January 2013

Tentative Tax Rebate Deal

This morning, several news organizations announced that the White House and Congress have come to a tentative agreement on the economic stimulus plan. The main part of the plan is tax rebates for singles earning under $75,000 and couples earning under $150,000. Each person will receive at least $300, plus an additional $300 per child. There will probably be a cap in the range of $1200 per family. Some sources say…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Unrequested Email Mailing Lists

Recently I’ve been buying a lot of baby stuff online, which means I’ve been added to several email mailing lists. Some of them I asked to be added to. The rest added me without asking me when I bought something. Online Buyers Aren’t Always Your Target Market It drives me nuts. Ask me when I checkout if I want to get your email pitches. Don’t just assume that…
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Watch Your Credit Card Bill for Small Fraudulent Charges

A recent story about the spate for credit card fraud involving small charges reminded me of something that happened to me recently. My Potential Credit Card Fraud Scam I don’t actually know that this was fraud, but I know that American Express settled the dispute within four days and neither my husband nor I made the charge. I don’t check my credit card statement frequently, because my husband does. However,…
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Last Minute Tax Filing Is an Accomplishment – at the Carnivals

Hey, that one actually makes sense! I have to admit, I don’t understand waiting at the post office to file your taxes on paper at the last minute. Why not just use a computer and push the “send” button. If you owe taxes, you can use the automatic withdrawal method to avoid the line, or actually fill out your taxes months earlier (it takes an hour if you…
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Save Money with Energy Efficient Air Conditioner Use

Last weekend, summer arrived early in Los Angeles. It’s gone again, but the brief appearance caused thousands of air conditioners to be fired up for a few days. Even if summer hasn’t arrived where you are yet, now is a good time to check your system or develop a plan for energy efficient air conditioner use. Not only will it reduce your electricity bill, it will also help…
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Christmas Spending: How Much to Budget This Holiday

According to news reports, 29% consumers plan to cut their holiday spending this year. It seems like every year, shoppers insist they won’t overspend this Christmas. They promise that they’re slashing their budgets. They promise they know how to control Christmas spending. Then the holiday spirit takes hold. Rather than questioning a purchase, shoppers just buy it, because it’s just $5, $10, $20. Does this sound like you?…
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Save Money this Holiday: How to Trim Your Christmas Gift List

With the economy tanking, more and more people are announcing that they plan to spend less on gifts this year. Some people will keep their lists long and hunt for better deals, while others will opt to buy fewer gifts for fewer people. I’m choosing the former. Here’s how I trim my list without hurting anyone’s feelings. 7 Steps to Trim Your Christmas Gift List If you follow…
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2011 Resolutions

It’s that time once again when I determine my resolutions for the year. So here goes. Let’s see how I do by the end of the year. Bump My Retirement Savings to 5% of Income This will be my personal 401K, not a joint goal. I think since I’m getting the extra 2% back from the government, I can turn around and give it to myself without noticing.…
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What Happens if You Default on Student Loans

In addition to some people opting to walk away from their mortgages, the temptation to default on student loans is growing. Unfortunately, defaulting on student loans can have even worse consequences than defaulting on a mortgage. So, let’s go over what will happen if you default, and options for avoiding default. What Qualifies as Default? The government gives you many chances to keep up on your student loans. You only…
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The Cash for Appliances Program

In addition to the many other credits and programs included in the stimulus bill was a small allotment for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. It’s taken months, but the credit will soon be available. Here’s how it works: How to Apply for Cash for Appliances Unlike Cash for Clunkers, the First-Time Homebuyers Credit, and the New Car Tax Credit, which were administered by the Federal government, the Cash…
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