Co-Parenting and Finances

It’s hard enough trying to raise a child between two households. When you bring finances into the picture, things can really get messy. And while there are tax breaks available for any parent who is supporting a child, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to figure out who is going to get which tax breaks.

 

If you’ve had an amicable separation, you may have a bit of an easier time with trying to figure out who will file in which way. Otherwise, you may want to hire a professional to help you make sure that you divvy things up in the best way possible.

Your Rights

When you are raising a child separately, generally the right to claim tax benefits for a dependent child goes to the “custodial” parent: the parent who is covering the better part of the cost of supporting the child. However, the custodial parent can opt to waive their right to claim many of those benefits so that the other parent can claim them, should you both determine that this is the option that makes more financial sense.

 

The specific credits and breaks that are available include:

  • A return based on the number of dependent children living in the household.
  • The Child and Dependent care tax credit. This tax credit allows you to claim a substantial credit for a child dependent under the age of 12.
  • An increase on the amount you can claim for the earned income tax credit, if you qualify.
  • A refund on the cost of paying for medical insurance for your dependent child.
  • A refund on the cost of childcare and other supportive services.
  • You can also save money by investing in an education or savings fund for your child. Many times, this money can be considered tax-free. This might include a deduction based on the cost of tuition and other fees (always save receipts for textbooks!) as well as credits through the Hope credit, the American Opportunity credit, and the Lifetime Learning credit.

 

If you are the custodial parent, then you have the right to waive these credits so that the other parent can benefit from them. This might be the right choice to make if the other parent is struggling financially, or struggling with the cost of childcare and support payments. It may also provide some aid if they are trying to find out how to relieve tax debt as it can decrease the amount that they owe the federal government in this year’s taxes.

 

Alternatively, if that parent makes more, it may lead to a larger amount of money that you, as a parenting unit, are able to save. As some of these credits are based on percentages, you stand to save more money if the parent who earns more can take these credits.

 

However, if you do waive the right to these taxes, that determination will only be good for one year. That is, this is not an ongoing waiving. You have to waive these rights every time you want the other parent to be able to claim any of these breaks or credits.

 

In addition, the fact of waiving the right to these claims doesn’t exempt you from continuing to file as head of household, which can give you some refunded amount.

Making the Right Decisions

It can be tough, without professional training, to know how it makes the most sense to file your taxes respectively when two parents are filing separately. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional in any situation where you are in doubt about which choice is right. However, here are a few things you might consider to get you started:

  • Who between the two of you makes more? How many of these credits and refunds are based on percentages and how much are whole amounts?
  • Who takes primary responsibility of the child or children?
  • Are either of you currently supporting any children from other relationships? Do either of you support those children entirely?
  • Are either of you struggling with any of your expenses including the costs of child support?
  • How much are each of you currently contributing towards saving like a college education fund?
  • Will you be able to settle in an amicable way on the decision of who should claim the credits and refunds?

Once you have a clear picture of all of these details in your head, it’s time to consult a professional to make sure you are saving the most possible at tax time.

How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees.  That’s one fact which even most adults find hard to grasp.  Left and right, you’ll find people haphazardly spending their money as if they’ve just won the lottery.  They buy gadgets like there’s no tomorrow, and drown themselves in tall lattes from the nearest posh coffee shop.  If we were more cautious about our expenses the way we pay careful attention to the flyaways on our hair, then maybe we wouldn’t be so swamped in financial problems.

Before our kids grow up and get sucked in by all the consumerism, it’s good to start them early with good spending habits.   Here are some ways to teach them the value of money:

Grocery Game.  Before you head out for the supermarket with the kids, give them each a list of things to buy, and a calculator.  Ask them to find the lowest possible price for the items on the list, and the one who ends up with the cheapest total, wins.

It’s expensive.  When your kid asks you to buy him that cute Furby toy, tell him you won’t buy it because it’s expensive.  Give him a reasonable figure range for a particular toy, say $10-$20, and explain than anything beyond that is considered expensive.  Don’t say, “We can’t afford it“, because that tells your kid that if you could afford it, you would buy it.  You should make it clear to him that the reason you won’t buy it is because of its unreasonably high price, and not because you don’t have the money for it.  Just because you have money, doesn’t mean you should spend it.  It’s teaching him to make smart choices when it comes to buying stuff.

Piggy Power.  It’s time to bring out that dusty piggy bank and teach your kids to save.  Show them how dropping a dime into the coin bank each day goes a long way.  You can ask them what they want for Christmas, for instance, and encourage them to drop some money in the bank to save up for it.

It’s never too early to make your kids realize the significance of money.  More than learning about fractions and subject-verb agreement, it’s essential that they also learn how money has to be earned and saved.   The money lessons they learn now will serve them well into their adult years- and hopefully keep them from being buried in debt!

Earning Opportunities Online

Earning bucks online has been trending for quite some time now.  Its steady rise in popularity can be attributed to the fact that more and more people are becoming interested in it.

When it comes to money making online, there are plenty of choices to choose from. That’s why everyone can really earn from it. It’s not that easy, though.  But it’s not too hard either. Technically, there are just certain systems or rules to follow, and these will vary and highly depend on the industry you’d like to focus on.

There are different ways to earn money online in an instant. But of course, you need to first make an investment before you begin.

Opportunities Available Online

Who doesn’t want to earn? Basically, each one of us wants to. That’s why majority of us work. We earn from exerting effort through the form of work. We need to earn in order to live. On the other hand, there are some people who want to earn not just for a living but also because they want to be financially stable.  They want to be able to do whatever they want. This seems to be a possibility only when you run your own business, and not when you’re an employee of a company.

Plenty of opportunities are available online. Some include the following:

Forex Trading or Foreign Exchange Trading- this particular industry is one of the trending businesses available online. This is all about buying and selling currencies. Earning here is very easy, however losing your investment can also happen in the blink of an eye.  So if you’re in this field, always make sure that you know how forex trading works.  Although losing some of your investment is normal and even part of succeeding in any business, it still helps to arm yourself with a working knowledge of how things work in your chosen field of enterprise.

Binary Option– if you’re not into trading of currencies or forex, you can try the binary option instead. It’s also about buying and selling, but here, there are lots of assets available to trade. Basically, binary option trading is simply predicting if a particular asset’s value increases or decreases. The money you bid doesn’t depend on how much value a certain asset reaches, as long as your prediction is correct.  You then earn from a correct prediction. (To learn more about Binary Option Trading, check out http://binaryoptionstrading247.com/.)

Online Shops- buying and selling stuff online is also in demand these days, mainly because it’s easier to shop online rather than to walk around in malls and shops. Moreover, searching for certain stuff is easier to do online. Ebay and Amazon are some of the more popular online retailer sites where those aspiring to do online business can start.

There are other options available which can help you earn online, but these three examples listed above are the ones which are most in demand nowadays.  So, if you are planning to try out your luck online, you can try any of them and see where they take you.

What is the Perfect Business to Invest In?

Having a business is a good investment for the future. That’s why a lot of people are considering investing their hard-earned money in different businesses.

One can invest in a vast number of businesses from different fields. To be exact, a person can invest in multiple businesses as long as he or she can handle and afford them.  It comes as no surprise then that  a lot of businessmen hold various positions from different lines of work. In terms of investing in any business though, you should think of the factors that can possibly give you success.  Otherwise, you’ll just be bound for failure and unnecessary stress.

When planning to invest in a particular business, make sure to consider your reasons for doing it.  This will give you a goal to work for and will, in the process, determine your success.  It will also greatly influence your decision whether to proceed with the business or not, if and when problems arise along the way.  Moreover, it is also important to assess if a particular business perfectly fits to your skills, and personality. This will help you handle and manage your business more easily.

One of the hardest yet most interesting niches in the field of business is finance. A good example of this is forex. Technically, it is difficult because of its strict rules and quite complicated system. But if you are willing to learn, surely you won’t find it difficult.  With a forex broker you can easily understand how the system works. Just be sure that you have the interest to learn too.

Same goes with other businesses available. Initially they may look so easy yet, in reality things can be quite difficult to handle. This is especially true for businesses related to finance.  So before venturing into any type of business, make sure to check if it suits you well. This will help ensure that the investment you are ready to risk will really bloom.

 

Earning Online: How to (Easily) Make Money on the Web

Working online is one of the trending topics on social networking sites today. If you’ve been following the news closely, you’ve probably heard about a lot of websites offering different kinds of job posts for individuals. Other than freelancing though, there are other ways to earn online.  Some of these are through blogging, investing and creating your own business. But that will all depend on the person’s preference as to which field he would like to excel in.

Here are some opportunities to earn online:

Looking for a Place to Work?

Odesk, freelancer and elance are just some of the more widely known outsourcing websites/freelance sites nowadays that are preferred by a lot of freelancers online. These websites offer various kinds of jobs for those interested in freelance online work. Different tasks are available, depending on the client’s order. You can meet different kinds of people since these websites are used by many companies – big or small- over the world. Successful candidates earn based on clients’ offers to them.

Be Your Own Boss

On the other hand, those who want to be their own boss can have their own business instead. Creating online shops with the help of known classified ads online like sulit.com.ph, ebay.com, ayosdito.ph, and so much more are the ideal way of selling one’s products or services.

