Even though Americans are cutting down on how often they hit up the gas pump, as a country we’re paying a higher percentage of our incomes on gasoline than we have in the last 30 years. The Energy Department said in a new report that U.S. households shelled out an average of $2,912 last year for gas, or about 4% of their pretax income. [More]
Maybe it’s been so long since you’ve gotten a raise that you wouldn’t know what to do with the money when it hit you. Such a problem is a nice one to have, but still a problem. Act carelessly with your newfound income and you’ll hardly notice that you’ve got it. [More]
The wealth gap between whites and Hispanics has increased to its widest in 25 years, according to new analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center. We’re talking a 20-1 ratio between whites and blacks, and an 18-1 between whites and Hispanics. Like so many things, it comes down the the housing crisis. [More]
Being POTUS makes you age prematurely, and Lady Gaga is stuck in a 360 deal that takes a cut of everything she does. Screw that, I wanna be CEO. The Wall Street Journal has listed the top paid CEOs of the last decade, which is topped by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at $1.84 billion. Steve Jobs comes in fourth with $749 million, and Capital One’s Richard Fairbank is fifth at $569 million. The WSJ also notes that “four of the top 25 CEOs worked at financial companies, two on Wall Street.” [More]
If you tend to move a lot of merchandise on eBay or Craigslist, you should know that the IRS wants a share of those earnings. If in 2011 you sell more than $20,000 worth of goods and have more than 200 transactions, then come early 2012 you’ll receive a shiny new flavor of 1099 form called a 1099-K, and you’ll have to pay up. If you’re an infrequent seller, where your eBay or Craigslist transactions more closely resemble a garage sale than a virtual storefront (and especially if you sell items at a loss), you probably don’t have to worry. [More]
If you’re between jobs, underemployed, or just have a lot of extra time on your hands now that you’ve give up expensive hobbies like smoking or shopping, here’s a list of 24 ways you can you earn some extra money. They’re not full time jobs, or sometimes even part-time jobs, but they’re a good starting point if you need some inspiration on how to bring in a little extra cash. [More]
Wired has put together a Wiki called a
January 15th is the last day you can pay estimated taxes for 2009 without worrying about the IRS’s 4% interest penalty. For most people, you need to have paid 90% of what you owe for 2009 or have a good reason why you didn’t (e.g. casualty, retirement). Kiplinger notes that even if you can’t pay the full amount, pay whatever you can by January 15th to reduce the amount that’s penalized. [More]
The downside to responsible lending is that the lenders will need more information about you, says the WSJ. [More]
You already have a budget, you just probably haven’t seen it turned into a colorful graphic before. Here’s one that illustrates where all the money goes. Sadly, we spend about three times as much on tobacco as on reading, and yet almost nothing on strippers! (Unless that falls under “entertainment.”)
Work suits starting to look a little shabby? Wishing that that cool worn-in jeans look applied to trousers? One men’s clothier is sick and tired of men cutting back on buying suits because of the economy — so they’re promising to refund a portion of the money you spent on the suit if you lose your job.
Americans took their cost of living raises and stuck them in their piggy banks, says the Commerce Department, pushing the savings rate to a 14-year high. Not long ago we had a savings rate of 0.1% — now it has skyrocketed to 5%.
Hey, if you’ve got $28,000, you can use it to rent Steve Martin’s house for a week. [WSJ]
Suburban commuters may not enjoy paying an average of $4 a gallon for gas, but the rural US, where income levels are low and dependence on large vehicles is high, is getting hit the hardest says the New York Times.
There are a lot of myths and rumors going around out there about the upcoming stimulus check. Tax Cat is in full debunk mode this morning. Careful of the claws, ladies and gentlemen. He gets touchy when tax season ends and he has to retire the glasses for another year and go back to ruining things in Chad’s apartment.
The blog Political Calculations took data from the Congressional Budget Office, “which published a study of the lowest-wage workers in the U.S. from 1979 through 2005,” and looked at the occupations of the bottom 20% of earners in the U.S. Then it took a chart of the 10 full-time jobs with the lowest annual earnings as compiled by BizJournals.com and estimated the hourly wage based on 40-hour weeks. Conclusion: don’t plan on operating a Tilt-a-Whirl and retiring comfortably.
If you have your own business, you can write off your expenses. This reduces you income, and lowers your tax bill. Sadly, you can’t just write off whatever you want.
The IRS is clarifying the fact that yes, you do have to report your poker winnings as income, because apparently there has been some “confusion.” Ahem.