Raise your hand if you’re ready for spring. That’s what I thought. If you’re like me and many others up here in a cold part of the country you’re probably anxious for March to arrive next week and hopefully bringing warmer weather with it. It seems like it’s been an abnormally long and cold winter, but I think I end up just feeling this way every February regardless. But if I recall, I believe we had our first snowfall of the season back in October and we still have a lot of snow on the ground heading into March. As far as I’m concerned that’s near six months of winter, which is too much.
What I really love about the arrival of spring are the 3 Gs: golf, gardening, and grilling. I especially can’t wait for golf this year. Now that I’m working from home I will have a little more time to practice my game. Instead of just playing once every week or two I should be able to get a round in a few times a week. This will likely have a huge impact on my game. Gardening is going to be a bit of a challenge since we’ve moved. We no longer have a garden and also have a nice irrigated back yard so it’s tough trying to decide what to do. I’m almost thinking about doing a few raised garden beds but haven’t yet decided. But I’ll have to do something because growing fresh tomatoes is a requirement!
While I think about spring you can enjoy these links.
TurboTax 2010 Has Some Nice New Features – I’ve been a fan of TurboTax for a number of years even though I now have a CPA do my taxes, but each year they seem to offer a lot of new improvements that make the tax filing process even easier. Here are this year’s new features.
Square Foot Gardening: How To Grow Vegetables In Your Own Backyard – This is similar to what I had in mind for our garden, although on a slightly bigger scale. I really like the idea of not having to prepare and till the existing lawn.
Mortgage Interest Deduction Myth – As Jim points out, the mortgage interest deduction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s nice if you have a large enough mortgage to make it worthwhile, but for many the standard deduction is still the better deal.
The Key To Living Frugally – Want to live a frugal life? It’s probably no surprise that requires living within your means. That can be hard these days, but here are some steps to help put you on the right track for a frugal life.
How to Get FREE Manufacturers Coupons – Coupons are great because they are an easy way to save money, but did you know that many manufacturers offer all sorts of coupons and usually all you need to do is ask? Learn how to get your own free coupons.
Do You Have to File a Gift Tax Return? – Did you give a child, relative, or someone else a substantial gift last year? If so, you may fall under the gift tax. My Dollar Plan talks about the gift tax and what you need to know.
Workplace Violence – Ever feel like punching that annoying co-worker in the cube next to yours in the face? You’re not alone. Workplace violence is a real and serious problem.
Graduate School Costs & Options – I spent some time trying to get an MBA a number of years ago, but in the end the costs began to outweigh the benefits. Choosing graduate school isn’t a decision to be taken lightly so it pays to understand the costs and options.
Credit Card Act: New Laws Are In Effect, So What’s Next? – As you probably know, the new credit card laws took effect this week. There are a lot of changes that affect almost everyone, so what’s next?
Analysis Paralysis: The Cost of Inaction – I’ve talked about this before, and the cost of waiting can be huge. People always want to wait until the time is right, especially when it comes to finances and investing. News flash: the longer you wait, the bigger of a hole you end up digging yourself. Waiting to take action could end up costing you more than the reason you waited to begin with.
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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+.