The Costs & Benefits of Different Kinds Of Credit

2016_0420-Credit-FrankAll right all you spenders, there’s a subject near and dear to me and that’s on the subject of credit. Now you may be thinking to yourself that poor old Frank Money has no life. That may be true but I’m not poor and I’m not in debt, but thinking about the different kinds of debt can really knock me off my feet.

There are costs and benefits for carrying different types of debt. Some credit accounts are viewed more favorably by lenders than others but all require the ability to repay your debts in a timely manner. For example, there’s non-revolving credit like taking out a mortgage that’s paid in installments. Revolving credit deals with credit cards and fluctuate how much you pay each month.

Believe it or not carrying debt and paying it off monthly can raise your credit scores because it clearly shows how you manage your finances. Just remember the higher your credit score the better you can negotiate lower credit rates.

What Are The Factors Affecting Your Paycheck?

2016_0419-TakeHomePayIt’s just a hunch but I’m willing to bet that a lot of you earning a paycheck don’t fully understand all the deductions that are taken from your gross amount. First of all, these deductions are actually called taxes. That’s right, you’re now in that exclusive club that helps run our country as smooth as it can.

Depending on what state you live in determines how much in taxes you pay. The basic taxes we all pay are Federal Income Tax, Social Security and Medicare. Federal is just how it sounds. It pays for what’s needed throughout our country including National Defense. Social Security is there to assist you financial when you reach retirement age. Trust me, you’re going to need that. As you will with Medicare, that’s also for retirement age to assist with basic health care.

All states are not created equal when it comes to taxes. A number of states have a State Tax and could also have a City Tax. There lots of other taxes out there but I think you get the idea. Death and taxes…I’ll take taxes!

We’re Halfway, Plus 3 Days,
Thru Financial Literacy Month

2016_0401-FinLitMonthIt’s Tax Day! Normally, Tax Day is April 15th, but this year it’s April 18th! Why the change to April 18th? Well, in typical Washington-DC fashion…it’s complicated…here’s the reason why –

If you have filed your taxes and signed on the dotted line, then good for you! If this is your first time it’s not that far-fetched that you have joined society; contributed to keeping the wheels oiled and turning so our country can keep moving forward. Okay, sometimes I can get carried away.

With your return due today, we thought we would share another date with you – Tax Freedom Day – This is the day of the year where everything made up to that date goes to Uncle Sam, and after that date, everything you make is yours. In the United States, it is annually calculated by the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based tax research organization. In the U.S., Tax Freedom Day for 2015 is April 24, for a total average effective tax rate of 31 percent of the nation’s income. The latest that Tax Freedom Day has occurred was May 1 in 2000. In 1900, Tax Freedom Day arrived January 22, for an effective average total tax rate of 5.9 percent of the nation’s income.

Tax Freedom Day for 2016 is April 27th! Woo Hoo!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

As for the second half of the month of April, each day we’re be covering more financial literacy information such as, just what are the taxes taken out of you paycheck, your credit and the benefits of keeping it at a high number, keeping on track using a budget and a lot more.

No peeking! April 19th is tomorrow, and you have just 361 days till your income tax return is due again!

Consider Alternatives & Consequences

2016_0417-AlternatiesHow many times have you passed by an electronics store and saw the X-Box you always wanted was finally on sale or the newest smart phone has hit the market? Temptations are thrown at us everyday in many different forms of ads. They know how to get your attention.

But where do you stand financially? Are you strong enough to stick to your budget or are you ready to throw caution to the wind? If so, then let’s at least recognize that there are alternatives & consequences to most financial decisions.

Think of setting financial goals so you can purchase these items by saving for it on a monthly basis. But remember, the more you save, the more you have to sacrifice other things like movies or eating out. So there’s your alternative, but if you spend and don’t have it, the consequences means going into more debt.

Get wealthy with regular investments, time, and compounding

2016_0416-CompoundedInterestWe’ve all heard and read a thousand times how we should save on a regular basis and the younger you start the more we’ll have when getting closer to retirement. But as sure as the sun rises there will always be something that happens in your life that will make it difficult for you to part with your money to put into savings. That’s why every paycheck you should have a set portion of your salary automatically deposited into your savings account.

The later you wait to start saving, even a year or two, could mean the difference of up to $200,000 or more! Remember compounding interest? Over time your money will make more money for you.

