Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama Pisses Away Our Money

Wow, this guy is full of hatred for President Barack Obama. Maybe he just finished work after a long day and created this video.

Anyway, he brought up a few pertinent points. It is really tragic to pay tax and see how the government screwed up its budget by wasting our hard-earned money on bailing out banks and gifting them fat bonuses.

Check out his rants, though I doubt it serves much purpose in preventing the downfall of America.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Money Joke: Boy Snubs President's Kindness

A little boy wanted $100 badly and prayed for two weeks but nothing happened. Then he decided to write a letter to the Lord requesting the $100.

When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to the Lord, USA, they decided to send it to President Obama.

The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill, as this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.

The little boy was delighted with the $5.00, and sat down to write a thank-you note to the Lord.

It said: Dear Lord, Thank you very much for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, DC and as usual, those jerks deducted $95.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How To Save Money On Dry Cleaning?

How To Save Money On Dry Cleaning?
Dry cleaning, at times a necessary evil if you wear business suits for a living, can be a very expensive bill. The good news is it can be whittled down substantially and save us hundreds of dollars per month.

When the clothes tags say "Dry Clean Only," it doesn't mean you can't clean it safely at home. Technically speaking, dry cleaning means a chemical cleaning process, not a 'dry' method.

You can use home laundering but you have to consider certain factors like fiber type, fabric construction, dyes, etc before doing so. It's important when caring for your clothes is to know when not to home launder and take your garment to a professional.

If you want to get started on home cleaning, don't put your new, expensive suits at risk. Try home washing with old clothes first.

And when I say home washing, it means a hand process as machine washing may be too rough. Use a gentle laundry cleanser and avoid bleaches, fabric softeners, or rinse additives.

Always wash with cold water which is an energy efficient method anyway. Do not twist or wring the garment as some items can be damaged in the process. When drying the garment, dry it without stretching the garment.

If necessary, lay the garment flat on towels which are changed when they absorb too much water. Do not dry the garment in the dryer as the heat and agitation can cause damage.

As you can see, home laundering involves a lot of hand process and takes up much of your time. If you are the lazy or busy type, then the best way, is to avoid dry cleaning and its associated cost as much as possible.

People often buy new clothes to follow the latest fashion but this approach is extremely wasteful. You hardly wear out the clothes before new styles come out and you need a new wardrobe again.

I usually go for styles that is not fashionable and easy to maintain. Smaller, local manufacturers also offer a better value on clothing instead of branded clothes.

I also visit local local thrift stores where the clothes are cheaper. Some of the bargains and special sales are unbelievable. In addition, thrift shops give you a cheap way to buy children's clothes since they often outgrow their clothes very quickly.

You can also consider using worksuits when doing any dirty work such as yard work, house work or cleaning. This will save you money from dry cleaning or even washing your clothes as frequently which save electricity and water.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Is Left Unsaid During Obama's China Tour

What Is Left Unsaid During Obama's China Tour
When you are indebted to others, especially your strategic but at times dangerous competitor, it is rather hard to make a stand on critical issues concerning Americans.

The prudent way is to get the budget in order and strive to reduce the federal debts which have exceeded $12 trillion dollars.

US debts is now close to the statutory limit but Congress will ultimately adjust the ceiling and not send the US government into crisis.

Everything will be fine. However, the kindness of strangers is less predictable.

When it is taken away at an inopportune time, Americans could suffer terribly as the US government either borrow at sky-high interest rates or when nobody wants to lend, then the important civil services have to shut down.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Money Mangement As You Approach Retirement

A key element to successful money management is to live within our means. That is easier said than done in our culture of instant gratification. Fulfiling our basic needs is taken for granted and we desire luxurious comforts before we have saved enough money to afford them.

For those who are apporoaching retirement, it may seem that you have finally established yourself financially and deserve some indulgence. But your retirement needs (like medical cost, insurance, vacation, entertainment, etc) may have been underestimated and there are still outstanding debts to pay off.

Money Mangement As You Approach Retirement
To ensure a comfortable standard of living during retirement, mastering money management is essential.

Paying off the past

To live within your means, you need to implement responsible money management by paying past debts first. As an example, your children’s college bills are still outstanding. If you used PLUS loans (federally sponsored education loans for parents), you have standard, graudated, extended or consolidated repayment options to choose from.

You probably want to pay off the loans as soon as possible. It is better to live debt-free during retirement, as you no longer have employment income to offset expenses.

Avoid Credit Card Debts

It is of the utmost importance now, with retirement approaching, to avoid credit card debt. Whatever you purchase, make sure you can afford it and that it does not take away from your retirement savings.

Staying Smart and Rational

As you approach retirement, your kids will have finished their education, moved out and started their career, so they are financially independent. For the first time in many years, you may be responsible for just your spouse and yourself.

