eFinPLAN Blog

Here you'll find no-nonsense advice to help you understand and manage every one of your pennies - from how to budget yourself out of debt to tips for selecting the right kind of insurance. We write every word ourselves so you'll know that the information you read here is accurate and practical!

9 Steps to Master Your 401(k)

Categories: Plan, Retire

Your employer-provided retirement plan (e.g., 401k) is one of the most important pieces of your financial plan — yet it is often misunderstood and under-utilized. Master your retirement plan to retire early, on time, and achieve financial success. During this time of year, either 4th quarter or the 1st quarter of next year, your company… Read More »

The truth about teens in debt

This is a guest post from Stewart Smith In the present financial situation, the money that you earn from your job is just not sufficient to cover everything you want. Now, the most obvious solution would be to get a credit card in order to fulfill all your desires. Well, this is the way how… Read More »

The Economic Cost of Angry Birds

Interesting and funny but unscientific article about the amount of time consumed playing just one game, Angry Birds.  This article cites a recent report that around the world people spend 200 million minutes on Angry Birds every day. This adds up to 866,666,667 hours per year in America, and might compute to 43.3 million working hours, that at $20 per hour… Read More »

Savings, CDs, Money Markets and Linked CDs

Many people ask me about savings accounts, money markets and CDs, and the latest version of CDs, market linked or index CDs: Q. Most financial experts say that we should accumulate 3 – 6 months of income or expenses in a safe savings account, for emergencies, such as job loss, uninsured damage to property or… Read More »

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Categories: Real Estate

Step 1: Get Your Financial House in Order Before you even think about the purchase of a home, look at your entire financial plan (talk to a financial planner and/or do your own plan using online software like eFinPLAN.com. The purchase of a house affects not only the amount of money you currently have in… Read More »

Christmas Micro Budgets

Categories: Budget

Shopping for Christmas gifts can surely be a budget buster. If you go shopping and  do not have a list or calculated in advance how much you are going to spend on particular individuals, your emotions may get the best of you, and you will wake up with a massive debt hangover after the holidays…. Read More »

Morningstar’s New Fund Ratings

Categories: Invest

Morningstar Inc. known as a leader in providing mutual fund analysis for the investment community and consumers, recently introduced a new system. The well know star ratings of providing 1- 5 stars based upon mutual fund’s past performance, has been helpful to some people at evaluating mutual fund choices.  Past performance is often no indication of future performance, but merely… Read More »

Tax Strategy Patents

Categories: Giving, News, Taxes

Some providers of financial products and services, think that they have found or created a unique tax strategy and will submit that strategy for patent protection. Some believe that owning such a strategy provides them with market protection and potential income when others what to license their strategy. President Obama recently signed the America Invents Act (Public… Read More »

Mortgage Insurers Struggling

Categories: News, Real Estate

An article in The Wall Street Journal 11/15/11 about the Federal Housing Administration or FHA “Loan Backer’s Cash Runs Low” states that an audit being released today that FHA has close to a 50% chance of running out of money and require a tax-payer bailout. This follows the 10/23/11 news that PMI group the third largest mortgage insurer was taken over… Read More »

Tax Breaks for Special Education

Categories: Taxes

The article Tax Report: Hidden Tax Deductions for Special Education, in the 11/13/11 Wall Street Journal highlights several tax breaks for students who fall into the “Special Needs Category.”  This article is worth reading if you have special needs children in your family, or you do financial planning or tax preparation for those that do.