Best Black Friday Shopping

What stores offer the best deals for Black Friday shopping? The holidays are rapidly approaching and many people have the long holiday weekend off. After stuffing themselves with turkey and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving, shoppers head to their favorite stores for the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. You may already have the exact store and exact set of purchases in mind but if not, here are a few thoughts on the best Black Friday shopping.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This day is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. This is because many people have the day off and have a long list of people to shop for. Retailers use this day to promote holiday sales and always offer discounts. The term, Black Friday, came to be in Philadelphia in the early 1960’s and referred to the terrible traffic jams caused by shoppers. Retailers came to refer to this day as Black Friday because it is the start of the season when they are most in the black, that is to say make the most money. All of this having been said how about the best Black Friday shopping deals?

A Few Hints

The business magazine Forbes has researched this issue and has its own list of the ten top stores for the best Black Friday shopping deals. Forbes uses research from WalletHub who calculated discounts across the board. Here is list and a comment from Forbes.

  • JCPenney: 65.44%
  • Macy’s: 53.52%
  • Rite Aid: 53.34%
  • Meijer: 50.85%
  • Sears: 50.19%
  • Walgreens: 46.74%
  • Office Depot ODP NaN% and OfficeMax: 43.89%
  • Ace Hardware: 41.01%
  • Kohl’s: 39.89%
  • Staples: 38.56%

“Amazon did not provide all the requested info for all their Black Friday deals. As a result some deals could not be included in the calculations,” writes WalletHub’s Richie Bernardo. Other retailers who wouldn’t play ball: Apple, Home Depot, IKEA and Lowe’s.

Money to Shop With

You may know of the best Black Friday shopping deals ever and not be able to go shopping if you do not have cash or credit. We were thinking of this when we ran across an offer for a $25 Visa card just for filling out a survey. Take a look. Do the survey. Enjoy the best Black Friday shopping with your Visa Gift Card

Alternatives to Black Friday

Some folks prefer to wait to see if retailers drop prices even more just before Christmas and others prefer to give and receive gift cards so that they can sweep up bargains in the first days of January when stores are essentially running clearance sales. MarketWatch quoted a study released by predicting the best shopping days with the best discounts this year. They looked at the last five years and when stores dropped prices in the run up to Christmas. Their three best days, best, second best and third best are as follows:

  • Toys, Nov. 26, Dec. 8, Dec. 19
  • Apparel, Dec. 1, Dec. 11, Dec. 18
  • Electronics, Nov. 1, Nov. 26, Nov. 28
  • Novelties, Dec. 15, Dec. 22, Dec. 23


If you want to shop online pick Thanksgiving Day when the rest of the world is eating Turkey and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Home Repairs Warranty

Did your clothes washer spring a leak or did your microwave simply stop working? Let’s say that both appliances are out of warranty and you need to get them fixed. What do you do? Whom do you call? What is it going to cost? You wish that you could get a home repairs warranty for all of your appliances, furnace, etc. Where can you get a home repairs warranty before your dryer, dish washer, oven, refrigerator and stove decide to follow the microwave and clothes washer into non-functioning oblivion?

While researching this article we ran across a useful service on the internet. Take a look here for the Total Protect Home Warranty service. In the meantime here is our review of what to look for in a home repairs warranty.

Range of Coverage

If you pay money every month for a home repairs warranty you expect it to cover at least the following:

  • Dishwasher
  • Washer
  • Refrigerator
  • Dryer
  • Stove
  • Air conditioner or system
  • Water Heater
  • Furnace

You may want to include a few other items in this list as well:

  • Microwave
  • Freezer
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Garbage disposal
  • Range Hood
  • Icemaker
  • Compactor
  • Grill
  • Television(s)
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Garage Door
  • Sewing Machine
  • Digital Camea
  • Camcorder
  • Home Theater
  • Exercise equipment
  • Lawn mower
  • Snow blower

It is unusual to find a service that covers outside appliances such as a lawn mower or your furnace. However, often times your natural gas supplier for your furnace will offer maintenance and repair plan with monthly charges on your gas bill.

