Monthly Archives: September 2008

“How Will the 2008 Election Effect Your Tax Bill?–Find Out

I found this website Election Taxes today  through a blog post by Rae.  It helps you estimate your taxes under the different proposed plans from  the candidates . It is fun and interesting

Rae ask’s a great question

“How will the 2008 election affect your tax bill?”

Find out each promised tax plan AND how  could it affect your taxes over the next four years based on “The McCain and Obama Tax Plans for Individuals

Resources

Interesting Website Published by Rae 2008 Presidential Election Blog

Educate Yourself about the 2008 US Presidential Election Posted by Devin Willis


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Interesting Conversation about Goals and Life + How to Set Good Goals

As I hung up the phone with a close friend, after an interesting conversation about goals and life. I rember reading a post by Maneesh Sethi that I found to be true.

You’ve probably heard this advice before somewhere. I remember being told to write down my goals in elementary school, but I never listened to the advice. Planning and writing down my goals always seemed so strange. Something that real people didn’t do – something for weird people. A recent article on LifeHacker, Why Goal Setting Makes You Cringe, explains how I felt about goal setting perfectly.

“Life goals are like religious views, salary, age, and weight — highly personal, rarely discussed, and for the ambitious and pie-in-the-sky among us, even embarrassing.”

It felt almost embarrassing to write goals!

So why should we set goals anyway?

For starters, several studies have shown a correlation between conscious goals and success on a task. With a list of goals, we know what we want – and we can plan how to get there. Setting goals is the first step in any major undertaking: financial changes, new businesses, scientific studies (you think of a hypothesis before you plan an experiment, right?).

How can I set good goals for myself?

So we need to figure out how to determine good goals. What are the characteristics of well-written, achievable goals? One of the basic frameworks for goal setting is called SMART.

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

All goals should follow these five requirements. For example, the goal “I want to be rich” meets none of the criteria: How do you measure “rich?” When do you want to be rich by?

Instead, you could say, “I want to pay off my $5,000 credit card debt by December, 2009.” Now, you have a specific (pay off the debt), measurable (all $5,000), attainable (with a plan), relevant (your finances are relevant to your life and future plans), and time-bound (by December, 2009) goal. You should make a list of all the goals you seriously want to achieve.

His post reminded me of my talks with coaches about  setting SMART goals to help achieve success in ones goals!

Resources

How to Set Goals: The First Step to Financial Success is Knowing What You Want Posted by Maneesh Sethi ::Lending Club Blog

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals by Adam Mortimer—Prosper Inc.—Prosper Blogs

How to set SMART goals for 2008! Posted by Tom under the category Business Principles

The Top New Money Management Tools and Resources to Manage Finances Posted by Devin WillisMy Discoveries on the Road to Prosper and Learn

The Top 18 New Money Management SitesWallStreet Fighter

Principles of Wealth Building Via Prosper Learning Coach-Posted by Devin Willis My Discoveries on the Road to Prosper and Learn


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Safe Search Engines for Kids +A Few Other Resources I want to share;0)

As father , I am always looking for selected  child-appropriate areas. I found a few safe places for my five kids to search the internet  and wanted to share them:

Kindernet–  Kindernet is the place for you. Kindernet insures that the safest and most useful results are found for you and your children. For example, typing in Britney Spears brings up news about her fan page and mild websites which are useful and appropriate for children.

I can assure you they will not stumble upon pages which reveal the true side of Miss Spears. Besides the smart searching filters. Kindernet also allows for faster searching by making the keyword entry process easy. If you want to search for two words, just type in “and” between your two key terms. If you wish to exclude a word, just add a minus sign in front of it.

GoGooligans – This is basically Google for kids. It has safety filters which prevent vulgar material from leaking out from the unsanitary cables and pipes known as the internet. GoGooligans also offers many search options, allowing kids to search through specific websites such as PBS, Britannica, Merriam Webster, About, etc. Also, once the search term is entered, users can then choose more specific results for their keywords, such as, Geography, History, Facts, Definition, and much more.

Ask Kids– The younger sibling of the infamous Ask.com. The people at Ask know a few things about internet search, and now they have passed on their wisdom to Ask Kids. This search engine is a easy to navigate and offers features which make searching less of an ordeal. Enter your keyword and you are presented with numerous different facts along with your search result. This allows the children to not get lost in the all the links, and it helps them to get their information quickly.

For  a few more click here

Happy searching!

