How to Survive a Spending Freeze Our Family’s Journey

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Back in September 2012, I was awarded a fellowship to become an Accredited Financial Counselor. Just prior to this, my husband, who is in the military, had received orders that required us to move. As a result, I had to leave what I considered my dream job, which was in forensic mental health.

Even before the fellowship, I was pretty much a tightwad with money (or at least my husband always tells me so). So this new opportunity fell right in line with my personal passions. To get in gear, I called a family meeting to sell a little experiment I had been thinking about. I wanted us to agree to spend no money, except for a specific amount on groceries and gas, for 30 days.

 

I met some resistance from my husband (a perpetual toy buyer), my teenage daughter (need I say more?) and my Lego-obsessed 7-year-old son. But by the second week, everyone was into it. We walked more, rode bikes instead of driving, spent more time together, learned valuable lessons on needs versus wants and, in the end, saved about $650!

It wasn’t easy, though. It’s amazing how easy

5 Tax Tips for Home Sellers

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But those 18-year-old reforms still catch some home sellers pleasantly by surprise.

No longer — indeed not since 1997 — do they need to buy a new house in the same year as they sell theirs to have any capital gains from the sale qualify as tax-exempt.

Under the post-1997 rules, homeowners each may receive a maximum of tax exemptions on the capital gains from the sale of a residence or $500,000 per couple, says Chad Smith, a wealth management strategist at HD Vest Financial Services, which is based in Irving, Texas.

To qualify for the tax break, the home sellers must each meet Internal Revenue Service-set tests of ownership and use, in other words, owning and using the home during two of the five years prior to the transaction.

“Keep track of any remodeling,” as those upgrades may be deducted from a client’s basis when calculating the capital gains, Smith says.

Notably, however, maintenance costs may not be similarly deducted from a client’s basis.

The remodel of a kitchen or bathroom may be deducted, as would an addition, the replacement of a roof, the paving of a driveway, the installation of central air conditioning

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Starting A FinTech Company Lessons From A FinTech CEO

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Even though I worked at a bank for years before founding Coinsetter in late 2012, it’s incredible how little I ultimately knew about how banks and financial institutions work behind the scenes. Starting a bitcoin exchange has been a crash course on how banks operate that touches upon every aspect of that business – especially regulation. When I was in investment banking, my peers and I joked that we had no marketable skills outside of the bank. Times have changed, and there has never been a better time for someone in the financial services industry to become an entrepreneur. It could be you!

Okay, banker. If you got excited after that first paragraph and already started writing your next business plan, slow down for a second. Before you rush off to start your revolutionary business that will change the way people invest or transfer money in a previously unimaginable way, I thought I’d give some tips that will save you from spending that last six-figure bonus you received on stupid entrepreneurial mistakes (even though you’ll probably find new ones to make on your own, anyway).

 

Tip 1: Don’t Hold Other People’s

Swap free trading account in the practice of currency trading

Swap free trading account in the practice of currency trading in the global Forex market is called such deposit accounts, which include carrying out transactions in any tradable currency pairs without swaps. In this case the transfer of open positions on the next trading day goes currency trader for free, with, regardless of the volume of transactions.

Swap free account is so-called an islamic account https://freshforex.com/traders/trading/swap-free/. Swap free accounts among professionals called Islamic (or muslim) because the first owners of these accounts were traders who adhere to Islamic religious beliefs. The fact that, according to Islamic law, any financial transactions, where one of the contractors to pay other counterparties or take away a certain amount as loan interest, is strictly prohibited.

Thus, savings accounts, free of charge compensation in the form of swaps, were developed specifically for the Muslim traders. Due to the fact that the so-called muslim accounts does not depend on the dominating influence of the swap, they allow their owners to keep an open trading positions in anticipation of a favorable market situation indefinitely.

Using muslim forex account makes it possible to perform operations on the end result of which affects only a change in currency quotations during transactions.

End your Confusion about Mortgage Finance Now

In simple terms, mortgage financing is the process of providing finance to individuals and business entities, to secure properties, and the finance is repaid through timely and consecutive monthly instalments.

To understand the mortgage finance process, you must first try and understand the basic idea behind mortgages.

Mortgage – Definition

It is a legal agreement that conveys the conditional right of ownership of an asset or property by its owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a loan with the condition that the conveyance of the title becomes void upon the repayment of the debt.

Are Mortgages Legally Enforceable?

Yes, they are. In order to be legally enforceable, the mortgage must be for a defined period, and the mortgagor must have the right of redemption on payment of the debt or on before the end of that term.