Prompt Home Service

You really do not want to have to load up your washer and dryer and take them in for repairs. So, any home repairs warranty should include prompt home visits and all repairs possible on site. If an appliance needs to be taken into the shop the home repairs warranty should cover that possibility and no extra cost. And there should be some sort of guarantee as to the promptness of getting repairs completed and your appliance back at work in your home.

Cost Effective Plans

A home repair warranty should not only provide you with prompt and competent service but it should also be cost effective. In this regard we took this price list from American Home Shield. It give you an idea of what it will cost to repair or replace various home appliances if you do not have a home repairs warranty. If all of your home appliances are of the older sort you can probably expect to pay repair or replacement costs on one or two a year for several years. If that is the case you can simply add up the list of cost and divide by the percentage of appliance that will likely fail each year. The compare that yearly cost to what a home repairs warranty service offers.


Household Item Replacement Costs* Repair Costs*
Clothes Dryer $546 $133
Clothes Washer $543 $103
Refrigerator $1,115 $149
Dishwasher $515 $127
Oven/Range $782 $114
Air Conditioner $2,141 $306
Wall Furnace $2,683 $113
Heating with Ductwork $2,885 $390
Water Heater $761 $92
Main Electrical Panel $651 $210

Competent Service

And, you want the job done right. A cheap service that really does not get things fixed is pretty much useless. So, check with the Better Business Bureau or ask for references before you sign up.

When You Need a Lawyer

There are a lot reasons why you may need the services of a lawyer. Many legal issues can be handled by a lawyer in the general practice of law. And there are a lot of issues that require a specialist. When you are having problems with a workers compensation issue or a social security disability claim you often need the help of a specialist. If you have been accused of a crime you certainly want to be represented by a skilled criminal lawyer and not someone who is uncomfortable inside a courtroom. Here are a few of the kinds of legal issues that may require lawyer with special skills.

  • Auto accidents
  • Bankruptcy
  • Criminal Defense
  • Divorce
  • IRS Tax Issues
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers Compensation

If you have a family attorney he or she can handle must legal matters and refer you to a specialist for the rest. If you do not have a personal attorney it can be difficult when you need a lawyer and do not know where to start looking. In this regard we have found a useful referral source for when you need a lawyer. Visit this link for help finding the attorney that you need.

Making the Right Decision

Attorneys can be very expensive. However, there are many situations in which you will not need to pay a cent for an initial consult and many situations in which you will not pay a cent for anything. For example, in personal injury or malpractice claims it is common for the lawyer to receive a percentage (commonly 30%) of recovery as well as his or her expenses. Along the way the lawyer covers all expenses. If a lawyer does not take your case he or she should provide you with a written statement to that effect. If you believe that you are in the right and still deserve help do not be afraid to get a second, third or fourth opinion.  The plain fact of the matter is that a personal injury or malpractice lawyer may not understand your case and already be busy. When he or she turns you down it does not mean that you have a bad case. It may simply be a business decision on their part. Because lawyers are expensive it can be tempting not to pursue issues or try to represent yourself. This is the wrong way to go. Many legal matters that are unclear in the beginning could end up either costing you a lot of money or result in a substantial payment to you for damages.

The Clock is Ticking

Matters in which you have suffered injury often have some sort of time limit for collecting damages. When you need a lawyer is commonly sooner and not later. When you do go in for a consultation, be sure to find out if your matter is time sensitive and to what degree. Often times all that is needed is for your lawyer to file papers in matters such as personal injury or medical malpractice to protect you from time running out on your right to damages. If you do not know where to turn, check out this link for help when you need a lawyer.

Student Loan Relief Solutions

The average college grad has more than $26,000 in debt at graduation. More than thirty-seven million people have student loan debts which amount to roughly a trillion dollars owed. If you are having problems paying your student loans be aware that there are student loan forgiveness, cancellation and discharge opportunities available through the U.S. Department of Education.

In certain situations, you can have your federal student loan forgiven, canceled, or discharged. Find out whether you qualify due to your job, disability, the closure of your school, or other circumstances.

