It’s called the Marketplace Fairness Act. Better known as “the internet sales tax” the MFA has been a hot point of discussion recently, as it was voted through both the House and Senate. But what does it really mean for the consumer?
For some, there will be no difference at all. For others, they will have to start paying whatever their local sales tax is on their on-line purchases. (more…)
The lowest price does not always mean the greatest value. This is equally true for cars, food, houses, and education. Community colleges, distance learning programs, and trade schools can all offer very low prices for classes and books, but is it really worth what you are paying? A fair price for a good product or service is what gives something real value.
Based on several factors, these are the schools that got the highest ratings from the authorities on the subject, Kiplinger and the Princeton Review. (more…)
Anyone considering investing in the stock market has to do it seriously, and not treat it like a pastime. Thorough research must be carried out on the companies whose stocks are being considered. Successful investment is all about correctly predicting the change in the price of a stock sometime in the future. Doing this successfully involves logic, skill, and, of course, a very small amount of luck. (more…)
Every year, the IRS gives you back money that was already yours anyway. You may be tempted to use this “free money” on a vacation or new electronic gadget, but you know you shouldn’t! A reflex purchase will only provide momentary joy, whereas spending your money wisely will provide a lasting increase in financial security. With a little planning and a little research, you’ll find there are quite a few ways to take your refund to the next level.
Here are our top 5 suggestions for the savvy saver: (more…)
The FICO system, some may argue, is out dated and old-fashioned. Credit scores impact a consumer’s ability to obtain credit or make purchases, and bad scores are sometimes caused by digressions that have long been settled. If you experience economic hardship for one year your credit score may be affected even long after your finances have recovered. A new score, called the VantageScore 3.0, has been proposed to address the shortcomings of the traditional FICO system.
After a frantic week searching for a solution, Cyprus has a new bailout plan. Interest rates on traditional savings accounts have taken a beating lately, but it’s nothing compared to the pounding accounts in Cyprus are about to take. Cyprus savers are facing a tax of between 30 and 40 percent of their holdings to keep their country afloat. (more…)
Saving money under your mattress isn’t exactly the safest idea, but what should you do when you can no longer trust your bank to hold your cash? That’s exactly the conundrum that savers in Cyprus are facing now. With the Cyprus government in a full-on financial crisis, lawmakers proposed a law that would enable the government to “tax” money from a citizen’s private bank account. Thankfully, Cyprus lawmakers rejected the 10 billion euro bailout package and are back to the drawing board. (more…)
As sequestration takes effect, some students may be wondering how this will affect the federal aid they receive. With a tight job market and an exceptionally high unemployment rate for new college graduates, paying off college loans seems almost impossible. A lost of students rely on federal loans and grants to finance their education. Will the new rules of sequestration keep pupils from graduating, or even prevent them from going to college at all? (more…)
It might be time to change the famous wedding vow “‘Till death do us part” to “‘Till I don’t want you anymore.” Divorce hits hard and hits often; the oft quoted statistic is that half of today’s marriages will end in divorce. A divorce is very difficult emotionally and is extremely complicated financially. Divorce law states that all assets and debts will be split equally between the two parties, which often results in one or both parties ending up with more debt than they were paying before. On top of the equally split debt, each person must now pay for their own living costs too. Any previously financial plans must now be reworked with a single income in mind; this can be especially hard if you have children. It’s another worry on top of the hardship that divorce itself brings, but there are a few things you can do to make the transition more managable.
More and more signs are pointing toward a strengthening economy. Rising new car sales show that consumers finally feel like they have enough money to spend; house prices going up means that foreclosures are finally waning and housing markets may recover. There’s one more statistical sign of recovery that trumps them all: lending. Money is the oil of the American economic engine. Lending capital is what keeps the economy flowing smoothly. When the lending machine starts moving, like it has in Iowa, good fortunes are definitely on their way. (more…)