Spending A Thrifty Christmas In 2014 – Use Your Dollars In The Right Way To Avoid Debt

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is just a week away. If your family is like any other family in the US, the weeks around Christmas are usually jam-packed with events with extended family members and friends, wrapping and exchanging gifts, preparing meals and eating them and then fighting off the winter blues with a heavy dose of Christmas cheer. The problem with Christmas is that it can get really expensive as the little expenses gradually add up, which can result in some difficult and stressful moments post holidays. In fact, there are people in the US who still are struggling to pay off debt that they incurred 2 years back. If you wish to mend ways this year and spend a debt-free Christmas, here are some vital financial tips that you can follow. 

  • Make a list of presents that you need: If you make a list of presents that you need to buy for your family and friends, you can agree to a price limit that you’re capable of paying. Once you make the list, you can revise and check whether all the names are worth including. Revise the list and check if some names would be marked off or not. This is especially true when you’re planning to spend Christmas on a tight budget. Mention the price of the gifts to your family members so that there are no wrong expectations about gifts and presents.
  •  Start making your own presents: There are many people who love to receive homemade Christmas gifts, particularly the foodie ones. Most people have most of the gifts that you’re planning to give them and hence it is certainly not a bad idea to make something new for them. If you have some people on your list who appreciates homemade gifts, you can make some for them.
  • Schedule alternate Christmas celebrations: We all are aware of the fact that holiday travel during the peak periods, the week during Thanksgiving and the weeks around Christmas are incredibly expensive if they’re travelling by air. So, when you have to save some money so that you don’t fall in debt, you should discuss an alternate Christmas celebration. Perhaps you could all gather for a weekend in early December instead of the peak time. You can even celebrate Christmas at home and enjoy a family gathering at low prices.
  • Arrange potluck dinners: Instead of you cooking all the meals on your own, why don’t you arrange potluck dinners at your home or your friend’s home? This will not only allow you to save money but also engage your friends in sharing for the dinner. You will get to know about the culinary skills of your friends so that you can host the next potluck dinner in their homes in your next party. Sit together and arrange potluck dinners if you’re on a tight budget.
So, when you want to spend a debt-free Christmas, follow the above mentioned thrifty tips. Avoid holiday debt as this is the most expensive thing that you carry forward into the New Year.

Credit Cards Search Has Never Been This Fast And Easy To Do With Silver

Silver is a new mobile application that helps you to find the best credit cards in seconds, get all the details you need, and even let you apply directly from your mobile device. With Silver, you stay on top of your credit cards, so you never miss a renewal or get hit with annual fee & interest fees again.

With constantly fluctuating rates and available services, the developers of the Silver mobile app understand how difficult and time-consuming it can be to research and compare the plethora of credit cards that exist in the market.

How Silver works is simple: users answer a short questionnaire that reveals what they are looking for in a credit card. From better interest rates to exclusive services and perks, Silver reviews users’ answers to provide them with a comprehensive list of credit cards that match their needs. Hundreds of cards can be instantly compared using the app’s easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Once users find the cards they are interested in, they can view card details, apply and even be instantly approved from their mobile device! Silver uses a unique algorithm to make finding the credit cards that makes the most sense for you quick and painless.

Created by graduates of Wharton and the Harvard Business School, Silver was born out of the frustration of receiving an overwhelming influx of credit card offers, and the demand of others in the market for a credit card could benefit from using the Silver app.
Silver is available for free on Android and iOS.

Chris Ochin
Silver Money Services
499 7th Avenue
19th Floor South Tower
New York, NY 10018
(917) 935 9104