Why is Mortgage Finance Common?

Here is a list of why it is the most common type of debt instruments:

>> They have a lower rate of interest (because the loan is secured);

>> They are straight forward and have standard procedures; and

>> They have a reasonably long repayment period.

What is a Security Document?

The document by which the agreement is effected is called a “Mortgage Bill of

End your Confusion about Mortgage Finance Now

In simple terms, mortgage financing is the process of providing finance to individuals and business entities, to secure properties, and the finance is repaid through timely and consecutive monthly instalments.

To understand the mortgage finance process, you must first try and understand the basic idea behind mortgages.

Mortgage – Definition

It is a legal agreement that conveys the conditional right of ownership of an asset or property by its owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a loan with the condition that the conveyance of the title becomes void upon the repayment of the debt.

Are Mortgages Legally Enforceable?

Yes, they are. In order to be legally enforceable, the mortgage must be for a defined period, and the mortgagor must have the right of redemption on payment of the debt or on before the end of that term.

Why is Mortgage Finance Common?

Here is a list of why it is the most common type of debt instruments:

>> They have a lower rate of interest (because the loan is secured);

>> They are straight forward and have standard procedures; and

>> They have a reasonably long repayment period.

What is a Security Document?

The document by which the agreement is effected is called a “Mortgage Bill of

It’s Much Better to Avail a Used Car Finance than Trying to Finance a New Car

It could difficult to new car finance especially if you have a bad or no credit history. It is here that used car finance comes handy. Besides, it could also enable you to work upon improving your credit scores which could be further vital to purchase a new vehicle in future. To illustrate this, purchasing a good conditioned used car that is around one to three years old serves as a much better option in comparison to buying a brand new vehicle considering the depreciation involved.

Do not forget that a car finances is basically a secured auto loans. Typically, a two year old vehicle depreciates at a rate which is twenty to fifty percent less than that on a new car. Additionally, the used car which you are buying is still under warranty. But to get the best deal you need to compare the quotes offered by different used auto loan lenders. This could help you to choose a lender who offers the lowest used auto loans that could make your car loan much cheaper.

Your chances of getting an early approval for used car finance are considerably higher than that of obtaining new car finance and it is because the loan

End your Confusion about Mortgage Finance Now

In simple terms, mortgage financing is the process of providing finance to individuals and business entities, to secure properties, and the finance is repaid through timely and consecutive monthly instalments.

To understand the mortgage finance process, you must first try and understand the basic idea behind mortgages.

Mortgage – Definition

It is a legal agreement that conveys the conditional right of ownership of an asset or property by its owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a loan with the condition that the conveyance of the title becomes void upon the repayment of the debt.

Are Mortgages Legally Enforceable?

Yes, they are. In order to be legally enforceable, the mortgage must be for a defined period, and the mortgagor must have the right of redemption on payment of the debt or on before the end of that term.

Why is Mortgage Finance Common?

Here is a list of why it is the most common type of debt instruments:

>> They have a lower rate of interest (because the loan is secured);

>> They are straight forward and have standard procedures; and

>> They have a reasonably long repayment period.

What is a Security Document?

The document by which the agreement is effected is called a “Mortgage Bill of

Personal Finance Articles, Not Another One How To Change Your Mind About Your Personal Finance NOW!

Many personal finance articles have been written on the issue of money.  Can’t say I have been moved to action by many.  First I’d like to say it is ok that you feel down about the current situation about your personal finances.  I give you permission to feel your feeling for the next 24 hours and then pull yourself by your boot straps and let’s what we can do.

There exist many a definition, I want to share with you  my personal finance definition:

Financial freedom is not an event, it is a skill.

I bet right now with the current economic situation you are saying to yourself, “I just wish I could the lotto!”  Boy don’t we all and yet statistics and personal finance facts show that the majority of people who win the lottery, end up broke and worse off before their winnings! Imagine that.  You among the many seeking wealth, riches, fame few people realize that money isn’t the solution to their problems;  the way you think about money is the problem and the solution.

I can almost see you going oh yeah, give me the money and I’ll show you change in mindset!

My favorite entrepreneur of all times, Henry Ford

9 Ways to Save on Your Finances

Tips from Jean Chatzky, AARP financial ambassador

En español | 1. Shop around for insurance. Auto insurers have a tactic called “price optimization.” They raise premiums based not on your risk factor, but on how much of an increase they believe you’ll accept. At renewal time, ask your current insurer to do better.

