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

6 Audit Red Flags the IRS Uses to Choose Which Returns to Audit

red_flag

When it comes to your taxes, there are few things scarier than the prospect of a tax audit.

The good news is that most people aren’t audited.

Further, most audits are actually taken care of through the mail.  Many audits are routine, and require only that you send in a piece of missing documentation.

However, most people still prefer not to be audited at all.

As you prepare your tax return, consider the following 6 audit red flags that could lead to an increased chance of audit:

Continue Reading

Save Money by Bundling Insurance Policies

Handwritten Insurance Claim Form with pen and calculator

How many insurance companies do you have?

Not just insurance policies, but how many insurance companies are you juggling?

If you are working with multiple insurance firms you might be missing out on significant savings that you can get by bundling your insurance policies.

Most Americans have several lines of insurance to cover various aspects of their lives: car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and life insurance are some of the most common policies.  Price shopping is common by consumers and often the lowest bid company wins.

But is that the best strategy?

How Does Bundling Insurance Policies Save Money?

Continue Reading

Bank of America Mortgage to Lease Pilot Program

Although the foreclosure crisis is making far less headlines than it once did, it is still a big problem in America.

In fact, underwater mortgages are back to 2011 levels, currently at 11 million homes or 22.8% of all residential mortgages.

For those 11 million homeowners, an underwater mortgage represents an impossible financial situation to rectify because homeowners can’t sell their home but also can’t afford the payments and for most, it will likely be many years, at least, before they see the value of their home return if they see it at all in their lifetime.

When a homeowner can’t meet their mortgage obligation, the bank or mortgage lender holding the loan suffers because the bank still has to make the payment to the investors holding the loan.  These toxic loans aren’t draining the balance sheets of these large banks but it does affect profitability and that’s bad for business at a time when banks have underperformed the stock market since 2009.

For four years, banks have tried to get these bad loans off their books.
Continue Reading

President Obama Signs STOCK Act – No Congressional Insider Trading

If you’re a retail or individual investor you may feel like the little guy can’t win in the stock market.

The individual investor is a little fish in the vast ocean we call the world’s investment market and only the biggest of the investors can actually get ahead.

Many of us have said that in the past but we were hoping that it wasn’t true.  The market is supposed to be set up so everybody has the same information and although insider trading is difficult to police, some high profile cases over the past couple of years have made big investors a little less likely to share illegal information when others aren’t looking.

How does it make you feel to know that insider trading was not only legal, but your elected officials were taking part?

Thanks to the recent signing of the STOCK Act, or Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act, members of Congress can no longer profit from insider trading. Continue Reading

In Honor of Financial Literacy Month: Back to Basics

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and that means it’s a great time to reflect on your finances, and think about what we can be doing to improve financial literacy for our children, and for others around us.

One of the best places to start when it comes to improving your finances is the basics.

It seems unnecessary to go back to basics; after all, many of us feel like we have the basics down pat.  However, no matter how advanced we think we are in the world of finances, it never hurts to have a refresher on the responsible use of money.

Here are some of the basics to get back to during financial literacy month:

Continue Reading

7 Online Service Alternatives that Save Money

It seems you can do everything online these days except wash your clothes — and some genius will no doubt figure that out fairly soon.

One of the great benefits of the Internet is the many ways it helps us save money.  From tax filing to wedding registries, the World Wide Web has a lot to offer.

Consider the following seven ways you can save with a computer, tablet or smartphone.

1. Online Car Insurance

Continue Reading

Visa® Black Card™ Review – A Luxury Card That’s Expensive But Full of Benefits

For years, American Express has had the luxury/executive card market to itself with its wildly successful Platinum Card®.  Visa® has entered the upscale luxury card market with its Black Card (the card is backed by Barclays Bank Delaware).

The Visa Black Card is working to differentiate itself from other credit cards with its appearance and exclusivity.

The Visa Black Card is made with carbon (no, you shouldn’t concern yourself with how a card looks but it is kind of neat that’s it’s carbon – maybe it could come in handy in a MacGuyver situation?).  Also, membership is limited in order to ensure top-quality service for members.  That’s a big distinction from most of the plastic credit cards on the market today.

Let’s take a look at the features and benefits that the Visa Black Card offers, shall we?

Visa Black Card Benefits

Continue Reading

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