Fashion services – OZ Springfield http://ozspringfield.com/ Fri, 01 Apr 2022 11:29:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9 https://ozspringfield.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/icon-1-73x150.png Fashion services – OZ Springfield http://ozspringfield.com/ 32 32 London payday lenders targeted by protesters calling for change https://ozspringfield.com/london-payday-lenders-targeted-by-protesters-calling-for-change/ Fri, 01 Apr 2022 01:24:00 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/london-payday-lenders-targeted-by-protesters-calling-for-change/ Local members of a national group representing low- and middle-income families demonstrated Thursday against payday loan and check cashing operators. ACORN Canada members conducted an awareness campaign aimed at putting pressure on high interest lenders. The small protest at 5 p.m. was one of many protests across Canada, timed to raise awareness on behalf of […]]]>

Local members of a national group representing low- and middle-income families demonstrated Thursday against payday loan and check cashing operators.

ACORN Canada members conducted an awareness campaign aimed at putting pressure on high interest lenders.

The small protest at 5 p.m. was one of many protests across Canada, timed to raise awareness on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people struggling to support themselves and their families nationwide.

London-based ACORN Canada member Claire Wittnebel says they are being exploited by what she calls “predatory lenders”.

“People don’t come here [payday loan locations] because they want to, they come here because they have no other options. We want more options to be available. If that’s the only option, we want it to be more controlled and less predatory,” she said.

Members say a federal Liberal promise to reign in high-interest lenders has yet to be fulfilled. They say this needs to be a priority, especially as pandemic grants end.

ACORN says its own survey found that more than 83% of people applying for payday loans and installment loans do so just to meet their basic needs, including food and rent.

Londoner Betty Morrison, who is on disability, says she is one of them.Londoner Betty Morrison tells CTV News she’s struggling to repay a payday loan, March 31, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV News)“It’s an endless cycle. You are always borrowing from one to pay the other, to borrow from the other. And you get to a point where you just don’t know where to turn,” she says.

It’s the same story for a mom who’s been trying to pay off a $300 loan for two years. Still, Dezeare Sturgeon says all she can manage to cover is the $40 monthly interest.

“I will never be free. I just can’t afford to do it. I will be stuck in this forever,” she explains.

ACORN says payday loans are only part of the problem. The group backs installment loans, which typically start at $1,500 and often carry an interest rate of 60%.

Members are calling on the federal government to force high-interest lenders to reduce the number to no more than 30%, including fees.

They also want more loan options for people facing financial insecurity, including Morrison.

She says she is about to lose her apartment because its landlord is selling to take advantage of the booming property market.

Meanwhile, as Morrison struggles with payday loans for food, she can’t find affordable housing.

“Rejected by the owners, rejected by everyone because of my income. It’s just crazy,” she said.

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Is access to earned wages the way of the future? 5 tips for employers looking to attract and retain talent with pay-as-you-go | Fisher Phillips https://ozspringfield.com/is-access-to-earned-wages-the-way-of-the-future-5-tips-for-employers-looking-to-attract-and-retain-talent-with-pay-as-you-go-fisher-phillips/ Thu, 31 Mar 2022 19:28:59 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/is-access-to-earned-wages-the-way-of-the-future-5-tips-for-employers-looking-to-attract-and-retain-talent-with-pay-as-you-go-fisher-phillips/ To combat a tight job market and a seemingly shrinking workforce, employers are looking for creative ways to retain and attract talent. An Earned Wage Access Policy – ​​a groundbreaking benefits program that gives employees near-instant access to their pay – might just be what gives companies the edge. In fact, companies using these benefit […]]]>

To combat a tight job market and a seemingly shrinking workforce, employers are looking for creative ways to retain and attract talent. An Earned Wage Access Policy – ​​a groundbreaking benefits program that gives employees near-instant access to their pay – might just be what gives companies the edge. In fact, companies using these benefit programs experienced 19% lower turnover rates. Among companies that have already added access to earned pay to their compensation packages, 89% of employees reported feeling more motivated and productive at work when they had access to their pay before payday and 74% reported reported having fewer unplanned absences. But with many states plagued with onerous employment laws, what do employers need to know about access to earned wages to implement a program successfully?

Access to Earned Wages (EWA): what is it?

Access to Earned Salary or Advance Salary Access is an innovative method of paying salaries. Traditionally, payroll is run most often on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. But now, employers – by partnering with EWA suppliers – can offer employees immediate access to earned wages for hours already worked. Rather than waiting for their bi-weekly payday, an employee can access their earned pay within hours of completing their job.

This program differs from the practice of payday loans. With EWA programs, the key is that employees have already done the work they are being paid to do. This program simply allows them to receive their earned compensation before their traditional payday. The benefit is administered through an EWA provider who typically offers payroll access to employees through many means, including direct deposit, Automated Clearinghouse Transfer (ACH), or a payroll debit card ( i.e. a payment card).

From 2018 to 2020, EWA vendors processed nearly $15 billion in advance payroll transactions. We anticipate that these numbers will continue to grow, and that the options and how salaries can be paid and accessed on-demand will continue to evolve as fintech companies continue to expand this space. In this overview, we will provide a general overview of EWA programs and five critical issues that employers should assess to successfully implement an earned wage access program. Stay tuned for more information on EWA and payment card usage, how EWA can work for employees seeking cryptocurrency compensation, and more.

5 Tips to Help Employers Successfully Implement an EWA Benefits Program

EWA is becoming increasingly popular as an attractive employee benefit. This is not surprising given that there are 56 million Gen Y employees and 65 million Gen Z employees in the current workforce. The debate over whether EWA actually benefits employees is already fierce, but what is clear is that many employees want and may soon expect this benefit as part of their jobs. Indeed, more than 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, leading to increased pressure to come up with plans to make ends meet between paydays. This pressure is likely to feel amplified with gas prices and soaring inflation.

If you run a business that employs low-income earners or younger generations who want their money fast, you might consider adding EWA. However, depending on the state you are operating in, there are several things you should consider. This article discusses five top tips for employers – but this list is not exhaustive and your organization should consult with your wage and hour attorney before taking the plunge.

Tip #1: Make sure any EWA benefits program complies with state and federal wage and hour laws.

Since EWA programs are a somewhat new benefits offering, compliance with applicable workplace laws is of the utmost importance. In particular, employers must be careful to comply with specific state laws, including, but not limited to, those related to:

  • Salary deductions. In states that prohibit or limit payroll deductions, employers must ensure that employees receive their full pay and are offered a free option to take advantage of the EWA benefit. Many states strictly limit deductions from earned wages to specific amounts and circumstances defined by law. The general rule is that deductions can only be made if specified by law (for example, for payments such as taxes, medical insurance premiums, etc.) or with express written permission (at limited purposes). Employers should review the EWA program to ensure wages can be obtained without incurring expense and keep a close eye on state law.
  • Fair payment of wages. Employers must ensure that any EWA benefits program properly processes and pays wages in a timely manner. Data management is extremely important, as hours worked and wages earned must be properly and accurately recorded and transmitted to the EWA provider. It is important to ensure that the EWA in turn passes on the salaries to the employees.
  • Salary assignments. At this point, there are no laws or guidelines that specifically address wage assignment in the context of EWA. However, it is important to note that there are state-specific laws that govern wage assignments. For example, California limits the amount and terms of wage assignments while New York regulates agreements requiring employers to divert an employee’s “future earnings” to a third party. Other states have other specific legal requirements that may need to be followed.
  • No payday loan. Employees should only have access to wages already received. More than a dozen states ban payday loans and others regulate the practice. EWA is an alternative to these practices, so adherence to this model is essential for success. Some other companies provide similar services directly to the public without employer onboarding. These advanced direct-to-consumer services are not the same as employer-integrated EWAs.

Tip #2: Manage and respect data privacy.

Employee personal data is governed by a minefield of laws and regulations. Employers should take precautions when sharing employee data and information.

Tip #3: Take note of benefits implications and deductions.

Paying for benefits using EWA and/or payment cards is a matter that needs to be handled carefully. For example, traditional and legacy benefit plans as well as payroll and deduction issues may arise. Be prepared to resolve issues such as insurance premiums, 401(k) contributions, taxes, garnishments, etc.

Tip #4: Pay attention to federal and state laws governing payment cards.

The use of cash cards for payroll is fairly regulated by the federal government and most states. If an EWA program offers access to wages via payment cards, be sure to review and develop a program that complies with applicable federal and state laws.

Tip #5: Make sure the EWA supplier has experience in the area and pay attention to contract language.

Choosing an EWA provider is very important. Some providers work with large national employers and have significant track records to facilitate these programs, and others are new to the market with fewer capabilities. Carefully consider the client portfolio of major vendors, their experience in your industry, and their financial capabilities based on the size of your organization.

When evaluating an EWA provider, it is important to clearly identify responsibilities in contracts between employers and EWA providers as a regulatory framework may develop for these programs. Employers should ensure they understand how wages are paid and how the EWA program works. It is also important to pay attention to issues such as indemnification provisions.

Conclusion

EWA’s benefits programs can give companies the edge in attracting and retaining talent and can also soon become expected by younger generations within the workforce. Compliance and legal written policies and their implementation will be key to success. Stay tuned for additional information on how this practice is likely to evolve, including how EWA programs may be rolled out with payment cards and screening regulations, as well as how we expect this to happen. that EWA interacts with cryptocurrency.

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How to get the most out of Living Paycheck to Paycheck https://ozspringfield.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/ Thu, 31 Mar 2022 11:00:05 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/ Andrei Popov/Getty Images/iStockphoto If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re not alone. A recent study published in November last year found that seven out of ten US residents live without a financial safety net. While this isn’t an ideal situation, there are ways to make the most of it and (eventually) get out of it. […]]]>

Andrei Popov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re not alone. A recent study published in November last year found that seven out of ten US residents live without a financial safety net. While this isn’t an ideal situation, there are ways to make the most of it and (eventually) get out of it.

For anyone struggling with the daily burden of living paycheck to paycheck, we’ve asked financial experts to step in and help explain how everyone can make the most of the situation. While their tips can help you save money, they can also be used to start building a stronger foundation that can put you on the path to success. Financial independence.

To find: Reasons you’re still living paycheck to paycheck
Also see: 50 insane ways to burn your paycheck

Get a budget

The first thing to do is set a budget and stick to it. Jay Zigmont, founder of Live, learn, plansaid stopping taking on more debt was essential to help break the cycle.

“Lock your credit cards (away) and make debt not a choice,” Zigmont said. “The first step to getting out of debt is to stop going into debt.”

While credit cards are an obvious factor here, there are other red flags to avoid, including predatory payday loans. Budgeting can help you avoid these pitfalls.

“Budgets are like diets; the best is the one that works for you,” Zigmont said.

“Along with my clients, I encourage them to budget for musts, shoulds, coulds and won’ts,” Zigmont added. “Musts are all the things that keep a roof over your head and/or that you have to pay for. You first pay your Musts before going to your Shoulds. If you really get paid paycheck to paycheck, you may never get your power, which reflects your discretionary spending. Add up your must-haves; and, if they are more than you take home, you must either cut some expenses immediately or undertake ancillary work.

Negotiate better rates

Once you’ve organized your budget, it’s time to see what kinds of adjustments you can make to your spending. In some cases, there could be savings hidden in plain sight, as noted by senior counsel Lyle Solomon of Oakview Legal Group.

“Look at your current plans to see if there are any areas where you could save money,” Solomon said. “Are you getting all the benefits included in your phone plan? Do you watch the cable TV you pay for? Is there a chance you could get a better deal from another provider?”

The same can apply to any insurance you pay for, especially when it comes time to renew one of your policies. You can save money by bundling your plans, as some insurers will give you a discount if you have two or more with them.

To find: States where you are most and least likely to live paycheck to paycheck

Granted, this approach won’t work with all of your expenses; and, although you cannot choose a gas or electricity supplier, you can try to negotiate these rates.

“Alternatively, you can reduce your usage to reduce your expenses,” Solomon said, “even if only by a small amount. Many utility companies offer free energy audits, during which they assess your home and identify ways to make it more energy efficient while saving money.

Look for cash back benefits

While looking for better rates with your bills, you can also look for ways to save on other essentials.

“While it’s important to reduce discretionary spending as consumer prices rise, learning how to salvage more for the things you need to buy can reduce rising costs,” said one savings expert. Andrea Woroch noted. “It’s also a good idea to review your current credit card to make sure it’s earning you the most for the types of purchases you make the most.

“Switching to a credit card that offers grocery rewards or gas discounts can make your money grow. Compare credit card reward programs on sites like CardRates.com to find the one that best suits your needs and will earn you the most for your purchases.

Be frugal when shopping

When you need to buy something new, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be “new”. Woroch recommended buying used and refurbished items for these must-have items.

“Buy fashion resale sites like Swap.com that sell gently used clothes, shoes and accessories for the whole family to cut spending by 60-70% on average,” she advised. “Meanwhile, OfferUp is a great place to find used toys and household items, and Best Buy or eBay sell certified refurbished electronics, appliances, and even power tools.”

Start funding your savings

Once you’ve sorted out your expenses and secured the best rates, it’s time to start thinking about how you can start saving.

“Look for a savings account that pays interest but has limited access, so you can’t just transfer the money to a checking account,” Solomon said. “Make an initial contribution to your savings account after opening it, then contribute to it whenever you can.”

To learn: How to build your emergency fund when living paycheck to paycheck

He noted that some savings accounts can be opened with a minimum as low as $25. Once done, you can make deposits there automatically.

“Even if it’s just $10 or $20, knowing that you’re gradually increasing your savings takes the stress out of living paycheck to paycheck,” he added.

If the automated strategy isn’t working for you, he also recommended a “pay yourself first” strategy.

“Before you do anything else with your paycheck, put a modest portion of it into your savings account,” Solomon said. “Depending on your estimated expenses, it could be $5 one week and $25 the next. This strategy will ensure that you save at least some of your income.

To be patient

Obviously, living paycheck to paycheck is not ideal; and, while these changes may help, it will take some time to begin to see any real impact.

“Patience is the key to success,” Solomon warned. “It takes time and energy to get the most out of life from paycheck to paycheck. There are a few areas where you can reduce your expenses and it may take some time. Making even small contributions to a savings account can be incredibly relaxing and motivating.

“But you can do it,” he added. “To be patient.”

More from GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How to get the most out of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

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It’s high time to act on payday loans https://ozspringfield.com/its-high-time-to-act-on-payday-loans/ Thu, 31 Mar 2022 10:01:07 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/its-high-time-to-act-on-payday-loans/ Sometimes the demands made on governments seem so eminently reasonable that it’s amazing they need to be repeated over and over again. In a report released last week, ACORN, a nonprofit group that advocates for low- and middle-income Canadians, once again calls on the federal government to crack down on exorbitant interest rates charged by […]]]>

Sometimes the demands made on governments seem so eminently reasonable that it’s amazing they need to be repeated over and over again.

In a report released last week, ACORN, a nonprofit group that advocates for low- and middle-income Canadians, once again calls on the federal government to crack down on exorbitant interest rates charged by high-cost lenders. .

Flashy outlets offering payday loans and other similar quick-money arrangements at high cost are symbols of desperation on the main streets of nearly every city.

They are the physical manifestation of an inequitable society – a divide both highlighted and deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As ACORN has long argued, lenders benefit the most vulnerable.

The pandemic has made matters worse for those on the fringes, he said. Many of those trying to pay their bills turn to so-called payday loans – small, short-term loans with extremely high annual interest rates.

These loans do not exceed $1,500, must be repaid within 62 days and can bear interest up to 500% in some provinces. They are regulated by provincial governments and lenders are exempt even from the 60% limit on interest.

Some respondents to an ACORN survey also took out what are known as installment loans – longer-term loans of $1,500 to $15,000 that are repaid over a longer period at annual rates of up to 60%.

The result is people falling into pitfalls they can’t escape as they struggle to pay their bills and cover the rising cost of living, ACORN said.

The poor, he said, are the industry’s target market and “lenders continue to exploit people’s vulnerabilities.”

For lenders, “the objective is not to help people but to ensure that the person who took out a loan is trapped in a vicious circle of debt”.

ACORN wants the federal government to reduce the legal limit on interest rates on installment loans to 30% from 60%.

“This should be a priority and the government should act on it, and fast,” Donna Borden, an ACORN leader, told Torstar’s Christine Dobby.

Lenders argue that the reduction in the legal interest rate could actually hurt some borrowers by cutting off all access to financing for those with low credit ratings.

That’s why ACORN also wants the government to force traditional banks to offer more low-cost borrowing options to individuals, backed by the government itself, and cut bank fees charged from $45 to $10. when customers do not have the necessary funds to cover the transactions.

“It is not preference but a lack of choice that is the main factor driving low and middle income people to take out high cost loans,” ACORN said.

The survey notes that while the economic consequences of the pandemic continue to be felt and government supports dwindle, while “the most disadvantaged segments of the population have seen their jobs disappear or face a substantial reduction in working hours. work, senior executives, CEOs and large corporations have seen their wealth increase.

In his mandate letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland in December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked her, among other things, to “crack down on predatory lenders by lowering the criminal interest rate.”

Strong words. But as ACORN said last week, it’s “critical to translate that commitment into action.”

The file is clear and the need is real. The government should get on it.

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Michigan Tackles Dramatic Increase in Problem Gambling https://ozspringfield.com/michigan-tackles-dramatic-increase-in-problem-gambling/ Thu, 31 Mar 2022 04:03:10 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/michigan-tackles-dramatic-increase-in-problem-gambling/ This article is part of Health, a series about how Michigan communities are stepping up to address health challenges. It is made possible thanks to funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Shelby Township resident Nicholas Tabarias’ initiation into problem gambling began in 2014, when he moved in with an aunt who frequently visited the […]]]>
This article is part of Health, a series about how Michigan communities are stepping up to address health challenges. It is made possible thanks to funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Shelby Township resident Nicholas Tabarias’ initiation into problem gambling began in 2014, when he moved in with an aunt who frequently visited the casino.

“She loved to play slot machines and frequented the casino almost every day,” he says. “At first I would accompany her to the casino and watch her play, but eventually the sights and sounds and the idea of ​​the big win… turned into a gambling problem.”

Tabarias started going to the casino every day to play blackjack, Texas hold’em, and tournament poker. He also started showing up late for work or missing work altogether. He started gambling his paychecks, turned to payday loans, and eventually pawned his beloved musical instruments.

“I would lose all my money, rack up debt, and chase my losses by taking out more loans,” he says. “It was a vicious circle that was gradually destroying my life.”

When he wasn’t at the casino, he spent his time researching strategies, like card counting, to improve his chances of winning.

“I thought a big win would solve all my problems, I could take care of myself and my family, and life would be great,” Tabarias said. “Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I was definitely digging a very deep hole. I had to hit rock bottom and realize that I was helpless in the face of the game, that my life had become unmanageable and seeking help.”

Tabaria’s first step on the road to recovery was to call the Michigan Problem Gambling Hotline. Help from Mike Moody, a licensed clinical psychologist who works with the helpline, and a referral to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings were just what Tabarias needed to overcome his addiction.

“I love recovery meetings. You’re welcome with open arms. You’re in a non-judgmental zone and you’re with other people who have very similar stories,” Tabarias says. “It’s like a family unit. You can talk about what you’re struggling with. For me, that really made a difference.”

The Problem Gambling Helpline is a safe bet

Tabarias is far from alone in his problem gambling experience. His call to the problem gambling hotline was one of 4,400 made in 2021 – the first full year that online gambling was legal in Michigan. This number triples calls received in 2020. As online gambling has brought the state $20.5 million in tax revenue and other payments in January 2022 alone, referrals to gambling treatment increased by 42% from 2020 to 2021. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social isolation has left many Michiganders with downtime, stress and anxiety, which increases the urge to play d a problematic player.

“Online gambling led to an increase in gambling activity for those who were already engaged and going to casinos and whatever their gambling activity of choice,” said Alia Lucas, treatment program manager and prevention of gambling disorders in Michigan. “Also, it introduced gambling as an individual game. If you add the increased accessibility with online gambling and sports betting, you now make it even more available. It’s right at your fingertips on your phone or your computer. You don’t have to leave your home. It’s definitely heightened gaming activity.”

The gambling disorder is classified as an addiction-related disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Gambling addiction has the highest intentional suicide rate of any addictive disorder. Problem gamblers are 15 times more likely to commit suicide than the general public.

Signs of problem gambling include being preoccupied with how to get more gambling money; playing with increasing amounts of money; unsuccessfully trying to cut down or stop playing; feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut down; using gambling to escape from problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression; try to recover lost money by playing more; lying about gambling; jeopardize relationships, school, or work opportunities; and steal or borrow to replace money that has been gambled.

“Gambling is a hidden addiction. There really isn’t any physical cue that you can assess to determine if someone is in over their head,” Lucas says. “It takes such a hold and puts such a hole in your life. Often compulsive gamblers see no other way out.”

The expectation of the big win further clouds players’ judgment. Lucas notes that people who win big when they first experience gambling have a 30% higher risk of problem gambling.

“One thing that makes this particular addiction difficult is that the world recognizes gambling as a recreational pastime,” Lucas said. “For a lot of people, it’s normalized in the household. I grew up with family members who played the lottery and I don’t think about it. Some family members may have gambling parties, or you can play bingo at church. We often dismiss problem gambling as a lack of self-control without viewing it as something beyond recreational gambling.”

The state symposium extended the work of the hotline

To Address the Rise in Problem Gambling, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Hosted a Virtual Meeting Gambling Disorder Symposium March 3-4, 2022. The event brought hope to people struggling with problem gambling, those who have loved ones who are problem gamblers, and practitioners who help others with problem gambling. Gambling addiction experts spoke to people who have experienced gambling problems. The symposium also discussed the increase in the number of young people struggling with gambling problems due to online gaming.
Brianne Doura-Schawohl.
“The game has changed, and so have problems,” says Brianne Doura-Schawohl, symposium keynote speaker and CEO of Doura-Schawohl Consulting, a government relations and gaming consultancy. “We are seeing, thanks to the proliferation of online sports and gaming, that hotlines across the United States are experiencing an increase in calls for help, many of whom are young men struggling with sports betting. now that it’s become much easier to play from your phone and from the comfort of your home.”

Doura-Schawohl notes that online access has evolved the game from a release or event to an ever-present temptation. What was once a single opportunity to bet on a sporting event has become a series of real-time bets throughout a match.

“If someone is struggling with gaming disorder, it will negatively impact eight to 10 other people around them. It really is a significant emotional and mental addiction,” says Doura-Schawohl. “The shame and stigma associated with gambling addiction is the worst of all addictions. Many people who struggle do so in silence.”

To further aggravate problem gambling, gamblers can place bets with credit cards and e-wallets funded by credit cards. Other countries, like the UK, Spain, Australia, Germanyand Franceban credit cards and e-wallets and restrict gambling ads.

“With legalization, the aggressive marketing, promotions and bonus offers that are often dangled in front of people are enticing them to gamble more. People are probably gambling when they never would have, and it’s instantaneous” , says Doura-Schawohl. “We are attracting a whole new customer base with this wave and people are getting into gambling for the very first time. Many of them are young and unfamiliar with the risks of gambling.”

While the new generation of problem gamblers tends to be young, white, well-educated, and male, problem gambling does not discriminate. It is no longer relegated to certain populations. And its reach extends beyond financial ruin.

“Gambling involves risk, and so does that sip of alcohol,” says Doura-Schawohl. “Gambling disorders ruin lives. But there’s no reason anyone should struggle in silence. There is help. There is hope. And there are people who want to help. .”

Tabarias found his way to hope on the other side of problem gambling. He hasn’t played in a year and finds serving newcomers in his GA group helps him stay away from playing.

“They also remind me of what I went through. The program helped me change the way I think and live,” says Tabarias. “I was able to pay off my debts. I show up for work and show up on time.”
Nicolas Tabarias.
He also rediscovered his love of music, having released an album and playing shows with his father.

“It’s such a contrast,” says Tabarias.

To reach the Michigan Problem Gambling Hotline, call (800) 270-7117.

A writer and freelance writer, Estelle Slootmaker is happiest writing about social justice, wellbeing, and the arts. She is the development news editor for Fast growing media and The Tree Amigos chairs, City of Wyoming Tree Commission. Her greatest accomplishment is her five incredible adult children. You can contact Estelle at Estelle.Slootmaker@gmail.com or www.constellations.biz.

Photos of Nicholas Tabarias by Nick Hagen.

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Payday Loans for Fashion Services from Acfa Cashflow https://ozspringfield.com/payday-loans-for-fashion-services-from-acfa-cashflow/ Wed, 30 Mar 2022 19:35:19 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/appointment-of-alvaro-bedoya-ftc-to-conduct-senate-vote/ How can payday loans help you get the fashion services you need? Do you need a payday loan for fashion services? If so, ACFA Cashflow is here to help. A payday loan from ACFA Cashflow can help you get the fashion services you need. We offer payday loans and short-term loans to help you cover […]]]>

How can payday loans help you get the fashion services you need?

Do you need a payday loan for fashion services? If so, ACFA Cashflow is here to help. A payday loan from ACFA Cashflow can help you get the fashion services you need. We offer payday loans and short-term loans to help you cover the cost of your fashion services. Whether you need to buy a new outfit for a special occasion or get your hair and nails done for a big interview, we can help. Our payday advance is fast, easy, and confidential. So if you’re in need of some extra cash, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

The different types of payday loans available  from ACFA Cashflow

At ACFA Cashflow, we offer a variety of payday loans to meet your needs. We have payday loans for people with bad credit, payday loans for people who need money fast, and even payday loans for people who are self-employed. We also offer short-term loans, which are perfect for people who need a little more time to pay back their loan. And our payday advance is the perfect solution for people who need cash quickly. So if you’re looking for a loan that fits your unique needs, then ACFA Cashflow is the place to go!

How to choose the best payday loan for your needs?

When it comes to payday loans, there are a lot of different options to choose from. So how do you know which loan is the best for you? Here are a few tips:

First, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. This will help you understand the fees and interest rates associated with each loan

Secondly, make sure the loan fits your budget. Don’t borrow more money than you can afford to pay back

Finally, make sure you choose a reputable lender. ACFA Cashflow is a trusted lender with years of experience in the payday lending industry. 

The benefits of using a payday loan for fashion services

There are a number of benefits to using a payday loan for fashion services. Here are just a few:

  • Payday loans are fast and easy to obtain
  • Payday loans are confidential
  • Payday loans have low interest rates and fees
  • Payday loans can be used for any type of fashion service

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get the fashion services you need, then a payday loan from ACFA Cashflow is the perfect solution! Apply today and see how much money you can borrow. You won’t be disappointed!

How to use a payday loan responsibly?

A payday loan is a great way to get the money you need quickly and easily. But it’s important to use your payday loan responsibly. Here are a few tips:

  • Always borrow the amount of money you need, and no more
  • Make sure you can afford to pay back your loan on time
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully before applying for a payday loan

If you follow these simple tips, then you’ll be able to use your payday loan safely and responsibly. So don’t wait any longer! Apply for a payday loan from ACFA Cashflow today!

Alternatives to payday loans for fashion services

If you’re looking for an alternative to payday loans for fashion services, then there are a few options available. Here are a few of the most popular alternatives:

  • Credit cards: credit cards are a great way to get the money you need quickly and easily. And many credit cards offer low interest rates and rewards programs
  • Personal loans: personal loans are perfect for people who need a little extra money to cover their expenses. Personal loans have low interest rates and flexible repayment terms
  • Bank loans: bank loans are perfect for people who need a large sum of money to cover their expenses. Bank loans typically have lower interest rates than other types of loans

If you’re looking for an alternative to payday loans, then these three options are worth considering. So which one is right for you? Talk to a financial advisor today to find out!

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6 Mistakes Federal Employees Make With Their Savings Plan https://ozspringfield.com/6-mistakes-federal-employees-make-with-their-savings-plan/ Wed, 30 Mar 2022 13:36:00 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/6-mistakes-federal-employees-make-with-their-savings-plan/ A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a type of retirement plan that only federal employees and members of the law enforcement community, including Ready Book, can use. It is a defined contribution plan that provides federal workers with benefits more or less similar to normal pension plans for people working in the private sector. The […]]]>

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a type of retirement plan that only federal employees and members of the law enforcement community, including Ready Book, can use. It is a defined contribution plan that provides federal workers with benefits more or less similar to normal pension plans for people working in the private sector.

The TSP is somewhat similar to a 401(k) plan. The TSP and 401(k) have similar policy structures and payment limits. However, instead of a 401(k), a TSP is provided to a federal employee. Therefore, you cannot have a TSP and a 401(k) at the same time.

Despite all the benefits and ease of management of the Thrift Savings Plan, many federal employees still make a few mistakes when investing in their TSP accounts.

Let’s look at some of the mistakes made by federal employees in their savings plan:

1. Consider not contributing to the TSP

As a federal employee, 5% of your bi-weekly salary must be contributed to your Thrift savings plan. By donating 5% of your salary to your TSP, your agency contributes a maximum of 5% to your plan, doubling your monthly donations. So you end up adding more money to your TSP by paying only half the amount.

Deciding to opt out of TSP is a rookie mistake for a freshly hired employee. The sooner an employee starts investing in the TSP, the more money the TSP has to grow. It will also benefit from tax deferral for regular TSPs and tax exemption for Roth TSPs.

2. Don’t give more than 5% of your income

If having a simple and comfortable retirement is your ideal dream, then a 5% contribution may not be enough. Suppose that a 5% contribution plus your agency’s 5% (totaling a 10% contribution) is insufficient for an employee’s future.

Individuals must save at least 15% of their annual income for retirement (split between your contributions and the company). This means that as an employee, you must save at least 10% of your salary each year to save at least 15% (with a 5% contribution from the employee’s agency) for the year. This is only available to federal employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

3. Invest only in fund G

Most federal employees prefer to invest in the Government Securities Investment Fund, a.k.a Fund G. It’s because they think it’s a safer option. The fund invests in short-term US Treasury securities issued exclusively for the benefit of the TSP, thereby ensuring that the federal government provides payment of principal and interest. The G fund can be a safe bet even when the stock market is in turmoil.

Unfortunately, putting all your money in the G Fund can expose your retirement funds to inflation risk. However, spreading your money between two or more funds (there are five different base funds to choose from) could offer better diversification as well as greater potential for growth. These two benefits will help you counter the corrosive effects of inflation and maintain your purchasing power in retirement.

4. Leaving 401(k) Retirement Plans After Joining the Feds

As a federal employee, when you move from one employer to another, there are a lot of changes. Of course, you might not have known that an employer-sponsored certified retirement plan, like a 401(k) plan, can be transferred directly to an employee’s TSP account after they leave their job. . In the long run, leaving money from your retirement fund in a 401(k) and not keeping track of it can have dire consequences.

5. Playing “catch up” after starting late in the TSP

Many federal employees who start saving for retirement later in their careers or stop contributing to the TSP for a long time mistakenly believe that they can make up for “lost time”. It’s not true. On the other hand, the stock market does not work that way. If a TSP participant does not participate for an extended period, they lose the investment returns that would have been earned had the money been invested.

6. Not using your TSP to pay off your debt

Federal employees and uniformed service members can get a loan from their Thrift savings plan called a TSP loan. They can borrow money from their retirement plan with this type of loan. A TSP loan is usually simple to borrow. If you intend to use the funds for residential purposes, you may need to complete additional documentation.

TSP loans allow you to borrow up to $50,000, as long as you have enough money saved in your TSP fund. You will have a maximum of 5 to 15 years to repay the money. You will have a fixed interest rate, depending on the use of the money. You can have the money deducted from your salary to make the payments.

With the help of a TSP loan, you can eliminate payday loan debtcredit card debt, medical debt, etc. It can also be used to make payments on your student loans or mortgage payments.

Therefore, taking out a loan from your TSP fund may not be a good idea if you are planning to quit your job. If you leave government employment with an unpaid TSP debt, you must repay the full loan amount within 90 days. If the loan amount is not repaid on time, the IRS will treat the full amount as a taxable distribution and tax the total as earned income. Additionally, TSP borrowers under age 59 may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Conclusion

The Thrift Savings Plan is an integral part of all federal and law enforcement employees. If understood and used correctly, the TSP has many benefits to offer its users. It is crucial to keep these errors in mind and rectify them as soon as possible. You never know how much money you might miss out on because of these mistakes.

Lyle Solomon has extensive legal experience as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in consumer credit and drafting. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 2003. He graduated from the McGeorge School of Law at Pacific University in Sacramento, California in 1998 and currently works for the Oak View Legal Group in California as a senior attorney.

© 2022 Lyle Solomon. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Lyle Solomon.

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WESTERN CAPITAL RESOURCES, INC. MANAGEMENT REPORT OF FINANCIAL POSITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (Form 10-K) https://ozspringfield.com/western-capital-resources-inc-management-report-of-financial-position-and-results-of-operations-form-10-k/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 20:12:11 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/western-capital-resources-inc-management-report-of-financial-position-and-results-of-operations-form-10-k/ The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes that appear elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve significant uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed in "Risk […]]]>
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated
financial statements and related notes that appear elsewhere in this report.
This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve significant
uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated
in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including
those discussed in "Risk Factors" elsewhere in this report. For further
information, see "Forward-Looking Statements" below.



OVERVIEW



Fiscal year 2021 net income attributable to WCR common shareholders increased
23.2% year over year, with our Cellular Retail, Manufacturing and Consumer
Finance segments each outperforming 2020 results. Our Manufacturing segment is
new this year, as described in Part I, Item 1, "Business-Recent
Events-Acquisitions," and prior year information is presented on a restated
basis in accordance with the required presentation of pre-transaction
information for entities under common control.



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:

FINISHED EXERCISE DECEMBER 31, 2021 COMPARED TO THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020




Net income attributable to our common shareholders was $10.31 million, or $1.12
per share in 2021 compared to $8.37 million, or $0.88 per share in 2020.
Revenues increased from $150 million in 2020 to $164 million in 2021, with the
Cellular Retail and Direct to Consumer segments being the largest contributors
to the increase, with 19.6% and 2.9% year-over-year growth, respectively.



                                      20




The following table presents certain financial information attributable to common shareholders of BFR by operating segment (in thousands):




                      Cellular       Direct to                           Consumer
                       Retail        Consumer        Manufacturing        Finance        Corporate        Total
Year Ended
December 31, 2021
Revenue from
external customers   $  101,887     $    43,335     $        12,963     $     1,793     $         -     $  159,978
Fee and interest
income               $        -     $         -     $             -     $     4,167     $         -     $    4,167
Total revenue        $  101,887     $    43,335     $        12,963     $     5,960     $         -     $  164,145
% of total revenue         62.1 %          26.4 %               7.9 %           3.6 %           0.0 %        100.0 %
Net income (loss)    $    9,117     $     4,648     $           319     $       665     $    (1,511 )   $   13,238
Net income
attributable to
noncontrolling
interests            $    2,931     $         -     $             -     $         -     $         -     $    2,931
Net income (loss)
attributable to
WCR common
shareholders         $    6,186     $     4,648     $           319     $       665     $    (1,511 )   $   10,307

Year Ended
December 31, 2020
Revenue from
external customers   $   85,209     $    42,114     $        14,890     $     1,784     $         -     $  143,997
Fee and interest
income               $        -     $         -     $             -     $     5,959     $         -     $    5,959
Total revenue        $   85,209     $    42,114     $        14,890     $     7,743     $         -     $  149,956
% of total revenue         56.8 %          28.1 %               9.9 %           5.2 %           0.0 %        100.0 %
Net income (loss)    $    5,934     $     4,947     $           154     $       440     $    (1,073 )   $   10,402
Net income
attributable to
noncontrolling
interests            $    2,035     $         -     $             -     $         -     $         -     $    2,035
Net income (loss)
attributable to
WCR common
shareholders         $    3,899     $     4,947     $           154     $  
    440     $    (1,073 )   $    8,367




Cellular Retail


The following table provides selected financial information for the operating activity of our Cellular Retail segment:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021               2020         Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Retail sales and associated fees        $      79,220       $   65,145     
      77.8 %          76.5 %
Other revenue                                  22,667           20,064            22.2 %          23.5 %
                                              101,887           85,209           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                               50,049           39,008            49.1 %          45.8 %
Gross profit                                   51,838           46,201            50.9 %          54.2 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           24,372           22,072            23.9 %          25.9 %
Occupancy expense                               8,695            8,771             8.5 %          10.3 %
Depreciation and amortization expense           1,981            2,014             2.0 %           2.4 %
Other expense                                   5,539            5,936             5.5 %           7.0 %
Provision for income taxes                      2,134            1,474     
       2.1 %           1.6 %
                                               42,721           40,267            42.0 %          47.2 %
Net income                              $       9,117       $    5,934             8.9 %           7.0 %




Segment contribution to net income before noncontrolling interests was $9.12
million in 2021 compared to $5.93 million in 2020. Year-over-year, revenues
increased 19.6% (4.8% from stores added in 2021). We experienced a significant
uptick in upgrade activity in 2021 (existing customers buying a new device),
some of which is attributable to customers upgrading from devices still on the
3G network in anticipation of it being shut off by AT&T on February 22, 2022 and
some attributable to customers moving to the new 5G network.



We were affected, primarily toward the latter part of 2021, by inflationary
pressures and inventory shortages due to the global shortages of chips. The
inflationary pressures have increased cost in most all expense categories. It is
unknown if and to what extent inventory shortages will have on 2022. At the end
of 2021, we were operating 229 locations. We intend to continue looking for
acquisitions in 2022 and expect our store count to increase throughout the
year.



                                      21





Direct to Consumer


The following table provides selected financial information for our Direct to Consumer operating business:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021              2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues                                $     43,335       $    42,114           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                              19,616            19,442            45.3 %          46.2 %
Gross profit                                  23,719            22,672            54.7 %          53.8 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           6,656             5,887            15.4 %          14.0 %
Occupancy expense                                574               565             1.3 %           1.3 %
Depreciation and amortization expense            456               531             1.0 %           1.3 %
Other expense                                  9,964             9,286            23.0 %          22.0 %
Provision for income taxes                     1,421             1,456     
       3.3 %           3.5 %
                                              19,071            17,725            44.0 %          42.1 %
Net income                              $      4,648       $     4,947            10.7 %          11.7 %




The Direct to Consumer segment contributed $4.65 million of net income in 2021
compared to $4.95 million in 2020. Over the past several years, we have focused
on upgrading management and product offerings as well as optimizing marketing
spend. During both 2021 and 2020, the segment experienced an increase in product
sales, benefitting from the industry-wide changes in consumer purchasing methods
and increase in demand for products ordered online, and from increased consumer
interest in gardening and seed-related products. Although revenues increased
year-over-year, they were hampered in 2021 by supply shortages. This segment,
similar to all others, experienced increased labor costs year over year,
impacting both cost of revenues and salaries and wages expense.



