Do these tax facts surprise you?1) In 1913, the federal tax code was 400 pages long. Today, it's grown to about 70,000 pages. That's 50 times longer than Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.
2) According to one count, there are over 3.7 million words in the tax code.
3) Since the beginning of 2001, there have been over 3,250 changes to the tax code -- an average of more than one a day. More than 500 changes were made in 2008 alone.
4) The IRS sends out an average of eight billion pieces of paper every tax season. If each sheet were laid out end-to-end, it would wrap around the earth 28 times.
5) In order for the IRS to print all that paper, over 300,000 trees are cut down every year. (Just one more reason to consider filing online.)
6) Tax Day is... April 17? The date when tax returns must be filed with the IRS usually lands on April 15. However, if April 15 is a weekend or holiday, Tax Day is moved to the next business day. In 2012, April 15 will land on the weekend, so Tax Day is bumped to the following Monday.
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Do these tax facts surprise you?1) In 1913, the federal tax code was 400 pages long. Today, it's grown to about 70,000 pages. That's 50 times longer than Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.Read More »from 20 Surprising Facts Most Taxpayers Don't Know
Use these extreme tips to save $10,000 this year. Who wouldn't like to make more money in 2012? Well, if a raise isn't on your horizon, the next best thing is to slash expenses.
I know what you are saying, "I've poured over my budget and there isn't anything else left to cut." Maybe you just haven't thought outside the box.
People often rule out drastic cost cutting that could amount to substantial savings every month. That doesn't mean it will be painless, but by realigning the idea of needs and wants, you can easily eliminate unnecessary expenses that can help you get ahead. Here are five extreme cuts that can yieldserious savings:
1. Downgrade Your Mobile Phone Account.
You would think that the world wasn't able to function before iPhone, Android or Blackberry and yet everyone seemed to do just fine. Sure it is convenient, but do you really need to access email at all times 24 hours a day? Downgrading your cell phone plan can save you from $30 to $50 a month on data charges. It isn't too hard to just use a smartRead More »from 5 Extreme Ways to Save More Than $10,000 in 2012
- InvestingAnswers | Work + Money – Mon, Feb 6, 2012 6:49 PM EST
Stop being a wage slave. Have you ever heard of a wage slave?
Even worse... are you one?
Wage slaves may live in big houses. They might drive Porsches. It doesn't matter how "rich" you look, if you can't walk away from your job -- even for a second -- because you would no longer be able to pay the bills, you're a wage slave.
Most people want to retire at some point. Some people even want to retire early. Others just want a short-term retirement to raise their kids, travel or simply smell the roses.Regardless of the "why," the problem is usually the "how." How do you pay your bills without that paycheck coming in each month? How do you escape wage slavery?
First, you need to spend less than you make. If you can't (or won't), you will never be financially independent.
Second, your savings must generate enough income to pay the bills for you. That means a) you must grow and protect your savings, i.e. your net worth, and b) your wealth must generate a decent amount of cash.
Sounds easyRead More »from How to Become Financially Independent in 5 Years or Less
The benefits of a single-income household. If you total every expense from child care and health care to groceries and recreation, the first 18 years of a child's life can cost a small fortune -- $190,528 to be exact. Child care alone can cost around $4,300 a year for one child, according to Bankrate.com.Read More »from 5 Reasons One Parent Should Stay at Home
So, let's say you have two kids. If one parent stays home instead of working, you could save close to $10,000 a year.
For most couples, deciding who works and who stays home comes down to plain economics. Some parents would love to be able to stay home with their child, but they simply can't afford it. Others love their kids but also love to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of American children live in two-income households.
Still, a family can benefit by sticking to the one-income model. Here are five practical reasons why one parent should stay at home:
Wait… what?! Isn't it kind of a no-brainer that having both parents work means much more money and fewer financial stresses? Not
How to make this tax season stress-free. For most of us, the stress of tax season is so overwhelming that we put it off until we just can't put it off anymore. To prevent this year from being a repeat of the last, here are 10 tips to keep you in the right frame of mind as tax time approaches:Read More »from 10 Tips to Take the Pain Out of Tax Season
1. Organize your documents: If you're like most people, your receipts, forms, checks and statements are either crammed in a shoebox or strewn about the house. Gather all of your tax documents and make two little piles:
A. Income & Investments -- W-2s & any form that starts with 1099
B. Deductions -- Receipts for deductible expenses & any form that starts with 1098
When you're done organizing, retire the old shoebox. You can go to any office supply store and get a well-made file folder or binder to hold your documents. In fact, get two -- one for this year and one for next year. Having a good-looking home for your documents will make it easier to stay organized and will make you feel better about the whole process.
