Teaching Kids about Budgeting

Our economy is still not doing as well as expected. Growth forecasts have been revised downwards and interest rates are less than 1% for fixed deposits in most banks. Even the savings accounts have a really dismissal interest rate of 0.05% here in Singapore. You may be better off keeping your money under your mattress like during olden times instead of letting it be subjected to the various account-keeping fees incurred by leaving it in the bank.… [Read more]

Five Tax Tips for the Unemployed

With just over 8% of the American work force currently unemployed, with no projected change in the next year and a half, I thought it might be a good time to review the tax implications of unemployment.

  1. Yes, you do have to claim unemployment benefits as taxable income.  You should receive a 1099-G form which will show the total amount of unemployment benefits received at the end of the year.  
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Debt Decisions

So, you’ve set an intention to get yourself out of debt. Noble, my friend. Studies have shown that the average American has over $10,000 in debt, most of which is credit-card debt. Yikes. But then you’re staring at your pile of bills, or your Mint.com account, and wondering — where do I start? Which debt do I tackle first?… [Read more]

Mid-year Financial Health Checkup

We are at the midpoint of 2012.  If you believe in the ancient Mayan prophecy, this means we really only have 5 1/2 months to live, so feel free to go ahead and spend up! But, if you’re skeptical about the Mayans, or perhaps believe that you CAN take it with you, let me ask you a few questions.… [Read more]

Summer on a Budget

I have two kids: a 3-year old and a 4-month old. We are together almost every day during the summer months.  I also have a budget of about $3 a week for “child entertainment”.

And let’s face it. Playing in your own yard with your own toys is fun for about 5 minutes. On a good day.… [Read more]

Nine Resources to Change Your Relationship with Money

I assume you get all your personal finance news and nuggets from me, and need no other information ever… ha!  But if you WERE to want more than what you see here each weekend, I present to you nine of my favorite resources for managing your money, your career, and your life.… [Read more]

Money, Credit, and Our Kids

I remember going to work with my mom when I was a little girl. Her boss would often reach into his pocket, hand me whatever change he had floating around in there, and hand it to me, calling it “pig food” (as in, food for my piggy bank). I was obsessed with coins. (Guess they should have known I would end up sitting for the CPA exam many years later.) I remember holding them in my hands until they warmed up, separating them into stacks of pennies, nickels, dimes,… [Read more]

Borrowing from the Money Store

In case you aren’t painfully aware that the student loan situation has gotten terribly out of hand, consider this: the average college graduate owes $25,000 in debt—what do you say to someone in that situation? Add to this the sublime impossibility of finding a job (days and days spent, dozens of CVs sent out… it’s like a ritual of sorts) and the proliferation of unpaid, or “for credit/experience/exposure” internships, and moving back home to your parents seems like more of a dire necessity than a sensible decision.… [Read more]

Is it Just Me Or is That Ladder Getting Taller?

What can $250 Million dollars buy?

62 islands in Belize

500- $500,000 houses

6,250 Brand New Mercedes Benz

$250 Million Cheese Burgers at McDonald’s

A financial report that was released last week said that Mitt Romney has a personal fortune of $250 million.

For President Obama to make $250 million he would have to be president for 625 years.… [Read more]

Quarterly Taxes—Who, When, and Why?

I get questions fairly frequently about quarterly taxes.  Who is required to file them?  And why?  Since the second quarter filing is coming up and I’m busy helping my clients get these done, I’ll make this short and sweet.

In general, if you either owed more than $1,000 last year in taxes, or expect to owe more than $1,000 this year, you are required to file quarterlies.… [Read more]

Mid-Year Tax Update

Okay, so it’s not quite mid-year yet, but with the second quarter coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about taxes (if you ever stopped).  Here are some tips to ensure that your tax bill is right where you want it to be next April.… [Read more]

Retirement Planning In A Nutshell

Fifty years ago, there was one type of retirement plan: a pension.  And once you retired from your company with 25 years of service and a gold watch, you received a steady paycheck for the rest of your life.  Today, there is a dizzying array of choices, and let’s be honest — very few of us are retiring with 25 years of service from anywhere.… [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter –Part 4 of 4

This is part four of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.  Find parts one, two, and three here. 

The final step in aligning your personal finances with your life values? Follow through, and follow up.

Follow through.  Last week you set some very specific goals. Make them happen. Then set more goals.… [Read more]

Moving Your Money: the Lowdown on Credit Unions

With all the actions taken against Bank of America last week to expose their funding of mountaintop removal mining and foreclosures, and Occupy Wall Street and other organizations such as MoveOn.org and the Huffington Post encouraging people to move their money out of big banks and into credit unions, I thought that I would share some information about what credit unions are, what they do, and some of my experiences as a member of one.  … [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter — Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.  Find parts one and two here. 

Okay, now we get to the fun stuff. And by “fun”, I mean “the part where you actually have to face your realities and how that may or may not be in line with what you think.”  Don’t be afraid; I’m here to hold your hand, and I promise I’ve heard it all before.… [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter: Part 2 of 4

This is part two of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.  Click here for part one.

Last week we talked about the first step in aligning your personal finances with your values, which was identifying your life values in the first place. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you won’t be able to make your money work for you.… [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter: Part 1 of 4

This is part one of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.

There are a million resources out there for managing personal finances — everything from debt-free living to investing wisely to balancing your checkbooks. This series is not going to be about that. It’s going to be about how to align your personal finances with the rest of your life.… [Read more]

‘Better Late Than Never’ Tax Tips

One of the most common questions I get asked as a CPA who deals with taxes on a regular basis is “how can I be sure I don’t have to pay at the end of the year?” Although I am the kind of person who tries to make my tax burden to the government as close to $0 as possible, I understand the thrill of the refund… found money, so to speak.… [Read more]

Retirement and Recession, Where Do You Stand?

Millions of people spend years planning for retirement. Many invested their income into stocks expecting investment returns of at least 8% and others expected their homes to have appreciated in value by 10% each year. Their expectations have been shaken to the core during this recession and long periods of economic uncertainty.

Because a large portion of people nearing retirement are not going to have as much to retire on as they initially thought, many are facing some serious questions that must be answered: How much more will I have to save?… [Read more]