My goal this year is to help you be more strategic with your money, whether that means saving smarter, spending smarter and investing smarter or whether it means helping you build a smarter business. Sign up for the ThinkGlink FREE weekly newsletter for all this great information.
One of the things I do is I consult with companies to architect innovative communication strategies and media design that produce results, answer questions, and solve problems. I’m going to apply these same consulting techniques to your money this year, so that we’re all SMARTER about what we do and how we do it. And, I’m counting on you to help by sharing your own successful strategies.
So, my goal is to help you be smarter with your money, both on a personal and business front – to make the smart choice whenever you have a decision to make.
Here’s to a smarter, better 2011.
Buying American Airlines Tickets Might Be Tougher
(CNN) — The online travel site Expedia has removed American Airlines fares and schedules, the latest move in an ongoing legal squabble between travel websites and airlines.
“Expedia, after more than a week of discriminating against American’s fares and schedules by omitting them from its top search displays … has removed American’s fares and schedules from Expedia.com, effective January 1, 2011,” the airline said in a statement Saturday.
American’s fares and schedules remain on Egencia, Expedia’s corporate travel site, the statement said. Customers looking to compare flights online can visit other travel sites such as kayak.com, priceline.com or travel agencies, it said, as well as American’s own website, aa.com.
READ MORE ON CNN: American Airlines Removes Ticketing Information from Expedia
This year, resolve to:
- Put yourself on a budget
- Pay off your credit cards
- Pay yourself first – and last!
What are your personal finance resolutions for 2011? I’m always looking to spend less, save more, avoid getting ripped off (Thanks, Clark!) but I also strive to spend smarter, save smarter, and be more strategic with how I use the funds that I have. I’m not just thinking about 2011, but 2030 and 2040. Each year is a cog in the wheel that gets me closer to where I want to be.
Where do you want your money to take you this year, and beyond?
EE Savings Bonds In Depth – An Easy and Safe Way to Save
EE Bonds are reliable, low-risk government-backed savings products that you can use toward financing education, supplemental retirement income, birthday and graduation gifts, and other special events. Series EE Bonds purchased on or after May 1, 2005, earn a fixed rate of return, letting you know what the bonds are worth at all times. See our press release for more information. EE Bonds purchased between May 1997 and April 30, 2005, are based on 5-year Treasury security yields and earn a variable market-based rate of return.
*E Bonds are the predecessor to EE Bonds and are no longer issued by the U.S. Treasury.
Electronic EE Bonds
You can purchase, manage, and redeem electronic EE Bonds safely through a personal TreasuryDirect account.
A new program called SmartExchangeSM allows TreasuryDirect account owners to convert their Series E, EE and I paper savings bonds to electronic securities in a special Conversion Linked Account in their online account.
NOTE: Paper EE Bonds are still available for purchase through most local financial institutions or participating employers’ payroll deduction plans. Treasury is phasing out the issuance of paper savings bonds through traditional employer-sponsored payroll savings plans. As of September 30, 2010, federal employees will no longer be able to purchase paper savings bonds through payroll deduction. The end date for all other (non-federal) employees is January 1, 2011. See our FAQ.
Buying Electronic EE Bonds
- Sold at face value; i.e., you pay $50 for a $50 bond and it’s worth its full value when it’s available for redemption.
- Purchase in amounts of $25 or more, to the penny.
- $5,000 maximum purchase in one calendar year.
- Issued electronically to your designated account.
Buying Paper EE Bonds
- Sold at half their face value; i.e., you pay $25 for a $50 bond but it’s not worth its face value until it has matured.
- Purchase in denominations of $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, and $5,000, and $10,000.
- $5,000 maximum purchase in one calendar year.
- Issued as paper bond certificates.
If you redeem EE/E Bonds in the first 5 years, you’ll forfeit the 3 most-recent months’ interest. If you redeem them after 5 years, you won’t be penalized.
Who Can Own Bonds?
Individuals, corporations, associations, public or private organizations, and fiduciaries can own paper Series EE/E Bonds. Effective April 2009, individuals and various types of entities including trusts, estates, corporations, partnerships, etc. can have TreasuryDirect accounts and own electronic savings bonds. See Learn More about Entity Accounts for full information on the new registration types.
You can own U.S. Savings Bonds if you have a Social Security Number and you’re a:
- Resident of the United States.
- Citizen of the United States living abroad (must have U.S. address of record).
- Civilian employee of the United States regardless of residence.
- Minor. Unlike other securities, minors may own U.S. Savings Bonds.
Can You Contribute to an IRA?
We had a call today from Dalita about contributing to an IRA. Here’s a link to IRS Publication 590 Individual Retirement Arrangements