Visit the Federal Student Aid site of the Department of Education to learn more. Here are a few of the issues addressed on the web page:

  • When loans can be forgiven, cancelled or discharged
  • How to find out if you qualify for loan forgiveness, cancellation or discharge
  • Whether you need to make payments while your case is being reviewed
  • What happens when your loan discharge is approved
  • What happens if it is denied
  • Miscellaneous frequently asked questions

Student Loan Consolidation

An alternative to seeking loan forgiveness is to consolidate student loans. An article in Fox Business reminds us of the potential pitfalls when refinancing your student loans.

If you’re looking for a way to make your student loan payments more affordable, chances are you’ve looked into or heard of student loan refinancing options.

Borrowers with federal student loans can refinance by taking out a Direct Consolidation Loan, or they can take advantage of some non-federal refinancing out there. Keep in mind that most private consolidation options will require a credit check of some sort. If you have a good credit score, that could be great news since you’ll get an even better interest rate. But if you have bad credit, refinancing may actually be more expensive than sticking with the loans you have now.

It’s possible refinancing will cost you a lot of money if you overlook crucial components of what your new deal will look like. Make sure you’ve considered the possible impact of this decision before you apply by reviewing the benefits of your loan in its current state.

We have written previously about refinancing for your home. No matter how you proceed in refinancing it is always a good idea to sit down in a quiet room with pencil and paper and do the numbers. Consolidation can provide good student loan relief or it may not. The only way that you are going to find out is to get the numbers and do a little figuring. For a good place to start looking for student loan relief solutions visit this link. They offer analysis of your debt situation without extracting any obligation. Real life examples include reducing a $157 a month payment to $45 a month, reducing the length payments and reducing the amount eventually paid.  There is no good reason to continue paying too much on your student loans when there are other options. Check them out now. You can do so at no cost and you may find out that you qualify for debt forgiveness or can negotiate your debt down to a more manageable number!

Indications and Risk of Xarelto

Xarelto is a new medication meant to decrease the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation (an irregular beating of the heart). The drug is also prescribed for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (clots deep in the legs and in the lungs). And Xarelto is used to help prevent clots after surgery. Like all medications that help prevent clots Xarelto can also cause bleeding. There have been deaths from bleeding attributed to Xarelto. Here we have put together information available about the indications and risks of taking Xarelto taken from the manufacturer’s web site. As always when taking a prescription drug make sure you are clear about why you are taking it and what the risks are and never be afraid to call your doctor if you have questions.

Why Use Xarelto

A common reason to use this drug is if you have atrial fibrillation. The atrium is the upper part of the heart where the heart beat initiates. When the atrium fibrillates it does not send a constant stream of impulses to the lower part of the heart, the ventricles. So, the ventricles beat anyway. But the quivering of the atrium which is not beating in rhythm is a common cause for blood clots. If a clot forms in the left Atrium it can pass on to the brain and cause a stroke. Or, if the clot forms in the right Atrium it can pass into lungs, a pulmonary embolism. And, if a clot forms after surgery or for other reasons in the deep veins of the legs it can break loose, pass through the right chambers of the heart and also lodge in the lungs, another way to get a pulmonary embolism. All of these outcomes can be dangerous and even fatal.

Are There Other Choices?

Doctors also prescribe warfarin, heparin and variations of these drugs to treat, break up or prevent blood clots. Sometimes patients are simply advised to take baby aspirin a couple of times a week. This can reduce the likelihood of a clot and is generally less likely to cause bleeding. Aspirin is also not as effective in preventing clots. Bleeding is the dangerous side effect of Xarelto and other drugs used to prevent to treat clots.

Risks of Taking Xarelto and other Clot-Preventing Drugs

If you are taking Xarelto your risk of bleeding goes up if you also take aspirin, drugs like Advil, other clot prevention drugs like warfarin or heparin or Plavix. When taking Xarelto people are more likely to bruise easily. In general you should not be taking this drug unless you have a clearly defined indication such as atrial fibrillation. If you get prolonged nose bleeds, blood in your urine, vomit blood, see that your stools are black and tarry or are coughing up blood you need to see a physician immediately.

