21
May
2015
memorial-day-celebrations

On this Memorial Day, veterans and fallen heroes would be honored in the nation’s capital. Here’s the itinerary of the celebration:

  1. No Memorial Day in DC is complete without mentioning the National Memorial Day Parade. Started on since 2005, the parade is largest of its kind in the U.S. is put up by the American Veterans Center in honor of those servicemen and servicewomen who put their lives on the line of duty to protect our liberty. The event is to be on Constitution Avenue, it wows audiences that are more than 250,000 strong with active duty, retired military units and marching bands, youth groups, floats and scores of veterans. This year the parade is scheduled for Monday, 25th May, and would start at 2 p.m.
  2. Arlington National Cemetery hosts a variety of events to celebrate Memorial Day. If you want to be a part of its celebrations, then head to the Memorial Amphitheater at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 26th. An official Memorial Day service will be held, sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Moreover, over a quarter million mini flags will be used to decorate the cemetery's headstones. For a better and more powerful tribute, you may head to the Tomb of the Unknowns. It is guarded by Tomb Guard Sentinels 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Hold on their for while and you’ll witness the impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony, which is conducted every half-hour until the cemetery closes at 7 p.m. At 4 p.m. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial, that is situated at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, will conduct a ceremony. The ceremony includes formal military honors, wreath-layings, a keynote address and the signature event of the Memorial, the scattering of rose petals, a mark of tribute to the departed soldiers.
  3. A company of hogs throng the streets of DC each Memorial Day weekend for the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally. This “ride for freedom” attracts more than 900,000 motorcycle riders from all over the country who travel to honor POWs and MIAs. Besides, the riding rally being held on Sunday, May 24th, one of the main crowd-puller each year, there are other Rolling Thunder events on the anvil, too: a candlelight vigil is scheduled to be held on Friday, May 22; apart from that, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held too at the U.S. Navy Memorial on Saturday, May 23; and lastly, on Sunday evening, you can look forward to the Rolling Thunder’s Saluting Our Troops - a concert to be held near the Vietnam War Memorial.
  4. On Memorial Day eve, the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol undergoes a sea of change and is transformed into a patriotic concert venue. A free performance is put up to pay tribute to those who have served our country, and with a part of the evening being dedicated to honor our current active service members. This event will be one out of many opportunities for you to recognize and catch a glimpse of the active servicewoman or serviceman of our nation. As far as the concert is concerned, it will be co-hosted this year by Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna. These two actors who have taken on veterans causes in recent years, and their event is featured at the National Symphony Orchestra.
  5. You can stroll the National Mall this Memorial Day which is considered a must-do. To begin with, you can honor the most famous war general in U.S. history by visiting the Washington Monument. There, you can pay your deepest respects at the National World War II Memorial, created and dedicated in 2004. The memorium is etched with 58,621 soldiers’ names, while the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the brainchild of Maya Ying Lin, a 21 year-old architecture student at Yale in 1981. Next in your travel itinerary you can include a trek to the Lincoln Memorial to read one of the most powerful and widely-known speeches on sacrifice: the Gettysburg Address. A stone’s throw away is the Korean War Veterans Memorial that provides a unique empathetic experience with its 19 life-like, poncho-clad soldier statues.
  6. The DC War Memorial is a unique hidden gem on the National Mall. The domed structure was built in honor of the 26,000 Washington, DC residents who served during the World War I. The memorial was in a dilapidated state and was restored in 2011 thanks in part to Frank Buckles, the lone surviving American World War I veteran. The structure features Roman-style architecture with sturdy columns, and was originally dedicated in 1931 by then President Herbert Hoover. You’ll notice the almost all the 500 names that are engraved at the base of the memorial
  7. Not too far from the walls of Arlington National Cemetery, there is a permanent installation of one of the most iconic photographs of World War II: Raising the Flag on Iowa Jima. The Marine Corps War Memorial (better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial) was built as an homage to all marines who have died defending the U.S. since 1775. This scene was originally made public in 1951 and provides a sweeping view of the DC skyline.

