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Can Leasing a Car Save You Money?

Purchasing a used vehicle is often perceived as buying someone else’s problems. As a result, when it’s time to get a different car most people prefer a new one. Once the choice to get a new car is made there is still one more decision to make: buy or lease. Owning a Vehicle With an […]

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Credit Cards for People with Bad / Poor Credit

March 1, 2012 | Credit Cards | No Comments

If you have bad/poor credit and want a credit card; there are a few credit cards and prepaid debit cards to consider.  Keep in mind if you get a credit card you must not abuse it and dig yourself in a deeper hole.  If you get a credit card, the goal is to also help improve your credit by ensuring that you pay your credit card bills on time.

If you cannot control using a credit card, then get a prepaid debit card.  However, a prepaid debit card will not help you rebuild your credit history because these cards just provide you a line of credit.

Many people are not aware that the cost of poor credit will cost them dearly in the long run.  Carrying debt on a credit card can cost hundreds or thousands over the years.  Additionally, getting a personal loan, car loan or mortgage will cost more because the lender will charge you a higher interest rate, if you are lucky enough to even get the loan. (Find out more about the consequences of bad debt.)

Many prime credit cards are not available for individuals with poor credit.  The few cards available are called “sub-prime” cards which typically require expensive setup fees or recurring monthly fees.  They often require cash deposits and have very low credit lines.

It’s imperative to improving your credit because it will save you money over the years.  So get started as soon as possible and don’t delay.

Below are several bad/poor credit cards to consider:


Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Orchard Bank Visa Cards
 
 

  • Reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the
    opportunity to rebuild your credit
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages to remind you of your upcoming
    payment due date with online enrollment
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Green Dot® Gold PrePaid Visa®
 
 

  • $0 Activation Online – with no credit check
  • Access over 18,000 MoneyPass® ATM’s
  • Get a $4.95 credit on your first MoneyPak cash load (see
    site for restrictions)
  • No Monthly fee for any month with at least 30 purchases
  • No Transaction fees on US purchases
  • No Overdraft fees
  • No Minimum balance required
  • Regular APR: N/A
  • Annual Fee: up to $5.95 monthly
  • Balance Transfers: N/A
  • Credit Needed:No Credit Check
 

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

 

>>See more bad credit and prepaid  debit cards <<

Get $45/Mth Unlimited Plan for iPhone 4S at Straight Talk

February 21, 2012 | Save Money | No Comments

So you want or have an iPhone but don’t want to pay the average $90 / month to use it; we’ll you are in luck.  You can cut your service bill in half and pay only $45 with Straight Talk.  You don’t even have to hack or unlock your phone to do this.

How does it Work?

You first need to purchase a Straight Talk SIM card for $14.99 (includes free shipping) and insert into any ATT compatible, T-Mobile compatible or unlocked smartphone.  Straight Talk has micro SIM cards that are compatible with the Apple iPhone 4 and 4S.

You then sign up for the $45 monthly unlimited plan which includes unlimited minutes, text and data with no contract or credit check to activate the SIM card.  With Straight Talk you will still be using T-Mobile or ATT 3G network.  You also can keep your same phone number.

Who is Straight Talk?

Straight Talk, with over 19.3 million subscribers, is a prepaid MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and is a joint venture between Tracfone and Wal-Mart.

So to re-recap:

  • Use your own compatible or unlocked GSM phone, including smartphones
  • Select SIM or SIM bundle to get unlimited data, talk and text for $45/month
  • No contracts, no bills, no credit checks
  • Keep your same phone number
  • Works with SMS, IM, social networks, email, web

 

For more information visit StraightTalkSim.com.

Online Dating Website Free Trials, Discounts and Coupons

February 12, 2012 | Save Money | No Comments

If you are in the market to find your true love, using the Internet to find that perfect match is a great way to go.  Many singles are successfully using the Internet to find their mate.  Using the Internet is a great way to quickly weed out the undesirables. You don’t have to waste time going to local bars or nightclubs to meet people or wait for someone to approach you. 

With online dating websites you can quickly learn the basics about an individual; what they look like, what type of person they are seeking, do they have children, do they want children, their religious beliefs, where they live, etc.  You can specify exactly the type of person you are interested in the meeting and the computer will match you up.  Chemistry.com and eHarmony have computer programs to help find your perfect match based on information that you provide about yourself.  

The top online dating websites have free trials, discounts, coupons to help you save money.  Below are the current offers:

Match.com (Read Match.com review)

 

Chemistry.com (Read Chemistry.com review)

 

Perfectmatch (Read Perfectmatch Review)

 

eHarmony (Read eHarmony Review)

 

Matchmaker.com (Read Matchmaker.com review)

 

Date.com

 

Amor.com

 

What is a Penny Stock?

