Friday, July 29, 2005

Savingcents for Seniors

A recent article out of Texarkana,Texas underscores the need for people of all ages to be aware of household finances and the need for effective estate planning.

Unfortunate circumstances like an unexpected death in the family can create a significant strain on personal finances unless proper insurance and estate planning has been put in place.

A key component of an effective estate plan is sharing financial information with executors and surviving spouse to ensure that location of all Insurance Policies, Investments and Savings accounts are known so that there is a smooth transition of finances.

Given Recent demutulization or Insurance Companies, there are a number of unclaimed term life insurance policies that may have been purchased decades ago and worth several thousand dollars yet nobody in the family is aware that they exist.

Never too late to make wise financial choices
Thursday, July 28, 2005 8:56 AM CDT

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jessica is a pseudonym used to protect privacy.

Texarkana Gazette

For Jessica, 60, of Texarkana, Ark., marriage was about her children and her family, not managing money matters.

After her husband died, she was baptized by fire in a river of credit card debt.

Jessica moved back home to Texarkana in 1994 and into her mother's home. When her mother died and she was left in that home alone, updates and repairs were needed. And because some of her late husband's insurance was unavailable immediately, she relied on credit cards.

While the credit cards helped her to make the repairs to the home, they did not help her financial situation because she did not grasp the damage high interest rates could do to her credit.

"I had no idea the bills would be so much because we had never charged that much and we had always paid them off within the month," she said. "The only time we paid on something for several months was when we were paying off a piece of furniture or something. I had not idea about interest rates. I was clueless."

Jessica's story is not uncommon among seniors. Although many people generally consider credit card problems to be associated with college-age people, Baby Boomers have racked up their share of debt as well, said Joanne Haney, a certified consumer credit counselor for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of North Central Texas Inc.

In many cases, seniors, like college students or anyone else with deep credit problems, begin using credit cards because of the necessity and convenience and are in trouble before they know it, she said. When people come to her for financial help, they sometimes are accruing 28 percent interest on credit cards. With those rates, paying off the debt is highly unlikely even for someone making a committed effort to clear their debt.

In one recent case, Haney helped a man plan a clear track of paying 1 percent interest rates as compared to 28 percent interest rates. In another case, the interest rates were reduced 10 points, from 20 to 10 percent.

"We don't negotiate each debt with the credit card companies because we know the policies for each company," Haney said. "What we do is help the individual make a living expense budget with what they need each month-utilities, mortgage, prescriptions-and then we help them set guidelines on what they can pay on their credit card debts."

In many cases, an overall goal to have the credit card debts paid will be made, such as a five-year plan, she said.

"If people agree to make a payment of the same amount each month, the finance company will work with that," she said.

In addition to the statements from the companies that show payments are being made, seniors also receive paperwork from the Consumer Credit Counseling Service indicating the progress that is being made. This helps people stay focused and feel positive about the inroads they are making on their credit, she said.

There are many dishonest companies that will claim to have the best interests of seniors in mind when they call the home or are shown on a commercial on television, but Haney cautions people to always be leery about a company if it wants to talk about large amounts of money from the beginning.

Recently she received a call from a woman who had discovered a Florida-based company on the Internet that claimed to specialize in helping to pay off creditors. However, although the woman sent the company $900, no bills show any difference in the amounts.

Although the woman had checked with the Better Business Bureau to make sure there were no reports on the company, she forgot the most important thing-to listen to her gut instinct, Haney said.

"When she called, she told me it all sounded too good to be true," Haney said.

If seniors believe they have been taken advantage of by a service, they should always follow up with a report on the incident even if they feel foolish about it happening, she said. The report could save someone else from going through a similar ordeal.

Reports such as these can be made to the Federal Trade Commission and the state's attorney general's office, she said.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

How to Profit from High Consumer Debt

As consumer debt soars, and credit card companies write off more bad debts, there may be an opportunity to profit.

