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How to Keep Santa on a Budget

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

These tips will help you keep holiday spending under control. Well, duh. Hard to believe anyone needed a study to figure that out. This year has been particularly stressful because of the abbreviated three-week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m getting a bit anxious because two of my three children still have not checked in with their Christmas lists. Yes, I still ask my grown kids for wish lists. I’ve always thought lists are an effective holiday budgeting tool for the whole family. They help stressed-out parents stay organized and on task; they help kids learn to set priorities; and they help everyone keep from overspending. (And now that my kids are older and can include Web links to some of the things on their wish lists, it makes shopping a whole lot easier.) Americans seem to need all the...

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7 Smart Ways to Budget for Holiday Gifts – USNews.com

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and other holiday items this year, according to the latest data from the National Retail Federation. If you’re worried about having enough saved up for the holidays, use these seven tips to budget for holiday gifts: 1. Take a close look at your discretionary income. Your holiday budget will depend on how much extra money you have after your monthly expenses are covered. If your income has changed recently or if you are expecting a bonus before the year’s end, review your budget closely to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend on extras this season. Read...

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Service Providers You Should Tip for the Holidays-Kiplinger

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The holiday season is prime time to tip the people who make your life easier throughout the year. Don’t bust your budget to tip, but consider giving — and even giving a little extra — if you can manage it. Not only is it the season to do so, but you also may find a little bonus in it for you: A provider you tip generously will be more likely to treat you better in the coming year by, say, slipping you in for an appointment at the last minute or giving you extra services free. And be sure not to tip unnecessarily. For example, “you don’t tip ‘professionals’ that are on salary or charge large hourly rates and don’t rely on gratuity as part of their income,” says Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert. Your doctors, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents might...

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10 Savvy Tax Moves to Make Before Jan. 1st – Yahoo Finance

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Your Money | 0 comments

April 15 is the target date for taxes, but to ensure that you pay the Internal Revenue Service the least possible amount on that date, you need to make some tax moves before the tax year ends. The good news this year is that the federal tax laws are in place, unlike at the end of 2012, when Congress was still fighting over legislation. The bad news is that if you earn a lot of money, you could face some new taxes. The best news, regardless of your income level, is that you still have time — until Dec. 31 — to reduce your tax bill. Some tax moves will take a little planning. Others are very easy to accomplish. But all are worth checking out to see if they can reduce your tax bill. Following are 10 year-end...

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Five costly home insurance mistakes to avoid – Yahoo Homes

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Your Money | 0 comments

Figuring out what kind of home insurance you need might feel like a big headache, but it’s nothing compared to the headache you’ll face if you’ve got the wrong coverage and disaster strikes. “I have been eyewitness to numerous instances when an insured thought some problem was covered by their policy, but the insurer received the claim and immediately looked to two ways in which they could deny it,” says Ted Corless, a property insurance attorney.  First, the insurer checked to see if the damage was caused by something not covered in the policy, and second, they checked to see if any information provided by the insured wasn’t accurate. Even small misrepresentations could result in your claim being denied, Corless warns. To avoid falling into this trap, keep some of these common home insurance mistakes in mind… Mistake #1...

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