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

tax filing mistakes errorsWhen you’re due a tax refund from the IRS, chances are you want it as quickly as possible. The easiest way to accomplish that is to make sure your tax return isn’t delayed by common mistakes.

There are a handful of errors the IRS regularly encounters. These raise an immediate red flag and can cause your refund to be delayed by weeks or months as the IRS tries to sort out the answers – you may even be asked to re-file.

Especially if you file on paper, be sure to double-check the following 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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7 Frugal Kids Birthday Party Ideas & Games

kids birthday party ideasKids’ birthday parties seem a lot more elaborate now than they did when we were growing up. Parents are renting out bounce houses and ponies, and they’re transforming their homes into fantasy worlds. But when it comes down to it, kids just want to have fun, and it’s not necessary for parents to go all out for kids to have a good birthday party.

So how do you host a birthday party for your child without disappointing them and without breaking the bank?

Consider these tips to cut costs from your kid’s birthday budget as well as some fun game ideas to try out.

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6 Ways to Buy and Prepare Cheap Seafood Recipes & Dishes on a Budget

shrimp seafoodIn my household, seafood is something we used to only buy on special occasions: lobster on Valentine’s Day or wedding anniversaries, wild-caught salmon to celebrate a promotion or a raise at work, and shrimp cocktail when we’re having guests over for dinner. We simple had always assumed it was just too expensive to eat on a regular basis.

But recently, after a little research, I found six ways to incorporate fresh catches into our weekly grocery budget. It’s good, not only because I’m saving money, but because seafood is an important part of a lean, healthy diet (just be sure you’re taking the proper steps to avoid salmonella food poisoning when you prepare it). If you’re on a budget like me, read on and enjoy!

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Making Work Pay Tax Credit Eligibility & Qualifications Explained

making work pay tax credit

First introduced in 2009, the Making Work Pay tax credit was available for two years – 2009 and 2010. With this credit, you were able to receive a bonus of up to $400 (or $800 if you filed as married filing jointly) just for working.

However, this tax credit was not renewed by Congress following 2010, and is not available for tax years 2011 and later.

How the Making Work Pay Tax Credit Is Calculated

If you had any income from a job or self-employment during the years this credit was available, you can calculate your Making Work Pay credit based on your earned income. You also must file Schedule M to claim the credit – even if you received it as an income boost in your paycheck.

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Festival Of Frugality: Back to School Edition

high school lockersAs the Principal of the Festival Of Frugality School, I’ve elected to award one participant the Festival of Frugality Valedictorian Award.

As the Valedictorian, this student of finance and life has been well-liked by his fellow students and always brings his positive attitude with him wherever he goes. He brings out the good in others and shines as an example of what other students should aspire to be like. In one particular instance, titled Squirreling Gone Wild #22: Drive-Thru Discount, Ray of the Squirrelers class exhibited grace and charity after his resourcefulness led him to a tiny financial discount along his day to day path.

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Tourist Tips to Save Money on Hotels, Restaurants, Parades & More

mardi gras festival new orleansMardi Gras in New Orleans deserves its status as the “largest party in the United States.” With its lavish parades, masked balls, and late-night parties, it’s an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.

But when the good times roll, especially with free-flowing alcohol and great dining, you’ll find yourself loosening your purse strings or opening your wallet more quickly than you expected. If you want to enjoy Mardi Gras on the cheap and leave New Orleans with a dollar or two left in your pocket, you need a game plan.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Go to College – Besides Just Getting a High-Paying Job

college lecture studentsThere has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not it is worth getting a four year college degree.

While it can greatly increase your chances of landing a high paying job after graduation, that is not always the case. In fact, there are several six figure income jobs that don’t require a degree and can still get you a big paycheck.

However, there are many important reasons a young person should consider going to college other than just the potential financial rewards.

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Target Date Mutual Funds – Pros & Cons Saving For Retirement

target date fundA target date fund is an attractive option for savvy passive investors. These mutual funds provide strong results with minimal effort, and adjust your investment risk level according to how soon you plan to retire. As a result, many 401k and IRA investors choose them as the backbone of their personal investment portfolios. As with any investment, however, not fully understanding these financial resources can cost you plenty.

In 2008 and 2009, many target date fund investors lost fortunes learning that funds without well-designed “glide paths” can leave you dangerously overexposed to stocks in the few years right before expected retirement. If you know how target date funds are designed – as well as their benefits and downsides – you’ll be able to choose the best target date fund for your portfolio.

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