Where do we get Steroids?

Steroids can be found in all the places and are available as per the need based on the legal rules of that country. If the import of the steroids and the usage are allowed then it is possible that the steroids can be attained online. But there are some countries like Australia and New Zealand which maintain a strict rule for the purchase of the steroids.

Today there are a number of websites that sells the steroids. This has become a upcoming business nowadays. There are many companies that are both good and bad. Only fact that should be noted is that buying the steroids from a reputed supplier helps in giving amazing results as per the needs of the individual. There are also many methods like purchasing from the pharmacy or off-shore sources like Mexico with the prescription.

Before the purchase of the steroids a few points need to be noted.

  • We should check whether the supplier is having a blog. Today in this world of internet there will not be a supplier who is legitimate without a blog.
  • Need to verify whether the supplier do have a forum for the steroids. Posts that are related to the same can be checked out.
  • Supplier should have good review which should be mentioned in the website.
  • Verify whether the supplier is having a SSL certificate that is of https security.
  • While buying the steroids from the online supplier we should check that they should be the supplier of at least 40-50% of the products, officially. This is essential because there are many scam suppliers who will never deliver the product.
  • While buying the products keep in mind that the price should not be very less, this is because if the product is good then the price will also be high.
  • Customer service of the online pharmacy should also be good enough to answer the questions from the customer. This makes us know that they take care of their customers.
  • Before the purchase of the steroids we should have a clear understanding of what type of steroids are necessary .There are some of the steroids that are found to be popular .They are fat burner steroid, hormones ,injections and the steroids that are consumed orally. Before having the steroids it is better that we consult with the professional so as to decide the right one for us.
  • While placing an order through online the shipping cost also need to be checked. This is because the total cost makes a big change in this. Also it should be verified if there is any additional fee for this.
  • The ingredients that are used in the manufacture of the steroids need to checked and also should be cleared that they are legal
  • It should always be checked that the steroids that we intend to buy is made by the manufacturer that is certified with CGMP and is also checked by the FDA periodically.

How indoor spin bikes are useful for body workout?

A spinning bike workout is the best way for you to burn the extra fat from your lower abdomen and from your legs. Also it helps you to relieve your stress. The spin bike workout is one of the easiest workouts and also one of those excellent ones. It requires only a stationary bike fitted with various resistance or tension levels. The spin bike will help you to track your progress, the amount of time you rode the bike, amount of calories burnt and other important data. It keeps you highly motivated to continue on your bike to help accomplish your workout fitness goals. There are numerous benefits why the spinning Bike workouts are very useful for your body. These include:

Allow you to Burn Calories

A spin bike workout of about 40-45 minutes 3 times a week may help you to shed that extra fat on your lower body. You can burn upto 500 calories if the workout is done for a longer duration with the right intensity. This is huge upgrade when you compare it to other differentcardio workouts. The amount of fat and calories you burn will hugely depend upon the duration of your workout, the intensity of the workout and the resistance level set on the spin bike.

Allow you to Build Muscle Tone

The spinning workout helps you to burn those extra fat layers and also help to tone your muscle down your legs. The spin bike workout most importantly focuses on your core muscles and also works out your buttocks and thighs. The spin bike can be set according to your needs. You can either increase or decrease the resistance of the spin bike. This workout will feel similar to riding a bike up and down hills. The correct posture helps to work out your abdominal muscles while pedaling fast helps you to reduce fat.

Increases your Cardio Endurance

Regular spin bike workout helps massively in increasing the endurance level of your cardio. It helps in increasing your stamina levels so that you are not tires so easily. This is the best cardio exercise you can do if you tend to feel weak or start to pant a lot after doing other exercises or maybe while climbing your house stairs.

Low Impact Exercise

The spinning bike workout is essentially a low impact exercise on your body but delivers maximum benefits to you. The spin bike won’t put too much pressure on your joints and knees, something which other cardio exercises tend to do. The spin bike exercise is highly recommended for people who are suffering fromarthritis.

Relieve Stress

Usually, most activities you tend to do in a gym helps you to relieve stress. But, doing a spinning bike workout is found to the more efficient in relieving your stress reliever than other different type of exercises. The only reason is that the workout is highly intensive which would want your full concentration. Besides, the music being played in your spinning class will make the workout much more entertaining.

Reduced Risks of Injury

The risk of injuring your hamstrings or pulling your leg muscles is much more while running and jogging on a treadmill than what it is on a spin bike. However, it is still highly recommended that you properly stretch out your body prior to starting your workout. Better safe than sorry!

Adjustable Tempo

The stationary bike comes with a number of adjustable tensions and resistances. This allows you to set the tempo at which you want to do your workout. Doing spin bike workout for a longer duration on a higher tempo allows you to burn that extra layer of fat much quicker.

