2
April
2016
april financial to-do
  1. File a new W-4 form for a better return on investment.
  2. Book your air tickets to keep your expenses down on your summer travel plans.
  3. Check how your budget performed in the first quarter of 2016. Change it if necessary.
  4. Use your extra money to reduce your credit card debts and student loan debts.
  5. Make smart investing plans to qualify for tax deductions in the next financial year.
  6. De-clutter your financial documents and make a fresh start.
  7. Check out the tax mistakes that can push you towards trouble in 2016.
  8. Find out how soon you can expect to get a tax refund and explore the unusual ways to spend it.
  9. Install energy efficient equipments in your home to qualify for tax deductions.
  10. Make sure you take advantage of child tax credit to save on tax.


Find out the 155 Ways to earn attractive tax breaks in 2016. Download the FREE Ebook here.

Financial to-do list - March 2016

march financial to-do
  1. File your income tax returns by the end of this month.
  2. Come up with a debt repayment plan to do away with your outstanding debts.
  3. Create a budget for the kids’ summer activities.
  4. Check your financial papers and remove the unnecessary ones.
  5. Update your beneficiaries on your insurance policies and retirement saving accounts
  6. Automate your charitable donations so that you don’t have to give a big amount at the end of the year.
  7. Check your credit report and correct the mistakes.


Financial to-do list - February 2016

february financial to-do
  1. Get ready for the tax filing season. Organize your W-2 forms and 1099 C forms, records of charitable donation receipts, etc. properly.
  2. Save money if you’re planning for a spring break or a summer getaway.
  3. Check out the promo codes if you’re planning to shop online for the Valentine’s Day.
  4. Check your credit score. If it isn’t good, then plan your to-do list to improve it.
  5. Have a talk regarding money and finances with your spouse.
  6. Track your progress on your financial resolution. If you’ve stopped taking steps by the second week of January, then it’s time to give another shot to fulfill your resolution.
  7. Adopt one good financial habit so that you can take a one step ahead to become a good money manager.


Financial to-do list - January 2016

january financial to-do
  1. Pay off your holiday debts. Deadline - 31.1.2016.
  2. Plan your vacation, back-to-school, holiday budget for 2016.
  3. Decide about your new savings goals for 2016.
  4. Buy a nice gift for your Valentine in advance.
  5. If you’re likely to get a tax refund, then file as soon as possible. Deadline - January 25, 2016.
  6. Create an emergency fund for the rainy days.
  7. Make your investment plans for the year.
  8. Review your insurance coverage and decide if you need to change your insurer.


Financial to-do list - December 2015

december financial to-do
  1. Create a plan to use your holiday bonus. Allocate 10 percent of the bonus for fun and 90 percent for financial priorities.
  2. Review your financial progress in 2015 and create a new plan for 2016.
  3. Donate to charitable organizations before December 31, 2015 for tax savings.
  4. Pay off your debts so that you can start the new year without any financial stress.
  5. The open enrollment period for Medicare is December 7, 2015. Make sure you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan by this deadline.
  6. Enroll in Affordable Care Act or change your plan by December 15, 2015.
  7. File W-4 and think about the tax filing returns before the year ends.
  8. Get exciting deals and Christmas coupons at retailmenot.com, coupons.com, goodsearch.com, etc.

Financial to-do list - November 2015

november financial to-do
  1. Snag the best Black Friday deals from Blackfriday.com and check out the coupon codes at Walmart.
  2. Use credit cards with lowest interest rates for shopping.
  3. Create a special budget for your last-minute festive expenses.
  4. Buy Windows tablet, kitchen goods and appliances as they will be available at low price.
  5. Book your air ticket on the Thanksgiving morning. You’ll reach your venue in the morning and save minimum $200.
  6. Create your shopping list for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and Christmas.
  7. Create a budget for charitable donation to save tax and avoid getting requests for donations during Christmas.
  8. Put money in the stock market since it’s the best time to invest.

