Archive for January, 2010

Friday Gathering: Tax Time Edition

Lots of tax tips from other bloggers:

Lynnae at Being Frugal, prepares her own taxes. I do too and mine are pretty complicated this year.

If you purchased a home in 2009, Debt Free Adventure lists Tax Credits for Home Buyers and Owners. I sold a home in 2009, which will just complicate my taxes. Sigh.

Mrs. Micah listed the 2009 Tax Credit & Deduction List. Thankfully, I have lots and lots of deductions, but again, they complicate things.

If you do not know the IRS tax deadline, seriously? You do not know when your taxes are due? Even Canadians know stuff like that. April 15th is not complicated.

Investing Baby Steps #2: Different Investing Strategies For Beginners Part 1

According to your investor profile, you might want to take a different route for investing. Forget what your neighbour or your brother-in-law told you about “the next big thing”. If they were that good, they would be calling you from their yacht in the Bahamas to give your stock tips”¦ not over the fence while pushing their lawnmower  ;-)

In my last post about investing baby steps, I was talking about finding your investor profile. I think this step is omniimportant if you want to succeed as an investor. And succeeding doesn’t mean making millions, it does mean building a solid investment strategy that you will be able to follow that allows you to sleep well at night ;-).

Should a believer really contribute to IRA’s, 401K’s or other retirement accounts?

My wife and I are between churches right now. We have been visiting different local assemblies throughout the fall we are close to making a final decision about the congregation that we will join. Last week we had one of the pastors over for dinner. In the course of our conversation, he made an interesting statement. He said:

I believe that a believer should not have 401K’s, IRA’s or any other type of retirement account.

At first I was a little taken back, but then I started to think about many of the promises that we find in Scripture – like the Apostle Paul’s admonition to a young pastor in I Timothy 6:8:

Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #2: The Power of Money

Many of us were raised in  hostile environments where money was concerned. We saw our parents running after money to pay for groceries, spending many a fortnight calculating budget numbers, by hand  at the kitchen table to make ends meet all the while cursing money as it was the root of all evil.

I guess this is why we have such a complex love-hate relationship with money. While we love it when we have much, we deeply hate it when it is scarce. We have been told that you are better off  healthy than wealthy, that those who make a lot of money must have done something wrong to come by it, that money doesn’t bring happiness, that it only brings more problems.

That old question: Work or stay home?

Last week, MoneyNing posed a question to his readers: Should I be a work at home Mom? Of course the first thing that came to my mind was the iconic 1980’s movie, Mr. Mom. Personally, I would love to be a stay at home “mom” and in some ways, Mrs. Stew is more suited to work outside the home . . . she likes being around people. As for me? Let’s just say that a cabin on the top of a mountain in Alaska sounds like a dream come true most of the time. But his article caused me to reflect on the past six months in our family. Many of you will remember that our family wrestled through the issue if a stay-at-home parent v more income last summer. You can read about our decision here and here. Currently, Mrs. Stew stays home with our children. She home schools our two older girls and also provides in-home daycare to several other children from other families.

Friday Gathering: What happened in MA last week?

Mike, gave me the privilege of announcing the winner of the book, Get Financially Naked. Drum roll, please . . . . . Julie (comment #21)!

Here are some articles that I found interesting this week:

I am a huge fan of tax software and e-filing. I have used TurboTax almost since it was first made available online. Debt Free Adventure just figured out that if you are claiming any of the new home buyer tax credits – you must file your tax return on paper! This goes right up there with the DMV not taking credit or debit cards . . . government always provides poor customer service.

Investing Baby Steps #1: Know Who You Are

When we were just babies, we started to crawl in order to explore the “new world”. After a while, we noticed that there was more “out there” and we started to think about a way to go faster and further during our exploration. Then one magical day we decided to stand up on our 2 feet and look out at the horizon. In order to reach this point, we learned, step by step, how to walk. We fell a few times, we got hurt but our mommy was always there to take us in her arms and comfort us. Wouldn’t life be easier if our mom was still there to show us how to manage our personal finances as she was there to teach us how to walk?

Famous quotes about money

Some statements about money for your enjoyment today. Some true . . . some not so true . . . some will make you think.

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. – Benjamin Franklin

Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game. – Donald Trump

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. – Errol Flynn

Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #1: Money is not Free

During the summer of 2009, my son William  turned 4 years old. I remember that at that age, I didn’t know much about money. You basically only care about what gear you will play with for the next 20 minutes. As both my wife and I love to spend time outside during summer, we use to take a lot of walks outside with our two kids. While Amy was still in a stroller, William was able to get on his bike and go much faster. One day when we were about to leave the house, my son turned at me and said:

Money Saving Monday: the Internets

Every once in a while, I take a minute to sit back and think about life before some of the technology that we have today. I mean, I am not that old, but I can remember writing papers for college courses with an electric typewriter – some teachers were still accepting handwritten assignments. Our dormitory that housed seventy-five people had one pay phone for the entire building. I called home about once every two weeks. Then it was car phones, cell phones, mobile phones, texting . . .