Welcome to the Yakezie Carnival – What to do with a tax refund issue. Americans received tax refunds averaging $2700 last year and the majority used their tax refunds to pay down debt, pay bills, or invest in an IRA. There are many opinions on the merits of owing taxes vs getting a tax refund. Lending someone, A.K.A. the Federal Government, your hard earned money interest free is never a good idea however, I say more power to you if it helps you to save money that you would otherwise spend.
Rather than blowing that tax refund and have nothing to show for it, why not use your tax refund for:
- Paying down credit card debt
- A down payment on a quality used vehicle
- Starting a college savings fund for your child
- Funding a DIY home improvement project
- Enrolling in a night class to improve job skills
- Increasing emergency fund
The following is a collection of Personal Finance articles submitted this past week and brought to you by Yakezie, a wonderful community of Personal Finance Bloggers with a common mission to help improve the financial literacy skills of our readers.
Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey writes Reader Profile – Greg from ThriftGenuity – This post is the next installment in the ongoing Reader Profile Series, features the reader and insightful commenter, Greg, from the site, ThriftGenuity.
Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Financial Goals and Increased Income – Many Changes – Recently, I have been receiving many questions about how our financial goals have changed since we now are making more income than we used to make. Even Jordann made a post last week titled How to Spend Your Extra Income. We definitely need to adjust our financial goals. This is mainly because of all of the side hustles that I am doing, especially since how last month I made nearly $8,000 in extra income.
Arnel Ariate @ Money Soldiers writes The Battle of the Borrowers – Who has the better case? When purchasing a home, every buyer is presented with two distinct choices – whether to take out a fixed rate or a floating rate home loan. You are caught in a tug of war, being pulled to-and-fro by both sides.
DJ Wetzel @ Money for College Project writes Payoff Student Loans with a Business Mindset – Student loans can mount quickly, and paying them off can seem a daunting task. Approaching your student loans as you would a business investment helps to reframe your thinking about student loans, and strategize efficient ways to pay them off sooner.
Michael @ Financial Ramblings writes Current Series I Savings Bond Rates – With the latest release of inflation (CPI) data, we can now predict what the May I-Bond rates will look like. Click through to find out.
LaTisha @ Young Finances writes How to Turn a Reality Show Gig into A Multi-Million Dollar Business – Bethenny Frankel appeared as a cast member on The Real Housewives of New York and in April 2011 sold her SkinnyGirl cocktail brand for an estimated 120 million.
Brent @ PersonalFinance-Tips writes Prevent Credit Card Electronic Theft – The rise of online commerce has improved our lives in a number of ways. Today, you have the choice to use your credit card to order millions of types of products from online stores. Sites like Amazon.com and Ebay.com are doing billions of dollars worth of business every year, and still growing at a very impressive rate.
Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Finding and Pursuing Work You are Passionate About – The key to a good work life is finding and pursuing work you are passionate about
Kevin @ 20smoney.com writes Debts – Top Facts You Need to Know – The world of debts and debt collectors is not widely understood. That is not surprising as many people who experience debt do not like to discuss it.
Kevin @ Passiveincometoretire writes The Hidden Costs Of Home Refinancing – Mortgage refinancing costs and fees will be different depending on the homeowners financial situation and the type of loan they want. With interest rates so low right now, many homeowners can benefit from getting a mortgage refinanced into a new loan with better interest rates, terms, or conditions.
Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes Knowledge is Power: How Much Financial Knowledge Do You Have? – If you want to solve a financial problem in your life, you need to seek out the right knowledge to achieve that aim.
Sam @ Simplefinancialfreedom writes What does Obamacare Mean for Your Health Coverage – ObamaCare will bring a range of services and benefits to your health care plan. Some of the benefits can already be seen, while others will roll out in 2014.
Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Tuning Up Your Home For The Summer – With summer coming, there are things you need to do to get your home ready for the summer months. Read here for helpful tips!
