Archive for September 2017

5 Tax Strategies to Consider Before the End of the Year

5 Tax Strategies to Consider Before the End of the Year

5 Tax Strategies to Consider Before the End of the YearNo one likes to think about tax strategies. However, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, tax season is coming around again ? just as quickly as it did last year.

To make sure you can get through the tax season without doing any unnecessary damage to your budget, it is smart to start thinking about your taxes as soon as possible.

With that in mind, we have outlined five tax strategies below which you may want to consider prior to the end of the year. Of course, before you go ahead with any tax-related plan, it is always a good idea to speak with a qualified accountant.

Put Money in Your 401(k)

This tip is probably not breaking news, if you know anything at all about taxes and savings. Typically, the money that you contribute to a 401(k) is going to be made before taxes are considered, meaning that you will have a lower overall taxable income. Of course, this strategy is about more than saving money on your taxes ? it is just as much about saving for the future. Growing your 401(k) as much as possible now will pay off in a big way down the line.

Pay Attention to Losses

Do you own anything which has experienced a capital loss? If so, those items could be used to offset the amount of capital gains on which you have to pay taxes. Think carefully about all of your assets to make sure you don?t miss out on a valuable tax benefit.

Make Donations

Giving to charity is a good idea for a number of reasons. For one thing, you will be helping people in need ? and that is always valuable in any situation. Also, you will be doing yourself a benefit at tax time, as charitable donations tend to be tax deductible. Take some time to find charities which are close to your heart and make a donation that will help out all involved.

Make Sure Your Covered

Do you have health insurance? If not, you may wind up paying costly penalties on your taxes in the coming year. By covering everyone in your household with a qualifying insurance plan, you will be protected against both tax fines and unexpected medical costs. It is a good idea to have health insurance anyway, and the added bonus of avoiding a tax penalty makes it all that much more attractive to sign up for a plan.

Save Even More

Looking for more ways to save money while benefiting your tax situation at the same time? Look into the possibility of opening an IRA account. An individual retirement account is another way to put away money for your later years, and you may be able to get a deduction as a result of your smart planning. Saving money might not always be the most exciting thing you can do, but it will almost always benefit you in the long run.


What are some of the tax strategies you use to save money? Have you used any of these tax strategies before?


Photo courtesy of: Devanath

Supplementing Income in Your Business?s Early Days


incomeStarting a new business is tough, especially if it is reliant on the Internet. It?s nearly impossible to have a new successful business today without a strong internet presence and a robust ecommerce solution. But the internet also brings more competition into your industry or niche than has ever existed in history.

It?s hard to find the perfect balance, thriving off the internet?s advantages while overcoming its obstacles. It takes a lot of time, energy and learning – so much so that you may have to give up your day job and devote all of your waking hours (and some of your sleeping hours) to making your business work.

This effort will pay off in the long run, but while you?re waiting for your business to grow and start generating income that can support you, you?ve got to find a way to make ends meet. For busy entrepreneurs spending all of their extra time on their business, second income solutions have to be very efficient, drawing in significant money without a dramatic expenditure of time or energy.

Spread betting is uniquely appropriate for this situation. Entrepreneurs with only minutes to spare every day can still find the time, while increasing their overall investment knowledge and learning about the way the world works.

Spread betting is made available through brokers like ETX, who have a selection of bonds, stocks, indices, commodities, and more upon which to make value speculations. It?s important to note that, unlike normal stock market investing, you don?t have to actually buy these assets. Instead, you?re wagering money on the outcome of price fluctuations during set periods of time.

Spread betting has been around for generations, but it?s made all the more efficient and agile through the speed of the internet. You can watch asset valuations change in real time, and take advantage of insights in milliseconds. For people who are willing to learn, there is endless opportunity for profit. While these contracts can take weeks or months to resolve, others are completed in minutes.

These options are an excellent way for intelligent people to leverage insight about the worldwide factors that trigger value fluctuations in assets. You may have a currency or stock that you already know a lot about, enough to guess how its value is going to change more than half the time. If that sounds like you, you already have the skills necessary to be a profitable enthusiast.

Spread betters use many different techniques to ensure that their winnings outpace their losses. Not every contract will resolve in your favor, but there are plenty of ways to limit losses, while there is no upper limit to your profits. It takes some practice. Fortunately, most spread betting brokers let users sign up for trial accounts, where they can make betting decisions just as they would in full accounts, but without the financial risk or obligation.

For entrepreneurs in the difficult first days of a new business, there are frequently difficult moments when there is no salary being drawn from the business, and no supplemental income coming from any other source. Spread betting represents a tremendous second income opportunity, without making great demands of your time or energy.

With experience, skilled users make a second career out of spread betting. The knowledge acquired through multiple contracts is cumulative. The more you know, the better decisions you can make. What?s more, the same knowledge that makes someone a good spread better also translates to the world of traditional investment. For entrepreneurs who want to put themselves on a profitable track for the future, regardless of the success of their business, spread betting is a great skill to acquire.


Photo courtesy of: SofiLayla

Why a Garage Sale May Not Be Worth Your Time (and What to do Instead)

garage sale alternatives

garage sale alternativesWhat?s the best way to bring in money without getting a second job? Sell things, of course!

If you are moving, downsizing or needing to get rid of all your baby stuff, the one thing people do to get rid of their stuff is have a garage sale or yard sale.

Garage sales can make or break you, especially if you are hoping to get rid of everything you no longer want. Though they seem like a good idea at the time, garage sales actually may not be worth it.

