Tag Archives: taxes

Downsizing isn’t cheap — or easy

Julie Sherrier

Even my toaster has to go. It’s one of those fancy, stainless steel, four-slicer monstrosities. It won’t fit on the limited counter space in my new kitchen.

I’m in the midst of downsizing, and it isn’t pretty. I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and decided it was time to take the plunge and sell my house. What I was not prepared for was not only would I have to sell my house, but almost everything else I had accumulated over the past 20 years. Plus, I would have to buy a new home, which while less expensive, isn’t a cheap process.

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Emily’s list: Fair taxes edition

Emily Crone

I’m going to guess that I’m not alone when I feel that taxes are unfair. Then I stop and think about it. My taxes provide me with my local libraries. They pay for the police forces and firefighters who keep our society orderly and safe. They keep the postal system running, as inefficient as it may be sometimes. They pay for our teachers and schools, and our city animal shelter. As much as I want to complain about paying my taxes (and accountant), it’s really not that bad. We pay far less taxes in the United States than in Europe. Heck, we can even file our taxes online and pay it with our credit cards!

I was interested to read on MSNBC that over half of Americans–54 percent–think their taxes are either fair or very fair in an Associated Press-GfK poll. However, in a question asking whether taxes should be increased to lower the federal deficits, only 29 percent said yes. Just over 60 percent of Americans prefer that government services be cut instead of taxes raised.

For more personal finance insight, please read on for my roundup of my favorite blog posts from the past week!

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IRS prepaid debit cards

Emily Crone

This year, 600,000 Americans will have the option to receive their tax refund via a prepaid MyAccountCard Visa debit card from Green Dot, a leading issuer of prepaid cards.

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Emily’s list: It’s my birthday edition

Emily Crone

Today, I turn 26 years old. At age 25 and under, I feel like it’s easy to still consider yourself a young adult, or even a kid. Now that I’m above 25, I feel like I’m truly in adult-land. That’s probably a good thing, considering I’m now on a budget and getting married next month.

Looking back, I’ve learned a lot this past year. Thanks to my responsible future husband, I now save my receipts and enter my expenses, purchases and credit card payments into a spreadsheet.

Starting last May, I began the grueling task of planning my wedding–another experience with budgeting. I have had to obtain vendors quotes, compare prices and goods, maintain records, keep up with payments and more. I’ve also had to practice negotiating, which doesn’t come easy for me. I saved a good chunk of my money on my catering and invitations this way. If I can do it, anyone can.

Now I’m off to celebrate my birthday. Read on for my favorite list of personal finance blog posts from the past week!

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Emily’s list: Frozen pipes edition

Emily Crone

Brrrrrr. It’s cold outside! We’ve had our coldest week of the year this week here in Austin, Texas, with well below-freezing temperatures. I didn’t remember to leave my faucets dripping on Tuesday night, and I woke up on Wednesday with no hot water. That evening, I had to heat a few large pots of water on the gas stove and use this to rise off in the bath a la 1800s. It was very difficult to wash my long hair, and it made me extremely grateful for our convenient, time-saving, modern amenities.

Not surprisingly, I started thinking about how many other modern conveniences I take for granted. One? Plastic. With my credit card, I never have to think about getting cash out of the ATM or having enough of it on hand (well, my fiance wishes I was better about doing that). It’s easy to swipe my credit card or debit card mindlessly without effort. It’s difficult but important to be more mindful of spending despite the fact that it is so darn easy to blow through money.

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