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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How to Be a Good Landlord – 7 Tips, Advice & Responsibilities

landlord rental property keysStarting a property management company is a tough business, plain and simple. Landlords deal with the problems of tenants who call to complain constantly, tenants who don’t pay their rent, and what can seem like endless, high dollar property repairs. Buying rental property and becoming a landlord comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities, and all of these things can turn a well-meaning property owner into a jaded landlord.

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The Efficient Market Hypothesis – Definition, Theory & What It Means For Your Investing

business newspaper stocks glassesHow often have you read or heard news about a major company like Apple or Google and felt compelled to buy or sell the company’s stock? You want to invest in a company with a promising future, but once a story hits the news, is it already too late?

For years, financial experts have debated the efficient market hypothesis, which assumes that stock prices effectively reflect news and information.

You need to understand the hypothesis before investing – especially if you react to business news.

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11 Common Tax Filing Mistakes & Errors and How to Correct Them

tax filing mistakes errorsIf you’re in a hurry to get your tax refund faster (and who isn’t?), make sure your tax return won’t be delayed by common mistakes.

There are a handful of common errors that the IRS regularly deals with.  These mistakes signal an immediate red flag and cause your refund to be delayed by weeks or months as the IRS tries to sort things out or asks you to re-file.

Especially if you file on paper, make sure to double-check these easily overlooked items.

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10 Best Stock Market Investment News, Analysis & Research Sites

stock investment research sitesAh, investing – a word that can strike fear into the hearts of even the most burly and masculine of men. A subject with such a broad and potentially confusing scope of choices, it can bewilder even the most savvy of businessmen.

Even though I consider myself well-versed in general investment information, there is a world of knowledge, terminology, and strategy that is just beyond my comprehension, and will likely always be.

So where should I, the layman, turn to when I seek competent and comprehensive stock market investment research and analysis?

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