How to find the best Verizon FIOS deals

Verizon-FiOS-Header-Image-copyVerizon wireless has been one of the best cell phone providers for the last several decades, but they have taken things to the next level and stepped things up with their great Verizon FIOS, which currently serves more than five million people around the United States. If you do not know what Verizon FIOS is, it is a bundle package of internet, television and telephone service, which provides customers with top notch service in all three categories at a great price.

* If you want to get service through Verizon, or simply want to get some more information regarding the various packages that they provide, it is strongly advisable that you call and speak to a customer representative, as they will be best able to inform you of the options that you have in your given area.

* However, keep in mind that there are tons of discounts and coupons that you can find online. One of the biggest things that companies such as Verizon and other bundle package providers do is put out coupons and discounts that people can take advantage of if they happen to come across them.

* There are tons of FIOS discounts that can be found on the internet by doing a simple search, which could end up saving you a ton of money in the long run. Keep in mind, when you get one of these coupons, you need to read the fine print and make absolutely certain that you understand the terms and conditions, simply to make sure that there are no drastic increases in prices later down the line.

* Some companies attempt to charge greater rates down the road, hoping that those people that are signing up for service do not realize, and while Verizon is not a company that typically engages in this type of activity, it is good to know what you are signing and be well aware of this type of thing.

* If you want to find a Verizon FIOS discount, you can head to Google or another search engine and do a simple search, which will absolutely turn up some discounts that will get you money off signing up for a package deal. Another thing to consider if you already are using Verizon for your cellular service, is adding on television and internet to make it a package deal.

* There are great discounts that come with adding these services on and bundling a package up, so it may be a great way to go for you and your family. Once you have found a code that you want to use online, you can call Verizon and tell them that you are interested in signing up for service and let them know that you have a discount. They will be able to type in the discount code and make sure that it is valid.

* If you are looking to sign up for a bundle package, there are few companies out there that can compete with the amazing package that Verizon is offering through their bundle deal of television service, internet, and phone service. It is advisable that you do some research into the various things that Verizon offers through this bundle package and compare what you find to the current amount that you are paying for your current service. Additionally, if you do decide that you want to make the switch, do not forget to utilize the internet to find a discount.

Top 5 Reasons to Order Verizon FIOS

Verizon FIOS commercials are bombarding the media. When the service first appeared, the target market was those consumers who preferred to purchase the newest and most advanced all entertainment and communications packages. Today, Verizon is taking steps to further expand its market potential. For those persons who already have the cable, phone, and internet service, a decision about switching to FIOS is something that they consistently debate. No one likes to switch to a new service when the current service is a good one. Verizon FIOS is more than good. It represents the cutting edge of fiber optic technology.

Five truly compelling reasons exist why making the jump to FIOS would be a smart move. Consumers should look closely at these five points.

1.) Internet speed is incredibly fast. A common complaint among people who are connected to a traditional cable or broadband service is that the speed is much too slow. No one is ever going to state that FIOS is slow. The amazing fiber optic network allows for the fastest internet connection in most geographic regions. The numbers simply tell the tale. 50/50Mbps is the speed FIOS is delivering. Downloads and uploads are going to move incredibly fast with this type of connection. Browsing becomes a lot easier. Anyone who spends a lot of time on the internet is going to be thrilled about the super fast speeds.

2.) The reliability is outstanding. Paying for cable, television, and phone service is going to seem like a waste of money when a ridiculous amount of annual downtime has to be endured. Verizon FIOS prides itself on reliability. No one should have to worry about whether or not the service will be available on any given day.

3.) The array of television channels is stunningly impressive. No matter what type of programming the subscriber is interested in, Verizon FIOS delivers. There really is a massive channel variety. Virtually all the major, minor, and in-the-middle channels on the television market are found on the FIOS network package. There are also more than 130,000 FIOS On Demand titles and about 70 Spanish language programs. No one is ever going to run out of things to watch once FIOS is turned on.