You may wish to consult your stock broker about an investment in a firm involved in the purchase and collection of charged-off consumer debt.

Essentially, these firms purchase bundles of bad debts for pennies on the dollar and then attempt to recover some or all of this debt. With collections firms purchasing upwards of $1 billion in bad debt, for around $20 million, there appears to be no shortage of potential revenue for the agency making the sector an interesting and profitable enterprise.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Car Sales Success Drive Greater Savings for Used Cars

The runaway success of employee pricing plans is creating intersting opportunity for anyone who wants to save thousands of dollars on their next car.

As more people flock to buy new cars, there is likely to be a corresponding increase in used cars brought onto the market thereby creating an excess supply of used cars.

Given that used car prices are like a commodity and driven in a large part by supply and demand, the increase in used cars on the market will accelerate the depreciation factor for those cars that are traded in.

Health Savings Accounts...

The growing popularity of Health Savings Accounts appears to be driven by lower insurance premiums but, it also presents an opportunity to accumulate money tax free which can be used to fund future health care expenses.

Under federal law, your HSA must have a minimum deductible of $1,000 a year for an individual and $2,000 for a family; maximum out-of-pocket expenses - for example, co-payments required for surgical procedures - cannot exceed $5,100 for individuals and $10,200 for families.

Policyholders, meanwhile, can set up HSAs that they fund with their own money. Employers also can contribute to their workers' HSAs. HSA contributions, generally set at an amount equal to the policy's deductible, can be used to cover health-care costs, and unused money can be carried over at year's end. This differs from company-sponsored Flexible Spending Accounts, health-care savings plans in which unused money is forfeited after Dec. 31 of each year.

Some companies are replacing existing catastrophic health coverage plans with the new plans because they see HSAs as a good way for workers to handle the higher deductibles. When compared to existing health insurance plans, HSA's appear to be a way of health care consumers more mindful of their health-care spending decisions.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

How Your Savings Fuels Borrowing...

This article from "The Voice of America" quick overview of how the Savings/Loan cycle works will provide you with a an understanding as to how your savings account impacts the bigger ecconomic picture.

Saving money is a first step toward wealth. Putting money away for the future also supports the banking system. Banks need a supply of savings to provide money for loans.

In the United States, people who want to start a savings have many choices. Banks, savings-and-loans and credit unions are traditional places to open an account.

Credit unions are cooperatives for people who are linked in some way. For example, the members may work for a university or a government agency. Most credit unions are non-profit organizations.

Savings are protected up to a limit if a federally guaranteed bank, savings association or credit union ever fails. Savers have their money guaranteed up to one hundred thousand dollars.

Banks and other financial organizations pay interest on savings accounts. But the interest rates are low. Certificates of deposit are another way to save. They pay higher interest rates.

With a certificate of deposit, a person agrees not to withdraw an amount of money for a period of time. The term could be three months, or it could be several years. Longer terms, and larger amounts, pay higher interest. People can withdraw their money early but at a cost.

Another way to save is through a money market fund. This is a kind of mutual fund. Mutual funds invest money from many people. Money market funds pay higher interest than savings accounts. The money is usually placed in short-term government securities. Money market funds, however, may not be federally guaranteed like other kinds of savings.

In a number of countries, including the United States, people have been saving less and less. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a group of thirty industrial countries. A report from the O.E.C.D. shows that in nineteen ninety Americans had a household savings rate of seven percent.

This year, it is expected to be one-half of one percent. That is below the other members except Australia, Denmark and New Zealand. Next year, though, Americans are expected to save more than one percent of unspent earnings.

In Japan, the second largest economy, the savings rate in nineteen ninety was fourteen percent. The estimate for this year and next is five percent.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The depreciation depresssion...

In business as in life, there are things that you buy and will never be able to recover the purchase price from.

When a business purchases capital equipment, (machinery,computers,vehicles, etc.) accounting rules provide a tax break to compensate for the deminished value of the original purchase.

