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Online Brokerage Firms

May 21st, 2007 at 07:42 pm

Do you have all your investments through one firm?

Who do you use and why?

I am trying to streamline things so it it easier to keep track of, is this wise?

Great savings

May 16th, 2007 at 08:12 pm

Wow, spent $26 for $99 worth of stuff tonight. I even impressed myself!!!!

NEED ADVICE on tracking my holdings in mutual funds . . .

May 15th, 2007 at 10:37 am

We have several mutual funds held in 401k and Roth IRA's and every now and than we purchase stocks. So, does anyone know a good site to track the holdings in each?

I just recently purchased a stock and didn't realize that it was one of the biggest holdings in 2 of our mutual funds.
Thankfully the stock is doing great, but I really don't want to buy stocks I already own in a mutual fund.

So, basically I need to find out how other people track this. Thanks for all your input!!!!!

YOUCANDOIT

Question on Home Value?????

May 4th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

What percentage do you use when figuring home value from the tax roll figure?

Or how do you figure out your home's value - without doing a new appraisal?

Thanks in advance for all your answers!!!

YOUCANDOIT

15% return in 5 weeks!!!!

March 27th, 2007 at 11:08 am

I purchased Gamestop on Valentine's Day and what a sweet stock it was. I sold today with a 15% gain. A nice return for only 5 weeks in the market.

Figuring how much life insurance - - -

March 20th, 2007 at 07:28 pm

I've always struggled with this one. I've read you should have 10-20 times your income in life insurance. But, to me that is so general. What about those that don't have debt, or very little debt or those that are in over their heads?
But, I was going through the Suzeorman.com and clicked on Women and Money site and in the 5th month down on the bottom there is a section with a worksheet. This worksheet is excellent!!!!
I sometimes worried that we didn't carry enough, but in actually we have more than enough. I also needed to figure this out this year as my 10 year term policy is almost over and everywhere I read the rates are down. So, I will be checking out pricing.
If anyone has done this lately and knows the best places to try -- let me know. Thanks a bunch!!! I currently am insured through Prudential.

529 opened and UPromise

March 20th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Okay. I opened up a 529 account to get the cash out of the UPromise account.
I opened the Iowa College Savings 529. I was able to open it with $25 and don't have to contribute if I don't want to. But, the money that was in my UPromise account will be put into the new account.
So, with the $25 I added in the $173 that was just sitting in that account. Each time the UPromise gets to $25 or quarterly they will add more to my account.
So, for a $25 investment I thought that was the way to do it.
But, I will continue to save for the kids in my Roth.

TD AMERITRADE ACCOUNT

March 20th, 2007 at 09:17 am

Went ahead and opened up an account to get the more than 16 percent ROI.
The account was really easy to open and took no more than 15 minutes. Easy money.

8 months of Emergency Cash???

March 19th, 2007 at 06:42 pm

Suze Orman says to save 8 months of emergency cash. I currently have 3 and feel more than comfortable.
What do you have?

Women and Money - Suze Orman

March 18th, 2007 at 07:50 pm

Bought the new Suze Orman book. I just couldn't resist. She was the first personal finance book I read many years ago. Back when we had credit card debt. I give her the credit for how far we have come. I think she's great for people who are just learning.
I bought the book because I figured I would take advantage of the TD Ameritrade free $100 if you make 12 -- $50 monthly contributions to a new account. That is a great return with no risk involved.

UPromise and 529 plans

March 17th, 2007 at 09:41 am

Have a UPromise account that has been accumulating free money. I didn't want to open a 529 plan a while back because you had to contribute every month. I don't really want to put anything in the kids names, as I think this will hurt their chances for aid when the time comes.
But, I noticed last night that the Iowa 529 doesn't make you contribute monthly. So, I am thinking of opening one with the money that is in the Upromise account and putting the account in my name.
At the present, my plans are to use money in my Roth to help the kids with college expenses. Although, I don't think we will fully fund their college, as I find that people that do that, their kids take it for granted and don't give college their all.
Any thoughts?

