April 15th is one of the most dreaded days on the calendar. It is the day when millions of Americans scramble to file their tax returns. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that actually enjoys paying income taxes. It’s not realistic to think that we could entirely abolish taxes and fund many government programs such as defense spending, Social Security, and Medicare. But, could we switch to a system of taxes based on activity and consumption instead of income? There are many other alternatives and ideas out there to abolish the current income tax code, but actually getting Congress to switch to something else will be an ongoing struggle. I just can’t stand the fact that I get taxed more for how successful I am in my career. Doesn’t that seem backwards?
Congress is currently considering implementing a huge financial reform bill. They have spent well over a year debating all of the aspects of financial reform. We all know that one of the main issues being discussed is getting rid of the “Too Big To Fail” moniker that applies to the big banks. While this is an important issue, there are other issues being discussed that will directly impact consumers. These issues involve lowering the costs associated with borrowing and protecting consumers from predatory lending practices. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways in which financial reform will directly affect you:
I was reading a disturbing article the other day about people falling into financial trouble. Many individuals are making their credit card payments on time in lieu of paying their mortgage. With the housing market underwater, people are prioritizing their credit card debt and other bills over their mortgage payments. This actually runs contrary to normal behavior. Yet, the trend is increasing, because misinformed consumers are more worried about protecting their credit scores, rather than protecting their shelter. During periods of economic growth and prosperity, people typically pay their bills in the following manner:
Why the change?
In the midst of rising unemployment and a surging deficit, the United States government is thinking of ways to increase revenue in order to fund government programs. The government has been considering implementing a fat tax, eliminating capital gains taxes, and raising taxes on higher wage earners. The government is trying everything possible to plug budget shortfalls and raise needed funds. Recently, the federal government has even began considering adopting a value added tax. There has been much debate over whether a value added tax would help or hinder domestic production. Let’s take a look at this controversial proposal known as the value added tax.
Conventional wisdom suggests that whenever financing a major purchase, you should rely on debt. We are taught from a young age that buying cars, education, home furnishings, and vacations is an acceptable practice. Today, I would like you to take a look at the prevailing wisdom and consider making these purchases using cash. I’m challenging you to think outside the box on this one. Don’t scoff when you read the first one, keep an open mind! Here is a list of four things that you should never buy on credit:
1. Your Car
The United States economy is slowly putting along. Last week, we learned that the economy added 290,000 jobs last month. As the economic outlook continues to improve, you should look at ways that you can benefit from the rising economy. Whether it’s finding a new job or looking for new investments, there are opportunities to increase wealth and set yourself up for a long, prosperous career. Honestly, many of the best opportunities have already come and gone when everyone thought the world was going to end. Remember when the Dow Jones was at 6,500? Imagine if you had invested more money at that low point! Here are a few ways that you can benefit from a recovering economy.
One of the best ways to create a fiscally responsible adult is by training them to handle financial issues as a child. Teaching your kids to manage money is no easy task. They may be much more concerned with what’s going on in pop culture, their latest gadget, or just having fun as a kid. With the growing list of items that they desire, they may really think that money grows on trees. It’s never too late to teach your kid about money, even if they are about to graduate from high school. High school seniors are probably the most important group to equip with financial strategies because they are about to enter the real world. Here are five things to teach your soon-to-be grad before they enter the halls of higher learning:
Are you looking for a way to bring down the costs of your car insurance? Paying auto insurance premiums can be very expensive, especially for a product that you will rarely ever use. But don’t worry, there are strategies to bring down your auto insurance payments. We recommend focusing on reducing the big, fixed monthly payments in your life before you take away the small indulgences, because those fixed monthly bills are eating away a bigger portion of your monthly income on a consistent basis. Here are 8 ways that you can save money on your car insurance:
Sometimes situations occur that cause you to fall behind on your mortgage. An unexpected job loss, a medical emergency, or a change in marital status are just a few of the issues that can bring about financial hardship. It’s important to know what options are available to you when you are having a tough time making ends meet. Here are three tips to help you if you are falling behind on your mortgage payment.
Contact your mortgage lender.
The current economic crisis has caused millions of Americans to lose their homes and has forced many to insolvency. Some have been forced to take the drastic measure of declaring bankruptcy. There is no shame in declaring bankruptcy. It may be a necessary step for some people that are overly leveraged. While going through a bankruptcy is a tragic experience, you can use the experience to get your financial house back in order. Instead of dwelling on it and being negative, you can take steps to rebuild your finances and change the habits and decisions you made that may have caused you to file for bankruptcy. Here are 5 easy steps for recovering from bankruptcy.