4.) Picture and sound quality is fantastic. It is not enough just to receive a video or audio signal when paying for a top-notch service. The sound and picture should be exceptional. Verizon FIOS is not going to disappoint anyone looking for these traits in the service. The high definition signal ensures the greatest picture quality and the sound is equally impressive. People watching television channels or internet streams really will enjoy the “you are there” experience.

5.) The bundle packages are awesome. Reliability and speed are two definitely traits people want in their service. Good pricing is another. With Verizon FIOS, exception bundle pricing deals are presenting when combining two or all three services. By delivering great prices, customers can take advantage of the expanded television lineup and brilliant internet service without having to pay crazy premiums to do so.

Verizon FIOS has much to offer. Look for its popularity to grow as more regions of service are added and more people become aware of the great benefits it provides. If you are not convinced, please check out Verizon FIOS deals page for more promo codes and offers!

AT&T U-verse vs. Time Warner Cable

 

Those that remember when television was free, may recall that while the normal viewer may have only been able to enjoy a good half a dozen channels, the viewing of television was still free and the viewer did not have to worry about a choice. Those days are gone and today’s generation does not even know a period when they did not have pay television.

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For those viewers that have the geographic distinction of having a choice between the two primary cable providers; AT&T U-verse and Time Warner Cable, they find themselves faced with to companies which are the prominent industry choices, with each offering various packaging which makes the selection process of the cable system a studied choice. As with either provider, the viewer should consider several basic factors to compare the two service providers.The main three factors are the provider’s broadband speed and available television channels, the offered service price and the service reliability and customer service.ATT Uverse vs Time Warner Cable

Provider One: AT&T’s U-Verse with Digital TV, Broadband Capacity and Home Phone Capability.

While the AT&T U-verse is considered the largest DSL service provider in the United States the foundation of the network is actually based on the “VDSL” technology. This means that the AT&T digital TV service, as well as its high speed internet service provide faster speeds and more enhanced crystal clear picture resolution that a viewer would come to expect in the “hyper connected cable world” today as VDSL is approximately 6.5x faster than the traditional DSL service.

The U-Verse service also is beneficial as the DSL service is delivered through existing telephone lines in a household and business. Rewiring would not be necessary.

U-verse Digital TV Service. Even though the amount of available TV channels will vary between the various bundles and plans which are available, the AT&T U-Verse can ultimately provide as many as 210 High Definition channels, including home DVRs, individual private DVRs as well as traditional cable black boxes.As a promotional feature, some bundles can include a reduced price or even several months of free premium channels like HBO, THe Movie Channel and Cinemax.

Faster Internet Speeds are critical to users in the fast paced internet world today. The AT&T U-verse service allows the viewer to receive downloadable speeds as fast as 45mbps and upload speeds as fast as 6mbps. The speeds as describe will be able to address the needs of most professionals with the possible exception of specialist requiring very high resolution graphics capability or networking servicing speeds.

Viewers who view a significant amount of online streaming video will be more than covered with a AT&T U-verse package as the service  supports High Definition streaming from Hulu, Netflix and Youtube.

AT & T Home Phone Services. Not all customers are getting rid of their land lines. While most people simply use their cell phone as their phone main line, AT & T ‘s home phone services include caller identification, call waiting service, three way calling, as well as anonymous call and recall rejection, and the service is able to support calls across the 50 United States as well as numerous countries.

As a summary, the AT&T service provides superior internet and excellent cable television product. The AT&T U-verse’s support and implementation of a vDSL is a serious product any consumer should consider. Several plans are available and include six internet service plans and four television service plans.

Pricing is varied and the range of download streaming speed is 3mbps to 45mbps. Current promotions can be viewed at https://www.att.com/shop/bundles.html?hs-plan=discount and availability of service can be viewed at https://www.att.com/shop/availability.html.

Provider Two: Time Warner’s Cable Triple Play Bundle Package

The Timer Warner Cable company is ranked as the U.S.‘s third largest cable and internet, television service provider. As a cable provider service, a customer’s internet, Television and their phone connection will be provided through an existing cable and TV wiring network.

