Is a Home Security System Worth the Expense?

Home security system

I have a friend whose husband travels frequently for work.  After one of these trips, she mentioned how poorly she had slept because she had been listening for intruders.  I knew that she had a home security system, so I asked the obvious, “Didn’t the security system make you feel better?”

“I don’t use that!” she said in a voice filled with disdain.  “I don’t want to pay $30 a month for that!”  (She and her husband bought the house about five years ago, and the system was already installed.)

I bit my tongue from saying more, but by not using the security system she already has, I think she is making a big mistake.  People have the tendency to think they are safe in their homes and that other people’s houses get broken into, not theirs.  However, it only takes one incident to shake this view.  Still, many want to know — Is a home security system worth the expense? Continue Reading

Innocent Spouse Tax Relief Changes – New Rules

When you file a joint tax return, you are responsible, along with your spouse, for the information in the return.  If it turns out that your spouse under-reported his or her income, or claimed deductions or credits without being entitled to them, you might be liable for the resulting taxes, penalties and interest — just as your spouse is.

There are some instances in which you might find tax relief, however.  The IRS, with a new rules regarding innocent spouse tax relief, is making it a little easier to get free of your spouse’s tax debt.  If you want “equitable relief” there is no longer a two-year limit for applying.  And, if you have been turned down because of being outside this limit, you can reapply under the new rule.  But, in order to take advantage of this rule, you have to be an “innocent spouse.”Continue Reading

TradeKing Online Discount Brokerage Review – Inexpensive Trades and Plenty of Tools

Putting your trust into an investment website can be somewhat scary.

How do you know if they are really trustworthy with your money and investments?

TradeKing online discount brokerage may be the place for you.  Let’s take a look at what makes TradeKing great in this TradeKing review.

At TradeKing.com, you do not need to have any worries about the safety of your trades.  Established in 2005, they strive to take care of their investors in every way they can.  They designed their company to make it easier for investors without any confusing double-talk and they treat everyone equal, instead of only giving their full attention to the large investors.

TradeKing treats each and every client like they would like to be treated themselves, and strive to work by principles of honesty, fairness and high-touch service.  At TradeKing  you can even converse with other investors in their Trader Network, so that you can see what others are investing in and what is working for them, getting much needed advice for your investments from people like you. Continue Reading

How to Avoid Buying a Used Car Lemon

wrecked_car

It was the summer of 2010.  I had just graduated college and had saved up a down payment for my dream car, a 2004 Acura TL.  I had researched the heck out of that car and it came out on top whenever I compared it to other vehicles.  I was on a mission to get my used car and no one was stopping me!

At first, I tried the used car dealerships.  A found a couple that I loved but my excitement about the cars overtook my common sense.  I narrowed it down to two cars and brought my Dad to help me look and check for warning signs.  At each of the cars we looked at, it took my Dad literally less than five seconds to tell me the car was a lemon.  I was in denial!  How could these cars be lemons!  As it turns out, my Dad spotted spray paint near the bottom of the doors.  Also, when we asked the dealers about maintenance records, they didn’t exist.  According to my Dad, these were signs that we were looking at a lemon.
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Would You Drive a Car Covered with Advertisements?

Yellow_car

We live in a world filled with advertisements.  We see them on the tv, in magazines, on bus stops, on buses, at movie theaters, in schools, in public restrooms.  They are all around us.  Now, you will see advertisements on rental cars too.

Would you drive a car covered with advertisements?

Budget Rent-a-Car has launched a new pilot program in Atlanta.  They will cover red SUVs in an advertisement for Sheets Brand Energy Strips.  In return for driving an SUV covered in advertising, Budget customers will pay roughly ¼ the amount to rent a car that they would pay without the advertising.  One customer rented an SUV with advertising for four days to drive to Florida.  The regular price would have been almost $300, but the price dropped to $90 because she chose the car with advertising.
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Going to College? 5 Smart Money Moves for College Freshmen

College! For many, leaving home for the first time to attend university is an exciting time, full of promise. As you get ready for school, or as you prepare your child to start a new chapter of his or her life, it is important to remember some of the basics.

Here are 5 smart money moves for college freshmen:

1. Get a Job

It doesn’t need to be a full-time job.  It doesn’t even need to be off-campus.  Many colleges hold hiring fairs one or two days before school starts so that students can see what’s available on campus.  I worked part-time in the college cafeteria for two years, before getting a job as a resident advisor.  A part-time job on campus is usually manageable, and many students benefit from working at least a little bit.  The extra income comes in handy.Continue Reading

Playing the Retirement Catch-Up Game in Your Forties

So, you’re in your forties and have little to no retirement savings.  ”What shall I do?” you ask yourself.  First thing you need to do is not lose hope.  You have a challenge ahead of you but you can win this battle.  It’s something I like to call “Retirement Catch-Up.”  At its core, it’s a fairly simple game.  You have a certain time horizon and need a certain amount you need before you can retire.  With the proper knowledge, anyone can win this game.

Here’s you have a sort of “cheat sheet” to win the retirement catch-up game:

Max out your 401(k) plan immediately

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