Whether you are buying for yourself, loved one, family member, or your kids, video game systems are one of the most exciting gifts to receive. But with the three major choices out there, it can be confusing for those that don’t read the latest gaming magazines. I don’t read the latest gaming magazines, but I’ve played all three systems quite a bit, and I own an Xbox 360. So, here is a little guide for helping you decide which system to buy this holiday season.
By Erik Folgate
For those of you who own a house with a Citi mortgage, you might be interested in this announcement made by Citi Group to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Citi Group will reach out to a group of 500,000 homeowners to help them stay current on their mortgages, and it could result in a $20 billion dollar workout on existing mortgage balances. They will also extend their foreclosure moratorium to those homeowners with sufficient income to pay a restructured payment plan and work in good faith with Citi to stay in their home.
Last night I had trouble sleeping, and for some reason, I started thinking about industries that are tanking and will be a value for investors in the future. So many of us are scared by the media when they throw out words like recession and depression. We automatically think we’re going to lose our jobs and all of our life savings. It’s simply not true. Yes, there are industries that are lagging, but the bulk of the economy is doing just fine. Circuit City filed for bankruptcy, but in my opinion, it has nothing to do with the economy. They were always the bastard child to Best Buy. They’re prices couldn’t compete, and their customer service was horrible. Sometimes, companies fail because they suck, not because the economy sucks. Getting back to my theme for this post, let’s take a look at the industries to keep an eye on and start buying at a value in the market.
By Erik Folgate
I am sure you all are tired of the millions of scams and fake websites that claim you can make money from home. In a moment of weakness, you may have been tricked by one of these “infomercial-get-rich-quick” websites that promise you will make thousands of dollars per month. Then, you find out that there is always a catch or they keep billing you when they said it would only be a one-time fee. I know there are many stay-at-home moms and people just barely making it looking to make some extra cash. Fusion Cash is the only website that I have had good success with actually being paid for doing trial offers, taking surveys, and joining online clubs.
By Erik Folgate
Congratulations to Barack Obama for winning the office of the most important and powerful person in the world. He wasn’t who I voted for, but it is truly a historic time to be alive to see the first African-American president of the United States. I know that one issue many are concerned about when it comes to Obama is his tax plan. Here is a good snapshot from Kiplinger’s magazine about what he plans to do with taxes.
Maintain current tax rates of 10% to 28% for most Americans. Reinstate top tax rates of 36% and 39.6% on joint income of more than $250,000 ($200,000 for individuals).
By Money Crashers
Lines are long to vote today, but there are a few companies trying to make it a little easier for you to vote today. Starbucks is giving out a free cup of their original brew coffee. The corporate owned Krispy Kreme stores will be giving out star-shaped glazed doughnuts. Also, Ben & Jerry’s will be giving out a free scoop of ice cream today. Originally, you had to prove that you had voted with the “I voted” sticker, but I think the companies have rescinded this requirement because it violates election law.
So, go out and get fat while you vote!
Tomorrow is the pinnacle of the most important election of our generation. The best thing you can do is make an educated vote. Don’t go vote just because Leonardo Dicaprio told you to vote. Don’t just vote because Diddy says “vote or die”. Don’t vote just to vote.
If you’ve got 20 million pounds, which translates to about $35 million bucks, you can buy Saddam Hussein’s yacht. The yacht was built in secrecy by the Iraqi government specifically for Saddam Hussein in 1981. The broker that will be auctioning off this yacht say that it will take as much money as its worth to remodel it, because Saddam kept the decor in its wonderful eighties-sheik-persian like fashion. Read the article that I linked to. It’s pretty funny.
Personally, if I had enough money to buy the yacht, I would drop a bomb on it and let that thing sink like the titanic somewhere out in the Mediterranean.
Here’s a tip for next year when you’re thinking about buying a jack o’ lantern for Halloween decoration:
We procrastinted buying a pumpkin up until today, but we still wanted to get one because the trick-or-treaters need some kind of indication that we’re a Halloween friendly house. So, I went over to the local pumpkin patch at a church, and I found a decent pumpkin. The options are obviously slim when you buy on Halloween day. I went to give the lady the money for the pumpkin and she said it would be $6.00, and I could get two more for free! I went and picked out tinswo more to put in our front yard flower bed. Three huge pumpkins for $6.00 isn’t a bad deal at all.
Here’s a cool article on Yahoo Finance about Madison Dupaix from the blog, My Dollar Plan. It’s her personal story about how she saved enough money so that she doesn’t have to work full-time. The article is a little misleading, because she says that she has “retired” from her day job, but it doesn’t mean that her and her husband are traveling the world. It just means that she was able to save enough money in ten years so that she can be a stay-at-home mom while her husband works. She works on the blog three days a week as extra income.
- Check all of your kid’s candy before they eat it. My parents always did this and I thought it was lame. But, one time they found a candy bar unwrapped in a plastic baggy. Sounds a little shady, don’t you think?
- Check the material your child’s costume is made of. Costumes are made to be disposable, which means they are made with cheap, highly flammable materials. Look for costumes with nylon and polyester.
- Don’t light candles around the house. Don’t burn your house down just to decorate for Halloween.
A Money Crasher’s reader recently sent me a message about a credit card balance in collections. I thought that you all would benefit from his/her question and how I answered it.
I have a credit card debt of a little of 8,000. It went to collection, and I just don’t have the money to pay it off. I thought I would be able to use my student loan to pay it off, but it didn’t come through. Do you think it would be possible for me to set up a payment plan with the collection agency, and if so, how should I go about it? I know that I won’t be able to pay a lot at first because I just don’t have the money while in school, but once I get done (may 09), I’ll be able to pay it off a lot quicker.
By Erik Folgate
When I was a kid, if I was at the store with my mother and I pointed to a big ticket item that I wanted, she woud reply, “We’d have to put that on layaway to afford that!”. I didn’t really know what “layaway” was, but then she explained it to me when I was older and it made a lot of sense. Pay for something weekly or monthly increments until you’ve paid for it in full. Then, they give you the item. However, that was back in the 80’s when it wasn’t as easy to get a credit card or home equity line of credit. In the past 20 years, the use of credit cards and home equity lines has skyrocketed, and the average consumer carries thousands of dollars in debt. Our culture has changed since our grandparents and parents were young. Instead of saving up to pay for something, we want it now, so we buy now and pay later. But, all of this paying later business equals billions of dollars spent on interest every year on products that GO DOWN in value, including cars. But now that the economy has slowed down and many Americans are starting to realize that they need to get out of debt, the use of layaway in the retail industry is coming back.
Should I Sign Up With A Debt Consolidation Service?
This is a subject that can lead to some spirited debate. Some experts say that the market is still dropping, and others say that the bottom has hit. I thought that the beginning of 2009 would be the bottom, because the Fall and the holidays are usually very slow times for real estate transactions, and the spring is when purchases increase. I found this article shows empirical evidence that the market could have hit bottom and be on the rebound. Here is an excerpt from the article: