Wednesday, March 30, 2011

California Tenant Law for Renters at the End of a Lease

Category:U.S. State Population Maps Category:C...
California Population Density Map
Knowledge is power. California has specifics written into their tenant law statutes that affect issues important to renters when they approach the end of their lease. Learn these particulars and how you can maximize the amount of your returned security deposit after you vacate the property.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

How Much Do You Make With a Business Administration Degree?

How much you make with your business degree depends on which degree(s) you have earned and the field of work you choose. When you know which fields pays the most, you may choose the most lucrative specialty you find intriguing. When you see the difference in pay rates according to degree, you can determine which degree best fits your career and income goals. With business administration degrees, enjoy having a potentially unlimited top-end salary.

Associates Degree
The associates degree in business administration has a starting annual salary from about $25,000 per year for positions in retail or banking to $50,000 for a worker in human resources, for instance. Between these high and low salary positions, we find several other jobs such as office manager, executive assistant and customer service representative. Associate degrees in business require two years of full-time study and can be earned at community or state colleges. The Online Business Degree website offers a searchable database of business salaries by city and state.

Bachelors Degree
If you invest two more years of study, you earn a four-year bachelors degree in business administration. Annual starting salaries range from $35,000 to as high as $88,000 for a financial controller, for instance. Between the high and low ranges fall positions such as human resource manager or director, senior accountant or a project manager in Internet technologies or construction. Experienced workers can expect to make more than these starting salaries.

Masters Degree
MBA Master Business AdministrationImage via WikipediaA masters degree in business administration (MBA) elevates starting salaries to a range of $73,000 to $112,000 per year. Lower salaries fall in government or health care administration. A masters degree often requires a substantial financial investment. Oftentimes, MBA degree holders are in greater demand than those holding doctorate degrees in business administration. The MBA also enables the holder to teach business subjects at the community college level. According to the Online Business Degree website, having an MBA degree brings at least a $10,000 per year higher starting salary than a bachelors degree. Quintessential Careers states you may start earning as much as $30,000 more income per year upon graduation.

Doctorate Degree
Doctorate degrees include the Doctorate of Philosophy in Organization and Management (PhD) or the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). Both degrees enable their holders to teach at the university level. The PhD degree, however, further prepares the candidate to do scholarly research. Starting salaries are $110,000, and experienced professors can make as much as $150,000 per year. DBA degree candidates focus on learning how to apply business theory to the workplace, as opposed to PhDs who focus on theories of business. Because the focus is on management, chief executive officers often get a DBA degree. Salaries start at $140,000 per year and carry with them a nearly unlimited earning potential.



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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Find New Job Skills and Prosper in Your New Career

So many have lost not only their jobs during the U.S. recession, but their entire industry has evaporated. It has left them with job skills that have no demand in the marketplace. Consider the textile workers with no textile plants left open for business. Even employees in  teaching, government and the postal service, which used to be considered secure jobs, feel the current recession in ways we never dreamed possible.

The result of this giant step backwards economically is an influx of adults searching for ways to develop new, more marketable job skills. They search for a career field they can get excited about going to every day.

Maybe you can find your bliss in one of the following career areas. They range from building inspector to radio sales and everything in between. If you are like me, what you learn will surprise you. 

US Navy 090811-N-9689V-003 Kathleen Lefevre, a...Image via Wikipedia
a nurse practitioner from International Relief Team

 Training Specialist Qualifications - This is my own, personal dream career.
Dental Hygienist School Scholarships - By the time you finish your training, maybe Americans will once again be able to afford to have their teeth cleaned.
How Much Does a Job in Radio Sales Pay? - only a high school education required, in some cases
Job Training for Payroll Specialists - Payroll has become big business as more and more businesses outsource this task to payroll companies.
How to Become a Domestic Violence Counselor - an unusually rewarding career
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist - These two fields combine into an amazing speciality.
Salaries in Corporate Finance - Make the big bucks.
What Are the Phlebotomy Qualifications? - short training if you need income quickly
ANA Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements - nearly the income of a doctor without all the responsibility and overhead
Building Inspector Certification in Maryland - Do you know the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?
Financial Planner Certification Courses - Certified Financial Planners are the creme-de-la-creme amongst financial planners.
What Is the Average Salary of a Lepidopterist? Can you guess was a lepidopterist is? Hint: They study something colorful that has wings.
Education Requirements for a Planetary Geologist Career - This is a fascinating specialty within geology.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Head of Household and Dependent Tax Questions Clearly Answered

April 15 often arrives with little or no fanfare or warning. Many of us still struggle with late 1099s, recordkeeping lapses and finding the time to get those tax returns done and done correctly. Once you sit down for the daunting task of doing your taxes, questions often loom large. Here are a couple such questions essential to correctly filing our tax returns. They deal with our filing status and our exemptions--who can we claim? and who can we not claim? Read the following two articles I recently wrote for eHow Money.

What Is the Head of Household When Filing Taxes?
Can You Claim a Dependent Who Is Not a U.S. Citizen?

Federal_Debt-VS-TaxesImage via Wikipedia
Federal Debt (red) vs. Taxes (Blue High Tax Bracket/Green Bottom Tax Bracket
1929 - 2009 in 10-year increments
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

FCAT Games for Florida Test Preparation

State seal of FloridaImage via WikipediaThe Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, (FCAT), a achievement test required in public schools each year, tests students in several different subjects which vary by grade. Some FCAT scores are crucial to the student's passing to the next grade. Because of its pivotal nature, teachers and parents prepare vigorously for the test.

So, I have prepared a brief article that outlines games you can play to help prepare students for the FCAT exams.

Why games? Reluctant learners are more likely to engage in a game than in boring, rote memorization or other review methods. So, whether your child or students face the FCAT exam or not, consider using these games to boost their academic prowess. Anytime you can combine learning with fun, everyone wins.

Click here to see games for Science, Math & Vocabulary: FCAT Games
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Home and Garden Topics for Homeowners

Water flowing from a tapImage via Wikipedia
tap water
Here in Florida, Spring has sprung. I realize some of my readers are still in snow-covered surroundings. If you are one of those, you may have to dream a bit. But, today I share with you a list of articles published with either eHow Home and Garden or eHow Money in recent months.

I hope you find something of interest. I love your comments. So, leave me a comment, ok?

Should I Drink Tap Water?
Should I Line My Garden With Plastic Sheeting? - Is it worth the expense?
Cowboy Nursery Themes - How fun is this?
Is it Better to Buy Solid Granite or Granite Tile for a Kitchen Counter? - excellent expert advice here
How Often Should You Clean a Wood Burner Chimney? - There is nothing like a wood burning stove.
How Much Should Egyptian Cotton Sheets Cost? - You have got to try these sheets.
Should You Keep Your Pond Pump Running in Winter? - What if you do?
Methods for Testing Soil pH - Gardeners heads up - neat new tool for measuring pH
Reasons for Subprime Mortgage Problems - ***one of my personal favorites*** - Send this link to all your friends. Americans need to understand how we got in this shape with our real estate values.
Washington State Real Estate Law - state-specific
Energy Saver Tax Credits for Tankless Water Heaters - tax help for homeowners
High Efficiency Water Heater Tax Credits - Get those tax credits where you can, homeowners.
What Does it Take to Refinance a Mortage? - Will refinancing save you money?
The Housing Bubble in California in the 1990s - interesting information I uncovered on this one
Government Solar Power Incentives for Home Owners - more tax help for homeowners

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Government Solar Power Incentives for Home Owners

Tax credits for home solar energy projects have not changed for 2011. In 2010 and 2011, your tax credit is 30 percent of its cost up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity. After installing your solar system, you can expect lower energy bills, further increasing your savings. As always, you must navigate some tricky government stipulations to qualify for the tax credit. Do your due diligence before you invest in a solar energy system for your home.

Requirements for a Solar Panel Federal Tax Credit
Installations of solar hot water installations...Image via Wikipedia
Installations of Solar Water Heaters Worldwide

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic systems, must provide electricity for your home--not just for a swimming pool or hot tub--in order to qualify for a federal tax credit. Like solar water heaters, they must also meet all fire and electrical code requirements for your area. Improvements may be on an existing home or for new construction. The full cost of the solar water heating system, including labor or installation fees, is used in figuring your tax credit.

