As we head further into March, it’s time again for what has become one of my favorite features: a look at my top 10 personal finance articles of the month. Although February is a short month, there was certainly no shortage of great personal finance articles published. With tax time just around the corner, many took on that theme, although the usual variety was still intact as well.
Without further ado, below is my list of the top 10 personal finance articles published in February of 2017, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.
Tax Time Preparations
5 Good Reasons to File Your Taxes Earlier Rather Than Later — Jessica Sommerfield, MoneyNing
There may still be more than a month until taxes are actually due, but why wait? Not only will filing early mean you’ll get your refund sooner but being an early bird also has some other advantages. Jessica highlights a few such perks in her piece.
Ways to Organize Your Retirement Savings Before Tax Day — Kyle Burbank, Born2Invest
Tax time is mostly closely associated with looking at how much you made during the year and, for the purposes of write-offs, how much you spent on certain expenses. However let’s not forget about how much you saved — more specifically, how much you set aside for retirement during the year. As Kyle points out, now is a great time to take a second look at your retirement accounts and even make some last-minute contributions.
A Beginner’s Guide to Filling Out Your W-4 — Kristin Wong, Two Cents
In some unfortunate instances tax time can be a rude awakening. This is especially true if you’ve made mistakes on your W-4 and are now on the hook for a massive sum owed to Uncle Sam. To help you avoid this scenario Kristin walks you through filling out (or re-filling out, as the case may be) your W-4 properly, saving you a potential tax headache.
Three Tax Traps for Freelancers (and Three Perks, Too) — Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, The Simple Dollar
As millions of Americans already know, freelancing can be a great career with numerous benefits that trump any traditional gig. That said tax time is not often friendly to freelancers who not only have to juggle multiple 1099s but must also wade through a number of deductions in order to finish their returns on time. Jen explores this dilemma and highlights both pros and cons when it comes to freelancer taxes.
Budgeting and Debt
9 Ways to Pay Off Debt Faster This Year — John Schmoll, Frugal Rules
Now that we’re well beyond the new year it may be time to reassess your financial resolution and get back on track if you’ve gone astray. For many people this yearly goal likely involves paying down debt. With that in mind John has some smart tips for accelerating the repayment process, involving both making and saving more.
Why I Hate the 50/20/30 Budget — Holly Johnson, Club Thrifty
Surely you’ve heard of the 50/20/30 budget before. This basic guideline suggests that you not spend more than 50% of your monthly income on necessities, set aside 20% of your income for savings, and divide the other 30% between the various disposable spending categories in your budget. However, as Holly point out, this rule of thumb has some major flaws that she discusses in this piece.
5 Smart Ways to Not Be Part of the $1.3 Trillion Student Loan Epidemic — Dana Sitar, The Penny Hoarder
While many had hoped that with whichever presidential administration took over this past January would begin working on solving the student debt crisis, a solution has continued to elude us so far. Meanwhile last year the average graduate was saddled with $37,000 in loans. That’s why, in this article, Dana looks at ways can help knock out your student debt and avoid spending the rest of your adult lives in debt.
The Very Best Apps for Saving Money Effortlessly — Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo
Admittedly this isn’t the first time we’ve looked at personal finance apps… and it probably won’t be the last. The truth is that new applications are popping up all the time and even established ones are adding more helpful features that deserve a spotlight. For this particular post, Adam features a handful of finance apps meant to help users set aside savings without feeling the pinch.
Personal Finance Tips
Should You and Your Partner Combine Finances? 3 Common Money Mistakes — James Dennin, Mic
Lest we forget February is the month of romance as Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of it. While the holiday may have been designed to give you warm fuzzies, it has also been known to lead to some overspending and, eventually, financial reflection about how couples handle their money matters. In that vein James looks at common mistake couples makes when it comes to money and how they can talk about them.
6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn’t Know About — Jason Steele, Wisebread
We all know about some of the basic perks that come with credit cards: cash back, airline miles, and even concierge services in some cases. But did you know there are also various travel insurances that you may be able to take advantage of as a card holder? From trip cancellation insurance to roadside assistance, Jason looks at six travel perks offered by certain credit cards.
Thanks for checking out my top 10 personal finance articles published last month and congratulations to all of the bloggers who made the list. To find more of these great articles on a daily basis, be sure to follow me on Twitter @jondyer9 and of course visit DyerNews.com.