taxes on savings bonds

Not Cashing Savings Bonds to Avoid Taxes

There is a common misconception about avoiding taxes by not cashing savings bonds. While there are no penalties for not cashing mature savings bonds, there is no benefit to holding them for tax purposes, either. Sometimes people wonder, “Do savings bonds expire?” For the most part, I typically assume that …

Read More


What Is The Difference Between UTMA and UGMA?

How Are UTMA and UGMA Alike? UTMA and UGMA are very similar. Both are uniform code proposals adopted by the individual states. Like other uniform codes (the uniform building code is a common one, for example) these work by proposing a common framework for states to use in order to …

Read More

e bonds

US Savings Bonds Series E Savings Bonds

US Saving Bonds and World War II Bonds issued by the US Government are low-risk investments issued in order to finance the national debt. There are numerous types of Government bonds. Each bond has specific features that determine how much interest is paid to the bond holder, how long the …

Read More

Safely Earn More Interest on Your Money

I am always a bit curious when I read a cover story headline like the one on Kiplinger Magazine this month. It says 18 Ways To Earn 5% or More On Your Money. A lot of readers will make an assumption that goes along with that headline that they are …

Read More

Quick Money Saving Tip

home-house Christmas is over, but the bills might not all be gone.  Plus, Uncle Sam is going to want his kickback, that’s taxes to you and me, by April.  Throw in a recession, and it is probably a good idea to look at saving some money.

If you’ve been through your budget and you don’t find anything out of whack (tip: if your cell phone bill is more than $60 and you aren’t a traveling salesman, it’s time to re-evaluate) then we need to pull out some less used tips.

Homeowner’s Insurance Deductible

The dirty secret about homeowner’s insurance is that filing claims will get you and your policy dropped by the insurance company.  Those same claims will keep you from getting a new insurance policy with another company.  Sometimes, as little as 3 claims in 2 years will get you dropped like a hot potato.

Since there is nothing you can do about how insurance companies behave, the next best thing is to work smarter within their system.  Only file large claims and use your savings to pay for the nickel and dime stuff like a few shingles blown off the roof.  Of course, if you aren’t going to be filing smaller claims, then you shouldn’t be paying for the coverage.

Raise your homeowner’s insurance deductible to at least $1,000.  Chances are a $1,500 or $2,500 deductible won’t lower your rates that much more, but check anyway.  Saving $10 a year to raise your deductible $1,000 doesn’t make much sense, but if you can save $50 or $100 then that’s something to think about.

If you are the very responsible type and you have the recommended 3 to 6 months of living expenses tucked safely away in an emergency fund that you never touch, you can even consider a $5,000 deductible which could significantly lower your home insurance.  But, do the math first.  It will likely only make sense if you have a high value home.


Also, do a homeowner’s review with your company if you have made any improvements or security upgrades.  The new alarm system might be worth a discount.  The same goes for removing anything that raised your rates.  If you don’t have a dog anymore, make sure they know that too.

Be careful that your insurance agent doesn’t use your review to sell you other insurance, or even more home insurance.  You are there for home insurance only, and you don’t want to talk about life insurance, car insurance, or any other insurance, no matter how good of time it is, or how great the deal is.  You especially don’t care if rates are going up next month (a common insurance salesman line). 

Also, there is no need to insure your home for full replacement value.  Laws very from state to state, but generally, a homeowner’s insurance policy provides for 120% or so, of coverage should your whole house need replaced.  But, that kind of event is relatively rare.  Even if you have a fire, chances are you’ll be repairing the house, not rebuilding it from scratch.

Read More