Below are a few reasons why a garage sale may not be worth your time, and what to do instead!

Garage Sales are Time Sucks

Garage sales take so much work!

Not only do you have to go through every single room in your house to separate trash from sale items, you have to label and tag it all. You can spend weeks going through your house and then a few more weeks marking everything for sale.

By the time the sale actually happens you are frustrated and tired.

The money you make does not equal the time you spent putting it on. Save yourself time by not doing one at all. Try donating things from your home as you go, or collecting them in a small box. Then when the box is full, take them to donate. It’s not as time consuming to go through one cabinet a month.

You Don?t Make Your Money Back

When you think about what all you spent on purchasing your no longer wanted items, it makes you do a double-take.

Depending on the item, you might have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to only turn around make a couple hundred total at a garage sale.

Is this a good return on your investment? No, but it does make your house cleaner and filled with less clutter.

The Weather

Depending on when you have your sale, it can be miserable weather. A summer sale means hot weather. A fall or summer sale means rain or snow. And don?t even try to have one in the winter.

The weather can greatly affect how much money you make at your sale. Plus, who likes to sit outside during gross weather? Not this person.

What to Do Instead

If you really must get rid of your stuff, here are some less-time consuming and potentially more money-making ways to dispose of your gently worn, no longer wanted, stuff.

Donate Your Items

While you could try to sell your old washer and dryer, and wait around for someone to look at it and buy it, it would be faster for you to donate it. Places such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, half-way facilities and other charities will take your gently used items and put them to good use.

Donating things makes your feel good, plus you can write it off on your taxes. It also reduces waste in the landfill, as the items are reused and not immediately disposed of.

Sell Your Items Through Third Parties

If you have an antique chest that you know would be a steal if priced at a garage sale, put it online for sale.

Places such as ?for sale? groups on Facebook, Craigslist and apps like Let Go, can reach a greater audience and help get you the price you want.

It doesn?t take as much work and you can sell as you want or need to. You could also look at consignment shops or antique stores to dispose of those unwanted heirloom pieces.

Garage sales have their place. But, if you aren?t up to hosting your own, go in with a buddy or use some of these other alternatives.


Do you enjoy having garage sales? If you don?t how do you sell your used items?


Photo courtesy of: PublicDomainPictures

What You Need to Know About Life Insurance

Many people find life insurance policies confusing, and it doesn’t help that laws in different states can impact those life insurance plans. With this helpful quiz, you can get more information about how state laws can make a difference in life insurance plans, and you can use that information to find the plan that suits your needs.

This quiz will help answer questions that include which plans automatically cancel beneficiary designations to ex-spouses, who is able to make a claim on a life insurance policy in community property states, how the state legislature impacts the life insurance industry, why you’ll find most states require a grace period on late premium payments, how your life insurance policy could affect your Medicare eligibility, and the one factor that has an influence on your life insurance policy no matter where you live.

The multiple-choice quiz won’t take you long to complete, since it only has six questions and you get 60 seconds to answer each question. At the end of every question, you’ll find a quick explanation of the answer so you can get a better understanding of the topic. You’ll also get to see how many other people answered the questions correctly, and you can cheer on other people who have already taken the quiz.

Take this informative quiz today to learn more about the role state laws play in life insurance policies. You can then make sure you choose the right policy based on the state you live in and your needs.


5 Habits That Help You Maintain Your Good Credit Score

5 Habits That Help You Maintain Your Good Credit Score

5 Habits That Help You Maintain Your Good Credit ScoreYour credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. A good credit score can set you up for favorable lending terms. But, a poor credit score may mean you have to pay high interest rates ? if you are able to get a loan at all.

While it might not be the most exciting topic to think about, paying close attention to the condition of your credit score is an important step toward a prosperous future.

To make sure you are managing your credit score properly, think about maintaining these five habits.

Use Your Credit

That?s right ? it is good for your credit score to actually use your credit. By using credit, and then paying it off in a timely manner, you will be proving that you are a worthy credit risk.

Having no credit is almost as bad as having poor credit, so make sure to actively use at least a couple credit accounts. Of course, it should go without saying that you need to use them responsibly to avoid getting into debt.

Keep Credit Lines Open

Even if you have paid off a credit account, and you have no intention of using it anytime soon, it still may be worth keeping it open.

One of the elements of your credit score is the length of your credit history, so you want to keep some older lines of credit open for the benefit of this metric. Also, part of your credit score is the percentage of credit you are using, which will again benefit from keeping an account open which has a zero balance.

Stay Within Your Means

There are few things you can do which will be as helpful to your credit as simply staying out of trouble in terms of debt. Don?t buy more than you can afford, and you will be just fine in most cases. While it is good to use a credit card to build up your credit history, that card doesn?t mean you can spend as much as you want. Only make purchases as if you were making them with cash.

Monitor Your Credit

You should have no trouble at all finding a service which will help you monitor your credit over time. It is a good idea to use one of these services ? you may even get this free with your credit account ? to make sure that no surprise activity is taking place. You will see how your actions affect your credit, and you will be able to work toward a higher score using this information.

Find New Income Sources

Making more money is always going to be a good thing from a credit perspective. With a larger income, you won?t have to lean on your credit so heavily, and you will be able to avoid debt trouble down the line. Thanks to the power of technology, there are more ?side hustle? opportunities available today than ever before.


Do you have a good credit score? How do you maintain it?


Photo courtesy of: stevepb