February 3, 2012 | Education | No Comments

A penny stock, also known as a micro-cap stock, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a stock with a share price below $5.  However, many investors believe a penny stock sells for less than $1.  

Investing in penny stocks is extremely risky because the share price can be extremely erratic.  A very small change in price is large percentage wise.  For example, if you purchase a penny stock fro $1.00 and it drops only 25 cents to $0.75, that stock has lost 25% of its value which is significant.   

Penny stocks are mostly from very small companies and are traded on the Over-The-Counter-Bulletin-Board (OTCBB) and the Pink Sheets.  These exchanges do not have the same minimum requirements like the large exchanges such as NASDAQ or the NYSE that are set by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The following are disadvantages with investing in penny stocks:  

Poor Investments

Penny stocks are poor investments because some companies will issue penny stock because they are close to bankruptcy or they are new companies with no proven track record.

Company Information is Limited

Companies listed on the OTCBB or Pink Sheets are not required to release financial information.  Many companies also have little to no history for you to review or are brand names that you hear or read about in the media.

Low Liquidity

If you own a penny stock, you may have a hard time selling it when you are ready.  If the stock price starts to fall, it may be difficult to sell it immediately as you would with a large cap stock.  There simply isn’t enough demand for most penny stocks.

Fraud

Because penny stocks are unregulated, they are commonly used by con artists to rip off people.  They usually try and sell them via newsletters, spam emails or off-shore brokerages that do not have to adhere to U.S. laws.

So why do people invest in penny stocks?  Well not all penny stocks are frauds or from companies nearing bankruptcy.  There are some legitimate companies who struggle to meet the requirements to get listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ.  Investing in these companies may offer a huge growth opportunity should they become successful in the future.  However, finding and researching these companies is extremely difficult because there isn’t enough information available.   

Some people frequently trade penny stocks, known as day traders, which are basically gamblers.  They will sit at their computers and watch for movements in various stocks and will try to quickly buy and sell at a higher price to make a profit.  This is just like going to Las Vegas and gambling.

Should You Save or Pay Off Debt?

February 3, 2012 | Debt | Education | No Comments

So you have a little extra cash and you are wondering if you should save it or pay off debt.  Paying off debt should be your priority; however, if you have absolutely no savings, you should first try to save at least 3 month, preferable 6 months, of your salary in the bank.  This cash is needed for any emergencies that may come up unexpectedly such as not being able to work due to illness / injury or losing your job.

It’s unfortunate, that over the past 2 decades U.S. citizens have accumulated more debt while saving less. (See chart above). It’s imperative that as soon as you have some cash reserves that you pay off your debt.  For most people this will be credit card debt.  It makes absolutely no sense having your money in the bank making 0.5% in interest while you are paying 15%+ on your credit card balance.  Paying that much in interest is like a leaking facet just wasting water.

If you are contributing money to your 401K or IRA, it’s a good idea to temporarily stop contributing and use that money to pay off your debt.  The interest you will earn in your retirement account will be offset with the high interest you are paying off with your credit card.

If you have multiple credit card, pay off the card with the highest interest first.  Be aggressive by cutting as much expense you can to pay off high interest debt.  If it means cancelling or reducing your cable TV, cell phone, gym membership, eating out, etc., do it.  It will be temporary until you get your debt paid off.  In the long run, you’ll benefit from the temporary sacrifices.

When your financial situation improves, you can then start to contribute to your savings and retirement accounts.  If you pay the minimum due on your credit card debts, it will take you months or years to pay off those debts and you will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest.  

Other techniques you can use to get out debt are:

  • Negotiate with your creditors:  Creditors don’t want you to stop making payments.  If you explain to them that you can no longer afford to pay, they may be willing to lower your monthly payments and/or interest rate.
  • Increase your income:  You may get a second or part-time job or start a side business.  You may also try to gain work extra hours (overtime) at your job.  If your spouse doesn’t work, it maybe a good idea for her/him to find a job.
  • Consolidate your debts:  Debt consolidation is borrowing money at a lower interest rate to pay off higher interest debt to ultimately pay off your debt faster and to save money.
  • Getting help:  There are many nonprofit credit counseling agencies that can help you to develop and maintain your budget.  They may help you set up a debt management plan.
  • File for bankruptcy:  This should be your absolute last option.  However, bankruptcy maybe your best option if your monthly expense are extremely higher than your expenses that it will take decades living on a bare-bones budget to pay off your debt.  You must consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if you should file for bankruptcy and which type you should file for (Chapter 13 reorganization which gives you 3-5 years to pay your debts or Chapter 7 liquadation which eliminates most of your debts.

