Personal Finance

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How Microsoft Money Can Help You with Your Finances

Microsoft Money 2005 takes the pain out of managing your personal finances. The popular software serves as a research tool and a means of gazing into the future. With Money 2005, you will know how much [more…]

Treasury Bill Investments Backed by U.S. Government

For short-term investing, Treasury bills (called T-bills) are the nation’s most marketable security. T-bills are issued with 3-, 6- or 12-month maturities. When you purchase a T-bill, you pay less than [more…]

How to Adjust Information on Your Credit Report

If you (and lenders) don’t like the look of your credit report, you may be able to make some changes to that credit report. If you think the credit report doesn’t reflect your true credit history, you [more…]

Asset Productivity Ratios for Investment Analysis

Asset productivity ratios describe how effectively business assets are deployed. These ratios typically look at sales dollars generated per unit of resource. Resources can include accounts receivable, [more…]

How to Throw a Party on a Budget

When you budget for your party, do so before you start shopping. Figure out how much you can spend on your party, overall. List the items you need and estimate what you can afford to spend on each item [more…]

How to Use Quicken’s Loan Calculator

You can enter any type of loan scenario and Quicken tells you how much your payments are going to be, how long it is going to take you to pay off a loan, and how much interest you are going to pay. You [more…]

Investing in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Properties

One of the ways the federal government promotes homeownership is by providing financing through Fannie Mae (FNMA or Federal National Mortgage Association), Ginnie Mae [more…]

Avoiding Estate Taxes with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

One common way to get around estate taxes on your life insurance is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust. You transfer the ownership of your life insurance policy to the trust, effectively taking [more…]

Improve Your Credit Score

Providing a better financial picture to potential lenders requires improving your credit score and getting your credit report into top shape. Here’s how to boost your credit score and polish up your credit [more…]

Paying Taxes on Time to Avoid Penalties

April 15 is the deadline for filing state and federal individual income tax returns. An extension to file your tax return is not an extension to pay your taxes. Taxes are due on April 15, and the IRS begins [more…]

Using Quicken 2007 to Track PayPal Transactions

If you use PayPal, you can and should use Quicken to track the money flowing into and out of your PayPal account. Fortunately, tracking a PayPal account with Quicken is pretty dang easy. [more…]

How to Annualize Your Income to Pay Estimated Taxes

With the annualization method, taxpayers can pay more tax at the times when they are earning more money, and less tax when their receipts are down or their expenses are up. To annualize your income to [more…]

Dealing with Retirement Taxes

Everyone hates to pay taxes. Unfortunately, you do still have to pay them in retirement. Both your pensions and some of your retirement savings are taxed by the government, but exactly when, how, and if [more…]

Debt Collectors May Try to Cash In on Old Debts

Debt collectors who pursue old debts are not breaking any laws unless they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or your state’s debt collection laws. Beware fast-buck motives, though! [more…]

Estate Planning with Protective Trusts to Cover Your Assets

Protective trusts — spendthrift, supplemental needs and special needs, education, and minor’s trusts — let you parcel out money when you feel the time is right or specify exactly how the trust money is [more…]

Savings Bond Options: Patriot Bonds, Series HH, and Series I

Savings bonds are issued by the U.S. government. In the past, the United States Treasury Department offered three types of bonds. The Series HH bonds were discontinued in August 2004. Following the events [more…]

Value versus Growth Stocks in an Uncertain Economy

Value stocks and growth stocks react differently in an uncertain economy, and so it’s important to know the difference between them. Here’s how value and growth investors look at the value of stocks: [more…]

Focusing on Broad Financial Markets

You may think the foundation of the United States economy resides inside Fort Knox where the country holds its billions of dollars in gold, or possibly that it resides in our political center, Washington [more…]

Investing in Global Bonds

When most investment professionals look at the world of global fixed income, they see two large categories of international bonds: developed-world bonds and [more…]

Buying and Redeeming Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are quite easy to buy through a variety of means, and they require a lot less paperwork than Section 529 plans or Coverdell accounts. And, after you actually buy a bond, you don’t need to [more…]

How to Change Your Car’s Oil

Unless your car’s oil filter and/or oil drain plug is impossible to reach, you can save money by changing your oil and oil filter yourself (your car’s manual should tell you how much oil to get). Start [more…]

How to Hire an Auto Mechanic without Going Broke

Several kinds of shops repair and service cars. Save money by choosing a car-repair option other than a dealership (which costs the most). Each car pro has drawbacks, as well as advantages. [more…]

Understanding Compounding Interest on Your Investments

Over time, a modest-but-steady rate of compound interest can build into a sizable nest egg. The most powerful investments have stable, compounded returns. Regardless of what’s happening in the economy [more…]

Higher Education Expenses That Qualify for 529 College Savings Plans

Parents (and other relatives) who fund Section 529 plans need to be very conscious of what constitutes a qualified higher education expense and what doesn't. The following table lists qualifying higher [more…]

Buying Treasury Securities in an Uncertain Economy

In a down economy, Treasury securities offer a safe place to put your money. Most of Uncle Sam’s debt is made up of marketable (tradable) securities: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and [more…]

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