Monthly Archives: February 2011


Continuing our series on stuff-I-can-scrounge-up-quickly-when-I-have-a-large-amount-of-non-blog-related-work-to-do, here is another interesting personal finance blog for your viewing pleasure: Thomas J. Stanley’s blog.  Most famous for his series on the Millionaire Next Door (the millionaires that don’t look rich), Dr. Stanley has made … Continue reading

Posted in Intermission

Out-of-State Moves to New Jobs

So, there’s a friend-of-the-firm is moving out-of-state for a new job.  Isn’t that great?  Here are a few tips we gave her for her out-of-state move: Before you take that job, make certain that you aren’t reducing your lifestyle.  Take changes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Co-signing Loans

Do not co-sign on a loan unless you are ready to pay the entire loan.  No wait, this font-size isn’t emphatic enough. Do not co-sign on a loan unless you are ready to pay the entire loan. I cannot emphasize … Continue reading

Posted in Credit

The Line Between Tax Advoidance and Tax Evasion…

is made out of chain link and topped with razor wire.  How do you make sure you’re on the non-orange jumpsuit side of the fence? Tax avoidance is an action taken to lessen tax liability and maximize after-tax income.  This … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes

Tax Refunds from Chain Tax Preparers

So, let’s say you get your taxes done at one of the many tax preparation stores: how should you take your refund?  There are usually a few options*: Pay tax preparers directly, receive your refund when it comes:  This is … Continue reading

Posted in Credit, Taxes

Can You Make It Through the Month?

From Urban Ministries of Durham, North Carolina comes a game meant to drive home the plight of the working poor, and encourage support of their relief efforts: Spent.  It’s a lot like the game of “Oregon Trail”.  As time passes … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning, Income, Spending

The Dangers of Following Gurus

I happened on a fascinating exchange between Rick Kahler, CFP®, MS, ChFC, CCIM and YouTube followers of Dave Ramsey, and I think it’s an extremely instructive example of the dangers for blindly following gurus.  First, some background. For those who … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Tax Credit: the Saver’s Credit

Did you know that you can get a tax credit for putting money away for your retirement?  You need to meet some requirements first, though (for 2010). Income limits: Single, Married and Filing Separately, and Qualified Widow(er): $27,750, Head of … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes

A Perspective Change

From time to time I bounce up against the most interesting things.  One of these interesting things are attitudes about financial products.  Some people claim to have affection for their credit cards, to the point that their emotions become tumultuous … Continue reading

Posted in Credit, Financial Planning, Insurance, Investments

Saving Takes More Than Time and Discipline

Lurking at the New York Times website, I read an opinion piece by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, titled “Saving Takes Time and Discipline.”  You can go read it for yourself, it’s very brief.  The thesis is that the primary driver of savings … Continue reading

Posted in Income, News, Spending

Cash Advances

They’re dangerous business, cash advances.  Have you read the terms and conditions of you credit card?  It’s worth it, especially if you’re going to take cash advances. So why check your terms and conditions?  Two reasons: First, many cards have … Continue reading

Posted in Credit

Is The Sky Really Falling?

“Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events

Biggest Financial Regret

One of the great things about two of my previous financial jobs was that I got to talk to a lot of work-a-day people about their money.  I was always fascinated to hear about their stories and opinions on money.  Their … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

IRS Free File

It that time of year, you’ve (hopefully) received all of your tax documents and are getting geared up to file your return.  But, how to file?  Why not use the IRS’s Free File?  If you have a 2010 AGI* of … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes

How Marginal Tax Rates Work

Here’s something I overheard a few years ago that broke my heart. “I may as well not make more money, the government will just increase my tax rate so I’ll end up with less.” Taxes don’t work that way.*  To … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes