February 17, 2011

401K Contribution Limits For 2011 & 2010

I thought I’d go over some of the contribution limits for the 401(k). This is one aspect of the tax code that hasn’t changed over the past few years, but let’s take a closer look anyway. It’s always good to review some of the rules behind tax efficient investing for retirement. We can expect any [...]401K Contribution Limits For 2011 & 2010 […]

Review: The Money Book For Freelancers

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. It took me a long time to get through The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed. That’s not usually high praise for a book, but in this case I mean it to be. It took me a long time to read because it was so darn useful. […]

Becoming Wealthy Despite a Market Meltdown

In my post titled Slow and Steady Saving Still Pays, one reader left a great comment that I wanted to share with you all. Specifically, he was addressing the "you can't save/invest and become wealthy like you used to because the market is so bad" crowd. His comment:  I started at 22 with investing/saving over 10%+ of my check, increased to 15%+ by age 23 1/2 and 20%~ by age 27. […]

The Rush: Feeling Good About Bad Financial Decisions

A few weeks ago, I had to go inside to pay at a gas station. A lady in front of me in line purchased $20 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets and began scratching them immediately, moving off to the side to let me pay. I’m of the math-oriented belief that lottery tickets are not worth your while, so I was just polite when I asked the lady if she has good luck playing the tickets. […]

FMF Advertiser on CNBC Tonight

Over the six (in April!) years this blog has been running, I've had many different advertisers and sponsors (FYI, I give all the proceeds from the site to charity, in case you didn't know). I'm thankful for all of them, but one stands out from the pack. Moose Tracks ice cream has been a sponsor from day #1 and is still a sponsor of this blog. I'm thankful for their support. […]

PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card $200 Bonus

The most important thing to evaluate when shopping around for a travel rewards credit card is the quality of the rewards program, particularly when compared to other similar cards. The best travel rewards cards offer much more than the typical one cent per point conversion rate. It’s also important to look at the pricing in the form of interest rate. […]

Government to Issue Debit Cards for Tax Refunds

Plastic is a very real part of our society. Indeed, cash is rarely used as we pay with credit or debit. The government has long let taxpayers use credit cards to pay their taxes, and now the government is trying to decide if it is worth it to issue debit cards to those expecting refunds. […]

TurboTax Online Giveaway

It’s tax time once again, and that means many of you are in the process of filing your tax returns. The IRS just started processing returns that were initially delayed due to the new tax laws, but now that everybody is eligible to file things are kicking into high gear. […]

Help a Reader: Buying Car Insurance

Here are some questions a reader recently sent me: When purchasing auto insurance, I tend to just shop online and secured the lowest rates for my coverages.  I would assume most readers would do the same thing.  However, purchasing insurance through an agent is a common practice too.  For those that purchase insurance from an agent, why did you choose this decision, and do you feel any loyalty […]

Want to Buy a Home With No Money Down? Try a USDA Loan

Given the credit crunch and real estate free-fall of the last two years, a no-down-payment mortgage sounds anachronistic, if not downright unbelievable. But the fact is that thousands of Americans can still purchase a home with no money down, and they don't have to be veterans or military members. The U.S. […]

Reader Mailbag: Sad Child

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Spouse with large savings 2. Split payment offer 3. Late taxes and debts 4. Elizabeth Warren 5. Timing of Roth IRA contributions 6. Funeral budgeting 7. Orange Loan from ING 8. Escrow account question 9. Loose change 10. […]

5 Multipurpose iPhone 4 Cases Fit for a Freelancer

If there was a T-shirt that said “I bought an iPhone 4 and all I got was this stupid bumper,” I’d wear it. Seriously, I hate the thing (the bumper, not the iPhone; I can't live without the latter). […]

Tax Tips When Looking for Work is Your Job

About the author: This is a guest article written by Leigh Mutert, CPA. Leigh is the manager of the H&R Block Get it Right Community, a blog that focuses on breaking down complex topics for taxpayers, and the manager of social media, corporate relations for H&R Block. […]

Stock Markets Love Inflation and Wars Ending

I saw this post by Joshua Brown on CSMonitor last week about his favorite chart. It’s a chart that shows how there’s generally a period of inflation after periods of war and the inflation, if held in check, helps boost the stock market. […]

Which Status Symbols Piss You Off the Most?

I hate to admit it, but I can be a real judgmental prick sometimes. Since starting this blog eons ago, my general personal finance philosophy has been this: If you can really afford it, spend it. But there are those moments where I’ll just cringe and think to myself: “God, what an ass.” My first encounter with status symbol was many years ago, back in elementary school. […]

Why I Bought More Life Insurance

Do yourself a favor and re-evaluate your life insurance needs every few years, or whenever there have been significant changes in your personal situation. You’ll sleep better at night, and so will your family. I just updated my financial plan and realized that I need more life insurance. […]

An 11-Year-Old’s First Budget

This is a guest post from Andrea Deckard, who publishes Savings Lifestyle, a website that helps people save on what they need so they can spend on what they want. Growing up, my parents taught me very little about financial responsibility. It wasn’t until college, when my parents expected me to pay my own car insurance, that I was forced to learn the basics of budgeting. […]

How to Get Back Tax Dollars You Paid Years Before

The following is an excerpt from Julian Block's Tax Tips for Marriage and Divorce: Savvy Ways for Couples to Trim Their Taxes. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why pencils have erasers. […]