Track Your Progress

Almost all stationary bikes nowadays have some sort of technological devices attached to them which help you to track the number of calories you burnt, time taken for the workout, resistance level, mileage and also your pulse level. This helps you as it motivates you to do better than the previous day.

Final Say

The spin bike helps you to workout your full body. The high resistance level and longer duration on the bike helps you to lose weight and also tone your leg muscles. Also, done with the correct posture, you can also heavily workout your abdominal muscles.

What You Need To Throw A Kids Party

Summary: This check list will help you prepare for your child’s birthday party.

Now is the time to start planning your kid’s party if his or her birthday is just around the corner. Depending on the size of your party, it’s best to plan it one to three months in advance. Start with your list of kids, then mail your invitations. Then make a list of items you’ll need. Following is a checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Decorations

To make your party exciting for the kids, think of a theme for the party, whether it’s based on a Marvel movie or animal. Purchase cut-outs of these characters or include them on some of your decorative pieces. You can even find printed frozen yogurt cups. Common decorating items include balloons, streamers, confetti, door or yard signs, banners, centerpieces, confetti, party blowers and hats.

Food

Keep your menu simple but enjoyable. Serve finger foods like pizza, chicken nuggets and chips. Consider having cocktails for any parents you invite. For desert, cake and ice cream are typical mainstays, but consider similar dishes such as cupcakes and frozen yogurt. And don’t forget the punch, soft drinks or frozen yogurt spoons.

Supplies and Equipment

Depending on what you serve, you will need paper napkins and plates, utensils, tablecloths, an ice bucket, candles, matches and plenty of film for remembering the special day. If you serve frozen yogurt, search for frozen yogurt supplies at a grocery or party store. Common items for this food include cups and spoons. Also, decide what games you want to have for the party, or plan some type of treasure hunt. For a little extra, you can rent an inflatable moonwalk, castle or slide.

Cash register device Mechanical or electronic

A cash register is a mechanical or electronic device which helps in registering and calculating the transactions of any business. It is usually attached to the drawer of the compartment where cash is being stored. It is usually linked to a printer for printing out receipts for record-keeping purposes. The cash register was originally invented by James Ritty in 1879.

The parent company of cashregisteronline.com was started in the 1990’s and it used to sell cash registers locally at that time. The company had established itself as a leader in the business. But with the advent of modern times and evolution of the internet, the business strategies of companies started to change. Then the company cashregisteronline.com was established in 1999 with the intention of selling Electronic Cash Registers, Point of Sale Equipment, Cash Register Rolls, and Cash Register Ribbons through the website. In fact, cashregisteronline.com was the first company to start a website for selling Electronic Cash Registers, Point of Sale Equipment, Cash Register Rolls, and Cash Register Ribbons.

There is a demand for lower cost alternatives of the costly cash registers for the new upcoming small business owners. With the increase in demand for the lower-cost models of cash registers the company now has started showing its online presence in the market of cash registers by building its website in 1999. We at cashregistersonline.com have the motive of making it possible for the small business owners to buy their requirements at an affordable price. At cashregisteronline.com, it is convenient to browse through various models of purchase Cash Registers, Point of Sale Equipment, Software, and Supplies. Once you are aware of the availability and your requirement you can decide which will be most suitable for your business purposes. Placing your order, paying it and getting it delivered at your address are quite easy through the cashregisteronline.com website.

The cashregisteronline.com provides the facility to place an order for Electronic Cash Registers, Point of Sale Equipment, Cash Register Rolls, and Cash Register Ribbons. Along with the availability of the equipment, it also provides options for purchasing many Samsung cash register parts, SAM4s cash register parts, Sharp cash register parts, Royal cash register parts, and Toshiba TEC cash register manuals. They also provide options for buying Manuals, Paper Rolls, Ink Ribbons, Keys, Cash Drawers, Cash Drawer Parts, and Software to name a few items. Parts are also available for many current and past Samsung Cash Registers, Sharp Cash Registers, Royal Cash Registers, and Toshiba TEC cash registers. The availability of these parts and other supplies can be of a great help to the business owners who have been using the cash registers since a long time. It will also be helpful for the new business owners who are planning to purchase the cash registers.

The cashregisteronline.com is known for its best quality services along with quality customer care department. They take all the efforts to provide a wide variety of cash registers as per the increasing demands and also ensure that the parts of the old cash registers are also available online.

5 Reasons the Fed Will Raise Interest Rates Soon

Federal Reserve
NEW YORK — On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that theeconomy added 223,000 jobs in June — hardly robust given that monthly gains averaged 260,000 last year — but still good enough to push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon.