Jester @ The Ultimate Juggle writes Can Switching your Mortgage Save you Money? – With the current financial crisis still on-going and without a clear end in sight, maximizing one’s personal finances should be a top priority for everyone. Purchasing a property is probably the biggest investment most people make in their lives and repayments take up a large amount of the average household’s income every month.
Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Why Aren’t Gold Bonds Plunging Along With The Stocks? – With the price of gold and gold mining equities in free fall, surely investors could expect a decent spread widening in gold bonds, right? Not quite.
Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes How I Paid off $100,000 in Debt (and How You Can, Too) – Read How I Paid off $100,000 in Debt (and How You Can, Too). Such goals are not as impossible as the initially sound!
Jacob @ AllPersonalFinance writes Ways To Reduce Debt – The number one enemy of debt are interest rates. The higher the rate the higher the debt. The quickest way to lower your debt is by eliminating interest rates. The first step is to pay credit cards that have a high annual interest .
Mr. Frenzy @ Frenzied Finances writes Double-Digit Groceries: How to Grocery Shop on a Budget – Used to seeing grocery bills in the hundreds? It’s difficult to shop cheaply – but not impossible! Here are good tips for grocery shopping on a budget.
Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes Debt Dilemmas: Common Debt Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – In the financial world, people often make mistakes that send them into debt. Read here for tips on how to avoid common debt mistakes people make everyday.
Michelle @ The Shop My Closet Project writes Hate to tell you this but if you are in debt your free time is not yours – r the past couple of months or so I have been trying to wrap my head around how to make extra money without having to work retail again. I just can’t do it again. Why? Because me working retail is enabling my spending habit.
Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes The Green Initiative – Lead an Eco-Friendly lifestyle – Did you know you CAN save the environment in a way that also saves your personal finances?
CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes Too Much to Handle? How to Manage Multiple Streams of Income – As a business owner, it’s important that your business stays afloat. Having multiple streams of income can help. Read here for tips on managing your income.
Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes 5 New Websites That Save You Big Bucks – Today I will be taking about 5 New Websites That Save You Big Bucks. The internet is an amazing tool and we can peruse just about everything. Need a job hit the monster or a career builder, wanna sell the old couch post an ad or create ad in Facebook.
Kanwal @ Simply Investing writes Can You Retire On Dividends Alone? – Yes you can you achieve financial independence and retire on dividends alone. However it requires some planning and investing intelligently. I’d like to share a blog post Dividend Growth Investor wrote about a year ago discussing the concept of retiring on dividends.
Crystal @ Married (with Debt) writes Selling Our House Update – Many of you know that my family is selling our home and moving because I found a new job. It’s been almost two months since the house was listed, and I must admit that it feels like our house will never sell.
Thomas @ Finance Inspired writes A few ways to afford the things you want – As humans we’re all programmed with a genuine desire to have things that we think will please us. Unfortunately not many of us will have the money to ever achieve them, heres a few pointers.
John @ WILD about Finance writes Being cautious when taking a loan against your property – A quick look at how worthwhile it can be in taking out a loan against your property, and the inevitable drawbacks that come with it.
Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes A Very Leaky Bucket – Ever have one of those weeks months where you feel your wallet is a bucket with a really big hole in it? I’m not talking about a small leak, more like a full on deluge, kinda like this: Yeah. That’s happening for me, right now. Ha. Here are all of the things I have to The post A Very Leaky Bucket appeared first on L Bee and the Moneytree.
Evan @ My Journey to Millions writes Deciding Whether I Should Sell Stocks in My Dividend Investment Portfolio – I have been investing in dividend paying stocks for a few years now, and I am at a cross roads. I have some pretty good capital gains (percentage wise, not whole dollar amounts) that I am not exactly sure what to do with
Jason @ Live Real Now writes So You’re Getting Evicted – Nobody goes to eviction court in a good mood. If you ever find yourself in eviction court, here are some things to remember:
SFB @ Simple Finance Blog writes How I Shaved $25 Off Our Home Heating Bill – When our home heating bill got out of control, I turned down the thermostat and ramped up our savings. Here’s how.
