When I first found out I was pregnant, I was excited and a little nervous (OK, a lot nervous) at the same time. My sister had severe bouts of morning sickness during her pregnancy and I wondered if I would go through the same thing. I got my answer 7 weeks in, when I was overcome with nausea, headaches, and a general feeling of miserableness night and day (whoever came up with the term “morning” sickness has clearly never had it).
The American Association of Individual Investors tracks 63 separate stock picking strategies that include a mix of growth, value, momentum, changes in earnings estimates, and insider buying. By the end of December 2010, the winning strategy for the year was from Joseph Piotroski with a 138.8% stock market gain over 12 months. You can see the rankings for yourself on the AAII scoreboards.
What is his system and how can you pick similar stocks? Read on…
When you tighten your budget, you may realize that you’ve been ignoring secondhand stores and the value of buying certain items used.
Consider these ten items, which are much cheaper secondhand, and you don’t even have to sacrifice quality – or pride.
Technology moves at an amazing pace today. Every year it seems the power of processors doubles, devices shrink to a fraction of their original size, and the number of things you can do on your phone increases at a startling rate.
I remember getting excited when I discovered I could text a special number sequence to my phone carrier and they would text back my account balance. I thought that was pretty cool. Now you can address nearly all of your banking needs from your smartphone. You can check balances, transfer cash, and even deposit checks – all on your mobile device. The convenience is great, but don’t ignore the downsides of using your smartphone for everything. You may be putting your account security and your financial health at risk.
Taxes can be so frustrating that we often ignore the significant and interesting role they’ve played in U.S. history. Though the idea of taxes doesn’t necessarily please the populace, the issue has certainly motivated Americans during key events.
Taxes helped start the process that would eventually lead to the Revolutionary War and America’s independence. The Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Tea Act (which incited the Boston Tea Party) were tax and tariff laws placed on the colonies by England to raise revenue.
Since the revolution, taxes and national events have influenced each other in ways that can help you better understand your tax situation, and how everyone benefits from the prices we pay.
Taxes are a hassle. Dates and deadlines seem to sneak up without warning despite being relatively consistent from year to year. But getting organized and working on preparation throughout the year can make the traditional tax season less dreaded and much easier.
Keep these major tax dates in mind and mark them on your calendar. If the date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will move to the next business day.
Each year we receive or fill out lots of tax forms, and each of these forms has a specific purpose.
Below, I’ll outline and highlight some of the most common forms. You can find more detailed information by clicking on the form’s name.
The most important of them all, the Form 1040 is the basic form on which you file your personal income taxes. There are many additional forms which you use to calculate specific items to put on specific lines on the main Form 1040, but you can’t file your taxes without this form. It comes in multiple flavors such as 1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040X. There are also more than a dozen Schedules (different parts to the Form), each to help you calculate the tax impact of different activities.
In an effort to help make filing taxes easier this year, we are breaking down the various IRS tax forms to help you know if you need them, and how to use them.
IRS form 1099 covers many different kinds of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. Since you don’t have to submit copies of 1099s with your 1040 form when you file on paper, you generally only receive one or two drafts of this form.
While there are nearly two dozen variations on form 1099, the most common ones are 1099-INT, 1099-R, and SSA-1099. Another version you’ll see often is the 1099-MISC, which businesses use for payments that don’t fall under the other 1099 categories.
It is common for many families to stare dejectedly at $200, $300, $400, and sometimes even $500 in utility bills every month. That can be an especially hard pill to swallow when times are tight – especially with gas prices rising.
This issue hits close to home for me as well. My dad lives in Lousiana, and his monthly bill is an astonishing $430 per month. And, that’s living in the Sunny South!
So what can you do to reduce your utility bill without being forced to move? Well, according to Energy Star, half of all the energy we use in our homes goes toward heating and cooling. A significant amount goes towards water as well.
The 1040 tax form was introduced in 1913, and its basic setup has remained essentially the same over the past century. The 1040 conveniently collects all of your income, credits, and deductions in one place. In fact, while there are dozens of other forms and schedules that you can use for additional calculations (such as Form 8863 for education credits or Schedule A for itemized deductions), each final number from all these forms is tallied on your 1040.
1040 Form Types
The 1040 comes in several different varieties:
- The regular 1040 is sometimes called the “long form” because, at two pages, it is the most lengthy.