Archive for February, 2010

Friday Gathering: Who Dat? Edition

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints, winners of the NFL Super Bowl. I did not really have a rooting interest, but was kind of pulling for Peyton Manning . . . Here are some posts that you may want to read from the last week.

From the Carnival of Personal Finance #243 featuring:

Investing Baby Steps #2: Different Investing Strategies for Beginners Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I started the different investing strategies for beginners with the most secure asset allocations. Especially when you start investing, you don’t know exactly where you are heading and you do not want to take too much risk. However, even among beginner investors, there are some who are willing and able to invest in a more aggressive manner. This is why I am talking about the next 3 asset allocations:

If you can’t handle $5, why should I give you $10?

I think the above statement most readily applies to government, but I know there are some folks out there who think that government does not have enough money . . . Politics aside, how often do we think, “Boy, if I would just win the lottery,”  or “I wonder if I am in somebody’s will?” or, “if I could just find something around my house that would sell for five figures on Antique Roadshow, all my money troubles would be over!”

How to Properly Prepare for Filing Your Taxes

The following is a guest post from Manuel Davis. Manuel is a tax accountant and writer for and helps individuals with various IRS problems.

How to Properly Prepare for Filing Your Taxes

While April 15th may seem far away, now is the time to start thinking about your taxes to ensure that your tax filing goes smoothly. The main causes of tax filing errors are rushing and not having all necessary tax documents on hand. Even if you plan to use a tax professional, it is important to start working with them early since it is likely they will be rushed towards the end of tax season. Below are some steps to follow to ensure your taxes get done properly and nothing is missed.

What will you do with your tax refund?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked, Should a believer contribute to IRA’s, 401K’s or other retirement accounts? The post generated some interesting comments and discussion. While I still think that some form of retirement savings is a good idea, my financial focus was challenged by that thought: Am I really storing up treasure in heaven? Or am I focused on comfortable life here on earth?

Friday Gathering: Signing Day Edition

If you are a college football fan, this was a big week. All the fans in my state are upset about all the top recruits that signed to play out of state . . . Here are some articles that I found interesting this week:

I am not quite sure what to think of Lynnae’s post about her 5-second rule. I tend to be a little like Jerry Seinfeld when it comes to germs. Maybe that’s why Lynnae is “being frugal” and I’m just Stew . . .

Cash ISA Guide

Anyone in the UK who’s interested in saving some money for a rainy day should definitely consider a cash ISA account – they make great financial sense, and are nowhere near as complex as their predecessor the PEP. This guide will go some way to explaining cash ISAs to you, and hopefully make you a more discerning spender”¦

Our Bank Network

I am a numbers guy . . . a little obsessive compulsive . . . I like organization and strategic planning. I understand if some of you might think this kind of information is a little “wonky”, but I thought I would lay out our bank set-up for you and see what you think. This is the bank set-up that Mrs. Stew and I have used for almost four years now:

Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #3: The Meaning of Sacrifice

As you have, no doubt, already read, I am trying to teach my 4 year old son lessons about money. It is hard to teach them everything about money at this age, but I can tell you that children can learn a lot more than we think! It’s only a matter of repeating clear and easy to understand concepts. In fact, most personal finance concepts are pretty easy to understand and this is why I am trying to teach them to my son at this tender age.

Which debt do you hate the most?

Our family finances get a lot of attention this time of year. I clean up the Christmas mess, every year we get better at handling Christmas expenses, but we are still not where we would like to be. I start to review my files to make sure I am ready to finish our taxes. Finally, January is “budget month”, the time of year that we review our budget. By the beginning of February, I have a really good grasp on all the numbers. Not so much meaning that I have control of the numbers, but that I can recite them at a moment’s notice.