Back to school already??? Wow, this summer sure went by fast!
Looking for easy, arty, FREE, after-school activities? Go to www.thetoymaker.com where you can get more than 50 whimsically illustrated patterns for foldable paper toys. Kids print the templates, color them, then cut, fold, and past to make such nifty contraptions as a Tooth Fairy gazebo, boxes featuring dreamy pop-up scenes, bug boxes, paper airplanes, ornaments, etc.
One of the many new tax changes that could help your wallet in coming years is called the "Retirement Savings Contribution Credit." Basically, if you’re not a big income earner and you are putting money in a retirement account, you may get a break on your taxes, but this one won't last very much longer.
Here's the deal: If you save money in a 401k or an IRA, the government will match your money as much as 50 percent. If you are single and you make $15,000 or less, you get a 50 percent match from the government of up to $1,000. If you’re married, the maximum you can earn to get the credit is $50,000 combined. If you're married and your earn $30,000 combined, you get the maximum benefit. So, as you make more money, the match goes down. The credit is in effect until 2006. Here's a chart that spells it out for you:
Income for Married Couples Income for Singles Income for Head of Household Credit Rate AGI up to $30,000 AGI up to $15,000 up to $22,500 50%
$30,001 to $32,500 $15,001 to $16,250 $22,501 to $24,375 20%
$32,501 to $50,000 $16,251 to $25,000 $24,376 to $37,500 10%
I went out to dinner with an old girlfriend, while visiting Utah this week.
She wanted me to try one of her kids' favorite restaurants, "Wingers",
because she was craving one of their famous desserts. After eating there
for years she didn't even know they had a program for kids to get a free
meal for their birthday! I was appalled she didn't know (I AM Sister
Thrifty after all.) So....for the rest of you out there, remember to ask
when you go out to restaurants if they have such a program. Sometimes they
even have free dinners for adults on their birthdays. AND sometimes fast
food restaurants have it too (like Burger King, for example.) They usually
have a card you fill out and then they'll mail you a coupon or card of some
kind. Cold Stone ice cream and Bruesters Ice Cream have it as well. Don't
be shy to ask!
That's it for today. Be good out there!!