2. Before discussing your next raise, call HR and ask for your “salary range.” This is the low-to-high range of what your company pays for a specific job. Knowing where you are in the range can help you negotiate and may be the impetus for getting more training.

3. You don’t have to pay for your credit score. Creditkarma.com, Credit.com and a program called Sharpen Your Financial Focus offer them for free.

Get investment advice and money-saving tips in the AARP Money Newsletter. Sign up now!

4. With Social Security, 80 is the magic number. If single and you think you will live past it, wait until age 70 to begin collecting, to receive the maximum benefit. For couples, as long as you believe one of you will live past 80, the higher earner should delay as long as possible.

5. If you’re going to put money into renovations,

Finance message board users may be able to predict stock price movements

A first of its kind study by researchers at the University of Iowa suggests Yahoo’s finance message boards have a small degree of ability to predict stock price movements.

The study, “Stock Chatter: Using stock sentiment to predict price direction,” also found that more than two-thirds of the message board comments had nothing to do with finance.

The researchers analyzed 70,000 posts by more than 7,000 commenters on Yahoo’s finance message boards from April to June 2011. They determined what sentiment, if any, they expressed about 11 Fortune 500 stocks, either bullish, bearish, or neutral. The researchers then looked at the movement of those stocks’ prices the next day. Depending on the model the researchers used to classify the statements, they found that the sentiment expressed on the message boards accurately reflected the price movement anywhere between 52 and 64 percent of the time.

Michael Rechenthin, who conducted the study as a doctoral student in the Tippie College of Business, says that while the lower accuracy figures can be attributed to randomness, the 64 percent figure is statistically significant and shows a small degree of predictive ability.

The study found the predictive ability lasted only one day, though, and disappeared on

Best Small Business CpaSurprise AZ to Help You in Financial Consultation

Running a business can be so interesting, especially if you think about the profit that you can get. It is true that when you are running a business, your goal is to find the highest profits. Things can be less interesting when you have to think about risk of running business and the hard time during the process. It is becauseno one wants to get bankrupt when they are running a business. They will try hard to find the best way and strategy to get maintain the profit. In this case, profit can come when you can run the business well. it means that you need to have good business managements. Without it, your business will be nothing. The bad management will only lead your business to the end. Bankruptcy is like the nightmare that will always ready to come to you when you cannot manage your business well. It is like having a house but you never wants to clean or organize the house. as the result, the house will be so messy and you will have no mood to stay in the house. You will not be comfortable with the house. If your business get bad

Finance message board users may be able to predict stock price movements

A first of its kind study by researchers at the University of Iowa suggests Yahoo’s finance message boards have a small degree of ability to predict stock price movements.

The study, “Stock Chatter: Using stock sentiment to predict price direction,” also found that more than two-thirds of the message board comments had nothing to do with finance.

The researchers analyzed 70,000 posts by more than 7,000 commenters on Yahoo’s finance message boards from April to June 2011. They determined what sentiment, if any, they expressed about 11 Fortune 500 stocks, either bullish, bearish, or neutral. The researchers then looked at the movement of those stocks’ prices the next day. Depending on the model the researchers used to classify the statements, they found that the sentiment expressed on the message boards accurately reflected the price movement anywhere between 52 and 64 percent of the time.

Michael Rechenthin, who conducted the study as a doctoral student in the Tippie College of Business, says that while the lower accuracy figures can be attributed to randomness, the 64 percent figure is statistically significant and shows a small degree of predictive ability.

The study found the predictive ability lasted only one day, though, and disappeared on

Help! I Don’t Know Which Health Plan to Pick

Which health insurance will you choose?

On the surface, it’s a simple question — but it’s one that can be fraught with much anxiety.

For those who have health coverage through work, the process can be as simple as reviewing your company’s health plan comparison sheets, calling your benefits hotline, clicking a few buttons — and voilà, you’ve made your elections.

But for all those self-employed people out there — contractors, freelancers and all-around one-man bands — choosing a health plan isn’t quite so easy a process.

It can feel more like you’re working on a senior thesis, with all the fact-finding and research you have to do. But instead of gaining more clarity, you can often end up more confused than when you started.

Metal plans? HMOs? Coinsurance? Oh, my!

To show just how difficult it can be, we asked two self-employed people facing vastly different health care choices — one wants bare-bones solo coverage, the other has to cover a family of four — to share the difficulties they’re encountering in choosing a health plan for 2016.

