Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: The Government Is Not Giving You Money

Alas, it seems that everywhere you turn, someone is trying to rip you off. With the recently passed stimulus bill, the scammers, conners, and other rip-off artists have a whole new avenue to abuse. Mrs. Micah reminds us all that the government is NOT going to be sending you a check. (This time around; maybe if we need yet another stimulus in a few months or so...) Be vigilante, be intelligent, and be careful; the best person to watch out for your money is YOU. (Or possibly your mom; but even she can't watch out for you forever.)

Some of the other good posts I've seen in the past week:

How to File Your Taxes for a Recent Graduate
- MyLifeROI writes about some of the basics of filing your taxes. He covers several different options, from filing yourself to using professional services, covering the good and bad about each. Personally, given my relatively simple financial situation and low funds, I opted for filing a paper return on my own, but if you have a more complex situation (investments, owning your own business, etc.) you should probably consider professional help.

College Money Tip #12: Free Stuff, Part I - Stephanie of Poorer than You notes several free services that available. She focuses on several budgeting tools, like mint and wesabe as well as some other useful sites. She also mentions NetworthIQ, which I'm particularly interested in (don't be surprised if a little NetworthIQ icon shows up on the side of my blog; as you might be able to tell from my Saturday posts, I like to track how much money I have). Plus, the Part I indicates there will be a Part II coming soon.

I could have kept that $20 (Ethical Quandry) - We heard a story of CleverDude returning money to a confused couple. He raises an interesting ethical question, about what situations we attempt to return money lost by other people, and what lengths we go to do so. Personally, I respect him for making the effort to return the money; ethics are what you do when nobody is forcing you.

Save Money on Television - Lazy Man and Money gives some interesting suggestions on how to save money on your television. The first one I particularly liked, spending more money on your television to save money. Although it's counter intuitive, if you can cut down on the expenses for other entertainment (like going out to the movies) by paying a bit more for television, you'll ultimately save money.

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