High Definition Channels

The Time Warner Cable company also has several tiers of television plans for their customers. Based on the package selected by the customer at least 200 High Definition channels are available. Time Warner also offers whole home DVRs as well as traditional DVRs units. While the premium channel package is the same Time Warner Channel does offer a menu of speciality channels that are not available on competing providers.

TWC Internet Service Speeds

TWC offers its internet customers download speeds which can reach as high as 50mbps in most geographic areas and as much as 300mbps in an upgraded areas commencing in 2014.

TWC Home Phone Services

The TWC home phone service can also offer various bundles and packages. Based on the customer choice, most can be provided service which included unlimited calls to any place throughout Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

In summary, TWC has generally pretty adequate speeds and broadcast and streaming technologies. The service does seem to lag a bit behind AT& T’s service, though some customers may have a personal preference or TWC. TWC also has six service internet plans and six service television plans available. Pricing is also varied based on existing promotions.

Final Conclusion: TWC vs AT&T U-verse Services

Both of these service providers offer competitive services and if a customer is bound by a geographic area and can only have one service available, either would provide internet speed and channel service that a customer would desire. AT&T can generally have better fees but based on the package, certain fees could make a TWC package competitive.
TWC has a slighter faster internet speed than AT&T but their hard equipment can be a bit pricey and their customer service has been spotty.

The final choice for the customer should be based on the best long term price available after all promotions have run their course. The customer should also pay attention to their channel preference and whether their service will be reliable during the course of their subscription with the service provider.

Comcast Xfinity vs Verizon FiOS – A Closer Look

A Close Look at Comcast Xfinity Vs Verizon FiOS

When it comes to the competition for home entertainment and internet connectivity services, 2 leaders in the industry seem to stand out above the rest. Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS each offer a bundle of exceptional services available for one set price to keep any home alive with the latest in broadcast entertainment and superfast internet connectivity including convenient landline phone service.

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These 2 services continue to grow in popularity while in a tight race to be on top in their industry, offering lighting fast internet speed, and a large variety of popular channels available at the lowest possible prices. With each making the claim of being the best offer available, we will do a comparison to examine which features will reveal if one service has an edge over the other. Having enjoyed countless hours using both Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS, I experienced the good and “not so good” of both services. My experience brought me to my ultimate conclusion. While I found both services to be among the best in entertainment and convenience, there are differences you may want to consider before signing up for either.

Comcast vs FIOS

Web vs. TV
If you consider the internet your “cream of the crop” in entertainment services then you should go with Verizon FiOS for its faster internet connectivity. For those who are big online gamers, YouTube and Netflix addicts or work a job online from home, Verizon FiOS will not disappoint you with it’s lightning fast internet speed. Those who love the “on demand” trend of watching television online will find FiOS to be exceptional service. Maybe you are not a big fan of the internet form of entertainment, but more enjoy the old fashioned television and movie experience kicked back in a recliner with your feet up and the remote in one hand and your favorite drink in the other. If you even halfway match this scenario, then you will very likely enjoy being a Comcast Xfinity user more than FiOS. For those who are not a big computer user and find they spend less than 2 hours a day online then I would highly recommend going with Comcast. If you consider yourself a TV watching couch potato, yet are one of those people who still likes to experience the technology during your daily TV escapade, then you will love Comcast Xfinity with it’s X1 control box delivering a high-tech interactive viewing experience.

Broadcast
While Verizon FiOS does have a newer version of their television box with better technology available, It still has some catching up to do with the advancements offered by Comcast. The Comcast Xfinity X1 television box has more of the in demand features and conveniences that big TV watchers love. Many users still enjoy the idea of relaxing in front of the big screen with a remote capable of bringing all the entertainment they want with the push of a button. Comcast’s X1 box is a winner in popularity among big TV watchers.