Devin Willis

Resources

Top 5 Search Engines for Kids By Sasha R. Lahijanian–Alternative Search Engines

Top 5 Internet dangers for kids: A resource guide By Jessica Dolcourt -By Jessica Dolcourt – CNET Download.com (3/30/2007)

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The Top New Money Management Tools and Resources to Manage Finances

I know many individuals are looking for a better ways to manage their finances. In our family Julie(my wife and C.F.O) has done a great job keeping us out of major debt. However, we know it is an on-going  process and that is why I want to share the following:

Here’s a monster list of 18 of the top Web 2.0 finance services currently available. This list covers new sites offering services in a variety of specialized fields ranging from online banking, personal finance, investing, business tools, shared bills and housing prices. Be sure to fully investigate all the features and security details on a site before signing your life away and deciding which one best fits your needs. Or you can just choose the site with the coolest logo, always a fundamentally sound means of selection.

Enjoy, and let us know what you thought of your experiences with these sites.

ONLINE BANKING/PERSONAL FINANCE

DimeTracker is an easy to use tool that is perfect for keeping track of everyday expenses. If you are a person that constantly makes small purchases that land you in hot water when you fail to include in your check book this program is for you. DimeTracker is 100% free to use and has a mobile feature which can be used on the go. Use DimeTracker to keep tabs on spending at fast food restaurants, last minute grocery store visits, and other small expenses.

Foonance is a personal finance service designed with families, couples, and the average person in mind. This service takes a personal approach to money management with a user friendly, fun, interface that isn’t nearly as intimidating as some other sites. Foonance lets users quickly import their bank statements and other financial information so that new users can get started managing their money quickly. Users can set up different transfers between accounts and schedule transactions such as mortgage and student loan payments. These transfers can be categorized for easy reference later and pending balances can even be viewed to avoid confusion. Users have the ability to view their net worth in the program so that they always know their financial situation without having to toggle through accounts.

PearBudgetis an extremely easy to use finance managing tool that offers new users a free 30-day trial. If you have had a hard time using personal finance software like Quicken and Microsoft Money should give this user friendly program a try as PearBudget is perfect for people who have never had any luck with using finance programs before or have no experience managing their budget. If you enjoy tracking your finances with PearBudget it is extremely affordable to keep using: users are charged only $3.00 per month to keep their accounts active.

Money2Manage is an extremely easy to use software program that can be used to take care of all of your financial management needs. The easy to use app is perfect for users who have never used a financial management program before. Money2Manage lets users manage multiple accounts so that you can keep track of several different transactions in one place. It is also easy to set up a list of payees so that you can keep track of who needs to be paid what and when they need to be paid. You can easily create categories to make it easier to track different types of accounts.

Spendji is an all-in-one personal finance management tool for families and friends that have a great deal of planning to do. The site helps families create budgets that the entire family can follow: this includes handling bills, groceries, discretionary spending and much more. In addition to helping with budgeting, Spendji can be used to research costs before a trip and track expenses. Families and friends can also use Spendji to communicate and share important dates and news. Spendji is free to sign up with.

NetworthIQ is a free Web 2.0 financial management tool that can be used to keep track of all debts, account balances, and much more. This is a relatively easy to use tool that helps individuals track basic financial information. It does not have many of the tools available with other, paid-for, services but it is nevertheless useful. NetworthIQ lets users share their information with other members and even display your net worth on your personal website or blog. For those of you who are private you do have the option of keeping your information to yourself. Even if you do choose to share, none of your personally identifiable information is ever made available to other members.

INVESTING

Zecco combines a free online investing tool with a financial community. Users can set up an account at no charge and make stock trades without paying commissions or fees. This feature alone makes the site extremely popular with individuals who are interested in stock trading but unable to afford the fees and commissions associated with trading. In order to sign up for an account you must be able to provide proof of employment, a copy of government ID and your banking information. This information must be faxed to Zecco before you can start using the system.

BUSINESS TOOLS

Analysis One is an online tool designed to help businesses manage their finances and keep track of their organization. The tool is extremely easy to use but provides a wide variety of professional features that will primarily help business increase efficiency and productivity. The core competency of the app helps businesses to analyze their financial performance and identify strengths and weaknesses.

Endeve is an online electronic invoicing tool that can be used by self-employed individuals or businesses. Invoices can be created in only five minutes: there’s no more messing around with paper invoices and keeping track of paper receipts. These electronic invoices will help your business manage clients and keep track of revenue that is earned. Once you get started with this system you will cut down on the amount of revenue being lost because of poor invoicing habits.

Xpenser is an online tool designed to keep track of forgettable business expenses as soon as they are incurred. The tool is completely free to use and works with mobile devices including cell phones, Twitter, IM, and PDAs. Xpenser gives users an easy way to document expenses such as client dinner meetings, last minute travel and unexpected hotel expenses immediately. Xpenser helps cut down on reporting and expense errors that take place when spur of the moment business expenses are not accounted for, which saves you money and time.

