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Understand the Recovery Rebate Credit

by Luke Landes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 15 percent of 2008 income tax returns that have been filed already have errors involving the recovery rebate credit. Here is what the government wants you to know: Some tax returns erroneously claim the credit, do not claim the proper amount of recovery rebate credit or mistakenly enter the amount ... Continue reading this article…

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 2: Track Your Money

by Luke Landes

After deciding that it’s time to get a handle on your finances, find a way to accurately track the way you handle everything involving money. Before deciding to take action, you may have estimated your income and expenses, but now the details matter. Here is how to get to the details. Every cent is important ... Continue reading this article…

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Alternative to Credit Cards: Layaway Programs

by Luke Landes

It must be a sign of the times. This year I’ve seen at least one commercial advertising a retailer’s layaway plan. These have been out of style for at least as long as I’ve been an adult consumer. The theory is that rather than paying up front for a large item, a Christmas gift for ... Continue reading this article…

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Who Said Accounting Isn’t Poetic?

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, I did a very good job of tracking all my spending. As my income has increased since that time, I’ve found less value in keeping notes on the ultimate destination of every single cent. I believe that close scrutiny is required when someone is looking for ways to improve their finances, ... Continue reading this article…

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Question From Reader: When Do You Record an Expense?

by Luke Landes

“Stat Crazy” wrote in to ask a few questions about recording personal finances in Quicken. His first question is about recording expenses. If you purchase something during the month one June 15 with a VISA card, then submit an online payment on June 28, and the card says it is paid off on June 30 ... Continue reading this article…

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It Was Hot on the Farm, and Weekend Blog Roundup

by Luke Landes

The SPF 50 seemed to do the trick. On Saturday, my girlfriend and I spent seven hours in 100+ degree heat and humid air to experience a number of musical performances at the Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival. To tie this into personal finance, I’ll simply say that it was an expensive day. I ... Continue reading this article…

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My Newest Bank is Changing Names: TD Commerce Bank to Update Branding Later This Year

by Luke Landes

A few months ago, my girlfriend moved her checking and savings accounts, which where previously in separate, small, community-based banks, to Commerce Bank, a larger bank based mostly in New Jersey and New York City. I particularly like their long hours and the fact that they’re open on Sunday, and signed up for an account ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Online Discount Brokers, November 2011

by Luke Landes

Unlike long-term investing for the future, active stock trading has qualities in common with gambling. On top of that, it’s expensive gambling. When you step up to a quarter slot machine, you know each bet will cost a quarter. You don’t lose a nickel on each spin as a “transaction fee.” In order to play ... Continue reading this article…

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