Let Your Money Work

Do you want to invest your money and earn from it rather than put up your own business? Or perhaps, continue working for other companies while making your money grow?  That is possible.  However, before investing in anything, always make sure that you are on the right track. Since a lot of websites from different industries have sprouted like mushrooms, it’s really essential to look for a trusted website such as www.forex.pn before closing any deal. For instance, if you plan to invest in forex, make sure that the company you are going to collaborate with provides you with enough information and has a good reputation. In doing so, you won’t get scammed by fake websites using other company’s names.

These are the stuff you can do to earn online. Just in case you find it difficult to decide which one to start with, why not try doing all three. Who knows, you just might discover your true calling.

Easy-Peasy Pay Day Loans

Every once in a while, we find ourselves stuck in a financial quagmire.  Money problems always feel like quicksand slowly sucking us in, leaving us helpless and desperate.  When you feel like giving up is the only option left, keep your head held high- sing a little Julie Andrews ditty if you will- and know that there still is hope.  When all else has failed, you can always get a loan.

The most discreet way to get a loan is to do it online. Applying for an online loan means no public embarrassment for you if you have concerns about people you know seeing you go to borrow money for an unexpected financial emergency. You might consider an online pay day cash advance as one option for this service.

If you’re like most people, you might hesitate slightly to apply for any sort of loan online. There are definitely plenty of horror stories floating around the internet regarding hackers and scam artists. Some loan websites generally use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. This means your private information is completely hidden from people with bad intentions.

The pay day loan process is quick and easy. You might even get approval within an hour after you’ve applied. If you need money today, there’s no reason not to go ahead and try to get a pay day loan to get the cash you need. You won’t have to pay it back until your next paycheck.

Worried about forgetting to make the payment? Don’t be. The money will be deducted directly out of your bank account on the day your next paycheck is deposited.

When you’re at wits end sorting out your financial problems, try to get an online pay day loan.  Before you know it, you’ll get back into the swing of things.

The Importance of Credit Repair

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  I guess I have always believed in that.  If you mess with something which works perfectly fine, you just might end up doing damage to it.

When it comes to your credit records and credit rating, that’s something you must take care of.  But sometimes, things happen and your credit reputation may start to take a nosedive, sending you off kilter.  This is when you must take action and look for the best credit repair companies to help get you back in shape.  So why is credit repair so important, anyway?

Buying a house.  Who doesn’t dream of having his own house, right?  But if you have a poor credit history, that dream might never come to pass.  Lenders wouldn’t want to take the risk of lending you money to buy a house if your credit rating is low.

Starting a business. Nothing’s better than ditching your day job for your own business.  If you plan to finally put up that business you’ve always wanted, you might have to get a loan.  A good credit rating will be important here, as this will determine your qualification for a loan.

Buying a new car.  Unless you’ve just won the lottery, chances are, you’ll have to get a loan to buy that Mazda 3.  Here, your credit rating will influence the amount and interest rate of your loan- if your loan gets approved at all, that is!

Getting a job.  Employers typically do credit checks as part of the recruitment process.  A bad credit rating will leave a bad taste in their mouths, and make them think twice about hiring you.

If you find yourself in a credit quagmire, pull yourself out.  Get some help.  It’ll spell a whole world of difference in your future transactions.

How home insurance actually helps you save money

Most of us would prefer not to think about such eventualities as the severe damage to our homes or the loss of all our cherished personal possessions. Such a prospect is an extremely unsettling one, particularly if you are one of the minority of people who has not taken out any home insurance to protect you against such a scenario. Taking steps to remedy this could not only increase your peace of mind about what lies around the corner, but actually save you money in the long run.

Unforeseen costs

 

With most households running on tightly managed budgets, it is always an unappealing idea to consider an additional outgoing. However, the most difficult costs to meet are always those which arise unexpectedly and suddenly, particularly if urgent action is a complete necessity. Any number of natural or man-made disasters have the potential to strike at any given time, and if the equivalent of a burst pipe or tree felled by lightning leaves you obliged to take urgent action, there are few of us who would have unlimited funds at our disposal to deal with the problem. Loans companies prey on such desperate cases, and charge inordinately high interest rates for repayment, meaning the monthly cost that you are initially trying to avoid could in fact end up much higher. Taking the time to look for cheap buildings insurance and paying a small amount on a monthly basis means that you are in control of your outgoings, secure in the knowledge you are protected for the future.

Personal liability

 

In today’s litigious culture of blame and compensation, people are bombarded by adverts from personal claims lawyers who want to pursue legal action following an injury on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. While it may seem that the main targets of these damages suits are companies or employers, you are also at risk of facing legal proceedings if someone is injured in your home. Anyone who has had dealings with a lawyer will know the huge cost and stress that can be involved in any case, and how much it is desirable to avoid such a process. By taking out home insurance you could receive financial assistance and advice from your provider if someone sues you following an injury in your property.

If you would like any more information on how home insurance could help you save money when faced with any unfortunate eventuality, look online at a reputable provider such as Swiftcover.

