Five Year History of the Standard Deduction

Standard

The standard deduction is the basic tax break that all taxpayers get, as long as they fall under a certain income limit.  Specifically, the standard deduction is the amount you can subtract from your income before it is taxed.  The government provides this as a sort of “tax break.”  The amount of your standard deduction […]

Published or Updated: March 16, 2013

Visa Black Card Review and Requirements

Black Card Big

Sometimes consumers purchase things as status symbols rather than for reasons of need.  For example, you might be shocked to know that a Mercedes and Toyota are made of pretty much the same parts.  Yes, there are advantages to buying a Mercedes, such as performance and appeal. However, when you break down the value, I […]

Published or Updated: March 6, 2013

Everything You Want to Know About Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

Everyone hears the term minimum wage and figures it means exactly what it says: the least amount employers can pay employees.  Strangely enough, sometimes the minimum wage does not actually mean the minimum an employer must pay an employee. While there are federal and state rules in place, exceptions are made to minimum wage standards. […]

Published or Updated: March 16, 2013

Real Estate Lingo 101: What is Escrow?

Escrow

If you have ever bought or sold a house, chances are you’ve heard the term “in escrow.” What exactly is escrow and does the term apply solely to real estate transaction? Though escrow is most commonly thought of in terms of property transfers, it can pretty much be used in the exchange of any goods […]

Published or Updated: March 16, 2013

The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is Here to Help

Federal Reserve

In the wake of the financial market collapse, Congress felt the need to reform the way the government regulates the financial system to prevent a similar event from occurring again.  They passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the President signed the bill into law in July 2010.  The bill is […]

Published or Updated: August 15, 2011

Will Closing Your Bank Account Hurt Your Credit Score?

Account closed

Believe it or not, some banks actually pull your credit history and score when you open a savings account. For example, Ally Bank will check your credit, and it will deny a savings account application if the applicant’s credit does not meet the bank’s undisclosed standards. And that brings us to a question a reader […]

Published or Updated: January 3, 2012

What is IRS Tax Form 2441?

Form 2441

If you (or your employer) paid anyone to care for your child this year so that you could work, you may be in line for a tax credit. If you’re able to take the credit, you’ll claim it on Form 2441. To qualify, the care must have been provided so that you could work or […]

Published or Updated: March 20, 2013

The DoughRoller Weekly RoundUp (Who Pays Taxes in America Edition)

Taxes

I can never say a bad thing about being self employed, however if I had one slight irritation, it’s that I’m responsible for a heavier tax burden now.  Forget higher tax brackets for a second, I’m on the hook for the full portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, minus a small write-off for paying […]

Published or Updated: May 23, 2011

5 of the Most Ridiculously Expensive Board Games

Outrage

Board games are a great way to have frugal fun with friends and family.  Our children particularly like Monopoly and Hand-n-Foot (a card game). While board games can provide countless hours of thrifty enjoyment, if you have the cash and desire, you can likely find a much more expensive version of your favorite cheap cardboard […]

Published or Updated: August 15, 2011