Financial to-do list - October 2015

september financial to-do
  1. Establish a SIMPLE-IRA if you’re a self-employed person. Deadline: October 1, 2015
  2. File your individual tax returns. Deadline: October 15, 2015.
  3. Get amazing Halloween coupon codes from Groupon and exciting deals from Hotels.com, OrangeOnions, IHOP, and Disney Store.
  4. Redeem your reward points and book your air tickets if you’re planning a tour in December.
  5. Dip your credit or debit card when you buy something to enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience.
  6. Buy a new set of tires to save your car from chilly winter onslaughts.
  7. Sell your unwanted items in a yard sale or at a consignment store to boost your Christmas fund.
  8. Have a talk with your co-workers and buy the best gift to impress your boss on the Boss Day. Deadline: October 16, 2015
  9. Create your holiday budget for 2015. This would include how much to spend on gifts, travel and food.

Financial to-do list - September 2015

september financial to-do
  1. Save money for NFL tickets for yourself and relatives. You can check here for tickets: Stubhub.com , ticketcity.com, etc.
  2. Get coupons and promo codes for NFL tickets from retailmenot.com/coupons/nfltickets.
  3. Have a look at your favorite NFL team’s fan forum. You may get some tickets for free.
  4. File your (i) corporate tax returns (ii) trust income tax returns (iii) partnership tax returns for the 2015 tax year by September 15, 2015.
  5. If you’re self-employed, then set up SIMPLE-IRA for 2015 by October 1, 2015.
  6. Get coupons at Black Angus Steakhouse and other top restaurants to have sumptuous meals.
  7. Buy vehicles, appliances, school supplies, jewelry, old models of iPhone this month. You’ll get heavy discounts on these items.
  8. Participate in the National PrepareAthon and get your toolkits to be ready with your emergency plan for your family and pets.
  9. Make a special plan to meet your financial goals in the last quarter of 2015.
  10. Review your accomplishments and decide what else needs to be done to get a good performance review at the end of the year.
  11. Tons of discounts and deals are available on resorts as they’re quiet and less crowded. You can have a romantic getaway there during the Labor day holiday weekend.
  12. Take your kids to amusements parks as tickets are cheaper during this time.
august financial to-do
    Financial to-do list - August 2015
    1. Check out the amazing deals in Amazon and Walmart for back to school shopping.
    2. Look for student aids and grants.
    3. Buy school supplies on Sales tax free days (http://www.freetaxweekend.com/), mainly within the first 10 days of August 2015.
    4. Buy or rent new/used textbooks at affordable price.
    5. Calculate how much you saved in 529 savings account if your kid is going back to school.
    6. Ask your children to upload or share their CV or resume in job portals for short-term Fall jobs after joining their schools and start saving for the festivities ahead.
    7. Save money for a professional wardrobe and presentation - a suit, a leather portfolio, shoes, wrist-watch, tie, belt, wallet, pen, business card-holder, a brief case.
    8. Save money to buy the National Football League games’ tickets with your school buddies.
    9. Create a budget and plan a menu to celebrate the upcoming friendship week with your School friends.

3
December
2015
pay-off-credit-card-debt

Worried that January’s long credit card bill would ruin your December’s happy days? Panicked that all your magical memories of Christmas will be destroyed by one last gift in January - a huge credit card bill?

Your worries are genuine and at the same time you should be scared. Holiday debt can give you a painful sting after the New Year celebrations are over. However, the good news is that you’re not alone. Oak View Law Group can help pay off your holiday debt and make them disappear from your life. Let’s find out how.

1. You share your problems and we share our policies

You can get in touch with our Financial Coach after calling at (800)-530-OVLG and share your credit card debt story with him. After listening to your problems, our Financial Coach will give you the following details:

2. We clear all your doubts before taking any step

Our Financial Coach will explain each and every process to you. He will answer all your questions and clear your doubts. Once you’re satisfied, our Financial Coach would want to know about your creditors, the total amount you owe, your preferred payment method, your interest rates, fees, your contact details, etc.