As individuals, there is no opportunity to write off the devalued purchase price but, there are two areas that spring to mind when it comes to rapid depreciation, new cars and computers.

As a general rule, cars loose 50% their value in the first 4 years (25% in the first year alone)with rapid technical advances, computers, loose value much faster.

If you are serious about accumulating personal wealth, one of the first opportunities to save money is to let someone else pay the depreciation on major purchases by buying used rather than new.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tires Tie In to Gas Savings

You can save serious money at the pump simply by checking the air pressure in your tires regularly.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports one pound of underinflation costs consumers two to three miles of gas per gallon, about 10%. That wastes four million gallons of gas
per day nationwide. Take time out of your busy schedule at least once
a month to make sure your tire pressure matches the manufacturer's
recommended amount found in your owner's manual.

Slow Down and Save

Drive Sensibly: If you drive aggressively, by accelerating and braking
abruptly, you're wasting fuel.

By driving a little more sensibly,
avoiding jackrabbit starts and stops, you can save yourself money by
increasing gas mileage by up to 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5
percent around town.

Get the Pedal off the Metal: Fifty-five not only saves lives, it saves
gas. Government figures show gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds
above 60 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an
additional $0.15 per gallon for gas

Fuel Efficient SavingsTakes the Sting Out of the Gas Pump

Ever wonder just how much you can save with a more fuel efficient vehicle?

The difference between a car that gets 20 miles per gallon and
one that gets 30 amounts to about $550 per year, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy (if you drive 15,000 miles a year and pay $2.20 a
gallon for gas). After four years, your savings rack up to $2,200.

Many people concerned with oil consumption are pointing to hybrids — vehicles with electric motors as well as internal-combustion engines — as a way to reduce fuel use and dependence on imported oil. The first ones to reach the market did that; the two-seat Honda Insight, introduced in December 1999, was rated at 70 miles per gallon, and it was followed by the five-seat Toyota Prius, also built for reduced fuel consumption. Then came the Civic hybrid, designed to perform almost as well as the original, only using a lot less gasoline.

But the pendulum has swung. The 2005 Honda Accord hybrid gets about the same miles per gallon as the four-cylinder model, according to a review by Consumer Reports, and it saves only about 2 mpg compared with the V-6 model on which it is based. Thanks to the hybrid technology, though, it accelerates better.

Hybrid technology, it seems, is being used in much the same way as earlier under-the-hood innovations that increased gasoline efficiency: to satisfy the American appetite for acceleration.

Despite the use of hybrids to achieve better performance with about the same fuel economy, consumers who buy the cars continue to get a tax credit that the Internal Revenue Service allows under a "clean-fuels" program that does not take fuel savings into account.

In a June 15 speech at an energy forum, President Bush proposed a tax credit of up to $4,000 to "encourage people to make right choices in the marketplace that will make us less dependent on foreign sources of oil and to help improve our environment."

Monday, July 18, 2005

U.S. Consumer Debt Tops $2 Trillion

The Federal Reserve Board says that total U.S. consumer debt, excluding mortgages, is a staggering $2.02 trillion—an average of about $19,000 per household!

In addition to credit-card debt, new car loans account for much of this figure. Notice this report from USA Today: “New car buyers are paying more, making the lowest down payments ever and taking increasingly longer loans. … [C]onsumers seem determined to drive the newest vehicles for the lowest possible monthly payment.

“‘The new car market has been driven more by want than need for several years now …’ says Paul Taylor, National Automotive Dealers Association chief economist. …

“The average loan today is for 63 months, with some going as high as 80 months, compared with an average of less than 48 months five years ago” (February 17; emphasis mine throughout).

Last year, banks financed an average of 101 percent of a new car’s cost because consumers sought loans not only to cover the cost of the new car, but also the thousands more they owed on the old one.

The Real Cost of 0% Car Financing...

