December 20, 2010

Big Savings for Small Businesses and Shops on Swipe Fees

Last week, the Federal Reserve Board announced two proposals for limiting the fees paid to transaction processing companies. MasterCard and Visa would be the most affected if either of these new proposals, set into motion by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, are put into effect. […]

5 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Retirement

Yahoo lists five easy ways to ruin your retirement as follows: 1. Not Running the Numbers. Anybody over the age of, say, 40 should have at least a rough notion of how much money he or she will need for retirement. 2. Having Only One Plan. Even if you retire right on schedule, the economy, stock market, or any number of other forces beyond your control might disrupt your plans. […]

Citi® Platinum Select® Card 24 Month 0% Balance Transfer

Last month I wrote about Citibank’s increased 0% balance transfer opportunity provided by the company’s Citi® Platinum Select® Card. That article is now out-of-date because Citi has once again increased the balance transfer offer by three months, bringing the total amount of time consumers will have to pay their balance transfer in full without interest to two full years. […]

Out With The Old, In With The New: Prepare for the Inevitable

Throughout the month of December, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. 20. Prepare your will and your master information document. If you have no dependents, no descendents, and no one who would value having any of the items you possess, you can skip this one. […]

The 2011 Stimulus Check: 2% Payroll Tax Holiday

When Congress passed an extension on the Bush tax cuts, it also passed a new one year tax “holiday” on your payroll taxes. I’m calling it the 2011 version of an old friend to many Americans, the stimulus check. Back in 2008, after the passage of the 2008 stimulus package, many Americans received $300 in the form of a stimulus check. […]

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits

You have more time than you might think to contribute to your 2012 traditional and Roth IRAs. Rather than an end-of-year deadline, you have until you file your 2012 taxes to make that contribution. Federal taxes for 2012 will be due on April 15, 2013, so this is the deadline for establishing and contributing to your 2012 IRA. […]

What the Tax Cut Extension Bill Means for You

If you pay attention to any news you’re probably aware of all the tax bill talk that’s been going on for the last few weeks. At one time it looked like it was going to pass without issue, then Democrats were upset about some of the features and vowed to block it. […]

Nine Guiding Financial Principles

The book Financial Jiu-Jitsu: A Fighter's Guide to Conquering Your Finances lists nine core principles to financial success as follows: Give back -- Help others and you will always receive more than you give. Pay yourself first -- Build for tomorrow by taking action today. Automate -- Don't think, don't decide -- automate! Maintain a cash safety net -- Even if a rainy day never […]

Money Bloggers: Get Your Posts in Now

I have 10 slots left in my March Money Madness tournament. If you are a money blogger and want to be part of this year's event, you need to sign up NOW!!!! Details on the event can be found here. […]

Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fees

Earlier this fall, I went on a work-related trip to Canada. It wasn’t until I was in the taxicab from the airport to my hotel that I realized that I wasn’t sure of the fees associated with using my credit card outside the United States. I actually carry a Chase Visa, Citibank MasterCard, and an American Express card, so I had my choice. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Longest Night

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Joint expenses and loans 2. Buying a house right now 3. Keepsake distribution 4. Savings or student loans? 5. Homebuyer’s tax credit repayment 6. Emergency fund size 7. Investing baby steps 8. Underwater questions 9. […]

3 Reasons to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Today

One more cookie? OK, January 1st is when you’ll start your diet. Spend another $25 on a gift? Why not, you’ll turn things around next year. It’s the end of the year, and we all tend to compromise with ourselves at this point in the game. Why? […]

What QE2 Could Mean for Ordinary Americans

The words “quantitative easing” tend to make the eyes glaze over. But this pending economic maneuver could have a real and significant impact on households nationwide. The Federal Reserve announced in early November its plan to purchase $600 billion in Treasuries in an attempt to stimulate growth and job creation. […]

First Credit Card, Getting Fired, and Presumptuous Gifts

Saying goodbye to my salary and employer-sponsored benefits should mean that I should be looking to cut back my expenses for a little while as I work on making up for that loss through increased income. This weekend I had my last hurrah, spending money for a new professional-grade digital camera. […]

Investing in Real Estate or Dividend Stocks

For the last few weeks, I’ve been scouring real estate sites on the lookout for properties that might make good rentals. With all the stories about foreclosures and short sales, you’d think that good deals could be had at every corner right? One of the benefits of being smart with credit and not accumulating a lot of debt is being able to put that to good use in the darker times. […]

Monday’s Money Deals: Electronics, Candles, and a Free Mug

If there's anything in your wallet not going toward last-minute gifts, this week is a good time to save on laptops, GPS devices, or a new monitor. […]

Finding Financial Benchmarks and Milestones

In last Wednesday’s link round-up, I pointed to an article over at Gen-Y Wealth in which RJ has listed 20 financial milestones you should reach in your twenties. “I like this list,” I wrote, “and I’d actually love to see similar lists for different age ranges. People could use it as a sort of road map to where they ought to be.” What sorts of milestones were on the list? […]

Cheapskates Next Door Hate Debt

The book The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means says that cheapskates next door (CND) hate debt. […]