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4 Tips to Maximize Your Dollars

Aug 18, 2007
Here are four financial tips that might make a difference in your pocketbook:

* If you've got your money sitting in a savings account, you might as well stuff it under your mattress. Some banks are paying only .2% on your money. That's almost nothing. So it's time to find a better way. I've told you in the past that many local banks offer short-term CDs that pay out about 5.5% to 6%. But if you want a straight savings account, check out www.INGdirect.com. They offer a great online savings account that's paying 4.5%. In today's world, that's about as good as it gets.

* Gold has been a great investment the last few years. If you decide to buy some, be careful! There are plenty of scam artists and charlatans out there in the gold business. Recently, a new type of "money" has made the circles that you need to be aware of. It's called the Liberty Dollar. The thought behind the Liberty Dollar is interesting. A company called "Norfed" makes the dollars. The company claims that each dollar is backed by silver and gold, which it keeps locked in a vault in Idaho. The trouble is, the Justice Department says the Liberty Dollars are illegal. So if you try to pay for something with these coins, you likely will be arrested. I'm all for "just weights and measures," but according to our government, these dollars aren't worth the gold that supposedly backs them.

* It's tax time, and we all need to maximize our charitable contributions to lessen our tax burden. Bankrate.com says, "If you think your tax deduction for charitable contributions ends when you write a check to your church or drop that box of clothing off at the Salvation Army, think again. You may be cheating yourself. The Internal Revenue Service allows several different ways to take tax advantage of your goodwill..." The rest of the article gives some great tips for items you can deduct legally. Check it out bankrate.com.

* And, finally, if you're getting a tax refund this year, here are a few things to consider. First, increase the number of deductions you claim on your W-4 form. You don't want to give the government an interest-free loan -- and that's what a tax refund is. You overpaid your taxes last year and the government doesn't give the excess back until you file your taxes. Second, don't go on a spending spree with it. Instead, pay off debt. If you don't have any debt, invest it. If you stick it in your IRA, it will give you a break on next year's taxes.
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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