3. We look at the bigger financial picture

Our Financial Coach will try to find out the reason why you got into debt problems. He will ask about your income, spending habits, savings, etc. Our Financial Coach needs to know how much you can possibly pay back to your creditors.

4. We help you select the best debt relief option

Once our Financial Coach gets all the details, he will help you choose the best debt relief option to pay off your holiday debts. The debt relief options are:

  • Debt settlement
  • Debt consolidation
  • Debt management
  • Bankruptcy

Our Financial Coach will help you select the best debt relief option through our unique Waterfall approach to debt free ™.

5. We give you an affordable payment plan

Our Financial Coach will give you a mutually agreed affordable payment plan to you and help to pay off credit card debts easily. You won’t have to worry about collection calls, lawsuits and wage garnishment in the new year. Just follow the payment plan. Your financial picture will soon become bright and beautiful.

So, this is how OVLG helps you pay off holiday debts and release your stress. If you still have any doubt, then check out the 18 reasons to trust OVLG. And if you’re still not convinced, then watch the video testimonials sent by our clients. I bet all your doubts will go out of the window.


19
November
2015
thanksgiving-2015-financial-prospects

You are often thankful for various things like good health, promising relationship, etc. But, why not thank those financial prospects that come your way? I’m not talking about the promotion that you’ve got this year or the biggest trip that you’ve enjoyed with your family. Apart from these, there are still some other reasons that you should be thankful for. What are those? Last night, I searched on Google about some financial opportunities/benefits, which were introduced in 2015. There were many, but these 4 were really helpful for all common people. Maybe you've already taken advantage of these opportunities. However, I'm really thankful and can’t stop myself from writing brief notes on them.

1. Introduced EMV technology (Chip credit card)

Credit card fraud has been a rising problem in the US. To fight with this problem, chip-enabled credit cards were launched on October 1, 2015. All credit cards got a replacement with a chip in this year. Credit cards with a chip are made with the EMV technology that provide transaction security and other advantages, which a traditional magnetic stripe card can’t provide. There are many advantages of an EMV chip card, such as:

  • EMV technology helps to reduce fraud
  • A consumer can use EMV chip payment card on any EMV compatible payment terminal
  • It supports advanced cardholder verification methods
  • It provides security for online payment transactions

It is one of the biggest financial opportunities that you’ve got in 2015. Now you’re safe from credit card fraud. To know more about this new feature, visit http://www.emv-connection.com/ or http://www.gochipcard.com/. You can get useful resources to understand the basics of this technology and other related details.

2. PWC offered $1,200 a year to the employee

PWC announced $1,200 a year for each employee to pay off their student loan debts. This benefit will start in the year of 2016 and continue for up to 6 years. PWC is hiring many fresh grads directly from college campuses. Loan repayment benefit is certainly one of the most attracting perks as so many millennials are struggling with student loan debt. So, it's a great opportunity to get the benefit from PWC once you get hired this year. You can get other opportunities such as flexible hours, chances to work abroad, etc.

3. Lower gas price

The year 2015 is good for all drivers to fill up gas with a lower price. In the southwest Ohio, you’ll be charged less than $2 per gallon for gas. How long will it continue? As per the experts, fuel prices will remain low throughout the holiday season. The price tracker website gasbuddy.com recently reported, regular unleaded fuel is available at $1.85 per gallon in Fairfield, Sharonville and West Chester. Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) claimed, last time in April 2009 local gas prices were low. The US Energy Information Administration forecast that the prices of crude oil will remain low for this year and 2016 as well. A typical driver can save almost $50 per month for this cheaper rate. However, it’s the biggest good news for people who drive more. Lower gas prices mean chances to save more money in bank account. It also gives a chance to save money on fuel during holiday travel season, which is an extra benefit for you. Isn't it?

