Archive for January 2012


Emerald PrePaid MasterCard: Enough perks to make it worth your while?

Published 1/30/12  (Modified 2/15/12)

Emerald PrePaid MasterCard: Enough perks to make it worth your while? By Megg Mueller

By now, the W-2s are in the mail and filing your 2011 taxes is imminent; some of us will get it over with as quickly as possible, while others will prefer to wait until the middle of April. Whichever way you file, one thing is true for pretty much everyone; we'd like to send Uncle Sam as little of our money as possible and if we're due a refund, we want it fast.

Since this blog isn't about accounting methods, I'll address the second desire, the fast refund. H&R Block, the venerable tax return people, are offering a fast refund for clients willing to sign up for its Emerald PrePaid MasterCard when you have your tax return prepared at an H&R Block office...

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How long should you keep your tax records?

Published 1/25/12  (Modified 2/1/12)

How long should you keep your tax records? By Aaron Crowe

Somewhere deep in every home office, thrown in haphazardly or filed semi-neatly in a file drawer, are years' worth of tax returns and records that support them.

Sooner or later the files get so big that the drawer or cabinet is busting open, creating a paper mess that could be explored on A&E's "Hoarders" TV show. My one file drawer of old tax files probably isn't enough to get my office profiled on the show, but I don't want to take any chances. I'm cleaning it up...

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Chase and Southwest announce points-for-miles redemption deal

Published 1/23/12  (Modified 12/17/13)

Chase and Southwest announce points-for-miles redemption deal By Justin Boyle

Chase is helping your travel dollar get even more mileage with its latest rewards partnership. The company's Ultimate Rewards plan, considered by many to be among the best credit card reward programs available today, has added the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards frequent flier program as its newest points transfer partner...

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How to do an annual financial checkup

Published 1/11/12  (Modified 1/18/12)

How to do an annual financial checkup By Aaron Crowe

The start of a new year is a chance to start with a clean slate and plan for a better year ahead. If your finances didn't fare so well in the previous year, it can be a time to rethink your approach and give yourself a financial checkup to ensure you're on the right path.

An annual financial checkup doesn't require hiring a financial adviser or an investment broker to go over your documents. It can be done at home with a few hours of planning. Here are some things to go over...

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Micro-saving: a personal finance resolution you can keep

Published 1/9/12  (Modified 1/17/12)

Micro-saving: a personal finance resolution you can keep By Justin Boyle

This holiday season, I had a chance to catch up with some members of my extended family. I learned that a musician cousin of mine (let's call him Mark) had recently pulled himself back from the brink of bankruptcy and gotten his debt under control, which (no offense, Mark!) came as a small surprise.

I called Mark in Key West, to congratulate him as well as try and learn his secret. There were some pretty standard money management techniques involved, like consolidating debt and hunting up the best savings account rates and credit card APRs he could find, but there was another piece of the puzzle that I think merits sharing. For the past two years, Mark had been doing something he called "micro-saving." ...

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Hackers steal more than credit card data

Published 1/2/12  (Modified 1/5/12)

Hackers steal more than credit card data By Megg Mueller

Here's a newsflash: Hackers can wreak havoc for credit card owners. As tales of identity theft and stolen credit cards become a seemingly almost everyday occurrence, you may be unclear what to do to protect yourself from high-tech thieves. And thieves thrive on your confusion.

I read about the Christmas Day attack on American think-tank Strategic Forecasting, a company that gives its clients political, economic and military analysis…all in the name of helping them reduce risk. The group that claimed responsibility was hacking group named Anonymous. The hack compromised the credit card numbers and personal information of more than 50,000 accounts of people who do business with Stratfor clients, such as Apple and the U.S. Air Force, according to CNET News.

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