Reflections On 2011

Posted December 31st, 2011 in Goals and Reflections by Jeremy Waller

Well my friends…2011 is nearly over.

At the end of each year I tell myself that it seems like the year has flown by.

So much has happened that it seems like it doesn’t all fit into the last 12 months.

It has been a fantastic year, full of many highs and very few lows. Continue Reading »

Simple Year End Tax Planning Strategies You Can Do On Your Own

Posted December 27th, 2011 in Taxes by Jeremy Waller

With just a few short days until the end of the year, the deadline is quickly approaching to complete your tax planning.

I would venture a guess that most people don’t put much though into tax preparation. They just wait until all of their W-2s, 1099s, brokerage statements and other paper work to come in the mail. Then they sit down to do their taxes sometime before April 15th.

That strategy (or lack of one) could cause you to pay more than you need to. If done right, proper tax planning could save you thousands on you tax bill. Continue Reading »

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Merry Christmas Edition

Posted December 25th, 2011 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas this year. It was our boys’ first Christmas. They’re still too little to know what’s going on, but they did seem to enjoy trying to eat the wrapping paper.

We’ll take a lot of memories from this year, though we’re looking forward to next year when they’ll be able to open their own presents and have a little better idea of what Christmas is.

Top Posts of the Week

My University Money posted Tracking Your Expenses – The First Step to Budgeting - ”Why track? why not just do a budget? We’ll explain why”

20′s Finance posted Getting a Bank Loan - ”Learn about what factors you need to consider when you are going to take out a bank loan and why you should use it as a last resort.” I also liked Corey’s post Keep My Day Job? at Passive Income to Retire, – “In my plan to retire from passive income, I have often questioned at what point will I quit my day job. It is hard to pass up on some of the benefits that my day job offers. Find out what my plan is.”

My Broken Coin posted Is Hoarding The New Frugal? - ”My friend is a very frugal person: she counts every penny, she evaluates every purchase, and she does her research before she decides to buy anything whether it is a car or a pair of shoes. Read her story here!”

101 Centavos posted Caffe? Break: Walk-away Negotiating - ”Learn about walk away negotiating, be perpared to use this techique if you have to.”

Money Q&A posted Three Christmas Gifts To Give Your Children That Keep On Giving - ”There are a few examples of Christmas gifts to your children such as Roth IRA contributions that will keep on giving long after the holiday season has ended.”

Money Reasons posted Controlling Christmas Costs - ”This is how I control Christmas Costs in the past, present and future. These strategies that worked for me and perhaps will work for you!”

Sweating The Big Stuff posted Give This Gift If You Want To Piss Off Your Husband - ”I love getting surprises, but there’s one I wouldn’t be too thrilled with. If Lauren ever does this to me, we’d have a problem. What do you think?”

Thousandaire posted Thousandaire Countdown #2 – HTPC Rap - ”The HTPC Rap is my best (and only) rap song. It’s also the second best song I’ve ever done.”

Funancials posted I Only Listen to Technocrats - ”Technocrats are becoming very popular in within our debt-stricken governments. Greece and Italy have already placed two technocrats in charge of their countries, now which countries will follow?”

The Family CEO posted The Top Three Things I’ve Sold Online – “These are the top three things that I have sold online that were big wins for me!”

Finance Fox posted Thinking of Going Back to Former Employer – Would You? - ”Returning to a former employer is real trend and it’s happening in all industries. The trend is appropriately dubbed as (boomeranging.) No one said, all relationships are perfect the first time, maybe the second time around is the charm.”

Newlyweds on a Budget posted The Biggest Myths about Marriage - ”Long time married couples have often touted these three soundbites as the best kept secret to a long-lasting marriage. But I’m here to tell you why these are the biggest marriage myths of all time.”

Smart Family Finance posted Will a College Degree Increase Your Odds of Becoming Wealthy? - ”Do you want to better your odds at become part of the wealthiest 1% of Americans? Gallup polling results show that you should consider getting a graduate degree. Half of those in the top 1% of wage earners have one.”

Your Finances Simplified posted Work Hard and Shut Up! - ”I promise you, that if you worked this hard at anything your life would be different!  Mrs. YFS and I were at our local IHOP to take advantage of some of their seasonal pancakes and stumbled upon this very ambitious and dedicated employee who is the basis of my story.”

The Miracle Journal posted Using Money - ”Over the last couple of months, I’ve talked a lot about how dysfunctional my relationship with money has been. Tonight I have another confession to make – the degree to which I have used money to hold others at arm’s length, and even to destroy relationships.”

Chelsea Prescotti posted Foreclosure: Just the Facts - ”Those who have low incomes or lose their jobs are not the only ones that may be facing foreclosure. There are various reasons people have difficulty making ends meet and eventually face foreclosure because they are unable to make their mortgage payments. Individuals from all walks of life deal with foreclosure, and it is more common than most people realize. If they miss even one payment on their mortgage, it is very difficult to catch up because they must make their current payment in addition to the missed payment.”

Dr. Dean posted Decisions: How YOU Can Improve! - ”Do you make good decisions? The decisions we make impact all areas of our life, including our finances. Join me in a review of the process and ways to improve your method.”

The Turtle Method posted How to Become a Fabulous Cook - ”How to be a good cook and save money at the same time.”