Requirements for Solar Water Heater Federal Tax Credit

To qualify as a tax credit, your solar water heater system must generate at least half of its energy from the sun. The system must either be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation or a similar organization which your state endorses. The water being heated by your solar system must be used within the dwelling--not just for warming a swimming pool or hot tub. The photovoltaic system must pass all fire and electrical code requirements. According to the Energy Star website, if the system is an All Energy Star Qualified solar water heater, it qualifies for the tax credit. To get your tax credit, file IRS Form 5695 when you file your tax returns.
State Grants for Solar Power

While residents of all 50 states qualify for the federal tax credits, according to only a fraction of the states offer grants for solar power home projects. CalFinder website names nine states and provides links to their grant programs including: Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state. In addition, Solar Power Rocks website has a search system allowing homeowners to search for solar rebates, tax credits and incentives in their home state as well as the state of their vacation home.
Government/Utility Company Incentives

Many utility companies work in conjunction with federal, state and county tax refunds and incentive programs which help make solar more affordable. The utility company can hook your solar system up to the nation's power grid and direct the excess power generated by your solar system to other households. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one such example. Sacramento residents may use SMUD's online Clean Power Estimator to analyze the feasibility of installing solar with all available federal, state and local incentives. Check with your area's utility company for similar programs.
Look for this logo when considering your new r...Image via WikipediaReferences:

Energy Star; Frequent Questions: Is there a tax credit for solar water heaters? Which States Offer Government Grants for Home Solar Power?

Solar Power Rocks; Michigan State Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives; January 2010

Sacramento Municipal Utility District: Clean Power Estimator

Resources:; More N.J. Homeowners Invest in Rooftop Solar Systems... ; October 2009

Electricity Science and Solutions for Solar; Government Solar Programs Offer... ; January 2011

Go Solar California; The California Solar Initiative - CSI

City of Roseville California: Solar Rebates

Go Solar California; Solar Incentive Programs by Utility

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Compare and Save on Auto Insurance

When was the last time you compared your auto insurance policy with the competitors' prices? Did you know you can compare your present carrier with other carriers by going online? Do you wish you could lower your monthly car insurance premium?

To do so, visit a website such as Automobile Insurance - (AIM)  and follow the simple prompts. Determine quickly whether you present policy has affordable rates for collision, comprehensive and liability. Save money on theft protection and let the program verify that you have the proper kinds of coverage, such as whether you need no-fault in your state.

Find the best rates by taking a competitive approach. Let AIM compare six top-name insurers such as Allstate, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm with a single search. That has to be easier than fielding six long, drawn-out questionaires by six hungry insurance agents. Let your computer do the dirty work and read the results from all six with one comparison quote. In a few minutes you have what you need to know to save the most money possible of your auto insurance premiums.

Make Your Master Bedroom Into an Idyllic Romantic Spot

Up the drama in your master bedroom with a little investment of time, effort and money. Make two quick and easy changes by shopping online. These two changes can transform your master bedroom from boring to sentimental, amorous or passionate depending on your goals.

For maximum impact in a single sweep, replace your master bed linens--top to bottom. A good shopping site I found features a $30 to $300 price range for bedroom-transforming options from all over the internet. They compare all your options. You can search for hotel collection bedding options, for instance. Or, if you seek some serious luxury, search comforter sets queen. Here you find major name brands, Egyptian cotton, European linen choices and, my personal favorite, comfortors and duvets.

The shop-by-color feature makes this shopping site different from most as it helps you find what lights your fire and then narrows the possibilities. Using search features, select the color scheme, price range, brand, material and/or store choices that matter to you, and everything on the web that fits your criteria comes up for your review.

But, to make your makeover complete, do not stop there. Look at the fine details. A flame speaks directly of romance, right?  So, light up the night in style. Select from a selection of hurricane lamps and you add instant romance to the feeling of your newly remade master bedroom. For the budget conscious, options start at under $20. For maximum impact, check out the $8,000+ fine art chandeliers.
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Winterizing Your Home - Windows and Weather Stripping

Thanks for the guest post by Emmett Coffey

After last winter, I realized I needed to make some changes to get ready for the following year. The two biggest changes come from new windows and weather stripping the doors. The best part is the tax credit I'm due thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

I did some research and found the best replacement windows for my needs were the thermal-type windows. They were a great choice for keeping in the warmth with their double panes of glass. They will also work to keep in the cool air in summer which is another reason I chose them. They are going to pay for themselves by saving me money on my heating and air conditioning bill.

The other improvement I had to do was replace all the weather stripping around the doors. I did not realize just how much cold air was pouring in until I tested it with a thermometer. It read about ten to fifteen degrees cooler that the rest of the house. The whole process was pretty quick and just a weekend DIY-project I did myself.

If anyone else is planning to winterize their homes I would look at these two big heating and energy eaters and I would also suggest checking out JUST ENERGY rewards . With a little investment in time and money I plan to stay warm in the winters and cool in the summers.

