Personal Finance Roundup

Cut Your Taxes: 5 Year-End Tips [Money Watch] “Here are some moves you can make right now to potentially reduce your financial exposure to Uncle Sam come April 15.”

Christmas Gifts That Make a Difference [Get Rich Slowly] “Make this the year when you pick presents that actually help.”

Everything You Need to Know About Christmas Trees [Money Talks News] “If you’re buying from a tree lot, the price, availability and tree types will depend on where you live, but you’ll often find the best deals at warehouse stories like Home Depot and Lowe’s.”

10 Things Your Landlord Won’t Tell You [Smart Money] “There’s more to negotiate than the rent.”

10 Cheap Ways To Get Someone A Great Gift For Under $5 [The Digerati Life] “Here are ten interesting ideas you could try the next time you’ve got a gift giving event coming up and you’re short on cash.”

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  1. Thyme for an edit button says:

    On that article on landlords… Withholding rent is a bad idea. You are better off paying for the repair yourself and billing the landlord for it.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      You just have to know how to do it. The law might require you to put it in an escrow account. The tricky part is following the law correctly so you won’t get in trouble.

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        Yeah, most people don’t know though. Better to sue than be sued, I say. Sue for a small claim if necessary for the repair you had to pay for, rather than withholding rent, getting sued for eviction, and having to defend yourself with the rid of losing your home.

  2. richcreamerybutter says:

    In the cheap gift list, I notice the #4 gardening suggestion is prefaced by, “if you’re good at.” This should also appear before #5 “bake something,” #6 “dinner,” and #7 “prison hooch.” People shouldn’t have to navigate through treacherous territory to eat or drink something tasty, especially since some might be having to choose their goodies wisely at this time of year.

    Cooking and baking CAN be great gestures, but not if you suck and/or are out of practice.

  3. Donathius says:

    On the taxes article – we had a baby.

  4. TooManyHobbies says:

    We’ve had artificial trees for 20 years now, and I ABSOLUTELY do not miss real trees. I do not have a single good thing to say about real trees. They’re a pain, they mess up the house, they’re a fire hazard, and they’re expensive.

    We’ve owned two fake trees. You can get VERY nice fake trees the week after Christmas for almost nothing; stores do not typically sell the really expensive ones and they don’t want to store them so they pretty much give them away. Our current tree was selling for $250 before xmas, we paid about $40 for it and have been using it for 10 years.

    Once you decorate them, they look great.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I’d rather not have a tree at all than get a fake tree. The thing I love about real trees, you can’t buy: the smell. My mom has tried for years to get me to accept a fake tree, but they don’t smell and the smell is what makes Christmas for me.

      I’m thinking of getting a real wreath this year, so I can have the smell but my cats can’t distroy it. (Provided that it’s mounted high enough.)

  5. Bsamm09 says:

    I think for the taxes – Put off expenses until 2011 if possible and collect income in 2010 if you can and own a business and it’s almost end of the year.

    Charitable Cont – Great for you if you do but don’t do solely for deduction. Don’t ever buy deductions.

    Capital Gains/losses – Hold til next year and watch for wash sales

    I base this on uncertainty for next year.

  6. whatdoyoucare says:

    Regarding Christmas gifts that make a difference… my husband was out of work for 7 months last year. One of the absolute nicest gestures was from my sister who asked if she could buy back to school supplies for my kids. When you are living (unemployment) check to (unemployment) check the “little” added expenses can really be stressful. I really liked many of the ideas on the list.

  7. BytheSea says:

    These cheap gift ideas are always awful. My family likes money. What can I get them for under five bucks?