With this money freed up, you have more funds to meet your retirement needs. However, you need to stay smart and rational to prevent falling prey to get-rich scams, impulse buying, stock market exuberance, or other folly ventures.

Watch Expenses And Invest in the future

I believe most people should have accumulated a comfortable retirement nest in the few years prior to retirement.

It is easy to succumb to an extravagant lifestyle with surplus cash lying around, but spending recklessly now means you could outlive your retirement funds. That is not to say you can't indulge occasionally (like buying gifts, fine dining, or a vacation) during retirement if basic living expenses are well taken care of.

Investing in the future (on a conservative note) is also necessary, not so much for capital gain but to protect your purchasing power. The effects of Federal Reserve money printing will be felt keenly in the next few years, thus inflation is a threat to your wealth.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wrong Lesson From Financial Crisis

Wrong Lesson From Financial Crisis
Benie Madoff's loot is going under the hammer in New York and most of it fails to impress.

Maybe that is why some bankers are upset that they have backed the wrong person.

It is a pity they are counting their losses but I think the wrong lesson has been learned from the financial crisis. Who cares where these despised bankers invest their bonus?

Crux of the matter is whether they deserve to be paid astronomical bonus for taking huge risks...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

15 Most Stressful And Underpaid Jobs

1. Social Worker (Median pay: $43,200)

Social workers step in when everyone else steps aside to help people and families in vulnerable situations.

They provide patients with education and counseling, advise care givers and make referrals for other services. And with social workers in short supply and programs underfunded, few must juggle the work of many, while reaping little reward.

2. Special Events Coordinator (Median pay: $35,900)

Planning a major event or party is a ton of work, and can easily turn into a real circus if you don't hire a pro to pull it all together.

3. Probation/Parole Officer (Median pay: $38,400)

Looking for a challenging and stimulating work environment? How about working with convicted felons?

Keeping ex-cons in line is certainly no easy task, but the work can be rewarding. Probation or parole officers help parolees and probationers get back on their feet, with everything from rehabilitation plans to education and employment arrangements.

Read more about the rest of the overworked and underpaid professions here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

7 Tips To Save Money On A Vacation

With unemployment at a 26 year high of 10.2%, now is the hardly the time to talk about a vacation. But there is no need to deprive ourselves of an opportunity to recharge our batteries when we have been slogging throughout the year.

7 Tips To Save Money On A Vacation
A vacation is also a nice reward for our discipline in adhering to frugal living. If you have been budgeting for a vacation, the current recession serves only to spark your creativity to get the most out of every penny you spend.

Here are 7 tips to stretch our dollar while having the best vacation ever.

1. Comparison shop for best deals

Check out websites such as Expedia, Trip Advisor and Sell Off Vacations for deals on hotels, attractions and cruises. I like Trip Advisor for the in depth reviews for each hotel and you can easily ascertain which hotel offers quality service without bursting your budget.

Even though these comparison websites are useful guides, I have a habit of checking out the airlines and hotels websites before I make any payment. This is to see if dealing direct with them will yield a better price.

2. Membership discounts

If you are a member of the CAA or AAA, these memberships can get your further discounts on hotels and rental cars. Stop in your local branch before you buy any free maps and travel brochures.

3. Don't Bring Unnecessary Stuff

Don’t bring more clothes than you really need. Try rolling them up so that they fit into lesser bags. Many airlines charge for extra bags, so the lesser stuff you bring, the more money you save.

At the same time, make sure your bags are not overloaded as they strain the airline’s weight limits and they’ll charge extra for that as well.

4. Hotel Stay

I like to plan a hotel stay with complimentary breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and give us the energy for all the touring and shopping. Having your breakfast free-of-charge is definitely the best way to save money.

I love a Continental breakfast option which offers nice buffet with a multitude of delicious breakfast options. If not, I will settle for free orange juice, coffee and doughnuts.

If your days are jam-packed with fun sightseeing adventures, you should have a filling breakfast before setting off. Otherwise, sit down and enjoy every free amenity the hotel has.

5. Plan your destinations

You can look for coupons on the websites of attractions or restaurants you plan to visit. Almost every zoo, museum or amusement park has discount coupons on their websites.

At the amusement park, you might want to bring some snacks and bottled drinks in a backpack or purse. The prices at the parks are amazingly expensive.

If it is a beach destination, have a look at all inclusive resorts. With food, drinks and the many activities included, this will save us from burning cash throughout the vacation.

6. Travel in the off-peak season

The off-peak season has fewer crowds at most tourist attractions but more importantly, it can save you lots of money on airfare and hotels.

7. Avoid using credit

You have been shunning credit cards and avoided falling prey to their exorbitant interest. There is no reason why you should break that prudent habit on a vacation.

I know the temptations for impulse buying is especially great when we are on a vacation, what with all the local souvenirs, clothes, shoes, gadgets, etc. but just remind yourself of the massive credit card bill at the end of the day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10 Money Saving HDTV Shopping Tips