Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pre-owned Medical Equipment

Are you a medical professional looking to upgrade your office equipment? Do you have used equipment that you no longer need, or want to liquidate? Whether you want to sell or buy refurbished equipment within a budget, MED (Medical Equipment Dynamics) should be your first resource. Make MED your source for selling or acquiring pre-owned, quality medical equipment.

Fed Predicts Worsening Economy, Unemployment

The Federal Reserve today downgraded the economic projections for this year, with predictions that the economy will contract more than previously expected and unemployment will continue to rise.

The new forecast from the Fed is that the economy will shrink this year between 0.5 and 1.3 percent. The housing crisis, inflation, the credit crunch and other economic factors have all contributed to the current recession.

The worst prediction may be the one regarding unemployment, already at 7.6 percent. Regardless of whether or not further downturns in the economy occur, Fed officials expect unemployment to continue to rise through at least 2011.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

IE7 Review

You have probably heard the wise, old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I truly believe this is good advice, which is why I held off downloading Internet Explorer 7 for so long. Yes, I knew it had a few newer features that made it superior to IE6, but better the devil you know than the devil you don't, as they say.

Recently my IE6 had been crashing so often and becoming so useless that it was either give it up completely or get IE7. Normally, I use Firefox as my main browser, but occasionally I do need to have two browsers open, especially when checking webiste code.

I must say I am impressed with IE7, it loads much more quickly than IE6. It's sharp with an updated look and tabbed browsing was definitely a needed feature. I wasn't given a choice about installing their new protection software, it just loaded right along with the IE update, so now I face months of assuring IE, that yes I do want this website to function normally and no, I am not afraid of it. All of that will sort itself out in time.

If you have been reluctant to upgrade as I was, I can allay your fears to some extent. If you are going to use IE at all, you should move up to the new and improved version. In my opinion, Firefox is still the superior browser and I continue to use it as my default browser.

Monday, February 9, 2009

International Phone Cards

When a friend of mine visited me in the US from Australia, she bought a new cell phone in New York, because her mobile wouldn't work in the states. That's one way to make calls while you are traveling, but not necessarily the best or cheapest way to do it.

For travelers or students who will be making international calls, often a phone card can be a better solution. You can budget exactly what you can afford and control your phone bills by selecting a pre-paid card. There are cards that can be refilled once the minutes are depleted so that a weekly or monthly budget can be alloted for phone calls home. Some cards have a pinless dialing feature for convenience and speed. By simply choosing the country you will be calling most often, you can get a card with low rates for that country but you are not limited to calling only that country, you get good rates for domestic and other international calls as well. Even more convenient is the fact that a phone card can be used from any phone, anywhere. Even better, you won't burden friends and family with expensive collect calls. For convenience and controlling expenses, a phone card is a great choice for the international traveler.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Making Money with Public Domain Material

If you're looking for new work at home ideas and ideas on how to make money on the internet (and who isn't?) then you may be very glad you checked out free videos you can make money on.

That's right, free videos. Many people don't realize that there are thousands of books, movies, books and works of art that are now in the Public Domain. That means that no copyright exists on them, either because they were created before there was a copyright law or because the copyright on them has expired. This makes them free to anyone to use for any purpose, even commercial purposes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Despite Falling Oil Prices, Inflation Remains


Now that oil prices are tumbling, will consumers see prices fall on other goods? It would seem logical that higher prices related to energy prices would drop when energy prices do. But unfortunately, for many goods and services, that may not be the case.

The bad news is that higher prices may be here to stay. Gas and energy prices, which rose to new highs were responsible for the increase in everything from the price of eggs to meat prices, and those prices may not come down if profits don't return to their previous level.

Many companies raised prices but still saw profit margins decrease. In many cases, companies didn't raise prices until it was do or die on the profit line. Therefore, even when oil prices drop, the new, higher prices on goods may remain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Salaries Not Keeping Pace with Inflation

Americans' salaries are not keeping up with inflation according to this article at Consumer Affairs.com. As the cost of living rises at a faster pace than the average American worker's salary, he experiences the actual effects of a loss of income.

Pay raises of 3.8 per cent are simply not going to keep pace with the 5.5 percent rise in consumer prices and tight budgets have forced companies to freeze wages in some cases.

But getting a raise is not impossible, if you are worth it to the company. Employers can't afford to raise wages for all employees, but often will reward top employees they can't afford to lose.

The bottom line? If you want a raise, you are going to have to work for it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Feds Seize Mortgage Companies

The big news of course is the Federal government's takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies are the largest providers of money for home mortgages in the US.

The US Treasury has pledged up to $200 billion to help offset losses suffered as a result of bad mortgages. The operation of the companies will be handled for now by the FHA.

It is hoped that the move will help to stabilize the housing market which has been in decline over that last several years. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, said that a simple equity investment in the companies was deemed to not be enough to rescue them or stabilize the market. Paulson said the risk of doing nothing was worse than the burden of the responsibility for billions of dollars in loans made by private lenders.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Visa Lobbies Against Proposed Changes

How do credit card companies spend their money? Well according to this story, Visa spent $1.5 million lobbying against proposed changes in laws regarding penalties and fees that credit card issuers can charge.

