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This week: 15 packing secrets, one question that could change your life, how to see beyond the obvious financial options, Costco angles and loopholes, and how to deal with estimated taxes.

1. Estimated Taxes – Who, When and How Much

[Cash Money Life] The post says that “you are supposed to pay taxes as you earn income. This isn’t a problem for many people because their employers withhold their taxes from their paycheck. But if you do not have enough money withheld from your paycheck or if you have additional income … you may need to pay self-employment tax.”

Those of us who have been self-employed for a while are familiar with estimated taxes. But if you’re new to the be-your-own-boss game, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

2. 3 More Costco Angles/Loopholes

[Chip’s Money Tips] “I’m sure a Costco membership works out financially for some people who buy stuff they actually need. It was not worth $55 a year for me. … Most of my purchases were for booze, taquitos and tube socks.”

Actually, Chip, where I live (Florida) you can buy booze from Costco without a membership. But if you want to save on taquitos and tube socks, these tips will come in handy. They include using Costco gift cards, piggybacking on someone else’s account and using Costco.com. Check out the post for more.

3. How to See Beyond the Obvious Financial Options

[Christian Personal Finance] “Imagine a salesperson knocks on your door and presents you with three options. You can pick Product A for $50, Product B for $75, or Product C for $90. Which one should you choose? … Wait a minute. Do you see what’s happening? You think there’s only three options. In fact, that’s not the case at all.”

The point of this article is that when it comes to making financial decisions, we often forget to consider other options. In the story above, for example, we have lots of choices other than A, B and C. We can negotiate, close the door, ask the salesman if they’re hiring, refer him to a friend, ask if he has other products, buy both A and C. You get the picture.

This view of decision making is worth a read.

4. One Simple Question That Could Change Your Life

[Clever Dude] “I’ve been trying to lose a little weight, but it hasn’t been going very well for me thus far. I’ve got the exercise thing down, as I work out 60 to 90 minutes a day. Locking down what I eat has been a completely different story.

“After the rest of my family had gone to bed on Thursday night, I decided to have a snack. A small bowl of ice cream led to a bowl of chips, and ended up with several raids on the bowl of leftover Halloween candy. As I was unwrapping a fun-sized candy bar, a simple question popped into my head.”

Can you guess what that question was? Now you’re going to have to read the article to find out. Go ahead. It’s worth it.

5. 15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler

[Wise Bread] “I have been living out of my luggage since 2007 — literally. I sold everything I owned to travel the world with one checked bag in tow. And when I get a chance to leave the big bag behind, I travel for months on end with carry-on luggage only.”

As a person whose traveled to Europe for 10 days with just a carry-on, I had to read this one. And if you like to travel light, so should you. From rolling your clothes to compartmentalizing, this post is packed with good tips. Don’t leave home without it.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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