They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, but quite often it’s the cash that counts, too. According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $730 on gifts, food and decorations for the winter holidays in 2013. With costs expected to rise this year, savvy holiday shoppers are finding smart ways to save while still making the holidays memorable.
It’s the beginning of the holiday season, a time when family and friends come together to celebrate. The bad news is that this is also when thieves of all kinds are trying a variety of scams. To help you keep the sparkle in your holidays, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice on scams to avoid so you can keep the season merry.
Your child begins to receive offers for pre-approved credit cards. It sounds annoying, but nothing to be worried about, right?
In fact, it could be one of the warning signs that your family is the victim of child identity theft. Nearly 3 percent of U.S. households with children under 18—or one in 40 households—has been hit by child identity theft, according to the Identity Theft Assistance Center.
What has the Affordable Care Act meant to your business so far? When it was first passed, many small business owners were concerned about new complexities and potential added costs and disruptions to their business operations. Now that important provisions of the law have been in force for a while, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers a review of some of the highlights and some timely advice.
Could your business bounce back if a disaster occurred? A minimum of 25 percent of small to midsize businesses that close temporarily due to a natural or other disaster ultimately never open their doors again, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. It is possible to weather any type of business interruption, however, only if you’re properly prepared. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these tips to ensure you’re ready for anything.
About 40 percent of U.S. households — nearly 50 million — own individual retirement accounts, which provide tax-advantaged options for saving for your retirement years. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers the following tips on how to avoid some common mistakes people make when managing IRAs.
As you get ready to go away to college for the first time, it is a good time to expand your knowledge of day-to-day money management, including smart budgeting and debt management steps. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers these tips to students who want to get through college with the right financial footing.
You’re ready to sign up for a new credit card that seems to promise a host of appealing rewards. But, are you really sure of what the card has to offer or how it compares with other options? Many people are not, according to a J.D. Power survey, which found that only 59 percent of credit card customers feel they “completely” understand how they earn rewards. Another one-third knew nothing about the benefits related to their credit card.
Are you planning to take a family vacation this summer? If so, it could become a pricey proposition. For those Americans with summer vacation plans, 41 percent expect to pay an average of $3,000 for transportation, lodging, meals, activities, entertainment and pet care, according to a new telephone survey conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers some tips on how you can set a budget for and hold down the cost of a family trip while still having an enjoyable break.
Can you have a memorable wedding day without breaking the bank? Absolutely. Even though the average wedding costs nearly $30,000, according to TheKnot.com, many happy couples have joyous celebrations for far less money. If you’re planning your own nuptials, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice on how to be frugal and still have a festive occasion.