Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Best ways to spend your tax refund

Personally, I'm using my refund to buy some new clothes for work. And I'm getting no where near the estimated $2400 average refund.

Here's an article from CNN Money on the best ways to spend your tax refund.

Companies Target Your Tax Refund

Click here to read all about the sneaky ways companies try to get their hands on your money.

Companies Target Your Tax Refund

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Audit Anyone?

According to a recent article from CNN Money, there are certain red flags on your return that makes you more likely to be audited.

But with the tax agency auditing 1.2 million individuals last year and the IRS ramping up its enforcement spending in recent years, experts say it might be worth taking a look at your return to make sure you aren't making yourself a target for the tax man.

Read here for the entire article from CNN Money.

Tuition Is How Much?

MOST EXPENSIVE COLLEGES Here's a list of the most expensive tuition bills for 2005-06, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The figures do not include room, board or other costs of attendance. College 2005-06 tuition

1. Landmark $37,738
2. George Washington U. $36,400
3. U of Richmond $34,850
4. Sarah Lawrence $34,042
5. Kenyon $33,930
6. Vassar $33,800
7. Trinity $33,630
8. Bennington $33,570
9. Simon's Rock College of Bard $33,364
10. Hamilton (NY) $33,350

So the next time Junior mentions wanting to get into Harvard, keep these schools in mind and Harvard will seem downright cheap.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

$241,000 Strip Club Bill Settled

New York strip club "Scores" has settled a $241,000 bill racked up by a former telecom exec.

Read the article here: $241,000 Strip Club Tab Finally Settled

All I can say is that's a whole lotta lap dances!!

PlayStation 3 Delayed

The bad news - Sony Corporation has announced the delay of its PlayStation 3 console. The release date has been pushed back to November because of delays in finalizing its next-generation optical disc technology.

The good news - the November release date will give you something to look forward to for Christmas.

Read the full article here: Sony Delays Release of PlayStation 3

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Great News For The Class Of 2006

With a strong recruitment push, higher salaries and in some cases, multiple job offers, all signs are pointing up for the class of 2006.

Recruiters are reportedly fighting for space at campus career fairs, according to college career offices. Several schools have also reported that they have had to turn down recruiters because of space limitations. And employers are expected to hire 14.5 percent more graduates this year, according the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

The hot fields this year are engineering, accounting and finance, and computer science. But liberal arts majors take heed. You are in demand because of your communications skills, your ability to think critically, lead or adjust to the demands of the job.

The top ten jobs and their starting salaries are:

1. Chemical Engineering $55,900
2. Electrical Engineering $52,899
3. Mechanical Engineering $50,672
4. Computer Science $50,046
5. Accounting $45,723
6. Economics/Finance $45,191
7. Civil Engineering $44,999
8. Business Administration $39,850
9. Marketing $36,260
10. Liberal Arts Majors $30,828

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Paying Bills By Text Message

Here's an interesting article I found on CNN Money about Paypal. The article starts off with:

PayPal is getting back to its mobile roots.
Back in 1999, when the company first launched as a tiny startup, it had designed software to beam money between handhelds and cell phones. It rapidly abandoned that plan when it found that buyers and sellers on
eBay (Research) preferred to use a Web-based version of its payment service to settle auctions.

They also have some competition in this area from another company called TextPayMe.

The process for sending a payment with TextPayMe is simple: Users text an amount and the recipient's cell-phone number to TextPayMe, which then sends a text message to the recipient. To collect the money, the recipient later visits TextPayMe's website to register bank-account details. It's not unlike how PayPal's e-mail payments work today.

I can't wait to see these companies marketing strategies. I think I'll give them a look-see before jumping in. What about you? Do you like the idea of paying bills by text message? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Till next time...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Should You Charge Your Tax Bill?

In a nutshell, the answer is no. In 2005 1.5 million taxpayers put their bill on credit. More than double the previous year according to an article in USA Today.

Enhanced rewards from credit card issuers are making the idea even more enticing. Some card issuers are offering double rewards on tax bills paid with their cards. And to use a credit card to pay taxes, you'll have to cough up a fee usually 2.49 percent of federal or state taxes paid to third-party companies that process the transaction. The two companies authorized to accept credit card payments for the IRS are Official Payments and Link2Gov.

It's never a good idea to use a credit card to pay when you can find some other way. Especially considering you'll have to pony up an extra 2.49% just for the convenience.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

An Ideal Budget

What does your budget look like? Do you spend first and save later? Nothing left to save you say. Well I found a great budgeting tool. The simplest way to budget is known as the 60% budget. Written by Richard Jenkins at MSN Money it goes like this:

Monthly committed expenses should be at or below 60% of your gross income.

Examples of committed expenses are:
Essential Housing Expenses - Rent, mortgage, utilities, insurances and taxes.
Food and Clothing Expenses
Insurance Premiums - Health, homeowner, and car.
All Bills - non essential utilities such as cable, cc debt, transportation, student loans, etc.
All Taxes

The other 40% should be broken into 10% chunks like this:
Retirement Savings - 401k or IRA contributions.
Long Term Savings - Liquid cash on hand usually for emergency fund.
Short Term Savings - To be used for irregular expenses such as: new car, new appliances, birthday or holiday gifts, vacation fund, etc.
Fun Money - Dinners out, movies, plays, etc.

Right now, this budget may seem impossible for some people. The idea is to use this as a guideline to make the best use of your money. Follow this budget, and you'll start to have a lot of money left over at the end of the month.