Manufacturing



The following table provides select financial information for our Manufacturing
segment operating activity:



                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)              2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021              2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Sales                                   $     12,963       $    14,890           100.0 %         100.0 %
Other revenue                                      -                 -               - %             - %
                                              12,963            14,890           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                               9,528            11,235            73.5 %          75.5 %
Gross profit                                   3,435             3,655            26.5 %          24.5 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           1,108             1,139             8.5 %           7.6 %
Occupancy expense                                152               103             1.2 %           0.7 %
Depreciation and amortization expense              5                11     
         - %           0.1 %
Interest expense                                  65               159             0.5 %           1.1 %
Other expense                                  1,666             1,995            12.9 %          13.4 %
Provision for income taxes                       120                94     
       0.9 %           0.6 %
                                               3,116             3,501            24.0 %          23.5 %
Net income                              $        319       $       154             2.5 %           1.0 %



Our Manufacturing segment, acquired in January 2021saw its net profit rise on the back of lower sales in a very difficult year due to supply chain shortages and rising raw material costs.



                                      22





Consumer Finance


The following table provides selected financial information for the operating activity of our Consumer Finance segment:



                                            Year Ended December 31,
                                                (in thousands)               2021 % of       2020 % of
                                            2021               2020          Revenues        Revenues
Revenues:
Retail sales                            $      1,477       $      1,438            24.8 %          18.6 %
Financing fees and interest                    4,167              5,959            69.9 %          76.9 %
Other revenue                                    316                347             5.3 %           4.5 %
                                               5,960              7,744           100.0 %         100.0 %
Cost of revenues                                 751              1,114            12.6 %          14.4 %
Gross profit                                   5,209              6,630            87.4 %          85.6 %
Salaries, wages and benefits expense           2,211              3,076            37.1 %          39.7 %
Occupancy expense                                748              1,148            12.5 %          14.8 %
Depreciation and amortization expense             10                 20             0.2 %           0.3 %
Other expense                                  1,336              1,784            22.4 %          23.0 %
Provision for income taxes                       239                162    
        4.0 %           2.1 %
                                               4,544              6,190            76.2 %          79.9 %
Net income                              $        665       $        440            11.2 %           5.7 %



Consumer Finance segment net income increased to $0.65 million in 2021 from
$0.44 million in 2020 on declining revenues year-over year. The increase in net
income and decrease in cost of revenues both benefited from recoveries of bad
debt, or reduction in net bad debt included in cost of revenues. Collections in
2021 of bad debts previously expensed on closed locations exceeded expectations
and will not be a recurring item in 2022. The decrease in revenues was due the
closure of our payday business in Nebraska in November 2020 due to state
regulatory changes and from the sale, also in November 2020, of five of our six
payday store operations in Iowa. Excluding one payday location that benefited
from the Nebraska law change, all the other payday stores combined had a 4%
reduction in loan originations year-over-year, a continuing trend in the
industry.



Corporate



Net cost of our Corporate segment was ($1.51) million for the year ended
December 31, 2021 compared to ($1.07) million for the year ended December 31,
2020, the increased net cost due primarily to the decrease in investment income
and one-time transaction expenses of $0.2 million associated with the Swisher
transaction that closed in January 2021.



Consolidated tax expense

Income tax expense was $3.47 million for 2021 compared to $2.88 million for 2020
for an effective rate of 20.8% and 21.7%, respectively. Income attributable to
our noncontrolling interest flows through to the noncontrolling interest and is
not taxable at the Company level. Excluding the non-taxable flow-through income
to the noncontrolling interest, the effective rate for 2021 and 2020 was 25.2%
and 25.6%, respectively. The effective rate decrease year-over-year is due to a
reduction in nondeductible transaction expense year-over-year.



CASH AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Summary cash flow data is as follows:



                                                  Year Ended December 31,
                                                   2021             2020

Cash flows provided by (used in):
Operating activities                           $ 17,380,816     $ 15,493,544
Investing activities                             (2,788,686 )     (1,659,306 )
Financing activities                             (4,081,838 )     (8,490,426 )
Net increase in cash                             10,510,292        5,343,812

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year 32,504,803 27,160,991 Cash and cash equivalents, end of year $43,015,095 $32,504,803





As of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents
of $43.0 million and $32.5 million, respectively. We believe that our available
cash, combined with expected cash flows from operations and our held-to-maturity
investments, will be sufficient to fund our liquidity and capital expenditure
requirements through March of 2023. Our expected short-term uses of available
cash include the funding of operating activities, scheduled repayments of debt
and the payment of dividends.



                                      23





In addition to cash and cash equivalents, as of December 31, 2021, we had $12.34
million in US Treasuries and $2.04 million invested in certificates of deposit
(limited to approximately $250,000 per financial institution per entity).



From December 31, 2021 and 2020 we had $3.42 million and $3.11 million of outstanding debt, respectively, and no finance lease obligation.



CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES



Our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes have been prepared
in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States
of America applied on a consistent basis. The preparation of these consolidated
financial statements requires us to make a number of estimates and assumptions
that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of
contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial
statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the
reporting periods. We evaluate these estimates and assumptions on an ongoing
basis. We base these estimates on the information currently available to us and
on various other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the
circumstances. Actual results could vary materially from these estimates under
different assumptions or conditions.



Our significant accounting policies are discussed in Note 1, "Basis of
Presentation, Nature of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting
Policies," of the notes to our consolidated financial statements included in
this report. We believe that the following critical accounting policies affect
the more significant estimates and assumptions used in the preparation of our
consolidated financial statements:



Receivables and provision for loss



Consumer Finance


Included in loans receivable is $1.65 million of unpaid principal, interest and
fee balances of payday loans that have not reached their maturity date. Payday
loans by their nature are high risk loans and require significant assumptions
when determining a reserve for credit losses, including the default rate and the
amount of subsequent collections on those defaulted loans. These two factors
have remained relatively stable over the past two years and we therefore use
historical rates to assist in determining anticipated future credit losses. In
addition, we must consider future economic factors. Any significant downturn in
the economy which is greater than our assumptions will increase the default
rates and reduce subsequent collections on those defaulted loans. As of December
31, 2021, we have estimated credit losses from the $1.65 million loans
receivable balance to be approximately $42,000.



Inventory



Direct to Consumer



Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market using the weighted-average
method of determining cost. The Company periodically evaluates the value of
items in inventory and provides write-downs to inventory based on its estimate
of market conditions. Two subcategories of inventory, live plants and
restoration products, are most susceptible to write-downs and the application of
key assumptions.



Live plants have a limited life and any unsold product is disposed of at the end
of a selling season. Should the demand for product not meet expectations, larger
write-downs may occur during interim periods until written off. Management will
assess the need for write-downs based on inventory levels, the length of time
remaining in the live-goods season, and current and expected demand which could
be impacted by many current market and economic factors as discussed in the
Risk
Factors section.



We have a significant number of home hardware products in this segment's
inventory. Due to the uniqueness of many of these items, the sales volume of an
individual SKU may be low. Management evaluates the value of items in inventory
to estimate an allowance against carrying costs. This evaluation includes a
look-back of sales volume of the respective SKU over the prior twelve month
period to estimate the allowance.