18
May
2015
be-dollarwise-on-memorial-day

Memorial Day is approaching. And the best part is, no other event will much popular in summer than this Day. Because, Memorial Day is very popular for shopping, having good foods with friends and guests and having summer fun. This is such an event when millions of people will hit the store to buy appliance, gadgets. They will even hit hotels to have good foods or have some fun. But all these fun can cost you big if you haven't yet finalise your budget and schedule the necessary expenditure for the event.

9 Ways to curb extra expenses to save dollar

You may be thinking to host a barbecue party on this Memorial Day or, a nice get together party on a good hotel, or just want to shop some items, whatever it is, you need to do a lot of pre planning. Thus, you can have fun and save some dollar as well. Here are some easy ways to save dollar on the big day.

1. Consider dollar store to shop

For throwing a party, you need some basic items like paper plates, plastic cutlery so on. And no option is best than dollar store to get those items. Yes, you can easily get all the items spending less money there. So, choosing supermarket to buy things will be your biggest blunder and can cost you big.

2. Buy in bulk

You need to buy in bulk according to the number of guest and menu. So try to buy in bulk (meat, vegetables, other necessary things). You can get big discounts on bulk items so it will be always a win win deal.

3. Find the butcher shop to buy meat

Especially for a barbecue party you need lot of meat. And you can save more money by considering a butcher shop instead of prepared packets available on supermarket. You can also get chicken breast or meat in large slabs in a butcher shop. So, no need to spend extra dollar when you can save up to 60% to avoid prepared meat.

4. Plan the menu beforehand

Don't leave all the task for last moment. It seems that, most of time, last minute rush can be a big pocket burner. If you plan the menu according to the number of guest, plan the recipe and shop accordingly, then you can always get the time to get things with right price.

5. Choose the self cooking option

There are ample of websites where you can get easy and delicious recipes. So why don’t you give yourself a chance? You may cook some delicious food and impress your guest as well. Always try to make your own salad, marinade, dressing. You have all the required ingredients (necessary herbs, olive oil, vinegar, spices, sauce, lime so on) at your home. So, don’t waste your money on costly packaged foods any more. You can even bake cookies, cupcakes, cakes of your own.

6. Try to get boxed wine

Don’t spend money on bottled wine when you can easily get boxed wine for your guests. Boxed wine is much affordable than bottled wine and can easily served.

7. Ask your guest to bring side dishes

If you’re planning a big party, then you can ask the guest to bring side dishes. Plan only the main dishes and other required things for a party.

8. Get discounts and special coupons

Special Memorial Day discounts and coupons are available these days. So, take a close look on Internet and save big on television, furniture, kitchen appliance, apparel so on! You can get even promo codes on departmental stores.

9. Don’t forget to redeem credit card rewards

Try to buy the grocery items on the same store where you shop on regular basis. Thus, you can get reward points on your credit cards. Try to redeem the credit card. So that you can get the discounts on your purchase. Make sure you use the points for cash back to your bank account. Or, try to exchange the gift card and get the one which you can use for Memorial Day shopping as well. Don’t miss the discounts on gas station too.

Final words

Lastly, make sure that you don’t spend money extravagantly. Because incurring holiday debts can hurt your credit score and will take big time to paid off. So, try to plan beforehand so when the Memorial Day weekend arrives you’ll be able to attend the events in your own joyful way without having any financial worry.


12
May
2015

Eight years ago, OVLG was launched with the dream of protecting consumers' rights and strengthening their financial house. That dream has been fulfilled but only partially. So, in the next 8 years, we'll work harder to achieve our dreams and aspirations. Just be there and wish us good luck. Hopefully, we'll be able to save financial lives of many more people. OVLG completes 8 years successfully


29
April
2015
mother's-day-gifts

Finding the perfect gift for mom on Mother’s Day is super-exciting - but it is tough as well. You don’t know which gift will be perfect for your mom.

I have created a list of gift ideas that are budget-friendly and interesting as well. Your job will be to pick ones that your mom would love to have in her kitty.

Budget-friendly gifts for your mom

Here’s my list of 10 budget-friendly gifts that will your mom’s heart and bring a smile on her lips.

  1. Stylish smartphone case - This gift is just perfect for all kinds of moms. Your mom will surely love to a have a smartphone case that will give extra battery life. An iPhone 6 battery case will cost you around $69.95.

  2. Mini stone massage kit - Oh! This is a sheer treat at only $11. Your mom will love you even more for it. Typically, a mini stone massage kit will contain shea butter balm and massage stones. If your mom hasn’t used a massage kit before, then Mother’s Day is the perfect time to present this gift. She can read the instructions given in the kit and then use this scented kit.

  3. Personalized heart clock: This gift gives you the opportunity to express your true feelings to your adorable mom. You can write a special message for you mom and engrave in this heart shaped clock. Whenever, your mom will look at this clock to check out time, she will remember you.
  4. This gift typically costs $39.95 and will be shipped to you within 1-2 days.

  5. A wallet to keep everything - This is a very useful gift since your mom can use it everyday. Select a wallet wherein she can keep her smartphone, credit cards, cash and every other thing without occupying a huge space.
  6. A typical clutch wallet may come within $13.72.

  7. Customized keepsake award: She can be the best mom of the world. But does she knows about it? If not, then gift her a customized keepsake award. You can engrave a sweet message in the award. Something like, “Thank you for being the best mom of the world”. You can even engrave her special qualities in that award.

Homemade gifts for your mom

Best gifts for your mothers actually comes from your heart and not necessarily wallet. So, if you really want to give a personal touch to the gift, then make one yourself.

  1. “20 Things I love about you mom” Jar: Oh! This is a complete lovey-dovey gift. Anyone can make it. Just take 20 pieces of papers and scribble special qualities of your mom in them. Put your love into words and touch your mom’s heart.
  2. A complete makeover of her room: Sometimes, you can totally change the look of her room by re-arranging furnitures and organizing all the items properly. You won’t even have to spend a penny. All you need to have is a refined taste.
  3. Three meals for the special day: Your mom cooks for 365 days. This Mother’s Day, treat her with homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure you cook those dishes which are your mom’s favorite. And please, clean the kitchen once cooking is done. Don’t leave the hard task for her.

Expensive gifts for your mom

If budget is not a matter for you, then you’ve plenty of options. I have selected 2 for you:

  1. Massage cushion: Your mom has worked hard throughout her life. It’s time she gets some relaxation and break. Buy a massage cushion for her. She can use it while driving or watching TV.
  2. A smartphone: Give her a nice smartphone this year if she doesn’t have one. You can buy a Google Nexus 5 or a iPhone 5 and gift it to her. The whole world will come at her fingertips and she will love you even more for it.

Best gift for your mom

No matter what list I make, there’s no doubt that the best gift is Time. You know why? That’s because nobody has time nowadays. It’s the most precious gift you can give anyone, especially your mom. You may not need her now that you’re all grown up. But never forget that she was the only person who gave up her sleep at night just to play with you. Spend some time with her. Take her to a nice restaurant and share a meal together. Make her feel special. Make her feel that she is a very special person in your life. Just do this much and see the smile she gives you in return. I promise it will be enough to bring ‘happy tears’ in your eyes.


22
April
2015
martha's story of becoming debt free

Hi! This is the story of Martha Jackson who lives in Nevada and is currently working as a freelancer for Oak View Law Group. Five years back, her student loan debt messed up her otherwise happy life and pushed her towards the edge of financial cliff. At one point, she had to plan her every step in order to survive in this merciless world. But after she came in touch with Oak View Law Group (OVLG), her life changed for the better. Finally, she stopped having dreadful dreams about food, clothes and shelter - the 3 basic necessities of life.

Martha's story
Total student loan paid off - $10000
Time taken 4 years

“A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway”

I don't know about others but I believe in miracle because it happened with me. Yes, it's true and the magician who did this miracle is OVLG. Yes, believe it or not, OVLG came into my life when there were only negativity in my life. It got to the point where anytime I received money, I would use it to buy a hotdog. And, then I would eagerly wait for the next miracle to happen in any form of financial windfall.

In one line, I was in hell; mentally and financially shaken. You can call me a penniless Cinderella without her magical shoes.

By this time, you must be thinking - Huh! here comes another debt story before us. A story where a hero enters with a bag of debt and then describes what he does to pay off it. Well, you're not wrong. But there's a catch and that is, there is no hero in the story. There is a heroine and that's me. The other 2 characters in the story are OVLG (my guardian angel) and a villain (my lender - sorry, I can't think of anybody else for this character).

