Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saving the Mortgage Interest Deduction

What is the "mortgage interest deduction"? It's the amount of money homeowners are allowed to "write off' or take as a deduction on their annual taxes, based on their mortgage interest paid annually. It was meant to encourage home ownership. It is one of the many benefits to homeowners.
The current government is talking about doing away with this benefit, please read the article (Source: www.nahb.com) and call your representative to voice your surrport for this bill (HR 25).

Take Action and Stay Connected

Help Save the Mortgage Interest Deduction
A resolution that supports retaining the mortgage interest deduction is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Introduced by Rep. Gary Miller of California, H. Res. 25 states that “the current Federal income tax deduction for interest paid on debt secured by a first or second home should not be further restricted.”
At present, there are more than 90 co-sponsors for this important resolution. Show YOUR support for the mortgage interest deduction and tell your Representative to co-sponsor H. Res. 25:
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your Representative's office.
Visit www.House.gov to find your Representative's website and send an e-mail in support of H. Res. 25.
And . . . be sure to thank your Representative if he/she is already a co-sponsor of H.Res. 25 or decides to become a co-sponsor.
Read the resolution

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rising Gas Prices - Solutions

So it's looking like we are about to have a very expensive summer, with gas prices up over $3.50 and fast approaching $4 per gallon! What can we do? I have already "downsized" my vehicle, so now what? Well, I found this article on the abc news website. Check it out:

What can cash-strapped consumers do to fight prices at the pump? Here are a few tips to fill up the tank without breaking the bank:

1. Stay in Tune -- It's simple: vehicle maintenance saves gas. Use the recommended motor oil, replace dirty air filters, keep tires -- including the spare -- inflated to the proper pressure, and tune up your engine.

2. Cool It, Mario Andretti -- Flooring the pedal at every green light, then slamming on the brakes at the last minute, guzzles gas at a surprising rate. More moderate driving can save over 30 percent of the gasoline you use.

3. Lighten Up -- When summer vacation rolls around, keep the luggage off the roof rack and carry as little weight as possible. Those extra pounds in the trunk or backseat make the engine work harder and consume more fuel.

4. Take a Hike -- Do you really need to drive? For shorter trips, it often makes more sense to walk or ride a bicycle. It's not only good for your wallet, it might also be good for your waistline.

5. Idle Hands -- Idling in traffic does nothing to save gas or money, not to mention your stress level. Avoid rush hour or busy commuter routes.

6. Go Shopping -- Shopping for a new vehicle? Consider the long-term savings that a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle might give you. Some cities and states also offer great incentives like rebates, access to carpool lanes and free metered parking for hybrid or alternative fuel cars, trucks and SUVs.

7. Lose the Leadfoot -- Driving the speed limit doesn't just keep the police off your tail. You can save up to 14 percent on longer trips by reducing your speed.

8. Take a Cruise -- Using cruise control can yield surprising increases in fuel economy. If your car is so equipped, try using it on the freeway to keep your speed at a consistent rate.

9. Critical Mass -- Take the bus, train, subway or other mass transit and leave the car at home.

10. Alternative States -- The alternatives to standard gasoline are growing in number and popularity. Biodiesel, the blend of gasoline and ethanol known as E85, and other alternative fuels aren't available everywhere yet, but check to see if your car can accept what's sold in your community.

Here in Tidewater, VA we have some "cheap gas finding services" try this one: http://virginiabeachgasprices.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just in Case ...

What would happen to you if you couldn't speak for yourself? You are probably carrying a cell phone so why not put your I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) information in there? Most EMT's, paramedics, hospital ER personnel, police, fireman and 1st responders are trained to check your phone and or person for anything that might help them assess your medical condition. Take a few minutes to put an I.C.E entry in your cell phone that contains at least:

* Your allergies

* Your next of kin or person to be notified

* Your current medications and medical conditions

* Your medical contact (Dr)

Be clear, such as: My husband or wife is: NAME His or her cell is: #
I have diabetes and take insulin by injection. I have a pacemaker. My doctor is Bob Martin, MD (###) ###-####
Get fancy if you need to, include more than 1 contact, list them, 1st born child, son : NAME and #, identify your blood type and all medications if you take multiple types. Mention athma, seizures, past surgeries. Speak for yourelf when you can't actually speak. If you have a smart phone, be sure to put it in a memo or under an I.C.E entry that can be viewed even when the phone is "locked". At the very least put in an entry under "home", the emegency personnel can at least start there. Do it now, you could save your own life.