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If you’re like me, the list of things to do seems to get longer and longer, while the days get shorter and shorter. It feels like there just is not enough time to get everything done that I want to get done. Of course I know that this is not true. In fact, the opposite is true. I have plenty of time; I just don’t utilize that time properly. I am getting better, and here are some of the time management strategies that I am implementing to make my days more productive.
I feel I have mastered the to-do list. No longer do I scribble on sticky notes and place them on my computer monitor. Instead, I have created a simple Excel spreadsheet. One whole sheet of paper is blocked off into sections, and every task is listed. When it is completed, I place a checkmark next to it. As soon as an item comes in, I quickly write it onto my to-do list, and then return to the task at hand. If the sheet of paper gets too full, or too crowded, I print a new one and transfer incomplete tasks over. For each day I will prioritize tasks and write them on a separate piece of scratch paper to keep my mind clear of the full list.
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Most married couples file their taxes jointly as a matter of course. But there are some instances when filing separately is actually the better choice for a married couple. Just in time for tax season, here’s what you need to know to determine when filing jointly and separately makes the most sense:
The Perks of Filing Jointly
In general, the IRS would prefer married couples to file jointly. For that reason, joint filers are offered one of the largest standard deductions offered each year. For 2013 taxes, that joint standard deduction is $12,200—twice the amount offered to single filers or married couples filing separately.
In addition, married couples who file separately forfeit a number of tax credits and deductions that they would otherwise enjoy if they filed jointly. That means if you file separately from your sweetie, you can’t take the earned-income credit, claim adoption expenses or child and dependent-care costs, use educational tax credits, or deduct student loan interest. In addition, the amount of capital gains losses you may deduct is double for joint filers compared to separate filers.
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A structured settlement is a kind of annuity or a fixed sum of money decided to be paid to someone every year, possibly for the rest of his life or could also be arranged in monthly installments along with the annual arrangement. They are awarded as a compensation for personal injuries or legal settlements. Also the workers’ settlement claims and lottery winnings fall in the bracket of settlements that the concerned company may provide as a part of their structured settlements to the recipients.
The much required division of the settlements into an annuity
Before 1982, these structured settlements were only given in a lump sum amounts up front to the plaintiffs who won their cases against the defendant insurance companies, but with a new Act passed by the Congress- the Periodic Payment Settlement Act, these payments can now be divided into monthly and annual amounts which the plaintiff decides upon. This money is also exempt from all federal, state and local income taxes and is therefore completely tax free. The legal incentive attached with the settlements makes it more profitable for the wronged person. This amount he/she gains could be used to pay his medical bills or other payments that he may have incurred in the cases of car accidents and other mishaps. There was other pressing need to have the settlements awarded in installments- the large amount of money received by the person was seldom tackled well and was actually almost never managed skillfully by them. Also, in the case of minors, it was observed that the people who are guardians of the minor used the money irresponsibly before the minor can be old enough to gain from it.
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Southwest Airlines offers four Visa rewards cards ranging from a premiere program to a business program. Each card offers unique services, discounts and mileage points. Choosing the appropriate card for your needs involves assessing the purpose of your travel, how often you fly and the specific desired benefits and amenities of each card. For example, the latest Southwest credit card offer awards 50,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first three months. The following short review of each card type should make your choice simple.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card and Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
There are a number of member benefits for holders of the Rapid Rewards Premier card, including earning two points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines or AirTrans direct purchases and Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental purchases made through their partners. Additionally, one point can be earned per dollar spent on other purchases. Points can be redeemed for international flights, hotel rooms, car rentals and gift cards. The card offers bonus rewards points on several occasions, including when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months you hold the card, on your cardholder anniversary and at a selection of spending thresholds. This card also means that when you check in at an airport, your first and second bag will not incur fees, you are not charged a fee if you must change your flight, and you incur no foreign transaction fees for purchases made abroad. Finally, with the Premier card, you can gain A-list and A-list Preferred status with perks such as priority boarding, check-in, stand-by status and security lane access as well as double points on Southwest flights. While the annual fee is higher than the other cards, for the frequent flier, particularly someone traveling abroad, the benefits are substantial.
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