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Maui Real Estate Recovery Wobbly But Certain

2000 Yen banknote with Shureimon.Image via Wikipedia
Yen banknote
While 2009 was a tough year for Maui real estate, Hawaii began seeing signs of recovery during the first three quarters of 2010. As reported by Hawaii Star, like the rest of the United States, the real estate recovery in Maui has continued in a rather uncertain manner. While real estate prices continued to drop, sales volume has increased at a hefty clip with properties selling at much improved rates over 2009.

The drop in Maui real estate prices explains, in part, why properties are selling. They are a great deal. According to A Daily Shot article entitled "The Yen Influences Real Estate in Hawaii", the Japanese visit Hawaii because half the residents are Asian. When you couple this Japanese love of Hawaii with the beneficial exchange rate between the Japanese yen and the American dollar, you have an almost irresistable bargain. The Japanese are buying low in hopes of selling high.

But, let us not forget the power of tourism in the Maui economy. While the stalled national economy has taken a toll on all states who depend on tourism, Maui has an advantage. Today, Jeanna Bryner, Managing Editor for Live Science, announced the results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index research project.

The survey randomly surveyed over 350,000 adults in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. They were questioned about their wellbeing in six categories: life evaluation (now and in five years), emotional health, their work environment, physical health, healthy behavior, and basic access issues such as the accessibility of health care or a safe place to exercise, for instance. Hawaii was ranked the number one place to be for maximum well-being nationwide.

Take note real estate investors. This feel-good sort of publicity will likely continue to stimulate the recovery of Maui's real estate market. Do you agree?

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Arizona Grants to Start a Business

The second most common reason new businesses fail is inadequate or improper financing, according to Venture Worthy. Finding the right organizations that fund businesses like yours can be tricky until you learn the basics. Find state-specific grants, but do not stop there. Startup grants which are available to businesses nationwide apply to Arizona businesses, too.

Grants for Women
Women own a majority of new businesses. You might expect that the government offers many grants to help women-owned businesses. But the federal government offers more business loans than business grants. Grant funding for women-owned businesses comes primarily from nonprofits and private organizations. These hard-to-find grants, according to the Small Business Administration, focus primarily on funding minority women in business and women doing business in economically disadvantaged communities. lists dozens of grants for women.

Federal Grants for Technology

Federal grants are very limited. Two programs do exist: Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). Both programs fund technology research and development which has commercial potential. According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, both programs fund grants for small businesses, and they expect to fund up to $1.9 million in fiscal 2011. STTR and SBIR encourage technological innovation in the private sector by providing grant funding for all three steps toward commercialization. Phase 1 is for feasibility studies. Phase 2 funds research and development, and Phase 3 moves into the commercialization phase.
                                        Business Plan Competitions                                            

Arizona State University logoImage via Wikipedia Why not enter your business plan in one or more business plan competitions? Arizona State University's ASU Innovation Challenge awards up to $10,000 to the winner. Candidates must be undergraduate or graduate students of ASU. First, judges evaluate the written business proposals based on the perceived level of impact, implementation and innovation each business plan would have in solving one of the named Innovation Challenges. Winning finalists compete by giving five-minute elevator speeches before a panel of judges. If you have a different alma mater, check your school for possible business plan competitions.
                                                                Nationwide Grants

With search engines, find opportunities to fund your Arizona startup with grant funding that might work just as well for someone in another state as it would for you in Arizona. For instance, Cheap Therapy sponsors the $500 Pay it Forward Grant which is open to entrepreneurs. When it works for you, they ask that you "pay forward" the $500 to another deserving recipient and let your grantor know when you are able to do so.

Arizona Job Training Program

If your new enterprise will create jobs in Arizona, the Arizona Job Training Program will reimburse you for up to 75 percent of eligible training expenses for your employees. This Net New Grant program includes the cost of designing and delivering training plans customized specifically for your business needs. Application for the program is first-come, first-served and based on funds available on the date of your approval.
U. S. Small Business Administration: Women Owned Businesses; Arizona State Business Plan Competition 2011; Women Grants & Scholarships

Venture Worthy; Grants for Starting a Small Business

Arizona Commerce Authority; What is SBIR/STTR?

Arizona Commerce Authority: Arizona Job Training Program

Resources:; State Contacts: Arizona Contacts

Alternate Energy Sources: Governments Offer All Kinds Of Solar Energy Grants Loans and Grants

Cheap Therapy; Pay It Forward, January 2011; SBIC Program: Seeking SBIC Financing for your Small Business
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