Don’t Go Broke Celebrating Mother’s Day – 7 Frugal Ideas

frugal mother's day ideas

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! 

It’s easily a day you can go crazy taking care of the moms in your life.  And by going crazy I mean spending gobs of cash.

It’s hard enough trying to figure out what mothers want for Mother’s Day.  Paying for it gets even trickier.

That’s not good.

But there are ways you can be frugal for Mother’s Day!  Keep reading and you’ll see some easy ways you can celebrate mom and be frugal as well.  You might even get extra points with mom for creating something on your own that was heartfelt.

Here Are Some Frugal Mother’s Day Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank:

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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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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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Don’t Be Late! Federal Income Tax Due Dates to File Taxes for 2014

tax_due_dates

We’re now into that time the year that accountants and other tax preparers refer to as “tax season.”

For the rest of us it’s panic season.

We scramble to get together our tax documents and hope that we won’t have to pay taxes.

How many of you have filed your return the day it was due?  I’m raising my hand (not easy to type like that).

Stressful, isn’t it?

Add to the stress the fact that not everyone files taxes the same.  Some are individual filers while others file as self-employed.  Corporations file taxes too (and they have a different due date).

But the tax deadlines aren’t all the same in every case.  It’s enough to make your head spin, wondering “when are the tax due dates for my taxes?”

Below you will find Federal Income Tax deadlines for 2014.  Use these due dates to your advantage and plan enough time to prepare your taxes before they are due. Continue Reading