Economists expect stronger consumer spending, housing activity and business construction to boost gross domestic product growth to nearly 3 percent by the second half this year.

Stronger productivity — not accelerated jobs creation — will support expansion. That should convince the Fed that the American economy is finally getting healthy and easy credit has done as much as it can to heal labor markets.

Here are five reasons why.

First, the historic pace of productivity growth is close to 2 percent a year, but thanks to West Coast port slowdowns, a severe winter and lower oil prices, worker productivity fell a lot last fall and winter. Businesses have too many underutilized employees, and with growth picking up, employers will use those already in the door to help meet higher demand. Second, business balance sheets and tangible competitive assets are remarkably stronger than in recent years. A lot has been made of companies using extra cash to buy back stocks, but debt-to-equity ratios are down.

Quietly, businesses have been purchasing new equipment and software and tightening supply chains to sharpen execution. Investments for these purposes relative to depreciation have been stronger than during the boom years of the past decade, and we can expect a burst of productivity soon.

It may already be happening, but we haven’t seen second-quarter data yet.

Third, as much as businesses see opportunities to raise sales and productivity, the latter requires more skilled workers than they can find. Many unemployed workers including those with college degrees working in coffee shops or hawking cell phones only have general educations or lack the problem-solving skills to be effective in high-performance work environments where career ladders and high wages await.

Fourth, merger and acquisition activity this year is on pace to challenge the record set in 2007. Although the desire to accomplish the benefits of scale and synergies by combining complementary assets is always present, businesses increasingly cite the absence of skilled workers as a key constraint on internally generated growth.

Many fewer jobs are being cut during the current M&A frenzy than were eliminated during the heady days of the mid-2000s because businesses are using these new combinations to get the workers that they can’t find in the job market.

Finally, the strong dollar remains a constraint on GDP growth, both by cheapening imports and making goods made by U.S.-based workers more expensive for export to foreign markets. Even firms doing well assembling products in the United States such as automakers are importing more components to keep costs down.

All this spells a more robust American private sector even if blemished by a strong dollar and labor shortages that constrain what it can deliver. Average wages remain stagnant because good-paying job openings go wanting for lack of qualified applicants, and an army of low-skilled workers in the service sector pulls down average wages.

Expect jobs growth to remain at about 220,000 a month, but continued low rates can’t do much to fix problems emanating from a broken educational system and other social ills.

Fed policymakers have good reason to want to return rates to more historically normal levels. Keeping short rates low for more than six years has encouraged too much speculation and bubbles in real estate, junk bonds and other asset markets, and it is time to rein all that in before it poses threats to financial stability. Fed Chairman Janet L. Yellen will likely read the situation this way and raise the federal funds rate a notch in September and a bit more before the year ends.

8 Ways to Get Your Holidays Off to a Budget-Savvy Head Start

father christmas walking along...
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Wait, what?

As much as we complain when stores deck the halls while it’s still beach season, it turns out that they might actually be on to something.

Although we’ve got months left till Christmas, believe it or not, the best time to start plotting out your holiday spending is now.

Because the more you plan ahead, the less likely you are to overdo it — and the more likely you are to still have some jingle in your wallet when 2016 rolls around.

Don’t believe us? A 2014 American Research Group survey found that early-bird holiday shoppers shell out almost $400 less than those who put it off until November.

So don’t be a last second Santa — get moving on these eight ahead-of-the-game holiday budgeting, planning and shopping to-dos.

Head Start To-Do No. 1: Hash Out Your Holiday Budget

Just as with any other financial goal, the first step to getting financially ahead for the holiday season is to nail down a budget.

One of the best ways to do that, says John Neyland, a financial adviser and president of JCN Financial & Tax Advisory Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is to add up last year’s holiday receipts and credit card charges for a clear picture of what you spent.

You can then use those numbers as the basis for creating a 2015 holiday budget worksheet, where you’ll plug in realistic estimates for every holiday spending category — from entertaining and gifts to travel and charitable donations.

Once you’ve landed on the right figures, devise a specific savings strategy that you’ll execute over the next six months to cover those holiday costs — such as brown-bagging your lunch a couple days a week and banking the difference.

Head Start To-Do No. 2: Open a Holiday Savings Account

Even if you’re not quite ready to start your holiday shopping, it’s never too early to start your holiday saving.

And while it may seem easier to simply funnel your holiday money into a catchall savings account that also includes your emergency cash, Neyland advises against it.

“Your emergency fund should be used for emergencies only — I really can’t stress enough how vital it is to keep that separate,” he says. “Opening different accounts for each savings goal is a good way to keep from dipping into funds earmarked for a different purpose.”

