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Financial Tips Articles

MSNBC 10 Tips to Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

April 21, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

MSNBC today reported that the average cell-phone user spends about $600 a year on cell phone service, while families that talk, text, or use other phone features spend about $1,800. The larger the bill, the higher are the service taxes and surcharges, which can add an additional 14.5 percent to the bill.

However, if you are diligent you can end up trimming your cell phone bill, per the following recommendations (See news video below):

1. Go prepaid
2. Don’t overbuy minutes
3. Don’t buy unneeded services
4. Buy enough of what you use
5. Check for employee discounts
6. Make temporary adjustments
7. Have your usage analyzed
8. Get local service
9. Choose the best carrier
10. Say no to phone insurance

Visit Today.MSNBC.Com to read full article.

Video: Trimming Your Cell Phone Bill

Video: Dave Ramsey’s Advice on Financial Success

April 8, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

Below is a very good 5 minute video of Dave Remsey’s recommendations on how to get your finances on track. Dave Ramsey is national radio personality and best-selling author of  “The Total Money Makeover” and “The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family’s Financial Health”. 

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert who knows first-hand what financial peace means having lived a true rags-to-riches, riches-to-rags and back to rags-to-riches lifestyle.

By age 26 Dave Remsey established a nearly $1 million net worth making $250,000 a year only to lose it by age 30. He however rebuilt his financial life and now helps people with their finances.

Video: Dave Ramsey on How to be Financially Successful

13 Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance

April 4, 2009 | Financial Tips | 2 Comments
unemployment2

Currently, 12.5 million people are out of work and it’s expected that millions more will be laid off in the coming months. 

The United States unemployment rate is currently at 8.5%, which is a 25 year high.  As a result, millions are receiving, applying or will be applying for unemployment insurance.

If you are concerned about getting laid off there are a few things you should be aware of which include:

  1. Unemployment insurance was created to help employees who lost there job through no fault of their own to receive a temporary income until they found a new job,  received approved training, or awaiting for a recall to employment.
  2. Unemployment insurance insurance are funded by taxes paid by employers and not by employees. 
  3. You must have earned sufficient wages during a specified time to be eligible for unemployment insurance.  
  4. You must meet certain legal eligibility requirements to collect unemployment insurance.
  5. If you quit your job, you cannot collect unemployment insurance.  You must have been laid off to collect.
  6. There is no deadline to apply for unemployment insurance.
  7. If you apply and are denied, you have a limited amount of time to appeal depending on your state laws.
  8. You can apply online for unemployment insurance, so there is no need to visit your local unemployment office.  Visit ServiceLocator.org to find out where to apply online.
  9. In most situations you will receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.
  10. If you qualify for an extension you will receive up to 46 weeks of unemployment insurance.
  11. Per the new economic stimulus package, you will be paid an additional $25 per week.
  12. Per the new economic stimulus package, the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits is tax free.
  13. If your employer gives you a severance package, some states may require you to wait to collect unemployment.

Get Estimate of Your Social Security Benefits Online

April 2, 2009 | Financial Tips | No Comments
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There is a new calculator at the Social Security Administration Web site, called the Retirement Estimator that makes it easy to determine how your social security benefits are affected by your retirement age.

The calculator estimates are based on your actual Social Security earnings record. Remember, however, that it’s just an estimate and many things can change over the next several years before you retire such as inflation.

Additionally, the estimate will vary slightly from the actual benefit you may receive in the future because your social security earnings record is constantly being updated and the calculators use different parameters and assumptions (i.e., different stop work ages, future earnings projections, etc.).

To use the Retirement Estimator, you will have to identify yourself online by completing an application and the calculator will search the Social Security database for your earnings history to forecast your future benefits.

Visit SocialSecurity.gov/Estimator to get your estimate.

Video: The Best Financial Advice to Live By

March 28, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 1 Comment

Below is a funny but true video clip from Saturday Night Live (SNL) titled “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t afford”.  Sticking to this simple advice can keep most people out of financial problems.  Unfortunately, most people ignore this rule!

SNL Video – Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford

Converting from Traditional IRA to Roth IRA in 2010

March 26, 2009 | Financial Tips | 1 Comment
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Starting in 2010 anyone can convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA regardless of income.  Currently, you must earn less than $116,000 for individuals or less than $169,000 for couples to be eligible for the Roth IRA partial contribution.  For full contribution, its $101,000 for individuals or less than $159,000 for couples.  

Additionally, if you make over $100,000 per year, you are not eligible to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.  But in 2010 the doors will be swung wide open to everyone because of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 signed into law on May 17, 2006, by President George Bush, which included a provision dealing with conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs.  

But beware, because traditional IRAs are pretax dollars and Roth IRAs are after-tax dollars, you must pay taxes on the money to transfer to the Roth.  Many financial advisers recommend that younger investors roll over into the Roth and pay the income tax because in the long-run they benefit from tax-free growth.  Other financial advisers recommend converting now (regardless of age) because it’s inevitable that income and capital gain taxes will increase due to the growing national deficit and current corporate bailouts.

To help soften the blow of paying taxes if you decide to transfer to a Roth IRA you can spread the tax bill over 2011 and 2012.  For example, if you convert $50,000 from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, assuming a 30% tax bracket, you will have to pay $15,000 tax bill.  However, if you transfer in 2010, you can declare $25,000 in 2010 and $25,000 in 2011, which in essence gives you a one time, interest free loan from Uncle Sam for 1 year.

Save Money with Online Coupon Sites

March 25, 2009 | Financial Tips | No Comments
coupons

In today’s rough economic times, we are all looking to save money.  One way to save money is to use coupons when making purchases.  But who wants to go through the Sunday newspaper clipping coupons?  

With the Internet, finding coupons are easier.  Before making a purchase, you should always use the Internet to find discount codes or coupons.  Below are 8 sites that can help you save on your next purchase, regardless what it may be:

CoolSavings.com – includes printable and online coupons from retailers on a wide range of products.

Coupious.com – is a free mobile app that can be installed on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android-based phone, which uses location services to search for businesses in your location and finds coupons for you.

CouponAlbum.com – is a one-stop shop for everything on sale right now, from software, toys, sporting goods, to food.

CouponCabin.com – offers coupons from to major stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and GameStop.

CouponGood.org – provides coupons for online stores exclusively.

Coupons.com – offers coupons for local supermarkets or grocery stores with printable coupons on goods ranging from food to cleaning supplies.

CouponsDeluxe.com – good for finding tech deals with coupons for software and electronic hardware.

CouponTweet.com – searches Twitter to find deals and when it does, it notifies you via a tweet. The service is currently in private beta testing.

Of course there is always the Google Search to find coupons or coupon codes for items you are looking to purchase.