Preventive Medicine For Your Home

We all know that one the largest assets we will own in our lifetime is our home.   I’ve never really seen a ton of good articles on the cost of home ownership, but having personally owned over a half dozen homes, I can tell you that all homes required their fair share of upkeep.    Even though we may not be in the market to sell our homes, we are constantly watching the sale of our neighbors homes or checking out the prices on websites like Zillow to see where the value of our home stands.     We can convince ourselves that our home is in tip top shape until the time we get an offer on the home contingent on the dreaded home inspection.    A good home inspector gets paid in part to look within every nook and cranny in the house to find out what may be wrong with the property.    After the inspection, we can almost become incensed that ...

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Top 5 Celebrities Who Had Tax Problems With The IRS

If you ever get the chance to become famous, it may be followed by fortune.   Stars that get the chance to be in the Hollywood limelight or reach tremendous athletic prowess can often make tens of millions of dollars of the course of their prime in their given profession.    You don’t often hear about the bulk of celebrities running into trouble with the IRS, but there have been a fair share of superstars that got into the limelight for the wrong reasons around their tax problems.     Here are five celebrities who probably wish their star wasn’t burning bright with the IRS. Wesley Snipes – I have to admit that Wesley Snipes played one of my all time favorite roles in White Men Can’t Jump.  When he tells Billy, “It’s hard, hard work making you look so bad.”    Mr. Snipes ‘bladed’ himself by owing roughly 17 million dollars to the IRS which got him convicted to a three years sentence.   This ...

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It’s March Madness – Are Money Decisions Like Picking An NCAA Basketball Winner?

With the first big day of March Madness tomorrow, we all have our brackets filled out and ready to go with our Final Four picks.   This year is sure to be filled with some Cinderella stories along with some dominant favorites making their way down the brackets to the eventual winner. While we all get focused on the office pools, March Madness can really teach you some great money lessons to help you make more smart money moves for the rest of your life. When two teams compete in the NCAA tournament beginning with the total of 64 (now 66) teams that make the tournament, they each get a line in a bracket.   Bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason. It incorporates some method of predicting what the NCAA Selection Committee will use as its Ratings Percentage Index ...

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My College Is Worse Than The Kids Knocking On The Door

I used to fear the Girl Scouts during cookie season either knocking on my door or approaching me outside of the local supermarket targeting my goodwill to buy some of those delicious thin mint cookies.   I used to dread the once a month knock on a door from a local neighborhood kid looking for me to buy some wrapping paper I didn’t need or some cookie dough I definitely did not want sitting in my freezer giving me the wrong temptation late at night.   I used to dread getting phone calls at work from some local cause hitting my company up for $500 here or a $1,000 there.   Now, I only dread my alma mater as their level of aggressiveness with fundraising efforts has reached historic proportion. I went to Boston College, and let’s face it at $55,000 or more this year it’s certainly not the cheapest school on the block.   I did get a great education and had a ...

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Don’t Get Tricked On Black Friday

After the turkey, the football, and the one awkward conversation with your cousin that happened to get stuck at the card table with you at the end of the big Thanksgiving table comes the second holiday during Thanksgiving week called Black Friday.  The day’s name originated in Philadelphia where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term began by 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that “Black Friday” indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or “in the black.” (source: Wikipedia) People often ask if me if Black Friday really offers good deals.    I have always responded with the answer, “It depends”.   The reason is that if you aren’t careful with your shopping you could end up paying the same prices you would have paid for ...

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Why Doesn’t The Government Understand The 80-20 Rule?

I spent many years of my life running and leading sales organizations. One of the principles I learned along the way is sometimes referred to as Pareto’s principle.  This principle is also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor scarcity.  It states, for many events, that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. (source: Wikipedia). Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population, and developed the principle by studying that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. In modern theory, many businesses will often share with their sales force that 80% of the sales come from 20% of the clients. In the past year, we have heard all sorts of ideas from politicians about how to fix the recession, restore jobs, and get the economy moving again in the ...

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