When shopping for a place to park your holiday cash, Neyland recommends looking at online banks, which typically offer favorable interest rates — as well as provide an extra layer of protection against the temptation to withdraw the funds for other things.

“The easiest way to save money is to never see it in the first place, which is why you should also consider setting up an automatic transfer from your paycheck to your holiday savings account,” Neyland adds. “The good news is that, by starting in July, you’ll be able to take out a much smaller amount each pay period than if you wait until November [to set up an account].”

Head Start To-Do No. 3: Plot Out a Detailed Holiday Spending Plan

With a first draft of your holiday budget in hand, dig deeper by pinpointing exactly how you’ll spend money within each category to ensure your numbers are accurate.

Is it your turn to host the annual cookie party? Then be sure to factor enough money into your entertainment budget to cover baking supplies and decorations. Do you need to buy plane tickets to visit family for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Bake that into the “holiday travel” section on your worksheet.

“Knowing who you want to buy gifts for — and how much you’ll be spending on each person — is key. This way, you can start collecting a gift a month.”

“Creating a plan well before the holidays not only keeps you organized, but it allows you to take advantage of deals throughout the year — alleviating overspending when you’re pressured at the last minute,” Neyland says.

And don’t forget to put advance thought into whose stockings you’ll be stuffing.

“Knowing who you want to buy gifts for — and how much you’ll be spending on each person — is a great way to stay organized,” says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. “This way, you can start collecting a gift a month, or whenever you come across a sale or coupon, so you don’t double up or waste money.

Head Start To-Do No. 4: Canvas Hidden Costs

Take some time to think about the sneaky expenses you’ve failed to plan for in past years — such as a tip for your doorman — and revise your spreadsheet as needed.

The beauty of this exercise is that you might find opportunities to save, too. “Some holiday expenses, like travel, might be non-negotiable — but certain areas of your budget could have more wiggle room,” Neyland points out.

Case in point: Do you usually end up paying rush shipping fees, or add on an extra $5 for in-store gift wrapping? Acknowledging these costs now can help you avoid them — and keep them from busting your budget at the last minute.

Head Start To-Do No. 5: Hit Pause on One Habitual Expense

Let’s be real: There’s always room to scale back your budget a bit more.

Whether it’s your tendency to toss a celebrity magazine into your cart at the supermarket checkout or to order several appetizers with dinner, choose one unnecessary expense you can live without — and funnel the money saved into your holiday account.

“If it makes it easier to eliminate a certain luxury, remind yourself that this exercise is temporary — although you might find you don’t miss it as much as you thought you would,” Woroch says.

Head Start To-Do No. 6: Suss Out Seasonal Sales

Since you’re getting an early start to your holiday shopping this year, you’ll actually be able to take advantage of seasonal sales.

Gift cards are great because you can use them as presents or stocking stuffers, or as a way to save on your own holiday expenses.

Want to buy Junior a new bike for Hanukkah? Start looking in January. Need some new kitchen gadgets in time for holiday hosting? They typically go on sale in October.

“Back-to-school sales are also a great time to find deals on winter wear items that will be perfect for holiday gifts, like boots or cashmere sweaters,” says Woroch, who also recommends following retailers’ social media accounts to source additional discounts.

Another shopping secret? You can nab gift cards at up to 90 percent off for such stores as Target, Home Depot, and GameStop on a site likeGiftCardGranny.

“Gift cards are great because you can use them as presents or stocking stuffers, or as a way to save on your own holiday expenses,” Woroch says. “For eight years straight, they’ve been the most requested gift item.”

Head Start To-Do No. 7: Redeem Those Rewards

Between new summer duds for the family and upcoming travel reservations, you’ve probably racked up quite a few credit card points that you can put to good use for your holiday-centric spending.

“Eventually, points expire,” Woroch explains, citing a well-known report that found at least $16 billion worth of rewards go unredeemed every year. “Banking them for the holidays is a great way to save on gifts and travel — and avoid debt.”

But before redeeming, do some research on your creditor’s website to ensure you’re not missing out on any valuable incentives.

For instance, Woroch says, some cards offer big bonuses — like 25 percent extra cash back — to cardholders who don’t redeem their rewards until they’ve accrued $300.

And, of course, remember to only charge what you can pay off in full — lest you end up triggering interest charges that will cancel out those rewards benefits.

Head Start To-Do No. 8: Track Your To-Do List

There’s just one downside to all this proactive holiday planning: If you’re not careful, you’re likely to forget what you’ve purchased and buy it twice — which is why organization is key.

