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Getting Ready to FIle Your Federal Tax Return
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Most Common Tax Filing Errors
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Owing Money To The IRS
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Are You Ready for the New Computer Chip Credit Cards?


chip-credit-cardsOctober 1st is the deadline for merchants to have the technology to accept computer chip embedded credit and debit cards. But don’t worry if you don’t have a chip card yet, your current card will still be accepted.

Chip embedded card requires the user to place the card in the reader, the action is called “Dip The Card”. You wait for it to authorize and you sign as usual. In the coming years you will have to enter a 4 digit pin as well, like the rest of the world has been doing for years.

The new chip cards are supposed to offer more security and are harder to counterfeit. The chips generate a new transaction code every time it’s used, so even if a thief were to gain access to it, it cannot be used a second time. And just like your old swipe card, you are not liable for fraud.

Online shopping will be the same since it does not require a card to be present. So security still will be an issue that’s talked about.

Read more from the Original article at Today.com


20 Money Tips To Make This Year


With the year coming to an end, it’s time to look over your finances and goal that you had set at the beginning of the year. Listed below of 20 money moves that you should consider.

  1.  Add More to your Retirement Savings – Its not too late to start making those full contributions. You can contribute up to $18,000 this year.
  2. Check Your Accounts – Since your retirement accounts are usually housed with a separate institute than your bank, you may forget to login and check to see that you are getting the most from your account.
  3. Consider a Conversion – Do you hold a regular IRA? Look into converting it to a Roth IRA for extra benefits.
  4. Think Big – The middle of the year is the perfect time to step back and look at your financial goals for the year and your life financial goals.
  5. Give yourself Chores – Stay on track with your finances by doing a simple task once a week for the rest of the year. Could be something simple like adjusting your budget.
  6. Change Up Your goals – If you are not hitting your goals or life circumstances change, now is the perfect time to adjust those financial goals.
  7. Re-balance Accounts – Middle of the year is also time to loko at your investments and see what is not performing and selling them off for something better.
  8.  Go Back Through Spending – Go back through your spending to see where your money is going.
  9. Divert Funds to College Savings – Do you spend money on toys for kids fairly often? Try adjusting the amount you spend and divert it to a college fund for them.
  10. Watch Your Budget – It’s always a good idea to look at your budget regularly to make sure you are staying on track.
  11. Next Summers’ Vacation – Want to go on vacation next year? Now’s the time to start planning and saving money.
  12. Save Any Surplus – Got a winning lottery ticket or sold something out of your garage? Stash that money away.
  13. 529 College Account Contributions – Similar to a retirement account, you can pay into a college fund every month.
  14. Emergency Fund Check – Remember stashing that money away from number 12 on the list? This is where it should go until you reached your goal.
  15. Beneficiaries – Really only applies if you got married or divorced. Don’t overlook this important item.
  16. Get More Insurance – Got a better job this year? Take a look at insurance types that you do not have, renters insurance, life insurance etc.
  17. Are Your Ready for Taxes – It’s never too early to take a look at your taxes for the year. Especially if you are a business owner.
  18. Look at Your Tax Credits – Tax laws are always changing, and with the new Health Care program in place, you should double check what tax credits you can get back.
  19. Make Donations – Donations not only help others but helps your bottom line when it comes to taxes.
  20. Make Preventive Care Appointments – Staying healthy in priority number one. Got to the dentist, get your eyes checked and get your yearly checkup.

You can read the full original article here.


Stores Starting Christmas Shopping Season Already


Can you believe that stores are trying to get your money already for this Christmas shopping season? Kmart just launched their new Layaway plan last week. Allowing customers to put items on layaway with no money down. Other retailers have already started grabbing early holiday shoppers.

Other retailers in the mix trying to get a jump start are Wal-Mart and HEB, both started their Layaway plans in late August. A recent survey showed an upward trend of Americans beginning their Christmas shopping earlier.

Kmart’s no money down Layaway plan will last every day until the end of November. Last year they limited the no money down promotion to certain weeks. This could help many consumers budget their holiday spending this year.

Read More of the original article at Yahoo Personal Finance.


Millennials Seek Retirement Savings and Paying Down Debt


It can be hard for Millennials to get out ahead with high student loan burdens. But once they get a steady well paying job, they are making the right choices with their priorities.