0% interest car loans may seem like a great deal but, make sure you compare it to other discounts and incentives that the dealer may offer.

Dealer discounts that can take up to several thousand dollars off the price of a new vehicle, may in fact be a better deal.

When comparing a $25,000 vehicle that is eligible for a $2,000 in dealer incentives, it may be useful to look at the discount as the interest price charged for the 0% interest plan. Essentially, the value of the incentive program is the interest cost for the 0% financing offer.

So, assuming you have the money sitting in the bank generating 2.4% interest, the inflation rate is running at roughly 2.1%. Essentially, your money will grow at 0.3% if you take part in a 0% offer you will generate approximately $153.00

Now, if you have the cash on hand and opt for the $2,000.00 discount, you will get an 8% return on your purchase, netting out at a 7.7% return.

Calculate your own interest savings at

Free Cell Phone Games

There are a number of great sites availble for those fans of cell phone games who want to play games but, avoid the fees charged by carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, Orange, O2 and the like.

Check out these sites for free games and cell phone tools and Save Your Money!
Phone E-Book

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Controlling Cell Phone Expenses

There are several ways to save money every month simply by managing your cellphone use.

Areas to consider range from simply limiting use to essential calls only to avoiding use of premium features like games, email and photos.

While many phone companies offer downloadable games, they come at a cost as each game can easily add an extra 10% to the average monthly bill.

If you provide a phone for your children, it is a good idea to review the additional charges incurred and set limits on the number of games they download.

Prepaid accounts are another great way to limit your monthly costs as you will be more in tune with the cost of using your phone.

If games are of interest to you...Consider free phone games.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tracking down savings on everyday expenses begins with taking the time to understand the impact of discounted prices on your long term savings strategy and the value these accrued savings can generate.

In addition to our Coffee savings calculator a number of new tools will be created to help you better understand how interest rates and time can work on your side to help your money grow.

To understand the impact of daily discounts on your savings strategy, checkout our lifetime savings calculatoror use our convenient savings search tool to find a better price on whatever you're looking for.

Speed up Your Savings with Slow Food

Many people have a hard time managing the food budget.

With busy schedules, far too many people have turned to pre-packaged foods to save time but, what is the cost, where are the savings and what are the benefits?

To better understand the impact pre-packaged foods have on your budget and waistline, consider the amount of marketing dollars that go into the packaging, advertising, and delivery this is before any ingredients are added.

In an effort to improve the quality of the food you eat and generate real savings, you may want to consider cutting back on boxed foods and quick service lunches in factor of preparing your own meals with fresh ingredients.

While cooking may be viewed as a chore by many, it presents an opportunity to connect with friends and family over a good meal and take pride in the fact that you created it on your own.

Coming to an understanding of how you can create cost saving meals that will rival those found in expensive restaurants, may start with a visit to the Slow Food Movement.

The philosophy behind Slow Food is based on the promotion of locally grown products and an understanding on how to cook and appreciate food rather than rely on the microwave to reheat factory prepared meals.

While learning too cook better meals may not be a quick savings fix, it will pay off with significant benefits over time.

As you gain confidence in your culinary skills, you will soon see your restaurant bills take a steep drop, as you will be able to prepare meals that rival and even surpass your favorite restaurants.

In addition, your newfound appreciation for quality food will help you control your weight, as you will be able to understand and monitor fat intake.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Protect yourself from Overdraft Charges

If you find it difficult to balance your chequing account, you may want to consider the best way to avoid nasty overdraft fees.

One of the best ways is to link your savings account to your checking account. In this method, your savings will cover a shortfall in the savings and avoid NSF and overdraft charges.

This makes sense, but there are other strategies to stay away from, as they will cost you more money.

