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Money in the News: 2011 Tax Changes, Saving Money During Debt Reduction, Saving Money Through Your Employer

Free Money Finance posts about what’s new for filing your 2011 taxes this year. Keep yourself informed!

Higher standard deductions. — The standard deduction (13.1) is $11,600 for married persons filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)s, $8,500 for heads of households, or $5,800 for single taxpayers or married filing separately. The additional standard deduction (13.3) for being 65 or older or blind is $1,450 if single or head of household ($2,900 if 65 and blind). If married filing jointly, the additional standard deduction is $1,150 if one spouse is 65 or older or blind, $2,300 if both spouses are at least 65 (or one is 65 and blind).

Saving Money Today posts about fixing your bed credit while getting out of debt.

First, you need to get yourself in financial shape so you can make all of your bill payments on time and also save a small amount each month for emergencies because if you cannot do this then you might as well not even start. I know paying your bills sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people skip payments to pay for other things that pop up. This is where saving comes in, if you have no emergency fund when you get in trouble you are going to charge it to your credit cards. This just adds to your problems and keeps you not only in debt but also in the vicious circle of bad credit.

The Digerati Life posts about different debt reduction program ideas.

Work on quashing your debt faster by channeling more of your funds towards your debt load. Easier said than done, right? So to help this process, you can attack the problem from a different angle as well: see if you can reduce your debt obligation through negotiation, refinancing or consolidation. So there are a few ways to go about this, but before you seek loans with lower rates, be aware that there’s an important prerequisite involved: it boils down to having good credit. By being responsible about your credit, you’ll qualify for a lot of cheaper loans and may be able to “refinance” your existing debt.

Generation X Finance posts a few different ways to save money.

A CD can be a savings vehicle but it acts a little bit more like an investment. You deposit your money into a CD and then keep it there for a predetermined period of time, usually ranging from a few months to a few years. Because you are telling the bank you expect to leave the money in the account for a set amount of time CDs typically pay higher interest rates than a regular bank account. And the longer you agree to leave the money on deposit, the higher the rate.

Star Tribune lists a few examples on how you can save money through your employer.

Gym memberships or discounted memberships. Given the new year, many people are looking to make good on resolutions. Enter in: the health club. Many employers offer free or discounted memberships at health clubs through their insurance provider.

About Crystal Groves, Google+

Crystal Groves is a farmer, web developer, musician, blogger, and personal finance enthusiast from the back hills of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She started Money Drain as a project to encourage people interested in fixing their financial situation to share their stories and learn from the stories of others. We all make mistakes, but in order to change we have to make changes.

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