IMB @ Investing Money writes Tips for Real Estate Investing in India – So you are all geared up to purchase the house of your dreams, accrued all your savings, inquired the financial institutions about all the lending criteria and the term for which you will be taking up the loan. But, this is not all.
Rich @ Growing Money Smart writes Growing Money is More Than Math – Growing Money is more than math, read all of the other reasons to take into consideration on your journey to wealth.
Hank @ Money Q&A writes This Week’s Podcast with Bruce Helmer the author of “Real Wealth” – And GIVEAWAY!! – Join us as we talk to Bruce Helmer, a financial advisor and the co-founder of the Wealth Enhancement Group in Minnesota.
MMD @ My Money Design writes When Can I Retire – It All Depends On How Badly You Want To! – The answer to When can I retire is not something that comes with age. Depending on how well you plan and prepare, it could be a lot sooner than you think!
MMD @ IRA vs 401k Central writes What You Need to Know About a 401k Rollover to IRA Account – One of the best choices you can make is a 401k rollover to IRA account. Your money will continue to grow tax free just as it did in the old 401k account.
SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Happy Birthday: Budgeting Your Child’s Birthday Party – Child’s birthday coming up? It doesn’t have to break your finances. Read here for tips on successfully budgeting your child’s next birthday party.
Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Roger’s Rants: Switch to the Metric System, Already! – This article represents the first one where I take a step away from a strict personal finance issue to wail, rave, and generally, well, rant about subjects that
Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes You Can Avoid Living Paycheck to Paycheck – Here are your best steps to avoid living paycheck to paycheck and to move forward.
Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes There’s a Pot of Gold Waiting for You in New Mexico… – …all you have to do is find it! That’s right, Penny Hoarders! Three years ago, a multimillionaire named Forest Fenn buried a chest (weighing over 40 pounds!) that is filled with a multi-million dollar treasure. It’s filled with gold coins, diamonds, emeralds and other gems, and it’s yours for the taking.
DPF @ Digital Personal Finance writes People Track Expenses, So How About Tracking Nutrition? – Accountability is a great way to ensure progress toward goals. Can we apply the concept of tracking expenses to other areas of life, such as tracking nutrition?
krantcents @ KrantCents writes Incorporating Your Business – Business incorporation allows you to expand your business and serve more customers. When you incorporate your business, it becomes a legal entity separate from you and your shareholders. Incorporation can give you legal protection from other business owners, and reduce your liability when filing taxes.
Gary @ Gajizmo.com writes Questions To Ask In An Interview – Answering your interviewer’s questions well is obviously the most important part of an interview, but few job applicants realize the immense significance of asking the right questions back to your interviewer at the end. This article highlights a number of good questions to ask in an interview that will help you strengthen your relationship with the hiring manager and ensure you ace the complete process.
Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes My Online Addiction – The title might be a little flamboyant, but I do love the online world. I hate errands, wasting any time, and saving money, so I do everything I can online.
Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes The Letter My Wife Will Get If I Don’t Check Gmail For 6 Months – If I pass away, this is the message I would have gmail send my wife after 6 months.
IMB @ Investing Money writes At the Crossroads: Using Inverse ETFs – A look back over the past twelve years gave us some of the biggest roller coaster rides in history. Learn how to protect your finances with inverse ETFs.
Corey @ 20s Finances writes Is It Bad to Get a Large Tax Refund? – It all begs the question: is it good to have a large tax refund?
BARBARA FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes MBA SERIES: WHEN DIVERSIFICATION DOESN’T WORK – Efficient frontier and diversification unpacked; How to invest.
Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 5 Things to Remember When Buying a Car – Check out these 5 things to remember when buying a car.