The Costly Mistake of Credit Card Overpayments

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whilst credit cards can provide a useful and sometimes even vital means of cash, they are, of course, to be used with care. Credit card debt can spiral out of control very easily if left unchecked and should be monitored very carefully to ensure that interest and fees do not accrue on a monthly basis. It is advised that people with expensive debts such as credit card debt should try to pay it off as quickly as possible and not just pay the minimum amount each month. Doing so can lead to relatively small balances taking a very long time to pay off.

Whilst overpaying is generally seen as a good idea by many analysts, it seems some lenders are reducing the amounts taken in a monthly direct debit to compensate for this. For example, if your minimum payment was at  200, but you overpaid by  50, your next monthly direct debit would be set at  150, thus negating the effect of the overpayment in the previous month. In doing so, the amount paid off your total debt would be the same as if you’d just cleared the minimum each month, with interest accruing at the same rate.

Not noticing the reduction in payments to compensate could be a very costly mistake, especially if you are attempting to clear a debt prior to the expiry of any cheap introductory rate or balance transfer.

How to avoid making this mistake

It is not always possible to clear a credit card debt at the end of every month, especially as monthly household costs seem to be spiralling and wages are standing still. Whenever possible, you should clear the absolute maximum you can afford, to keep the level of credit card debt manageable.

Paying off your credit card debt by standing order rather than direct debit will help you to retain control over the levels of payment made. Rather than paying an amount specified by your lender each month, your payment is defined by you at the bank. Whether you choose to overpay by  50,  100 or even more, as you set the level of the payment, your lender has absolutely no influence or say over what happens.

 

Other credit card pitfalls avoided

The reduction in subsequent payments following an overpayment is one of the many pitfalls associated with running a credit card. Whilst there is not space here to cover them all, here are some more ways to make the best of your cards.

If you have a 0% deal that requires only the minimum amount to be cleared from the balance each month, it is wise to keep aside funds in a savings account to use to pay off the debt as soon as the 0% period expires. This way, the credit card debt can be cleared before interest begins to accrue.

Using credit cards to purchase holiday money or money from a cash machine is to be avoided whenever possible. Cash advance fees are usually added on in transactions such as these, which are absolutely avoidable if you just use the card for regular purchases. Similarly, check any terms and conditions over use of a credit card abroad to see what the fees are.

 

 

Important Lessons to Teach Your Kids About Money

While money is an enigma for many people, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the proper education, anyone can become a financial wizard. One of the best ways to become good with finances is to learn at an early age. Even if you think of yourself as a lost cause in the financial department, it’s not too late to pass on some wisdom to your kids. Here are some important financial lessons that you should try to teach your children.

1. There is a Difference Between a Need and a Want

If you teach your kids nothing else about money, teach them that there are differences between needs and wants. Many times, what they think they need is actually just a really superficial want. Do they need the latest pair of sneakers that cost $200 to look cool in front of their friends? Do they really need that pair of designer jeans instead of the ones that cost 1/10 the price? If you can help them realize the difference between what they need and what they want, they will be much better off later on.

2. Set Some Priorities

When you don’t have anything to work for, you’re probably going to be headed in all different directions. It is critical that you teach your child to have some priorities with his or her money. What do they really want to spend their money on? What isn’t that important to them?  Many people end up spending their money on things that they don’t really want to buy just because it’s convenient or because of an impulse.

If you want to make the most of the available resources, it’s important to only spend when it’s part of your priorities. Have your child sit down and come up with a list of things that are important to him or her. Then have the child create some financial goals to shoot for in the future. They don’t have to be huge goals, but they should definitely have something to work for.

3. Don’t Pay Full Price
In today’s society, no one should buy anything without doing a little bit of simple research to make sure that they’re getting the best price available. With a smartphone, you can quickly look up the price for something while you’re shopping. For example, let’s say your child wanted to take up golfing, you would then show them how to find GolfNow.com coupons when they’re interested in buying golf supplies.

Also, with coupon codes for GolfNow.com, you’ll be able to get the golf supplies you want at a much cheaper price than you would normally pay. Show your child how to look for sales and other discounts that they can take advantage of. Show them how to buy some things used, so that they don’t have to pay the higher price just because something hasn’t been used before.

4. Live By Your Word

Teach your child to live by his word when it comes to financial issues. If he promises to pay for something, he needs to do it. You should teach this by giving them a good example. For example, if you start giving him an allowance on Saturdays, make sure that you give it to him every week on Saturday. If you get in the habit of putting it off or you regularly forget about it, your child will think that it’s alright to do the same thing when they get older. With a little bit of discipline, your child will be able to develop good credit and work toward the future more effectively.

With these simple lessons, you’ll be able to help your child get off on the right foot financially.