If You or a Loved One Experienced Significant Bleeding

There should be clearly defined reasons why you are taking a drug like Xarelto. You should be advised of these reasons so that you understand. You should be advised of and understand any and all risks. If there are clear warning signs you should advise your physician and he or she should act according to the medical standard for the use and that drug. If you believe that standard medical practice was not followed in your case and that you suffered unnecessary consequences such as dangerous bleeding you are entitled to damages. In addition any drug manufactured and prescribed in the USA must do what it is said to do and must not carry unnecessary risk for the patient. These can be difficult questions to answer and are best left to experts to decide. If you believe that you or a loved one were hurt by the use or misuse of Xarelto consult someone who can help. In researching this article we found a useful website in this regard. Click this link to learn more. If you have any questions about any of this consult your physician and if you are not getting clear answers visit the link.

Home Loan Refinancing Help

Do you need home loan refinancing help? When refinancing a home you are seeking to replace an existing debt with a newer one. There are several reasons why you may wish to do this but in the end you want better terms than you currently have. This can be a tedious and difficult process. Getting home loan refinancing help up front is always a good idea. Here are a few thoughts about home loan refinancing, where it is available and best ways to proceed.

Why Do You Want to Refinance?

Common reasons for refinancing include:

  • Taking advantage of significantly lower interest rates
  • Consolidation of several debts into a sign home loan
  • Reduction of monthly payments with loan restructuring
  • Covert your variable rate home loan into a fix rate loan
  • Take equity from your home for a new business or other purpose

When you are having financial problems you are typically refinancing a home to restructure your debts. As an example, debt consolidation services commonly roll high interest credit card debt obligations into a home mortgage. This gives you a lower debt and lower monthly payments. But remember that doing this also gives the lender the right to force a sale of you home if you cannot keep up on payments.

Things to Be Aware of

Getting out of an existing mortgage can be difficult and expensive. It is common that fixed term mortgages have penalty clauses, also called call provisions. There may be a penalty to get out of you current mortgage. There can also be refinancing transaction fees. There are times that these penalties and fees eliminate any advantage that might otherwise come from refinancing a home. It is really important when refinancing a home to do the numbers. Figure the up-front, ongoing, and potentially variable costs of refinancing to decide whether to refinance or not. If this is unclear to you get help. When researching this article we ran across a service that might help. Click here for more info about home loan refinancing help.

The Point about Points

Just like when you got your first mortgage there are points to consider. These are usually one percent of the total loan amount although if you pay higher points you may get a lower interest rate. When a lender really wants your business he may offer negative points and actually finance part of your mortgage. Here, again is where getting expert help is essential as it can make the difference between a successful refinancing and significant problems later on.

A Few Possibilities

Here are a few options just offered in the last couple of years by the Obama Administration. They are designed to help homeowners like you who may find themselves owing more than their home was worth. Those listed here to not require an appraisal.

FHA Streamline Refinance: This option offers extremely low interest rates in refinancing a home provided that one has an FHA home loan that was endorsed before the end of May in 2009.

VA Loan Refinance: This option may be of help if you are a veteran of United States military service. The Veteran’s Administration offers Interest Rate Reduction Refinances IRRR for Veteran Home Owners who wish  to reduce their interest rate, with no appraisal.

HARP Refinance: The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was launched in 2009. This is a program to specifically help people whose homes fell in value to less than the amount of their mortgage due to the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008.

USDA Home Loans: This is a United States Department of Agriculture program. It is largely limited to those whose livelihoods fall within the jurisdiction of the USDA. If you qualify refinancing a home can be very beneficial.

As always when dealing with property sit down and do your math. Shop around for the best deal. There are various businesses that do this routinely.  For more info visit this link.

Disney Family Cruise

With the North American winter set to arrive in a few months a great idea just might be a cruise. In fact, if you are thinking of surprising your loved one with a fantastic gift for the holidays a cruise can be ideal. With these thoughts in mind we are taking a look at a cruise option for people who like to travel and have children. Traveling with the kids can be a lot of fun and it can be difficult if you end up having to continually cater to the needs of one of the family and miss out on things that others want to do. One great option in this regard is a Disney family cruise. These cruises go to lots of great places and they feature entertainment suitable for all ages. There are typically day care/babysitting services available so that mom and dad can enjoy a romantic dinner while the kids are safe and secure, and not bored. And if you go on a Disney family cruise you will find that the cruise is set up for a family and is not a swinging singles get together which is commonly inappropriate for couples with small children.