Technology
Verizon FiOS has superior technology mainly geared toward it’s internet speed and reliability. With speeds of 500 mbps, the speed of Verizon FiOS is unmatched in today’s internet technology market for consumers. The advantage of it’s faster speed is achieved mainly due to the use of fiber optic networking. Statistics show the speed can even go beyond 500mbps for some customers. Streaming video and online gaming is taken to a whole new level with FiOS. Even Verizon’s 150mbps plan has claims of being faster than Comcast Xfinity’s internet speed. With Verizon FiOS upload speeds have been reported to be approximately 30 times faster than Comcast. Undoubtedly, if you are a big user of the web and one of the people lucky enough to live in an area where Verizon FiOS is currently available, then this one is a winner for you. Comcast Xfinity cannot really compare to FiOS when it comes to internet speed. However, with signals sent using coaxial cable networking it can be considered as good as any other current high-speed internet cable provider. Having speeds up to 150 mbps, Comcast is still a big player for many users in today’s high-speed internet market. The ratings for Comcast show the speed is typically at or just below 150 mbps for the majority of users. For all but the most extreme web users, Comcast Xfinity will deliver satisfactory results for most common web applications.

Availability
With Verizon FiOS being superior for gamers and streaming television lovers alike, the down side is the limited availability. The very thing that makes FiOS supreme with speed also is the bit of technology that makes it less available at this time. The fiber optic technology is far faster and superior than standard copper networking cable. Unfortunately, for that reason fiber optic networking cable is much lower in availability nationwide. The good news is that popularity is growing as the demand for faster technology increases, causing it to be installed in more regions of the country. Technology experts predict tremendous growth of networks using fiber optic cable over the next decade.

Cost
For many families of today, cost is a large factor in deciding which service plan is best for their household. Verizon FiOS is a little more expensive mainly due to the impressive internet speed available. While Comcast Xfinity can be somewhat less expensive, there are variations of bundle packages available from both companies close to the same price. Therefore the cost can vary and you may find a plan that matches what you need which is very close to the same amount with either service.

Conclusion
After considering the features, technology and benefits of each service, I believe Verizon FiOS is the better service. One leading reason is the superior internet speed. Today, many more forms of entertainment are now being streamed online than ever before. This is a trend that will likely increase even more in the near future. Therefore having a far superior internet speed with Verizon FiOS will have you ready for what comes in the way of online entertainment and web service both now and into the future.

In our world of today, the technology vastly changes how we live. Everything including the way we communicate, share information and enjoy entertainment is affected. Having the best internet speed and reliability is more than just a popular trend, it is the wave of the future.

Comcast Cable Xfinity Review

Comcast Xfinity ReviewComcast provides a wide array of services. These services range from digital cable services to digital voice services. Comcast is also known for its data offerings and streaming media platforms. While Comcast is forced to compete with many other companies for a large share of the market, there are arenas that Comcast has entirely to themselves. This monopoly has created an environment that is not desirable to many end users. If user-reviews are to be believed, Comcast has a reputation for poor service in many arenas where it lacks a direct competitor.

Comcast’s Broadband Offerings

In recent years, Comcast has begun to shift its standard broadcast digital cable model to a more broadband based one. This is implied by the subtitle of their own website, which has now changed the ordering of their offered services to read “High-Speed Internet, Cable, Phone Service Provider.” This shift is an understandable adaptation to a shifting marketplace, where cable TV is quickly becoming replaced with Internet services.

Given this shift to a more Broadband focused model, it would seem logical that Comcast would focus on providing a superior product. this does not seem to be the case. In recent years, they have received large amounts of bad press regarding their bandwidth caps. This is where end users who utilize more data than Comcast accounted for experience a sudden data slow down.

 

In addition to unexpected slow downs, many customers are complaining about the speeds available to them. The speeds available from Comcast are well below their fastest competitors. While the speeds are also in question, the amount of data is also restricted. As mentioned above, end users experience massive slowdowns if they surpass a certain amount of data. The current amount is 250 GB. While this may seem to be more than sufficient given today’s needs, it may not be so for tomorrow’s needs. Some of Comcast’s biggest detractors have stated that they believe this to be a strategy for limiting online data capacity as a way of preventing cable from becoming an obsolete medium.

Their is good news associated with Comcast’s internet services as well. Due to an extensive, preexisting network of cables, Comcast is available in most regions. While this may create, as was mentioned earlier, a bit of a monopoly, it is preferable to have some service than none at all.

This service also tends to be very reliable with very few end users complaining about regular service outages. In addition to these positive aspects, Comcast also offers McAfee Security suite to their subscribers. This suite protects up to 7 PC’s. A few of Comcast’s competitors offer malware protection. Their protection is provided by less well known companies, so this offering is a major positive in Comcast’s favor.

Comcast’s Digital Cable

Comcast began its life as a cable provider. Which, incidentally, is still what they do best. Xfinity Television services offer over 300 digital cable channels including the premium channels Cinemax, HBO, Showtime and Stars. In addition to television, there are 50 digital music channels which offer uninterrupted music 24/7. With so many options, it may seem difficult to find a downside. However, Comcast offers only 40 complete HD channels in most areas. This number is significantly less than their competitors. Given the advances in televisions, the desire for HD television is becoming more pronounced. This lack of HD programming creates a monstrous negative for Comcast’s digital cable division.

Comcast’s lack of HD programming may be a negative, but their inclusion of multicultural and multilingual programming is a major bonus. Included among their programming are channel bundles in Mandarin Chinese, Filipino channels, Portuguese channels and even a single Arabic channel. This diversity makes Comcast a worthwhile investment for those who stem from different backgrounds.

DVR is a very popular system in today’s viewing market. Comcast offers a DVR system which can hold up to 90 hours of SD television. However, there is no official measurement of how much HD TV this system can record. This is in keeping with Comcast’s lack of HD programming.

Comcast’s Digital Home Phone Services

Given Comcast’s large infrastructure, it is no surprise that they also offer phone services. This makes use of the existing network and provides the user with Caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, call screening, repeat dialing, call return and voice mail. This wide offering is supplemented by an offer of unlimited anytime calls. This service has a good track record for availability with very few service stoppages.

In addition to these services, Comcast offers a somewhat unique service which allows the user to access their voicemail online. this provides consumers with the added benefit of being able to visually see their voicemails, as well as being able to access them from any location with an internet connection.

Bundling

Given that Comcast offers all of the above services, it is little surprise that they offer a deal to consumers who wish to use all of their services. This is referred to triple play bundles. These bundles have the capacity to save the consumer a good deal of money in the long run making it a worthwhile investment to go through one company for all three services.

Comcast has received a good deal of negative press regarding customer service. However, their service record remains fairly good. The services are reliable, the technology is decent. While they do not offer the most cutting edge of any product, they do offer a decent range of products of middling value.

Here’s a nice video review:

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Credit ScoreCredit worthiness determines how much interest you will be asked to pay on a loan, how much you will have to pay for insurance, and whether you will be considered eligible for the best deals offered by most service providers. Your credit score is therefore an important number, and there are specific means to raising that score.

It should be pointed out that while there is no one definitive way to scale a credit score in terms of determining eligibility for good interest rates, one thing is clear. The amount you pay in loan interest can mean the difference between saving money and finding yourself drowning in debt. Understanding how your credit score is calculated and figuring out what you can do to improve it is the first step in understanding how to manage your finances.

What The Credit Score Reflects
There are different means of calculating credit worthiness, but the one most familiar to consumers is the FICO score. This is the rating system used to determine whether you are qualified for a credit card account, auto loan, or favorable insurance prices. The FICO score ranges from 300, which is the lowest rating, to 850, which is the highest possible rating.

Factors that influence your FICO score include payment history, amounts owed on loans and revolving credit lines, length of credit history, how often you apply for credit, and what assortment of credit lines you currently have. These are all calculated independently, and the results are mixed to form the final rating score.

In general, anything below a score of 550 is considered poor credit. The average grade is given for scores between about 550-700, and anything above 700 is considered as good credit. In the United States, the average score for consumers is around 720.

Other Credit Rating Systems
Banks that loan money for home purchases often use a different, more secretly calculated formula for determining credit worthiness. Insurance companies and service providers – such as cable and internet providers – often use their own means for determining credit eligibility.

Insurance providers may take your FICO score (check out our free Credit Score recommendations) into consideration before deciding how much to charge you for auto insurance. This is because statistics show a correlation between credit history and overall financial responsibility. After all, an insurance company wants to retain you as a customer for a long period of time, and they want you to pay them a lot of money, much more than you will ever ask for on an insurance claim.

Insurance companies and service providers therefore look at your credit score as well as your income and your current dwelling situation before they make a decision on rates and contract lengths. It is important to understand that your credit score is used by more than just VISA and MasterCard issuers.

Improving Your Score
If you already have several lines of revolving credit as well as a car loan, you probably don’t want to apply for any additional credit at this time. Every time you apply, the credit bureaus notice and may slightly decrease your score. Therefore, concentrate on paying down the balances you currently have, and make sure you always pay more than the minimum amount. Unless the balances decrease significantly over the next 12 months, your credit score is unlikely to improve.

Consider transferring your credit card balances to a single card with the lowest interest rate. Often, credit card companies will raise your credit line if you specifically ask for these transfers. You can then eliminate the other accounts and pay a single monthly bill to one company.

If you are in default with a credit card company, contact their second-party collector and negotiate a settlement amount. If you receive notices in the mail about paying only about two-thirds of the balance in order to settle, don’t believe it. You can probably settle for even less if you talk to them. This will not affect your credit score for up to five years after you settle, but it is a better option than continuing to have a defaulted account.

List of Free Online Checking Accounts

online_bank_freeThere’s nothing worse than checking your account balance and seeing you’ve been hit by outrageous fees for the stupidest things. Seriously, it feels like you have to jump through a million hoops, such as having an account open for a certain number of months, signing up for online bill pay, staying under a certain number of transactions, and so on, just to enjoy the “free” checking account your bank promised you.

As the Internet has evolved and technology continues to advance, however, a number of banks have introduced robust and easy to use online checking accounts that are not only 100 percent free, but provide excellent interest rates and perks as well. In fact, here’s the rundown on some of the best free online checking accounts available today.USAA

The United States Auto Association is known for providing members of the military and their families with insurance and financial products, but they also offer several other products, such as checking accounts, that are available for the masses to take advantage of.

USAA’s free checking account is linked to over 60,000 ATMs that can be used free of charge. Furthermore, as a USAA free checking accountholder, you become eligible for reimbursement up to $15 to pay for any fees charged by other bank ATMS. To top it all off, they offer free unlimited Web Bill Pay, a phone app for easy account management, and easy deposit options as well. Combined with top notch customer service, USAA’s free checking account is definitely worth considering.

Capital One 360

The Capital One 360 free online checking account is tough to beat. Not only does it earn interest just like a savings account, but there’s no maintenance fee whatsoever, the website is incredibly easy to use, and making deposits is even easier. When you also consider the fact that a Capital One 360 account provides you with access to thousands of free ATMs to use at your leisure, it becomes apparent why more and more people are ditching their brick and mortar banks for Capital One.

EverBank

When it comes to paying interest, the folks at EverBank are far from shy, paying 0.88 percent on balances under $10,000 and more for higher balances. In addition to offering a higher interest rate than what is typically offered for most money market savings accounts, EverBank also provides a Yield Pledge guarantee, ensuring your account will yield a better return than 95 percent of the competition. Talk about putting their money where their mouth is.

Ally Bank

Another online institution offering a free interest-bearing checking account is Ally Bank. With no minimum opening deposit, a free MasterCard debit card, no monthly maintenance fees, and the ability to conveniently make eDposits from your smartphone, it’s hard to go wrong with an Ally Bank account.