 

If you are looking for a good bank savings account, consider Aurora Bank.   Visit Mymoney.gov for more information to improve your financial literacy and education.

Bluehost Webhost Review

January 31, 2012 | Services | No Comments

Bluehost hosts this website, so I thought I’d provide a review about their services. 

Bluehost, launched in 1996, provides web hosting for individuals and companies around the globe. Through the years Bluehost has constantly improved their services at no extra cost to their customers.

The organization has two secondary data centers amassing over 20, 000 square feet of data center space. The datacenters are secured with UPS power, diesel generators and several 10 gigabit fiber cable connections to locations all over the globe.

Bluehost presently hosts over 750, 000 web sites providing really cost-effective web hosting that features 99. 9% uptime, 24/7 US based support, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domain hosting, one free domain for 1 year, and a much more.

If you want to open up a web hosting account, excellent technical support is crucial. At Bluehost if you run into problems or have concerns you can get a person on the telephone or talk online in a several minutes. Bluehost claimes their hold time is less than thirty mere seconds and their technical support is 100% internal at their offices in Utah.

Bluehost was the very first to provide SimpleScripts 1-Click installations. In case you are looking to host a Blog, eCommerce store, forum, online chat, mailing lists, poll / survey, project management, social networking, etc., with Bluehost setup is very simple. Absolutely no need download and upload data files, configure files and create databases to install these types of applications. With Bluehost it’s a no-brainer! It’s as straightforward as installing software programs on your desktop computer.

If you are looking to create a protected website generally for eCommerce, Bluehost provides SSL Secure Server.

Plans and Pricing

Bluehost currently costs a flat $6. 95 monthly; but, this reduced price is charged over a minimum of 12 months ($83. 40). If you desire whois privacy, there is an extra $9. 95. If you despise spam, Bluehost provides anti-spam protection for $1 per email address monthly. If you need a secure website via SSL certificate you will have to buy a dedicated IP address for $2. 50/month ($30 per year) and the SSL certificate $ 45 per year.

Bluehost also provides a Pro Package for $19. 95 monthly. The Pro Package consists of all the extra premium features required to make your website professional grade.

The Pro Package includes:

  • 1 Domain Privacy Protection
  • 1 Domain Name Registration
  • 1 Dedicated IP
  • 1 Site Backup Pro
  • 1 PositiveSSL Certificate
  • 10 Postini Email Filtering

 

If you are developing a simple website for the first time, the Pro Package isn’t needed.

Money Back Guarantee

Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee with no fees. This means you get 100% of your money back if you are not satisfied with their service.

Online Marketing Credits

If you are planning to market your website online, Bluehost is currently offering a $75 Google Adwords credit and $25 Bing/Yahoo advertising credits for U. S. and Canadian customers. After you signup with Bluehost, the coupon codes will be available to your for these services. This credit will offset your web hosting costs.

Hosting Features:

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited domain hosting
  • Free domain name
  • Unlimited site transfer
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Site Buiding Tools:
  • cPanel control panel
  • CGI-BIN
  • CGI Library

 

Integrated Applications:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • b2evolution
  • Tikiwiki
  • Moodle
  • Coppermine image galleries
  • SSL servers
  • OS Commerce shopping cart
  • Zen shopping cart
  • Message form
  • Streaming video and audio support

 

Programming Tools:

  • PHP 5
  • Perl 5
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Python
  • Javascript

 

Conclusion

Overall Bluehost is among the best hosting company in The united states. Their system makes it easy for newbies to use. Bluehost’s cPanel control panel makes it simple to navigate all the tools in comparison to hosting companies such as GoDaddy with is incredibly difficult to use. SimpleScripts makes it incredibly easy to setup and install numerous free open source software and paid software. If you want to start a Blog, forum, eCommerce store, etc., SimpleScripts is the solution to use. Within virtually a few minutes you will have a completely functional website ready to go.

Anytime there are update versions to software programs installed by SimpleScripts, you will be notified when you log into your account. You can then very easily update your software program with SimpleScripts. SimpleScripts also has a function to roll-back the update, if you encounter problems. SimpleScripts is an excellent tool that is easy to use.

As mentioned above Bluehost also offers you Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing credit, totaling $100 free, which you can in a several minutes start to push targeted traffic to your website.

I’ve used Bluehost for around 5 years and have never had any major problems. There technical support has been excellent and wait time on the telephone or online chat has been fairly low.

For more information visit Bluehost.com.

Why Americans Pay So Much for Brand-Name Drugs (And Canadians Don’t) Infographic

January 26, 2012 | Education | No Comments

Very interesting infographic below.

High Cost of Rx
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding