Your Tax Questions Answered

tax-day-april-15
tax-day-april-15

Uncle Sam wants his money. And with looming tax deadline on April 15th, let's tackle a few things to think about!  If you have more questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter! Disclaimer:  None of this is tax advice and any actions or changes you make must be made under the advisement of a licensed tax professional. What's do we need to be aware of? Beyond IRAs, claim all eligible deductions from last year. Don't forget about charitable contributions; go through your checking account and credit card accounts to check for anything you gave to church or for other donations. Heavy medical expenses are an overlooked deduction- if your health expenditures went up last year, you can deduct the amount by which your total medical care expenses for the year … [Read more...]

5 Ways To Fill Your Bank Account Quickly

Beautiful woman and broken piggy bank
Beautiful woman and broken piggy bank

One of the fundamental laws of finance is that a dollar today is better than a dollar tomorrow. If you’re checking your bank account today and not happy with the total, you need to act quickly. The good news is you have plenty of opportunities to earn more than enough to pay all your bills while enjoying a bit of disposable income. Here are six ways to fill your bank account quickly. Ask for a Raise Your boss doesn’t want you to know this, but every salary is negotiable. Most companies employ complex calculations to decide the highest wage they’re willing to pay for a job position. You may fall well short of the upper tier. You work hard and deserve to earn every penny the corporation can afford to pay. Don’t let your fear of rejection stand in the way of higher income. Approach your … [Read more...]

5 Tax Breaks You Might Not Know About

tax_credit
tax_credit

  It's hard to believe that the new year is upon us, and with the transition to 2016, the specter of taxes looms as large as ever. If you are struggling to pay your tax bill, don't go in debt to the IRS. A loan from loved ones, part-time consulting work, or the reliable income offered by a reverse mortgage can all help dig you out of a hole. But don't be so quick to fork over your hard-earned money! Even the IRS advises seniors to be mindful of tax breaks that can reduce their total tax bill. As a starting point, check out these deductions you might not already be using. Mortgages and Home Sales The mortgage interest deduction is a cornerstone of tax policy that most seniors know about. What you might not know is that, if you sell your home, you may not have to claim the … [Read more...]

Do You Really Need A Payday Loan? Check out 4 Alternatives

paydayloans woman
paydayloans woman

While statistics show that we are pulling out of the ongoing recession, many families still feel the financial squeeze of being unemployed, underemployed or bad budgeting habits -let's be honest!  Enter payday loans.  These are instant loans anyone with a job and decent credit can get in as little as 12-24 hours and they've become more common than we realize in today's society.   Often, they are demonized by those who haven't been in a situation where they need money immediately and abused by those who do. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before taking out a payday loan. We have listed them here to ensure you do not get into adverse credit difficulty if and when you decide to use one. Of course, even the most trustworthy payday loan websites state they offer ‘this that … [Read more...]

You + The Winter Blues – Help Is On The Way

17879-woman-girl-crying-rain-water-sad-depressed-wide.1200w.tn
17879-woman-girl-crying-rain-water-sad-depressed-wide.1200w.tn

You're probably feeling more tired than usual, sleeping more and don't really feel like dealing with friends and family.  Or maybe you're anxious and find that you don't want to engage in stuff that you normally do. With the change in weather, you might be suffering from "winter blues" or what we know formally as Seasonal Affective Disorder. First, What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder? According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include: Depression Hopelessness Anxiety Loss of energy Social withdrawal Oversleeping Decrease in interest in activities you once enjoyed Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates Weight gain Difficulty concentrating and processing information As we go through the winter months, you may feel these symptoms … [Read more...]

Because We Need To Understand Social Security Benefits

women and retirement
women and retirement

Last month, I told you about a new seminar called Preparing for Retirement and how it covers the three essential keys you should take into consideration to create a comfortable retirement for yourself, including how to maximize your social security. You may be surprised to know that there are many decisions that need to be made that affect how much of a benefit you’ll receive when it comes time to collect. So, when is the best time to collect Social Security benefits? I always assumed I would file and start collecting as soon as I was able to — at the age of 62. But did you know that if you file at 62, you’ll get only 75% of what you would get if you waited until your Full Retirement Age (which by the way is 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954)? And if you wait it out even … [Read more...]

Preparing for Retirement: Discover the Three Essential Keys to Helping you Enjoy a Financially Secure Future

retirement
retirement

I recently read that a woman turning 65 today has a 50% change of living to age 88! And for a 65 year old married couple, at least one spouse has a 50% chance of living to age 92! That makes me stop and think. Although I love the idea of having a long life where I may get to meet my great grandchildren, I can’t help but feel anxious wondering if I’ll have enough money to last into my late 80’s or 90’s. So rather than feel apprehensive—I’ve decided to feel empowered. After all, no one is going to do this for me. It’s entirely up to me to plan financially for a long (and happy) life. And the time to start is now. Whether retirement is just around the corner for you or a decade or more away, there’s a brand new seminar coming to town that can help you plan for the financially secure … [Read more...]

