Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

Your Money Monday: Is Owning Cheaper?

29 Apr

When dealing with money, people often think it’s about the numbers, that you can do the math an instantly and empirically know if you have gained money or lost money. But that’s not quite true. Everything, even numbers, are subject to our perception of them.

Much like the arguments that “it’s cheaper to buy than to rent” right now, but only if you have a 10-20% down payment saved up (which is usually a pretty hefty chunk of money), we are facing the question of whether it is actually cheaper to buy and sell at a loss than to rent.

Your Money Monday: Preparing for a Lay Off

08 Apr

I started this thread over a month ago, when I first strongly suspecting that I would receive a layoff notice. I was right, and at the end of March, I was told that my last day with my company would be May 3, but that I would not have to show up every day until then.

If you are being laid off, or just think you might be, head on over for great advice from the other posters about the type of things you should be looking at- what your rights are regarding current benefits, and planning for the future.

Forcing the Rich to Pay for Their Mistakes

28 Mar

I haven’t exactly followed this case closely, but I had heard about it the adoption was originally approved.  I have to say, I am glad it has been overturned.

Basically, a millionaire drove drunk and killed a college student. During the same time period, he was in a legal battle with his ex-wife regarding his kids’ trust fund. While awaiting trial on vehicular manslaughter, he decided to pay his longtime girlfriend over 16 million to let him adopt her.

Besides the creep factor, it was just one more way that a millionaire was trying to avoid paying for his mistakes.

Blog Feature: Eyes on the Dollar

23 Mar

What first drew me to Eyes on the Dollar was the fact that she’s an optometrist. I spent three years working for ophthalmologists, so I have a passing interest in those who care for eyes for a living. I’ve stuck around because Kim’s writing is clear, funny, and easy to read. She is a storyteller at heart, and that makes for the best kind of blogging, especially when your topic might be considered kind of boring, like personal finance. (I cannot read a blog that’s written like a text book or journal article.)

And even better, Kim does animal rescue.

Your Money Friday: Health Insurance Not Paying

08 Mar

Insurance companies make mistakes. No one is perfect. If your health insurance company isn’t paying claims it should, you cannot just keep sending documentation to the claims department. It won’t do any good. Before going (or threatening to go) to your state’s Insurance Commissioner, you should follow the process your insurance company has set up to fix mistakes. Look at the denial you were sent. There should be information on how to file an appeal. If you don’t still have that paperwork, call customer service and ask for appeals. Insurance companies make mistakes. Appeals departments are how they fix them.

Blog Feature: Beating Broke

02 Mar

My favorite thing about Beating Broke is the honesty. The thing I love most about personal finance blogs is the “personal” part. If I wanted just straight finance, I’d go to the library. I love this personal part because it reminds me that we are all in very different situations and just because something is not right for me, or goes against prevailing advice, doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice for someone.

BB reminds us of that this week, telling us Why I’m Withdrawing Money from an IRA. It goes against traditional advice, but it’s still a smart move.

Your Money Friday: Mortgage Payments

01 Mar

A reminder today that everything about personal finances is relative. A poster with a mortgage currently of under $700/month is considering one that is $2000/month. It is a huge jump, but it is for their dream home, and it is a jump the poster can afford.

When asking if she was “crazy” for considering it, most people reacted based on what housing costs are like where they live. Those in low cost of living areas cannot imagine a mortgage that high, whereas those who live in high COLAs dream about getting that kind of house for a mortgage that low.

Your Money Friday: Are You Happy with Your Finances?

22 Feb

The question this week: Are you happy where you are at financially?  Most people answered “yes but…”. The people on this board are almost certainly better off than the majority of people in this country for no other reason than they are paying attention. But because they are paying attention, they are also thinking about all the things that could go wrong, and feeling like they aren’t there yet.

My favorite response: I’m doing better than I ever thought I would.  Overall though, no I’m not completely happy.  It always seems like another $50k a year would make everything perfect.

Blog Feature: Live the New Economy

16 Feb

Live the New Economy is a blog about a family preparing for the father’s transition from military service into the civilian world , and what they need to do to be comfortable financially without the guarantee of a government paycheck. Or at least that’s what it started out to be about. Like most personal finance blogs it’s grown and changed a bit as the writer has grown and changed.

That’s not to say they aren’t still prepping for the transition to civilian life, just that the blog has become about more than that. I love this post on Finding Balance.

Tax Frustration

06 Feb

Last night, I gathered all of our paperwork, including a year’s worth of receipts, and sat down to do our taxes. It was a long and complicated process due to inheriting a rental property, earning royalties on my book- all the things that add one more form.

We buy TurboTax to walk us through the process. It took a while, but we got it all done and were ready to push the button to e-file. Except that we can’t- not for a few more weeks. The IRS doesn’t have all their paperwork together yet, including paperwork needed for our return.

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