Dispelling the Myths about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The EITC is a refundable tax credit designed to help lower income families and individuals rise above the poverty level. It is based on earned income: earnings from work, self employment, or from certain disability payments (not government or military disability). Neither, unemployment, social security, retirement income, alimony, nor child support counts as earned income. But, if you worked, and received income from one of the above mentioned sources, it may go into figuring if your income meet or exceed the limits to qualify for the EITC. (see table below) To qualify, you must have a valid social security number, …
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#Whyismypaychecklessthisweek

An excellent question that a lot of us are asking, or will be asking when we get that first paycheck for 2013. We were told that Congress averted the Fiscal Cliff and raised taxes only on the wealthy: but we are middleclass and we’re still bringing home less this year than last year. Why is that? Well, long story short, the 2% payroll tax deduction that we have enjoyed for two years was not extended as part of the last minute deal brokered by Congress. If you make $40,000 a year you can expect to bring home $800 less this …
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Financial Strategies to Achieve Financial Success

In the previous blog posts, we’ve touched on some excellent strategies to help increase our chances of achieving financial success. 1. Spend less than you earn 2. Pay off debt 3. Save and invest regularly  One strategy, which we haven’t yet touched on, but is just as important as the others, is:                                                                     4. Plan for the unexpected.  You can have zero debt and money saved and invested, but one hospital bill, car accident, or job loss, can wipe all your hard work away. Uncertainty exists for us all, but how we plan for that uncertainty will determine our …
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Financial Values Define Your Financial Success

One of Paul’s creditors has been trying to get ahold of him all week about a past due bill. His friends have also been telling him about a, “Bulls versus Miami”, game that tickets go on sale for this weekend. The first of the month is nearing and rent, along with other bills, will be due. When Paul gets paid on Friday, what he spends his money on will speak volumes about what he values. Every day we are faced with choices on how to use our money. Should I save, or get my hair done? Should I pay more towards …
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Debt, the Great Obstacle

Where do I begin with this topic? They say an obstacle is something that you see when you take your eyes off of your goals. But debt, especially for the middle class, is an obstacle that we need to focus our eyes on. Revolving debt outstanding, which is mostly credit card debt, in America was approximately $850 billion at the end of March 2012. Roughly 47% of Americans are in debt and since America has around 118 million households that mean the average indebted household owes a little more than $15,000 in credit card debt. This is just credit card …
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Tools of the Trade

Did you know that cattle are probably the oldest form of money? Using cattle as money dates back to 9,000 B.C., and they are still being used in some parts of Africa. When I heard this fact I immediately thought about the saying, “big hat no cattle”. This saying refers to people who look like they have it together financially (big hat) but who actually have nothing to show for it (no cattle). Well, I don’t want us to have big hats and no cattle, so let’s get started learning how to increase our cattle. In my introductory blog, “Greetings”, …
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Are You Better Off?

The comedian, Katt Williams, had a line in one of his comedy shows that said, and I’m paraphrasing for obvious reasons, Women need to stop blaming men for their problems, telling men you messed up my self-esteem. It’s called SELF-ESTEEM! How can I mess up how You feel about You! Now, Katt William’s delivery may have been a little rough but his point was valid. So when I think about the question being asked of us today, “Are you better off” and if your answer is not a resounding, “Yes I Am”! Then my question to you is “Why Aren’t …
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Greetings

I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when I won my first “Young Author’s” award for a story about a cat burglar. I remember getting a friend of mine to be the illustrator and him drawing me a picture of a muscular cat in a mask. I don’t even recall the friend’s name but he helped me produce what I thought was a great short story, which won me that award. Ever since then I’ve had a love for the art of writing. I’m not the most sociable person you’ll ever meet but give me a pen and …
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