As Congress has taken up the review of legislation to protect consumers against unfair increases on interest rates, and limiting the penalties they can charge customeres, Visa has been lobbying heavily to prevent such legislation from passing.

They also lobbied against legislation that would limit the fees that credit card companies could charge merchants for processing credit card purchases.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pennsylvania to Require Licensing of Payday Lenders


There are federal laws regarding payday lenders and the interest they can charge. But it isn't just interest you have to be aware of, there are fees involved, expecially when loans are extended beyond the first payment due date.

Pennsylvania has decided to deal with the growth of payday lenders by passing a licensing requirement for lenders operating in that state. Pennsylvania lawmakers felt that online lenders could circumvent the laws of the state and that this is a way to make sure that laws intended to protect consumers were complied with.

The law will require lenders to obtain a license from the Department of Banking by February 1, 2009 or face potential fines and penalties.

The PA Department of Banking interprets the state's Consumer Discount Company Act to apply to any company that lends to Pennsylvania consumers and not just those companies with a physical address in the state.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Work At Home Scams

Everyone wants to make money in their spare time and most dream of working from home to accomplish that goal. While there are genuine opportunities to make money from home, not all work-at-home employment is equal and some is not even for real.

We've all seen the ads that promise big income for little investment. The jobs that promise us more free time and greater control over our lives. Usually the ads or emails declare something along the line of "Work From Home Stuffing Envelopes!". Sounds like easy money, and it can be - if you are the scammer who places the ad.

Envelope-stuffing scams are pretty basic. You pay a small fee to get started. What you receive, however, will be instructions on how to send the same envelope-stuffing ad out to others in bulk emailings. The only money you may earn comes from others who fall for the scheme. Congratulations, you've become a scammer too.

Let's face it, unsolicited email offers are not likely to result in legitimate employment. Although there are real jobs you can do from home, envelope-stuffing is one of the oldest scams, dating back well before email when the ads were found in the back of tabloids and magazines. It's tried and true and still entices enough people to make it worthwhile for the scammer.

Make your work at home the task of deleting these email schemes as soon as they hit your inbox.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Found Money, Part Two

Just a little update on my found money. I got some claim paperwork from the state on one of my claims. I have to fill in my social security number and attach some proof of identity. I also noted the type of abandoned property and the amount.

Where the computer obviously read $42.00 and listed it as being under $100 value, the claim form actually states that the property is 42.0000 book entry shares in a major corporation. I checked the stock quote today and the entire sum is well over $2400.

Now, it will take up to 12 weeks to get my claim fully processed and issued to me, but I am hoping the stock will go up and not down during that time.

Again, you don't know what's out there until you look. Check your state's home website for information on locating and claiming abandoned property listed under your name.
It's well worth your while.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some Receive Duplicate Stimulus Checks

Still waiting for your stimulus payment? While some are not yet mailed to anxious taxpayers, others have received duplicate checks totaling twice the amount for which they were qualified.

If you receive a second check from the IRS, do not cash it and hope they won't figure it out. The money must be returned. If you receive a second direct deposit, contact your bank or financial institution.

In some cases, taxpayers may receive a second check that is not a duplicate if they had not properly claimed their dependents. The IRS has in some cases issued two checks once discovering that the taxpayer was due a stimulus payment for a child or children.

Haven't received your check yet? Well the IRS is still mailing them out and will be until mid-July. If there was any difficulty processing a direct deposit, you will get a paper check instead and this will delay your payment.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Online Debt Relief - NetDebt

If you are like millions of Americans who need debt relief, you may also be confused about where to go for debt help and embarrassed to ask. Nearly everyone knows that there are ways to consolidate debt or get a Debt Settlement, but unless you are familiar with the process, you may not know where to turn to get the solid debt advice you need to successfully negotiate debt settlements and consolidations.

NetDebt.com provides debt help and advice through a process that is conducted completely online. You don't have to attend counseling sessions that may be part of other types of debt help programs. NetDebt can fit neatly into your busy schedule. They have live counselors available for when you need them. Using their Debt Settlement Calculator will show you just how much you could save. Just answer a few questions about your debt situation and NetDebt will show you the savings that using the program could save you on your overall debt burden.

Ignoring the situation and ducking bill collectors won't help you, but getting reliable debt advice and debt counseling could put you back on the road to financial health.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Finding Found Money

There's no pleasanter surprise than "found" money. I got a call today from a relative who was searching a database in my state for abandoned property and came across two items in my name. I searched myself, made a claim and now await to hear of my good fortune.

Abandoned property is any financial asset with no activity for a specific period of time. In my state it's three years. This could include money in savings or checking accounts, unpaid wages, commissions, stocks, uncashed dividends and many other types of unclaimed or "abandoned" financial assets.

This money gets turned over to the state for safekeeping. The state may or may not publish this information in local newspapers, but not if the amount is a small one.

One way to find out if you have any abandoned property in the form of unclaimed money, you can go to a website like www.missingmoney.com or try a search on your state's website. Usually you can make a claim online but may have to provide some additional documentation to receive your payment.

Both of my claims are for under $100 but I don't know exactly how much either is. Hey, it's found money, so it's all good. The point is that I wouldn't even know about it and therefore, wouldn't have even one penny of it if I hadn't checked for it. So, you have nothing to lose, and much to gain for just a few minutes time.