Kids & Money: Long Term Savings

I previously wrote about how we’ve gone about setting an allowance for our kids. Briefly, starting at age five they get $0.50 per year of age per week, and this (along with all other money coming in from gifts, etc.) gets divided into one of four pots — spending, short term savings, long term savings, […]

IRS Service Centers Closing

The IRS has announced the closing of 68 of their 400 walk-in service centers nationwide. The IRS claims that visits to their help centers have declined by 19% over that past two years, while phone support has grown by 7% and traffic to the IRS website has more than doubled. This cost-cutting move has, however, […]

E-mail Overload: Digging out from Under

Well, I spent two or three hours this afternoon sorting through my e-mail inbox at work. It had somehow swollen to 678 (!) messages. I used to be in the habit of sorting out my inbox – filing, deleting, and and trimming things back down – every Friday (at worst), but I’ve recently let that […]

More About Real Estate Investing

About a week ago, I mentioned that I’m interested in learning more about real estate investing. The two sources for more information that people suggested were the writings of John T. Reed and Home Buying for Dummies. I can’t vouch for either of these, although the latter seems to focus more on purchasing a residence […]

Easy Access to Online Articles

If you’re anything like me, you hate having to login to gain access to news stories online. Since I sometimes link to such stories, I thought I’d post a tip for bypassing this annoyance… In case you haven’t heard, there’s a service out there called BugMeNot. This site is a repository for usernames/passwords for sites […]

Permanent Tax Exemption for 529 College Savings Plans?

The Senate Finance Committee introduced a bill today that would make the tax exemption for 529 college savings plans permanent. The Senate bill, which has bipartisan support, mirrors one that was introduced in the House last week. The 529 exemption is currently scheduled to expire in 2010, so this is great news for anyone with […]

Personal Finance Blogging Takes Off

While perusing this morning, I ran across an interesting service offered by BlogPulse — a blogging trend tracker (direct link). After entering search terms and selecting a timeframe (from one to six months), you’ll get a graph depicting the percentage of all blog posts that mention the term(s) of interest. Beyond giving you an […]

Home Values, Appraisals, and Fraud

I just ran across an interesting article on CNN/Money about home appraisal fraud. Despite the fact that appraisers are supposed to come up with an independent estimate of the value of a property, they’re apparently coming under increasing pressure from lenders and realtors to hit a predetermined value (i.e., the agreed upon sales price) when […]

Don’t Believe Everything that You Read

I just ran across an interesting article on the accuracy of personal finance writers in the Akron Beacon Journal of all places — gotta love Google News! The article correctly points out that personal finance books, news stories, etc. are often riddled with factual errors that might lead you to make bad money moves. How […]

Kids & Money: Setting an Allowance

A recent post over at AllThingsFinancial prompted me to reassess the way we handle our kids’ allowances. Thus far, we’ve been pretty lax/inconsistent about allowances, and our oldest son has recently been agitating for a more reliable stream of income. After mulling it over, we’ve settled on a new system.