Live Chat Today
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Live Chat Today
Join me today at noon ET for my live discussion about money. Helaine Olen, author of “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry” will be my guest today. Olen’s book was the selection for this month’s Color of Money Book Club pick.
If you can’t join the chat live, send your questions in early.
Love and money
On the heels of Super Bowl spending comes the annual test of love and money for some folks. Will you or won’t you join the many who will be spending for Valentine’s Day?
Chances are you will.
The average consumer celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $126.03 last year, an increase of 8.5 percent from 2011 and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history, reports Anne D’Innocenzio of the Huffington Post.
D’Innocenzio offers some tips on how to express your love without breaking the bank:
-- Buy now. The Christmas holiday rush is over, but the deep discounts are not.
-- Buy online. Web sites such as www.thefind.com offer shoppers deals and help them search for the best prices.
-- Don’t buy your love. Skip the store and celebrate with a home-cooked meal.
I’m not really feeling that last tip since I would probably be the one who would have to cook! And even if my husband did the cooking, the kids would still be around yelling “yuck” when we tried to kiss.
But let me ask you this, for this week’s Color of Money Question: What was the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, city and state. Put “Love and Money” in the subject line.
2013 Tax Season
What’s your number?
Wednesday opened the tax season, and, of course, because it’s taxes, there are a lot of numbers to consider.
The Associated Press produced a great feature with some key numbers you should know about when filing your 2012 tax returns. For example:
-- Each personal or dependent exemption is worth $3,800.
-- The standard deduction is $11,900 for married couples filing a joint return and for qualifying widows and widowers; $5,950 for singles and married individuals filing separate returns; $8,700 for heads of household. Those 65 or older or blind may be eligible for a higher standard deduction.
There are a lot more numbers you need to know, so take a look at the list.
Family Financial Fights
If money troubles are taking a toll on your family, I would like to hear from you. Maybe I can give you some advice on how to work through your problem. Send your story to email@example.com. Put “Family Financial Fights” in the subject line, and be sure to include your full name, city and state.
Multitasking Costly Mistakes
In last week’s eletter, I told you about a story on multitasking. In an interview with Julie Morgenstern, a productivity expert, Forbes.com contributor Jessica Kleiman asked if multitasking was good for the workplace.
“It has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time,” Morgenstern said. You also lose time because you often make mistakes.”
So, I asked: What was your most troubling or embarrassing multitasking mistake?
Sue Becker, founder and owner of From Piles to Smiles, an organizing and productivity service in Illinois, shared a story we all can learn from.
“I was coaching a time management client by phone, and she asked me to look at an email she’d sent me,” Becker wrote. “After I read her email, I unwittingly just kept on reading emails while my client chatted away. Soon I noticed that she had stopped talking and was waiting for my reply – unfortunately, I was absorbed in email and didn’t have a clue what she’d said. As someone who coaches clients about the dangers of multitasking it was a humbling (and eventually humorous) lesson.”
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested.