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5 ‘Back To School’ Ways To Save Money

It’s hard to believe that we are almost back to school.    I know some of you don’t have to start the end of summer ritual until Labor Day comes, but in Atlanta school starts in the middle of August and is just a few weeks today.   This means it is time to be a smart shopper and take inventory of everything you have in your house from last season.  Did the kids outgrow their clothes?   Is it time for a new backpack? What supplies are lurking in the back of drawer that got deposited there at the end of school last year?  While we are all trying to save a few bucks, here are some smart ideas to stretch your dollar during the back to school season. Run it through the business – If you have kids that meet the requirements to be able to work in your business, you might want to consider buying all and any of the ...

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The Best Time To Buy A Home Might Be Now

(orginal article in the AJC.com) From a financial perspective, the window for pouncing on a once-in-a-lifetime deal on a home might be narrowing. The state’s median selling price is down from $175,000 at the market’s 2007 peak to $109,900 in May, says the Georgia Association of Realtors. But recent prices are trending up. The average sales price increased each of the first five months this year, from $126,381 to $152,740. Similarly, January-May median prices were up, from $87,000 to $109,900, every month but one — when prices were flat. Good financial planning takes a long-term view. That’s why Ted Jenkin, co-CEO of Oxygen Financial in Alpharetta, and Wes Moss, chief investment strategist at Capital Investment Advisors in Sandy Springs, say today’s housing market very well could be the financial spark you’re seeking. Some factors to consider: 1. Interest rates: “With 30-year interest rates hovering under 4 percent and 15-year rates under 3 percent, these are tremendous times to be able ...

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Three Ways Credit Card Companies Can Trick You

When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was put into place, credit card holders were supposed to benefit from the new regulation.    Consumers would receive new notifications for rate fee increases, statements would inform consumers on how long it would take to pay off balances, and credit issuers were required to mail bills at least 21 days before the due date.     Now that some time has passed since the Dodd-Frank Act, consumers are still struggling with all time high levels of credit card debt and the fine print coming from credit card companies are smaller than ever.   Here are three things you should keep an eye on so you don’t get stung by the credit card companies. Late Fees– Late fees are a big source of ways that credit card companies earn money.  Since many of us pay our bills through automatic payment, you should make sure you pay your credit card bill a few days before ...

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5 Inexpensive Baby Gifts That Will Make You Shine

You just got the news.   One of your friends just had their first baby and now comes the question on how to make a smart money move with a baby gift that won’t break the bank.   You would like to do something for them that is unique and special, but you just don’t have a fortune within your budget to spend on the gift.     I promise you that rattles, blankets, and onesies won’t separate you from the pack.  Here are five ideas you can use that can make you shine with your friends and leave a lasting impression for the years to come. Favorite Books– You can create your own nice little package of 3 or4 timeless classics that almost all parents will use at some point to read to their kids.   Package together something like Goodnight Moon, Where The Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (almost any Eric Carle book), or Are You My Mother are all books ...

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VIDEO | How Much To Give For A Wedding Gift – Your Smart Money Moves

Published on Jul 5, 2012 SEE FULL STORY HERE – http://bit.ly/IkD3kM – 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? http://bit.ly/IkD3kM   ...

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VIDEO | Who Takes Care of Mom and Dad – Your Smart Money Moves

Published on Jul 4, 2012 Read Full Story Here – http://bit.ly/M4IFkW – Haven’t you been sitting around with your brother(s) and sister(s) and had the infamous discussion on who ranks where on Mom and Dad’s favorite list. While siblings usually joke around who is at the top of the ladder, usually someone cracks the comment, “I’m sure they cut me out of the will years ago.” For Generation X’ers, you are probably beginning to see the early stages of your parents slowing down or perhaps one of them had a mild health scare over the last five years that got you thinking who is going to take of Mom and Dad? Before each one of your brothers and sisters rush to put their finger on their nose and scream “NOT IT!”, it may be time to have a serious discussion about who will bear the responsibility should your Mom and Dad need someone by their side for financial or medical decisions.   ...

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VIDEO | Do I Need A Store Credit Card? Your Smart Money Moves

Published on Jun 25, 2012 Your Smart Money Moves – The BEST Personal Finance Blog for Gen X and Y – http://yoursmartmoney.wpengine.com/ – If you have played a game of credit card poker with yourself it could surely be a sign that you have too many credit cards from too many places. I am a big advocate of having fewer credit cards and establishing a longer credit history with those creditors by upping your credit lines over the years and showing your ability to pay them off regularly. However, I often get asked about store credit cards from places like a Best Buy or a Target and whether it is a good idea to have one of these cards. Do you need a store credit card?   ...

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5 Potential IRA Mistakes

Look out IRA investors because the IRS looks like it will be turning its attention to taxpayers who make mistakes with their IRA accounts. (source: www.wsj.com)    This includes matching distributions to your tax returns, stepped up audits, and tighter reporting overall when it comes to scrutinizing IRA accounts.    As I have shared for the last couple of years on Your Smart Money Moves, the Government is in dire need to increase revenue to balance the budget and pay off our voluminous debt.    One way to do this is to crack down on the mistakes that we make as taxpayers.   Nobody likes coming home and getting a letter in the mail from the IRS.  So here are five mistakes you might be making for the IRS to take a closer look at your tax return. Contributions To Roth IRA Accounts –   While some of you did Roth IRA conversions back in 2010 (and some are still converting), a Roth ‘conversion’ and ...

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Do I Need A Store Credit Card?

If you have played a game of credit card poker with yourself it could surely be a sign that you have too many credit cards from too many places.    I am a big advocate of having fewer credit cards and establishing a longer credit history with those creditors by upping your credit lines over the years and showing your ability to pay them off regularly.   However, I often get asked about store credit cards from places like a Best Buy or a Target and whether it is a good idea to have one of these cards.  Do you need a store credit card? Most the store credit cards that get issued generally happen at the cash register.    The smiling face at the checkout counter tabs your bill up and then tells you that if you opened up a store card today that they will take 10%, 20%, or more off of your first purchase.     You quickly do the math in ...

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