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How To Pick A Credit Card

We often pull out our credit cards during this holiday season much like a Ninja warrior would unleash their Samurai sword from its sheath.   Credits cards can be our friend or our foe depending on how we choose to use this weapon.  During this peak month of shopping, every store you purchase merchandise from will tempt you with a big discount at the cash register to get a store card Johnny on the spot.  I’m not a big personal fan of carrying revolving credit card debt, and I don’t recommend it is a habit you get into within your financial life.  Going to work every day to pay obligations can lead to a high amount of stress.  Credit cards, when used appropriately, can actually help you in the positive column by potentially rewarding you with extra cash back, frequent flier miles, or some type of point structure to redeem prizes behind door number three.   So, how do you actually pick ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A Vacation Or College Education

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    This week I wanted to discuss the mistake of spending too much on vacations and not enough saving for college education. Where do you think we should take the kids away for spring break this year?      Should we go away for Thanksgiving or would it be better during the holiday season?    I know the children have sports and camps over the summer, but wouldn’t it ...

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Does paying cash matter?

I wrote a recent article about not becoming a slave to your possessions.   It made be begin to ponder the question about what kind of impact paying with cash only would make on your financial future if that was the only methodology you had to buy new things.   In the past six months, I have been testing this exercise by going through some stretches of time taking out cash only and making it the main form of buying day to day items.    I’ve always been a fan in the past of using credit cards to get frequent flier miles and floating your cash if you had the financial means to be able to pay off that bill each and every month.   However, I’ve begun to consider the real impact paying with cash has on how you think about the purchases you make.   Here are three reasons why paying cash might matter: It feels real because it is real – Credit ...

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Do You Pay Your Taxes By Credit Card?

Some business owners or people who pay estimated tax payments end up paying their federal income taxes with a credit card. If you pay your income tax (including estimated tax payments) by credit or debit card, you can deduct the convenience fee you are charged by the card processor to pay using your credit or debit card. The deduction is claimed for the year in which the fee was charged to your card as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on line 23 of Schedule A (Form 1040) (and is subject to the 2% of the adjusted gross income floor). (Source: www.irs.gov) However, I always suggest that you look at what it net to you and don’t necessarily let the tax tail wag the dog. The deduction of those fees may sound great, but you really need to analyze what the cost of the convenience fee is relative to the rewards points/frequent flier miles you are earning by using the credit card ...

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Where did all my money go??

We're about 60 days into 2009, and one of the things people have been asking themselves is "where does all my money go?" When you look at your overall financial situation, your 401(k) has now been reduced to a 201(k). Your real estate property probably has devalued substantially, and really at the end of the day you make some income but you're not quite sure where all of money goes after you pay your expenses. One of the things that we recommend at this time is to ensure that you've got a quality spending plan in 2009. ...

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