Adjust Tax Withholding for the New Year

If you overpaid or underpaid your 2007 federal or state tax, then clearly you need to adjust your 2008 withholding. You can also change your withholding now to take advantage of deductions you won’t be eligible for until later in the year. Fixing Withholding Last year, my husband and I wildly underwithheld both our state and federal tax because our income doubled after I finished grad school and…
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Four Ways to Maintain Active Credit Cards

If you have an older or high-limit credit card that you don’t carry a balance on, you run the risk of having it cancelled by the issuer, most likely without warning. Unfortunately, losing that card will damage your FICO score by reducing your utilization ratio and shortening your credit history. Even if you prefer not to use credit, it’s important that you keep an older credit card active…
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Travel, Food Costs, and More at the Carnivals

As usual, I have three carnivals to share this week. As you may have guessed, these three are my favorites. I do like to stick to my favorites. However, I treat them all like my children (were I to have any), in that I don’t have a favorite favorite (except when one makes me an editor’s pick). Here, in no particular order, are this week’s carnivals. First up,…
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February Debt Reduction Process

One of my financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. January was a good month for debt reduction, but February was a great month. Not only did I make good debt progress, but I also made progress in other goals. Debt Reduction Successes in February Due to a windfall, we were able to pay $11,500 in addition to normal debt payments this month. We will have to pay taxes…
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Trade Your Expensive Hobbies for Cheap Ones

If your tastes or hobbies previously ran to the expensive, such as gourmet cooking classes, wine clubs, or shopping in general, you may be wondering what to do with yourself now that consumption is out. Or, if your personal budget no longer allows this consumption? You don’t have to sit at home twiddling your thumbs. Instead, you can find new hobbies and interests, or transform those interests into…
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The Carnivals Never Stop

This week I tried a couple new carnivals in addition to the Festival of Frugality. We’ll start with the one that made me an editor’s pick! The Carnival of Money Hacks #3, hosted by My Dollar Plan, chose my post on Managing Car Expenses with a Goodyear Card as an editor’s pick. If you liked that, you’ll also enjoy these tips for saving gasfrom Fire Finance. The Carnival of Money Stories #50, hosted…
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How to Host a Spa Party for (Almost) Free

A day at the spa can get pricey. Once you decide to have a day at the spa with your girlfriends, it gets a lot more expensive. Instead, you can host a spa party at home to relax, hang out, and not worry about how many people you have to tip. If you all chip in, you can have a spa day at home almost for free. Keep…
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2009 TurboTax Online Review

TurboTax asked me to review their software and gave me a free Federal and State return filing to give away. This is a copy of the online version. To enter, simply comment at the bottom of this post by 6PM PST March 17, 2010. Leave a valid email address where I can reach you. And now on to the review. This was my third time doing my taxes, because…
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How to Prepare for an Annual Review

Many companies conduct an annual review for each employee at year-end, while others do it at the hiring anniversary. If you have a review coming up soon, don’t wait until the day before to start planning. Start preparing now so you can sparkle when the day finally comes. Pull Out Your Old Review If you received a written assessment after your last review, pull it out now to…
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Nine Tips for Hosting Frugal Bridal Shower

Most first-time brides look forward to the bridal shower, but the person charged with hosting it probably isn’t looking forward to the costs it entails. I’ve been to big showers, and small showers, and come up with a few ideas for hosting a bridal shower on a budget. Rest assured, these bridal shower tips won’t look cheap, but they’ll save you a pretty penny on the bride’s celebration.…
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