April 29, 2016

Budgeting

An important part of managing money is budgeting. We've collected blog posts with tips and advice on budgeting and saving money.

Inflation Illustrated

stamp pile

We tracked the price of a first class stamp over the last 130 years, noting the changes, to show the steady erosion in buying power during that time.

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Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709

Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709

Most people are unaware that giving a gift can be a taxable event because they themselves have not yet experienced the tax.

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Financial Planning Beyond Your Wedding Day

hearthands

In addition to registering for a blender and picking floral arrangements, make sure that your marriage has the financial accounts and monetary habits necessary to meet your shared financial goals.

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How To Instill Good Financial Habits In Your Children

How To Instill Good Financial Habits In Your Children

Give your children experience spending their own money.

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Streamline Your Finances with Schwab Checking

Streamline Your Finances with Schwab Checking

This Schwab checking account provides six impressive services not true for most local banks.

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Reasons to Keep a Local Bank Account

Reasons to Keep a Local Bank Account

Investment brokers like Schwab offer many services local banks offer but there are a few reasons why you might want to resist consolidating all of your accounts to a broker.

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Millionaire Lifestyle: Drink Sodas at Home, Not Out

Millionaire Lifestyle: Drink Sodas at Home, Not Out

Changing where you drink soda is a small step, but enough small steps can make a huge difference in your savings.

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Nine Unfortunate Facts of Health Savings Accounts

9 Unfortunate Facts of Health Savings Accounts

An HSA is one of many accounts used in comprehensive wealth management for tax optimization and planning.

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Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from IRAs

Qualified Charitable Distributions

QCDs allow individuals age 70 1/2 or older to give directly to a charity from your IRA without counting the distribution as taxable income.

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Why You Should Give Appreciated Stock Instead of Cash

Gift and Lights

Giving appreciated stock not only allows you to support your favorite charity but also avoid paying capital gains tax on your gifted stock.

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A Complete Guide To Donor Advised Funds

Wrapped Gifts

A donor advised fund makes the process of charitable giving simple and easy.

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IRS Wants Charities To Collect And Report Sensitive Donor Identity Information

IRS Wants Charities To Collect And Report Sensitive Donor Identity Information

Late last year, the IRS proposed asking charities to collect sensitive donor identity information for any charitable gift of more than $250.

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Radio: Financial Planning for Buying a Home

Hobbit Hole

David John Marotta was interviewed on WINA’s “Real Estate Matters” show with Michael Guthrie, talking about how it is still a good time to buy a house.

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Overfunded College 529 plan? No Problem!

Overfunded College 529 plan? No Problem!

No need to worry. You have many great options when managing an overfunded 529 college savings plan.

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Should I Buy Commercial Real Estate?

Should I Buy Commerical Real Estate?

Here is a simple way to think about commercial property.

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Radio Interview: Financial Gift Giving

Red and Gold Christmas Gift

David John Marotta was interviewed recently on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show discussing financial Christmas gifts.

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Does Your College Saving Need a Christmas Gift?

Does Your College Saving Need a Christmas Gift?

Some years, we fall behind and I try to make a year-end contribution to get us caught back up again.

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Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

For children with lower incomes, there is an opportunity to give them appreciated stock to shift the capital gains to a lower tax bracket.

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Mailbag: How Much Cash Should I Keep For An Emergency?

Mailbag: How Much Cash Should I Keep For An Emergency?

Being prepared is always a good idea, but so is knowing the costs associated with being prepared.

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What is the Kiddie Tax?

What is the Kiddie Tax?

The kiddie tax was first added to the tax code in 1986 for children under age 14. Now, it can burden them until they are 23.

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Trust Protections from Creditors and Spendthrift Beneficiaries

Royal Guards

The beauty of trusts is that they are very flexible, and an estate lawyer can help you craft a document that will follow your wishes and give you peace of mind.

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Financial Christmas Gift Ideas

Colorful Gift Wrapping

Financial Christmas gifts don’t need to be a piggy bank. They can be more serious and more meaningful than that.

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Safe Withdrawal Rate Adjustments

Safe Withdrawal Rate Adjustments

Assumptions about these adjustments to your net worth should be made carefully and conservatively.

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What Capital Gains Is Owed For The Sale Of Gifted Stock?

