Financial Moves To Make When You Become A Freelancer

Imagine this: You recently lost your job or your job lost you, and now you have decided to take some freelance consulting job to pick up some spare cash. Or, you are finally starting that side hustle you’ve always dreamed of and your Etsy store is about to be up and running. Sound familiar? You fill out a W-9 in order to get paid, and a few weeks later a check comes in the mail made out to you.  You are overwhelmed with excitement because this is the first time no taxes have been taken out of your paycheck and you are feeling flush with cash.  At some point in 2020, you’ll be getting your first 1099’s in the mail, but what should you be doing here in 2019 to make sure your ducks are in a row come tax filing time? The reality is that most of you who earned your first 1099 will likely file Schedule C (sole ...

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How NOT To Cheat When Getting Your Kid Into A Great School

Over this past week, one of the largest cheating scandals in history got cracked wide open uncovering bribery and other illegal acts committed by celebrity stars such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.  This may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and opens up the real investigations into how much parents ‘donate’ in order to help their children get the edge to get into the school of their choice. It does beg the question about whether it’s our children that are feeling the peer pressure about getting into college or is it us the parents who are feeling the peer pressure to compete with our neighbors, our co-workers, and our college friends.  Do you as the parent feel less self-worth when that banner in the front of the neighborhood gets put up for everyone to see or when your friends post where their kid is going to school on Facebook? I’m actually amazed by how people are surprised ...

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Five Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Your Next Airline Ticket

There are certain purchases in our lives that always seem to be nerve-racking.  Buying a home, buying a car, and how about pressing that button to officially purchase an airline ticket.  While you are truly excited about that skiing trip in Vail or your next worldwide adventure starting in Amsterdam, you might just be concerned about whether or not you got ripped off on the airfare.  Sometimes, it may feel like the airfare websites are tracking your IP address just jacking up the prices until they squeeze you in or out of buying that ticket. So, here’s the insider’s guide to five things you should know before you purchase that next ticket. Non-Stop Is Cheaper Than A Connector Flight – Actually, here’s an interesting tip. Sometimes, booking two one-way flights might be cheaper than booking the round trip, and that is where I recommend you start the search. What airlines care about most is that their flights are full. Look ...

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Four Bizarre Tax Deductions You May Have Never Seen Before

It’s no secret that people come into the office all the time asking the question, “Can I Take This As A Tax Deduction?”  It’s important to get a high-quality CPA on your side as they will be the person who can give you the ultimate yay or nay, but in order to even suggest a tax idea, you have to understand the nature of being creative.  In 2018, many small tax deductions vaporized, but for those that own side hustles or small businesses, there are still opportunities to potentially use bizarre type tax deductions. 1.            Can you deduct plastic surgery? – This year, one important tax deduction is completely gone. It is form 2016, which is for unreimbursed employee expenses normally reported in the itemized deductions Schedule A of your tax return.  That means all of the salespeople and executives who took deductions for mileage, meals, and entertainment not allowed by their employer are now officially out of luck.  However, ...

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Five Most Common Tax Questions People Are Asking This Year

It’s that time of year.  Unless you needed your refund quickly and your documents were in complete order, you are now beginning to organize your stack of documents to get your taxes filed for 2018.  With all of the news about people getting smaller refunds, lots of taxpayers are worried about actually having to stroke a check when they complete their taxes.  The new Trump tax plan that took effect last year had many changes that people were unaware of or didn’t pay attention to during the course of 2018.  This has triggered a handful of questions which I will answer here in the Your Smart Money Moves column. Why are refunds smaller this year? – This is actually a pretty easy one to answer.  When the new tax laws took effect in 2018, most people quickly realized they had received a bump in their paycheck.  However, what most people didn’t do was make a new calculation on the new ...

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10 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

All too often, new clients come in, and we discover that they have been complacent about the need for proper estate planning.  They think they are either too young or too old, they are of modest means, or an estate plan is unnecessary.  Plus, no matter how much you think your family loves one another, people are greedy when it comes to money. When assets come into play, no estate plan, or a poor one, can cause issues or allow property to fall into the wrong hands. Here are 10 mistakes that, if avoided, will smoothly transfer your estate. Not having a Will or, in the alternative, a living trust – Without a main vehicle to drive the estate, the probate court has to get more involved. Focusing solely on taxes – Under current tax law, most people will not hit the estate tax limits, so taxes do not have to be the driving decision maker. Naming the wrong executor/agent/trustee ...

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Five Money Moves To Make When You Get The Pink Slip

The Pink Slip. It’s the dreaded official notification from your employer that they no longer need your services. You’ll often hear the corporate rumors flowing within your company about the impending layoffs, but you’ll never suspect that you might be a person on the hit list. We never imagine that we will be that person who gets called in for dismissal time. While getting a pink slip is an awful feeling, it’s also a phase in your life where you need to immediately get your financial act together.  Here are my four smart money moves to make when you get laid off from work. 1. When is your last paycheck? – It’s truly amazing to me how many people don’t ask the very simple questions when they get the heave ho from their employer.  You will want to ask specifically when your last day or work is and what the expectations are of you over the next 30, 60, or ...

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Five Signs Your Spouse May Be Financially Cheating

According to the CreditCards.com latest financial infidelity poll, 19 percent of U.S. adults who are in live-in relationships – which equates to 29 million people – are hiding a checking, savings or credit card account from their partner. And 20 percent of all survey respondents feel that a partner hiding a secret bank account from them would be worse than physically cheating. Forty-five percent disagree that it is worse, and 35 percent say it’s about the same. But only 2 percent of the adults in relationships we surveyed would break up with their significant others if they discovered their lovers had $5,000 in secret credit card debt. Withholding financial information from a partner can be extremely damaging to your relationship, so how can you find the red flags to determine whether or not your spouse or partner is financially cheating on you?  Here are five tips that can help you begin your forensic work on this matter: 1. Swap Credit Reports ...

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