Mutual of Omaha Bank

Most people associate Mutual of Omaha with insurance products, but the longstanding Nebraska-based company has been providing folks with banking services for decades and has some pretty sweet offers for new customers. In fact, one such offer is a free online checking account that only requires a meager $100 opening deposit and pays an interest rate of 0.50% APY. Plus, they provide a free order of checks and access to a network of nearly 23,000 ATMS.

Bottom Line

Traditional checking accounts are slowly becoming extinct in today’s world. Long gone are the days of getting a free microwave for opening an account. Today, you get blindsided with absurd fees that chip away at your balance. Thankfully, online banking has emerged as a moneysaving alternative, allowing you to kiss your greedy brick and mortar bank goodbye and begin enjoying a free and rewarding banking experience. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that all of the online checking accounts mentioned above are FDIC insured, so you really do have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What is the Cheapest Tax Software

Tax Software ChoicesPlenty of tax filing software is now offered for extremely cheap prices—but nothing is cheaper than free. These free tax filing programs offer the cheapest filing and still offer plenty of great features and savvy tax advice.

TaxACT
TaxACT not only offers free filing software, but this company also gives its customers free tax guides, resources and complimentary email support for any questions or problems that might arise. TaxACT allows customers to file the basic forms that the other free software companies allow, like the 1040 and the 1040EZ, but this company also allows customers to file more complex forms and can tell customers if they need a more complex version of the software in situations like filing a Schedule C form. One of the other benefits that TaxACT customers receive is an inexpensive state tax filing. Other programs might charge up to $40 to file a state tax, where TaxACT only charges $14.99.

Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax now offers a free version of its software instead of just the paid versions. Customers can still get many of the Turbo Tax paid benefits without the high price tag. This software is extremely easy to use, and Turbo Tax does a great job of walking customers through the filing process, step by step. They also ask well-thought questions to ensure customers do not miss any deductions or face any fines or penalties for unpaid taxes. Turbo Tax also offers free advice and free online messaging throughout the process, so customers can feel confident they understand the line items and questions. Like TaxACT, turbo tax does charge a much higher fee to customers who need to file a Schedule C or other complex form. The entire process is saved from start to finish, so customers can pause or take a break from their taxes without worrying about lost information.

H&R Block
Though H&R Block is probably most well-known for their in-person tax filing and advice, their free online tax software gives the accountants a run for their money. They offer a user-friendly software that talks customers through the tax process, line by line. They also offer free tax support and audit advice. The best part about H&R Block is that a customer who has filed their taxes through the free software can call H&R Block or go into any local branch to ask questions regarding their filing. Like Tax Slayer, H&R Block offers free Schedule C and 1040 filing that is perfect for the self-employed. H&R Block also offers a standard refund or an additional five percent added to their customers’ refunds if they choose to opt for a gift card to one of 40 retailers instead of the standard refund.

Tax Slayer
Tax Slayer is one of the best free filing companies on the market since they offer many of the same features as other tax companies—plus a few other bonuses. Filing for a federal return is always free, and Tax Slayer has step-by-step instructions that assist customers in taking deductions and filling out line items. Like with Turbo Tax, Tax Slayer asks probing questions that help customers get their maximum refund and get deductions they might have missed going it on their own. One of the best features of Tax Slayer’s software—that trumps the other free software providers—is their free Schedule C and 1040 filing. Any worker who was an independent contractor or freelancer can finally file their taxes for free without a huge hike in filing software fees. Tax Slayer also offers audit assistance for a small fee and state filing for a reasonable price.

Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring TipsFor many people, proposing to a loved one is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Amazingly, over a third of all proposals occur between Thanksgiving Day and Valentine’s Day. Apparently, something especially propels people to pop the question during the extended holiday season. If you plan to propose in the near future, you may be nervous about the engagement ring purchase. After all, this acquisition might be one of the most expensive purchases you make during your lifetime. Before deciding on the perfect stone, you need to consider the following variables. After contemplating these items, you will be ready to shop at the best place to buy an engagement ring.