Steven @ MyDividendStocks writes Top Ways to Add Value to your Home – For most people, their house is their single biggest material possession. Therefore, if there is any possession whose value you would want to increase, it has to be your house. Just a 5% change in value of a $500,000 house can increase the net worth of its owner by $25,000. In the following sections, we talk about the top ways in which you can add value to your home.
Jerry @ Repaid.org writes 8 Ways to Sabotage Your Mortgage Application – The last thing that you want to do is sabotage your own mortgage application, but many people are not even aware that they have shot themselves in the foot and have been doing so for years.
A Blinkin @ Funancials writes Credit Card Trends and What’s Changed!! – The trends in credit card use are completely changing the way that consumers access their funds and purchase goods. These trends make it more convenient for customers to access their funds and make it easier for merchants to receive their payments. When consumers find that it is easier to access funds, they are more likely to spend more money on goods and services.
Nick @ A Young Pro writes What I Learned from a Lost Purse – Recently my wife lost her purse at a local store. Read this article to discover the wonderful lessons I learned from that lost purse.
Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes The Government Will Tell You What To Do With Your 401(k)? – Find out how the Government Accountability Office is making your 401(k) options confusing and putting a damper on your personal finances through regulations!
JP @ My Family Finances writes 3 Common Mistakes Parents Make Teaching Children About Money – According to a survey done by ING Direct, one out of three parents are more prepared to talk to their children about matters such as alcohol, drugs or even sex, than talk to them about money matters.
Brad @ Structured Settlement Quotes writes Converting a Structured Settlement Annuity into a Large Sum of Cash – Any beneficiary can sell their annuity, or any portion of the structured settlement, to a third party. The remaining payments can be sold to allow the beneficiary to convert its worth into a large sum of cash.
Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Small Patio Solutions – I love spending time outdoors when the weather warms up. Although my patio’s footprint isn’t much larger than a walk-in closet (about 9 feet long by 3 1/2 feet deep), I’ve managed to design a perfect hang-out for two:
Suba @ Broke Professionals writes Our House Is Back On The Market – After taking the winter off, our home is back on the market – and this time, we’re being more aggressive with the list price and Realtor’s fees.
Grayson @ Debt Roundup writes How Debt Started My Quest Toward Financial Literacy – Some start being financially responsible before they get into debt. I decided to do it a little different. After getting into debt, I decided that I needed to gain some financial literacy.
harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes What is Bitcoin and Should You Invest in it? – If you’re like me, you’ve probably sent a peer to peer payment before. Whether its the monthly rent, or gambling debts owed to a friend, sending money through Paypal or similar services is pretty easy(and free!). Bitcoin essentially does the same thing but with its own currency. Yes that’s right, Bitcoin has its own currency that can be used to pay for merchandise/services all across the web.
MR @ Money Reasons writes Is A Millionaire Promise Wrong? – Is my millionaire promise an impossible one? Read about my millionaire promise that I made as a child and how I’m trying to become a millionaire by a certain age range.
Maria @ The Money Principle writes Would Batman need Life Insurance? – Batman doesn’t; but whether you need life insurance and how much you should check carefully.
Greg @ Club Thrifty writes Mortgage Prepayment Calculator: Murder Your Mortgage – Club Thrifty introduces its Mortgage Murder Spreadsheet, a handy little tool that will help you determine how adding extra payments will affect the length (and interest) of your mortgage.
John S @ Frugal Rules writes Discover it Card Review – A Good Option to Have in Your Wallet – There are many credit cards out there to choose from. The key is to find one that’ll meet your needs and be a good addition to your wallet. The Discover it card is one that might fit the bill.
PK @ Don’t Quit Your Day Job… writes Beating the System: When Math (Not Gambling) Pays Off – You know how people say ‘never’ buy lottery tickets? Well, there are actually a few examples where it would have been to your benefit – let’s call them ‘exceptions that prove the rule’?
Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes How to Make a Two Dollar Seventy Five Cent Centerpiece – With a little creativity and frugality, we were able to create memorable center pieces for my mother-in-laws 90th birthday for only $2.70.
Marvin @ Brick By Brick Investing writes Defend Against Cyprus Like Governments – 3 ways to defend yourself from governments like Cyprus.
Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes Is Budget Failure Your Own Fault? – Just because you failed at something or made mistakes means you should give up on it. Like anything understanding budgeting and personal finance takes time and a dedication to succeed.
Marie @ Family Money Values writes Book Review: How I make money blogging – Here is my review of Crystal’s (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff) first book.
Edward Antrobus @ Edward Antrobus writes The Hidden Dark Side to Low Prices – Every body loves low prices, but unfortunately, they come with a hidden dark side. In order to have low prices, you have to have low wages and cut corners.
Jon @ Novel Investor writes TD Ameritrade Review – The Best Online Broker? – TD Ameritrade could be the best online broker around. It’s great for beginners, long term investors, and has the advanced tools any trader needs.
Dividend Growth Investor @ Dividend Growth Investor writes Opportunity Costs for Dividend Investors – Some investors believe that holding overvalued dividend stocks represents a lost opportunity cost. However, an overvalued dividend stock with rising earnings and dividends can remain overvalued, and investors who sit tight would reap the big rewards.
Wealth Effect Blogger @ Your Wealth Effect writes Fast food finances are bad for your wealth. – Many bad financial habits can be seen at your typical fast food restaurant.
Matt Becker @ Mom and Dad Money writes How Important is Your Rate of Return? – How important is it to maximize your rate of return? It can Surprisingly unimportant, especially when you first start investing.
Philip @ PT Money writes Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House or Rental Property? – It may be a good time for you to buy a house or rental, but you need to pay attention to a few things first.
Jessica Moorhouse @ Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses writes Premarital Counseling – It’s a Good Thing (Part 1) – Investing into your future doesn’t just mean saving your money and buying stocks. If you’re about to walk down the aisle, one of the best investments you can make into your future marriage is doing premarital counseling with your fiance.
Darwin @ Darwin’s Money writes Here’s How Homebuyers Get Screwed By Getting Emotionally Attached to a Desired Property – How far would you go to get your dream home? Would you endure mold? Thousands more than asking price? Anything the seller commanded? Here’s a true-life story of how getting emotionally attached to a home can cost big bucks.
Jason Hull @ Hull Financial Planning writes Don’t Make Major Financial Decisions on an Empty Stomach – Research shows that judges give harsher sentences after 3 PM. How does that affect your Monkey Brain and how you make financial decisions? Hunger. Snickers won’t solve it.
Jules Wilson @ Faithful With a Few writes Changing My Mind About Money – People often ask me why I became so interested in personal finance when I was only sixteen years old. My first answer? I don’t know. Second answer? I’m a nerd and I can’t help myself. But this really got me to thinking… Why am I so interested in handling my money responsibly? What is it that happened that gave me such an interest?
Jules Wilson @ Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet writes Thank you for Opening My Eyes Through Your Writing – My eyes were opened to the fact that ignoring my financial situation isn’t healthy. It isn’t going to help our financial situation in the future. Living check to check is not a wise thing. I wanted to thank all of you who take the time each week to write financial blogs. They were very helpful and inspiring to me.
Steve @ Grocery Alerts writes 10 best ways to redeem Air Miles from AIR MILES Reward Program – We are avid Air Miles collectors in our house, but their are some Air Miles Dream Rewards redemptions that give you the best return on your hard earned Air Miles.
Steven @ Canadian Personal Finance writes What to do at 35 if you Haven’t Started Saving for Retirement – It is easy to stress out when your friends are talking about how their retirement funds are allocated, and you don’t have any funds to allocate. At 35, you may be getting a later start than some, but you still have three decades to save. With the right retirement plan in place, you can still have a wonderful retirement without financial worry.