Clarity Accounting is designed with the needs of professionals and small business owners in mind. It is a must have for self-employed individuals who have a hard time keeping their personal and business expenses separate. Clarity Accounting helps manage the income earned through professional work and the expenses that go towards business necessities. Multiple users can access Clarity Accounting, and it also has extensive customer support if needed. Clarity Accounting also makes it easy to back up information in case of a computer crash or other malfunction.

iOWEYOU is a unique expense-tracking program designed for anyone involved with casual lending and borrowing. It lets friends and family members easily keep track of who owes who what amount of money. The service is designed to be used by multiple individuals so that everyone can be involved and aware of transactions. iOWEYOU is great for family members who split household expenses and friends that are constantly arguing over who owes who money. Bear in mind that this is not intended to be used to manage personal finances or keep track of large sums of money, rather it is meant to replace classic “I Owe U” notes so all parties are the same  financial page

Humbly posted,

Devin Willis

Resources

The Top 18 New Money Management SitesWallStreet Fighter

Six Invaluable Online Resources For Personal Finance Education-Written by TrentThe Simple Dollar

Principles of Wealth Building Via Prosper Learning Coach-Posted by Devin Willis My Discoveries on the Road to Prosper and Learn


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Get the Real Scoop when politicians are lying Vs. Giving you a fib.

I found this today and found interesting. Don Reisinger wrote the following:

Have you ever wanted to know when politicians are lying? A startup called RealScoop thinks it can nail it down for you in real-time with the help of voice analysis technology that it claims is used widely in law enforcement and fraud prevention.

Dubbed the Believability Meter, RealScoop’s analysis technology analyzes over 100 vocal elements of the human voice and performs over 1,000 calculations per second to find out if a politician or celebrity is telling the truth. On Tuesday, RealScoop will cover the Vice Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, putting each one’s statements to its Believability test.

The site itself features a bunch of videos collected from outside sources that are played in its own player. The player features a meter that changes dynamically as it analyzes what’s being said. If it believes the person is lying, the meter turns red and moves towards the “highly questionable” area. If it believes the person is telling the truth, the meter stays green and in the “believable” section.

I found the website interesting and “believable”. Check it out and let me know what you think?

Devin willis

Resource

:RealScoop Tells You When Politicians And Celebrities Are Lying by Don Reisinger on September 28, 2008-TechCrunch

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Educate Yourself about the 2008 US Presidential Election

This 2008 US Presidential election is a very critical one. It is hard to tell what is true and what is not the truth during this process. I did find some resources  that will help  figure the important facts, so you and your loved ones can make an informed on the issues.

In fact Mashable’s Sean P. Aune stated

The 2008 US Presidential election process is in full swing, and with the first Presidential debates scheduled for tonight, it’s time everyone learned more about the candidates. While each of the candidates have their own official sites and social networking profiles, there are many sites that can help you boil down how each candidate stands and votes on the issues. You can also find lots of tools to get behind the rumors, see who is donating money to them, and much more.

And listed many helpful resources! I will list a few:

Glassbooth.org – Still unsure of who should get your vote?  Glassbooth quizzes you on your beliefs and tells you which candidate best aligns with what you want.

OnTheIssues.org – Gives you easy access to look up how each politician has voted on each issue as well as providing quotes they have said on each.

OpenSecrets.org – Breaks down donations by biggest contributors, which industries are donating the most, and gives you a good sense of who really is backing each candidate.

Pollster.com – Collects polling data from various sources into one location so you can easily track how various states are skewing in their support.

Snopes.com – The popular debunking site has numerous entries of Internet rumors for both of the candidates. StateSurge.com – Look up the voting and bill sponsorship records of Senators Biden, McCain and Obama, check out a graph of their legislative effectiveness amongst other information.

VoteSmart.org – Gives you information on each candidate with contact information, political history and a few other assorted facts.

ResourceEducate Yourself for the Presidential Debates With 25+ Sites About Obama and McCain September 26, 2008 – 4:34 pm PDT – by Sean P. Aune

I also recommend the following:

Fact Checking the Debate By Mike Krumboltz–Yahoo Buzz

Register to Vote Has “..voter registration information for the United States, including voter qualifications, voting resources, election links, political information”

The Politicalcovers political news with a focus on national politics, Congress, Capitol Hill, the 2008 presidential race, lobbying, advocacy, and more.

Real Clear Politics Collection of up-to-date political news from around the web. Polls for political races in categories.

United States presidential election, 2008-From Wikipedia

USA TODAY On Politics blog and USA TODAY On Politics. Both covers political news with a focus on national politics

I hope these will help you !

Devin Willis

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I am Researching Study Resource Called Cramster

As a father of five I found an interesting study resource called Cramster and plan on researching it. According to Classroom 2.0 Blog

“..It’s website explains that you can find help on this site from students, teachers and subject enthusiasts. According to TechCrunch it’s primarily for math and science.

Well, if you haven’t heard of them, expect to hear about them more now. They’ve just attained an additional $3 million in funding. They’re going to use it to help expand the number of users who come to their sit..”Classroom 2.0 Blog

Any Thoughts?

Devin Willis

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