Then we asked Sarah O’Leary, founder and CEO of ExHale Healthcare Advocates — a Dallas-based company that helps consumers and businesses navigate their

Forex Pound hits session highs after upbeat U.K. jobs report

nvesting.com – The pound rose to session highs against the dollar on Wednesday and touched fresh one-and-half year highs against the broadly weaker euro after official data showed that the U.K. unemployment rate fell to a fresh five year low, bolstering the outlook for the broader economic recovery.

GBP/USD was up 0.17% to 1.6784 from 1.6752 before the release of the data.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6725 and resistance at 1.6825, the high of June 5.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the U.K. unemployment rate fell to 6.6% in the three months to April, the lowest since early 2009. The consensus forecast had been for a decline to 6.7% from 6.8% in the previous three months.

The claimant count, or number of people receiving jobless benefits fell by 27,400, ahead of forecasts for a for a decline of 25,000 people. April’s figure was revised to a drop of 28,400 from 25,100.

However, the report also showed that weekly earnings rose by just 0.7% in the three months to April, still well below inflation, which hit 1.8% in April.

A faster-than-anticipated decline in the unemployment rate earlier this year prompted the Bank of England to update its forward guidance, under which it

How to Donate Stock to a Charity

Should I give stock or cash to a charity? What steps do I need to take if I want to give shares of stock?

Whether it makes more sense to give shares of stock or sell the stock and donate the cash depends on whether the stock has increased or decreased in value since you bought it. If its value has increased over time, it’s better to donate the stock. If you’ve owned the stock for more than a year, you get to take the current value as a charitable deduction if you itemize and you don’t have to pay tax on the appreciation (you’d owe capital-gains tax on the profit if you sold the stock first and then wrote a check). If the investment has lost value, however, it’s better to sell the stock and give the proceeds to the charity. Your deduction is still based on the current value of the stock, but you get to use the loss to offset other gains. If there’s an excess loss, you can deduct $3,000 against other kinds of income.

If you want to give stock to a charity, you’ll need to act fast. Contact your brokerage firm to find out what steps

How Obamacare Affects Your 2014 Tax Return

What tax forms do I need to submit because of Obamacare this year?

Whether you get health insurance through your employer or on your own, the health care law requires you to take some extra steps when you file your taxes for 2014, and some people will need to do some complicated calculations. Here’s what you need to know, based on the type of insurance you had in 2014.
If you had employer coverage: You’ll just need to check a box on line 61 of Form 1040 indicating that you had health insurance for the year. Your employer may send you Form 1095-C reporting information about your health coverage, although you shouldn’t worry if you don’t receive the form — employers are not required to send the form this year. (Employers with 50 or more full-time employees will need to send the form next year.)

If you bought your own health coverage on a state exchange: If you bought coverage through your state’s marketplace, you’ll have to check a box on line 61 of Form 1040 indicating that you had health insurance for the year. You’ll also receive Form 1095-A, “Health Insurance Marketplace Statement,” by January 31. This form includes key information

Most Overlooked Tax Breaks for New College Grads

Because federal tax law reaches deep into all aspects of our lives, it’s no surprise that the rules that affect us change as our lives change. This can present opportunities to save or create costly pitfalls to avoid. Being alert to the rolling changes that come at various life stages is the key to holding down your tax bill to the legal minimum.

If you’ve just gotten or are about to get your degree, take our short post-graduate course on tax breaks that can help you get a start in the working world.

Moving Expenses

Even if you don’t itemize deductions, you can write off unreimbursed costs of moving for your first job, as long as the job location is at least 50 miles away from your old home (which could be your residence at college if you have a job offer when you graduate).

When totaling up the costs, count what you paid to pack and ship household belongings to the new location, including the cost of shipping a car or pets. If you drove your own car for a 2014 move, you can deduct 23.5 cents a mile, plus any tolls, and the cost of lodging on the way (but not the

States to Tackle Tax Reform

Economist Scott Drenkard is a state tax expert for the Tax Foundation, a policy research group in Washington, D.C.

Last November, Republican governors were elected in Maryland, Illinois and Massachusetts, which are traditionally Democratic strongholds. What role did taxes play?

Taxes were one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest. In Illinois, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner campaigned on phasing out large personal income and corporate income tax hikes that were put in place in 2011. In Maryland, a lot of people complained about the “rain tax” [a fee charged to owners of driveways, parking lots and other hard surfaces to pay for reducing storm-water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay]. It’s not the biggest levy in Maryland, but it illustrates the idea a lot of people in Maryland have that they’re overtaxed compared with the rest of the country.

