Taxpayer Benefits in the Economic Stimulus Package

Yesterday afternoon, the economic stimulus package was signed into law. After weeks of wrangling and lots of speculation, the final bill included $212B in tax cuts along with $575B in spending. So what’s in it for you? What follows is a rundown of some of the major taxpayer benefits. “Making Work Pay” Credit While you […]


Save Money by Renting Out a Room

While reading the newspaper this weekend, I ran across an article about people renting out rooms and/or taking on roommates to make ends meet. Not surprisingly, the current economic climate has resulted in a major uptick in the number of people looking for roommates. And for good reason… Taking on a roommate not only dramatically […]


Getting a Good Deal on a New Home

A reader named Brett recently wrote in to ask for advice on finding a good deal on a new home. He and his wife are in seemingly stable jobs, and they’re looking to buy their first home. In a nutshell, he was wondering how to: (1) tax advantage of the forthcoming homebuyer tax credit, (2) […]


MyFICO ScoreWatch: Free Access to Your FICO Credit Score

Late last week, I mentioned MyFICO Scorewatch in the context of Experian’s decision to stop offering consumer FICO scores. This time around, I thought I’d mention it in it’s own right, as it’s a great way to get a free peek at your credit score thanks to their 30 day free trial. In case you’re […]


$8, 000 Homebuyer Tax Credit

Update: I’ve posted additional details surrounding this credit and how to claim it. Please click through to read: How to Claim the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit. Okay, details regarding the House/Senate compromise on the economic stimulus package are starting to come out. As I noted yesterday, the Senate’s $15, 000 homebuyer tax credit has been […]


Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Income Tax Credits

Over the past week or so, I’ve heard from several readers who are somewhat confused about refundable vs. non-refundable tax credits and, ultimately, what it means to “pay taxes.” As a quick reminder, tax credits directly reduce your tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In contrast, tax deductions reduce your taxable income (and thus result […]


$15, 000 Homebuyer Tax Credit Dropped from Stimulus Package

Breaking news out of Congress… After the Senate inserted a $15, 000 tax credit for homebuyers into the economic stimulus package, it appears to have been removed while the House and Senate were reconciling their two versions. From an AP News report: Working to accommodate the new, lower overall limit of the bill, negotiators effectively […]


Stamp Prices to Increase in May

In what has become something of an annual ritual, stamp prices will be increasing once again on May 11th. First class letters will be increasing from $0.42 to $0.44 and prices for other services will likewise be adjust upwards. The good news is that the availability of forever stamps means that you won’t have to […]


Discover Escape Travel Rewards Credit Card

In spite of the ongoing credit crisis, Discover has launched a new credit card. It’s called the Escape Card by Discover, and it offers some fairly generous travel rewards as well as a 25, 000 mile bonus, whih is the equivalent of a $250 signup bonus. The reward program offers two miles for every dollar […]


TurboTax vs. TaxCut: Which is Better?

TurboTax and TaxCut are widely regarded as the best tax software for consumers, and both have their fair share of fans. Given that I just sat down to start working on our taxes this weekend, I thought it would be worth comparing the two. Hopefully, it will help anyone who’s trying to decide between them. […]