It Is Possible To Get A Personal Loan While Unemployed

The shape of the economy has caused many people to go into deep debt as well as finding themselves unemployed. There have been layoffs and companies closing all over the country and the jobs that are being lost during this time have not made it easy to find a new place of employment. If you are lucky enough to find a new job you will find yourself working part time and usually at a much lesser wage than you were making previously. This is leading to those who are unemployed finding themselves in financial ruin.  So what does a person do when they are out of money, unemployed and in the financial situation where a loan is a must?  Believe it or not there is a personal loan for the unemployed that can help you.
Personal Loans For The Unemployed
If you are one of the many unemployed people in the world who have been asking around regarding a personal loan you are probably finding out that without any income or collateral to use for the loan you are in a position of not being able to pay back the loan and you are probably be told just that. However there are lenders who have programs in place to help people in your financial situation and will help get your back on your feet despite not having a job. In case you are still in doubt about it, you may try applying for small loans to build credit fast. Well, that's a starter for people wanting to get into a more serious loan.
The Background Of The Unsecured Loan
If you do not have any collateral to put towards a loan you are considering an unsecured loan. What this means to you is that you are not putting your property at risk to secure the loan you are taking.This leaves you to receive an unsecured personal loan. These loans can be received in the smaller amounts of around $1000 but can also be for largeramounts up to $25,000. Your financial situation will play into how much your will be able to receive and can be discussed with your lender.
Loans For The Unemployed
If you have found yourself in the situation of being unemployed you might not think that you are able to receive a personal loan. However you can apply for an unemployment personal loan. The lender will usually not ask or even care what the money is going to be used for and you will have the option of using the money for whatever you want.  You can even use the money to live on if it has come to that. 
You Need To Be Responsible
When you obtain a personal loan for the unemployed you will need to be responsible with the money that you are going to receive. You will need to spend it carefully and be sure to pay it back in agreement with the repayment plan that has been put into place. 
If you are in the situation of needing a loan and you are unemployed there is no need for you to worry. There are personal loans that are available to help you. Once you obtain this loan you will need to pay it back timely and not fall behind on your payments. The goal is to keep your good credit rating even if you are unemployed.

Potential Changes In Tax During 2015 – Who Will Be The Benefiting?

According to recent reports, the Internal Revenue Service or the IRS has accounted the annual inflation adjustments for a number of provisions for the year 2015, including tax tables, tax rate schedules and cost-of-living adjustments for certain tax items. The changes will be applicable numbers for the tax yea 2015, in other words it will be effective from 1st January, 2015. They will not be the numbers and rates that you’ll use to prepare your 2014 tax returns in 2015. Instead, these numbers and rates (the changed ones) are those that you will use to prepare your 2015 tax returns in 2016. Did you get it? Good! Now let’s have a look at the changes.

In this article we’ll continue the approach that we’ve taken in the past to discuss the significant and potential tax changes in 2014-2015. That discussion will include changes to the Social Security and Medicare, mileage deduction rates, tax standard deduction rates, earned income credits, Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits and changes to the retirement accounts like the 401(k), IRAs and Roth plans.

Individual tax payers

If the taxable income is between:
Then the tax due is:
                               0 - $9,225
10% of the taxable income
$9,226 - $37,450
$922.50 + 15% of the amount over $9,225
$37,451 - $90,750
$5,156.25 + 25% of the amount over $37,450
$90,751 - $189,300
$18,481.25 +28% of the amount over $90,750
$189,301- $411,500
$46,075.25 + 33% of the amount over $189,300
$411,501 - $413,200
$119,401.25 + 35% of the amount over $411,500
$413,201 and above
$119,996.25 + 39.6% of the amount over $413,200

Standard deductions: All taxpayers will now see a slight increase in the standard deduction. The standard deduction rises to $6300 for singles and the married couples filing seperate returns and $12,600 for married couples who are filing jointly, up from $6200 and $12,400 respectively for the tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9240 up from $9100.

Filing Status
Standard Deduction Amount
Married filing jointly
Married filing separately
Head of Household
Surviving Spouse

Itemized deductions: There are limitations for itemized deductions too – The pease limitations, which has been named after former Rep. Don Pease – for 2015 will be introduced for individuals with incomes of $258,250 or more. The Pease Limitations were slated to be reduced from the beginning of 2006 and then it was eliminated in 2010; as with other tax cuts, the elimination was then extended throughout the end of 2012. The limitations were then brought back in 2013 according to the original threshlds, indexed for inflation. The particular result of those changes is basically an increase in the top marginal tax rates.

Therefore, if you’re wondering about taking out a huge loan for some big purchase, you should be considered about the taxes. Take into account the above mentioned tax changes that are to be introduced in 2015 so that you can measure and weigh your decisions in the near future.

Mortgage Rates For 2015 To Be Unveiled Soon – Are You On An Edge?

The top US housing finance agency’s regulator said recently that his agency would soon unveil the new framework in the early months of 2015 for how government-controlled Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will set mortgage guarantee fees. The Federal Housing Finance Agency called off all plans to raise the guarantee fees because the new director of the agency, Mel Watt said that there’s more study needed before taking this decision. Watt, who was appointed as the director by President Barack Obama to head the body that oversees the nation’s largest housing finance firms, has made increased access to credit score a priority and there are also raised fears that higher fees could also hurt borrowers.

