How to Recover From a Financial Mistake

We all know that managing our personal finances can be stressful at best. Add to that loans, credit cards, mortgages, and every day purchases and the stress only increases.

Financial stress can be a burden to anyone, regardless of age. But the more seasoned one is in dealing with their finances, the more then can manage the stress and avoid making costly financial errors.

Millennials are a group who are especially prone to experiencing financial mishaps. Between raw ambition and a lack of knowledge and experience, one bad decision is more likely to spiral into financial disaster.

Mistakes are inevitable, but moving forward and addressing them requires a multi-step plan. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Accept the Problem – Successful financial recovery requires that you be honest with yourself and accept the reality of the situation. Take stock of your resources and assess your situation.
  2. Create a Goal – Use a S.M.A.R.T. system to ensure your goals are met. The attributes of this system are such that your goals need to be:
    1. Specific
    2. Measurable
    3. Attainable
    4. Realistic
    5. Timely
  3. Develop a Plan – Figure out how much money it will cost to get out of your financial burden, then determine how much you must set aside each pay period or month to meet this demand.
  4. Execute Your Plan – Put into motion the goals and plans you have developed so that you can resolve your financial dilemma and more forward and past it.
  5. Check In – Constantly assess your plan to make sure it is relevant to your situation. Make changes as needed to stay on track.
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Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

The following article was published by the IRS.

2018The Internal Revenue Service recently released Notice 1036, which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law.

The updated withholding information, posted today on IRS.gov, shows the new rates for employers to use during 2018. Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Feb. 15, 2018. They should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until implementing the 2018 withholding tables. Continue reading

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How Not to Blow Your Tax Refund

According to the IRS, the average tax return is approximately $2,800. While this seems like a welcome, sizable gift, it isn’t a gift at all. It’s your money – you are just getting a refund on your overpayment to Uncle Sam. So avoid the urge to blow your hard-earned money and follow these tips to use this money wisely. Continue reading

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Nine Facts About the Adoption Credit

The following article was published by the IRS.

familyAdoptive parents around the country may qualify for a tax credit. Parents who either adopted a child or tried to adopt a child may claim the adoption credit. Here are nine things you should know about this credit. Continue reading

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Easy Steps To Get Out Of Debt

Whether it’s from the recent holidays or from life in general, staring at a pile of debt can be downright overwhelming. But tackling this problem can actually be a lot easier than it seems. It just requires a well-thought-out approach.

The first step you should take is to get organized. This is actually the step that most people avoid, as if seeing the problem clearly might bring on more anxiety. But facing the problem for what it is is the only way to beat it. Write down every debt you owe to every creditor, including interest rates and due dates, so you can prioritize which needs to be paid first.

Once you have listed all your debts and can see your entire financial picture, it’s now time to formulate a plan. But before you do, step back and realize a few key points: Continue reading

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Strong Passwords Help Keep Tax Data Safe

The following article was published by the IRS.

Passwords are often the key to guarding access to personal information and data stored on computers or sent over email. Because most taxpayers file their returns electronically and access account information online, it is critical for taxpayers to not only create strong passwords for all tax-related accounts, but to do everything in their power to protect those passwords.

Here are seven things taxpayers should consider when creating and protecting passwords:

  • Longer passwords are safer and more difficult to guess. A strong password should be a minimum of eight characters. It should include a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and special characters.
  • A password should include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one symbol or character.
  • Taxpayers should not include personal information in passwords.  A criminal can find names of siblings, friends, children and pets on social media sites. This makes it easier for cybercriminals to figure out a person’s password that includes these names.
  • Avoid using the same password for all information systems, accounts and devices. If someone does guess one password, they will not have access to all the other accounts.
  • Taxpayers can substitute numbers and symbols for letters in words or phrases to make it more difficult for a thief to guess a password.
  • People should never share passwords.
  • Taxpayers should be careful of attempts to trick you into revealing your password.
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Reach Your Financial Goals During The New Year

New Year’s is usually a time when people get a wake-up call for their finances. However, studies show that these resolutions are actually trending down this year. This is happening as nearly half of Americans are feeling positive about their financial future.

Regardless, it is always a good time to step back and re-prioritize your financial goals. It is interesting to note that the top three financial resolutions for those intending to have one tend to be the same year after year. They are as follows: Continue reading

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