to property to electronics we’ve all heard it before; today’s market is a buyer’s paradise. Automobile sales are one of the ways buyers are benefiting the most, as more people are selling than buying in the current recession. Sellers are willing to go lower to make a sale, which is what every buyer […]]]> From homes to property to electronics we’ve all heard it before; today’s market is a buyer’s paradise. Automobile sales are one of the ways buyers are benefiting the most, as more people are selling than buying in the current recession. Sellers are willing to go lower to make a sale, which is what every buyer wants. With manufacturer deals, private seller desperation, low interest rates and options for people with bad credit, there are many advantages to a down economy. Whether you’re in the market for a family van, an off road or luxury vehicle or a sedan for making your daily commute, there are bargains on all makes and models right now. How can you take advantage?

More for Your Trade-In

Because less people are buying cars, more people are holding on to their older vehicles. Now with leasing options available for as low as $99 per month there are even fewer people selling and exchanging their vehicles to used-car lots. But this fact means if you are looking to trade in your old vehicle for something new, you are going to get more than you might have five years ago for a similar-valued car. As basic supply and demand teaches, the less availability of a product, the higher the demand will be.

Bountiful Bargains and Borrowing

Loans are being extended to people with little to bad credit with many companies specializing in bad credit auto loans. Interest rates are at some of the lowest points in history; some are as low as zero percent. The Federal Reserve lowers rates during economic hardship as a way to stimulate the economy. If you have good credit, getting a loan will more than likely not be a problem. Some manufactures are even decreasing the prices of new models. Inflation typically causes prices of models to gradually increase year-to-year, but some companies like Toyota have actually decreased the value of some of their models from 2011 to 2012. Regardless of your credit situation, there are options available for everyone.

Better Seller Incentives

Manufacturers will often offer special deals like discounts, rebates and holiday weekend specials. Although these kinds of deals can be great opportunities, be careful and do your research before committing to a sale. Unfortunately, there are still scams out there; some dealerships will disguise a higher-priced vehicle behind lower monthly payments. If you’re buying a used vehicle from a private seller or independent lot, you can negotiate more value for your buck. Many people who are selling cars need the extra money and there are less serious buyers in the market.

Cashing in on Fuel Economy

With raising gas prices and growing social concern over natural resources, newer vehicles are being made with fuel economy in mind. Brands like SmartCar get an average of 38 miles per gallon and start as low as $12,500. Having a fuel-efficient vehicle can also be a a major discount come tax season as the federal and some state governments recognize select vehicles as a tax reduction.

Authored By Pete Morris- A gentle giant, Pete is a high school basketball coach, painter and car mechanic. He has been fixing cars since he was 13 and loves saving the day when someone’s car won’t run.

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Spelling Out In Simple Terms- WHAT IS WRONG http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/spelling-out-in-simple-terms-what-is-wrong http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/archives/spelling-out-in-simple-terms-what-is-wrong#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:55:56 +0000 Michael http://thehowtogetoutofdebtplan.com/?p=1592 Authored By Dave Webb

The future is controlled by economics. So has the past been controlled by economics. In theory, money represents commodities. And commodities are what controls everything we know.

The current economic situation is controlled by how much it costs you and me to buy commodities. The price of basics determine how well we all […]]]> Authored By Dave Webb

The future is controlled by economics. So has the past been controlled by economics. In theory, money represents commodities. And commodities are what controls everything we know.

The current economic situation is controlled by how much it costs you and me to buy commodities. The price of basics determine how well we all live.

Transportation:

How much does it cost you to own your car?

Do you have a lease or car payment?

How much does it cost to maintain the car?

How much does it cost to fill the tank and how long does it last you?

What do you pay per month for insurance?

What do you set aside for emergency repairs?

Groceries:

Do you plan for food? When I was in service I never gave it a second thought. (Older married men wanted a refrigerator and bought their own food.)

Do you plan to eat out occasionally and how much do you set aside for that?

Place to live:

Most of us start out renting. Is it possible to own a house?

Pay your utilities? There is a difference between living in a suburb and living in an apartment in a town.

Maintenance. Things go wrong in both a rental and a house. Is money set aside for this?

Real Estate Insurance and Taxes as part of the monthly payment?

A short cut to learning the value of a currency is to ask a simple question. How much is a gallon of gasoline where you live? This is an eternal question. It is the same then as now. I maintain that our currency is not based on gold. It is based on all of the above. The price of gasoline is what your money is actually worth as a short cut to knowing what your money is worth. Why? Because all prices are at least partly controlled by how much it cost to transport goods.

This is basics. It is not some high theory of economics. It is everyday basic things we all have to live with regardless of how poor or how wealthy you are. The variables are how much you pay.