#WhyIStayed In My Abusive Marriage and #WhyILeft

why-i-stayed-why-i-left-meme-7
why-i-stayed-why-i-left-meme-7

Every morning while driving into work I blast the song "Fighter" by Christina Aguillera.  It gives me the kick in the @$$ I need to face my day with a calendar full of people who are depending on me to fight their battles with them. And it reminds me of everything I went through during and after leaving my abusive marriage. They say our favorite songs give life to the things we wish we had the courage to say out loud. I'd say this is true for me. It is a daily reminder of the woman I've become after going through so much to keep it together hiding the toll of physical and emotional abuse. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And this month marks the three year anniversary of the last time my now exhusband put his hands on me. I've struggled majorly with whether I … [Read more...]

Financial Tips to Follow Before You Start a Family

atlanta-child-support-lawyer
atlanta-child-support-lawyer

You may never truly feel ready for a baby. Children need a lot of money. That’s just a fact. If you’re thinking about having kids, you may want to follow a few of these tips to help yourself get at least a little ready for a baby. These tips will help you realize the expense of a kid and what you can do to prepare yourself. It’s important for you to remember that there are a lot of ways you have to get ready before you should have kids. Financial preparation is not the only thing you need to do, but it is a big deal. When you are thinking about starting your family you should: Take Stock You need to take stock of what you have. Is your car right for a family? Will you be able to fit a car seat in the back? Is it safe enough? If you answered no to any of these questions, you may have … [Read more...]

#LifeHappens At the Plutus Awards – #FINCON15

finconpl1
finconpl1

(This content was produced in partnership with State Farm) If you've been paying attention to your favorite personal finance bloggers then you know that we're all mostly recovering from the best conference in the world - #FINCON15.   This is where all the money nerds and related media gather for a few days to network, learn and fine tune their craft within personal finance.  We all have this in common - we want to share our experiences and educate our readers on the many issues within personal finance.  Examples include but aren't limited to debt reduction, financial planning, investing and ways to make more money - passively.  These topics as well as others are so important to our readers' lives and this conference challenges us to be the best we can at what we do.   To … [Read more...]

Why Automating Your Money Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Wallet

woman making money online
woman making money online

A big chunk of your day is spent making decisions (over 50 of them alone are money-related) Should you cut down on expenses? Do you have enough left to host a henna party or for tequila Thursdays?  What about investing? Bill payments? WIll I be able to balance work-life, AND keep track of it all while keeping my cool? Sometimes, it feels like you spend hours a week worrying over your finances, and it’s always at the back of your mind. (Nobody’s got time for that.) And when faced with information overload, we all tend to respond in the same way: by doing nothing. Should you begin automating? Today’s software engineers continuously work to flawlessly automate your online financial transactions, and improve the user interface and experience of financial web and mobile applications … [Read more...]

Career Women: Action Steps for Achieving the Work-Life Balance

career mom
career mom

Many women who work outside the home and have a family have trouble balancing their work and home life. But, it can be done, and successful businesswomen have already laid out a patch for others. Here’s what you need to know. Define “Success” What does success mean to you? It’s important that you have a clear vision of that. Not everyone thinks of success as having a lot of money. Sure, money is a component of success, but it’s not the final measure of it. For some, success means having the freedom to travel once a year. For others, success means making a significant contribution to their own profession. Still others define success as raising a family and saving enough to become self-reliant and live near their children when they get old. Define Work and Personal Time Draw a … [Read more...]

Can You Cut It In A Career In Finance?

women trading stock
women trading stock

Is a career in finance a good fit for you?  This is a popular choice for people seeking a line of work where there are plenty of opportunities to progress. But before you jump in, consider what it takes to succeed in this area. If you are the type of person who has a natural flair for numbers and take an active interest in how the financial markets are performing, these are two personality traits which could point to a career in finance working out for you. To be able to make an informed decision and find the area of finance where you should focus your attention, you will first need to understand the various ins and outs of a particular job and what demands it will make of you, as well as having the right qualifications to apply with confidence. Mapping out a career path By … [Read more...]

What You Should Know before Delving in Online Platforms for Forex Trading

women trading stock
women trading stock

There are a number of online platforms available to investors and traders from which they can conduct any type of trading with relative ease and accessibility. One such platform is for Forex trading, which is the same as its normal version, apart from a few differences that the investor must know about. Increased Leverage When it comes to trading, foreign exchange markets provide with a lot of leverage to investors which means even a small amount of capital can be used to run a long way. Most markets in fact, will allow a leverage ratio of 50:1 or 100:1, in other words, a single dollar has the potential of becoming up to $50 or $100 in worth, at the time of trading.   Round-the-Clock Trading One more advantage of the online Forex trading platform that’s worth mentioning is that … [Read more...]

6 Ways Money May Be Ruining Your Marriage

marriage money problem
marriage money problem

No money, no honey! This is the chant of many divorcing couples today as you may be familiar with the fact that money troubles break many a marriage apart. So it's no surprise that financial conflict and communication issues are up there on the list of marriage busters.  Let's take a look at why the almighty Benjamin might be ruining your marriage. You haven’t set any boundaries or guidelines, yet Your relationship is defined mutually by you and your partner. You both need to make sure that you’re comfortable with the guidelines you set. That means striking a compromise that won’t end up building resentment in the long run. Set a time when you can sit together to write down your specific financial goals, and work out your plan.   This might include lending money to … [Read more...]