Articles by Jill

You Can Afford It… but Should You?

Posted by Jill on August 12, 2015

Recently I gave you a set of criteria to use when wondering if you can afford something. Whether that “something” is a pair of shoes or the trip of a lifetime, I listed a number of questions you can ask yourself to objectively decide if your budget/savings can withstand the expenditure. Even if you can […]

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Can You Afford It?

Posted by Jill on August 10, 2015

Whether or not you’re a fan of Suze Orman or other financial experts, you’ve probably heard of her popular TV segment, “Can I Afford It?” On each episode of her show, callers ask permission to purchase items/experiences ranging from concert tickets to vacations to cars to second homes. Suze asks them a variety of questions […]

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6 Mistakes of New Earners and How to Fix Them

Posted by Jill on August 3, 2015

Years ago, in the fall after graduation, I had been out of college for five months and working full time for three. I was making more money than I ever had in my life, and had no idea what to do with it. Then I read The Automatic Millionaire and The Money Book for the […]

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Claiming Dependents on Your Tax Return

Posted by Jill on March 19, 2015

Most taxpayers are well aware of the deduction that comes from claiming dependent children on their taxes. But what are the rules on claiming dependents on taxes? And what about other relatives? And, when can those formerly claimed as dependents on someone else’s return begin to claim themselves? If someone else can claim you as […]

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How Do Tax Brackets Work?

Posted by Jill on March 4, 2015

Are you getting ready to file your taxes? If so, you might find yourself needing a slight refresher on how tax brackets work before the tax deadline. The US tax system is based on a progressive rate structure – the more income you make, the higher tax rate you pay. How Do Tax Brackets Work? […]

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Take Advantage of Retirement Catch-Up Contributions

Posted by Jill on February 19, 2015

If you’re over 50 and diligent about retirement savings, you may be maxing out both your 401k and traditional or Roth IRA. But to really supercharge your savings and make sure you are extra-prepared for retirement, you should also take advantage of catch up contributions. Catch-up contributions are special provisions that allow you to contribute […]

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What Should Your Financial Pie Chart Look Like?

Posted by Jill on October 1, 2014

I’m a numbers girl. Always have been, and always will be. I see things in numbers and fractions and percentages. Budgeting and tracking my spending comes easy for me because of that. But if you’re a visual person, you might find it a little harder to stay aware of your financial situation. So today, I […]

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IRS Form W9

Posted by Jill on February 9, 2014

IRS Form W9 is similar to the Form W-4 that is used for employees, but does not lead to withholding. What is a W9 Form? Form W-9 is used to request a tax identification number and other information that can later be used to populate tax forms such as 1099s. When do you Use a […]

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Itemized Deductions

Posted by Jill on February 8, 2014

When you file your taxes, you have the option to either claim the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. While the standard deduction is a set amount, itemized deductions will vary from person to person. As such, if you have a large number of itemized deductions you will likely be able to reduce your tax […]

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Standard Deduction

Posted by Jill on

What is a standard deduction? How much is your standard deduction? When you fill out your tax return, you report your gross income. But before you calculate your taxes owed, you reduce your income by claiming deductions. Each year, the government publishes a standard deduction amount that is indexed to inflation. Tax payers can choose […]

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