A recent survey by T. Rowe Price says that 27% of millennials contributed to a 401k plan at work and 28% started paying down debt as a priority.

Millennials are making the right choices at an earlier age and will benefit from these choices later in life. When deciding how much to invest in a 401k, more than half saved enough to take advantage of the full employer match.

Of course not all millennials are investing in 401ks. Among those workers, their median salary was lower, about $28,000 verses well paying jobs of $57,000. They also saw a higher student loan balance than others.

Original Article can be found at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/sc-cons-0716-started-20150713-column.html


9 Money Saving Tips for Labor Day Travel


Do you have travel plans for Labor Day weekend? AAA Travel predicts more Americans will be traveling this Labor Day weekend since 2008. Here’s a list of some money saving ideas to keep the trip inexpensive from Forbes.com.

1. Don’t forget about last minute deals. Companies are always offering deals to fill up their empty seats, rooms or cars.

2. Use car rental aggregators to compare prices. Using sites like carrental.com to compare different companies can save you alot of money.

3. Camping is still popular. Nothing beats the price of admission to the great outdoors.

4. Map Apps can help you find the best route and avoid traffic during your trip to help you save on gas.

5. Gas Apps are a great tool to compare prices of gas near you. A gas station right off the highway will always cost more than a gas station a mile in from the highway.

6. Better Travel Times. By leaving a day early (Thursday) or early morning hours, you can beat the traffic of holiday travelers.

7. Packing Food and Drinks will help you avoid the costly restaurants on the highway.

8. Don’t be afraid to move to another hotel if you find a better deal mid vacation.

9. Nothing beats free attractions. Going to the beach can be an inexpensive day.

Read The Original Article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashford/2015/08/31/labor-day/


FTC: Hang up on ‘Card Services’


Have you ever received a call from ? If you have, next time hang up says the FTC. Rachel from Card Services or any number of names such as Anne, Tiffany or Heather; have been calling households letting you know that you are eligible for lower interest rates.

The Robocalls are illegal and out to scam you. FTC has been trying to shut them down for years. .

So why won’t they stop?

New companies popup all the time, so even though the FTC has up rooted a dozen of these companies, they can’t keep up. Alot of these are now found overseas, making it harder to shut down.

If you do get a call, just hang up. Never push a button to connect to someone or ask to be taken off their list. And never give out your personal financial information to them.

Do they actually lower your interest rates? Nope. And they will want to charge you an up front fee to do it. Sometimes as high as $5,000. All of which is highly illegal to do.

So if a charming lady by the name of Rachel calls from “Card Services”, Hang Up the phone. You won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings.

Original Story Click Here


Fast Food? Not so fast…..


It’s official; the amount of time consumers are waiting for service in “drive thru” lanes is getting longer. It’s not just your imagination. The fast food industries trade magazine “QSR” released the latest findings of their 2014 study, and the numbers are not encouraging.

The study shows that the averages wait time in 2014 is nearly 240 seconds, that’s an increase of more than 22% in one year. Many major fast food restaurants rely heavily on drive thru sales, some as high as 70% of total sales volume is from drive thru lanes.

The cause of the increase according to QSR may be the ever-increasing amount of choices on the menu along with consumers wanting “custom” orders.




A Win For Anti Abortion Movement


Texas can now enforce new abortion restrictions. The Federal Court of appeals is allowing the State of Texas to enact at least some of the new law in their ruling handed down today.




Millions of JP Morgan Chase Account Holders Affected by Hackers


JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States disclosed their servers have been breached for the second in the last three months. Bank officials now say the exposure was far greater than they were aware when they first reported the incident in July of this year.

Hackers believed to be in Italy and Southern Europe broke into the financial giants computer systems, a breach which has affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

JP Morgan Chase advised Federal authorities that personal information was stolen, including account holder names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers.

According to bank officials the most sensitive information, (SSI, DOB, Account Numbers & Passwords) were not compromised during the hack.



Unemployment Claims Drop


The number of people filing for unemployment fell again this week to 287,000.

That’s down from the previous weeks 295,000 number. This is a strong indicator that the job market may be improving.

This marks the third straight week of decline
In unemployment claims. The the lowest level of continuous decline in unemployment claims since 2006.

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