My story is like a play with 3 Acts. The first Act unfolds the problems, the second Act brings the guardian angel into the story and finally the third Act concludes the story wherein the heroine gets back to her happy life.

Act 1 - Debt enters into the heroine's life

My (Martha Jackson’s) debt story actually began 5 years back when I was an undergraduate in Baylor University. In the very first year of my college, I had to attend an academic conference. I made all the reservations at the best hotels and flights assuming that the expenses would get soon reimbursed.

I spent my credit cards like a real life heroine. Conference was just an excuse, actually I wanted to hangout with my friends, explore the place, try out new dishes, etc. The trip was good, actually more than good. Whenever I was swiping my credit card, I was thinking - “What the hell! Money will soon be reimbursed”.

Before even I knew it, the amount on the credit card was much higher than what would be reimbursed for. So, basically, I overspent. And this is what kicked off the debt ball at my court.

Then later, my boyfriend at that time lost his job. So, I had to support him financially as well. This created an additional pressure upon my credit card. Although, we eventually broke up, but the debt stayed with me, creating problems in every possible way.

Life is not only about studies and boyfriend. You've friends, their weddings and birthdays, your own food and traveling expenses, etc. So, you need to have money for them as well. My credit card took care of all of them in silence but burning in fury.

Soon, my credit card debt load became so high that my meagre stipend was not enough to release it. Moreover, I had a student loan as well along with my credit card debt. I made payments when I could and skipped most of the time. Creditors waited for a few months and thereafter they started making demands. I tried my best to take care of them but they were simply not ready to listen. They were just saying one thing - Pay or be ready to get a miserable credit score.

Act 2 - There comes my guardian angel OVLG

Fortunately, it was around this time only when I came across OVLG. I was actually trying out different online calculators to know how long I had to make payments in order to get rid of debts. I bumped into OVLG's debt payoff calculator by chance, and after calculating my savings, I decided to call them up. And thank god, I called them up. One single call saved my life.

I had a long chat with the OVLG financial coach. I told Shane Rogers (FC) everything and he listened to it very minutely. He made a quick analysis of my financial situation and offered me a range of possible solutions. He explained the pros and cons of each solution, what might work for me and what might not. He told me exactly how much I need to pay every month and why. Everything was clear and transparent. I had no confusions.

The monthly payable amount was affordable. But the problem was I didn't have any job at that time. The financial coach (Shane Rogers) suggested me to take up a part-time job. It's not that I didn't think about it earlier, but I wasn't getting a suitable one.

In the next two months, I frantically searched for a part-time job. I worked as a waiter at a cafe' but the wage was not good at all. Plus, the cafe was very far from the university, which meant I had to travel for several hours every day. This didn't leave much time for studies. I had to find out another job.

I started looking for online jobs since you only require a laptop for that. I could do the assignments at night or free time. After doing a few assignments, I finally I got a job as a SME at a small company. The job was good since it gave me a lot to learn. Unfortunately, my good luck didn't last long and I lost that job as well due to cost-cutting.

I called Shane again and told my new problem. Shane asked me if I could work for a few hours for OVLG as a SME. He knew that it was not possible for me to work for 8-9 hours. Hence, he gave me a job wherein I had to work for only 3-4 hours, which suited me perfectly.

Thanks again OVLG!

Act 3 - Finally, the payoff process accelerated and the heroine smiles

After a few months of working as a SME, I had enough money to make more payments towards my debts. Finally, I could sleep at night without thinking about how to get food in the next day.

For the last 5 years, I have been working with OVLG - both as a client and employee. And, the experience has been great. I have already paid off my debts. Thank God! I'm still working as a SME at OVLG and hope to work with them for a long time. They have helped me during my bad time and I would like to stick to them as long as I can.

Conclusion

We're happy to share Martha's story. She is doing well for herself and that's more than what we have expected. We hope she finds her dream man one day and spends her life in a clean financial state.

If you've any debt story, then do share it with us. We would love to share it with our readers. Let your inspiring story give hope for a new happy beginning to millions of readers.


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