Doing A Wedding On A Budget

Will you marry me?    That magical phrase is shared between two people in love every day whether it be on a baseball scoreboard or with the entire family watching on in the living room.    Today student debt for Generation Y graduates is approaching an all-time high.  About two-thirds of college grads in the Class of 2013 will graduate with some student loan debt. The average debt for these students is about $28,000. (source: www.usatoday.com).  The real question couples should be asking when they tie the knot is “Am I marrying you or your debt?”   It’s important to have these discussions as financial items including your credit score can have an impact on loan status and job employment as you grow your future together.    If you both agree that money is tight, what are the best ideas on how to do your wedding right but still have fun within a reasonable budget?   Here are five smart money moves tips for you ...

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What’s Next . . . Step On The Scale Please!

Making smart money moves are important within all facets of our lives. Although we often think about money when it comes to bills, purchases, and investments, our overall health and wellness can be one of the largest costs included in our overall budgets. Relative to this, our diets and the way we eat can have a major impact on our personal finances day in and day out. If we end up having diabetes, high blood pressure, or extremely high cholesterol, these health issues can cost us thousands of dollars each and every single year to treat. Several years ago, the USDA (www.usda.org) released a report that stated medical costs that come as a result of obesity related problems are about $10,000 higher than they are for those with a healthy normal weight. What would it mean to put $10,000 back in your cash reserve, your children’s 529 college education fund, or your retirement savings? Back in the early 1990’s, the ...

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What Tax Deductions Can I Take For Using My Car?

As the tax year ends and you scramble to pull together your year end tax deductions, people often ask us whether they can get  a deduction for using their automobile.  It’s important to understand these rules for both employees and business owners alike as this could mean big bucks in your pocket come tax time. According to the IRS Topic 510 business use of a car (http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc510.html), you can generally figure the amount of your deductible car expense using one of two methods: the standard mileage rate method or the actual expense method. If you qualify to use both methods, before choosing a method, you may want to figure your deduction both ways to see which gives you a larger deduction. Please refer to Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses, for the current standard mileage rate. If you use the standard mileage rate, you can add to your deduction any parking fees and tolls incurred for business purposes. ...

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Personal Finance 101 – Retirement Planning What Are Your Retirement Assumptions

You often see the commercials on television today asking the question, “What’s Your Number”?   What they are really referring to is the notion of how much money do you need in order to be able to retire.  It’s funny that most people I talk to today don’t really call it retirement.  They really think about the term of making work optional.  This means having the ability to do what they want when they want irrespective of money.   Over the next four weeks on Your Smart Money Moves, I am going to share with you how to really think about the personal financial area of retirement planning. I have always thought about my ‘work optional’ number being the amount of money I actually need on a debit card when I retire to maintain my standard of living the way I want it when I go ‘work optional’.   The mistake that I see in many financial plans is that the assumptions made ...

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VIDEO | Pass on the Extended Warranty

Pass on extended warranties. In my opinion, spending $129 for an extended warranty on an item that costs $300 just simply doesn’t make any financial sense. Usually, employees of your larger electronics chains have their “bonuses” tied to extended warranties, so beware before you consider buying. ...

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