What is Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and How Does it Affect Your Taxes

We toss different terms around to describe our incomes, one of which is adjusted gross income, but what exactly is adjusted gross income (AGI), and is it an accurate way to describe what we make?

What is Adjusted Gross Income?

In its simplest form, adjusted gross income, or “AGI”, is the broadest measure of income from all sources, but it’s also reduced by certain expenses. (This is where the term “adjusted” figures into AGI.)

Because the income reduced, and because certain income isn’t taxable, it’s not accurate to say that AGI describes total income in any way.

AGI isn’t really a general description of income so much as it’s a term specific to income taxes.

It’s your income as the Internal Revenue Service sees it and wants us to report it.  It is everything that is reported on page one of IRS Form 1040.

But even if it isn’t an objective measure of income, it still has major implications, at least as it relates to income taxes.

AGI summarizes all of your income sources

Continue Reading

Bad Credit? Rebuild it With These Secured Credit Card Offers

secure_bank_vault_door

One of the fastest ways to build up your credit is to use a credit card.

However, if you have little or no credit history, flat-out bad credit, or if you have a poor credit rating, it can be difficult to qualify for an unsecured credit card (unsecured means you don’t have to have any money put away as insurance, or collateral, for any purchases you make — it’s what most credit cards are).

Creditors have stepped up their lending standards, and you might not have such an easy time getting a credit card that isn’t secured by some type of asset.
Continue Reading

ReadyForZero | Review – Pay Off and Manage Your Debt

readyforzero_banner

Some people just have a single loan or two that they want to get rid of.  Others have so much debt that what they really need most is an hour or two with a bankruptcy attorney.

But for everyone in the vast space in between the two extremes is an online debt management tool called ReadyForZero.

It isn’t a traditional debt management service that will actively manage your debts for you, but a debt management tool that will give you what you need to do the job yourself.

How ReadyForZero Works

When you sign up for ReadyForZero it links to your loan accounts and assembles your information – account balances, interest rates and minimum payments.  This will include not only credit cards, but also student loans, car loans, mortgages and any other loans you have.

It will display the information on all of your accounts on a single page and update it daily.  This will provide you with that all-important big picture view of your debt situation in one convenient place.
Continue Reading

President’s Day Money Quotes

mount_rushmore

In honor of President’s day here are quotes from twelve of our esteemed leaders:

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

-John Adams

It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.

-George W. Bush
Continue Reading

Signs You Have a Bad 401(k) Plan and What to Do About It

Sometimes we’re just happy to be with an employer that has a 401(k) plan, since so many don’t.

It may not even seem important whether or not it’s a good plan or a bad one – at least not at the beginning.  After all, any 401(k) plan is better than having none at all.

But there are bad 401(k) plans out there, and that becomes even more important and obvious the longer you’re in one.

What are Some Signs of a Bad 401(k) Plan?

No employer match

One of the real incentives to invest money in a 401(k) plan is an employer match.

A typical match is 50%, where the employer contributes 3% of your income while you contribute 6% out of your compensation.  Employer matching contributions can be more or less generous.

Some employer plans provide no match at all.  In and of itself this does not indicate a bad 401(k), but in combination with other negative factors it’s a strong sign.

Poor or limited investment choices

Continue Reading

Blue Sky from American Express® – A Great Way to Make Your Travel Spending Go Further | Review

air_travel_rewards

Are you looking for a travel rewards/airline miles card but hate the idea of all those blackout dates and weird restrictions?

The Blue Sky from American Express® credit card just may be the answer… and they’re currently offering a decent welcome bonus of 7,500 points (redeemable for up to a $100 statement credit).  Charge $1,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership and the points are yours.

Join us as we review the Blue Sky by American Express®.

Continue Reading

How to Get Cheap Life Insurance

Life insurance is that insurance that we desperately hope we’ll never need to use—or at least that our loved ones won’t need to use.

But in so many respects, it can be the most important type of insurance that you have.

It’s your way to provide for your dependents if you aren’t around to do it for them.

OK, you want to help protect and provide for your family but life insurance can be expensive.  How can you get cheap life insurance?

Below are some ideas on how to get cheap life insurance.

Buy Term Life Insurance

Continue Reading

Free Newsletter to Keep you Free From Broke!Name: Email: We respect your email privacyPowered by AWeber email marketing