Personal Finance Round-Up: All Work and No Play Is No Good

all work no playAs I’m writing this, I’m actually sitting on a sandy beach during a much needed vacation. Vacations, big or small, are essential to mental health and can help keep you motivated and going strong. But how in the world can anyone afford to travel now with gas prices rising, airlines milking us for every penny they can, and the price of everything else getting just ridiculous?

My family and I plan and budget for our annual vacation each year. It is costly but we make it work by sacrificing in other areas. There’s only so much money and if we don’t balance things out we’ll come up short. That plan doesn’t leave much for the rest of the year though and that can get difficult when stress starts to build up.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: There’s Something in the Air…It’s Money!

falling money man airA lot of things come to mind as the weather warms up and summer approaches: community car-washes that take up an entire parking lot, lemonade stands run by preteens on every corner, and the buzz of hustle and bustle in the air. Everyone seems to be doing something, all of which costs money. So it’s no surprise that people are trying to earn an extra buck to have fun while the weather is so nice.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Finances

money coins cleaningI really love spring season, don’t you? Flowers blooming, birds chirping, sun shining; it’s such a beautiful time of year! One thing I really love to do in the spring, believe it or not, is spring cleaning. Cleaning all the cobwebs out of the house and out of your life can be really refreshing. And that extends right into your finances as well.

Spring means that the dreaded tax season is finally over, and since you’ve probably already broken all your New Year’s resolutions by now, you can really start planning for the rest of the year.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Should You Consider Filing a Tax Extension?

doing taxesWith this year’s tax deadline, you get three extra days to get everything finished. But if you haven’t started yet or if you’re not close to being done, you might want to consider filing a tax extension.

As explained by Smart On Money in No Need To Rush. Get An Extension On Filing Your Taxes! there are rules you have to follow when filing a tax extension but if you can meet those requirements, you will get an extra six months to get your tax info together and avoid any late penalties the IRS imposes.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: It’s Time to Take Action with Your Finances & Money

take action batonApril is Financial Literacy month, a month to focus a lot more energy than usual into pursuing knowledge about financial terms and topics. It’s a month to learn things you never knew about money and revisit things you may have learned but have forgotten. We all need a refresher every now and again and this month is dedicated to increasing your financial knowledge and in turn your financial security.

There is only one problem I see with Financial Literacy month and that is that it’s called Financial Literacy month and not Financial Literacy and Action month. Knowledge is nothing without action! No matter how much you learn, you have to put that knowledge to use in your own life for it to do any good at all.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Are You a Frugal Flyer or Traveler?

frequent flyer woman travelAh, summer time! It’s fast approaching, and I’m already feeling the urge to get out and have an adventure. It’s no wonder people like to travel during the summer months; the world is inviting, glorious, and full of life!

Unfortunately, travel isn’t cheap. It takes a great deal of time to plan, and money to follow through and save up for a summer vacation. Plus, if you have a typical full-time job, it can mean taking unpaid vacation time, which drives the overall cost even higher.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Are Group Buying Deal Sites Costing You Money?

women group buyingGroup buying deals sites are all the rage this year. Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and dozens more have exploded and completely changed the way some of us do our shopping, vacation planning, and fine dining.

The way these companies work is they negotiate with businesses on your behalf to cut prices by a huge percentage in exchange for the deal site sending a large amount of new customers to the business. The deal site takes a percentage of sales and the business hopefully gets a substantial customer base increase that may return to buy more products in the future. But what do you get as the customer?

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