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This Week In Your Wallet – March 15, 2011

“Houston, we have a problem!” This was the very best line from one of the very best Tom Hanks movies (ever, IMHO).  This time around it has another meaning.  Yesterday, the folks at Turbo Tax released their list of the top 10 procrastinating cities as far as doing their taxes.  Houston, as it has five years out of the last 10, topped them all, followed by Chicago, New York, Austin and San Antonio.  Makes you wonder what’s going on not just in the big H, but in the whole big state.  (If any of you readers want to Tweet me a rationale @jeanchatzky or post one at facebook.com/jeanchatzky I’ll reward those I like best with signed books.)

The Turbo Tax folks also suggested that these are the top tax deductions said procrastinators are likely to overlook.  As that can get expensive, I’m posting them here.

And While We’re Talking Taxes…

Bob Scharin, a senior tax analyst at Thomson Reuters, pointed out a few pitfalls I hadn’t seen elsewhere.  I found them worth repeating.

And Speaking Of College…

If you have a child accepted to college who will be receiving financial aid, you’ll soon be receiving financial aid award letters – and you’ll have until May 1 to get back to the school to let them know whether your child will be attending.  Over the years, I’ve heard from plenty of sources that financial aid officers hate it when you call them to “negotiate” their school’s offer based on the others you’ve received.  So do not use that word.  But, advise the folks at SimpleTuition.com, do call (particularly if one offer doesn’t hold up next to the others) to see if more can be done.  In particular:

Quick Stat: A survey by Mintel said that 93 percent of online banking customers would go elsewhere if the bank imposed a monthly fee of $5.  As someone who visits her banks online billpay center almost daily,
I’d be bummed about a fee like that, but I don’t know that it would move me out the door.  How about all of you?

Have a great week!!


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