Personal Finance

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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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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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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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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How Much Does a Baby Cost?

Yesterday, LearnVest (a cool financial blog for women) offered a post about the true cost of a child to age 18, and offered some tips for preparing for a baby. The post includes a cool info-graphic that outlines the USDA’s tally. Learnvest says: “Take a deep breath: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a baby born today to a middle-class family will cost about $221,000 by the time she…
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Tax Software Cost Comparison

For some people, choosing a tax software package comes down to trust. They want to go with the name they’ve heard of. And that’s fine. Trusting your software is important. For me, it comes down to price. That’s why I prefer a lesser-known software called TaxAct. It’s just as good, just as accurate, and much cheaper. Of course, free is the cheapest, so find out how to win…
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March Debt Reduction Progress

One of my 2008 financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. February was a great month for debt reduction. We didn’t have a windfall this month, so our progress wasn’t quite as spectacular, but we’re still on track to pay off the full $40,000 by the end of December. I’ve also made more progress on other goals. Debt Reduction Successes in March This month we paid another $3400 towards our…
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2009 TaxAct Tax Software Review

I’m a longtime user of TaxAct online tax software for one reason: it’s cheap. After completing my return in the H&R Block At Home software, I took this year’s version of TaxAct for a spin. Call my crazy, but I’ve actually started to like doing my returns twice. Yes, it takes me an extra hour, but it’s a good way to make sure I didn’t forget to include…
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Six Year End Preparations

2010 is nearly over, and I am thrilled. 2010 was easily one of the worst years of my life. I’m eagerly looking forward to 2011. With that in mind, I’ve outlined six things I need to do prepare for the new year. Set New Goals Because this year went so badly, I don’t think I met any of my goals for 2010. I’ll check tomorrow. So, it’s time…
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April Debt Reduction Progress

We’re now a third of the way through my debt reduction plan. If you’re just joining the blog, one of my 2008 financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. March was a good month for debt reduction. We managed to pay off one credit card entirely. April wasn’t quite as good, but we still made solid progress. Thanks to snowballing, we may be able to pay off the full $40,000…
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