The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week

And my pick of the week is……

Control your Cash’s post: Beware of IPOs Wearing Bright Colors - ”Six weeks in, Groupon has fallen 10% from its IPO value. The company’s market capitalization is $14.72 billion. That’s more than the market cap of Bed, Bath & Beyond, which is the largest retailer of its kind; a 40-year old company with 1000 stores that actually sells something tangible and turns a healthy profit.”

I have a tech IPO fetish. 2011 has been an interesting year with LinkedIn, Groupon and the latest contestant – Zynga.

All have followed the same path – a super hyped up road show – an inflated initial pricing and a swift decline shortly thereafter. I’m interested to see what happens with the Facebook IPO next year…

The Importance of Short Term Financial Goals

Posted December 20th, 2011 in Financial Freedom by Jeremy Waller

The Importance of Setting Short Term Goals

Good financial stewardship isn’t conceptually difficult. You don’t need a PhD in advanced mathematics to put together a budget. You don’t need to be a stock broker to understand how to invest and save for retirement.

If that’s true, then why do so many people struggle with their finances?

It’s because 90% of the battle is mental. For some, they can’t separate their emotions from their finances. For others, they get so overwhelmed that they just refuse to deal with money.

You can’t address financial problems without also addressing the root of the issue. Continue Reading »

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – 30k Challenge Edition

Posted December 18th, 2011 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

30k Challenge

Howdy folks – this week I’m announcing a new challenge that I’m taking on next year. The Online Money Bloggers 30k challenge. This site has started to earn a bit of income here and there. So I figure – why not set an income goal and see what happens? The primary goal of PFW is and always will be to give people the knowledge they need to make smart decisions with their finances.

I won’t be posting any income updates on here. I don’t want to distract from this site’s primary focus. However, if you’re interested in my progress everything will be posted on the Online Money Bloggers site. Continue Reading »

The Bad Credit Conundrum

Posted December 15th, 2011 in Credit Cards by Jeremy Waller

The following is a guest post from one of our readers

Bad credit can make it difficult for someone to qualify for new lines of credit or even, in some cases, land a much-needed job, which is a worrisome catch-22. How can you go about rebuilding your credit if there aren’t any lenders willing to take a chance on you?

The good news is that credit cards for bad credit do exist and they have helped many credit scores begin that slow ascent back to healthy levels.

How Do These Types of Credit Cards Help?

Commonly referred to as “bad-credit credit cards”, the types of cards for which consumers with poor credit can qualify do not have those tempting 0% introductory offers, nor do they come with incredibly low interest rates.

Bad-credit credit cards will generally have higher interest rates because they are used as a means of rebuilding credit. Borrowers with bad credit are considered riskier than those with great scores, so any type of loan will come with higher interest rates regardless of the financial product. The best thing to do is to shop for these credit cards online by using comparison tools to get the best interest rate and credit card terms for your situation.

Even if the interest rate is higher than you would like, you can easily avoid paying interest, which actually helps improve your score faster. The simplest way to do this is to only charge amounts to your card that you can afford to pay off at the end of every month before the interest has a chance to accumulate. Not only will you avoid interest, but your pristine repayments will be reported to the credit bureaus, bumping up your score.

Never charge more to your credit card than you can comfortably afford to pay in full each month. Maintaining this strict habit for as little as six months may allow you to qualify for mainstream lower-interest rate cards.

An alternative is a secured credit card, which requires a certain amount of money down as a security deposit in order to establish a borrowing limit. The borrowing limit is essentially the security deposit, so you never have to worry about spending more money than you have and your payment history will be reported to the three major credit bureaus. Secured cards come with additional fees that will end up costing more than the security deposit, as well as interest rates, so compare products before making a final decision.

Anyone with poor credit can benefit from these types of cards. Bad-credit credit cards can boost your credit score more quickly than personal loans or other types of financial products. As long as you use the credit card regularly and pay off the balance on time, you can overcome the bad credit conundrum.

How Much Should I Spend On a House

Posted December 14th, 2011 in Real Estate by Jeremy Waller

Calculate A Mortgage Payment

Buying your first home can be overwhelming. You’re signing you name to a document that commits you to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 15-30 years.

That’s not a decision you should take lightly. Continue Reading »

How To Live On One Income – A Budget For A One Income Family

Posted December 12th, 2011 in Budgeting by Jeremy Waller

Can you live on one income? It may not seem like if you have always had a two income household. But its totally doable.

A year ago, I might have felt differently, but this year we’ve moved to one income in our household. With the birth of our twin boys we made the decision that my wife would stay home to take care of them. It has been totally worth it for her to be able to say home, but the reality is it has had a significant impact on our finances. Continue Reading »

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Chinese Buffet Edition

Posted December 10th, 2011 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

I love Chinese buffets. However, my wife does not. That means about the only way I can go to one is if I go by myself. I really hate going out to eat by myself though. So it’s a bit of a catch 22.

Anyone in Oklahoma City want to hit up a Chinese buffet? Give me a call.

Top Posts of the Week Continue Reading »

How To Reap The Full Benefits of Debt Advice

Posted December 7th, 2011 in Debt by Jeremy Waller

Sample Average Monthly Budget For a Single Person Or College Student

This following is a guest post from one of our readers.

It goes without saying that we could all use a bit of help with our debt. It also goes without saying, that if you’re looking for quality, it comes at a price. There’s a world of difference between merely browsing the web for some trivial information and getting truly professional debt advice. In fact, it could make that decisive difference between eventually having to file for bankruptcy and being able to get back into the black again. Continue Reading »