4. The comeback of Layaway to beat holiday credit card debts

Layaway policy is back just before the holiday season. This is absolutely a great opportunity to take advantage of Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping. You can save money on electronics, toys, and other supplies. Walmart has already launched a layaway plan on August 28, 2015. Other big retailers will also offer the layaway plan for their customers. However, layaway policy can vary from one retailer to another. But, as per the experts, with layaway, consumers can reduce holiday credit card debts. The biggest retailer Walmart claimed that layaway plan will help their customers get every item they want. Walmart is hoping its popularity among their customers. Kmart is also offering attractive holiday layaway plans for their customers.

One of the biggest advantages of layaway is, a customer can add the items to layaway and can buy them on Black Friday at Black Friday prices. Some other features are as follows:

Features

  • There is no opening fee for layaway
  • The items must be at least $10 and your total purchase must be at least $50
  • You can buy toys, electronics, automotive electronics, furniture, small appliances, and jewelry
  • You need to pick the items and pay for them within the stipulated time period
  • You can do layaway online

Advantages

  • It helps to beat the holiday rush.
  • It helps to avoid January credit card debts.
  • It ensures the latest trend of the season.
  • It doesn’t require payments for the items all at once.
  • It helps to focus on the budget.
  • It allows advance payment.

Final words

In addition, people took advantage of the tax breaks on their home buying at the beginning of the year 2015. There was a great chance to buy a house, taking significant tax breaks. Rent has been rising for the past few years. So, there was a golden opportunity for the first time homebuyers to maximize their tax deduction on the home earlier in the year. Problem are a part of our life. We all have different types of issues to worry about. But we should be thankful for each and every phase that have come to our life. Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers out there. Do share your own reason to be thankful for.

Don’t miss out - Cruise celebration: Delight your mood differently on this Thanksgiving Day


4
November
2015
help-needy-and-retired-veterans

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” - Joseph Campbell.

Eleventh November is observed as the Veterans Day. This year let’s plan something different for our heroes. Always remember, the peaceful nights we spend are gifts from the warriors of our country.

The experience and courage of our soldiers keep us protected from foreign bandits. It’s their sacrifice that is helping us to live our dreams. So, let's honor the brave heroes of our nation in a unique way.

Some useful ideas to help veterans

Do you know any veteran personally? He/she can be your relative, neighbor, or a friend. Then, share these helpful ideas with them to make this day special:

Find new roads for the retired veterans

Getting back to a normal civilian life after retirement is a real challenge for the veterans. As civilians, it’s our duty to help our heroes face this challenging transition. You can share these ideas with the veterans to help them lead a normal life:

  1. Prepare for a civilian life again - A soldier’s life is full of discipline and marked by boundaries. Coming out of that all of a sudden and leading a civilian life is a real challenge. Army Career and Alumni Program help the soldiers to accommodate in their civilian life post their army careers. Retired veterans can take the help of this program, or they can also seek help from career counselors to lead a normal life post-retirement from the army.
  2. Enroll for post-army careers - Getting an employment post-retirement is a tough job. So, soldiers should enlist themselves for post-army careers before retirement. They can opt for Partnership for Your Success (PaYS) Program that gives them an opportunity to prepare for the future besides serving the country.
  3. Use professional training certificates - Professional and trade certificates praise the veterans for their specialized skills. These help them to shine in their civilian careers as well.
  4. Select teaching as profession - If the retired veterans are interested in teaching, then they can choose it as their post-army career. In this case, the “Army’s Troops to Teachers program” is of great help.
  5. Take advantage of the retirement benefits - After retirement, soldiers should opt for VA Pension Program. Retiree benefits also help the soldiers to pay for their college, home, life insurance premiums, and so on.
  6. Opt for a retirement plan savings - Various savings plan are there to help the veterans out of their misery post-retirement. The “401(k) plan” and “Thrift Savings Plan” help the soldiers save for their retired life.

