What is the difference between the child tax credit and the child and dependent care tax credit?

ANSWER:

These credits are quite different. First, the child tax credit. The purpose of this credit is simply to provide tax relief for parents, working or not, who have qualifying children under the age of 17. A qualifying child may be a dependent child, stepchild, adopted child, sibling, or stepsibling (or descendant of these individuals), or an eligible foster child. The child must be a U.S. citizen or resident and must live with you for over half the year. Continue reading “What is the difference between the child tax credit and the child and dependent care tax credit?”

Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don’t take any money out until you’re ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you’re lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure. Continue reading “Investing for Major Financial Goals”

Credit Traps for the Unwary

 

It’s hard to imagine functioning in today’s society without access to credit. However, you need to be careful not to fall victim to some of the pitfalls associated with it.

Revolving credit can make it hard for you to pay off debt

Credit cards allow you to spend money you don’t currently have, and to repay what you’ve spent over time instead of all at once. Continue reading “Credit Traps for the Unwary”

Debt Consolidation

If you have a lot of debt, you’re not alone. Today, more and more Americans are burdened with credit card and loan payments. So whether you are trying to improve your money management, having difficulty making ends meet, want to lower your monthly loan payments, or just can’t seem to keep up with all of your credit card bills, you may be looking for a way to make debt repayment easier. Debt consolidation may be the answer. Continue reading “Debt Consolidation”

Sticker Shock: Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of College

 

Even with all of your savvy college shopping and research about financial aid, college costs may still be prohibitive. At these prices, you expect you’ll need to make substantial financial sacrifices to send your child to college. Or maybe your child won’t be able to attend the college of his or her choice at all. Before you throw in the towel, though, you and your child should consider steps that can actually lower college costs. Although some of these ideas deviate from the typical four-year college experience, they just might be your child’s ticket to college — and your ticket to financial sanity.

  Continue reading “Sticker Shock: Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of College”

Paying for Graduate School  – Calculate the costs

Before you jump into investigating graduate school funding sources, the first thing to do is calculate how much your education will cost. Along with direct billed tuition and fees, make sure to add in collateral expenses that won’t show up on the bill, such as room, books, commuting costs, day-care expenses, and so on. And if you plan to give up your job, factor in the time you’ll be without a paycheck and the time it might take you to find a new job. Once you have a cost estimate, it’s time to look for the money.

Following are some suggestions on where to look for financial help.

Continue reading “Paying for Graduate School  – Calculate the costs”

Finding Money to Pay College Bills Out of Pocket

You’ve saved for your child’s college education through the years, helped your child research schools, and supervised the application process. Now, thankfully, your child is in college. But you probably can’t disappear just yet — there are still bills to pay. Maybe you underestimated exactly how much financial aid would cover. Or perhaps you knew all along that you’d have to use some of your own resources or take out more loans.

Continue reading “Finding Money to Pay College Bills Out of Pocket”