We are talking about the vast majority of people in this country and abroad. These were the little people of Jonathan Swift fame. The mechanics of their existence is important to all of us.

The important thing for retailers is How much do you have left over after all of this to buy discretionary goods?

If the answer is very low, then the retailer goes broke.

I am spelling this all out for a reason. Most of our retailers are facing this situation right now.

All government is supported on the discretionary income of the general public.

Every school district in the country is effected by this. Time and time again levies are put on the ballot to be passed or failed on putting taxes on our real estate. When times are good, this is not a real concern. Levies often pass. Especially if the school system is thorough in educating the public as to the benefits of these levies. Most often they are not. The school system itself is ignorant so they fail to educate the public to their needs.

Every city in the country depends on the general public for their existence financially. It all depends on discretionary income of the average person.

When the general public can no longer afford the taxes then everything goes bankrupt. And that is what is happening world wide right now. All of the parasitic, service related industries of government are hard put to find the funds necessary to exist. The general public no longer has the funds to give them. If the money isn’t there, what do you do?

The solution has been to print money. So more and more money is chasing commodities. The prices go up. The general public wages do not. So things become more expensive to buy. People’s discretionary income goes down.

The Nixon solution to this was to increase the amount of commodities with cheap goods from China and taking us off an unrealistic gold standard. This was supposed to make discretionary income go up. It worked for a while. It was a temporary solution. The government people that did not understand it was temporary have tried to make it a permanent solution. It didn’t work.

What did work for Nixon was inflation. We still had a good portion of our country able to negotiate wages. By 1980, we were paying back the war debts of Vietnam to the tune of 400 billion dollars. It was paid back with currency worth 1/10th of what it was worth 15 years past. The ones cheated were those people that lent us money to pursue the war.

Those goods were a part of our wage economy. As more and more goods are produced overseas, then those wages are lost to income taxation. Lost income taxes means less money for government to operate on. Solution was to counterfeit more money.

Counterfeit money means more money chasing fewer commodities.

Wages do not go up in a non-union economy because people simply do not have the negotiating ability to make it happen. Jobs go to less expensive people overseas. People that do not pay our taxes. Those people here making those wages are laid off. It is a nasty circle. Government revenue goes down.

If this were a country that encouraged small independent businesses this would be different. We encourage giant corporations. Small businesses would gradually increase the price of things. Corporations take the work and go overseas to produce the goods at a fraction of what they would cost to make here. All the rules are set aside in a foreign country. That is very attractive to businesses. It is ruinous for collecting taxes. So government loses no matter what they do.

What hasn’t stopped is the bills. Both with the people upon which all taxation is based and with the government still spending like we have all the real money in the world. We are fighting wars we have no real money to fight them with. We are producing very expensive weapons that have a short life in wartime. Things like helicopters, drones, expensive satellite spy stations, tanks, battle cruisers, aircraft carriers, submarines, and more. The list goes on and on without fail. We have one of the most expensive armies in the world when it comes to intelligence services.

Simply, we cannot afford any of it.

We are still giving enormous amounts of money away in foreign aid.

We are acting like we are wealthy and we are no longer wealthy. The space program is a good example of enormous amounts of money with little tangible results to our economy.

The result of the government gradually going broke are obvious. The government is going to steal what money is available from the general public. They will do this by reducing social security pensions, stealing industrial pensions outright, stealing a percentage of everyone’s savings in the banks, and increasing taxes on the general public. Obamacare is ill-conceived in such an economic environment. The additional expense of implementing it is going to bankrupt a good portion of the public.

The important question here is what are our representatives in the Congress going to do to preserve our economic way of life? Because what is happening now is they are destroying the financial base of our nation and have been doing so since the early 60s when we went to war in Vietnam.

Like a big ocean liner, it is impossible to change course in a very little time.

The basics are we have to preserve the General Public’s discretionary income. We have to make it possible for people to make a living or we have to do away with the way we produce revenue for the government in favor of one that will work. If people make no wages, they pay no taxes. The only other way that government can be supported is with a national sales tax on anything produced. That will do as much harm as good. It means people have no money to buy goods. The price of goods goes up past their ability to pay. Even doing away with Income Taxes at the same time will only work for a little while.

The other factor is we are supporting an enormous work force abroad. What happens when they are cut off? I don’t mean cut off from producing goods. I mean there is no longer a market for those goods because people no longer have money to spend past the basics.

In foreign countries people starve when that happens.

Starving people go to war with those people they perceive as having caused their problem.

I have spelled out the problem. Finding solutions is going to be a real challenge for everyone.

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