BudgetIf you need to purchase an engagement ring in the near future, you might equate considering your budget with not loving your future bride enough. However, this way of thinking isn’t accurate. Actually, the reality is quite the opposite. If you care about your future spouse, you will think about your budget when shopping for a ring.

By planning for your future financially, you are in no way being cheap or tacky. However, you should approach this issue delicately. You should broach the subject gently, positively, and confidently to your intended. Reassure your future spouse that you aren’t trying to put a price tag on your love, but you don’t want to compromise your financial future together. The two of you can create a price range for the ring that you’re both comfortable with.

Style

For many engagement ring shoppers, the selection of the stone is the simplest part of the process. After all, aren’t diamonds the only style of engagement ring to choose from? Actually, you do have other options. Nowadays, more and more brides are opting for gemstones besides diamonds. Some popular choices include:

• Morganite
• Tanzanite
• Emerald
• Sapphire
• Ruby

Usually, these colorful substitutes are much less expensive than diamonds. Besides being more affordable, colorful gemstones allow brides to showcase their individuality and unique style preferences.

The Critical Four C’s

After determining your budget and preferred stone, you should pay attention to the critical four C’s. When purchasing an engagement ring, the four C’s refer to:

• Carat
• Clarity
• Cut
• Color

Carat refers to the size of the stone. Engagement rings, especially diamonds, can be extremely expensive. As the size of the stone increases, the price tends to skyrocket. Many couples decide to purchase a smaller carat weight initially. They then plan to purchase a larger ring for an upcoming milestone anniversary. Couples assume they will have more money to spend on jewelry years from now.

While carat weight is important, you shouldn’t concentrate on it solely. The clarity of a stone refers to the number of imperfections in it. Diamonds are classified from flawless, also known as FL, to included, referred to as I. Most couples will select a ring that falls somewhere in between these two classifications. If the clarity of a diamond is slightly included, the cut of it can make up the difference. A well cut diamond will showcase immense amounts of fire and sparkle. Some popular cuts for engagement rings include:

• Round
• Marquise
• Princess
• Emerald
• Heart

Most brides prefer a colorless diamond engagement ring. This type of diamond is given a D grade. While D graded diamonds are considered the best, Z graded diamonds appear yellow. Like the classifications for clarity, most people will purchase a ring that falls somewhere in between these two grades. Because D graded diamonds are so expensive, many people shop for stones that reside between the G to J range. Before purchasing your ring, you may want to rate the critical 4 C’s in importance. In doing so, you can choose the best ring at a budget friendly price.

Retailer

Once you know what type of ring to shop for, you need to choose your retailer. Nowadays, many people are turning to online vendors for engagement rings. Besides the internet, you can find your significant other’s dream ring at a local jeweler, a large jewelry chain store, or even a pawn shop. If you plan to reside in the same location after marriage, a local jeweler might be your best option. Often, this type of establishment will periodically clean your ring and check your ring’s prongs free of charge for the rest of your life. Many people have success purchasing an affordable ring at a local pawn shop.

An engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime. Therefore, you should map out a definitive plan before shopping for one. After creating a budget, determining a style, and prioritizing the critical four C’s, you can select a retailer. Don’t rush this special process. Instead, enjoy it. More than likely, you will remember it forever.

Chinese herdsman stumbles onto a 17-pound gold nugget

gold-nuggetHoly cow, for all of you wasting money on the Powerball hit the mountains instead. Read this story:

Berek Sawut, a Kazak herdsman from Qinghe County in Altay Prefecture told Chinese news agency Xinhua that he found the giant nugget “practically lying on bare ground.” The area is in China’s far western Xinjiang Uygur region.

That gold nugget, assuming it’s at least 80% pure, would be worth 1.6 million yuan ($255,313 U.S. dollars), says Xinhua, which also points out that a 1.84 kilogram nugget was discovered in the region in 2010. Gold GCJ5, +0.59%  for April delivery was trading at $1,261 an ounce on Thursday.

More Here.