The purpose of a Disney family Cruise is to do something fun and exciting with your family. There are romantic vacation destination and cruises that cater to the idea of finding that someone special on a cruise. But if you already have that someone special in your life and the two of you have three children, you probably want a Disney family vacation cruise. Any if you have already visited Disney Land, Disney World and other assorted theme resorts you may want to see more of the world. A Disney family cruise is a great way to do this and do so in an environment that is safe and fun for all. You can take a Disney family cruise to lots of places.

California Coast
Disney’s Castaway Cay
Panama Canal

More often than not the port you leave from on a cruise has a lot to offer. So, where can you cruise from with a Disney family cruise?

San Diego
San Juan
Port Canaveral

These are all great cities to visit and there is nothing wrong with spending a day or two touring your departure port city before heading off on a Disney family cruise.

The cost of a Disney family cruise varies with the departure port, size of your family and the package you choose. Here is an example for a January 4, 2015 Caribbean cruise departing from Miami, 2 adults and 2 teenage children. The 5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise sells for $2,816 for an inside stateroom. If a Disney family cruise interests you take a look at their web site and dream a little.

Making the Cruise a Little More Affordable

In researching this article we ran across an offer that might help you or help someone whom you want to send on a Disney family cruise. It is a $1000 Visa Gift Card. Take a look. It might just be the thing that you need.

Want a CVS Gift Card for the Holidays?

The holiday shopping season is not all that far away. It will soon be time to figure out just what to get for all of those hard-to-shop-for people in our life. Want a suggestion? Think gift cards! What can you do with a gift card? First of all you can give gift cards for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. The recipient gets to shop for the things that they want and you get to quit buying the wrong thing every year. And when you get a gift card you do not have to smile and say thank you for a gift that is something you absolutely hate!  When you get a gift card for a retailer like CVS you have a large range of options from pharmaceuticals to diapers for the baby and snacks for late night TV.

About Gift Cards

Market research of women shows that the most popular gift choice for a woman is a gift card. For men gift cards rank number three. A gift card is an electronically encoded plastic card similar to a credit card. The point of giving a gift card is that you do not have to guess what kind of gift to give. Many cards are limited to a specific mall or retailer. Gift cards replaced gift certificates when printers became sufficiently sophisticated that they could produce counterfeits. Blockbuster was the first to use encoded plastic cards instead of paper gift certificates.

About CVS

We did as if you might want a CVS gift card.  For a quick look at what CVS has to offer take a look at This retail chain of pharmacies may already be where you pick up your vitamins or birth control pills. CVS has lots of things that you need, lots of things that you might want and lots of sales. Especially if you have a free CVS gift card this can be a great place to shop. Please take a look at the offer we ran across while researching this article. You can get a $1,500 CVS gift card by taking a few easy steps.

How a Gift Card Works

A gift card can be for one time use or can be rechargeable. The card balance is maintained on the card itself as well in the database of the processor. They can be custom made for an individual or individual store or can be a “white card” with no specific identification. Often companies reward their employees with gift cards in which case the card may carry the company name or the name of where the card can be used such as with a CVS Gift Card. All the recipient of the card needs to do is take it to the retailer and use it to make a purchase. Sometimes the card is set up so that the person receives change in cash and sometimes the card is simply debited. There are often time limits on the use of gift cards so do not let your gift card from last Christmas go unused for too long or you may find that your gift evaporated over time. Often times retailers drive sales with gift cards so check out the CVS gift card offer and see if you can save money.

Refinance Your Home

There may be several reasons to refinance your home. These include raising cash to pay debts or for investment on one hand. And on the other you may choose to refinance your home in order to take advantage of a lower interest rate and repayment terms on your mortgage. When you refinance your home because of large debts the process is better termed debt restructuring. A common reason to refinance is to convert your mortgage from a variable rate with a balloon to a fix rate with a long term. Debt consolidation is often why you will choose to refinance your home. You usually get a better rate over all and just one monthly payment to make. And, the mortgage interest payments on your home are tax deductible.

