I Pay No Income Tax and Do It Legally!

It’s just six weeks away from the filing deadline for 2019 federal taxes and if you are like most Americans, you are not a big fan of having to pay them. Typically, it’s a conversation we have (at least with ourselves) as we tend to mumble about how much we pay and how it is spent—and sometimes wasted—by our government. It really doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, all of us would love to pay no income tax and take home more of our paychecks, wouldn’t we?

It may be possible for you to pay no income tax and do it legally. Do you take advantage of all the deductions and tax credits you're entitled to?

If you take nothing else away from today’s post please take this: Check and file a new W-4 tax form where you work that will guarantee that you have the correct amount withheld from your paycheck each week and will not cause you to get a giant refund with no interest! You can have whatever amount you want withheld, even zero if you want and that is perfectly legal if you believe that you will not owe any taxes for the year!

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Money Can’t Buy Happiness, Can It?

Why is “green” so “mean”? You will have to forgive the pun that starts off this post. The “green” I refer to is your money and since we are approaching the big green holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d ease into that green subject.

They say money can't buy happiness, but a lot of people seem to try anyway. Here's more on the complicated relationship between money and happiness.

There are a lot of things in life that are green, from the shamrocks abounding on the holiday to the fields of tall grass out in the countryside and the frog on the pond as well as hundreds of other things you can think of that are green. It can be a beautiful, fun sight and even a cool refreshing smell or taste! But it’s not always.

Although we may remain keen for green, it often gives us more social anxiety than real satisfaction. Face it, if you are like most people, money is on your mind if not 24/7, then at least every waking moment of your day! Sometimes “green” can be really mean…mean and stressful.

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Best Ways to Save Money That Few Ever Do

If you’re a financial blog reader, you are most definitely being bombarded by “good advice” almost every day and I have to admit myself that sometimes the advice is complex and hard to understand. Any time someone swears that their ideas are foolproof and guaranteed to bring you financial peace of mind and success, you should be just a bit skeptical when it comes to your money and re-read the words a few dozen times before you jump right in to changing everything about your money and life. That’s one “blog tip” I will share and stand by, for sure. But sometimes, the advice you read about can be pretty simple and really basic and practical. Yet, despite that fact, many people read about those best ways to save money, understand them, and never do them! Why is that?

Knowing the best ways to save money isn't enough; you actually have to do something! Here are 6 things you can do to get your finances in shape.

Is Anyone Really an Expert When It Comes to Money?

When it comes to money, there are lots of people claiming to be experts. No doubt some actually are just that. Either they have learned about financial success through their own experiences or they have studied about it and learned to apply what they have learned to real life. Some of these people are household names like Dave Ramsey or even Suze Orman. But what about all the other hundreds of people (like me) who are willing to share some saving tips that we think are right on? Should you believe and trust our advice?

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How Your Life and Career Parallels Baseball

This post was originally published on March 17, 2015 and was updated on February 11, 2020.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about one of my very favorite subjects. It was kind of a twist on getting yourself prepared for your life and career, but looking at it from an unusual view: comparing the parallels to your being a success in life to that of being a success in baseball!

Life is like baseball: the trajectory of a baseball career is much like the phases we go through in life. Learn what it means for your career and finances.

As we here in the Northeast pine for warmer temps and bluer skies, we know that spring is just around the corner and that soon the flowers will return and getting out in the sunshine will be an everyday affair again. Whenever my mind thinks spring, it can’t help but drift to what it always does this time each year… baseball.

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The Screwed-Up Social Security System

Based on what you earn throughout your lifetime, you become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes. That time can vary from person to person for many reasons, because once you hit age 62 you become eligible to get it, but you can wait for years if you choose to, even up to age 70.

When it comes to the Social Security system, there are a few things that can keep you from maximizing your benefits. Here are some of the gotchas to beware.

But despite the success and importance of the Social Security plan, the system suffers from problems and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). And sometimes you make them yourself. Why?

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Why You Shouldn’t Want a Huge Tax Refund

For the umpteenth time, I have to rail about tax returns and big tax refunds as I always do at this point in the year! Right now is the time of year taxpayers are thinking about their taxes and that long awaited tax refund. Nearly 72% of taxpayers received a tax refund last year, and the average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000 according to the IRS. And that’s even in the real life case that so many filers feel like their tax refund was actually a little low.

If you get huge tax refunds, I have one question for you: why? A smaller tax refund can mean you get your money every month instead. Here's how to do it.

But since I opened up the box, I now have to ask the question:

Why does getting a tax refund (of your own money) make you so happy?

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How to Avoid Paying Income Tax in Retirement

Everyone has to deal with taxes; they’re oftentimes unavoidable. But if you play your cards right, you can spend as little money as possible on them. You may even be so lucky as to avoid paying income tax altogether in retirement and get this… the government might actually give you money when tax season rolls around in a little something called the EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can maximize your finances if you avoid paying income tax in retirement. Here are 9 types of money that aren't taxed, plus money you might get for free!

Retirement won’t save you from the tax forms and some headaches, but there is money you get that Uncle Sam can’t touch, as long as you play by the rules. And you have to know and understand the rules to win this game. So pay attention now and learn how you can actually avoid paying any income taxes on these things when you hit retirement!

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Saving Money Should Be Easy, So Why Is It So Hard?

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

With early and continued exposure to personal finance and economics, kids today are growing up to be better savers, investors, and borrowers, according to the Council for Economic Education. The expectations are that they can and will make better financial decisions for themselves and their families in the future. But, then what about you?

Saving money isn't as easy as it should be, so follow these saving money tips to increase your funds.  Every little bit helps!

If saving is just a matter of “education”, well you aren’t living on a remote island someplace, are you? It’s the 21st century and you are getting money advice from everywhere these days, so what is the problem? If saving money is just a matter of educating yourself, then saving should be easy. So why is it so hard?

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