Archive - April 2017

1
Financial Literacy: Reading A Financial Statement
2
Anything but money: having self worth and control of your life
3
Money Mistakes to Avoid, part 1
4
The Sharing Economy and Taxes
5
3 Reasons To Consider Hiring a Tax Professional

Financial Literacy: Reading A Financial Statement

Last week, we discussed reading your credit card statement. April is Financial Literacy Month and reading financial documents sometimes requires more than knowing how to read. There will be words on the page that you recognize but you may not be able to comprehend what they mean for your investment planning.

In “12 Things You Need to Know About Financial StatementsInvestopedia offers a primer on what you’ll find in your financial statements. Investing is just the beginning; you need to keep up with your investments.

An important point made in the Investopedia article is that …

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Anything but money: having self worth and control of your life

Used softball ball in Třebíč, Czech Republic.jpgIn his most recent newsletter, former Wall Street Journal columnist Jonathan Clements observes (correctly) that most of us will never be fabulously wealthy, that we should stop feeling bad about that, and that this bizarre cultural belief leads people to be discontent with any achievement, and to chase hucksters who promise self-transformation and lunatic investment schemes. (See the full text here, and consider subscribing—while I don’t agree with him on everything, it’s always worth a read.)

As I read this, I found myself agreeing with many of his points. He’s spot on when he points out that …

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Money Mistakes to Avoid, part 1

Business Insider published “8 money mistakes the middle class keeps making” to focus on one economic group but these mistakes can be made by anyone no matter how much money they have. It is likely that the focus is on the middle class because the wealthy have enough and those who are impoverished have just enough to get by. Actually, anyone can find themselves gaining or losing wealth due to unexpected circumstances but if you follow sound financial planning principles, you can protect yourself from sudden losses.

Overall, we get messages from our culture about seizing the day. …

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The Sharing Economy and Taxes

If you rent out a room to others using airbnb or a similar site, if you drive your car for Uber (or an alternative), or if you otherwise take part in the sharing economy, the money you earn may be taxable. (Psst: Even if you get paid in cash without any record of the transaction, you still may be liable for income tax on the earnings.) This is true whether this is a one-time thing or if you treat it like a side-gig. Plus, if you don’t earn cash but rather get something else of value in exchange (such as …

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3 Reasons To Consider Hiring a Tax Professional

For a lot of military households, tax preparation is simple, straightforward, and free.  Every year, just collect the paperwork and head down to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) office, and the staff can help you do your taxes.  Or, if you’d rather do it on your own, you can either use a software provider such as TurboTax, or go to the IRS FreeFile website.  The IRS also has a link to find free state filing options, based upon certain eligibility criteria.

However, you often get what you pay for.  Over the course of your military career, you …

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