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Archive for April 2009

April 2009 - Net Worth Statement and Personal Finance Report

Published 4/30/09  (Modified 3/11/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well, tax judgment day has come and gone, and after finally paying the federal government its annual tribute, I feel more depleted than ever. Due to my higher income rate during 2008, I winded up in the highest income tax bracket possible, necessitating that I pay out more than 40% of my total annual income to the Man via federal and state income taxes. So sad.....

Looking ahead at the upcoming official federal tax brackets for 2009, it doesn't look like my taxation plight's going to get any easier, particularly with tax happy President Obama at the helm. Although his positive approval rating's through the roof and the man is absolutely oozing with optimism and confidence, I doubt many of his supporters are really comprised of scrutinizing individuals or small business owners like myself who actually pay attention to the potential tax implications of his slight of hand wealth redistribution policies. For the sake of competitive small business owners everywhere, I hope Obama doesn't go through with his increasingly aggressive crusade to seize the financial proceeds of those who have worked hard to get to where they are today, with his continuous Presidential blurbs of patriotic taxation and "spreading the wealth around".

My Current Net Worth and Financial Status Update Compared To Last Month

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Free Budgeting Software and The Best Online Planning Tools

Published 4/29/09  (Modified 12/15/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Review Of Free Online Programs To Help You Budget And Track Spending

Unless you are a billionaire like Warren Buffett with an endless supply of cash to draw upon, chances are you're operating under a monthly budget like the rest of us are. In most cases, the best way to keep your finances in order and save money for the long haul is to devise a sensible budget, track your monthly spending habits, and stick to your laid out plans without frequent deviations. The problem with offering suggestions about setting personal spending budgets is that there usually isn't one way that works best for everyone. It's a highly personal and customized affair due to the great differences in how we all each handle tasks and micro manage events in our lives.

I personally use a variety of online based financial tools to help me chart out my monthly net worth reports and personal balance sheets. They help to encourage me to make better financial decisions for myself and to continuously plan for the future. As a strong advocate of using streamlined software based tools that automate and aggregate one's finances, I particularly recommend using programs like Quicken Online and Yodlee. Both budgeting programs are free and offer great convenience - automatically pulling income and expense data from your bank and credit card accounts into a single viewable source without requiring you to manually compile the data by hand.

But at the same time, I understand that there are lots of people out there who prefer

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Federal Tax Brackets 2009

Published 4/22/09  (Modified 6/17/11)

Federal Tax Brackets 2009 By MoneyBlueBook

Update: Projected Have Been Released!

The following represents the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)'s officially released 2009 federal income tax brackets. Read 'em and weep - or perhaps rejoice, depending on where you stand on the whole federal income tax bracket sliding scale. Regardless, you're going to be getting close and personal with the marginal rates when you file your 2009 tax return in early 2010. Let's have a look at some of the tax changes shall we?

Official IRS Tax Rate Schedule Updates For Tax Year 2009

Via the Wall Street Journal, the following graphical table below gives you the official marginal tax brackets for married couples filing jointly as well as the marginal rates for single filers for 2009. The previous year's numbers are also provided to give you an idea of some of the more noticeable changes since 2008. The income numbers listed in the chart below are taxable incomes, and thus they have taken into consideration all available personal exemptions as well as any of either the standard or itemized deductions, including all pre-tax above the line 401k and deductible IRA contributions.

As key portions of the marginal tax tables are pegged to inflation, quite a few numbers must be annually revised. Thus you will note that there are quite a few key changes for the 2009 tax year compared to the year prior. However, while overall tax numbers appear to have nominally increased on the whole, taking into consideration the effects of inflation, effective tax rates may actually have remained level or

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Best Personal Finance Books About Money - Reviews

Published 4/17/09  (Modified 3/14/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

List Of The Top Books About Money For Your Personal Finance Library

Burn those get rich quick books and ditch the late night infomercial gimmicks. Whatever you do -�  don't waste your money on useless junk. True personal finance knowledge is not something that can be acquired overnight, but is a lifelong marathon pursuit that requires the constant absorption of old (proven and established) and new (innovative and efficient) approaches to money management.

Embarking on what some refer to as a personal finance makeover requires an improved understanding of the basic mathematics and psychology behind income generation, responsible savings, and long term investing. But as previously indicated, there are no easy quick fixes to some of life's complex financial woes. Such pursuits of a better way of life require a self motivated determination to become more financially educated and experienced through the testimonies and learned mistakes of others.

I have heard some commentators cite the declining popularity of newspapers as the reason why book reading is no longer a necessary and relevant activity in today's technological age. However, I think this line of thought is seriously misguided. Reading books is important because the way that information is consumed through a book is different from the way it is received online. Unlike book reading where consumption is complete and systematical, online consumption is keyword search driven, prone to interruptions, and deprived of full and proper attention. The idea that you can fully understand the nuances of the world, let alone personal finance and proper money management, in small bite

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Best High Interest Reward Checking Account Rates

Published 4/8/09  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated Review Of High Yield Reward Checking Account Deals Below

Remarkably, despite a struggling economy and lower interest rates across the board, high yield reward checking accounts are still touting bank rates as high as 5.50% APY in certain locales. At their peak, the best reward checking account offers were topping off at an astounding 6.00-6.50% APY. Definitely nothing to sneeze at. However, before I get started on my usual long winded blog post about the financial possibilities and benefits of high yield reward checking accounts, let me say a few things up front. No, you're not going to be able to roll your interest rate earnings into a mint or become a millionaire overnight. But if used properly in tandem with other interest chasing pursuits, high interest checking accounts have the potential to really give your otherwise idle savings a big boost. The associated interest rates with these special bank reward checking accounts are often higher than the top savings account rates, the best money market rates, and even the highest bank CD rates.

Demand A Higher Interest Rate For Your Checking Account Cash

Personally, I don't usually keep a ton of money in my checking account to begin with, preferring to stash them in hassle free high interest producing assets like savings accounts and certificate of deposits. However, because check writing and convenient ATM access are still daily necessities in quite a few situations (example: not all apartment landlords allow tenants to pay their rent via credit card), most of us are

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