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Balance your checkbook every month

These days, most people don’t balance their checkbooks.  Most people don’t even keep checkbooks anymore.  Big mistake. Benefits of balancing your checkbook Discover bank errors. Identify bank fees. Find your mistakes. Discover undeposited checks that may have gotten lost in the mail.. Discover frauds against your account. Keep track of your bank balance. How to […]

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Happy New Year, SUCKER!

The Fiscal Cliff package passed this week. Rhetoric aside, your payroll taxes and self-employment taxes will most likely increase by 2% of your income. This means that if your business makes $100,000 this year, you’re going to need to send an additional $2,000 to Washington that you didn’t have to send last year. If you have a salary (gross […]

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How much does that smartphone really cost you?

Your smartphone probably costs more than you think, according to the this infographic from In 2010, the average smartphone cost $760 per year. Add to that $608/year in accessories, apps, and other costs, so that the average consumer easily pays well over $200 per month just for cell service. I don’t like monthly costs […]

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The 99 Cent Delusion

It’s on sale! Just $39.99! People tend to classify prices into “price points.”  For example, when planning to buy a new gadget, you will probably  decide to spend “about $100” or “about $500.”  You will definitely not decide to spend exactly $453.45, to the penny.  You’ll have a rough idea of how much you want […]

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The future of higher education

Originally posted on Accountinator:
I have been a college professor for 16 years, and I often ponder how the benefits of a college education exceed the costs. First, the costs: Four (or more) years of your life. A lot of money, especially in a private University. The opportunity costs – money you would have made…

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Should you reinvest dividends?

As an investor, should you reinvest dividends? There are several benefits to reinvesting dividends: avoiding commissions and fees on buying more stock; helping you to save money and reinvest it in your portfolio; encouraging you to reinvest money into the “winning” stocks that pay dividends. In short, unless you need the money for a more […]

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Deducting interest on your home mortgage

John Brown’s Farmhouse by Tony the Misfit, on Flickr Interest on your home mortgage is deductible from your taxes if you file Schedule A (i.e. you itemize deductions).  The mortgage must be secured by your home or your second home. Mortgage interest paid to individuals (such as a relative) are also tax deductible. Home equity […]

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Be an accountant

It’s not difficult to become an accountant. In my 15 years as an accounting professor, I’ve had the good fortune to help prepare thousands students for the accounting profession.  Many of them probably never considered accounting until they started to study it. Careers in accounting provide tremendous job satisfaction, high salaries, and comfortable job security. […]

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PE ratio: Is that stock overpriced?

Previously I wrote about the common misperception that a high-priced stock is “expensive,” while a low-priced stock is “cheap.”  I said that stock price doesn’t matter. This raises the inevitable question: Q. How can you tell if a stock is expensive or cheap? A. Use the Price-Earnings Ratio (aka the “PE Ratio”) The PE ratio […]

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Stock price does not matter

That’s right. The fact remains: Stock price does not matter. Huh? Many people think that the higher a stock price, the more “expensive” a stock.  The lower the stock price, the “cheaper” a stock.  Right now, as I write this (on April 19, 2012), Apple stock is trading at $595.55 a share.  Google is at […]

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