What Capital Gains Is Owed For The Sale Of Gifted Stock?

It is better to leave stock to a family member in your estate plan than to gift them the stock while you are alive.

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How to Factor Social Security into Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

How to Factor Social Security into Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

Carefully computing and adding your Social Security early retirement safe withdrawal rate can safely boost your early retirement standard of living without jeopardizing your future finances.

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Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

We highly recommend a Donor Advised Fund for generous investors.

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Can I Contribute To My Wife’s Roth IRA?

Can I Contribute To My Wife's Roth IRA?

I have earned income but my wife does not. Can I contribute to my wife’s Roth IRA?

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Mailbag: Can I Use My IRA As Collateral?

Mailbag: Can I Use My IRA As Collateral?

There is a complex way, but we don’t recommend the strategy.

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When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

You’ve opened your HSA and funded it for several years. When should you stop funding it?

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How to Avoid a Down Payment on a Mortgage

How to Avoid a Down Payment on a Mortgage

If you prefer to keep your down payment money invested in the markets for longer, there are two alternatives.

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Never Lend to Family Without a Contract

3 Generations

While helping a family member out is noble, money often complicates the relationship.

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Infographic: Is Grad School a Good Investment?

Infographic: Is Grad School a Good Investment?

An alternate look at the formula using the case study of Kate the Social worker who wants an MBA from Georgetown University.

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Financial Advisors’ New Patron Saint Just Cut From the Detroit Lions

Financial Advisors’ New Patron Saint Plays For the Detroit Lions

When Ryan Broyles scored a $3.6 million dollar contract after being drafted in the first round he did something quite rare – he sought as much advice as he could find.

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Steps for Getting Out of Debt

Oasis in the Desert

I have outlined some steps to help you figure out how to pay down your debt and get back on track.

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How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

Umbrella insurance covers you for liability that goes above and beyond your auto and homeowners insurance.

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Is Graduate School a Good Investment? Here’s the Formula.

Is Graduate School a Good Investment? Here's the Formula.

Your future path is sure to take many unexpected twists and turns, but you should run the numbers. Your future self will thank you.

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Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Virginia taxpayers can give generously and offset the cost of those gifts through tax credits and the avoidance of capital gains taxes.

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How to Convert Taxable Savings Into Your Roth IRA

How to Convert Taxable Savings Into Your Roth IRA

Most tax professionals don’t think of such tax planning opportunities, because they have to focus on complying with tax accounting regulations.

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Fund Your Roth IRA Even When You Can’t Afford It

Fund Your Roth IRA Even When You Can't Afford It

Sometimes, there isn’t enough to do it all. Even then, fund your Roth.

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How to Save for Large Fast-Approaching Expenses

How to Save for Large Fast-Approaching Expenses

The average married couple has dreams of multiple children, annual vacations, and homeownership, but planning for these expenses can be challenging.

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How to Take Advantage of Student Loan Forgiveness

How to Take Advantage of Student Loan Forgiveness

You might think that you can’t qualify, but many well-paid families are eligible.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Summary

Oasis in the Desert

This is a visual summary of the process of getting out of debt.

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How Quickly Should I Pay My Student Loans?

How Quickly Should I Pay My Student Loans?

For those who do not want to be investors, a fast-track repayment may be best. But for those willing to save and invest, there is a better option.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Rebuild

Bright Desert Mountains

You have laid a good foundation: you are out of debt (or out of bad debt) and you’re ready for a clean start. Commit to keeping your financial life that way.

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The Complete Guide to Automating Your Savings

The Complete Guide to Automating Your Savings

After automating your entire investment plan, you can save and invest without even having to watch.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Monitor and Adjust

Driftwood on the Beach

Real life rarely goes according to plan. Set aside time periodically to assess your progress.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Implement Your Plan

Group Trekking Through Sand

Now that you know where you are headed and the steps you want to take to get out of debt, it is time to take action!

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How to Get Out of Debt: Make a Plan

Chairs in the Desert

To get out of debt, you need an emergency cushion, a budget, and a plan of attack.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Assess Your Situation

Desert Stormclouds

Make a list of all your debt and figure out where your money is going every month.

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How to Get Out of Debt: Recognize the Problem

Sun Blasts Dunes

Most people are comfortable with having some debt (like a mortgage, for example). But how much is too much?

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