Subscribe To Our Feed

Money Matters for the Middle Class


Stamp Out Tax Season Stress!

Are you ready for tax time? There are a couple of steps you can take now to alleviate some of the stress of filing your return. Plan to get organized early. Begin by putting together a tax folder with W-2s from your employer, 1099s for other income you may have earned, bank and other financial statements and receipts for things like medical bills and charitable donations. A helpful video from the American Institute of CPAs offers more information on the best ways to get ready now and throughout the year. Once you’ve gathered all your important paperwork, this is a …
View Full Post >>

Making Lasting Life Changes

  I recall looking at a website one day and it showed an image of a Venn diagram. The first circle was entitled, “Things You Can Control”, and it had some things listed. The second circle was entitled, “Things That Matter”, and it too had some things listed. Where the two circles overlapped, those were the things that a person should focus on per the site; things they can control and things that matter. I would suggest for this New Year that we change the second circle to be entitled, “Things We Want to Change”. Our two circles would include …
View Full Post >>

How to Invest with $100

    If you think investing in the stock market is not for you, then you’re probably not interested in creating wealth.  Investing in stocks allows us to have more money for things we desire, like retirement, education, vacations, and leaving an inheritance to the next generation. Investing may seem like a daunting task, or perhaps you think it’s for rich people only, but trust me; with a few basics steps and a $100 you can start your journey to being financially free! Decide why you are investing- Are you investing money for college for the kiddies, retirement, fun, boredom, …
View Full Post >>

Why the Miami Heat’s Championship is “Good” for the Economy

If you can’t win a championship, buy one. Whether it was the idea of the billionaire owner of the Miami Heat, one of the greatest of all time coaches turned team president, the Big Three All-Stars colluding during the 2006 Olympic Games, or a combination of all three: assembling the Miami Heat championship team was pure genius. The players get their desired championship ring which can be sold later to fund their retirement, the coach gets to add another accolade to his long list of accomplishments, the billionaire owner gets to stay a billionaire since he pays his players virtually nothing (in NBA …
View Full Post >>

9 Steps to Hiring Employees

The goal of any business is growth, and a lot of times that growth will result in the need to hire help. Finding and retaining good talent is one issue, but there are steps that must be taken before and when hiring employees. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN): Before hiring your first employee youmust obtain an EIN from the IRS. Register your business with your state: Most states require you to register if you conduct business in that state to determine if and what types of state taxes the business will be required to pay. Assess the employee’s eligibility …
View Full Post >>

Planning for the Unexpected

One thing you can be sure about in life is that something unexpected will happen to you. A job loss, accident, bad decision, or even a mistake can cost you monetarily. Hopefully, you have the proper insurance to cover most of the surprises in life, but chances are, you still will have to come out of pocket for part of the expenses. This is why having an emergency fund is crucial for your financial well-being.  I’ve talked about an emergency fund in other posts, but it’s something I can’t stress enough, since I see too many people without a fallback plan in emergencies. …
View Full Post >>

10 Tips to Improve Your Finances Today

We are a few months into the New Year. Are you still sticking to those resolutions you made in January? Did you blow through your tax return and not do everything with it that you planned? Is money still causing you stress? If you answered yes to any of these questions or if you are just looking for some ideas to improve your finances, pay special attention to the tips below: 1. Prepare a cash flow: In order to improve your finances you must know where your money is going. A cash flow is a simple spreadsheet that shows how …
View Full Post >>

I Owe the IRS, Should I Still File?

If you are considering not filing your 2012 tax return, because you may possibly owe the IRS, you should reconsider. The IRS imposes a 4 percent penalty, per month, for failing to file your tax return by the due date. The penalty for failing to pay on time is .5 percent. For every $1,000 you may owe that’s a difference of $50 for not filing and paying on time, versus just $5 for not paying on time, per month. If you think it’s best to not file and perhaps the IRS won’t notice, beware that your employers or contractors are …
View Full Post >>

Tax Deductions for the Self-Employed

One of the great things about self-employment, and there are many, are all the tax deductions you can take. But, beware, because the IRS is monitoring and you want to be sure your business deductions are both ordinary and necessary for your trade or business. Below are a few common expenses your business may be allowed to deduct. Supplies Auto Expenses: Mileage on your personal car, keep good records Business Insurance Premiums Health Insurance Premiums: If self-employed and unable to participate in spouse’s employer plan Self-employed Retirement Plans Computers, Equipment, & Furniture: Either expense it or depreciate it Internet & …
View Full Post >>

Can I Itemize My Deductions?

I get this question all the time from my tax clients; “Can I itemize my tax deductions?” Well, it depends. If your total itemized deductions exceed your standard deduction, then yes you can and should itemize. For 2012 the standard deduction is $5,950 for single or married taxpayers filing separately, $11,900 for married couples and qualifying widows, and $8,700 for taxpayers fling as head of household. The most common itemized deductions are real estate taxes and mortgage interest paid on your home, charitable contributions, the higher of state income or sales taxes, medical and dental expenses and miscellaneous deductions. Note …
View Full Post >>