Eight Books To Read In 2014

With 2014 approaching us quickly, it is a good likelihood that you received an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate as a secret Santa gift, a stocking stuffer, or under the tree.   While reading has in a large part gone the way of You Tube and anything that will make us laugh in ninety seconds or less, engaging yourself in a really good book could help you personally, professionally, and even financially.   I have put together my short list which contains a virtual cornucopia of different types of reads.  Find one of these and put it on your to do list for 2014. Think Like A Freak, Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner– This book is one of the follow ups from Freakonomics and is scheduled to be released in the March to May time frame in 2014. Freakonomics is all about turning your brain inside out and being able to look at situations from an entirely different perspective.  There ...

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Setting and Making Realistic Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It is almost that time of season when you will begin to ponder your new year’s resolution.  Will it be exercise?  Will it be a new diet? Or will it have something to do with improving your family finances.  Making resolutions (or goals) can be a very difficult process because it often makes you face some of your own realities like it or not.   When you decide to set goals that are realistic, I have been a big cheerleader over the years to use the S-M-A-R-T goal setting system.  Here is how it works. *S is for Specific– Be very specific about what you are trying to accomplish.  Don’t tell yourself you want to pay down debt.  Instead, give yourself a specific goal such as paying off $10,000 of debt. *M is for Measurable– Have a way to track your progress.   In the last example, make a chart for paying off $833 a month and cross it off each month ...

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What will you do with 2% more in your paycheck?

If Santa Clause didn’t come down your chimney with anything good this year, Congress has decided to give you a stocking stuffer for the New Year.   With nearly 160 million workers that will benefit from the extension of the reduced payroll tax that passed just before Christmas, it’s time to figure out whether you’ll be naughty or nice with your gift.   The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act temporarily extends the two percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, continuing the reduction of your Social Security withholding rate from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages paid through February 29th, 2012.  (source: www.irs.gov) Of course, this is supposed to have no effect on your future Social Security benefits.  Yeah, right! If you weren’t aware, this payroll tax cut was in effect for all of 2011.   This means that for those who earned W-2 income last year up to your first $106,800 of waged income, you actually got a 2% pay raise in ...

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