Friday Gathering: BCS National Championship Edition

Congratulations to Alabama! I’m not really a fan of the Tide, but Ron is. Here are some articles that I found interesting this week and I hope you can find some useful tips:

Being Frugal found 101 Ways to Cut Your Spending This Year! I need to go through this list again.

Amateur Asset Allocator posted an article that might help me out: 401k Hardship Withdrawal Rules since I cashed out an IRA account this last year. I hope to qualify under the “money to pay your mortgage in an attempt to avoid foreclosure” exception.

6 Tips to Save on Filing Your Taxes & Preventing Penalties

The following is a guest post from Manuel Davis. Manuel is a tax accountant and writer who has helps individuals resolve various problems relating to unpaid taxes.

6 Tips to Save on Filing Your Taxes  Preventing Penalties

It is very common for taxpayers to end up paying more in fees and penalties on their annual taxes than they should. Below are 6 tips that can help you avoid unnecessary expenses and penalties that many taxpayers incur each year.

Success and Failure from 2009

What went well:

0% APR Balance Transfers: Believe it or not, I did several 0% APR balance transfers throughout the year to help us over the rough patches. So far, with no problems. This is really a risky strategy, I do not recommend it, but it has worked for us in a pinch. Unfortunately, these credit card balance transfers do not come free anymore. I had to pay a 3% balance transfer fee for all three that I took out.

Blogging: I have been a blogger in one sense or another since 2006 and 2009 was the first year that I earned regular income from this “hobby”. I hope to continue this trend.

Budget for 2010: 4 Moves to Achieve your Financial Goals

I think it is important to review your personal finances at least once a year. At the beginning of each year, I sit down at my kitchen table and talk about finance with my wife. We update our balance sheet to determine our net worth, we look at our previous year’s balance sheet to see how it went and make sure that we have increased our net worth year over year. In order to make it grow, you can only change to 2 things:

#1 Increase the worth of your assets

#2 Decrease the amount of debt

Financial Goals for 2010

This is kind of a traditional post for this time of year, you know, with new year’s resolutions and all. My philosophy is that most life changes work best when they are started at any point during the year. For spiritual, physical, relationship resolutions there is no better time than the present. One time I got a bad report from my doctor and as I walked to my car, I committed myself to a healthier lifestyle. And I made up my mind to start right after I had one last Spicy Chicken sandwich value meal from Wendy’s . . . that particular decision never stuck . . . When it comes to changes in financial goals, the start of a new calendar year provides a nice clean slate.

Happy New Year from Gather Little by Little

Sometimes I felt a lot like a tightrope walker this year and not an especially good one . . .

I had a lot of ideas for this post, but I could not decide on just one, so I thought I would keep it simple. I always like to end the year by looking at the things for which I am thankful. Here is the financial part of that list:

  • I am thankful that our house finally sold. We came out approximately $14,000 in the red, but we avoided foreclosure, a short sale or anything else detrimental to our financial future . . . other than the debt itself.

New Credit Card Legislation

In February of 2010, the new Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act will go into affect. If you do not use credit cards, you will not be directly affected by this change. The only changes that you will see are higher fees on your regular bank usage as financial institutions try to find other ways to increase revenue. Here are the changes with a few comments from me (as usual):

The Last Carnival of Personal Finance of the Year!

Welcome to the last edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance for 2009! In today’s edition, I will share what I have enjoyed the most during the last 2 weeks of the year.

#1 Editor’s Pick: This is my Favorite Holiday!

I actually love Christmas time (who doesn’t?). This is the special period of the year where everything is touched by magic. We spend time with our families, we play with the kids outside and we are able to watch the world through the eyes of a child especially to see the amazed look on their faces when they unwrap their gifts. Definitely, this is my favourite time of the year. So here are my favourite articles for this Carnival:

Friday Gathering: Christmas Day Edition

I thought I would share one of my favorite Christmas songs. Enjoy this day for the opportunity to be with family and take some time to reflect upon the implications of Christmas Day.

In the First Light

In the first light of a new day
No one knew He had arrived
Things continued as they had been
While a new born softly cried.

But the heavens wrapped in wonder
Knew the meaning of His birth
In the weakness of a baby
They knew God had come to earth.

A Merry Christmas For All!

We are now the 24th of December and my children are getting pretty excited! They just can’t wait to get their gifts from Santa”¦ and I just can’t wait to eat the delicious homemade cookies they will leave for Santa before going to sleep tonight ;-)

But seriously folks, I think Christmas is more than a fancy and overly marketed Holiday abused by gifts and excesses of all kinds. Christmas is a special time of the year where you have the unique opportunity to connect with all the people you love. It is time to forget about your old disputes and call those people you call “friend”, “father”, “sister”, etc.

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