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Archive for November 2009


November 2009: Net Worth, Real Estate, and Blogging Income

Published 11/30/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Time for another one of my networth updates and progress reports to check up on how well or bad I've done for myself during the preceding month. Based on my current online bank and investment account numbers, things are starting to look up since the previous month when my stock portfolio took a slight tumble due to lingering market price volatility and recessionary jitters. In terms of the American economy finally emerging from this punishing recession, we are still not quite there yet as overall consumer spending remains pervasively sluggish and unemployment rates continue to rise (albeit at slower rates of worsening than before). But based on the trickle of positive signs I've been seeing coming out of the housing industry in the way of increased new home sales spurred on by governmental tax credit incentives and historically low home mortgage rates - it would seem that we are at the very least, heading towards the right direction.

However, this is not yet the time to start high fiving or fist bumping each other, or be reveling in premature optimism. Rather, this is the time to start placing your financial bets in a strong, but calculated way in anticipation of an eventual economic recovery. There are still a large number of unforeseen factors and worldwide catastrophes that could easily derail the economic momentum train off its tracks. Because we now live in a global economy where all established and developing markets are interlinked and highly inter-dependent with one another, it's crucial to recognize that there

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Tax Credit For First Time Home Buyers Extension

Published 11/24/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

If you're a new home buyer, or an existing homeowner who has been contemplating about selling your house or condominium apartment - you might want to start taking decisive action fast. There is free government money in the way of tax credits to be had for both prospective new home buyers and current homeowners - to the tune of either $8,000 or $6,500, depending on your qualifications.

To keep this stagnating economic train running, President Barack Obama has recently signed a new bill - extending the duration and expanding the coverage of the federal housing tax credit. Previously, the economic stimulus package only provided free tax credit assistance to first time home buyers and was slated to expire in late 2009. But with economists and pundits still doubting the ability of the economy to recover without additional stimulus intervention, the federal government has now officially extended the deadline of the federal homebuyer tax credit program until April 30, 2010 for new home contracts, or until June 30, 2010 for the final closing. The home's closing can occur by June 30, 2010 and still qualify for the free tax credit, but the contract���� to buy the home must be completed by April 30, 2010 at the latest. Those looking for a further extension after early 2010 might be disappointed as current indications suggest that this extension may be the final one.

To incentivize and encourage continued homebuying activity (as much of our economy is intertwined with the housing industry - example: banks, construction related services, home equity

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Sell Your Used Textbooks and Old Books Online

Published 11/16/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Selling used books online is one of the easiest ways to significantly declutter your home and earn some extra money in the process. Although it might seem like the intellectual thing to do - to have volumes of books and textbooks lining your book shelves to offer up that desirable professional-looking scholarly facade, but chances are, after you've read those books once you're very unlikely to ever read the vast majority of them ever again. Thus in the name of decluttering and staying organized, why not try to downsize your personal library periodically, and make some extra money while you're at it by selling off some of your used books and textbooks?

As a part time personal finance blogger, book publishers and book authors frequently send me free personal finance books to read and review. After blogging about making money and a whole slew of financial topics for several years now, in this span of time I've probably received well over 30-50 books about money (the vast majority of them parroting and repeating the same material frankly). If I did not periodically sell them online or donate them away to friends and readers of this blog, the incredibly large pile of books would probably have winded up clogging a large corner of my house, gathering dust and taking up space.

College and graduate students in particular have the greatest to gain from not delaying in their efforts to sell off their old and used textbooks online. School textbooks are by their very nature profitable exchanges

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Best online banks: Savings and checking accounts

Published 11/7/09  (Modified 5/12/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

If you're searching for a list of the best online banks for your savings, then you've arrived at the right place. One of the most common, if not the most often asked question I get as a personal finance blogger is which bank I would recommend to those looking to get the best interest rate on their money.

While some of us plow our personal savings into home mortgage payments or invest them into stocks, most of us invariably keep a certain stash in more accessible bank accounts for emergency fund purposes. Some like myself also use high interest savings accounts to save up money for specific purposes -- in my case, I'm saving up for a future down payment on a house.

So, if you're keeping money in a bank account anyway, why not try to get the highest interest rate possible? To address this need, I've compiled below a list of what I believe to be the best online banks available today -- banks that offer the best deals for high yield savings accounts. Many of the recommended firms are also very competitive in the areas of certificates of deposit (CDs) and checking accounts as well.

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