If I haven’t mentioned it yet, happy new year! I hope everyone is excited about 2010 as I am. After what we’ve gone through in terms of the economy, real estate market, and wild ride in stocks, I think we could all use a little break to see things start to get back to normal — whatever normal is these days anyway. I’m sure many of you have made some new year resolutions, set some goals, or otherwise have plans to make 2010 the best year ever. You’re not alone. For me, it’s time to really get down to business on the site and you can expect a lot more content in the coming weeks.
On a sad note, the start of the new year means it’s also tax season. It won’t be long and you will be receiving those W-2s, 1099s, and all sorts of other tax documents in the mail. Tax time is never fun, but it comes around each year like clockwork. So, rather than waiting this year I challenge you to get a head start. If you use software such as TurboTax or H&R Block At Home you can actually start filing your return online for free. Then, you’re only charged if you decide to go forward and submit your return with them. Getting a head start and the ability to enter your data for free first will help you get a good idea of what your refund or tax bill will look like. Then, if it seems out of line with your expectations you might consider getting an accountant to do your taxes. But whatever you do, don’t wait around because you don’t want to miss the tax filing deadline!
Here are the links for this week:
What Was Your Biggest Money Mistake in 2009? – I’m looking for readers to share their mistakes and lessons learned over the past year over at about.com. If you made some money mistakes or learned valuable lessons last year I’d love to hear about them!
Delaying Roth IRA Contributions One Year Could Cost You $74,000 – Is money tight and you’re thinking about skipping your IRA contribution this year? It could cost you. In fact, it could possibly cost you to the tune of over $70,000. See how to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table.
How To Be Successful in the New Year – We would all like to be more successful in the coming year, but how do you actually put these goals into action? It isn’t always easy, but there are some tips you can use to help you be successful in the new year.
2009 Financial Goals Evaluation – As we continue with the new year theme Frugal Trader looks back on last year’s goals and evaluates just how well things turned out. Setting goals is one thing, but going back and evaluating your progress is what will really set you apart.
Avoiding Tax Return Fees & Penalties – Paying taxes is bad enough, but paying your taxes late, owing the IRS more than you thought, and paying penalties and excess fees just rub salt in the wound. Don’t let that happen to you this year.
Investing For Beginners: Basic Steps To Start Investing – Investing for the first time can be an intimidating endeavor. There are so many options and real money at stake. It’s no wonder so many people simply never invest — they are just overwhelmed. Don’t be. Here’s a good walkthrough for beginners.
How to Earn High Returns with Lending Club – I’ve been a fan of Lending Club for a while now and it’s because I have had success in finding great returns and high-quality borrowers that don’t default. Learn some of the secrets to get you the most return on your Lending Club money.
Schwab Reduces Online Stock Trade Commission to $8.95 – It’s been about five years since I last used Schwab, but they are really becoming competitive again. New lower trading commissions and they reimburse ATM fees… I might have to give them another try.
8 Questions to Ask Before Buying ’Stuff’ – Stuff. We all have it. Some of it is meaningful, while some of it just takes up space. Some of us collect more stuff than others. Either way, before you go out and buy more stuff there are a few questions you should ask yourself to decide if you really need it.
Here are more great reads from around the web:
Why I Don’t Want to Retire Early at Finance for a Freelance Life
What kind of investments are considered fixed income investments?
Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “What The Dog Saw” review.
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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+.