Tag: Finance

Tax Time

Geez.. today I realized it is tax time again.  I have not done any prep work yet so I still have a good 8 hours of prep work ahead of me I think.  I really don’t feel like doing it 😦  Tax time stinks.

Life Insurance

I recently bought some more life insurance for myself. I want to know that D and the kids are taken care of if anything bad happens to me. When I was filling out the paperwork I learned 2 cool things about my policy. First, they will give you some money before you die if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (if you want it). This money could be used for experimental medical treatment or just to make you comfortable on your way out. Second, even after the policy term ends they are still required to sell you insurance if you are willing to pay their predetermined rate. The rate is 6 times more than during the term but if you knew you were dying soon it might be worth it to keep paying. Good stuff.

Stimulate This

As I did my taxes this year, the tax software mentioned that I would be getting money back as part of the economic stimulus package that the federal government is offering. I just can’t help wondering how little it will do for the economy. People will take the money and pay down debt or buy more gas or buy stuff made in China. None of those things will do anything to help stimulate the economy. Maybe I don’t have the keen financial mind of a Washington insider.

More Tax Prep

I’ve done pretty much all of my taxes for 2007 now. I’m waiting for my annual tax review with my dad before clicking send in turbo tax. Looking over my forms, everthing seems nearly identical to 2006. More in this column, less on that schedule, etc. Overall the numbers were very close to 2006. I’m glad it is almost over.

Debt Negotiation

I recently heard about a scheme to deal with debt called Debt Negotiation. It is not debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is when you take out a loan and pay off all of your existing debt with this loan. Then the only debt you have is this one loan which has a lower interest rate to help you pay down the debt faster.

Debt negotiation is very different. This site has a diagram of how it works. Basically, the debt negotiation company takes over your bills and you send them an agreed upon amount of money each month. They ignore your bills and wait for the creditors to write off the debt and send it to a collection agency. Meanwhile, the company is saving your payment in an account. The collection agencies are willing to settle the debt for less than the original creditor so the debt negotiation may offer them 40% of the original value to clear the debt. The collector is happy because they collected something. You are happy because your debt is paid off. The debt negotiation company is happy because they collected a fee for doing very little work. The downside is that your credit is wrecked after using debt negotiation because they don’t pay your creditors and instead wait for them to write it off and send it to a collection agency.

Crazy world we live in!

Arbitration

I read this article today about how credit card companies use arbitration to settle disputes. The basic idea is that the credit card company makes you sign an agreement to get the card. The agreement says any disputes will be handled by arbitration rather than in court. Then if something bad happens where your card company thinks you owe money and you disagree, the dispute is sent to their arbitrators for a decision. Their arbitrators get paid a lot of money by the card company and (surprise) they almost always rule in favor of the company. Seems like a bad deal… so why not go get another credit card? Ha! They all have the same bad agreements. Gotta love America!

Neat article on kids’ money expectations

This is a pretty surprising article on the expectations that kids have about their earning potential. Basically, it says that girls today think they will earn less than boys and that both genders have expectations of earning 3 to 5 times the national average for personal income. Wow. Kids do think money grows on trees. This just reminds me how important it will be for me to go over budgeting and realistic income expectations with my kids as they get older.

Neat article on kids’ money expectations

This is a pretty surprising article on the expectations that kids have about their earning potential. Basically, it says that girls today think they will earn less than boys and that both genders have expectations of earning 3 to 5 times the national average for personal income. Wow. Kids do think money grows on trees. This just reminds me how important it will be for me to go over budgeting and realistic income expectations with my kids as they get older.