At the hearing of the Senate, the Republican lawmakers criticized the decision to delay the increase in the so-caled G-fees and expressed concern about the new plan to allow lower and more affordable down payments on the mortgages that were backed by the government agencies. Watt smartly defended himself with a more cautious answer. He said that if he raised the G-fees without a further thorough analysis, that would inconsistent with his responsibilities. He also added that he expects to provide a framework and the rational for it sometime during the first quarter of the approaching year, 2015.

2015 mortgage predictions from reliable sources

You must be thinking that it’s only November and we’re already discussing about the mortgage projections and predictions for 2015. But in reality, it’s never too late to start projecting. In fact, according to statistics, majority of the mortgage shoppers start researching the market months before they actuall go through the process of closing the loan. With this kind of advanced research in mind, why would the analysts and experts wait? Here are some predictions for the year 2015.
  • Freddie Mac predicts the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage to reach 5% by the completion of 2015.
  •  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average interest rate on a mortgage will also touch 5% by the end of 2015.
  • Chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, analyzes a gradually rising trend where the 30 year fixed rate mortgage could climb at 5.5% in 2015.
  •  Economist Dr. Bill Conerly predicts the 30 year mortgage to climb even higher next year, perhaps it may also reach 6% by the end of 2015.
  • The Home Buying Institute’s projection are on the lower side, for a change. Their views match the outlook offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as they too see that the rates will average at 5%.
The 2015 mortgage rate forecasts are based on industry-wide trends and averages. Freddie Mac’s survey depends on the average rates reported y 125 survey respondents from across different places of the US. In case, you’re a borrower who is about to buy your dream house in 2015, you have to be careful about the mortgage rates. Have a good score and a low DTI ratio to qualify for even lower rates.

Personal Injury Law – All That You Need To Know About It

Personal injury law is the defence of the victims who are suffering from physical and mental pain due to some kind of negligence of an individual or a company. The personal injury law is a unique form of law in the United States. Successful personal injury lawyers are often too aggressive, high experienced and they actively seek the long term well-being of their clients. The fact that mishaps and accidents are commonplace in our lives does not in any sense reduce the confusion and pain that may result when an accident or injury happens with some near and dear family member. If you decide to take steps to protect your legal rights post an accident or an injury, you may have to know some general things about personal injury cases.

A personal injury case - What is it?

Personal injury cases are nothing but legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an injury or accident and someone else becomes legally responsible for that harm. Such a personal injury case can become formal through civil court proceedings that seek to find others who are legally at fault through a court judgment. Such disputes are also often resolved through informal settlements before the lawsuit is filed.

  1. Formal lawsuits: Unlike the criminal cases that are usually initiated by the government, a formal personal injury case starts when a private individual files a civil complaint against another person, corporation or business or even a government agency alleging that they acted carelessly in connection to an accident. This is the action which is known as filing a lawsuit and when you claim about the opponent party’s negligence, you have to make sure you have enough proof.
  2. Informal settlement: However, in reality, most disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal settlement. Informal early settlement occurs between those who are personally involved in the dispute, their attorneys and insurers representing both sides. A settlement means it commonly takes the form of a negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both the parties forgo any further action, choosing to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount.

What are the laws that govern all personal injury cases?

Unlike the other areas of the law that find their rules in statutes, the development of personal injury law has occurred mostly through court decisions and in treatises which are written by legal scholars. Although there are many states that have taken steps to summarize the development of personal injury law in written statutes, for practical purposes, court decisions remain the main source of the law in any particular legal case arising from an injury or an accident.

Any potential personal injury case needs a detailed understanding of the facts, the parties and the law. If an accident has had a bad impact on your life, you should want to consult an experienced attorney to see whether or not you should pursue a lawsuit. If you’re not sure whether or not you have a case, you can always get help of an attorney who can help you with a free evaluation of your case.

