Money

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prepare your taxesWith 2018 just around the corner, tax season will be here before you know it. While April 15 is a dreadful day for many Americans, it doesn't have to be that way if you think ahead and prepare your taxes now.

Here are eight ways to prepare your taxes now for next year.

Ask Questions

Do you plan on filing taxes on your own or paying a professional to do it? Do you owe taxes for this year or past years? Have you gotten married or had a child? These are all questions that should be asked to help you prepare your taxes now.

If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, there are a few more questions you should ask yourself as far as your business is concerned as well. Do you have any employees? Did you put mileage on your car because of your business? These are just a few of the questions to ask to make sure you are getting ahead of the game.

Know How You Will File

Are you single, married, or filing jointly? Do you have any dependents? Knowing how you will file can make filing a lot easier when the time comes. You will know how much to withhold from your paychecks based on your allowances.

You'll also roughly know how many deductions you qualify for based on members in your household. ...continue reading

We all have quirks in our personalities, particularly when it comes to spending. Whether you’re in good financial standing or not, sometimes these qualities can keep you from achieving your financial goals. Fortunately, whatever your personality, there are ways to ensure you are not holding yourself back. Here are six personality types that can keep you from financial success and how to spot them:

1. The Spender

The spender may have the “you can’t take it with you when you go” attitude. They may spend well beyond their means and swipe credit cards to their max. Unfortunately, this can be a quick way to incur massive amounts of debt and hurt your chances for financial success. If you’re not saving, you’re not helping your future. (You can see how your habits are affecting your finances by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

To avoid overspending, it’s important to not only create a budget to track your habits but to try and find the triggers that cause you to spend in the first place. Whether it’s your emotional state or the shopper’s high you get from a purchase, addressing these triggers can help you curb your spending.

2. The Risk Taker

Perhaps you like to take risks with your money. High risk can lead to higher rewards, right? At times, yes, but they can also leave you with less. For example, just because you are approved for a mortgage doesn’t mean you can afford that amount. If you take a risk on this purchase, you may stretch your budget beyond its limits. Finding the right balance can help you limit risk and keep you on track for long-term financial success.

3. The Procrastinator

You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” So if you’re ignoring or putting off your fiscal responsibilities, you could be spelling doom for your financial wellness. Making late payments, waiting to save for retirement, letting bills pile up, or putting off goals are all common examples of financial procrastination. Putting your finances aside will only make things worse.

Consider taking a bit of time each day or week to work on your finances. Also, you may want to sign up for automatic payments, which can make it easier to keep up with due dates. ...continue reading

negotiating salaryThis is the second of two posts by Ryan Bonaparte on negotiating salary. 

As we discussed in the first article, negotiating your starting salary (and all subsequent salaries) can be a huge factor in building long-term wealth. Even starting just a few thousand dollars more in the beginning of your career can net you an extra tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But how do you successfully negotiate a salary, when after a long hunt you finally have a potential job that is hopefully better off than where you are now?

It’s actually a very simple process, made even easier with today’s tools and technologies. Below are some do’s and don’ts.

Know Market Rate for the Position

It can be tempting to go into an interview process dreaming of make tons of money. But if the role is a junior one, you should expect to be compensated accordingly.

Websites like Glassdoor or PayScale can get you a sense of what a position at a specific company in your area might be pay existing employees. Use these as guidelines for what to negotiate toward. ...continue reading