The folks over at Career Overview recently put together quite a list of 100 personal finance posts.  Includes as the top “Smart Habits” post was my article Do Debit Cards Separate You From Your Money Emotionally?
Other good reads include:

Jeremy at Gen X Finance wrote: Your Car is Making You Poor and What You [...]

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Michael on March 26th, 2010
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Although Friday comes every week, Friday Q &A comes around only when someone submits a good question AND I have time to answer it.   Both happened this week, so here we go. Want to ask a question?  Click here for more information or simply email a question.
I plan on buying a  home [...]

Continue reading about Friday Q & A: First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Yesterday, I read an interesting article in the Boston Globe highlighting the experiences of the many 18-29 year olds still depending on Mom and Dad.
You: Because they’re still living at home?
Actually, the examples in this case aren’t boomerangs. Instead, the article profiles people living in the big city who are still getting checks every month [...]

Continue reading about Financial Immaturity: Are you really a grown-up if Mom and Dad still support you?

Michael on March 22nd, 2010
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Line 10 of Form 1040 says “Taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local income taxes.”
You: So?
So this is where most people put their income tax refund they received.
You: Isn’t that where it goes?
Yes, if it’s taxable.
You: Why wouldn’t it be taxable?
A few reasons actually.  First let me explain the concept for why a [...]

Continue reading about Don’t just include that state income tax refund

Michael on March 17th, 2010
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Detroit or LA?
You: For basketball?

Back in the day, sure. Today? Not so much.
You: Then for what? Beaches?
I don’t think the shores of Lake Erie compete with the Pacific.
You: Cost of living?
I think the $8,000 house in Detroit buys you about one square foot in LA.
You: Then what?
TV. I was on TV in both Detroit and [...]

Continue reading about On TV – Total Candor Tax Prep Deals

Michael on March 11th, 2010
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We continue to receive accolades (and new clients) for our tax preparation service which features a 30 minute consultation with me about anything on your financial mind.  We’ve saved our clients thousands of dollars and seemingly routinely amend their prior year returns (those prepared by themselves or by another tax preparer) saving them money on [...]

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Over at the Retirement Planning site at, I just posted an article about the best kind of tax deductions: those that come from saving.
Think about it. Most tax deductions require you to spend money in order to obtain the deduction.  In my practice, the most common and largest deductions are:

state and local income taxes
mortgage [...]

Continue reading about The best kind of tax deduction – a deduction for saving

Michael on March 4th, 2010
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One of my relatives recently was charged a substantial fee for rolling his 401(k) plan out to an IRA.  In my opinion, that’s total nonsense, even if it’s disclosed.  It’s the equivalent of an “account closing fee.” Can you imagine?
You: I’d like to close my account.
Bank: I see you have $100 in your account so [...]

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Twice in the last two winters, we’ve lost power for about 36 hours.
You: You should just pay the damn electric bill.  I know you like to negotiate everything, but you’ve got two little kids –
Massive ice storm last year.  Massive windstorm last weekend.  My write-up of the December 2008 event:
Visiting Boston during an ice storm [...]

Continue reading about Keeping it reasonably fun and affordable without power