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Showing posts from January, 2010

How To Decide to Rent a Home or Buy - The Easy Way

A key piece to living a debt-free bigger life for me was to sell the bigger house and downsize my living expenses -- from the monthly entergy bill to the rent.  It took a year, but I sold my Big House with the plan to Buy a Smaller One. Lessons learned about EBay, Craigs List, Renting and Moving are some of  the more popular posts. Selling the Pool Table via Craig's List Creating Stability with UPS Address First Steps in Downsizing The equity has been sitting in a nice Capitol One savings stash, earning 4% interest until November 2009, and I had figured I was saving money renting versus owning (quite a contrarian opinion!).   But I was living in a luxury condo and paying $5,000 a year less in expenses, so there was no impetus to buy.* Each of these free internet calculators offered me the information I needed to make that decision to rent for 18 months.  Thanks to the New York Times , Michael Blue Jay's Awesome Calculator , , JD Roth , a devil's advocat

New online PearBudget Makes Money Management Easy

JD Roth's Blog "Get Rich Slowly"  is a constant source of fantastic money resources for English Majors.  Information on his blog inspired me to try the new online PearBudget money management software.  I have no idea what the Pear is all about, but the online version is the easiest envelope budgeting system I've ever used, and I've tried the top three or four.   They call it "really simple budgeting" and it's true. With PearBudget , you have one category of expenses that are the same every month.  That group is separated from the expenses that you really can't predict, but can try to "set aside" a certain amount each month to be ready for them.  This is the trickiest part of monthly money management, in my opinion, and causes a lot of people to throw up their hands and just give up!  Don't do it...this problem can be solved   For example, you might use the irregular budget expense category for groceries and for medical.  Maybe you t

Say Hello to the New Jackson Hewitt Tax Preparer

Well, it's official. I've completed 75 hours of training at Jackson Hewitt  to become a tax preparer for the 2010 tax season. The company opened its offices this week and I'm not on the schedule yet. But after all the stuff I've learned, I'm excited about finally filling out someone's return and saying "your refund is Big this Year!" The tips I'm telling friends most often include the American Opportunity Tax Credit for all 4 years of college and the new Louisiana tax credit for school fees, including books and private school tuition. It's up to $5,000 in deductions per child. That's a hefty chunk of change depending on your filing status and adjusted gross income. I'm keeping up with the federal tax changes at Bankrate  and MSN Money has great tips as well.