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The good folks at TurboTax by intuit have been kind enough to provide me with FOUR TurboTax Deluxe gift cards to giveaway to four lucky readers of the is blog. These gift cards are for the online version only so there is no software to install. TurboTax Deluxe is the tax filing solution for most situations and is recommended for anyone who has a mortgage, donated to charity, have education expenses, or lots of deductions. The Deluxe version also include free e-filing to help you get your return faster.

I have personally used TurboTax in the past and had a great experience with them. I think this may be the last year I can use a product like deluxe since I hope to have a decent income from side ventures in the next year and may need to use one of the more complex filing options next year.

How To Enter

1.) Tweet it

Tweet about this giveaway, make sure you are following me and then tweet “Win 1 of 4 TurboTax Deluxe Gift cards via @suburbandollar RT + Fllw to enter #sdTTgvwy Rules ->”

(1 Entry + 1 Extra if you are a new follower)

2.) Comment

Leave a comment on this post, be sure to use your real valid e-mail address (it won’t display) so I can contact you if you win

(1 Entry)

3.) Subscribe

Subscribe to receive e-mail updates from It is super easy just fill out the below form with your e-mail and activate your subscription, then pop back over hear and leave a comment telling me you signed up.

Enter your email address:

(5 Entries for any NEW e-mail subscriber)

The Fine Print

The contest is open to anyone in the United States, I will randomly select four winners on January 25th giving you plenty of time to get your entries done. Each method only counts once (unless otherwise noted), I appreciate you tweeting it out 100 times but you only get one entry.

Updated 1/25/2010

Contest Winners

Via the bright minds at we have selected our four winners, in no particular order they are as follows:

Commenter #12 The Ramen Noodle
Commenter #32 KC
Commenter #20 DinaJ
Commenter #9 Kendra

Thanks to everyone who entered by tweeting, commenting, following, and subscribing!

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your-money-ratios-198x300I was given a copy of Your Money Ratios by Charles Farrell and asked to provide my thoughts on the book. I would like to first state that I was not asked to provide positive feedback on the book, just my honest opinion of the material and how it was presented. I am also going to be giving this book away to one lucky reader so be sure to read on to figure out how to enter the give away.

General Overview

Your Money Ratios seeks to provide the reader with a method for determining:

  1. How much they should be saving,
  2. How much they should already have saved,
  3. How much debt they can carry,
  4. How you should invest your savings, and
  5. What type of insurance you need.

The determination is made using ratios defined by the author such as the savings ratio which states you should be saving 12% of your annual income from ages 25-45 and 15% of your annual income from 45-65. Based on the book I should be saving at least 12% of my income every year (Which I am). Similar type ratios are set for each of the 5 areas listed above. Some of the areas, such as insurance, include multiple ratios.

What I liked

It is an interesting take on how to calculate the “necessary” goals in obtaining financial security. It clearly outlines what the author feels are the pertinent ratios and presents them in ways people can easily understand. Each section is targeted at a specific goal and doesn’t wander as much as some other books do. This makes the entire learning experience easier and moderately less confusing.

What I didn’t like

There is a heavy reliance on Social Security as a retirement income stream. While I don’t disagree with the facts he states regarding social security, it isn’t a guaranteed benefit and can be given at taken away at the whim of congress. I don’t really feel like I learned a lot from reading the book, it takes a lot of the regular principles of personal finance and packages them in a gimmicky box, the contents are still the same. To the authors credit he did a good job of explaining his ratios and someone just starting out could certainly learn a lot from a reference like this.

About the Author

Charles J. Farrell, J.D., LL.M. works for Northstar Investment advisers and writes a column for the CBS Moneywatch site. Prior to being an investment advisor he was a Tax Attorney which is how he picked up those fancy letters after his name. J.D. = Juris Doctor or Doctorate of Law and LL.M. is a Masters in Law.

Overall Conclusion

Overall the book wasn’t bad, it took concepts that are prevalent in most personal finance books and tried to apply some form of  “logic” to how they should be applied. If you are a numbers kind of persons it can certainly help you out to have these ratios to base your decisions on. One word of caution I like to give is to not rely solely on one resource to make all of you decisions. Just like noone should come here as their one stop shop for all things personal finance you shouldn’t rely on just one book. This may be a good compliment to your collection, especially if you collection is still in its infancy.

Win The BOOK!

We are giving away our copy of the book to one luck reader.

There are two ways to enter to win a free copy of the book “Your Money Ratios”

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me how you plan to improve this year on one of the Five Main elements listed in the overview.
  2. Tweet the following notice about this giveaway on Twitter:  I Just entered to win the book “Your Money Ratios” via @suburbandollar #sdymrbk

The Fine Print

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only sorry to my international readers but the book is kind of heavy. You get one entry and one entry only for each of the methods allowed. This makes for a maximum of two entries if you both leave a comment and tweet about the giveaway. If you tweet about it 6 times, I will appreciate it but you only get one entry. You must follow me on twitter so I can DM you if you win or use a valid email address when posting a comment. If I can’t get a hold of you, you  don’t win. The winner will be selected on Sunday January 10, 2010 via random number generation on


UPDATED 01/10/2010 – The winner has been chosen @liverealnow won by random selection and will be contacted shortly to receive their book.


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The folks at Feed the Pig asked if I would be interested in hawking some of their swag to two lucky readers, I couldn’t resist giving stuff to my readers and I found their site to be interesting so I agreed. But I want to make sure you guys know what they are all about. I will start out by saying their pig spokesman is creepier than the Burger King King. I think the talking Piggy bank is going to give me nightmares.


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