Hopefully by now you’ve all completed your taxes and received your refund if you had one coming. Did you do anything fun with your refund money or just tuck it away into savings? We got a surprise refund this year but no plans for anything extravagant. For now it’s just sitting in our FNBO savings until something better comes along. Maybe it will go to help fund one of the retirement accounts sooner, but it’s probably best to be a little more liquid these days.
One thing we did kind of splurge on was a new riding lawn mower a few weeks ago. Technically, it wasn’t bought with the tax refund, though. Even better, there was a zero-interest for 12 months deal. All I know is it makes mowing the lawn a lot easier and a lot more fun. With this new house I’d be spending 2-3 hours every weekend mowing with our old push mower, but now I can do the whole yard in about 30 minutes. That’s a lot of freed up time, so it should pay for itself over time. And here are your links for the week.
The Pros and Cons of Pre-Paying a Mortgage – Paying off a debt early is always a good thing, right? Not so fast. There are also some drawbacks to consider and Frugal Dad points out all the pros and cons of pre-paying your mortgage.
10 Free Web Services to Check Out – If you’re like most people you probably like free stuff. Thanks to the web, there’s a ton of free services available. Here’s a list of 10 free services you should check out.
Smart Ways to Invest Your Tax Refund – I was just talking about tax refunds above, but if you’re still thinking about where to put that money you might want to start with this post as it has some great ideas.
Case Study: Saving for an MBA Education – I started to get an MBA and I really wish I would have saved up for it. I ended up not being able to afford to finish and all I have to show for it now is a big student loan. Education fail.
How Much Do You Really Spend? – We all know we spend money, but how much do we spend? No, how much do we really spend? You might be surprised.
What is the Point of Saving, the World May End Tomorrow? – Everyone tells us we have to save, but what for? We could die tomorrow and it would all be a waste. That’s true, but just as true is the fact the world may not end tomorrow and you may need money until you’re 95 years old. Hmm…
Are We Better off Now Than We Were 12 Months Ago? – The stock market is obviously better off today than it was a year ago, but what about for regular people? Has your personal recession ended? Is the economy really turning around?
Will You Buy An iPad? – I certainly won’t. I already have an iPod, a smartphone, and a laptop computer. I don’t need yet another device that doesn’t really make me any more productive. Other opinions may vary.
New $100 Bill – Did you know there’s a new $100 bill coming? Jim has the details on the upcoming changes and features.
General Motors Paid Back Bailout Loans in Full – Remember all of the uproar about bailing out GM? It saved tens of thousands of jobs, and guess what? They already repaid the billions in loans, with interest, and ahead of schedule. Probably a better outcome than most had expected.
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.