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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

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Cost Basis Reporting – How it Affects Your Taxes

When you sell an investment, your gains or losses depends on your cost basis.

If you sell for more than your cost, you end up owning capital gains taxes on the increase.  If you sell at a loss, you don’t have to pay taxes on the difference; instead, you might be able to claim a tax deduction for your investment loss.

What is Cost Basis?

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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.
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Playing Dominion vs. Playing the Market

My boys received a copy of the game Dominion as a Christmas present.

It’s a super game.  You acquire cards with powers.  The different powers work together in lots of interesting ways, but of course you must acquire them on a limited budget and have limited time in which to get as strong as you need to be.

Making good choices requires effective strategizing.

After playing the game two times, I wanted to learn more about how to play well.  I typed the words “Dominion strategy” into the Google search box to see what I could find.

It pained me to see what turned up.

Dominion has only been around for a few years.  And of course it is only a game.  So it wouldn’t be a big deal if there were no good materials available.  I quickly found lots of outstanding materials.  In 30 minutes, I was a much improved Dominion player.

The painful part is in considering the contrast with stock investing.
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How to Save Money on Auto Insurance – Easy Ways to Save Money

Auto insurance is a necessary expense, but one that we often spend too much for.

Many people seem to be much more likely to look for ways to save on groceries by clipping coupons or to save on gas by driving around town trying to find the lowest per gallon price rather than looking at their auto insurance.  Often people choose their auto insurer, pay their premium every six months, and don’t think about it further.

Yet why pay more than you have to? 

There are plenty of ways to trim your costs and save money on car insurance.

Consider the following easy ways to save on auto insurance:

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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

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