Archive for February, 2009

Is Refinancing Right for You?
February 18, 2009

Lenders I talked to say if you are paying 6% interest or more right now, you should inquire about refinancing.  You could either save on your monthly payment, or shorten your term.  But the option isn’t beneficial for everyone.

For more information on if refinancing could be right for you click here.

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We Could All Use A Little Financial Help…
February 16, 2009

Photo from The Washington Times

Photo from The Washington Times

A national tour is in New Orleans today and tomorrow to give free financial advice and information during this rough economic time.  This resource is for ALL of us… bring your questions regarding any financial topic (debt, savings, retirement, taxes, etc)   The “Your Money Bus Tour” started in Washington DC over the fall and is helping people around the country.

Today, Monday 10 am- 2 pm: One Shell Square (701 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA‎)

Tomorrow, Tuesday 10 am – 2pm: Jefferson Parish Library  (4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, LA)

Three financial industry leaders are teaming up for this: The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Consumer Education Foundation, TD AMERITRADE Institutional and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

 To learn more click here

Click here for Washington Times article

Tips to Save Energy Today
February 10, 2009

2007 Buildings Energy Data Book
Did you know you are using electricity when your cell phone charger is plugged in, even if you are not charging your cell phone? Many of us complain about increasing costs but are all too careless when it comes to the simple tips of saving energy- and therefore -money! Here are easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy: (from the Department of Energy)

  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
    Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
  • Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

No Deal on Children’s Lead Law
February 10, 2009

For all those concerned about the CPSIA limiting lead in children’s products, here is the latest word from NARTS regarding the concern over resale/thrift stores:

 The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS) is extremely disappointed that Congress did not act regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to provide meaningful relief to the resale industry. In unison with organizations representing almost every facet of manufactured children’s products, NARTS has been at the forefront in the battle to transform the CPSIA into a safety law that protects our children while respecting the resale entrepreneurs of this country. “Resale professionals have always been strong advocates for product safety and remain committed to the protection of our nation’s children,” said Adele Meyer, NARTS Executive Director. “Although the CPSIA is a confusing and complex law, resale and thrift shops will do their best to comply using the guidance available from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).” However, the long term negative affects of this new lead law will be felt by many. Businesses will close contributing to even more jobs lost, the shortfall to consumers and communities who depend upon the proceeds of Not For Profit thrift stores will leave those in need without solace and the extensive amount of waste generated will be profound. The resale industry is resilient and inventive. NARTS will continue to work with resellers and consumers, not just to cope with the inequities of the CPSIA, but to rise above them. The catch phrases “well intended” and “unintended outcome” are now moot. It is time for the hardworking, ethical people of resale to move forward—perhaps with caution, but surely with determination and dedication to community and children’s safety.
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The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS), the world’s largest resale trade association, is dedicated to continuing education within the resale industry. The Association serves thrift, resale, and consignment shops of all types by providing educational and professional development for future owners and current store owners/managers. NARTS is committed to product safety, educating both consumers and store operators on how to identify previously recalled or banned products and any products that do not meet current safety standards. Please
visit the NARTS Website at: www.narts.org for more information.