Stretch a helping hand for the needy veterans

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Our soldiers are always there when we need them. Now, it’s our turn to be by their side when they need us. They combat for the prosperity of our motherland. While performing their duty, some veterans lose their homes and are hospitalized. They need our help. Find out four ways to help the needy veterans:

  • Assist the emergency shelters - The emergency shelters are built to support the homeless veterans. Contributing personal care items, clothing, food, or cash will help the homeless and needy veterans.
  • Collect money for varied programs - Money is the most important thing that can give a sigh of relief to the veterans. Raise funds for different programs by contacting churches, civic and business groups, schools, veterans service organizations. This’ll help the vets to handle their immediate problems.
  • Provide shelter for the homeless vets - Physically challenged vets need special homes that can accommodate their disability. “Home for our Troops” is a national, non-partisan, non-profitable organization that build special homes for the disabled veterans. Help this organization fulfill its goals by arranging and donating funds.
  • Simply say thank you - Simple words of gratitude like “thank you” can bring a smile on a veteran’s face. Complementing veterans for their job will make them feel good. Thank the soldiers for their duty through platforms like Anysoldier.com, United We Serve, and so on.

Help whenever needed

Soldiers are those pillars of our society who helps to maintain the equilibrium. It’s because of their sacrifice that the nation is standing strong amidst strong winds. We should try to help each and every veteran who need our help. Not only the organizations, we as individuals should also find different measures to help our heroes.

Don’t miss out - Retirement income: 7 popular sources you can earn your bread


28
October
2015
weird-steps-to-become-debt-free

It is easy to get plunged into a sea of despair when confronting mammoth debt burdens. When you fail to pay them with normal and minimal efforts, you start believing them to remain with you forever.

However, if there is a will, you can ambush even the biggest balances in record time. Apart from some real help from a professional entity, I undertook some steps (which might sound weird and unconvincing) that too helped to bring down the ‘become debt-free’ tenure. Here is my story. You decide if it’s crazy or laudable.

The Short Version:

I was able to improve my financial situation with the help of a professional debt relief organization. Again, I made some serious life changes and applied some hacks. Though I messed up a lot down the line, ultimately I came out victorious and managed to resolve all my debts (around $20,000) in only two and half years. Today I’m completely debt free and avoid incurring further debts. I also help people so that they can live a debt-free life too!

The Long Version:

By the beginning of March 2011, I was knee-deep in debt - all incurred due to the extravagant expenses during Christmas, New Year’s Eve and vacation in Mexico. The situation was too suffocating and I was looking for an exit. The debt levels were increasing day-by-day and I had to take some drastic actions. Fortunately, I came to know about a debt relief firm named Oak View Law Group. Initially, I was a bit hesitant as I was very much aware of the increasing scams in the country. However, when I saw the customer reviews, I was convinced.

It was BG who first introduced me to the program and made me understand all the details, the pros, and cons. I enrolled myself in the program during the end of June 2011. It was amazing to experience that there were no annoying and harassing phone calls from the creditors within days after joining the program as now they were directly contacting my representative who was negotiating with them on my behalf.

I was paying monthly installments towards my trust account so that a lump sum amount could be accumulated for a settlement. In the meantime, my representative was in touch with my creditors and carrying out negotiations. Once there was enough fund in my account, the settlements were done and payments were made only after I nodded to the settlement that they offered.

All my debts were resolved after two and half years from the day I joined. I cannot explain how happy I was at that time. It was a big relief. The feeling was like having a rebirth and I was no longer dying with my debt burdens.

However, apart from the genuine help that I received from Oak View Law Group, there were some awkward and out of the world stuff that I did to pour more funds to my trust account and escalate the momentum of the debt free journey. Here are five of those:

1. Sold plasma and ate rejected food: I became an avid reader of personal finance blogs during that period, and it’s how I came to know about John Schmoll, who runs the personal finance blog FrugalRules.com and his weird habits to pay off debts.

I was greatly moved by his unusual daily diet to cut costs. Hence, I too started eating nothing but rejected frozen pizzas and stale bagels during afternoons, which lasted for 6 months. Those were tough days. But this way I managed to save around $100 every month.

Apart from this, I also sold plasma three times a week for about five months to earn more disposable income besides doing my day job. I threw all these extra money towards my balances.

2. Bought nothing new for 2 years: It was the time when I realized that I didn’t need everything and could survive with what I had. I stopped paying myself and became less shy. I didn’t buy myself a single outfit for two years. I started borrowing things and even asked for favor whenever needed.

It was a very stressful time. However, I was determined to get out of the crisis. So I attacked all my balances with every single penny I earned and saved.

3. Sold household items: I sold many of my household goods during that tenure to have more funds at my disposal. Since my priority was to get out of debt as soon as possible, I sold many items that weren’t even crap.

I sold my almost brand new LCD TV and washing machine, which helped me earn another $900. Luxury and entertainment were stuff that I couldn’t think of during that time and perhaps were unaffordable too.

When we cleaned up our house after the post-holiday craziness, we found tons of unwanted goods that we owned. Bags, shoes, DVDs, books, ipods, old cell phones, PCs, old kayaks, skis that didn’t fit and the list went on. We sold all these stuff that we certainly didn’t need and used the money towards filling up my trust account.

4. Worked at both day and night jobs: Besides doing my day job, I worked as a senior caregiver for an aged woman for around 5 months. Sleep was something that was unknown to me during those days. So, after working for 7 hours in my day-shift, I took this caregiving job without any second thought.

Though I lost all my mental health for some time, there was a hope for a better, stress-free and debt-free future. During the tenure, I managed to accumulate funds around $4800, which I used towards resolving my balances with my creditors.

5. Sold my car and bought a bike: I sold my car, purchased a bike and rode it to work. Selling the car was a huge decision since it was a gift from my father. However, I had to do it. The idea sounded better than to file for bankruptcy.

Apart from the money that I got at my disposal by selling off the car, I saved good digits as there were no expenses for gas, insurance, maintenance, license, taxes, and parking. Besides the financial relief, riding the bike down to work proved to be beneficial for health too. I lost 10 pounds in just three weeks.

I used the $4500 that I received by selling off the car towards filling up my trust account and the amount helped to escalate the debt payoff process.

Believe me, I had no other door open than to go through these paths. What I did was very much needed for the well-being of my family. Moreover, I learned many things during those two and half years. However, perhaps it wouldn't have been possible if Oak View Law Group wasn’t there. They gave me the very motivation and support that I needed badly and I’m thankful to them for this.

Trust me, just like me you can get out of debt too. You may not require practising weird things like I did. Just sheer determination, patience, and some lifestyle changes will definitely do the much-needed help.

Ready to get started?

“This story has been posted by our client KB from NY. We wish her all the best in life and hope her dad makes a speedy recovery”.


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    Oak View Law Group APC,
    4966 El Camino Real STE 225
    , Los Altos, CA 94022, United States

    Disclaimer: The contents of this web site are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, provide the reader with legal advice, or substitute for legal advice from an attorney.
    • The debt settlement program typically lasts between 6 months to 4 years time.
    • At least 30% of the debt amount per creditor needs to be accumulated in the trust account for OVLG to give the creditor any settlement offer.
    • Not all creditors or debt collectors will accept a reduction in the balance, interest rate, or fees a customer owes such creditor or debt collector.
    • Pending completion of the represented debt-relief services, the customer's creditors or debt collectors may pursue collection efforts, including initiation of lawsuits.
    • That the use of the debt-relief service will likely adversely affect the consumer's creditworthiness, may result in consumers being sued by their creditors, and may increase the amount owed to creditors as a result of the accrual of additional fees and interest.
    • Savings a customer realizes from use of a debt-relief service may be taxable income.

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