What Do Your Property Taxes Pay For?

What do property taxes pay for?

How many times have you looked at your tax bill, threw your arms in the air, and yelled our “where is all this property tax money going, this is way too high?!?”

Maybe I’m the wacky one, but I’ve done that.  (Actually, I would probably have an expletive or two in there.)

The problem with that view though is that property taxes are never a single number, but a combination of several.

Most of us tend to think our property taxes are too high, but then we get a bit hung up on the components.  We may want a lower tax bill, but at the same time we might support high spending levels in certain areas, or even just one in particular.

There are constituencies behind each category of our property taxes, which is why it’s so hard to get lower taxes overall.

So What Do Your Property Taxes Pay For?

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The Discover it Card Review – An All-Around Card That’s Fair to the Consumer

Would you like a credit card that didn’t hit you with a ton of fees?  

Maybe even a card that was fair to its users? How about a card with generous cash back?  Let’s add in customer service from a company known for its customer loyalty?

Oh, and keeping track of your FICO® credit score would be awesome too, right?

Mix that all together and you get the Discover it® card.

Discover set out to make an all-in-one card made up of the best qualities that consumers are looking for.  They created an all new line of cards: the Discover it card.

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Marginal Tax Rate VS Effective Tax Rate – Why You Need to Know the Difference

Marginal vs effective tax rates

Most of us have no idea what either our marginal or effective income tax rates are.

They only seem to matter at income tax filing time, usually appearing as supplemental numbers in a computer generated income tax return.

One of the reasons we tend not to track these numbers is because they’re calculations, which for the most part, have no immediate relevance to us, but also because of complications in calculating them.

Because we have a progressive income tax system — tax rates rise with income — and because there are multiple taxes, the actual numbers can be difficult to calculate.  In addition, each rate can change from one year to the next or from complications in the tax code.

We have two tax rate classifications then, marginal tax rate and effective tax rate.

What is the marginal tax rate and the effective tax rate and how and when do they apply?

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Betterment.com: Investing in Stocks and Bonds Made Simple – Review

Betterment portfolio screen

Have you been wanting to invest your money but haven’t been sure how to go about it?

Let’s face it, there are lots of choices out there when it comes to investing.  Even if you choose a couple of funds to cover everything you need to know which ones and find a brokerage to invest with.

There may be a simpler, easier way to do it for those who those who want to invest but don’t know where to start or think it is too difficult for them.

That answer may be Betterment.

Follow along in our review

What is Betterment?

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Don’t Forget Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job! Here’s What You Can Do With It

What to do with your 401(k) when you leave your job.

A 401(k) plan is an awesome vehicle to save for retirement!  

You get to lower your tax basis (the income you get taxed on).  You might get a great company match… What’s not to like?

But what do you do with your 401(k) if you leave your job? 

Do you take the 401(k) with you?  Where do you put it?  Should you leave it?

You have some choices for your 401(k) which I’ll outline for you below:

Choices For Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job

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Grow Your Dough Throwdown Update – February End – It’s Growing!

grow_dough_throwdown_march_update

It’s awesome when you see your investments going up!

It’s the kind of feeling that makes you feel powerful; invincible even.

And when your investments go down you feel a pit of despair in your stomach.  “Please go back up some so I can sell and I’ll never invest like that again,” you plead to the investment deities.

Of course this is all good reason you should carefully invest.  It’s not hard to do but if you don’t have the stomach to see your investments fall in value then you’re better off investing in broad sectors (like the S&P 500 or all stocks).  Honestly, most people aren’t that great at picking stocks so your best long-term plan is to stick to sector funds and ETFs.  And even then you might not want to look at your picks too often.

About a month and a half ago I jumped into the Grow Your Dough investment challenge.

This challenge pits a growing number of personal finance writers against each other for a year to invest $1,000 and see whose investments would come out on top.

I chose to pick individual stocks.

If you take a look at the other people in the competition you’ll see a number of different investing strategies.  It’s pretty cool to see how everyone interpreted the challenge.
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How to Spend Your Income Tax Refund – 25 Ideas

ideas_income_tax_refund

Are you getting a big IRS income tax refund?

It’s always nice to get a nice chunk of change coming back to you, isn’t it?

But what will you be doing with your income tax refund?

I’m not always fond of looking forward to a large refund but they do happen and I know some people love getting them.  If you are getting a large income tax refund then at least put some thought into how you are going to use that money.

Having money in the bank is a great thing and when it’s a sizable amount you can really make some differences with your finances.

I came up with some ideas for a large income tax refund.  I’ve broken it out into different sections to make it easier for you to find something of interest.  Make sure to read through to the end and add your suggestion in the comments!

25 Ideas for Your Income Tax Refund

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