All my life I have resented and feared debt. I’m sure I’m not alone. At various times in life you’ve got to face facts and your fears because sometimes there’s just no escaping it. I thought today I’d review my adventures in debt for your information (and perhaps my own therapy). So this is a story, not about a man named Brady, but of one named Gary! Sit back and take the journey with me and maybe when the dust clears you might just feel better knowing that you aren’t alone.
Billions of dollars are left behind every year by people who prepare their own taxes, often because they fail to take advantage of all the tax deductions available to them. While I believe that most of us can do our own taxes and not leave our money on the table, it’s imperative to prepare now for the tax return deadline which is April 18th this year (the 15th is a Friday and this year’s deadline has been extended to Monday the 18th). In Maine and Massachusetts it’s the 19th due to Patriots day.
To help you with your 2015 tax returns, don’t skip this important list. While I’m not a tax professional, you can always research these and other tax deductions at IRS.gov. Remember, if you have difficulty or your return is more complex than you can handle, see an accountant or check out the many free options either online or in your own community.Continue reading“33 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions You Need to Know”
You can’t get through a day right now without hearing something about the presidential election and the Democratic and Republican campaigning that is going on. Between the news, talk shows, debate stages, and the constant updating and interviewing of the huge number of candidates wanting your vote, it’s just inescapable isn’t it?
How much attention do you pay to it all? Have you taken a look at what each candidate says and stands for? That may have a huge impact on your life, money, and your financial future. Here are some of the big issues that are being talked about that you should consider and may very well influence your choice when you vote in your state primary/caucus and of course next November when you have the chance to vote for President.Continue reading“How Will the Presidential Election Affect Your Financial Future?”
Over the past two years I have spent some time both talking and writing on this blog about traveling on the road to financial health and wealth. Last June, I had the pleasure to participate in a local stop of a national roadshow where I met young entrepreneurs who are extremely passionate about communicating and teaching young people how to get on that road and reach their goals. They made a real and lasting impact all over the country. It was eye opening for me, and I’m sure many other people.
That story, however, isn’t the only inspirational story that you’ll find. I had the opportunity to sit down recently with someone I’ve known for over 30 years, Mr. David B. Morrow, to discuss his own real life success story. He’s the President and Chief Investment Officer of Wilshire Enterprises Inc., a regional real estate investment and development firm based in East Hanover, New Jersey. The road to success of financial health and wealth isn’t the same path for everyone, but there seems to be some habits, methods, and thought processes that are the keys to making it to those goals.Continue reading“A Real Life Success Story – On the Road to Financial Health & Wealth”
Wow, has been a whole year since we last spoke about celebrating St. Frugaltine’s Day? I guess so and once again it comes as the challenge of showing our valentine how much we care without going way overboard or appearing to be a cheapskate…our worst fear! Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap. Let’s make that perfectly clear. Rather, it means a way to show how much you care about the emotional side of an event like St. Valentine’s Day, and not the commercial side.
According to the National Retail Association, the average person will spend $150 this year celebrating and buying gifts for this “holiday”. That adds up to over 19 billion dollars nationally, enough money to make Kevin O’Leary happy and get him “his money” back and more for any valentine Shark Tank investments he’s made! But seriously, 19 million? It makes Frugal Gary shudder…how about you?Continue reading“Avoid Spending a Fortune on St. Frugaltine’s Day”
Maybe you (or someone close to you) got engaged over the holidays. Maybe you’ve enjoyed your engagement for awhile and are ready to set the date and start planning. Either way, a wedding is a most special day for you, your friend or a family member’s new life together. Almost always however, anyone who has ever attended a beautiful wedding party knows that after the celebrating is done they all wonder, “What the heck did they spend on this shindig?” Weddings can be very, very expensive, and it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000, $30,000, or even $40,000 today on one today, with the average exceeding $30,000! But there are ways to save money on a wedding while still making your day extra special.
So many weddings come later now since people are waiting longer than before to tie the knot. As a result, the wedding costs are falling on the bride and groom more often than ever. The last thing you want to do is make that most exciting, beautiful and happy day the beginning of a huge new ugly debt!Continue reading“Simple Ways to Save Money on a Wedding”
With the new year now upon us, I am proud to say my wife and I have hammered out our new budget for 2016. As a retired person for the past couple of years it has become increasingly challenging to maintain a comfortable life style when a big part of our income comes from my Social Security benefit and IRA distributions. Because of that, we have to plan carefully each year to try to increase our savings and emergency fund by finding new ways to save money.
This time around, instead of just preaching what you should do, I’m going to go through our approach to creating a budget and examine what it is we actually do. I’ll also show you how we erred this past year and how we’re planning to change so we can achieve all our financial goals this coming year!Continue reading“Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work”
Today is New Year’s Day and I’d like to wish everyone happiness, health, and prosperity for 2016. And how do we get to happiness, health, and prosperity?
Resolutions: every new year we make a list of them and then by February they just seem to disappear in the cold north wind. I know you know what I’m talking about. You’ve pledged to lose some weight or to give up your nasty smoking habit, but it’s so much easier to say it than to do it. You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Well, when it comes to your financial resolutions, it’s much the same. Making resolutions that can make real changes in your life is something that most of us think, talk about and plan every year. But what becomes of that plan?
About a year ago, I wrote about how to make a better plan, by setting measurable goals, dealing with setbacks, engaging others, and more. This year I’d like to talk about what some of those financial goals might include.Continue reading“Making A Success of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions”