Four Places Not to Use Your Credit Card

Americans are in love with credit cards.

Many of us have replaced the cash in our wallets with our cards, charging everything from a cup of coffee to large purchases like automobiles.

Although credit cards are convenient, they aren’t right for all purchases even if you can get rewards points or cash back.

In what cases are credit cards a bad idea?  Here are some places NOT to use your credit card: Continue Reading

There’s Some Orange in Your Pocket – Capital One Gains Approval to Acquire ING Direct USA

This story didn’t make front page headlines in the financial media but behind the scenes, a battle took place with Capital One emerging as the winner.

Capital One, well known for their “what’s in your wallet” commercials agreed to purchase ING Direct USA for $9 billion paving the way for Capital One to become the 5th largest bank in the United States based on total deposits.

This acquisition faced tougher than expected scrutiny by Federal Regulators although they recently approved the deal.

By banking standards, this was not a large deal so why did it face such tough headwinds? Continue Reading

How to Deduct Your Moving Expenses

Moving_Truck_smaller

According to the U.S. Census bureau, up to 40 million people move from their current residence each year.

That represents just over 14% of the population and as everybody knows, moving is expensive, stressful, and back breaking.

For those who are moving because of a new job, the IRS softens the blow by allowing a portion of those moving expenses to be deducted on your tax filing– but be careful.

In order to deduct your moving expenses, you have to pass two important IRS tests.
Continue Reading

Is a Used Car Really a Better Value?

We’ve heard it so many times.

As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it loses 25% of its value and why do you want to pay the depreciation costs?

If you purchase a used car, somebody else already paid the costs and you can get a better deal.

On the surface, the logic behind that makes a lot of sense but is it actually true that purchasing a used car is a better value than a new car?

First, let’s remember that getting the most value doesn’t necessarily mean paying the least.  Sometimes it works out that way but as we’ve all found in our day-to-day lives, buying the cheapest items may not save us money in the long run. Continue Reading

Mortgage Plan to Help Homeowners – $26 Billion Settlement with Big Banks

If you’re wondering when help will arrive for your underwater home, on February 9th, 2012, a giant step forward was taken on your behalf.

The Obama Administration announced a settlement with five of the largest banks, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial, and attorneys general in all states with the exception of Oklahoma.

The $26 billion foreclosure settlement brings to a close the litigation surrounding the use of robo-signing in the foreclosure process and may provide much needed relief for many of the nation’s underwater homeowners.

Background

Continue Reading

Groupon FTD.com National Deal – Double Your Value

Groupon is at it again! 

Groupon is offering up a deal to help all those shopping for Valentine’s Day.  (They ran this deal last year too around this time).

$20 for $40 worth of flowers, gifts, and more at FTD.com!

This deal is good for online orders.  The deal will run today, February 8th, through Saturday, February 11th at 11:59pm Central.
Continue Reading

Obama Mortgage Relief Refinancing Plan – A Tax on Big Banks and More

We Can’t Wait

That’s the new slogan that the Obama Administration is trying out, presumably thinking of the campaign as Obama approaches the full force of election season.

In Las Vegas, one of hardest hit housing markets in the United States, Obama said, “we can’t wait” for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job and provide relief for the millions of Americans underwater on their mortgages.

Obama went on to say that the housing bubble was the greatest cause of the current economy and that millions of Americans have continued to responsibly pay their mortgage even though their home is worth less than the value of the loan.  In his recent State of the Union address, Obama laid out a plan to help underwater homeowners.

Here’s how the mortgage relief plan would work. Continue Reading