It’s that time of year again when we watch a football game involving teams that many of us don’t care about with overblown headlines, cheesy commercials, big parties, and GREAT food. Most people usually say that the best part about Super Bowl parties is the food and the commercials. Super Bowl weekend has become more about the parties than it is about the game. I love Super Bowl parties as long as I’m not throwing it. All I have to do is bring one dish and feast on everyone elses munchies. If you’re the poor soul with the big house and the sweet, big-screen TV, then here are some tips for saving money on your Super Bowl party this year.
By Erik Folgate
No matter how thoroughly you construct your budget, you will never be able to predict each and every future expense. Creating a general Rainy Day Fund is a good place to start in allocating unexpected costs, but sometimes several storms converge and you’re suddenly caught in a hurricane with little more than a cheap poncho to keep you dry. The best way to prepare for such a deluge is to identify as many potential squalls as possible and do what you can to avoid them.
I wanted to encourage any of you that have a specific question, comment, or concern to Contact Me. I do not have a formal financial advising certification yet, but I’ve talked with numerous people over the past couple years about their life and finances, so I might be able to help you. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will research it as best as possible and let you know what I come up with.
Updated February 16th: I have updated the economic stimulus calculator to reflect a more accurate amount that you will receive based on the actual signed bill that was passed into law this week by President Bush. Email me with any questions about it by clicking on the “submissions” button above.
There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the proposed 2008 Economic Stimulus Plan propose by Congress last week. It has not been signed into law, but Bush is scheduled to sign it once it has been finalized. Any bill that puts more money into your pockets is going to generate a lot of interest. Read more about my thoughts on the package, and the only real ways to stimulate the economy with the money you get back.
If you’re scrambling for last-minute ways to cut your tax bill for 2007, you are in luck. Apparently, the IRS understands thos of us who are procrastinators, so they will allow you contribute up until April 15th, 2008 towards your IRA for it to count towards your 2007 contributions. this article via Yahoo Finiance from CNN Money, outlines the details.
Here are the fast facts:
- Make Your contributions before April 15th, 2008, but make sure that you clearly state to your brokerage firm, financial advisor, or bank that you want the contributions to count towards your 2007 contributions.
I know that many of you fall asleep even with the thought of watching the Presidential State of the Union address performed by the president at the beginning of each year. But, this year’s might be a little different. The last three or four addresses have been dominated with the war in Iraq, but now that we are succeeding in Iraq, the media has completely ignored it, because bad news sells newspapers. This year’s address will be dominated by the state of the economy, which directly affects you and your bank account. It is important for us to stay current with what decisions our politicians are making about taxes, the housing market, interest rates, and small business regulations.
By Erik Folgate
If you walk into an electronics store this weekend, you’ll most likely see a big promotioin for sales on Hi-Def LCD, Plasma, and DLP televisions. Retailers will be putting together their final push to try to persuade you to buy a big-screen TV for Super Bowl weekend. Frankly, I think it’s insulting that retailers think we would go out and purchase a big TV just for one game that hardly ever features a good matchup. Does anyone really think that Eli Manning is going to beat The Golden Boy and New England? And by the way, it will snow in Miami before New England thinks about not playing Brady in the Super Bowl.
By Erik Folgate
Have you heard the news? The IRS is going to be sending YOU money this year, instead of you sending THEM money. But, there’s a catch. They’re just giving you back your own hard-earned money! Yes, it’s a nice gesture for Congress to send us some tax money back, but is it really going to stimulate the economy? I think all it’s going to do is stimulate the big-screen TV sector, but who knows.
Read this article to get the whole story about the stimulus package Congress is going to pass. Here are the highlights and lowlights of the bill:
Here are some great tips about your W-2 from JK Lasser. Your W-2 is the most important tax document that you’ll receive, so don’t lose it! And make sure you’re looking out for it in the mail this week and the next.
Mailboxes and tight waistbands are usually the last reminders of holiday excess. But what’s coming in the mail isn’t all bad news. Arriving with the holiday bills are the Forms 1099 and W-2 that are critical to preparing your tax return and claiming your refund.
WHO? Employers are required by law to furnish a Form W-2, “Wages and Tax Statement”.
By Erik Folgate
I wrote the article below in the midst of watching the market drop 300 points in the morning, then from about 12pm to 3pm, it rallied to post a gain of 300. I told you not to panic! So, is this enough proof to show you that you shouldn’t drink the doom and gloom Kool-Aid that the media wants you to believe? Check out the closing marks for the Dow.
For those of you that lived during the days of Jimmy Carter, you shouldn’t be worried right now. You saw the highest mortgage interest rates in history, high unemployment, and horrible stock market returns. I just don’t see the big signs that say we’re heading for two years of economic decline.
By Erik Folgate
Yes, I saw the stock market this morning. It’s not looking good. There’s no reason to panic, though. We still have one of the most robust, dynamic economies in the world. The free market will correct itself, and it will bounce back. A couple of you have wrtitten comments showing your concern about the way your 401k or IRA has looked lately. For those of us that are young and we’ve never invested during a recession, it is scary for us. Believe me, it hurts every time I check out my retirement account. The total has been falling and falling and falling, and yeah, you get the picture. It’s happening to you too. But, never fear. I am going to convince you to stay optimistic even if the media talking heads and so-called economic experts are correct about this recession we’re going to slip into in 2008.
Mortgage lenders were being stingy at the beginning of the housing downturn, but now they are finally realizing the ramifications of what is going on with the housing market, so they’re willing to play “Let’s Make a Deal”, but you have to pick up the phone and ask them. Realize that they aren’t going to call you to offer a deal on your mortgage. There are too many people and too little time. If you’re in a bind right now with your mortgage and you think you might be facing foreclosure, don’t give up! Foreclosing on your house should NOT be an option. You will not be able to buy another house for at least three to five years, and even if a lender does extend credit to you, you’re interest rate is going to be horrible.
By Erik Folgate
This article from USA Today has a recap of the move that The Fed made overnight and the plunge that the Dow Jones made this morning at the opening of trading.