Gave notice - - - - - -

March 16th, 2007 at 11:24 am

Well, one of my Mom's gave notice that she will not be needing me any longer. I knew it was coming, since she moved quite far away and was still making the drive to my home. But, still a bummer losing a sweet little baby and of course the income that comes with it. So, I put an ad out as soon as I knew. The next day I already had a call and then an interview with the new person. They will be starting next week, but only for part time -- one day a week. It's not going to make up the loss in income, but it is a start. (Also, I had been using the extra income from this child towards my $20 challenge)
But, last night I got a call from an old friend that was looking for child care for a friend that has twins. So I am crossing my fingers!!! I have another little boy that will be starting school next year, so that would replace him. Early replace him, but that's okay it would be extra income for a few months.
So cross your fingers that I get a call from the prospective client. I know I am.

Pay personal loan or invest????

March 16th, 2007 at 11:18 am

Okay. I know we all struggle with this one. The personal loan was taken out with the agreement that we would pay it off when we sell our rental home. Now, I am thinking that if the renters that are there now, decide not to buy it next year -- we could rent it out again instead of selling it. But I still would feel the need to pay back the loan next year as it is a personal loan to a family member that was told the house would be sold next year. So, I have been putting money back each month to pay it back. Also, have been putting money aside for a Roth in my husband's name. The loan is set at 8% simple interest.

My question is: Should I send the money set aside for the new Roth towards the personal loan or should I go ahead and open the Roth so we don't miss out on a year of investing in the Roth?

Doubled cash back reward

March 15th, 2007 at 11:59 am

Changed my electric and cable bill to Citi Dividend card to get the 2% cash back reward. Previously had both billed on another card and was only getting 1 %. So I was getting approximately $48 back a year, now I will be getting back $96 back. Not a lot but the way I see it it's free money. Need to check with the utility company and see if they will let me pay by credit and get the 2 % from that too.
Bummer, though with Citibank they cancelled the 5% back on gas, groceries, and drug store. (I just got this notice)
But, we have another card that is still doing it until July of this year. So, I will be using that card for those purchases. It's not a cash back card but the 5% gets added up for a year and than sent to our mortgage company.
I went through all our rewards cards and made an updated list of which cards to use where to get the most cash back.

Best place to learn to do Tax Returns?

March 2nd, 2007 at 07:43 pm

Ok. So, I want to learn how to do other people's taxes. Obviously, not for this year. But, I am thinking into the future.
I do not have a degree. I would be willing to do some schooling -- either at night or online.
I am really just looking to use my brain and of course it could be a supplemental income.
Any ideas?

FEBRUARY UPDATE - $20 CHALLENGE

March 1st, 2007 at 11:08 am

Wow, it is amazing to me how much extra you can save when you put your mind to it.

Here's how we made out for February on our $20 challenge:

$540 extra child full time care for month
$100 late fee for rental property
$160 drop in child care
$32 vendor coupons savings for month
$20 brought daycare kids to dr. with me
saved on paying someone else to care
for them.
$4 rebate for shampoo from Walgreen's

$856 Total for the month of February!!!!
$4 more than last month!!!! Total YTD
is $1708.00



Smartmoney.com retirement calculator

February 28th, 2007 at 02:18 pm

Checked out this calculator on Smart Money
and found out that with the amount we have saved, if we didn't save any more - and made 8 percent interest on what we have so far -- we would have $26000 a year income in retirement.

Obviously, we are going to keep on saving, but it was interesting to see. Oh by the way, that was not including social security. Which I don't count on.

Market Looking OK today

February 28th, 2007 at 11:24 am

Okay. We took a nice beating yesterday. But, all seems to be doing all right today. It's time to take this opportunity to buy low.

OUCH -- ugly market day.

February 27th, 2007 at 06:39 pm

Scary what can happen in a day. UGLY

Restaurant.com

February 27th, 2007 at 11:17 am

This is pretty neat. Restaurant.com you can buy $25 gift certificates to restaurants for $10.

I checked it out for my area and it seems like most are the newer restaurants. Since I am a picky eater and we don't go out to eat that often -- we tend to stick with our favorites. But, I figured I'd throw it out there for everyone else. It's a great deal if you don't mind trying out newer places.

Kiplinger's Magazine

February 26th, 2007 at 06:46 pm

Funny how things change. About 10 years ago, my older brother bought me a year subscription to Kiplinger's. I would skim through it but really didn't get into it.

NOW, when I get it out of the mailbox -- I actually smile. Silly, I know. But, I love that magazine. I now read it cover to cover. It just shows how much I've grown up in the past 10 years and how much I've learned by reading and reading and reading more about financial stuff.

Now, I subcribe to Kiplinger's, Money, SmartMoney, Fortune and Forbes.

Anybody, know of any others that I should subscribe to?

Grocery vendor coupons

February 26th, 2007 at 06:40 pm

Saved $10 in vendor coupons today at the grocery store. Adding to the challenge.

I am $41 under what I saved last month for my challenge. I am still hoping to beat it. Only a few more days legt.

Saved $20 today

February 20th, 2007 at 05:03 pm

Well, I had a doctor appointment today and my friend that was going to watch the daycare kids for me couldn't make it. So I brought the kids with me to the doctor.
It wasn't that big of a deal and it saved me the $20 I would have paid her. I'll add it to the $20 challenge for this month.

Also, received a $4.00 mail in rebate check in the mail today. I will be adding that to the challenge this month also.

Fidelity Retirement Quick Check

February 20th, 2007 at 05:00 pm

Wow, what a great tool they have on this site for checking to make sure you are on track with your retirement savings. I read about it in the newest Money magazine. So I did a quick check and we are right where we should be. I will go in again another time and make sure my estimates for what we will need monthly are right.

Debit card, credit card or cash?

February 16th, 2007 at 11:05 am

I don't carry a lot of cash. I don't even own a debit card. I use my cash back credit card for most purchases.

Although, I use my credit card like a debit card. Which is to say that when I make a purchase I subract it from the checkbook. When I get the bill, I simply add up my highlighted items in the check register and write a check to the credit card company. I found this to be the best way for me. No surprise credit card bills or dreading opening the bill and cash back is the icing on my cake. (which makes a nice Christmas Savings account)

$20 Challenge YTD

February 15th, 2007 at 05:10 pm

January
$100 late fee from our tenants
$140 watched extra kids during school break.
$540 watching an extra child full-time ( this is income above and beyond what I normally bring in)
$25 watched extra child because their regular daycare was closed due to weather
$20 watched extra child
$27 coupon savings for month.
Total January $852 ($352 above goal for month) Whoo HOOO.

I think I will update this monthly. But so far for February, I have $575. Go Me.

I'm doing the $20 challenge!!!!!!

February 15th, 2007 at 05:03 pm

Okay,long story short. At the beginning of 2007, I started saving money that I wouldn't ordinarily save. I planned to put this towards a personal loan that I have. I have been keeping track in a notebook and putting the money into my ING account under Found Money Fund.

So, I will need to add $20 to it for it to be my official $20 Challenge.

Here is what I have done so far:

Each time I go to the grocery store I take my coupon total and put the money in the bank. (in the past, I used coupons but never put that money back) It is amazing to see how that money accumulates!!!
Each time I watch an extra child above and beyond my normal wages, that money gets put into the account. (I do child care)
Late fees from rental income.
My goal for each money is $500. So $6000 for the year.

VHS to DVD

February 15th, 2007 at 11:47 am

Well, one of my non-financial goals this year was to put all my vhs tapes to dvd. (only the family videos)

I saw a great deal for a combo player/recorder for $99 at Big Lots and went ahead and bought it.

I did my first DVD today and it went nice and smooth.

$20 Challenge Question????????

February 15th, 2007 at 11:44 am

Can someone tell me where to find out more about the $20 challege. I get bits and pieces of information but wanted to know more about it. It sounds like something I already started this year on my own. Basically, putting back found money that I wasn't counting on. Thanks.

Newspaper half-price

February 12th, 2007 at 10:58 am

I recently received a bill for my subscription for the Sunday newspaper for $138 for the year. Which breaks down to $2.65 a paper. Humm, the paper only costs $1.50 to buy at the store. This was a 77% markup. I always thought that when you subcribed you got a better rate since the company could count of your purchase.

So, I called customer service and told them I wanted to cancel my subscription because the rate was 77% higher than what I would pay at the store.

She than gave me the "half-price" rate. So I got a year subscription for $69. It pays to call!!!!!!!