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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$5 Or Less Cheap Eats Lunches In Atlanta

If you make $100,000 or more, you might wonder why you could still be living paycheck to paycheck. The truth is that dining, entertainment, and travel expenses continue to be a huge part of creating a personal spending plan for your family.  A good CEO (that’s you) knows that listening to their Private CFO® (that’s me) can help make a major dent on the bottom line.  You probably aren’t going to stop eating out a few days a week for lunch, so one idea is to simply look for the places around where you work to find lunch for $5 or less.   Most casual fare chain restaurants are designed to get you to $10, where a local joint can still get you to $5 or less. Victory Sandwich Bar (www.vicsandwich.com) – Where can you get any sandwich for $4?   Go to the Victory Sandwich Bar.   I might recommend the Mulligan (pimento cheese and ham) or consider the Weed Eater (hummus, ...

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How Long Can I Carry Forward My Capital Gain Losses?

We are almost two-thirds done with 2013 and some of you haven’t even completed your tax returns.  For those of you who filed and finished your tax returns in April, most of that paperwork is neatly tucked away in your home filing cabinet.   Since the stock market has run up over the past year most investors have made gains in their stock and stock mutual fund positions.   However, the majority of tax payers never look at their capital losses from prior years to do effective tax planning.  So just how long can you carry forward your capital gain losses? First, you should be aware that you can sponge up capital gains year to year against any capital losses or carry forward losses that you have on your tax return.   This means if you have a carry forward loss of $30,000 from a prior year and had $30,000 of long-term capital gains here in 2013, you would essentially have a wash.   ...

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All I Want For Back To School Is My Trapper Keeper

It’s officially back-to-school time in the state of Georgia which means polishing up the old routine of making lunches, doing homework, and the frantic mornings of getting everyone on the bus or into the carpool on time.    It is also that time of the year where you are going to begin stocking up on school supplies if you haven’t it done so already.  All I can remember from my childhood and teen years was my mom taking me to the local K-Mart to pick up a few Bic pens, some No. 2 Ticonderoga pencils, and my color coded Trapper Keeper to organize my classes.   Nowadays we’ve got an entirely different routine with school systems providing lists instructing us to practically buy an entire shopping cart of school supplies. This year, my two middle school children have lists both in excess of thirty items that were ‘necessary’ for them to get.   It seems every year the list gets larger and larger.  ...

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Should I Loan Money To A Friend?

All of us have had awkward money scenarios happen to us in our lives. There are the immediate face-to-face confrontations when a personal friend asks us for money while out on the town. Or what about the time that your college roommate asked you if they could borrow $5,000 or $10,000? Remember when your 2nd cousin said they would be starting a business and were wondering if you would invest $25,000 in the new venture? So, how do you handle a money situation that may make you lose sleep at night? Here are three smart money moves steps to diffuse the problem. Step 1: Empathize. Listen, and Show that you’ve heard by recapping what specifically the other person is wanting to do with the money. Make sure you initially understand it from their point of view. Indicate that you know that economic times are tough, and their individual circumstances are particularly difficult. In a certain sense you need to be ...

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Four Rules Of Thumb That Are Thumbs Down

For many years I have seen articles galore in the major magazines giving consumers “rules of thumb” about making financial decisions.   In a society today where we want to get all of our information in sixty seconds or less, many of these magazines can talk one week about five dollar meals to make and then the next week discuss major financial decisions to make in your household.   I’ve never really been a big fan of “rules of thumb”, so here are four major financial “rules of thumb” that I am simply thumbs down on when it comes to making smart money moves.  Rule Of Thumb #1- 2% Difference In Interest Rate To Refinance –   Many popular magazine and newspaper articles will suggest that you generally shouldn’t consider refinancing unless the difference between the new interest rate and your old interest rate is 2%.    This “rule” makes very little sense to me. What you want to be considering are a handful ...

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