In addition to the obvious problems linking your overdraft to Credit Card Cash advances,one type of overdraft protection consumer advocates recommend you stay away from is a "bounce protection" plan. Unlike a traditional overdraft protection plan, which keeps checks from bouncing and therefore avoids fees, bounce protection allows the bank to collect the fee anyway, points out Consumer Action, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

With a bounce protection plan, in exchange for covering an overdraft up to a set dollar limit, banks charge a fee similar to a "nonsufficient" funds fee, ranging from about $20 to $35 for each transaction. Some banks also charge a per-day fee of $2 to $5 until the account has a positive balance.

What's different with this plan is that customers can borrow against their bounce protection limit.

Bounce protection plans are designed to boost bank income by encouraging customers to overdraw their accounts. Because a limit of several hundred dollars is added to a customer's available balance, many people are lulled into thinking they have money in their accounts when they don't.

Before signing up for any overdraft protection, Consumer Action recommends you get answers to the following questions:

- What interest rate will I be charged? Banks may charge anywhere from 7 percent to close to 22 percent for lines of credit linked to overdraft protection. Interest rates on the credit cards linked to overdraft protection can range from 9 percent to 20 percent.

- How much is the transfer fee? You are most likely to encounter transfer fees on overdraft protection linked to a credit card or a savings account. For credit card overdraft protection, transfer fees can range from $3 to $10 a day. For savings-linked overdrafts, transfer fees ranged from $5 to $10 per day. It's also possible you won't be charged at all.

- Is there a minimum on each advance? Overdraft advances vary greatly. For example, some banks will advance you the exact amount needed to cover a transaction. Other protection programs advance cash in multiples of $100. If the bank lends only in multiples of $300, you would have to borrow $300 (and pay interest on it) even though you only need a few dollars to cover an overdraft.

- Is there an annual fee? Financial institutions typically don't charge an annual fee when the overdraft protection is linked to a credit card. However, many charged an annual fee for overdraft protection connected to a line of credit. Annual fees can range from $5 to $50.

While overdraft protection can save you money, be careful about leaning on it too much. The most cost-efficient way to handle your bank account is to wait until a deposit has been cleared before you write a check or use your debit or ATM card for a transaction.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

IRS pushing loans with 40-700% interest

The IRS appears to have found yet another way to take more money out of peoples pockets.

By providing lenders focused on refunds with access to potential customers eager to get their tax refund back a couple of weeks early, low income families are being charged interest rates that can make a loanshark seem like your best friend.

BOSTON – The Internal Revenue Service provides a taxpayer-subsidized service to boost the profits of an industry that skims over a billion dollars a year from the refunds of hard-working Americans. A new report issued by the National Consumer Law Center finds that the IRS service, called the debt indicator, nearly doubled the number of loans made by the refund anticipation loan (RAL) industry while increasing RAL profit margins. The NCLC report, entitled “Corporate Welfare for the RAL Industry: The Debt Indicator, IRS Subsidy, And Tax Fraud,” provides an in-depth analysis of the debt indicator, which is an acknowledgement from the IRS telling tax preparers whether a taxpayer’s refund will be paid or will be intercepted for government debts. Tax preparers and lenders use the debt indicator as a form of a credit check, to determine whether they should issue a RAL. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) stated, "The IRS should not be facilitating these predatory loans that allow tax preparers to reap outrageous profits by exploiting working families. The IRS must stop providing the Debt Indicator service that helps unscrupulous preparers to exploit low-income taxpayers. A provision in my bill, S. 324, the Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act, would terminate the Debt Indicator service." The NCLC report documents how the debt indicator has boosted RAL volume and profitability. It notes that when the IRS temporarily halted the debt indicator in 1994, RAL volume plummeted and prices shot up. When the IRS reinstated the debt indicator in 1999, the number of the high cost loans nearly doubled. The industry and IRS justified the reinstatement of the debt indicator by claiming it would lower RAL prices, but there has been no permanent savings. Instead RAL providers have profited handsomely. “The debt indicator helps pad the profits of lenders who charge triple digit interest rates to working poor families just so they can get their refund monies less than two weeks quicker,” stated the report’s author, NCLC Staff Attorney Chi Chi Wu, “Why is the federal government helping to promote this form of predatory lending?”
Ms. Wu is the author of a series of annual reports on the RAL industry, which have been critical of the practices of RAL lenders. The last report documented how RALs drained over $1 billion in loan fees, plus $389 million in other fees, from the wallets of more than 12 million American taxpayers in 2003. The effective annual interest rate (APR) for a RAL can range from about 40% to over 700%. The new NCLC report also raises significant privacy issues concerning the debt indicator, noting that it may skirt tough IRS privacy rules. It questioned whether taxpayers realize when they get RALs that the IRS will offer up their sensitive personal information to tax preparers about debts they may owe to the federal government, such as child support and student loans. "The IRS is letting tax preparers and high cost lenders snoop into taxpayers' records about what they owe the government, just so RAL lenders can help the IRS meet its target goal for electronic tax filing," said Jean Ann Fox, director of consumer protection for Consumer Federation of America. "The IRS is running credit checks for RAL lenders at the cost of taxpayer privacy." The NCLC report also discusses the impact of the debt indicator on tax fraud, noting that the IRS terminated the program in 1994 due to fraud involving RALs. According to the Treasury Department, the amount of RAL fraud has multiplied since the debt indicator was reinstated in 1999.
source:National Consumer Law Center.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Watching the pennies add up...Generate Thousands of Dollars in Savings

In case you're wondering about just how much money you can save by modifying your buying habits of everyday items, we would are pleased to provide you with a savings calculator that will show you the impact of purchasing lower priced generic items or sale priced major brands.

If you explore the everyday purchases you make, you will uncover items that can generate thousands of dollars in savings over time.

The calculator will show you how shopping for the best price can add up to many thousands of dollars over time and show you how Saving makes Cents.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Summer Energy Savings...Shave your Mortgage costs

For those of us who live in Northern Climates and are faced with heating bills, summer presents an opportunity to save money on Gas and Electricity rates.

Depending on how you approach your energy expenses, summer also presents an opportunity to roll the difference between your higher winter energy costs and the lower cost summer period into your mortgage and save a significant amount off your mortgage.

This article from the UK, illustrates the point more concisely.

Homeowners use lower electric bills to shave years off their mortgages
7 July 2005

New research from The One account reveals that homeowners could shave nearly £6,000 off their mortgage payments by simply saving energy during the summer.

Longer days and warmer temps mean British households spend an average 20% less on their gas and electricity every summer. The savings, worth an average £100-£200 per home each year, could lead to even bigger savings for homeowners that plough the cash into their mortgages.

By simply using the extra £200 each summer towards the mortgage, a homeowner with a £100,000 repayment mortgage could save £5,969 in interest and be 16 months closer to owning their own home.

Savvy earners who use the One account can benefit even more from summer savings. By simply depositing their paycheques into the One account, the average borrower can save £12,374 and shave 26 months off their mortgage term.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia of The One account says: "The dream of debt-free living is closer than ever for today's energy-conscious homeowners. Rather than splashing out on a new bathing costume or night on the town, Brits are realising they can use even small savings to achieve their long-term goal of home ownership much sooner. The One account's flexibility allows homeowners to overpay whenever they want without penalty, so every little extra is saving them money."

The majority of savings comes from lower gas bills, which can drop by up to 80% when households cut their central heating during the summer months. The electric bill also drops, as homes keep the lights off and use their appliances less, too. The result is an average saving of £100-£200 per household during July and August.

Jayne-Anne says: "Lower energy bills benefit the environment and save money. When homeowners realise the potential savings they could achieve by overpaying their mortgage, there's never been a more compelling argument to turn off the television, fire up the barbeque and enjoy the sunshine this summer."

The One account is the first 'fully flexible' mortgage in the UK. By bringing together the benefits of a mortgage, current account, personal loan and credit card, the One account helps homeowners consolidate their finances and reduce the amount of interest they pay on their borrowings. Customers pay just one competitive rate of 5.95% on their net balance at the end of the month. It's very simple, but the effect it has on our customers' personal finances can be quite amazing.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cleaning up Savings

Disposable paper products are simply money you earned that is being thrown into the trash.

While there is a price for convenience, substituting generic products or sale prices for regular priced brand names can save you a significant amount of money over time.

Using our new lifetime savings calculator, you will see how searching out lower priced products will generate huge returns and put thousands of dollars in your pocket.

Assuming you are 24 years old, and go through 3 rolls of paper towel per month, the cost of buying brand named paper towels over lower priced generic brands is approximately $6545 over your life.

Although the results may vary based on age, life expectancy and product price you can use the lifetime savings calculator to see just how much you can save by slightly modifying your buying habits.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Exiting your car lease...

Is your car lease costing you too much?

Perhaps your vehicle no longer meets your needs and you would like something better suited to your lifestyle.

Well there are a host of lease takeover options available that will help match someone looking for a vehicle just like yours.

Several web sites are available that will help you save money by getting out of your lease.

Lease Boys
Lease Busters

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Latte a day keeps the Savings away.

Ever add up the cost of your favorite morning Perk?

While we all need our favorite cup of Java, Premium Coffee is eating away at your savings.

Let's say you have a modest habit of 1 latte a day at work. What does it really add up to.

Using the Coffee Savings Calculator a modest one latte a day habit can take over $1,000.00/year out of your pocket.

Over the next ten years, this will total more than $13,200.00 when interest is factored in.

There are ways to enjoy your Java and still keep money in your pocket.

Think about buying a reasonably priced coffee machine that will serve your needs.

For a couple hundred dollars, you can get a great machine that will serve your Latte needs . Consider shifting your preference to a premium press type of coffee like an "Americano" or Espresso...great taste and lower price.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Travel Savings Tips...

As summer hits, checkout some Summer Travel Savings. What's New on Cheap Tickets!

Why Manufacturers Rebates are not such a great deal...

Ever think that you are about to get a great deal, only to find that it is a mail in rebate?

The next question is, what did you do with the rebate form and receipt?

Manufactures and retailers count on a marginal uptake on the rebate offer, effectively getting the majority of customers not to go to the trouble of filling in the rebate forms and mail them in.

If you are looking to buy your next Nikon D70 make sure you fill in the Nikon Rebate Form and mail it in. Otherwise you will pay full price.

Getting Valued Investment Advice

Specialization in the investment industry creates a problem for retail investors as they search for Mutual Funds and Financial Advice that meets their personal Goals.

As advisors and funds become more specialized, you may be paying for higher service fees than needed, and not benefit from the advanced expertise.

Ensure that your fees are in line with your needs and keep more money in your pocket.

Controling Mutual Fund Fees.

Costs matter: Wall Street made $350 billion from investors in 2004, according to John Bogle, founder of mutual fund giant Vanguard Group and a leading critic of the mutual fund industry.

Mutual funds collect fees levied against assets under management. As fund managers gather more assets, they make more money, whether you receive any benefit or not.

"Fees are always up," Bogle said "Costs (to investors) permeate the industry."

A typical S&P 500 index fund generated annual returns of 13 percent from 1983 through 2003. But the typical investor in such a fund earned just 6.3 percent because of fees and faulty market timing, Bogle calculates.

The good news is the awareness of fees has risen, especially among financial advisers and investors in stock index funds, money market funds and bond funds — funds where fees have the greatest impact on results, Bogle said. Unfortunately, he said, the costs of trading securities in mutual funds are not properly disclosed. "In any fund, it's a big thing."

One way to control costs is to hire a fee-based financial adviser to search for low-cost mutual funds. If the adviser's fee plus the fees charged by the funds are less than the average mutual fund fee, you're winning the fee game, said Bogle. 2/business/doc42c5a29f833c9461564077.txt
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