How To Become Rich

Here in Austin especially, there are plenty of wealthy people who don’t wear the latest fashions or drive the best cars, an indication that they may already know the ten “secrets,” Jocelyn Black Hodes offers in her article for MarketWatch.com, 10 things rich people know that you don’t.

Taxes?

What do you think about taxes?  Are they a good way to support public services? How do you vote when raising or lowering taxes is on the ballot?  What would you do without, say, your public library?

In the current anti-tax climate, some towns are finding it hard to produce enough money to keep even basic city services afloat.

Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease’

Tips For Personal Finances When the Fed Hikes Rates

With the recent rise of the benchmark federal funds rate, Karla Bowsher for Money Talks News suggests three simple steps individuals can take to reduce the impact on their finances.

  1.  Look for a better credit card rate.
  2. Lock in a mortgage rate.
  3. Compare rates on savings (plans and funds).

This is the third hike in recent months following an eight year period where the rates were held in a range of zero to 0.25.  For more information on how to best utilize these tips, read the full article here, The Fed Hikes Rates Again: 3 Steps You Should Take Now.

Money Matters

Think about the last time you shook your head or rolled your eyes at another’s financial decisions.

Ever felt like your parents spent too much on one of your siblings?

Money has a special way of bringing out our sense of fairness and our frustrations.

Michelle Singletary for The Washington Post points out that we have two choices when dealing with our feelings about others money decisions, and both require acceptance.  Family and money: A lesson in accepting what you cannot change

Save Money

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You can still eat steak, but cooking it at home saves at least 50%.

Ever read an article with tips for saving money and thought how easy it could be to reign in your budget?  This couple saved over $50,000 in 2014 by downsizing, eating at home more often, canceling unused subscriptions and going car free.  Although the last one is feasible only if you live in an area with public transportation, the rest are simple and applicable to all.


8 strategies for saving money from a couple that banked $50,000 last year

“We stopped a nasty habit we had of reading about great tips and then failing to implement them,” Matt writes. “Avoid our mistakes. … Literally, do something today from this list and start saving money.”

 

Resolution: Budget

10406828_10204323318941932_2429536167767405500_nIs one of your New Year’s goals to better manage your money?  Do you often find yourself stressed about your budget, or lack there of?  Want to make a real go of saving, paying-off debt and creating financial solvency?  Stephen B. Smith for Young Money offers nine suggestions to better manage your finances and to achieve your goals.  9 Nifty New Year’s Resolutions .

May you have health, wealth and happiness in 2017. 

Sharing the Gift of Sharing

Tis the season for giving…

FullSizeRender-27Want to help your teenager or younger child learn more about sharing what they have?  Ron Leiber for the New York Times has great recommendations for talking to children about your family’s legacy of both giving and receiving, a history of why you feel it is important to share what you have with others and he offers a simple plan for explaining exactly how you divide the money between various charities.

Six Ways to Give the Gift of Generosity to Children and Teenagers

College Financial Aid Changes

fafsaProposed changes in the timeline for college financial aid offers will give students more time to weigh their options and make an informed choice about which school is the best fit.  Starting this year, families can file FASFA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as early as Oct. 1st.  This  gives students more time to compare the affordability of various schools and to gather information about their educational programs, leading to a more informed choice and a better college experience.

At Last, Your Financial Aid Ordeal Has Gotten Easier

The IRS Always Sends A Bill First

safety-first-283x300Recently there has been a rash of phone scams concerning taxes.  Many people have paid money over the phone, believing that they would be in trouble with the US government if they did not.  As a certified public accountant, I wanted to make sure you understand that the IRS will always send you a letter first.  They do not make cold calls demanding money.  Please read this article to better inform yourself about the scams currently in play, and remember that the IRS will not call you, they will send a bill.

Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2016 Filing Season