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Archive for February 2009

February 2009 - Net Worth Update and Personal Finance Status

Published 2/28/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Due to a momentary cash crunch of my own, my net worth finally dipped during the month of February after months of steady and fairly consistent increases. The decrease in my total assets in comparison to my total liabilities can be attributed to a convergence of simultaneous factors related to the current economic downturn, such as non payments by my cash strapped legal clients (my part time day job) and noticeably late pay checks from my online businesses' affiliate advertisers. This month in particular, I also had to withdraw a fairly large sum of money from my emergency cash savings fund for family health reasons - primarily to make a good faith contribution to my Alzheimer's-afflicted grandmother's assisted care fund. Thus for reasons foreseen and unforeseen, this month necessitated that I dip into my savings and siphon funds from my monthly income stream more so than usual. However, I'm pretty confident the late income payments will be rectified and added onto the following month's networth update, very possibly resulting in a higher than usual revenue report boost at that time.

Times Are Tough - Let's Hope President Obama Knows What He's Doing

In light of the ongoing financial crisis and economic recession, I wake up everyday thanking God for my continuous self employment and my ongoing ability to generate a fairly steady income. Times are certainly very difficult right now and thus far I've been able to dodge the painful recession bullets. Only a few years ago I was unemployed and found myself having to

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Review Of MyFICO and My FICO Credit Score Watch Discounts

Published 2/27/09  (Modified 3/2/12)

By MoneyBlueBook

Special Offer: 30% Off Using MyFICO Coupon Discount�� Code - MYFICOIS8, Or 20% Off With�� - CPPSAVINGS

As someone who believes the FICO credit score is the single most important number in any person's financial life, I track my own credit score and FICO changes closely and religiously. While admittedly a rather mundane and financially nerdy task, the routine monitoring of one's credit score has far reaching financial benefits beyond just ensuring one's continuous ability to apply for cheap credit or qualify for a discount loan at great rates. A high FICO credit score has broad ramifications that affect everything from your ability to get the best home mortgage rates and the cheapest car insurance premiums, to your capability of stopping identity theft in its tracks. For those that share my appreciation of maintaining a perpetually high FICO score, the practice is made easier with convenient and user-friendly online tracking tools that provide periodic email updates on credit score changes with updated and archived graphs that trace credit score changes over time.


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The Visa Black Card - Cash Back Rewards With Concierge Service

Published 2/16/09  (Modified 3/11/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

Recession? What Recession? Presenting - The New Visa Black Credit Card

Currently, the economy is undergoing a major recession, with consumer spending tanking, and dire ramifications emerging for the future of our financial and banking systems. But if you examined the newly released promotional material and advertisement literature for the new Visa Black Card, you might have thought otherwise. With an eye popping annual fee and lavish credit card perks oozing to great excess, this new credit card offer from the renown Barclays Bank definitely does not reflect the current mainstream economic sentiment.

The Original Black Card Craze

Years ago, the first card to emerge and promote itself through rumors and word of mouth marketing as the ultimate status symbol for high net worth spenders - was the American Express Centurion Black Card. With its extravagant spending perks and incredibly high credit limits, enough to buy a few palatial mansions and small estates with just a few card swipes, the Amex Black Centurion Card was considered to be the ultimate materialistic status symbol of its day, at least to those superficial few that actually cared about those types of things. Known as the first true "Black Card", the Amex Centurion program's strong reputation of exclusivity enabled it to attract the interest of a certain wealthy and high pedigree clientele - invite-only applicants, who were willing to spend more than $250,000 a year on their existing American Express credit cards and pay an annual fee of $2,500 to gain entrance into the exclusive program.


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Free Tax Preparation Software and Free Online Tax Filing Help

Published 2/15/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Review Of Free Tax Filing Software Options - TurboTax, TaxCut, and TaxAct

Tax day is a stressful and confusing time for many people as we scramble around with our W-2's and 1040 forms, but it doesn't have to be. Currently, there is a wealth of free tax filing resources available to help people like us with timely and accurate tax preparation, courtesy of organizations like the IRS and the U.S. government. Thus, even those those who do not have the extra financial means to afford premium tax software programs like TurboTax and Taxcut still have a wide selection of competent tax assistance programs at their disposal. Depending on their individual demographics such as age or income, and depending on the availability of other special status factors such as active duty in the armed services, certain taxpayers may even qualify for free federal government sponsored tax preparation assistance and free tax filing.

Free Tax Filing With IRS Free File Offers and Non Profit Volunteer Tax Preparation Services

The various free tax preparation and free tax filing services available can be broken down into two broad categories - offers that stem from the federal government's partnership program to bring affordable partially subsidized tax filing services to lower income people, and offers that are provided by volunteer tax organizations funded by non-profit interest groups.

Taxpayers who wish to prepare and file their taxes electronically for free can take advantage of the "Free File" tax return preparation program provided by private tax vendors such as Turbo Tax, Tax Cut, and Tax Act,

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Tax Preparation Software: Compare the Best Online Tax Preparation

Published 2/11/09  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Review Of TurboTax and TaxCut Online Tax Preparation Software

According to some news statistics, more than half of all Americans hire a professional tax preparer to file their taxes. In this day and age, those kinds of stats frankly surprise me. I would have thought by now that the vast majority of Americans would have finally embraced the benefits of online tax preparation and the added cost saving advantages of utilizing do-it-yourself tax software products. Chalk it up to the continuous complexity of our marginal tax bracket system with all of its intricate income tax deductions and tax credit varieties or blame it on the tendency of people in general to outsource their financial responsibilities - but many people still stubbornly prefer to depend on professional tax experts to take care of their annual income tax filing obligations instead of doing it themselves.

For many people, filing income taxes is a painful, expensive, and dreaded task - but it really doesn't have to be. While I'm not suggesting the filing of one's income taxes will ever become an enjoyable experience (that will never happen), there are mitigating ways to make the process much more bearable. In the past, when April 15 tax day drew near, the only way to avoid having to flip open the bulky U.S. tax code or pour over the volumes of tax regulations and detailed tax commentaries, was to go out and pay $200-300 for an overpaid accountant or professional tax preparer to fill out the appropriate tax

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Second Stimulus Check For Obama 2009 Economic Stimulus Package?

Published 2/4/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Tax Cuts, Social Spending, and New Jobs - But What About Stimulus Checks?

A second economic stimulus package for 2009 is on the way and from the looks of things in the news, it appears newly minted President Barack H. Obama and his Democrat controlled House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are determined to ram the lucrative spending proposals through the legislative meat grinder no matter what, much to the chagrin of skeptical and deficit-weary Congressional Republicans.

As Congress debates the wisdom and intricate details of the current version of the 2009 economic stimulus package, it's clear that something needs to be done very soon to jumpstart and save our suffering economy before we spiral into a full blown economic depression. The unemployment rate is rising fast and everywhere you turn, there seems to be a never ending stream of unemployment and layoff news being announced everyday. The stock market has already shed more than half of its value since its peak in 2007, and billions to trillions of dollars worth of wealth have already been eliminated from the economy. Major banks and financial giants like Citibank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, once the financial pillars of our economy and the lifeblood of our credit industry, are now clinging onto U.S. government bailout money for dear life - hoping to still be in business at the end of every quarter.

With its almost limitless resources, it's clear the federal government must intervene somehow and put this broken economy and financial system back on track to prosperity.

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