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Why I Think XM Sirius Satellite Radio Service Is A Waste Of Money

Why I Think XM Sirius Satellite Radio Service Is A Waste Of Money

Published 3/24/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

When I bought my new 2004 Honda Accord a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it came with a free 3 month trial subscription to XM Satellite Radio. Back then, the premium service was considered quite a must-have premium car feature. At the time there was nothing quite like having more than a hundred radio stations at my listening disposal whenever I drove my car. The great benefit and advantage that satellite radio had over conventional radio was that no matter where you were in the country, so long as your receiver-equipped vehicle had an unobstructed view of the sky, you were ensured a guaranteed selection of listening stations at all times. Not only did I have access to the usual radio music choices, but I could also listen to a wide variety of talk radio and television news programs such as CNN and CNBC. One of the best technical features with on board satellite radio was also the ability to know the names of artists and songs currently being played. All of the song information was digitally displayed on the XM radio player dashboard. This function was great because it complimented my hobby of downloading MP3 music from the internet. Every time I heard a song I liked, I could look to see the name of the song and download it later when I got home.

Cost and Lack Of Use Are The Reasons Why I Don' t Think Paid Satellite Radio Service Is Worth It

Back when I had the complimentary

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Easter Sunday Musings About The Rich Man, The Camel, And The Needle

Published 3/23/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

This is not really a blog about my religious beliefs but what is Easter Sunday without writing a post about money and God?

Many Christians may have spent the morning waking up early to attend Easter Sunday service. Although I did not attend this year, my church chose to celebrate the early morning occasion by holding special holiday services in the great outdoors at a lakeside location in Columbia, Maryland where the whole congregation could worship together with the tranquility of nature.

For non Christians and those unfamiliar with the religious concept of Easter, allow me to explain why the holiday is so important to Christians. Well for starters, it doesn't revolve around the Easter bunny and her basket of Easter eggs. I have no idea how a cuddly rabbit and her loot became the commercialized focus of the Easter holiday, in the same way I am unclear as to how Santa Claus became the figurehead of Christmas, the other major Christian holiday. But the reason why Easter is important to Christian church goers is because it commemorates and observes the third day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and became resurrected after His crucifixion by the masses. While the day is not filled with presents and celebrated with as much shopping related hype as Christmas, Easter is actually the most important Christian holiday because it remembers the day in history that Christ fulfilled His destiny to become the living sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

Many ordinary folks tend to overlook the significance of this

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The Difference Between Legal Tax Avoidance and Illegal Tax Evasion

Published 3/20/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant."

- Honorable Learned Hand, U.S. Appeals Court Judge, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809 (1934).

The above quote is one of my favorite tax quotes from law school and one that I concur with wholeheartedly. It was a historical statement from a well known and respected former United States Appeals Court Judge regarding the minimalist extent of our obligation as citizens to pay taxes. The opinion reflects the view that we have no ethical or even patriotic duty to pay taxes beyond what has been legally assessed upon us. Thus, as the message advocates, it is within our compete given right to do everything within legal boundaries to minimize our personal tax liability exposure. If society deems the income and tax bracket disparity to be unfair or unjust, it is our duty as voters to ensure the government legislates fairly, rather than evade individual tax obligations out of protest.

Difference and Distinction

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The Economic Stimulus Payment Schedule As Announced By The IRS

Published 3/18/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

After much online speculation and rampant rumors about the economic stimulus payment date, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally cleared up the confusion and released the official economic stimulus tax rebate payment schedule. You can read the IRS timetable announcement on its website (view IRS news release).

The IRS has announced that it will begin sending more than 130 million economic stimulus tax rebate payments starting May 2, 2008. Those who chose to receive their 2007 tax refund payments via direct deposit will get priority in receiving their stimulus tax rebates. Those who chose to receive their tax refund payments via regular postal service will receive their tax rebate checks in mid May, after the initial wave of tax rebate payments have been sent to those who chose the quicker direct deposit option.

Tax Rebate Receiving Order Will be Based On Social Security Number

The order that the tax rebate checks will be sent out will be according to thelast 2 digits of the Social Security Number (SSN) used when you filed your federal tax return. Please examine the stimulus payment chart below to determine when you will be receiving your tax rebate. As the IRS noted on its announcement, because the order will be based on the numerical order of Social Security Numbers rather than by name or household, there is a high possibility that neighbors, family members, and friends may not receive their tax rebate checks at the same time.

The Official Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Payment Schedule -(for Federal

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CNBC's Jim Cramer Advises Investors - "Bear Stearns Is Fine, Don't Be Silly"

Published 3/17/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

This is so classic. On March 11, 2008, this financial commentary by "financial guru" Jim Cramer was featured on his popular Mad Money television show on CNBC. The customary Cramer angry rant was made in response to a call and write-in question about the serious viability and liquidity concerns regarding Bear Stearns, one of the world's largest global investment banks and brokerage firms, and a company that has been hit particularly hard by the subprime mortgage meltdown. The abbreviated Mad Mail question and exchange can be viewed on Jim Cramer's CNBC Mad Money Blog. Frankly, his response should be written in all caps, since he tends to holler his answers. I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Cramer later requests to have it take down out of sheer embarrassment.

This is what blindly listening to the advice and commentary of financial gurus and pundits in the mainstream financial media outlets like CNBC will get you:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 On Mad Money

  • Dear Jim: "Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there?" - Peter
  • Jim Cramer: "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out. Bear sterns is not in trouble. If anything, they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear. That's just being silly. Don't be silly."

Friday, March 14, 2008:

With liquidity problems snowballing and financial conditions deteriorating, Bear Stearns reaches for a life preserver, and works out a financial rescue deal with JP Morgan Chase and the

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How to Avoid A Major 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Mistake

Published 3/16/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Warning: Before you apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card offer, you need to read and heed the following words of advice. If you want to know how the actual zero percent balance transfer process works, please read this guide to making balance transfers as well - in tandem with the article below. Both will help better educate you regarding this powerful but rule-laden process.

Using A Balance Transfer Card As A Financial Safety Net

While some debt reduction pundits discourage the use of balance transfer credit cards, I respectfully disagree with their blanket rejection of this invaluable financial tool. While I concur that the use of credit cards is not for everyone and misuse can lead to out of control credit card debt, I think the responsible use of credit should be viewed as an integral aspect of debt reduction and sound financial planning.

I myself have relied and depended on 0% balance transfer offers in the past to get through periods of financial difficulty. There were several times in my life when I incurred major unexpected expenses that I was unable to financially cover on my own - examples such as large unanticipated tax bills and emergency car repair charges. Other times I simply did not have the cash flow available to pay off my monthly bills despite having a stable, entry level job at the time. Rather than resorting to something reckless like stooping for a high interest payday loan, I applied for credit cards that offered introductory 0% APR interest

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