Four Tax Free Weekend Shopping Tips

Back in 1996, New York legislature was the first to enact a statewide sales tax holiday through a tax-free week that began in January 1997.  Since then, thirteen different states have adopted the notion of this back to school tax free shopping weekend. (source: Wikipedia)   Saving money is normally music to our ears.  Saving on taxes at the same time we can get a discount on merchandise is surround sound for our ears.   There are several states that don’t currently impose a sales tax entirely, but here are my four smart money moves on how to take advantage of the tax-free shopping in the state of Georgia.  E-mail me if you want to know how to save money in your state at ted@oxygenfinancial.net. Computers– All computer and software items that are under $1,000 are exempt from sales tax during the tax-free weekend.   Be on the lookout for special deals from Apple, Dell, and also the major technology department stores.  It isn’t just a smartphone, computer, or tablet you should be... ...

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How To Save $1,000 Fast

How many times have you told yourself, “If I just had an extra thousand dollars in my pocket I would . . . .” in your life?   There are many things that we would like to purchase month to month or year to year if only that little bit of extra cash was in our pockets.  I discuss a lot of different techniques to make money or save money in the your smart money moves blog, but now let’s talk about a few ways to get cash quick in your pocket.   If you need $1,000 bucks for something you want to buy, a vacation you want to take, or to make an investment that needs to be done now, here are eight ways to save $1,000 fast. Sell Your Stuff– Whether you do this through a garage sale, you take it on Craigslist, odds are that you have items in your house that you just don’t want or need anymore.  Take a look in your storage closet, your bedroom closet,... ...

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Are Robo Advisors On A Level Playing Field?

Over the past twelve to eighteen months, easily one of the most featured story lines in the financial services business is the proliferation of ‘robo-advisor’ as a lower cost better way to have your money managed.   Leaders in the industry such as Wealthfront, Betterment, and Personal Capital have been the frontrunners with a slew of new robo advisors literally popping up by the month. Many investors have started to compare the ‘robo-advisor’ to their current financial advisor, but is it a huge misconception that you are really comparing apples to apples?  Here are four important considerations you should have when deciding to go one route or another. Do you want money management and advice-  Being an advisor for almost 25 years, clients often blur the line between paying for money management and paying for advice and planning.  Admittedly, it is a very confusing line.   If your current financial advisor is charging you a fee for 1%, it is possible that they are answering questions via e-mail, doing complex retirement calculations,... ...

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How to Get off Cable TV

So many of us are TV junkies.  Growing up in the era before Cable and DVRs, somehow we were able to watch shows live each week.  But life is busy these days and it is hard to watch all the great shows.  Not too long ago, I was shopping my bills and realized by dropping my Cable bill, I could save some significant money.  After doing some research I found three interesting options. Chromecast by Google.  This is a small device that plugs into the HDMI port on most new TVs.  Using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can have Internet programming on your TV screen.  There are no monthly fees for the device itself, but some Internet sites will have subscriptions for content. (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) Roku has a couple of device options.  Their pricing is higher than the Chromecast, but it is full of additional features.  One model even comes with a Voice Search option. HD antenna.  Local TV channels are required to broadcast an HD signal.  Antennas... ...

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Should I Lend Money To A Friend?

A late night call comes in from an old college friend of yours who now lives miles away.   You spend an hour on the phone reminiscing about the good old days in the fraternity, and then your buddy hits you up with a question that comes out of left field.  “I’ve kind of hit a tough patch in life and I know things have gone well for you in your business career.  Do you think you could loan me $10,000 for just a short period of time?”   He goes on to tell you that he’s got a new job lined up and things are starting to turn the corner so he shouldn’t need the money long.    How’s this for a tough situation?   Let’s be honest (having seen this a million times), if you loan money to a friend or family member and everything is informal and off the cuff you should NEVER expect to see that money back.  Consider it a gift and call it a day.   Handing money over... ...

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Four Money Phrases You Don’t Say To Your Wife

I have been married almost 21 years, so I like to think that I do a pretty good job as husband.   We all like to think we do a pretty good job as a spouse.  As it stands, what’s most interesting about my day to day job isn’t the nuts and bolts of crunching numbers and figuring out how much money people need for retirement.   The most enlightening part of my profession is seeing the dynamics of the emotional exchange of words between two spouses around their family finances.   We don’t often really think through what we are saying to one another, and just one word or comment could set your spouse off into a 4th of July fireworks session.  Here are four money phrases you don’t say to your wife  or spouse. Is That New? – Hmmmm…. On the surface, this one seems kind of harmless, doesn’t it?   But, there really is no great way to say ‘is that new’ no matter how you slice up the pie. This... ...

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What Is The Best College To Go To In The Future?

Overview I have been asking for years in my ‘your smart money moves’ column if we could really put a monetary value on a college education.  The great debate over public school vs. private school on the high school level will continue because there isn’t a ton of empirical data, but thanks to our friends at PayScale (www.payscale.com), there is beginning to be a lot more evidence around what school really delivers a bang for your buck.   We all know that past performance cannot be a guarantee for the future, but there is a set of trending data that makes it interesting to see what schools in the future will deliver you return on your investment if you choose to take out student debt or your parent’s fork over the cash for a college education. PayScale provides a forecast for the financial return on investment (College ROI) for a bachelor’s degree at public and private colleges through the year 2025. Here Are The Highlights The financial return on investment of... ...

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