Could Stamps Be A “Forever” Investment?

There is a reason you want the Your Smart Money Moves blog by your side.   Over three and half years ago, I wrote you a blog about buying forever stamps.  Did you take advantage of my advice?  With any overall financial plan, the one silent killer people often leave out is inflation.     Especially when it comes to the actual cost of buying your basic staples like groceries, gas, and utilities. While there has been a substantial increase in business being done on the internet, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will raise prices effective January 26th, 2014 to 49 cents for the first ounce of a first class stamp.   This would essentially be a 6.5% increase.   Bulk mail is also going up by 6% and with a raise to 33 cents, postcard will be up 10% versus 3 ½ years ago. How can you make a smart financial decision?   Load up on Forever stamps! Issued in 2007, the first forever ...

Read More →

Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 4 – Avoid Rookie Mistakes

I am not a professional athlete.  However, I would imagine that the rookie year on any of the professional sports circuits has to be daunting in nature.   Not only are you in front of some type of large crowd, it takes some time getting used  to all of the decisions you have to make to be the best of the best in what you do for a living.   Far too often, new entrepreneurs can make first year decisions which can put a major dent in the first year of your new entrepreneurial venture.  Even someone who has a lot of corporate experience cannot understand the firefight of being a business owner until you have to meet your first payroll.One great idea my business partner and I have put into place in our business is the 48 hour rule.   We’ve set criteria around what a ‘key’ decision is for our business and once we have made a decision on the direction ...

Read More →

How Much Do I Give For A Wedding Gift?

Your college roommate or long time childhood friend invites you to their wedding.   Or better yet, you’ve got a big family and your second cousin Joe is getting married and last time you saw him was two years ago at the family reunion.    Now you have got to spend money to get an airline ticket, book a hotel room, and possibly buy a new dress or suit for the upcoming wedding this summer.   It dawns on you that now you’ve got to figure out how much is the right amount to give for a wedding gift.   You are no Miss Manners by any stretch of the imagination, but you don’t want to walk away like some cheapskate that the wedding couple laughs at that evening when they open up their gifts.   So, how much should you give for a wedding gift? Everyone has different thoughts on this, but let’s talk first if you can’t attend the wedding.   By no means ...

Read More →

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

A few years ago, my sister ran into a truly awful situation. She had to face the music that part her family might pass way. One of her cats was going in and out of the doctor’s office using every medical procedure possible to keep her cat alive. The bills piled up, and inevitably her cat died. I remember one year during open enrollment time that I saw a new benefit on the docket called Pet Insurance. I actually chuckled at first thinking was this some gimmick or trick for the insurance companies to make more money? Quite the contrary to my surprise as Americans spent $20 billion on veterinary bills in 2010 — an 8.5% increase from a year earlier and more than double the amount spent just a decade ago. (source: wsj.com) Owning a pet is a serious financial decision these days because beyond your pet’s regular care, you need to consider the best way to plan for ...

Read More →

Lock Stamp Prices In ‘Forever’

With any overall financial plan, the one silent killer people often leave out is inflation.     Especially when it comes to the actual cost of buying your basic staples like groceries, gas, and utilities. While there has been a substantial increase in business being done on the internet, the United States Postal Service (USPS) may raise prices effective January 2nd, 2011 to 46 cents for the first ounce of a first class stamp.   This would essentially be an 8% increase. How can you make a smart financial decision?   Load up on Forever stamps!  While the cost of a first-class stamp would go up, people who buy Forever stamps at the current 44 cents or at lower prices will still be able to use them without paying the difference.  (source: www.thetimestribune.com) Under the proposed increases, in addition to the 46-cent rate for the first ounce, the cost for each additional ounce would go up a penny to 18 cents. The cost to ...

Read More →

What Tax Deductions Could Go Away In The Future?

All of us know that the United States is in a massive federal deficit. Most pundits on television are letting us know that taxes in some way, shape, or form will have to up. That seems reasonable. Any business that is losing money will eventually have to cut expenses, and figure out how to generate more revenue. We couldn’t cut expenses near enough to solve our problem, so the certainty of some form of increased taxation is an inevitability we will face in the future in my opinion. The one thing that I don’t hear much talk about is that increasing taxes isn’t the only way to generate additional revenue, but you could certainly choose to reduce overall tax deductions that we take today as another source for increasing additional revenue. According to a recent study done by the Joint Committee On Taxation (source: Fiscal Year 2010 Budget: Analytical Perspectives. OMB./Table 19-3), here are the top 5 potential sources of ...

Read More →

Feeling Confused About Investing? It’s fight or flight

One of the worst feelings you could possibly have as a consumer is that notion of being confused about where you're going to invest your money, what type of insurance you're going to buy, or just making a major purchase to your house. It seems the more information you get, the more confused you can become about what is the right decision. Most people say a confused mind says no. ...

Read More →