Risks When You Refinance Your Home

When you repay a fixed term loan early there are often call provisions or penalty clauses as well as closing fees transaction fees on the refinancing process. Sit down and calculate these costs before you refinance your home as there are times when the costs of refinancing hour outweigh the benefits. Another thing to consider is even if you get a lower interest rate and a very long term loan, the long term payments in interest may be considerable. You may find yourself paying a lot longer that you thought and paying a lot more than you bargained for. A wise man once said that there is no problem that cannot be solved in a quiet room with paper and pencil. Consider this approach when deciding if the risks and costs outweigh the benefits of refinancing your home.

Paying Points or Not

When you refinance your home you often need to pay a percentage of the loan total up front. This payment is what they are talking about when they refer to points. One point is one percent. Very commonly the more points you pay the lower interest rate you get. And when lenders really want to be loaning out money they may actually pay your points for you! These loan discounts are often referred to as negative points.


If you need to refinance your home find out if you qualify for a HARP mortgage. HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. The Federal Housing Finance Agency set up this program in March of 2009 in the wake of the collapse of the United States residential housing bubble. The purpose of a HARP mortgage is to help homeowners whose payments on their mortgage are current but who are unable to refinance because home values fell dramatically. This is a program for folks whose mortgages commonly exceed the values of their homes, who are still making payments and who need an option for refinancing a home.

Are You a Veteran?

Veterans of United States military service qualify for VA loans. This option may be of help if you are a veteran of United States military service. The Veteran’s Administration offers Interest Rate Reduction Refinances IRRR for Veteran Home Owners who wish to reduce their interest rate, with no appraisal.


A viable option for a new mortgage or for refinancing your home is an FHA home loan. Check out this option when you need to refinance your home.

The Best Choice for You

There are several ways to refinance your home several reasons why you might want to. For help finding the right choice for you consider dealing with someone who connects borrowers to lenders for a living. Take a look at this offer which we found while researching this article.

Do You Need Help Finding a Job?

Do you need help finding a job? It used to be that you could just walk down the street and check out the help wanted signs or check with local businesses that were always looking for workers. Today it can be harder to find a job and especially a job that pays the bills and a little more. Today’s version of walking down the street is a visit to the internet where there are lots of online employment services. You can post a resume and wait or look to see what sort or jobs are listed that fit you skills and experience. If this has not worked out for you there are services that can give you a little more help finding a job. Visit this service which we ran across while researching this article. In the meantime here are a few things that you can do if you need help finding a job.

Stay Busy and Get Organized

Most experts in this field suggest that when you are looking for work you should consider your job to be just that, searching for jobs. Get up on time in the morning and start looking for work. One of your first steps should be to write down on a piece of paper or in a file on your computer the kinds of jobs you are looking for. Also make a list of your skills and your experience. Where we are heading with this is the fact that getting job is often easier if you can provide a resume listing what you have done and what you can do. If you have a list of impressive jobs and do not have an extended period of unemployment the best sort of resume lists your jobs and responsibilities, most recent first. If you have been out of work for a while or a young and without a lot of work experience use a skills based resume. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are a hard worker, get along well with others, can work independently and are able to take orders and get jobs done on time. Many times employers are more interested in someone with a good attitude and energy level than in someone with years of experience who is not too happy to be looking for a lower paying job with less responsibility than in their last position.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Do you need help finding a job? Your best help is you. Go out and interview for any and all jobs that are available. This gives you multiple chances to practice your interviewing skills and get some feedback. In fact, many companies may be advertising for one job but have others for which they will consider you once they meet you and know what you can do for them. On the other hand many people work in jobs which were not their first choice but which worked out well for them and which they would not now choose to leave.

Do You Still Need Help Finding a Job?

There are a lot of reasons why you may find it difficult to get a job. If that is the case do not be afraid to ask for help. Check this link of this service that helps you search for jobs online and good luck.

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