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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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What do Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, and the word SALE have in common?

None of us like the idea of going bankrupt. The whole notion of losing all of our money or being in a financial position where we tell ourselves we have to give up and wave the white flag can be a simply awful feeling. We’ve seen over the past decade some colossal meltdowns of investments that, at first glance, appear to be bullet proof until they turned out to be massive Ponzi schemes and frauds such as in the cases of Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford. In the flick of a switch, those millions and millions of dollars in investments became a black hole of nothingness seemingly overnight. So what in the world do these guys and the world SALE have in common? In helping many people manage their budgets and family finances, words like SALE, FREE, and ZERO are some of the most dangerous words in the English language. If you’re not careful with how you make up your ...

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The Drug Of Buying ‘Stuff’

The weather is warm and in the United States we are about to start enjoying some of the national pastimes of our country.   We love things like baseball, apple pie, the 4th of July, and grilling out in our backyards.    Oh yeah, and we also LOVE spending money.    In recent years, I’ve noticed that spending is more than just making a purchase here and there.  It’s almost a ‘crack’ like addiction, whether you wait for that Amazon package at the door or to take a photo of your tricked out new ride to post up on Facebook.   Like it or not, many Americans are addicted to the drug of buying ‘stuff’.    Why is this and how can you get your patterns changed on the home front? It seems pretty apparent that ease of access to drugs can make a user want more of them.  In our spending patterns, the ease of credit, access to our cash, and online transactions with ...

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Please Slap My Hand When I Spend Money!

For Generation X, I’ve noticed something over the past couple of years around money that seems to becoming a trend.    Even though you are college educated (maybe an MBA), have a great job as a VP of company, and have traveled to several countries around the globe, you’ve reverted to the behavior you had when you were in college.   The simple rule is this.  If there is money in your pocket, then it’s sure to catch fire sooner than later and burn a hole in your pocket.    It doesn’t matter if it is a new pair of boots you see in a magazine, a remodeling of your bathroom that could probably wait, or staying at the best hotels like a Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.   Gen X’ers have seen a terrible recession over the past few years, but the trend is returning that spending money is a hard habit to break.   Gen X’ers have that Cyndi Lauper slang in ...

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Hangover January

It’s official.    Everyone in America has decided we should be just like the Federal Government.    Get up and keeping adding more zeros to your debt because it just doesn’t matter.   Remember that movie many years ago starring Bill Murray called Meatballs when he began the chant it just doesn’t matter . . . it just doesn’t matter . . . it just doesn’t matter?   Well, unfortunately for most of us we can’t get away with piling up debt like the Government does today.  It does matter.   Even though the media has tried to get us all excited that things are picking up from a record Black Friday and Cyber Monday, get ready for them to report in January about the lingering effects of people spending money that they didn’t have this Christmas because they were all just tired of feeling so beaten down from the past couple of years of tough times. Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving ...

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Tax advice or Investment advice- Which will be more important?

It doesn’t take a financial expert to recognize The United States Government cannot keep spending money at the current rate.  I don’t care whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we have spent ourselves into a problem and it’s time to pay the piper.  The question becomes with tax increases a foregone conclusion, which will be more important to you over the next 25 years, how well manage your assets or how well you manage your taxes. For those of you reading this that think taxes surely can’t impact me that much, consider the following – if you double a dollar per day for 20 years you will have a little over 1 million dollars.  Take the same dollar and apply a 28% tax before you double it each time and you will be left with just over $50,000.  Ouch!  Consider the following tax increase next year alone! Capital Gains tax rates will be increasing 33% Tax on Dividend income ...

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Which person are you? I Say Spend. You Say No.

Despite the old saying “opposites attract,” scholars have found that in almost every way imaginable, people tend to choose mates who look, sound and act as they do. But in the area perhaps most fraught with potential conflict — money — somehow, some way, people gravitate toward their polar opposite, a new study says. ...

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