The Investing Strategy Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know

For today’s guest post on a personal investing strategy, please welcome fellow personal finance blogger Joseph Hogue.

Making investing personal will not only make investing cheaper but will motivate you and help you reach your financial goals

Two stock market crashes in less than a decade into the new millennium and a lot of people wonder if investing is worth the risk and the worry. Keeping up with the ups-and-downs of the stock market and picking the best investments can seem like a part-time job.

You wouldn't know it from listening to Wall Street and the investment industry, but the best way to invest is with a personal investing strategy. Making it personal will help you get where you want to go financially.

But investing doesn’t have to be like that.

In fact, the best investing strategy is one about which you don’t worry at all. Continue reading

You Can Pay No Income Tax and Still Get a Huge Tax Refund!

Believe it or not, about 50% of all Americans pay no federal income tax. Zero, nada, zilch, nothing, a huge goose egg! Today’s Super Saving Tips post might just be the biggest money saver ever and could be worth thousands of dollars to you and your family right now. There are two reasons for it: your income level and certain tax laws and benefits, like the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

It's possible to pay no income tax and still get a big tax refund if you qualify for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Here are the details...see whether it can benefit you and your family.

The tax system in the United States is designed to be progressive, meaning that higher incomes are asked to pay a larger percentage in income taxes. If your income level is relatively low, standard deductions and exemptions can quickly lower your tax burden to zero according to the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan research center. But then there’s something else. Because of credits, you can actually get a “refund” of real money without having paid any taxes at all! Continue reading

Stock Market Volatility Is Always an Unwelcome Event

Remember your childhood days and your Yo-Yo? If you do, then you can probably relate to what has been happening since last Friday in the U.S. markets and today has been “Yo-Yo purgatory” for many investors.

We are in the midst of stock market volatility so fasten your safety belt, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Now's not the time to panic. Experts think that a market correction is in order.

The U.S. stock market is making some investors very nervous over the past several days. On Monday, the Dow dropped 1,175.21 points, an all-time biggest point drop in its entire history (although not the biggest percentage drop) having briefly declined more than 1,500 points during the session. Other major indexes closed sharply lower too. The sell-off kicked into action last Friday, after the latest non-farm payrolls report saw interest rates in the U.S. jump. Continue reading

18 Money Saving Ideas for St. Frugaltine’s Day

I definitely love being in love! I am so fortunate that I have found true love on my second time around when I met and fell for Suzanne, my beautiful wife, back in 2005! Not only is she all that and a bag of chips (am I dating myself with that phrase?), but we share a mindset about personal finances and that crosses off the list any arguments we might have about money. That is a problem that many couples endure and it can really damage a relationship.

You know it's coming on February 14th, and now you need some Valentine's Day ideas that won't break the bank. We've got you covered with some money saving ways to show your love.

Having said that, we both enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day each year but we do it on our own terms. So it’s kind of a challenge to come up with some new ways to have fun, share our love, and still remain fiscally solvent. Here’s a not so short list of money saving ideas that can make your Valentine’s a “St. Frugaltine’s Day” of fun and frolic! Continue reading

How the Family Budget of Americans Varies at Different Phases of Life

For today’s guest post on how the family budget changes over time, please welcome fellow personal finance blogger James Paul.

We spend according to our age. Our needs vary as we grow old. Our happiness depends on how much you earn. The more we earn, the more we spend, and the happier we are. The American economy is built on the buying power of its citizens. They have many reasons to buy Black Friday sales, New Year sales, and discounts all around the year.

At different times in your life, your family budget will vary according to the stage you are in. Here are the average monthly expenses for 7 different phases. How does it compare to yours?

When you decide on the family budget next time, analyze the areas which cost you more and less. Studies show you tend to spend more as you grow old. Following are the ways in which Americans spend their earnings: Continue reading

Your Tax Forms: Very Important Info and Dates for 2018

Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Even though I can never quite figure out why people want to do it, many people are expecting and excited to get a federal tax refund every year. As I have written before, in almost all cases, the money you get back from Uncle Sam is your very own money that you have overpaid. It’s money you are literally lending to the government at no interest and they are very happy to just return it to you when you file your tax return. First though, this year there is an extra monkey wrench in the picture you need to know about!

It's important to understand when to expect your tax forms to file your 2017 taxes, as well as how to fill out your 2018 tax forms. Here's the details you need to know.

New Withholding Amounts for Your Paycheck

The Trump administration is pushing American businesses to withhold less in taxes from paychecks by February, aiming to quickly deliver the boost in take-home pay that Republicans promised their new tax law would bring. Sounds like a really good thing, right? Continue reading

Where is the Line on Paying Your Adult Child’s Expenses?

The old adage used to be that parents were financially responsible for their children up to the age of 18. After that, they became legal adults and financially responsible for themselves. Years ago, many teens couldn’t wait for their independence so they could move out and strike out on their own. I know that was how I thought back then but things have changed significantly for parents when it comes to their adult child.

As parents, we tend to do everything in our power to help our adult child. But where do you draw the line about paying for their expenses? Here's why it's important to limit your payments and what to tell your child.

Fast forward to today and now many parents continue to provide their children with financial assistance in some form throughout their college education, and often beyond. There have been several reasons for that happening. Continue reading

10 Essential Qualities You Need to Land a Great Job

As of right now, employment numbers are showing that the U.S. is approaching what is referred to as “full employment”. In fact, at around 4.0% unemployment we are approaching a 17-year low in the number of unemployed Americans. Of course there are some who challenge that assessment saying that there are large numbers of “under-employed” or those who have simply stopped looking for work ever since the recession of 2008 wreaked havoc on our economy. Some of that is true, no doubt.

The job market is expanding and now is the time to accelerate your career. Here are 10 job skills and traits that will help you land the position you want.

But, there is also a trend that is showing that salaries are starting to rise. Minimum wages are being raised and hiring for expansion in many industries is underway by the thousands. That means opportunities for workers are expanding. Continue reading

Why You Need to Build a Strong Financial Foundation

Life is truly an ongoing learning experience. It begins when you take your very first breath at birth and the learning process doesn’t stop until you take your last. That’s the way it’s supposed to be and hopefully you do learn and if you stumble a bit, you just don’t get hurt and you try never make those missteps again.

Building a strong financial foundation is critical to your success in life. By following these steps, you can take control of your finances and go where you want in life.

It’s a lot like when you learned to ride a bike when you were a kid. You probably were a little scared and maybe fell off a few times, but eventually you were able to do it pretty well. You probably had some help to get that done too. After all, learning from someone who has mastered a skill is a great way to hone your very own. Whether it’s riding a bike or building a strong financial foundation, the same principles apply. Continue reading

These 19 Finance Questions Explain Why You Have Money Trouble

Sarcasm warning: proceed at your own risk!

If there’s one subject area where today’s American adult population is sorely lacking in knowledge, it’s astrophysics. But if there were two subject areas, the other would definitely be personal finance. Don’t worry; it’s probably not your fault. After all, they don’t teach things like budgeting, using credit cards, or starting retirement plans in most schools.

We all have "dumb" finance questions from time to time, and it's important to seek out the answers. If you find yourself asking too many of these questions however, it may explain why your finances are in trouble.

As a result, I often hear the same really basic questions about personal finance repeated endlessly—basic questions to which we should all know the answers or at least know where we can get simple answers to complex questions. Continue reading