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6 reasons why you won't go to personal-finance hell if the IRS owes you money.

By Karen Datko Mar 18, 2010 5:17PM

This guest post comes from Darwin at Darwin's Finance.


With tax time approaching, you’re going to see writers and television talking heads chastise you for the “free loan” you gave the U.S. government last year if you’re receiving a tax refund. With the average tax refund estimated at $2,700 or so for the 2009 tax year, that’s roughly $50 per week you could have had in your account instead of in the government’s coffers, right?


Let’s consider the realistic reasons you won’t go to finance hell if you get a tax refund. Not the hypothetical, but the pragmatic.


Interest rates are a joke.


Economic woes have accelerated a trend toward multigenerational households that began in 1980.

By Teresa Mears Mar 18, 2010 3:37PM

It’s certainly not surprising to hear that the United States has more multigenerational households than it did a decade ago -- 30% more, as more young adult children move back home. More elderly people also are moving back in with family.


What is interesting is that the trend toward multiple generations sharing a home has been going on since 1980, and only part of it is economically motivated. Think of it as "The Waltons 2.0."


Bundle: Couples with kids spend 14% more than couples without.

By Janet Paskin Mar 18, 2010 1:56PM

Kids are expensive. They outgrow their clothes every year and drink milk by the cow-full. Add extras like braces, summer camp and piano lessons, and more than one parent will testify to the financial drain -- worth every penny! -- of raising a kid. Which raises the question: Would you be better off, financially speaking, if you skipped the procreation?


If you believe that carrying a balance is good for your credit score or that bankruptcy will eliminate student loans, keep reading.

By Karen Datko Mar 18, 2010 12:21PM

This guest post comes from Ron Haynes at The Wisdom Journal.


What if much of what you think you know is wrong?


Just because a belief is widespread and pervasive doesn’t mean that it’s true. If you read or hear something about personal finance or money, take a few moments to think it through. Do some independent research to see if there could be another side to the coin. And never let a financial myth stand in the way of achieving your financial goals. The only way one of these money myths can stop you is if you believe it.


I assembled some pervasive money myths after listening to unsuccessful people over the years. This is a big list, but I’ll bet you have a few you could add to it. Which of these have you heard?


How much are you paying for the convenience of someone else washing your lettuce?

By Karen Datko Mar 18, 2010 10:35AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


Every time I visit the grocery store, I’m amazed to see how much of the produce section is taken up with prepackaged fresh foods. You know what I’m talking about -- bags of prewashed lettuce, precut apples, precut celery, precut pineapple.


I understand why such items are for sale: They’re convenient. It’s easier to just grab a bag of prewashed romaine lettuce than it is to grab a head of romaine and deal with it when you get home.


Yet, when you look at the prices, you’re actually paying a significant markup.


If you're fed up with high fees and poor service, you might rather switch than fight.

By Teresa Mears Mar 17, 2010 5:31PM

These days, it seems as if we’re all suffering from irreconcilable differences with our banks and contemplating divorce, either because of higher fees or poor service.


A new Web site seeks to make the process easier. It won’t get you a divorce lawyer, but it promises to help you find a better bank.


Cut cost -- and calories -- with these easy-to-follow suggestions. Cheers.

By Karen Datko Mar 17, 2010 5:29PM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


Top o’ the afternoon to ye, my fellow Irish, part-Irish, and Irish-on-March-17-only. I raise a pint of Guinness to you, since today, of all days, calls for a drink.

Alas, alcohol is expensive, and certain beverages come with calorie counts you’d expect only from a Double Whopper. So, how can one quaff without ending up as nutritionally and financially bankrupt as '70s-era meat loaf? Read on …


Use Congress' sometimes-ignored pay-as-you-go rule in your own home.

By Karen Datko Mar 17, 2010 4:20PM

This guest post comes from Jason at Frugal Dad.


U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky created quite a stir by holding out his vote for extending unemployment benefits. His contention was that it violated the PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) rules that Congress and the president had reinstated just a month earlier. Bunning eventually caved and the benefits were extended, but just because the government won't operate under PAYGO doesn’t mean we the people can’t.



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