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Holiday Spending: Don't let it wipe you out.

The holiday season means entertaining guests, big meals, decorating and of course, gift buying.

Stores definitely play their part offering deals and discounts to attract everyone to their stores; all to get you to spend money you don’t intend to spend.

Despite the urge plan ahead and stick to a budget so you’re not still paying for this Christmas next Christmas. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

1.) Leave the plastic at home

Resist the urge to use your credit card for purchases. It is more difficult to keep track of what you spent and that line of credit will only intensify your urge to buy, buy, buy. The worst part: the interest you will be paying on that purchase long after that present is unwrapped, used and pushed to the back of the closet. 

2.) Budget

11-Year-Old Student Hero and Local Heroes Recognized by Bank of America

As part of an ongoing effort to stimulate economic vitality in Greater Washington and in communities across the nation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced $450,000 in flexible funding and leadership training to local nonprofits through its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, bringing the bank’s total commitment in Greater Washington through the program to $3.15 million since 2004.

The initiative continues to help hundreds of the nation’s most impactful nonprofits improve their long-term viability and bolster leadership strength, retain and hire new staff, and extend the depth and reach of their services – capabilities that are integral to community revitalization and critical in the current economy when nonprofit funding is down and demand for services is up.

The Halt to Foreclosures will have an impact to DC area homeowners

Recently, there has been a halt to foreclosures on homes where the mortgages have fallen into default. The onus has been put on the lenders to prove that they have the right to foreclose. Judges have started dismissing foreclosure actions against homeowners as it has become clear that the banks do not have clear title or standing to foreclose.

What this means to struggling homeowners is that they now have an opportunity to challenge banks that may not have been helpful in the loan modification process. Very few homes have been successfully modified under the HAMP program and the blame for this is being laid right at the banks front door. From the entire modification process being characterized as unhelpful to downright deceptive, this moratorium on foreclosing will give homeowners a chance to negotiate favorable terms with their lenders.

Clean Across North America (CANA) and Local Contractors Restore Historic Rockville Church

Clean Across North America is a Nation Wide community service program performed by contractors in the pressure washing industry.  

Local contractors will be donating their services on September 10, 2010 to clean and restore the exterior of a Historic Church in Rockville Maryland as part of Clean Across North America.  

Some other projects performed include cleaning the Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial and the Abner Doubleday Stadium. (The home of baseball)  So far pressure washing contractors across the nation have donated over $500,000 in services to different CANA projects. 

To learn more about this project, contributions they are making to your community, and how you can be involved, please click: http://cleanacrossnorthamerica.org/.


Be a Member of the MoCo Public Library Teen Advisory Group

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is recruiting members for its Teen Advisory Group, and teens, ages 14-18, who would like to promote library programming for teens and advocate for teen library service are invited to apply online through the library website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Teens who like to read, write, and are interested in interviewing authors and public officials for the MCPL Teensite page or would like to work with Facebook, YouTube and/or video productions can check out details on the website.

Applications are due by September 11.  Candidates will be interviewed the week of September 20.  Teens accepted in the program will serve from September 2010 to May 2011 and will meet on a monthly basis.

For more details, check the MCPL website, or for questions, email teensite@montgomerycountymd.gov

Close to Home: Federal jobs help stability in Rockville, Md. By Christine Dugas, USA Today

Christine Dugas for USA Today reports:

Rockville, Md., is so close to Washington, D.C., that it has escaped the worst of the housing bust and the recession. Federal government jobs are so resilient that they have provided a buffer against the economic downturn.

That doesn't mean that Rockville, the Montgomery County seat, has been sheltered from the ups and downs in the housing market.

Like the national market, its home sales recently plunged.

CLOSE TO HOME: Real estate markets across the USA

Pepco Maryland Public Hearings

Tonight the Maryland Public Service Commission will hold an evening hearing on the reliability and quality of Pepco's distribution service beginning at 6pm.

This meeting is open to the public and all persons entering the building will be required to have a photo I.D.

The event will be held at the Rockville at the Council Office Building, 3rd Floor Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

A sign-up sheet will be available ½ hour prior to the hearing for those who wish to speak during the meeting.  In order for everyone who attends to have an opportunity to speak, oral comments are limited to a maximum of five minutes.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) will also be testifying at the hearing.

Another hearing will be held Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 at 6pm at:

Prince George’s Community College
Queen Anne Fine Arts Building
301 Largo Road
Largo, Maryland 20774