How the IRS Decides Whether You Have a Business or a Hobby

As the end of the year approaches, and tax season rears its head, it’s important to start figuring out what deductions and credits you are eligible for.

Many consumers are excited to learn that they can take deductions for hobbies as well as for businesses.

However, what is allowed when it comes to these tax deductions depends a great deal on whether the IRS thinks you have a legitimate business, or whether what you are doing is really a hobby.

Tax Deductions: Business vs. Hobby

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Would You Sell Yourself to Pay for College (or Anything Else)?

During my freshman year in college, while visiting another college campus, I grabbed one of the school newspapers.  While looking through the pages, I noticed an ad, asking for women to allow their eggs to be harvested.

Women of average height, in good health, and possessing a good GPA were encouraged to basically sell their eggs.  Not only would the medical procedure be covered, but there was also a stipend involved.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine points out that egg donors can receive between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on what is involved.

I was briefly tempted to participate.

I met the requirements listed in the ad.  I cut out the ad and took it back to my own school.  Then I did the research on what donating entails.  There are risks involved with becoming an egg donor, from health issues, to medical screening, to injections.

I decided that, between the scholarship and the student loans, not to mention the part-time job, I would be just fine.

But that experience has stuck with me, and I know that many others find that they can do reasonably well if they are willing to sell a little bit of themselves to help pay for college (and other things).

What Can You Sell of Yourself to Pay for College?

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What Are REITs? – Earn Dividends While Investing in Real Estate


One of the realities that I recognize in my life is that I am really not that interested in being a landlord.

However, the idea of having real estate in my portfolio is one that is of interest to me.

So, how do I go about adding real estate to my investment holdings without becoming a landlord, or needing huge amounts of capital to buy property?

You can use a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to help you out.

What are REITs?

Real Estate Investment Trusts are collections of investments related to real estate.

They have a different structure than ETFs, but they are similar in that you can trade them on an exchange.  REITs are considered equities, even though they represent a collection of holdings related to real estate.  In addition to exchange-traded REITs, there are also private REITs and non-traded REITs.

There are a number of REITs to choose from, each with its own way of doing business.
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5 Tips for Helping You Stick with Your Investment Strategy

So, you’ve made an investment strategy, and you’re ready to get started.

That’s great!

Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth over time.

The hard part, though, is sticking with your investment strategy.  How are you going to stay on track?

If you want to make sure that you keep with your investing strategy, here are 5 things you can do to help you maintain your focus:

1. Remember the Big Picture

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How to Become a Millionaire


Even though a million dollars isn’t what it used to be, the goal of becoming a millionaire is one that many still strive for.  If you have a net worth of $1 million, you are thought to have truly “made it.”

Becoming a millionaire doesn’t have to be hard, though.

In reality, the steps you take toward becoming a millionaire are actually fairly simple.  The theory behind becoming a millionaire is fairly easy to grasp, although actually implementing your plan can be a little more difficult.

Here are some of the basic things you can do to answer the question of how to become a millionaire:

1. Earn Money

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What Can You Expect From a Premier Credit Card?

One of the “rules of thumb” that is often expressed when it comes to credit cards is that it’s important that you avoid paying an annual fee.

Even with rewards credit cards, many suggest that you stay away from the annual fee.  After all, your annual fee reduces the value of the rewards that you earn.

There are some credit cards, though, that might be worth the annual fee.

These are premier credit cards, and they often come with annual fees that many of us consider excessive: $100, $200, or even $450.

Why would you pay that much for a credit card?

As with all things personal finance, it largely depends on what you expect to do with the credit card, and the benefits that you get.  If you really look at the perks associated with a premier credit card, you might be surprised.

Here are Some of the Things You Can Expect from a Premier Credit Card:

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5 Tips to Help You Deal with Economic Uncertainty

We live in uncertain economic times.

No one knows what will happen next. Between a difficult job market, a housing sector that refuses to recover, and Europe on the brink of complete financial disaster, it’s easy to feel anxious about your money.

Will we see another recession? Could things turn around and be great? Are a eurozone collapse and slowing growth in China about to dump us into another global financial crisis? While you want to be prepared for the possibility of economic problems, it’s not a good idea to let fear rule you.

Once you let fear master you, you start making very poor decisions based on that fear.

Whether it’s making a bad investment decision, a risky business choice, or sabotaging your relationships, fear and anxiety can lead to problems in your finances and your life.

Before you let your worries about economic uncertainty turn into a full-blown financial emergency, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath, step back, and consider these 5 tips to helping you cope with the uncertainties that come in an economy like what we’re seeing now:

Tips to Help You Deal With Economic Uncertainty

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