2. Get your family
- InvestingAnswers | Work + Money – Wed, Jan 18, 2012 12:32 PM EST
Should you buy a bed on Craigslist? What about a guitar?Need a kitchen table, a road bike or an acoustic guitar? You could browse the big box stores and shell out the cash for a new model. Or, you could hop on Craigslist.Read More »from Mastering Craigslist: 3 Used Treasures to Look For, 3 Duds to Avoid
Since its launch nearly 16 years ago, Craigslist.org has become a more popular place to buy and sell items online than even eBay -- thanks to its ease of use and the fact that anyone can list or browse items on the site for free.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Craigslist is essentially an online version of a "classifieds" page you'd find in your local newspaper.
In recent years, the site has stirred up some controversy, ranging from illicit posts in a now defunct "adult's only" section to criminals using the site to find victims. But it should be known that Craigslist is more than crazy online flea market full of "rants and raves" and scams. The site can save you some serious money -- not to mention time and gas spent shopping -- if you know what to look for.
Of course, there are some things you don't want to buy
By Gwynneth AndersonRead More »from 4 Ways a Postnup Can Save Your Marriage
It's not too late for a postnup. USA Today reports that while only 3% of those with a spouse or fiancé have actually signed a prenuptial agreement, there are no specific statistics at this time on the number of people who signed postnuptial agreements. Attorney Michele Sacks Lowenstein of Lowenstein Brown tentatively estimates that perhaps 1.5% of all married couples have one.
Most people know about prenuptial agreements even if they haven't signed one themselves. Ask about postnuptial agreements and chances are a questioning look will appear on their faces.
Are these things possible? Are they even legal?
Postnuptial Agreements: A Short History
The confusion is understandable. Court acceptance of postnuptial agreements is only a relatively recent phenomenon. During the 1800s, U.S. common law held that a husband and wife could not make a legally binding contract between themselves. The reasoning behind this theory was simple. A husband and wife merged together into one at the time of marriage.
- InvestingAnswers | Work + Money – Thu, Jan 12, 2012 1:55 PM EST
Should you ditch your credit cards for a prepaid debit card?Read More »from Should You Dump Your Credit Card for a Prepaid Debit Card?
By Gwynneth Anderson
Are your credit cards feeling the holiday pain? Maybe it's time to try shopping with a different kind of plastic.
Prepaid debit cards, also known as reloadable debit cards, are the latest fad in consumer financial products.
Accepted everywhere traditional credit and debit cards are taken, prepaids offer access only to the amount of money originally loaded onto the card (so no overdraft fees), as well as a number of other benefits for anyone working within budget boundaries.
For consumers tired of the seemingly endless bank fees nibbling away at their hard-earned cash, these cards appear to be a great way to thumb your nose at the banking industry as a whole. Or so it would seem.
What Are Prepaid Debit Cards?
Prepaid debit cards have traditionally catered to the unbanked and under-banked consumers, terms used to describe low-wage earners with bad credit or those with few banking options in lower-income neighborhoods. These consumers are more likely to use check
ByWhile there are plenty of things to be worried about in the news today -- from debt ceilings, to high unemployment rates, to environmental disasters -- a financial crisis can happen in any number of ways. Read More »from 8 Steps to Survive a Personal Financial Crisis
Having a financial plan in place will help you overcome any of these global financial events, or occurrences closer to home such as a lay off or sudden illness or injury.
The idea is to place your financial house in such a position that you're protected regardless of the financial storm that may arise.
1. Create a Back-Up Plan
Your first step is to prepare a household budget. List all of your monthly expenses. Make sure you include the money that you spend on your rent or mortgage, as well as transportation, leisure activities and groceries.
Next, start to eliminate non-essential items like entertainment, second car payments, gym memberships, etc. This is the bare-bones number you need each month to survive, financially speaking.
In the event of a loss of
Save the most money in 2012.
If you find yourself continually overspending, you are not alone. Americans are seemingly addicted to consumption and it has brought about the highest levels of credit card debt in the history of our nation.
Every year, we vow not to spend more than we make, yet many of us fail this resolution time and time again.
You can't just have good intentions to spend less; you've have to make a plan and stick to it.
But it's not that easy. Curbing your desire to spend requires real behavioral change and sometimes it takes new strategies to get yourself motivated.
So with that in mind, here are some new strategies that can help you take control of your spending habits in 2012.
Saving Strategy #1: The Old Standby -- Make a Budget and Set Financial Goals
Now, this might be a little bit like telling someone with a weight problem to "just eat less." However, the first step to curb spending is to actually know how much you can spend in the first place.
Making aRead More »from 6 New Ways to Save in 2012