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Making It Through Money Emergencies Money emergencies are inevitable! They occur at inconvenient times; they cause frustration and anxiety; and they are detrimental to budgets, especially tight ones. Unfortunately, many people are unprepared to handle money emergencies without accumulating additional debt and/or risking long-term investments. While it is impossible to stop money emergencies from happening, it is very possible to minimize their effects. An "emergency fund", sometimes referred to as "rainy day funds" or "non-retirement savings", will provide peace of mind, time and ... Need Help Saving Money? Try “America Saves” Week Where is "saving money"on your list of financial priorities? If it is a low or non-existent priority, you are not alone. Millions of Americans live "paycheck to paycheck" with no financial cushion. For the last couple of years, the personal savings rate in America has been negative. Obviously, saving little or nothing has become a way of life. Fortunately, living on the financial edge doesn't have to stay a way of life! February 24 - March 2, 2008 is the 2nd ... Will We Sabotage the Stimulus? The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 is official. Tax rebate checks will be on the way to millions of Americans as soon as the majority of the tax filing season is over. While the arguing over details about who gets how much money has ended, the debate over the pros, cons and ultimate wisdom of the stimulus continues to be debated. On paper, the rebates are a "gift" from the government - cold, hard cash for taxpayers (i.e. consumers) ... Getting Professional Help: Answer These 9 Questions Before Choosing a Tax Preparer By all accounts, the U.S. Tax Code is long, extremely detailed and confusing. It's no wonder that millions of taxpayers employ professionals when "tax time" rolls around each year. Even when professionals are used, individual taxpayers are held liable for any and all information contained in their personal returns. Before paying anyone, getting the answers to these 9 questions will help all taxpayers get the professional tax help that is best for them. 1. What designation(s) does the tax ... Make It Your “Best Budget Month” February is a great month for dealing with financial issues because money doesn't have to stretch as far. It's not quite time to panic about taxes yet so there is plenty of time to get records together and make appointments with tax professionals. The holidays and football season are over. There are not any good excuses for not turning your attention toward your money. Even if you have NEVER paid any attention to your finances or the budgeting process ... Not Worried About Wal-Mart With all the negative attention directed at the economy, the true signs of panic may have officially surfaced. At least two recent headlines indicate concern that Wal-Mart, the American icon of consumption, is in trouble. Frankly, it's hard to believe that! Seriously, do these numbers represent trouble to you - $345 billion in sales - 6800 stores/facilities worldwide - 127 million store visitors per week in the U.S. ? There is no doubt that the U.S. economy is struggling. All ... Tax Documentation: What are you waiting for? It seems like 2 months is a long time but the tax deadline will be here before we are ready! By now, tax documentation from a variety of sources should be filling mailboxes across the country. Some taxpayers may already have all the information they need to get busy filling out the returns. Especially for taxpayers that are expecting refunds, now is a great time to get everything filed and get that money on its way back to you! Before ... The Beginning of a Budget Without question, a written budget is one of the most useful tools available for managing healthy finances. Creating a budget is a process, however, that demands patience and flexibility. Budgets are extremely personal and unique documents. Their creation and management is only effective when they contain accurate information about the specific finances they relate to. If you are creating a budget for the first time (or re-creating a budget after having let your last one slide), take time to ...