Archive for the ‘Money Management’ Category

Making Tax Time Painless

Monday, February 10th, 2014

writing check

Get and Stay Organized

The more organized you are, the smoother tax time will be for you. There still may be some ups and downs, but the work will be smoother. To help you stay organized, set up your system of file folders or drawers where anything related to taxes are placed during the year. This includes any copies of medical bills, donations made, tax bills, and excise taxes as well as 1099s and W-2s.

List all of your 1099s and keep track of them as they are mailed to you. Also list your employers and financial institution from which you are expecting to get a statement.

All of this organization helps you when you sit down to begin your work on taxes. By having a list of the forms, you will know when you have everything ready to begin.

By having all of your tax documents already in one place, you can save yourself time and the frustration of trying to find them. And it certainly adds to deducing your stress level while increasing your accuracy.

Understand the Dates

Besides the usual April 15th deadline, the only other date you need to be concerned with is January 31st. This is when companies must send out your 1099s and your W2s. You can’t begin your taxes until you have all of your forms — assuming you have 1099. That leaves most people with a window of mid-February to mid-March to tackle taxes.

Set Aside Your Time or Schedule Your Appointment

If you are planning to do your taxes on your own, make a point to block off the time — free from distractions. Marking it right on your calendar is a helpful way to get yourself ready.

If you plan to use a professional, schedule your appointment early. Don’t wait until the week before taxes are due. Planning ahead can lessen your stress.

Be prepared. As you know there will be questions you need to answer, as well as having to find a missing statement or forms. The more time you have to answer any question or find documents, the less stressed you will be. Like many, the sooner you get your taxes done, the happier you will be. So don’t suffer by putting off your taxes; get them done!


Taxes are a necessary part of life. Instead of getting uptight when tax time rolls around, do the things you can do to control the process and make it much easier and less stressful for you — get organized, don’t procrastinate, and have a positive attitude.

2014 America Saves Financial Challenge Begins February 23

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

money, list of bills, adding machineAmerica Saves is a national campaign which encourages individuals and families to save money and build wealth. As part of America Saves Week (February 24-March 1, 2014), a time set aside annually to promote good savings behavior, the Cooperative Extension system is launching an online financial challenge. The 2014 America Saves Financial Challenge is a free five-week program beginning Sunday, February 23-Saturday March 29. Registration opens on Monday, February 3.

The America Saves Financial Challenge is based on ten daily recommended financial practices. Points are given for performing each financial action. “This Challenge is a great way to convert personal financial goals, like saving money and learning about investing, into daily action steps,” notes Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management for Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

The ten daily financial management practices include personal actions such as tracking money spent and completing an online personal finance calculation or financial quiz. Paper tracking forms can be downloaded to keep track of daily activities until they are entered online. Participants can compare their daily and weekly progress. There will be weekly and grand prizes awarded.

Doing even one of the ten recommended daily financial practices is a great way to get started on the path to increased personal wealth and financial security. The more America Saves Financial Challenge activities that participants perform, the better their financial progress.

To participate in the America Saves Financial Challenge, visit, create an account, and enroll in the “2014 America Saves Challenge.” 

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Ways to Save Money While Entertaining

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

With the holidays just around the corner, you may find yourself being asked to attend potluck, parties, and the other such activities. The cost of these events can add up. Here are a few tips to save more and spend less on such entertainment.

When the Nest Is Not So Empty: When Kids Return Home

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

father and adult son; photo by Edwin RemsbergBetween 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents’ home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.

Because the financial concerns of each member of the family affects the lives and plans for others, most situations need to be discussed openly while having a plan to work together and problem solve when needed. By working together, a family can help ensure that each of its members will enjoy as much comfort, respect, and dignity as possible with the living arrangement. Read more>>

Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 47

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Today is the final day of blogging for Spring Forward… with more Money Management Tips.  Have you been persuaded to build wealth and not debt?  Often savers who identify a savings goal will take the necessary action on a plan to insure they achieve it. For further encouragement, check out the monthly messages from America Saves e-wealth coaches at

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Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 46

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The only sure-fire way to get ahead financially is to spend less than you earn. Counting on a big inheritance or settlement, a wealthy spouse, a game-changing invention, or winning the lottery cannot be guaranteed. Every successful financial plan includes some type of savings. Are you an American Saver?  Join America Saves today at

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Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 45

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Saving regularly is the key to financial success. Whether you’re accumulating an emergency fund or saving for a vacation, a car, or retirement, you’ll be amazed how fast your savings will grow with regular deposits. At any age, saving today is better than waiting! Start by participating in a payroll deduction plan at work and become an American Saver at

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Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 44

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Money market funds are a popular option for savers. They are a type of mutual fund that invests in short-term government and corporate securities and pay market interest rates. Initial deposits generally range from $1,000 to $10,000 so you may need to save elsewhere first to accumulate the required amount. Get started by becoming an American Saver at

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Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 43

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Where do people put their savings dollars?  Savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) are popular choices. Accounts can be opened at financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. Rates of return vary among financial institutions. Generally, the longer the maturity on a savings product, the higher the interest paid. Become an American Saver at

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Spring Forward… Money Management Tips – Day 42

Monday, April 30th, 2012

It’s never too late to save money so choose to save today! The payoff will be worth it! Here’s an example. If you save $1 a day ($30 per month), you’ll have a little over $25,000 in 30 years assuming a 5% return. Bump the daily savings up to $5 ($150 monthly) and you’ll have over $125,000. For more information, visit Choose to Save ( and America Saves (

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