4 Different Types of Taxes and How To Minimize Them

pay taxes piggy banksAlthough your personal income tax filing is probably foremost in your mind right now, the government taxes us in a number of different ways.

This is actually helpful for you because it gives you multiple opportunities to find ways to reduce your tax burden, while spreading out the impact of taxes.

Want to learn more? Here are the four types of taxes we’re all subject to, and tips on how to minimize their impact.

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5 Best Free Travel Apps for Saving Money on the Road with Your Smartphone

travel apps smartphoneSometimes traveling seems like more stress than it’s worth. Whether you’re taking a trip for business or pleasure, keeping flights, hotel reservations, and general itinerary straight can be a hassle. How can you possibly juggle all of those things and find the best deals? The answer is easier than you think.

With thousands of travel apps to choose from, traveling with an Android or iPhone is like traveling with a personal assistant. The ability to keep a journal of your trip, post updates to Facebook and Twitter from the road, take panoramic photos, or even find a day spa in your area are all just a simple download away.

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Personal & Household Monthly Budget Categories – 9 Ways to Determine How Much to Put in

budget categories money bucketsDuring a recent get-together with some friends, the topic of how much we all budget for buying groceries came up in conversation. Since I had started dabbling in extreme couponing, I recently adjusted my grocery budget from $400 a month to $250 a month. My friends were surprised at my lofty goal and felt in a way that it was unreasonable, although not necessarily unattainable.

After having that conversation, I began thinking about my budget caps, not just for groceries, but for all of my expense categories and how I determined the dollar amounts that I was willing to spend for each.

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3 Ways to Find & Invest in a List of the Top Blue Chip Stocks With Dividends

blue chips stocks newspaperCompanies represented by blue chip stocks are typically of high quality with a long history of stable earnings. The publicly traded shares often represent well-known name brands run by high quality management teams that often pay dividends to their shareholders.

Some long-term investors view these companies as being of lower risk when compared to newer fad stocks that have yet to prove themselves fiscally.

The bottom line is that blue chips stocks are typically a good investment. But how do you choose the best ones to invest in? Here are 3 steps you can use as a guide.

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The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – Federal Tax Deductions for Child Care Expenses

childcare expenses paintingFinding the right person or company to care for your child or disabled spouse is difficult, and paying for it can become very expensive.

Fortunately, you can get a break on these expenses by filing for the child and dependent care tax credit.

And depending on your income and how many people need care, you can get up to a $2,100 credit. Below is more information regarding the credit, including who qualifies as someone who needs care, what kind of expenses count, and who can claim the tax break.

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12 Steps for How to Make a Budget – Personal Budgeting Tips for First Timers

budgeting calculator pen paperCreating your first budget can be extremely overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that only 40% of American families have a working monthly budget. But it’s worth the effort. Developing a budget that you can maintain over the long term  has been definitively linked to building wealth, while simultaneously helping you get out of debt and cut expenses.

When I built my first budget several years ago, I knew approximately how much money I was making annually, but I had never broken down my expenses by category to figure out what I could afford on a recurring basis, or how much money I could regularly invest.

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6 Ways to Prepare for Rising Gas Prices – $5 Per Gallon Gas Coming Soon?

gas pump car moneyIf you missed the NPR feature with former Shell Oil president Jon Hofmeister, then you might not have heard his prediction that we could be facing $5 per gallon gas here in the U.S. The story was also featured on major news outlets like Fox News, CNN and NBC News.

I know, it’s enough to make your eyes glaze over. All of us can still remember how tough it was in 2008, when a gallon of gas hit $4 (at least, it did here in Michigan).

So what’s going to happen if the experts are right, and we really do see $5 per gallon gas?

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5 Computer Hardware Upgrades to Improve Speed, Memory & Performance

computer dual monitorsWhen I first began my career in IT in the mid ’90s, we generally expected new computers to be obsolete within a few years. Thanks to improving technology however, we can now get a few more years out of computers before they break down or can’t keep up. That’s good news for your budget.

Even better, rather than investing in a completely new machine every time you want to make an improvement, you can snap up some new innovative tech products that will act as sensible and affordable upgrades on their own.

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4 Bathroom Ideas for Small Spaces That Save You Money – Multi-Purpose Toiletries

small bathroomGrowing up, my sister and I shared a bathroom. She loves toiletries and beauty products, so our cabinets looked like the health and beauty section of a supermarket. She had straightening shampoo for curly hair, deep conditioners for dyed hair, and frizz control serum for humid days, in addition to creams, lotions, powders, and boxes of makeup.

When I went to college, and eventually found an apartment for rent, I realized that I had to find ways to save money on beauty products and maximize space in my tiny bathroom. I found that I could get the most value by using multi-purpose products.

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Style on a Shoestring Book Review By Andy Paige – Develop Your Cents of Style

style on a shoestring bookIt’s a vicious cycle and a catch-22: You’re cash-poor and don’t want to rack up a lot of credit card debt, so you skimp out on buying quality clothes. Unfortunately, your ill-fitting, cheap-looking wardrobe doesn’t earn you respect at work or do much for your self-confidence, so you get passed over for opportunities that could get you a raise. But without career advancement, you won’t get the money you need to afford clothes that can make a good impression on your boss and coworkers. Sound familiar?

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