Manufacturing



Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market using the standard costing
method of determining cost. The Company periodically evaluates the value of
items in inventory and provides write-downs to inventory based on its estimate
of market conditions. Key assumptions used are the future quantity to be sold,
the future selling price of an item, and the cost of raw materials, primarily
steel. Unknown economic factors or supply factors could materially affect these
assumptions. A sharp downturn in the economy would negatively impact the future
quantity sold. Dropping steel or other raw materials costs will negatively
impact assumptions used for future sales prices and the underlying cost under
the lower of cost or market methodology. Future sales prices and the underlying
cost under the lower of cost or market methodology could also be negatively
impacted by an unforeseen introduction of comparable products, possibly from
foreign sources or otherwise, at a lower price point.



                                      24





Fair Value Measurements



The fair value of a financial instrument is the amount that could be received
upon the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly
transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Financial
assets are marked to bid prices and financial liabilities are marked to offer
prices. Fair value measurements do not include transaction costs. A fair value
hierarchy is used to prioritize the quality and reliability of the information
used to determine fair values. Categorization within the fair value hierarchy is
based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value
measurement. The three-level hierarchy is as follows:



Level 1 – Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

Level 2 – Observable inputs based on the market or inputs corroborated by market data.

Level 3 – Unobservable inputs that are not supported by market date.




The Company believes its valuation methods are appropriate and consistent with
other market participants, however the use of different methodologies or
assumptions to determine the fair value of certain financial instruments could
result in a different fair value measurement at the reporting date.



OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

We have no off-balance sheet arrangements.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS




Some of the statements made in this report are "forward-looking statements," as
that term is defined under Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based
upon our current expectations and projections about future events. Whenever used
in this report, the words "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate,"
"expect," "will" and similar expressions, or the negative of such words and
expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not
all forward-looking statements contain such words or expressions. The
forward-looking statements in this report are primarily located in the material
set forth under the headings "Description of Business," "Risk Factors,"
"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations," but are found in other parts of this report as well. These
forward-looking statements generally relate to our plans, objectives and
expectations for future operations and are based upon management's current
estimates and projections of future results or trends. Although we believe that
our plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking
statements are reasonable, we may not achieve these plans or objectives. You
should read this report completely and with the understanding that actual future
results may be materially different from what we expect. We are not undertaking
any obligation to update any forward-looking statements even though our
situation may change in the future.



Specific factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations or affect the value of the common shares include, but are not limited to:

? Supply chain disruptions and delays and associated loss of revenue;

? Inflationary pressures on cost of sales and fluctuations in commodity prices;

? Potential product liability risks related to design, manufacture, sale

and use of our Swisher products;

? Changes in local, state or federal laws and regulations governing loans

practices or changes in the interpretation of such laws and regulations;

? Litigation and Regulatory Actions Affecting the Consumer Credit Industry

or us, including in certain key states;

? Our need for additional funding;

? Changes to our authorization to be a reseller for Wireless Cricket;

? Changes in the remuneration of authorized cricket dealers;

? Lack of advertising support and sales promotions from Wireless Cricket in the

the markets in which we operate;

? Our dependence on information systems;

? Direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on our employees, our customers, our supply

chain, economy and financial markets; and

? Unpredictability or uncertainty in financing and mergers and acquisitions

markets, which could impair our ability to grow our business through

   acquisitions.



Other factors that could cause actual results to differ from those implied by
the forward-looking statements in this report are more fully described in the
"Risk Factors" section and of this report.



Industry data and other statistical information used in this report are based on
independent publications, government publications, reports by market research
firms or other published independent sources. Some data are also based on our
good faith estimates, derived from our review of internal surveys and the
independent sources listed above. Although we believe these sources are
reliable, we have not independently verified the information.

© Edgar Online, source Previews

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Credit scores are a financial trap. Here’s how I would fix it. https://ozspringfield.com/credit-scores-are-a-financial-trap-heres-how-i-would-fix-it/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 14:37:16 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/credit-scores-are-a-financial-trap-heres-how-i-would-fix-it/ So much in the world is broken right now. The planet is in turmoil, inequality is soaring, and government gridlocks are gloomier than ever. The Hollywood industrial complex regurgitates old stories and makes them worse, while music makers play more by the whims of algorithms than any sense of craftsmanship. Everything is so depressing. How […]]]>

So much in the world is broken right now. The planet is in turmoil, inequality is soaring, and government gridlocks are gloomier than ever. The Hollywood industrial complex regurgitates old stories and makes them worse, while music makers play more by the whims of algorithms than any sense of craftsmanship. Everything is so depressing. How I’d Fix It is Mic’s series of solutions to societal ills. Do you have a solution in mind? Email features@mic.com with your pitch and be sure to include “How I would fix it” in the subject line.

Have you ever heard someone say that money doesn’t exist? Well, they’re right, but in a more literal sense than you might imagine. Nearly 90% of all money has no physical form. The banks are must only hold 10% of their reserves in physical cash at any time. The rest is just numbers on a screen – and most of that money is makes it a credit or a debt.

Think about it: most of your money isn’t cash or coins. It is invisible credit lent to you by credit card companies and financial institutions. The average American has more money available through lines of credit ($22,751) than by savings ($17,135). If a big purchase or an emergency arises, they are more likely to pay it on credit than cash. The system rewards this: as a general rule, the more available credit you have and the more lines of credit you actively maintain, the better your credit score will be. And while you get stung for having too much debt, carry some debt is rewarded.

Therein lies the credit and debt catch-22: In order to get bigger lines of credit and better terms to help minimize your debt and expenses, you need to have good credit. And if you don’t have good credit, trying to build it puts you at a higher chance of getting stuck in a debt trap. You are more likely to be exposed to high annual interest rates, end up with lower credit limits, and generally have a harder time improving your credit.

A low credit score cuts you off from ambitious purchases and essentials. Nearly 60% of millennials report that a low credit score caused them to lose a loan, with 1 in 4 reports being unable to get a car or an apartment due to credit checks. People are deprived of the real things they really need because of fake money which they cannot access because of a fake score. If that’s not enough to make you want to walk in the ocean, bless your resilience.

This system is garbage. It’s time to fix it. And the best tool we have for that is the government itself.

First, we have to dismantle the three main credit bureaus and destroy any black box containing the algorithm for generating credit scores. This, frankly, should not be controversial. The big credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – are racketeering, and they’re not even good at what they do. Equifax leaked everyone’s social security numbers. The Federal Trade Commission has found that 1 in 4 people have errors in their credit reports that can affect their scores. You should review and dispute these errors in your spare time, and you even have to pay to view your report in its entirety (you only get a free credit report every year). Nobody likes credit bureaus, and they shouldn’t; they suck.

A solution here — and one that Biden’s presidential campaign would have considered — is a public credit registry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can manage it, eliminating the profit motive that comes from owning all the data and selling access to it. The CFPB can create a transparent way to calculate credit scores, provide free access to credit reports, and standardize the process for reporting and deleting bad data. The National Consumer Law Center supports this ideajust like the think tank Demos. It’s a no-brainer, so let’s do it.

The next step would be to cancel a whole bunch of debt. Student debt? Let’s go ahead and delete this – you know, like President Biden could if he wanted to. So let’s get rid of the $81 billion in medical debt with which we have harassed people, which is apparently the price to pay to stay alive in a capitalist hellscape. We’ve already taken the smallest of baby steps toward a good job here, with the credit bureaus announcing that they won’t factor some medical debt into credit scores, but we should just avoid the hassle and write it all off together.

This all amounts to a reset. But the problem is that we are so deeply embedded in this debt system that we are unlikely to shake it completely without some kind of financial collapse or revolution. So instead of completely tearing down the walls, we can keep some of them and figure out how to bounce them back more productively.

Fortunately, we already have a powerful institution that knows a bit about invented money: the federal government. If the the money printer may begin to hum at any time to combat economic downturns or maintain cash flow during a global pandemic, it can surely be used to extend a line of credit to Americans who need access to financial support without the risk of bankruptcy or the trap debt.

