Personal Finance is a catch-all for anything that falls under the umbrella of taking care of your money. A lot of people think of their personal finances as some "other" thing they don't always have to pay attention to. I think it's integral to your life and health.

Take a look at the articles below and get your personal finances in shape.

How to Put Away Savings (Just Like the Government Does With Your Money)

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This post is part of the TaxACT How I Save blog tour which teaches you ways to keep more money in your pocket. Last year, TaxACT saved America over $240 million on tax preparation. How much can you save? To learn more about tips and strategies on saving, click here.

I save my money just like the government does. You can too!

Want to know how?

Read on an you’ll see how you can put money aside just like the government. It’s a super simple way to get your savings growing and what’s great is it requires very little effort on your part.

This is a technique I’ve been using for years to keep money flowing into my savings account. Are you ready to find out the method?

How to Put Away Savings Like the Government

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Your Guide to Setting SMART Goals For Your Finances and More

Setting SMART goals for your finances.

It’s that time of the year where people start fresh and make new goals, many of those are financial.

But did you know that according to a 2007 survey by British psychologist Richard Wiseman, 88% of resolutions end in failure?

We tend to try to do too much with little willpower to achieve our resolutions.  We need systems to help us along.

SMART Goals is one such system.

One way we can help ourselves to success in our resolutions and goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

The following guide will walk you through SMART goals so you’re not one of those whose goals fizzle out by March (if not much earlier).

Everything You Need to Know About S.M.A.R.T. Goals

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Your Guide – Tips for Holiday Tipping (and My Story Working for Tips)

Tips for tipping this holiday season

This week, I’m reviewing all of the people who provide me with services, and figuring out how much to tip them.  The following are my tips for holiday tipping.

At holiday time, it’s appropriate to tip service providers that you see on a regular basis.  And avoiding services in December in order to weasel out of tipping someone who provides you with services throughout the year is frowned upon.

Read on and see my story on working for tips and who I think you should give a little extra to for the holidays.

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What Are Your Kids Gift Expectations?

What are your kids' gift expectations?

I hear some people complain that they have to buy expensive things for their kids because it’s what they (the kids) expect.

Some don’t know what they are going to do this holiday season as times are getting tight.   How are we going to get little Johnny the latest (insert expensive popular toy here)?!?

Here’s what I say – Don’t!!

Where do your kids get their expectations from?  Do they get them from friends?  From television?  Those are influences but not the real source.

Children get their expectations from their parents!!

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Give a Smile to the Kids on Your List – Top Holiday Gifts Under $75 for Kids – 2014

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The holiday shopping season is upon us. 

Now is the time to find the perfect present for those special people on your list.

While there are plenty of ideas for gifts under $25, we recognize that sometimes a $25 present isn’t going to cut it.

For kids in your family, a gift of $75 or under may pack more return (and excitement) than a smaller gift.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of presents under $75 that will thrill every child on your list, from baby to teen.

Keep in mind that with sales, you can nab many of these items for less than their retail price.  Amazon, especially, often discounts their merchandise, so that might be the site to check first before you head to the toy store.

The Top Holiday Gifts Under $75

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6 Personal Finance Books to Give for the Holidays (or Read Yourself)

Personal finance books for the holidays.

It feels good to give, doesn’t it?

But most of the things we tend to give to family and friends have a short-term effect.  They get a gift, consume it, and then it’s on to the next thing.

That’s cool and all but would it be great to give a gift that could really impact a person’s life?  

When I started getting my head straight about my personal finances books were the place to go.  The internet didn’t have as many useful sites about the subject.

But you know what?  Even with all of the information out there I still turn to books for information.

Below are some great books that I’ve either read or have heard so much about they are on my reading wish-list.  Take a look and consider checking these out.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books and what your favorite personal finance book is in the comments.

Oh, and you don’t have to give one of these to someone else for i to be a gift.  This could be a gift to yourself too!

Here are some of the best personal finance books that would make great gifts:

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Know Your Spending Triggers To Change Your Financial Behavior

Know your spending triggers to change your financial behavior.

Many financial experts advocate knowing your financial personality. 

Investopedia defines five major financial personalities: big spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors, and investors.  While these financial tests can be entertaining, most people fall into a several categories or none of the categories.

What can be more beneficial than learning what broad category you fit into is to identify your spending triggers and how to deal with them.

For instance, I am generally frugal.

I hang up my clothes rather than dry them in the dryer, my car has over 100,000 miles and is 8 years old, and I barter for services that I need rather than paying for them.

My one spending weakness is food, specifically going out to eat.

Generally, my desire to dine out is motivated by stress.  If I have had a busy or chaotic day, there is nothing I want more than to sit in a restaurant, relax, and have someone cook and clean up the mess.  To combat this trigger, I try to find other ways to relax, but I also prepare freezer meals so food is already prepared on a crazy day.  If I still want the dining out experience, I have learned to prepare ahead by buying deal certificates to our favorite restaurant so we can dine out for less.

By taking these steps, my family has curbed our dining out excursions from several times a week to once or twice a month.  I recognized my spending trigger and found solutions for avoiding it or ways to dine out for less.

4 Big Spending Triggers You Need to Know!

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