What does the election mean for state tax reform nationwide?

I’m predicting 2015 will be the biggest year for state tax reform in a decade, if not longer. We’re coming out of a recession, albeit slowly, and revenues are a little more healthy than they have been. With the revenue uncertainty gone, lots of policymakers will be looking to make changes, big and small, to

Deductible Expenses Above the Line Itemized and Business

What expenses are tax-deductible? This is a common question among my clients. While the answer isn’t simple, it’s important to understand because it can significantly reduce your tax bill.

Whether or not you can deduct an expense depends on what it is for and how it is categorized. Personal expenses differ from business expenses, and within personal expenses, there are different types of deductions.

Tax-Deductible Personal Expenses

There are two types of personal tax-deductible expenses:

  • “Above-the-line deductions,” also called adjustments to income. Any taxpayer can claim these if he or she has qualifying expenses, regardless of whether they itemize their tax deductions.
  • “Below-the-line deductions.” You must itemize your tax deductions using Schedule A to claim these.

Above-the-line deductions are more powerful than below-the-line deductions because they lower your adjusted gross income. This is helpful because when your adjusted gross income exceeds a certain amounts, the total amount of itemized deductions you can take begins to phase out. Several tax breaks are based on your adjusted gross income, so lowering it can reduce your taxes further.

Above-the-line deductions include:

  • Educator expenses. Teachers can deduct up to $250 for materials and supplies that they buy for their classrooms
  • Health savings account (HSA). If you have a “high-deductible” health insurance plan, you can

Gauging Health Insurance

Once upon a time, an employer-provided health insurance plan was almost always the best option for couples and families. Group plans were able to offer affordable, broad coverage with low deductibles, and many employers paid a substantial share of the premiums.

That was then. Now, in the age of two-career families, soaring health-care costs, and the changes Obamacare has brought to the health insurance market, the choices are much more complicated. It’s up to consumers to do the research to find the best options for themselves and their families.

Here are some suggestions to help with that research:

1. If both spouses are employed and both employers offer insurance, start by comparing the two plans. Don’t just pick the lower premium and call it good, either. I suggest setting up a spreadsheet or chart to make it easier, and dig into the details of each plan. Compare the following:

  • The specifics of what is covered and what is excluded
  • Copays for office visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and medications
  • In-network and out-of-network costs
  • Deductible amounts
  • Annual out-of-pocket maximums

Also investigate each company’s employee policies related to health insurance. Some employers have restrictions or added costs that affect the availability of insurance for family members. Examples to look for include:

  • Not

Taking a Holistic View of Tax Strategies

If clients could tally up their total lifetime expenses, they would find that the Internal Revenue Service is the biggest beneficiary.

“Given axes are our No. 1 expense, every investment decision is a tax decision. Financial advisors who help mitigate tax expenses may be the most valuable for clients,” says Chad Smith, a wealth management strategist with HD Vest Financial Services, based in Irving, Texas.

A lack of planning and foresight often leads to gratuitous tax expenses, he says.
There are several things that clients should avoid such as paying too little and too late and incurring penalties, Smith says.

Disorganization of financial records also may have a cumulative cost, he says.

Based on his observations of clients, Smith says, “the people who pay the least amount over a long period of time are staying on top of their organization.”

When the IRS sends a notice of an alleged underpayment or taxpayer mistake, clients shouldn’t simply write a check.

The IRS’ software can kick out particular anomalies as errors, even when they might be explained.

Instead of paying, clients should have a tax advisor look at the alleged error, Smith says.

“They should have a professional write a letter and tell the agency

Adult Kids’ Key Documents

Recently my days as a legal guardian ended when my younger son Devon turned 18. I can’t believe it’s already been 19 months since my elder son Dominic reached adulthood. At that time, I reminded parents of the importance making sure that adult children’s planning documents are in order, especially regarding medical care as your kids go off on their own.

Rarely do unspeakable tragedies occur when our children leave home for college or career. Rarely doesn’t mean never: Dominic’s passion for rugby and Devon’s ambitions to share his musical talents with the world – literally, via international travel – leaves me both proud and worried.

We certainly hope we’ll never need our sons’ health-care powers of attorney , which enable me and my husband to make medical decisions in case our sons can’t, but we’re glad the papers are in place.

Starting. Between today’s stringent health-care privacy regulations ( the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act , aka HIPPA ) and the potential for confusion during a crisis, better to have these and other documents fixed long before any need to access medical records or make decisions in an emergency.

Discussing these papers with your adult child during normal times is important. Explain