Vehicle Tax Deductions For 2009 Tax Year.

Thinking of buying a new car in 2009 to get the tax benefits? Better act fast – you only have 60 or so days left before 2010! Because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, any new car, light truck, recreational vehicle or motorcycle purchased between February 17 and December 31, 2009 is eligible for a state and local motor vehicle sales and excise taxes deduction on your federal tax return. To get the full deduction of the taxes, your new car must not have cost more than $49,500 and you must not have made more than $125,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) in 2009. Of course, you have to still pay the taxes due when you buy the car, but you do get the money back when you file your taxes in a few months.

Unfortunately, the deduction doesn’t apply to used cars, but then again some of you may have taken advantage of the even bigger Cash for Clunkers program which handed out $4,500 to prospective buyers. Overall, it’s been a pretty good year to buy a new car – too bad I didn’t need one!


After 16 Years, A Credit Card Account Gets Closed Without My Knowledge.

Since 1993, when I was still in college, I have had a credit card with a certain company. Right now they call themselves FIA/IBS, but over the years they have been called various things. Well, as I said I have had this card on my credit report for 16 years, making it the longest line of credit I still have had open – until last week when they decided to close my account without even telling me. The card hadn’t been used in about a year, as I only use my Chase Amtrak rewards card now, but I still wanted to keep the card open (due to how long I had had it) and figured I would use it every once in a while to make sure it stayed that way. But FIA/IBS did not see it that way and proceeded to just cancel and close the account…and the only way I found out was because I called to change the address on the card in preparation of my move to Colorado.

When I called the (of course) automated phone tree and entered my credit card number, the robot voice on the other end told me my account was closed. Thinking there must have been a mistake and knowing that I never canceled the card, I waited patiently for 11 minutes until a human came on the line. I asked him about this account and he confirmed that the company closed it a while back due to inactivity. I asked him when they were planning on letting me know this, and he didn’t know if they were ever going to. I was pretty pissed – not because I lost some of my open credit but because I was a customer of theirs for 16 years and they couldn’t even bother contacting me to see if I wanted to keep the card open by using it. No phone call, no email, no letter…nothing. They just decided one day to close the account and ding my credit score a little bit. Thanks FIA/IBS!


The moral of the story? You don’t matter – not that you ever did, really. But I did figure that a 16 year relationship with a company mattered enough to warrant a phone call, but I guess I figured wrong. So if you have any open lines of credit that you haven’t used in a while, I would call and ask about them. You don’t want to go to use it and have it be closed on you, do you? I will be sticking with my Chase card (not that they care either, but I have never had any issues with them) for now, and as for FIA/IBS/Whatever you are called, thank you for breaking up with me. I have no interest in being with a company that couldn’t care any less about a 16 year customer.

Photo from Shutterstock


10,000 Ultimate Rewards Points For Chase Sapphire Card Signup.

This looks like a pretty good credit card if you are into cards that pay our rewards for usage. The Chase Sapphire card lets you use your reward points however you want – for things like paying yourself back for purchases you make, for travel with no blackout dates, or for restaurant dining certificates – and the points you earn have no caps, no limits, no expiration date. (Even my AA card miles will expire eventually, since I don’t fly anymore) You can earn 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase, the card has no annual fee, and you get 24/7 access to live, dedicated customer service advisors. Looking at the details, those 10,000 bonus points could be worth $100 in statement credits, so it’s a pretty good deal right off the top. I am happy with my Chase rewards card, but if I wasn’t and/or I was looking for a new rewards card, I might consider applying for this one too.


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Money Quote Friday – Contentment Edition.

Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.” “” Benjamin Franklin

Money can’t buy happiness, that’s for sure. Have a great weekend everyone…


The Best Places For Green Tech Jobs.

Considering ditching your current employer and looking for better pastures in the field of green tech? Now might be a good time to do so, according to CNN/Money. A recent article from them lists the best cities poised to do the best in clean, green tech, so if you live near one (or don’t mind moving) these would be the places to start looking for that new career. Here is the Top 5 from the list:

1. San Francisco — Oakland — San Jose, CA

2. Los Angeles — Riverside — Orange County, CA

3. New York — Northern New Jersey — Long Island, NY, NJ, CT, PA

4. Boston — Worcester — Lawrence — Lowell — Brockton, MA, NH

5. Washington — Baltimore, DC, MD, VA, WV

Click through to see the rest of the cities and to read more about the green job boom.

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