Six Ways To Not “StubHub” Your Toe On Sporting Tickets

I happened to be out in St. Louis last Friday night when game six took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.   When I realized that the game would take place as the same time my travels had me in town, I decided to go on to StubHub to see what the prices looked like to get a ticket.   It seems as if concerts and sporting events go live in today’s world, you can’t even get a ticket direct anymore.  The ticket brokers are the only place you can actually buy a ticket unless you want to scalp the good old fashioned way.  When the prices came up minimally at $100 a ticket for ‘standing room only’ and went as high as $2,700 for front row type seats, all of a sudden the local bar at Gio’s didn’t seem to be such a bad idea.   So, how can you save money when shopping for sporting tickets?  ...

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You Lost $24 Billion In 16 Days Mr. Government?

According to the USA Today (10/18/2013), the 16 day Government shutdown cost the economy jobs, delayed mortgages, and lost retail sales.  The numbers aren’t fully in yet, but it is purported to be at least 12 billion dollars and possibly as much as 24 billion dollars for the stalemate that took place in Washington, D.C. over the past several weeks. As a 22 year veteran financial advisor, you don’t advise someone to take out a Target store card right after they have maxed out their Sears and Nordstrom store cards.   We all know that piling up lots and lots of credit card debt is simply an unsustainable way to manage a financial budget.  What we all don’t know today is when the balloon will burst. It’s not a smart money move to lose 12 billion, let alone 24 billion, but I’ve come up with my list of things that we could have done with 24 billion. We could have handed ...

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What Happened To My Precious Pandora?

As I pulled up my favorite Pandora station, Red Hot Chili Peppers, I anxiously awaited the install of some cool track like Scar Tissue or Give It Away.    Instead I was greeted with a movie trailer-like 30-second ad followed by a plumbing ad followed by a ‘what’s your favorite sandwich’ Panera ad.   A song later, I got hit with another ad and then followed up by yet another.   The frustration seeped quickly through my blood as all I wanted to do was listen to a few tunes of my favorite rock band.   It dawned on me recently that new technology launched through apps or a website is really exciting when it is unencumbered by the fact that eventually it will need to make money.   Think about these examples below. FACEBOOK– Facebook is still one of the most widely used social mediums that exist today.  However, like all technology machines built for growth it inevitably needed to produce a profit.    It ...

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OTP: ‘Sip Wine’ In Milton Offers Four Money Saving Deals

Eat Well. Save Money. Come Back Hungry.  As we bring you more and more money saving deals in our financial bites column, we’ll be looking several times per month to give you deals at restaurants inside and outside the perimeter so you can make the most of your hard earned money.   Sip Wine, which is currently located in downtown Crabapple in Milton, GA, offers a huge selection of wine, tapas, and even has a full spread of the nitrous oxide machines to test out (with a pre-paid wine card) to taste a sip, half glass, or full glass of over 20 different wines. When I ate here last week, I discovered that Sip (we hear that they may open new locations in Cumming and in Toco Hills as well) offers four daily deals that you may want to take advantage of if you live in the North Atlanta suburbs: Sunday– 12 and under Kids Eat Free – they even have ...

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5 Ways To Save Money At Department Stores

Gasp! Gasp! There’s nothing worse than having a white coated clinician spray some newly branded perfume on to a card and waft in your face as you gently stroll through the front doors of the department store.   You can get lost in a department store.   Some of them have three or four floors or if you take a trip over the pond to London take an afternoon to enjoy the ultimate department store in Harrod’s.   We shop at different department stores for different reasons, but here are five smart money moves tips for you if you choose to spend an afternoon trolling through racks of clothes and up and down escalators looking for a bargain. Start At The Clearance Racks– The upscale department stores are chock full of great merchandise.  Unfortunately for you, they don’t put it in the front of the store when you start shopping.  Work your way to the back of the store or to a particular ...

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There is no stress when the check is in the mail

Written By: Van Pappas, CFP These days there are fewer and fewer companies offering pension plans.  If you are fortunate to have one, you might find a letter in the mail one day from your pension manger with what looks like an attractive lump sum buyout.  Most times the amount of the lump sum payout could be the biggest check you will ever see.   They offer these buyouts as a way to reduce the impact on the company’s financials, by shrinking the size of their pension obligations. One of the issues is that if you take the lump sum personally, rather than rolling it into an IRA, you will have to pay income tax on the entire amount and this could push you into a higher tax bracket.  Once you elect to take the offer, you cannot undo it. Look at the monthly payment options available and calculate the performance you may need to make to potentially get a similar ...

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How do you build business when you go to networking events?

By Van Pappas, CFP ® I’ve been to many networking events in my life.  When I went to my first one, I asked myself what I wanted to get out of it.  Make a Sale? Meet more people?  Build my personal brand?  Even in this fast paced technological world, the old saying “people do business with people they know, like and trust” still holds true.  One of the best places to showcase yourself for this purpose is at a networking event.  So how do you build business when you are at a networking event? Active Listening While I have come up with a couple of variations of my elevator speech over the years, I have found that listening and asking the right questions is far more important.  Successful people listen to find out exactly what the other person is about.  The purpose of the event is to make connections and there is no better way to make a connection than ...

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The Devil Went Down To Georgia

Charlie Daniels won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979 for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia“, which reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 in September 1979. Almost everybody can name that tune the moment they hear it on the radio. Even if the Devil does come down to Georgia, here is one thing they won’t want to do in this state if they are making a smart money move . . . drink beer. But does it pay to be a ‘sin tax’ consumer in Georgia? ‘Sin Taxes’ as we often hear them called are a form of sumptuary taxes. Sumptuary taxes are ostensibly used for reducing transactions involving something that society considers undesirable, and is thus a kind of sumptuary law. Sin tax is used for taxes on activities that are considered socially undesirable. Common targets of sumptuary taxes are alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and vehicles emitting excessive pollutants. Sumptuary tax on sugar and soft drinks ...

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Can You Pay 0% Capital Gains Tax?

Most of us have heard through the major media outlets how tax law changes will adversely affect our overall income taxes here in 2013. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that when your expenses consistently exceed your revenue, cost cutting alone won’t improve your bottom line. This means that raising various types of taxes will definitely be one strategy to increase revenue in order to pay off the massive U.S. debt. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 was passed by Congress on January 1st, 2013 and was only a partial resolution to the fiscal cliff; just wait until fiscal cliff part II which will look more like ‘Hangover Part II’, Mike Tyson tattoo and all. While the ATRA did impose more taxes on the upper end of the scale and raised capital gains taxes on the very upper end of the income brackets, there is a unique opportunity for many Americans to look at their overall ...

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National 529 Day

Today is National 529 Day.   Just another day on the calendar to get you thinking about how you will support your children’s college education.   I have noticed over the past several years that college education is one of the areas that people in their 40’s and early 50’s are WAY behind in when it comes to planned savings.   I’m also seeing much more discrepancies between spouses and partners alike about what is the best way to plan for this goal.  Should your kids go to an in-state school?  Should they go to the college of their choice?   Should you plan for an ivy league private school?   What happens if they just cross the border and go to a state school in a bordering state?   Imagine you get home from work one day and your child has the magical letter from that college or university that you both always dreamed they would attend?     Will you have a plan in place that ...

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