Lisa Krecklow, 48, a medical device sales recruiter in Portland, Oregon, keeps her spending in check with the Better Christmas List app. It allows her to create groups of people she’s exchanging presents with, juxtaposed with a list of gift ideas and her budget. She can also track each gift’s status, like whether it’s been purchased, wrapped, and even shipped.

“Having that information at my fingertips ensures that I choose gifts that fit my budget, and nothing falls through the cracks,” Krecklow says. “As an added bonus, the gifts I don’t buy can stay on the list as ideas for next year.”

Woroch herself likes OneReceipt, an app that digitizes paper receipts on your phone and categorizes them, so they’re easy to find when making returns and exchanges or logging your spending.

“You can often request that a retailer email your receipt, and then create a separate folder in your account for all your holiday purchases,” Woroch says. “This will help you track your spending, gift purchases and even charitable donations — and make it simple to access a receipt when you need it.”

While it takes some initial effort to stay organized, your reward will come in December — when you’re sipping eggnog by the fire and others are duking it out at the mall.

Yellen Stands by Fed Transparency as Lawmakers Turn Up Heat

Federal Reserve Yellen
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen resisted calls Wednesday for more congressional oversight, as members of a House of Representatives panel criticized the central bank’s policies and pressed it to be more accountable.

In her semiannual testimony to Congress, Yellen repeated her view that the Fed will likely hike interest rates later this year if the U.S. economy expands as expected, and cited improvement in the labor market.

Her remarks largely tracked the Fed’s policy statement last month.

But in the hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, monetary policy took a backseat to central bank transparency. While some lawmakers aggressively questioned Yellen, it was a gentler session than the grilling she received before the same panel in February.

The most heated exchange occurred when Representative Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican, lambasted the Fed and Yellen for what he described as a failure to properly respond to the 2012 leak of sensitive information to a private financial newsletter.

Duffy pressed Yellen to explain why the Fed has failed to meet the House panel’s demands to release documents related to the case.

“We’ve said that we plan to give [the documents] to you as soon as we’re able to do so and not compromise an open criminal investigation,” Yellen responded. “We want to see this investigation succeed.”

Yellen added that the Fed has a clear set of rules to follow in the event of an alleged leak, but Duffy shot back that the central bank has failed to follow those rules.

“If anyone is trying to sweep this under the rug, it’s the Fed,” Duffy said, demonstrating the frustration that Republican and some Democratic lawmakers have felt over the case.

U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar rose on Yellen’s rate comments, while U.S. stocks held steady.

‘Not Above the Law’

Republican lawmakers in particular have sought to rein in the central bank’s authority, disturbed by the quadrupling of its balance sheet, its wide impact on the economy and the broad regulation powers it has accumulated since the 2008 financial crisis.

Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling, the committee’s chairman, demanded the central bank be more predictable and implored it to cooperate with the leak investigation. “The Fed is not above the law,” Hensarling said during his opening remarks.

Hensarling noted that the Senate Banking Committee had passed a bill in May requiring the Fed chief to go before Congress in a separate hearing in place of the vice chair of regulation if that latter position remained unfilled.

Hensarling then asked for a “yes” or “no” answer, and as Yellen indicated her willingness to do so, he cut her off and said he would take that as a “yes.”

Hensarling and Yellen then sparred over whether banks continued to be too-big-to-fail.

Representative Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican, told Yellen the Fed should follow a predictable monetary policy rule rather than exercise wide discretion.

“I think we need a systematic policy,” Yellen responded. “But I would strongly resist agreeing to follow any rule where the stance of monetary policy depends on only the current readings of two economic variables, which is what your reference rule relies on.”

9 Dumb Ways to Borrow Money — and 4 Better Choices

Of all the ways to waste money, giving it to high-interest lenders, pawnbrokers and loan sharks is one of the worst. At least when you gamble, you get some entertainment. With a high-interest loan, you just shovel money — and lots of it — into someone else’s hands.

Some of the worst loans possible:

1. Payday loans. Payday loans have a bad name. Here’s why: The finance charge can run $10 to $30 for every $100 you borrow. That’s an APR of nearly 400 percent. That makes even credit card interest rates — usually between 12 percent and 30 percent — look good.

Payday loans (or “cash advances”) are small, high-interest loans repaid from your paycheck. Typically you borrow $500 or less. You may have to give the lender access to your checking account or write a check for the full loan amount for use in case you miss a payment.

Payday loans typically are due in full from your next paycheck. Some, though — for bigger fees — offer interest-only payments (or “renewals” or “rollovers”) or may be repaid in installments over time. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a detailed description.

Payday loans can get borrowers into deep trouble. “If you roll over the loan multiple times it’s possible to pay several hundred dollars in fees and still owe the amount you borrowed,” says the CFPB, in a warning about rollovers. Some states ban rollovers.

2. Car title loans. With these short-term, high-cost loans, you hand over the title to your car, truck, motorcycle or other vehicle and pay a fee, sometimes up to 25 percent of the loan (or $25 in fees for every $100 you borrow). For example, if you borrow $1,000 for 30 days at 25 percent, you’d owe $1,250 at the end of the month, or $250 in costs. A 300 percent APR isn’t uncommon for a car-title loan.

You often have 30 days to repay. If not, the lender takes the vehicle. That happens less than you’d think, according to researchers at Vanderbilt University.

But the bigger danger is that you’ll underestimate the real costs. “[R]esearch shows that most title loan customers are overly optimistic that they will pay back their loans on time, which means the loan ends up costing them much more than they believe it will when they first receive it,” the researchers say.

Consumer.gov offers more information on how car-title loans work.

3. ‘Buy Here Pay Here’ Car Dealerships. “Buy here pay here” is used to describe car dealers that charge high-interest loans to borrowers who can’t qualify for regular car loans. “Bad credit? You can still get a car,” an ad might say.

“Many of the lots require customers to return once or twice a month to make loan payments in cash — hence the term Buy Here Pay Here,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

Also, subprime dealers often outfit vehicles with “starter-interrupt” devices that use a GPS locator to track the car and shut off the engine if the borrower is behind on payments. The devices are supposed to disable only stopped cars, butThe New York Times quotes a woman who says her car was shut down as she drove on the freeway. The Times say:

Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments.

4. Credit card cash advances. Turning to your credit card for cash will cost you. Your credit card company may send you checks in the mail or let you use the card to make a bank withdrawal or to get cash at an ATM. The fees start immediately. You’ll pay:

  • A one-time charge of 3 percent to 5 percent just for using the card to borrow money.
  • Interest rates run around 25 percent on major bank cards, says LowCards.com.
  • Interest accrues immediately, unlike the 30-day grace period with credit-card purchases.

Use a card cash loan in an emergency only and repay it immediately.

5. Bank loan on your direct deposit salary. Don’t be fooled if your bank offers to make a loan based on your salary direct-deposit. It’s just another form of payday lending, says CreditCards.com, and you already know what a black hole a payday loan can be. APRs on direct-deposit loans (also called “direct-deposit advances”) can run 300 percent or more.

6. Pawn shops. Pawn shops will loan you money in exchange for receiving certain valuables as collateral. The amount you can borrow is based on the value of your collateral. “On average, customers receive only a portion of the item’s retail value,” says the National Pawnbrokers Association. If you don’t repay the loan, the shop keeps your goods.

Pawning is an expensive way to borrow money for two reasons: high interest rates and high fees.

Depending on what the state allows, pawn shop interest rates can be as high as 25 percent, says Fox Business. Even if the interest rate sounds low, be sure you know all of the fees involved. For example you may be asked to pay a storage fee, a ticket fee and an additional fee if you lose your receipt.

Ask yourself if you might just be willing instead to part with your treasures permanently. If so, you’ll make more money on eBay.

7. Reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is the opposite of a mortgage. As The National Endowment for Financial Education My Retirement Paycheck sitesays:

With a reverse mortgage, the lender pays the homeowner — there are no monthly repayments to the lender. Over time, equity decreases while debt increases. In essence, a reverse mortgage converts a home into cash; a traditional mortgage converts cash into an owned home.

Reverse mortgages can make sense for older borrowers who have run out of money, want to stay in their homes until they die and are likely to stay there for 15 years or more. The income is income-tax free and need not be repaid until the borrower dies or moves. Yet the downsides are considerable: Borrowers often have taken out the money all at once and then lost their homes because they spent it without saving enough to live on or to pay the taxes, insurance and maintenance.

The federal government recently made reverse mortgages safer than they used to be. But that doesn’t mean they are problem-free. Fees are high — as much as $15,000 or more in fees for a $200,000 loan, says CNN Money.

8. Friends and family. Borrowing from family or friends is a risky idea for reasons you probably already know. A debt can unbalance and damage even the best relationship. Ask yourself: Would you rather have the money or the friend?

9. Tax refund loans. The Center for Responsible Lending calls tax refund loans (aka “refund anticipation loans” and “rapid refunds”) instant trouble. Why? Because by rushing to get your hands on your refund, you could end up throwing away up to 10 percent of it on interest and fees (like electronic filing fees and a charge for cashing your loan check). Annual interest rates of 1,000 percent are not unheard of.

Federally regulated banks no longer offer tax refund loans, although plenty of other players do. If you file your tax return electronically, your tax preparer or tax preparation and filing software may dangle refund loans, checks, gift cards or debit cards to get your money instantly. Don’t bite.

Here’s a better idea: Put that money back into your paycheck, so the federal government isn’t holding it for you. This article, Tax Hacks 2015: How To Use A Tax Refund To Change Your Life, tells how.

Protect Yourself

If you are thinking about using any of the loans above, the chances are good that your back is against the wall. Here are better options:

  • Look at your credit score. Don’t assume your credit is bad. Bad loans often are sold to people who could qualify for cheaper products. Read How To Get Your Credit Report in 6 Easy Steps.
  • Try credit counseling.The alternative to high interest loans is getting control of your financial life. No one’s saying it’s easy, but many people have done it with free counseling from a nonprofit credit counseling agency. You can find a counselor at Money Talks News’ Solutions Center or from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
  • Learn the APR. When you’re shopping for any loan, find out the APR (annual percentage rate, or the interest rate plus fees) and be sure to learn all costs and fees. Comparison shop for loans by comparing APRs. The lowest APR is the best deal.
  • Complain. The CFPB takes complaints about abusive loans, forwarding your complaint to the lender. It tries to get a response for you.

As Fed Meets, It Edges Toward First Rate Hike Since 2006

Federal Reserve Yellen
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is getting close to raising interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, perhaps in September. When it meets this week, though, don’t expect any timetable for a rate hike to be spelled out in a post-meeting statement. For now, the Fed wants to keep its options open.

Yet Chair Janet Yellen has left little doubt that the Fed is preparing to raise short-term rates by year’s end from the record lows the central bank set at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. With the U.S. economy and job market now steadily rising, the need for ultra-low rates to stimulate growth is fading.

We’re close to where we want to be, and we now think the economy can not only tolerate but needs higher rates.

“Our economy is in a much better state,” Yellen told Congress earlier this month. “We’re close to where we want to be, and we now think the economy can not only tolerate but needs higher rates.”

The economy still faces an array of threats, from subpar U.S. manufacturing and business investment to troubles in Europe and Asia, which have roiled financial markets. Inflation also remains below the Fed’s target rate. And while the unemployment rate, at 5.3 percent, is nearly normal, other gauges of the job market remain less than healthy. Pay growth remains generally sluggish, for example, and many people are working part time because they can’t find full-time jobs.

But Yellen has stressed that when the Fed begins to raise rates, it will do so only gradually. The idea is to avoid weakening an economy that’s still benefiting from low borrowing rates resulting from the Fed’s policies.

Yellen has suggested that raising rates in small increments, followed by pauses, would let the Fed assess the effects of slightly higher rates. Higher rates would also allow the Fed to respond later to any weakening of the economy by cutting rates again.

Though many economists foresee the first rate hike in September, when Yellen is scheduled to hold a news conference, others think the Fed might wait until December. On Wednesday, after its latest meeting ends, the Fed will issue only a statement.

Volatile Markets

“The recent volatility in the global economy and financial markets has given the Fed pause,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University, Channel Islands. “I think the probability of a rate hike in September has diminished because the Fed is going to need more time to evaluate how the U.S. economy is doing. December looks like a good possibility.”

During Yellen’s testimony to Congress this month, some Democrats urged her to consider delaying a rate hike given that inflation remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target. The Fed has typically raised rates when it perceives a need to prevent inflation from getting out of control.

Part of the slowdown in inflation, though, reflects a plunge in oil prices over the past year, which will reverse itself once energy prices rebound.

The Fed is closer to achieving its other main goal: Maximizing employment. The unemployment rate is at a seven-year low, and over the past three months, U.S. hiring has averaged a robust 221,000 a month.

Economists who think the Fed will act in September point not only to low unemployment but also to signs of strength in such areas as housing andconsumer spending.

‘Lots of Momentum’

“The economy has a lot of momentum, and if you don’t start raising rates off zero, then it will be hard to curtail that momentum and inflation will become a problem down the road,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

There’s also some concern that prolonged ultra-low rates may have begun to inflate dangerous bubbles in certain assets.

“The longer the Fed waits, the greater the bubbles will become in stock and bond prices and the more potential damage that could occur to the markets when the Fed finally acts,” said economist David Jones, the author of several books on Fed policy.

Concern about igniting an overreaction in financial markets is a key reason economists think the Fed will show extreme caution in raising rates. Stocks and bonds suffered sharp declines in 2013 after the Fed initially mishandled its communications about when it would begin slowing a bond purchase program that was intended to keep long-term rates low.

“It has been so long since the Fed raised rates that the situation could be volatile,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “I believe the Fed is going to raise rates once, most likely in September, and then wait for some time before raising them again to judge market reaction.”