Here’s how it will work: Once you turn 18, you’ll have access to a federally issued credit card. Steve Randy Waldman, computer programmer and economist who launched this idea in 2009, called it a Treasury Card Express. Awesome. The Treasury Express would guarantee everyone access to a line of credit.

How much, exactly? Waldman capped it at $1,000 in his proposal. Let’s go with a slightly more generous alternative, though, and tie at the median income in the United States in 2020, it was $35,805, which equates to about $3,000 per month. We therefore set the credit limit at $3,000. A large majority of the American working class lives paycheck to paycheck, and any interruption of it can be catastrophic. With a Treasury Express, if you suddenly find yourself without a job or income, you’ll have access to a line of credit large enough to cover a full month of median household expenses. (Mic reached out to Waldman for more details on his proposal but did not receive a response.)

If you’ve never had a credit card or accessed these types of financial services before, the federal card is a good introduction. “It improves access to financial instruments for those who couldn’t get credit or debit cards on their own, which means inclusion,” finance professor Dr. Tahira K. Hira told Mic. Personal and Consumer Economics at Iowa State University. It would also extend a line of credit to people who have historically been excluded.

This should also functionally eliminate the need for payday loans. About 12 million Americans use payday loans each year, usually in small amounts just to get by until their next paycheck. Payday loans are just about the worst credit product available, with extremely predatory rates that cause most payday loan recipients to pay far more in fees than they actually receive in financial support. Killing payday loans would be a welcome side effect of a federally issued line of credit.

You might be wondering what the interest rate on the federal card would be. Easy: 0%. That’s not to say there isn’t a penalty for default, of course. If you have a balance on your card, you’ll need to pay it off at the end of the month, with an additional month’s grace period to start paying it off. As long as you make payments for the balance, you will continue to have access to the line of credit. But not paying it back will restrict your access to other credit products offered by the government, such as home loans. After a period of five years, any outstanding balance would be canceled and you would once again have access to the full $3,000.

There will surely be people who will oppose this idea: “It is a handout from the government”; “It’s like giving people $3,000 free, they’ll just use it and not pay it back”; etc First, chances are people won’t give up access to other great lines of credit, like home loans, student loans, or other credit cards just to access $3,000 free. every five years. It would be a very bad financial decision.

“Are some people going to make mistakes and mismanage? Yes, it is possible,” says Hira. “But it is also [part of] a learning process. She notes that this system would help educate people about banking and credit in a much less risky way than our current setup.

And two, you’re fucking right, it’s a handout. Helping people improve their credit so they can access things like mortgages and car loans is a public good. We are better served if more people have the ability to own what they need. This card accomplishes that in our extremely failing credit system.

The current credit system is rigged in favor of people who already have a lot of money at their disposal and weighs on those who need help the most. Let’s expand much-needed access to credit with far fewer strings. If the economy is going to be credit and debt driven, the least we can do is make sure people can access it – and do so safely.

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How do experts define financial health? https://ozspringfield.com/how-do-experts-define-financial-health/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 12:08:05 +0000 https://ozspringfield.com/how-do-experts-define-financial-health/ Money / Financial Planning PeopleImages/iStock.com Good financial health is not just about being rich. Rather, being in good financial health means being in the right frame of mind to make sound financial decisions and be financially stable. Here’s what it means to be financially healthy, plus signs that you’re financially healthy and small steps you […]]]>

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Good financial health is not just about being rich. Rather, being in good financial health means being in the right frame of mind to make sound financial decisions and be financially stable. Here’s what it means to be financially healthy, plus signs that you’re financially healthy and small steps you can take to improve your financial health.

Discover: 7 financial habits that improve your daily life
Related: 15 Most Important Assets That Will Boost Your Net Worth

What is good financial health?

Brian Walsh, Director of Financial Planning and CFP at SoFi, said financial health is a spectrum. If people don’t know or understand how to assess their financial health, it can lead to uncertainty or the wrong metrics being used.

“The essentials of financial health are based on how you spend, borrow, save, invest and protect your money,” Walsh said. On a fundamental level, Walsh said good financial health means you have the financial wherewithal to pursue what’s important to you without the constant stress of money.

“I like to say, always be prepared so you don’t have to prepare. That’s what financial health means to me,” said Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP and co-founder and co-CEO of Wealth Partners 2050.

Dorsainvil said being ready to build wealth can be quite simple. This means spending less than you earn, avoiding lifestyle drift, and saving for your emergency fund as well as in the financial markets.

Learn: How to go from a living paycheck to an early retirement paycheck, according to Dr. Lakisha Simmons

3 signs that you are in good financial health

Here are some aspects to consider and how these signs contribute to good financial health.

Spend less than you earn

Being financially healthy means spending less than you earn. Walsh said that unless you’re retired, it’s impossible to improve your financial health by spending as much or more than you earn.

Take a moment to assess your spending habits to see where you stand.

“If you spend less than you earn, you can move on to evaluating your savings. If you’re spending as much or more than you earn, that should be your primary focus for improving your financial health,” Walsh said.

Have enough cash savings

If you have enough cash to cover unexpected expenses, you are in good financial shape. Having cash savings acts as a safety net between unexpected expenses and a difficult financial situation. It also has a major impact on your satisfaction, stress and anxiety.

How can you compare your cash savings to your monthly expenses? Walsh said to divide your cash savings by your monthly expenses. If you find that you have less than a month’s worth of expenses, you are in a vulnerable financial position. You will need to focus on increasing this financial cushion.

If you have between one and three months of expenses, Walsh said you’re in a good place. Focus on increasing the financial cushion or another aspect of your finances. Those with more than three months of expenses are well placed. They can focus on other aspects of their finances.

Debt and Mental Health: The Hidden Ways You Owe Money Affect Your Life

Understanding good debt and bad debt

Debt comes in two forms: good debt and bad debt. Bad debts include credit cards, medical loans and payday loans. This type of debt can be a drag on your finances and make you financially vulnerable.

Good debt, on the other hand, includes mortgages, auto loans, and student loans. Yes, even student loans can be considered good debt as long as the monthly payments are reasonable.

“A lot of people consider debt to be always bad, but when used responsibly, it can actually be a very powerful benefit,” Walsh said.

4 steps to achieve financial health

If you find that you are not in great financial health, you can take steps now to get back in shape.

Automate what matters

Whatever your financial goal, there is a way to automate it. “The power of automation is that you make a good decision once and reap the rewards continuously,” Walsh said.

Walsh uses the example of a savings goal. Take a portion of your paycheck and have it deposited directly into your savings account. Those considering paying off credit card debt can automatically make additional payments each month to their credit card.

Lever technology

Use technology and personal finance tools to track your budget and better understand your personal finances. Apps can be particularly useful for tracking spending habits and understanding what you owe.

Walsh said research shows that digital personal finance tools are associated with more responsible financial behavior, ultimately helping to increase your overall financial literacy.

Focus on one goal at a time

You may want to pay down debt, build up savings, build a retirement fund, and build an emergency fund, but try to avoid forcing yourself to reach all of your financial goals at once. Instead, focus on one goal at a time.

Walsh said focusing on one goal at a time will allow you to progress faster. This increases your perseverance and the likelihood of achieving your goals.

It is also possible to divide large goals into smaller goals. Walsh recommends breaking down an overall goal that will take months or years to accomplish. Break it down, you can pursue it for 30, 60 and 90 days. Then rinse and repeat until you achieve your bigger goals.

Seek help from a financial advisor

If you are not in good physical health, you will see a doctor. Similarly, people struggling with their financial health should seek help from a financial advisor when they need it.

Barry P. Mitchell, Jr., Founder of Private upper level, recommends working with a trusted financial advisor or attorney. This professional can help you create a financial plan that thoroughly analyzes every aspect of your financial situation. Then you can start strategizing to fund life’s important goals and needs and work together to take your financial health to the next level.

More from GOBankingRates

About the Author

Heather Taylor is Senior Financial Writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the editor and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been featured on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global and other outlets.

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