Monday, February 22, 2010

Annual Income Survey

In April 2009, I asked my blog readers the question: How much do you make? That is the question that many people have on their mind, but few people are willing to ask. And even fewer are willing to answer... In spite of that, my post invited readers to leave a comment revealing their annual income, as well as their age and occupation. Some readers also state their gender and geographic location.

Very few comments have been entered to date, even though readers can enter anonymous comments on PFStock. However, I recently placed a poll in the sidebar of PFStock that asks the same thing: "How much do you make?" With over 35 votes so far, the response to this poll has been much better than to my post. Here are the latest data from the sidebar poll:

Annual Income of PFStock Readers (as of 2/20/10)

Annual Income Percentage
less than $25k 5%
$25k-$49k 15%
$50k-$74k 5%
$75k-$124k 35%
$125k-$149k 5%
$150k and higher 33%

(Totals do not add up to 100% due to rounding.) These statistics will give you some insight about how your income compares against other PFStock readers. It seems that the median income of my blog readers is about $100k per year. I found it interesting that one in four readers has an income over $150,000. (In fact, this number fluctuated, but is sometimes as high as one-third of all readers making more than $150k.) I wonder how the average income of PFStock readers compares to the readers of other personal finance blogs. Does anybody have any insight on that? I think that I can say that 70% of PFStock readers have an income greater than $75,000 per year.

I was surprised at how willing people were to vote in an anonymous poll. At the same time, my post did not receive such a response. Perhaps people are skeptical that their responses will be kept anonymous. Or maybe they are unwilling to spend a few minutes writing a response, while clicking a button on the poll only takes a few seconds. In any case, I encourage you to participate in the anual income poll in the sidebar, and/or leave a comment here. I want to assure you that my Blogger account does not collect Email addresses or any other personal information, if you select "Anonymous" on the comment form. To be doubly sure, you can also sign out of Blogger.

Over the years, I have found that readers are innately curious about other people's finances. This natural curiosity -- wanting to assess how one is doing compared to others -- has led me to write my most popular post of all time: Net Worth Update. Thousands of readers have seen this post, but again very few comments have been entered. In other words, people want to have a peek at others finances, but very few are willing to reveal any details of their own personal finances.

So, what should my next poll be? A poll about net worth seems to be logical choice. Please see the sidebar to participate in the new poll.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tax Tips Software Winner

Congratulation to Stephen Grimes, who is the winner of the H&R Block Giveaway Contest. He will be receiving a copy of H&R Block At Home Deluxe (formerly known as TaxCut) which includes tax preparation for both federal and state returns.

His tax tip was to harvest stock losses, saying "I did this a year ago near market bottom, and I will be deducting $3000 per year off my income tax for five years!!"

Here are some of the other tax tips I've received (as well as some of my own).
  • File your taxes for free online. Many websites offer free online filing if you meet their criteria.
  • Buy a copy of J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax or the Ernst & Young Tax Guide to help with understanding tax laws and with preparing your taxes. Better yet, check out a copy of either one from your local library for free.
  • Contribute the most you can to a 401(k) plan at work.
  • Read PFStock and other personal finance blogs. (I think that this contributor has his own personal finance blog.)

The contest is over now, but if you have any other good tax or money saving suggestions that you would like to share, I encourage you to leave a comment below.

If you missed out on the H&R Block At Home giveaway, I do have a couple $10 rebate coupons good through 4/15/10. The rebate is good for $10 off of an H&R Block At Home Deluxe or higher purchase from retail stores. If you are interested, Email me your mailing address. I cover the postage to send it to you, but this offer is limited to the first two responses that I get since I only have two coupons.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last Chance To Win Tax Software

The deadline to enter the H&R Block Giveaway Contest is approaching. This contest will end on February 12, and the winner will be drawn from among the eligible entries. To recap, the folks at H&R Block have provided me a copy of H&R Block At Home Deluxe (retail value $45) to give away to one of my lucky blog readers. H&R Block At Home was formerly known as TaxCut.

This giveaway is for a new Deluxe (Tax Year 2009) version of H&R Block At Home which includes tax preparation for both Federal & State returns. That should be adequate for most people to complete their own taxes. Although the software includes free federal e-file, you may have to pay extra if you want to also efile a state return.

I am holding a random drawing for the tax software. Based on the current number of entries, your chances of winning are still pretty good. You can enter to win by posting a comment here.

As a reminder, you will need to send me an Email message letting me know that you posted a comment. Blogger does not retain your contact information, and anonymous comments are permitted.


This promotion is held in conjunction with
Note: H&R Block At Home software was provided for review by H&R Block. All opinions expressed are my own.