Frugal Living Tips For Securing Your Financial Future In 2015

Now that it’s just 2 more months left to bid goodbye to 2014, it is high time we sit with our family members and discuss all the financial mistakes that we committed during the last year so that we don’t repeat it again in the coming year. If you’ve just purchased your home or car, your goal should be to pay it off right within the next 5 years. But how on earth would you manage to do that when you have huge amounts of debt on your cards? How about adopting a frugal lifestyle this 2015 so that you can cater to the more important expenses and then take into account the less important ones? Living on a tight budget and adopting a frugal lifestyle is no crime and it doesn’t even mean sacrificing all your luxuries. You just have to spend according to your income and also ensure that you save enough from what you make in a month. Have a look at some frugal finance tips for you to follow.

  1. Carpool to work: If you’re using your personal car for reaching your office, stop that immediately so that you could save a considerable amount of your dollars on refilling the tank. If you can carpool to work, you can save sufficient money on your car and thereby use it for other important purposes. You can even put it straight into your savings account.
  1. Cut the cable connection: Do you really have enough time to watch television? Sit back and think. Before paying your cable connection bills every month, how about cutting it off for the time-being to check whether or not you can save enough money. If you really don’t have enough time to watch television, you can cut off this connection and use it for your internet connection. Catching up on recent programs through YouTube could be easier with the internet connection instead.
  1. Stop drinking Starbucks coffee outside: If you’re a person who drops in at a Starbucks corner every hour, give up this habit once and for all. Don’t you know how to make coffee at home or do you think that you don’t have enough time? Well, if you’re living on a tight budget and you’re trying to save money to be able to repay your mortgage on time, even if you don’t know how to make it at home, learn it! Save your dollars by eating and drinking at home.
  1. Consolidate debt: Another step that you may take to save money is to consolidate debt through a professional company. If you owe a huge amount on your credit cards, you have to make sure that you combine your debts and lower the interest rates and the monthly payments so that you can save money in the long run. You can either choose to transfer your balance or take out a personal loan.
Therefore, when you’re wondering about the ways in which you can adopt a frugal life in 2015, follow the steps mentioned above. You might feel bad about not doing the things that you love to do, but have your main goal in front of you to motivate yourself.

Credit Cards – Are They Boon Or Bane?

In everyday life, many of us have to encounter, one time or other the problem of meeting some urgent financial commitment.  We may try to get a hand loan from one of our friends or relatives or colleagues. At times, if it is possible, we may even try to get a salary advance.  After meeting the commitment and when we next have cash in our hand, we return the money to the person concerned who lent in the first place. If it was a salary advance, the amount will straightaway be deducted from salary. Up to this, everything is fine and nothing to grumble.

With the constant changes in the modern life style, everybody indulges in shopping for both essential as well as non-essential things. Some of the things so bought would never be used; and some may be used once or twice. But we do not seem to stop this habit of shopping, just for the sake of ‘shopping!’ There is one main reason for indulging in such indiscreet acts. It is nothing but the accessibility of credit cards. Every person employed and with decent income can get a credit card with certain limit; in fact, depending on your income, you are likely to get even more than a handful of such credit cards. It is not a surprise if one has, in his possession, ten such credit cards – perhaps one for each finger!

When you have a number of credit cards what you do? Without taking into consideration the important facts, you go on using all the credit cards, alternatively, for buying things left and right or for settling bills for earlier purchases with installment loans.  Finally, one fine morning, you will realize that you do not have any cash in your hand, after settling the various credit card bills. And, if due to inadvertence, you allow things to continue the same way, you will not have enough cash even to settle your credit card bills. Is it a situation anyone would like to be in?  Certainly not! Then what you should do?

As a first step, close all the credit cards that carry higher rates of interest. As for the other credit cards, you start closing one by one at regular intervals and see to it that you do not possess more than one or two credit cards. You may ask ‘what I will do if I have to buy certain things for which I do not have ready cash?’ The answer is very simple. Try to put off such purchases till such time when you will have enough money in your account. If you cannot wait and you do not have cash, ask one of your friends to spare you this money which you can return as soon as possible. Never forget that ‘credit cards are as good or as bad as pay day loans!’

At least as far as pay day loans are concerned, you will have to return the loan amount when you next receive your pay. But, in the matter of credit cards, you are not bound to settle the whole bill; there are provisions for settling in installments. So, you take advantage of it and conveniently forget the accumulation of debts. Instead of availing of credit card facility, why don’t you consider using only debit cards? When you use the debit card, you use only from out of your savings in the account; and nothing more than that! This saves you a lot of embarrassment that may happen when you start using credit cards indiscreetly! Considering all things, credit cards are certainly not a boon; they are just bane!!