From Rents to Haircuts, Americans Start to Feel Price Hikes

Starbucks
WASHINGTON — Apartment rents are up. So are prices for restaurant meals, haircuts, gym memberships and a cup of coffee.

For American consumers who have become used to flat or even falling prices for several years, an unfamiliar sight has emerged in many corners of the economy: Inflation is ticking up.

The price increases remain modest. And in many cases, they’re canceled out by price declines for other items that are keeping overall inflation historically low.

Yet the stepped-up price tags for a range of consumer items are the largest since the Great Recession ended six years ago. They actually reflect a healthier economy: Many businesses have finally grown confident enough to pass their own higher costs on to consumers without fear of losing customers. Employers have added nearly 5.6 million jobs the past two years, allowing more people to absorb higher prices.

INFLATION

Signs of emergent inflation are a key reason the Federal Reserve, which is meeting this week, will likely raise interest rates from record lows later this year. Inflation has long trailed the Fed’s 2 percent target rate but is on track to return to that level in coming months.

“That should give the Fed a little more confidence that … they will meet their [inflation] objective,” said Laura Rosner, an economist at BNP Paribas.

In June, the price of haircuts jumped 1.6 percent, the biggest monthly jump in the 62 years that the government has tracked the data. Over the past year, they’ve surged 2.8 percent, the largest year-over-year gain since 2008.

That’s no surprise to Chrissie Crosby, a retired government worker in Alexandria, Virginia. She says her hair salon has started charging nearly $30 for a shampoo, blow dry and haircut, up from $22.

“It used to be a convenient place for a trim, because it was inexpensive, but it’s no longer very inexpensive,” she said.

Coffee prices jumped 6.1 percent in January from 12 months earlier, the most in nearly three years. Starbucks (SBUX) has responded by raising the price of a cup of coffee by between 5 cents and 20 cents.

And beef prices have soared nearly 11 percent in the past year, which has led Chipotle (CMG) to raise prices for steak and its beef barbacoa by an average of about 30 cents an entree, the company says.

The biggest driver of inflation this year has been residential rents. They climbed 3.5 percent in June from a year earlier, the fifth straight month with an annual gain of that size.

Overall, consumers have yet to be hit by significant increases for everyday purchases. Inflation as measured by the consumer price index has barely risen in the past 12 months, mostly because cheaper gas has held down the index.

But prices are rising. If you exclude food and energy, which tend to fluctuate sharply, “core” inflation has risen 2.3 percent at an annual rate in the past three months. In April, the three-month annual pace was 2.6 percent, well above the Fed’s inflation target.

Economists expect the price increases to continue, in part because they’re occurring mostly in services, whose prices tend to be comparatively stable. Economists call these “sticky” prices. They include rent, insurance, haircuts, restaurant meals and utility bills.

Sticky prices are slow to change. Utilities typically must ask regulators to approve price increases, for example, and most restaurants don’t want to frequently reprint menus. But once prices in those categories do rise, they’re usually slow to change course.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta maintains an index of sticky prices, which has risen 3 percent at an annual rate in the past three months, the most since the recession ended.

‘No Reaction Whatsoever’

Labor costs for many service-sector companies are rising, lifted by minimum wages in an increasing number of states. Chipotle just raised prices 10 percent in San Francisco partly because of that city’s minimum wage increase. Jack Hartung, the company’s chief financial officer, said Chipotle has seen “no reaction whatsoever” from customers.

By contrast, prices for goods in some cases keep falling. Clothing, furniture, and many appliances are cheaper than they were a year ago, a result of global competition that’s held down the costs of factory goods.

And gasoline and natural gas is much cheaper than they were last year. Through the first half of 2015, the average retail gasoline price is down 30 percent to $2.47 a gallon. Residential natural gas prices are down 9 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration.

People are finally getting back to the comforts they may have afforded prior to the recession, including splurging on haircuts and home cleaning services.

A big reason prices for services have risen is that they’re increasingly where Americans are spending money. Consumers spent just 32 cents of every dollar on goods in the first quarter of this year, down from nearly 34 cents two years ago. Over the same period, services spending rose to 67.6 cents from 66.

“People are finally getting back to the comforts they may have afforded prior to the recession, including splurging on haircuts and home cleaning services,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation.

Still, for many families that remain squeezed by sluggish pay growth, even small price increases hurt. Average hourly earnings rose just 2 percent in June from a year earlier, well below the 3.5 percent pace typical of a healthy economy.

Jeremy Beck, a lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, has noticed a jump in his water bill and said electricity costs were also rising. But he and his wife, Christine Ehrick, a professor at the University of Louisville, said the biggest problem has been flat wages.

“Neither of us have seen our pay increase much at all in the past few years,” Ehrick said.