The Gulf Oil Rig Explosion and Your Personal Finances

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

What has happened from the gulf oil rig explosion and is about to happen to the Louisiana coast is going to cost all of us. It won’t be pretty but even Mr. ToughMoneyLove is disturbed by what is happening there. Read more

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Investing for a Worst Case Scenario

April 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Economics

The past two years have seen endless bailouts and rescue attempts initiated by the government toward those who are financially inept, clueless, or reckless (e.g., Wall Street). (OK, in some cases – a minority – the bailees have just been unlucky.) Some folks think that these massive government interventions will lead to a more calamitous economic conditions in the coming years. Read more

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When a Budget Really Isn’t

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Budgeting

A topic frequently covered by personal finance bloggers is “budgeting.” (I’ve already commented on another dominant yet misguided topic: “How to improve your credit score.”) I read a post last week by a blogger who claimed to have a budget while saying that she hated budgeting. I think her “I hate budgeting” feeling trumped the “I have a budget” pronouncement because the numbers she reported were budget busters, both wide and deep. I’m not going to call her out by linking to her post. There isn’t much worth reading over there anyway unless you are the type that likes to stare at accident scenes. Read more

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Hard Truth Week in Review – Cynics Edition

April 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

I’m a generally cynical person about personal finance. No surprise there. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I’m just owning up to my flaws as a human being. Here’s an explanation of why you may be a cynic too.

Here are a few more cynical readings in the world of money. Read more

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Asking the Wrong Personal Finance Questions, Repeatedly

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I scan the headlines of dozens of personal finance blogs each day. Occasionally, I actually read the article behind the headline. There is one headline that I see repeatedly across the personal finance blogosphere: “How to Improve Your Credit Score.” I never read those articles. The reason is that I don’t like the question presented by this “how to” teaser. Read more

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I-Bond Decision Time

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Investing

Long time readers know that Mr. ToughMoneyLove is a fan of inflation-protected government bonds, namely TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) and Series Savings Bonds, a/k/a I Bonds. Now is a good time to consider your options for investing in some I-Bonds. Read more

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The Questionable Logic of Extended Unemployment Benefits

April 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Economics

Congress has again extended unemployment benefits, this time June 2. I’ve lost count of the number of extensions that have been passed and the billions that have been spent. This won’t be the last. Our President wants to extend them through the end of the year. He really means through Election Day but he can’t say that for public consumption. Besides, what’s a few billion here and there when votes are at stake? Read more

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Save as They Say, Not as They Do

April 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Marriage and Money

You knew this was bound to happen. When it comes to saving money, some of today’s parents are telling their children to do as they say but not as they did. Read more

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My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer – Season Finale

April 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Taxes

I finished my second tax season as a volunteer tax preparer. It was hectic with lots of last minute filers scrambling for appointments. I had several interesting experiences. Read more

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Tax Return is Finished

April 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Taxes

I finished our tax return today. I’m leaving town on Tuesday for a few days so I had to wrap up early. The only thing that surprised me about this year’s return is that we got hit with a small bit of the AMT – alternative minimum tax. This development demonstrates how skewed the AMT has become. We have no tax-sheltering activities except for 401(k) deferrals. ¬†We pay a giant heap of tax every year. The AMT was not designed for people like us yet there it is, raising its ugly head on our return. Thanks Congress for this nice gift of illogic. Read more

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