Apple has revolutionized the way we think about technology and how we interact with personal computers. If you’re a Mac user, gone are the days when you had to physically buy software at the store, pull out the CD, and install the software from your disc drive. Last week, Apple unveiled their new Mac App Store, which takes Apple one step closer to phasing out disc drives altogether and solidifying their claim that the MacBook Air is the future of laptops (at less than an inch thick , the Air doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive at all). Of course you’ll still want to consider other laptop specs and features.
No one wants to have their holiday parties and presents tainted with the thought of tax season before the snow has even melted. However, one of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make is to stay one step ahead of the financial game in the coming year. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help lower your tax bill and ease your money concerns.
Max Out 401k Contributions
The reason why Christmas is a national holiday, whether you celebrate it or not, is because it symbolically represents the season of giving. Many of the other religious holidays in December including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are the same way.
Personally, I’m a giver. It’s more fun for me to figure out unique ways to bless someone with a gift than it is to think about what I’m going to receive from other people. Don’t get me wrong. I still act like a little kid on Christmas morning when my wife gets me the gadget I’ve been salivating over the entire year. But, I really enjoy giving to others. It’s a huge motivator and it helps puts life into perspective for me.
A lot of people underestimate the number of guys who can cook and do it well. Popular reality TV shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef have helped change that image a bit for the better, but I think the general consensus is still that guys can’t cook. I admit that I’m not the best myself, but I do have a small portfolio of fantastic dishes that I’ve managed to create on my own. My wife and I usually split the cooking duties throughout the week. If one person cooks, the other cleans up. We sometimes fight to cook, because both of us would rather cook than clean! I’ve got in quite a bit of practice as a result.
Guys get a bad rap when it comes to gifts. Many women think that they have to overspend on expensive holiday gifts for men like gadgets and power tools, but that’s not necessarily true. We’re simple people. We don’t always need the latest home theater system, iPad, or a table saw to be happy on Christmas Day.
Granted, my Amazon wish list has a bunch of expensive stuff on it; but that’s why they call it a “wish list.” It also has a bunch of cool inexpensive items on it that a lot of other guys would probably like, too.
I know that some of you think that shopping on the day and weekend after Thanksgiving is pure lunacy, and it is to some extent. But, I have to admit that I given into the temptation of making it a small tradition to go out every year, because there’s something exciting about getting up super early and waiting in line for a great deal. I can’t stand when I see or hear about people fighting over an LCD TV or a Barbie Doll, but for the most part, getting out and shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year gets me pumped up for the holiday season.
It’s no surprise that money is one of the biggest sources of arguments among married couples, and it’s also the number one cause of divorce in North America. When it comes to money, we often butt heads with our spouse.
I could come up with a million different reasons for why we often disagree with our spouse about money, but most of it is simply due to pride, selfishness, and a lack of communication. What we often overlook is that many times we’re not fighting with our spouse over principle, but rather we’re just fighting over details of a certain financial aspect.
Last spring when the iPad came out, I said to myself, “Okay, I guess that means they’re getting rid of the Macbook Air.” Why? Because when the Macbook Air first came out, it didn’t have anywhere near the response that the iPhone or iPad had in terms of amount of sales in record-breaking time. A lot of people did the “Oooo and Ahhh” about the razor thinness of it, but questioned if it was a solid laptop solution for people who had heavy computing needs. Well, I was obviously mistaken about Apple getting rid of it in their product line. Instead, Steve Jobs came out yesterday and said, “The Macbook Air is the next generation of Macbooks.” This didn’t sit well with some of the Mac-heads that rock a 17″ Quad-Core Macbook Pro tricked out with a 2 terabyte hard drive and 8 GB’s of RAM.
I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again, playing with credit cards is like playing with snakes. The more you play with them, the more you have the chance of getting bitten. Everyone knew that the fees associated with credit cards were getting completely out of hand, and finally the government acknowledged the predatory fee structure of these cards. As a result, the government recently passed legislation that limited which fees credit card companies are allowed to charge and how much they’re allowed to charge.
I read an article today on USA Today about friends and family moving in together to save money during the rough economic times. It got me thinking whether this trend is because the economy isn’t great and unemployment is higher than usual, or if it’s because people are moving back to the “old days” when we seemingly wanted to be closer to our loved ones? Maybe people just want to save money, but it could also be a change in the way that we want to live.