It is just another Friday in Febuary — cold, more snow, and no sign of sunlight. It has been a brutal winter with many places setting records for snowfall amounts, cold temperatures, and consecutive days without seeing the sun. I’m getting quite anxious to see some warmer temperatures and to get all of this snow off the ground.
In addition, the snow and the shoveling that goes along with it has claimed another victim this week. At some point a few days ago, I was out shoveling our walkway so I could roll the trash can out to the road. Since it was just a quick job, I didn’t bother to put any gloves on. Well, apparently my hands went partially numb and shrunk a bit, because somewhere along the path of taking the trash out, my wedding ring fell off. I didn’t notice it until I came inside and washed my hands.
So, a search ensued, but given the depth of fresh snow and not knowing exactly where it fell off, it has yet to be found. My only hope is that when the snow melts, it will either show up, or I may have to borrow a metal detector to try and find it. Either way, it really stinks to lose something that has such meaning. But what can you do? So, on with the links.
What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Taxes – Have you calculated your taxes and determined that you owe money and don’t know where you’ll find the money to pay? The worst thing you can do is to not file on time, but there are some options to help reduce the impact.
Car Loan Paid Off by Free Money From Credit Card – The Sun just paid off a car loan with free money. What an interesting idea. With interest rates declining, it is possible to borrow 0% money from a credit card, and pay off a car loan. In the end, you could make a decent return. Of course, this only works if you have the ability to pay off the credit card balance before the 0% promo is up.
Be Skeptical of High-Priced Seminars – I’ve never been a big fan of the various seminars that require you to submit a fairly large payment. I’m sure some have good information, but these people know that the majority of those attending will never put their information to use and they pocket the money. I like MBH’s idea — save money on the seminar fee and invest a little time. You’ll likely see the same or even better results.
Three Things I Learned from the “Worst” Personal Finance Book – It’s no surprise that I’m not a big Kiyosaki fan. It isn’t that his books aren’t helpful, but because his books won’t apply to the majority of people out there looking for financial help. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a love for real estate, it can be quite inspirational. But for the average person who needs to learn how to manage money, get out of debt, and invest for the future, some of the advice can be downright dangerous. Even so, you can learn things from books like this.
How Much Life Insurance do You Need? – Moolanomy is running a series on life insurance, and this first installment is a great one that answers one of the most important questions: how much life insurance do you need? It isn’t as easy as saying you just need X amount of dollars or X times your annual income. Pinyo does a good job and highlighting all of the things to consider.
When Should You Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage – With interest rates being slashed over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about refinancing, but I’m not sure why. When the Fed cuts rates, it has little to no effect on mortgage rates, and in many cases, mortgage rates have increased recently. That being said, there are still plenty of good reasons to refinance, and FMF highlights when you should and shouldn’t consider it.
Avoiding Identity Theft: Defend – The best offense is a good defense. Take a proactive approach to curb identity theft. The Working Dollar has some great tips and a list of resources that can help you set up a solid identity theft defense.
5 Basic Techniques to Control Your Spending – How many times have you been told the secret to wealth is to spend less than you earn? Well, I hate to say it, but it’s true. The only way you’ll ever get ahead and actually accumulate money is by spending less than you make. With that in mind, here are 5 basic techniques that can help you keep your spending under control.
Tips to Cut Your Water Heating Costs – Heating water in your home is one of the larger energy expenses. Ben has quite a few great tips that can help you save money on this expensive utility. I think I’m going to begin shopping for a new water heater myself, since ours is very old and is probably not very efficient at all.
Breaking the Cycle of Borrowing Money and Paying Interest – This is a deadly cycle, and it can be a hard habit to break. NCN has some tips to help you break this cycle and hopefully put you on the path to getting out of debt.
Employees Can Sue Over 401(k) Accounts – Good or Bad? – In my opinion, this is scary. It is one thing if there is an explicit breach of fiduciary duty, and if this simply upholds those rare situations, that is fine. But I think this is going to lead to a lot of people attempting to start frivolous lawsuits any time they lose money in their accounts. Whether or not they ever make it to court and win is irrelevant, because companies always want to avoid litigation, and if this becomes a trend, even more employers will opt to not offer their employees a retirement plan. This is bad news for everyone.
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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+.