In fact, if you want to have what we financial literacy fans call ‘fun’ here’s a link to the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission’s handy, dandy Compounded Interest Calculator. GO ahead, plug some numbers in and step back, ready to be surprised!

Good old Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” So it’s up to you to be a wise investor with your savings.

Are You Ready For Tax Day?

2016_0414-TaxReturnApril 15th, ‘tax day’, always seems to be a day of chaos and dread for taxpayers – though thru some convoluted rules, ‘tax day’ is actually April 18th this year. We’ve all seen traffic jams and long lines at local Post Offices with last minute taxes held tightly in their hands hoping to get their taxes sent out on time.

Other than having your taxes prepared sooner there are other options than racing to the Post Office. Need more time to prepare your federal tax return? If you are not able to file your federal individual income tax return by the due date, you may be able to get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file. But to do so, you’ll need to not owe anymore income tax for last year. Best to check with the IRS for the proper forms and understand there’s a nominal fee on the amount that’s being filed.

Also, don’t forget you can e-file your federal taxes right from your computer. It’s quick, easy and gives you immediate confirmation that Uncle Sam has happily gathered in your taxes.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Reducing Your Taxable Income Puts $$$ In Your Pocket

2016_0412-Tips-TaxableIncomeWhen preparing for tax time don’t just assume that Federal, State and other income taxes will be the only thing you can declare hoping you’ll get some kind of tax return. Depending on what kind of job or jobs, or what kind of savings or purchases you’ve made, you may qualify to reduce your taxable income and get a larger refund.

Some of the more popular deductions you can take are charitable contributions, business expenses such as operating costs, mortgage interest, losses such as theft or property values. Also let’s not forget contributing to your 401k or Roth IRA. If you’re a first time home buyer, Uncle Sam gives you a nice financial credit to encourage you to own your home.

There’s a long list that will probably fit your reduction of taxable income. There’s no shortage of information out there, as well as, consulting a professional tax preparer.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Say YES to Employee Sponsored Savings Plans

2016_0412-EmplSponsSavPlansWhen you’re young and just starting out in the workforce and lucky enough to be able to join in an employee sponsored savings plan but you’re not sure if you should. Here’s the answer: Yes, definitely, do not hesitate. I hope that’s clear enough. To understand it better let’s take a look at the definition.

A pooled investment account provided by an employer that allows employees to set aside a portion of their pretax wages for retirement savings or other long-term goals (i.e. paying for college tuition, purchasing a home). Many employers match their employees’ contributions up to a certain dollar amount, or by a certain percentage.

If your employer matches all or part of your contribution, that’s like found money! Keep in mind that there may be plans that require employees to remain employed for a minimum amount of time before they are vested and eligible to withdraw employer-matched funds. ESPs can be an attractive and relatively easy way for employees to lower their taxes and save for long-term goals.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Avoid Identity Theft – Control Your Personal Information!

2016_0410-FrankMoney01There’s one private investigator who’s middle name is ‘Identity Theft’! Talkin’ Money’s own Frank Money!

With everyone walking around with their heads buried in their smart phones and tablets, it’s easy to forget that these devices can also carry your entire financial history! So listen up, Millennials, I’m about to drop some pearls of wisdom to help you avoid identity theft.

One of our biggest crimes today is Consumer Fraud. Don’t have to rob a bank anymore. Just get a hold of your personal information and let the buying spree, courtesy from your account, begin!

But listen up, a couple of things in your favor. Credit cards today will protect you from fraud. But you must stay vigilant. If you see charges that don’t belong to you, contact your credit card company right away and they’ll work it out with you. Another thing is always be in control of your personal information and that includes your social security number, pins and passwords, and while we’re on the subject, don’t carry your social security card. Leave it at home.

Question anyone who wants that personal information from you and you are well on your way to tackling Identity Theft.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Insurance Is A Risk Management Strategy We All Need

2016_0409-InsuranceWhen you think about it Insurance and Risk Management are really the same thing. Adults who own homes have all kinds of insurances including protecting their home and belongings. But when first starting out in the working world, or even before when attending college, insurance is also a must have.

If you’re renting an apartment, rental insurance is good thing to help you to protect your belongings in case of a fire, bad weather or even theft. That’s taking your first step with Risk Management. Also health insurance should be on your list. We all know that at age 22, health insurance is the furthest expense to consider. But you should know that a broken arm or a couple of nights at a hospital could put you in serious debt.

So by having insurance that covers your health, your property and even your car is the perfect definition of Risk Management.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.