If you haven’t filed them already, the clock is ticking. Get all your paperwork together and get ready to get to get going. Ready? Not sure? Some paperwork you may need are:
W-2 from your employer. You should have received this by January 31.
1099-INT for savings account interest from your bank.
This is just a small example of what you need to have. Depending on your situation, you may need more. Check with a local tax preparer if you have questions about your individual situation. I’m sure they’d love the work, and the boost to the economy!
If you do your taxes yourself you’ll need the forms to file them with. At a minimum:
State tax return forms. You can search for them in your search engine of choice to find them (Like Colorado forms in Google). Your local library will usually have these forms as well.
Again, if you have any questions, or are unsure if you are doing them correctly, go to your local tax preparer. You don’t want to have all your papers in and have Uncle Sam come back and say, “hey, where’s that $50 you owe me, with interest”.
If you get money back on your taxes, now might would be an excellent time to start a savings account, or add to it! If you have to pay taxes this year, then after you pay Uncle Sam, start a savings account to pay him off next year (or talk to your employer about adjusting your W-4).
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Not basketball madness, bill madness! Lots of people are marching off to work, to work off their credit card balances from 4 months ago in the hopes of having it all paid off for the next big spending season. What madness it is to live like this!!!
While it is better to give than receive, I sure think it is better to give less and not receive (a bill in the mail). Simple things like saving, bargain shopping at places like Savers for gifts and everyday items, and just plain not spending money can make a huge difference in the size of the credit card bill monster in your mailbox. It may take a year or two of working to avoid that monster every spring, but it can be done! I’m currently helping someone tackle that monster with some simple planning.
Good news for all you android phone users, we now have an app that will allow you to apply from your phone! All the great research done on each company presented on the this site, now in the palm of your hand and even easier to use. Try doing that with a rotary phone! (What’s a rotary phone you ask? Look it up on wikipedia!)
No, I’m not here to save your soul. You should get an external harddrive to backup your copies of James Brown. What I’m here to talk about is saving money.
No matter how much, or little, you make, you should set some back every paycheck for when you really need it. It could be as little at 50 cents, or as much as 5 thousand, but realistically $100 will do. $100 a paycheck will be $2,600 a year, and you get the bonus of interest if you keep it in a savings account. With the average person getting over $2,000 back on their federal income tax, an additional $2,600 already in the bank will make for a nice down payment on a car, house, tuition for going back to school, or that dream vacation that you’ve been wanting for years. Wouldn’t that be a nice vacation!
For times when your paycheck just doesn’t stretch far enough, you can get a short term solution that will get you through your time of need. Remember it is only a short term solution, so pay it off quick and get on with the saving!
I have people come to me on occasion with a fantastic idea for a new product or service. They will go into great detail on what they will be able to do, how they will be able to save lots of time and effort, and what steps are needed to make their idea truly happen. I enjoy listening to people like this, it makes me excited for them and their great idea, it proves that innovation and the American spirit of invention is alive and well.
After intently listening to this wonderful idea, a real potentially revolutionary product, that could be used by millions for decades to come, I always give the same comment: “That’s a great idea! Now do it!!!”. Blank stares of disbelief. Repulsed looks with a “how dare you say such a thing” vibe. Without action, your idea is just a pipe dream.
You need to make your great idea happen, no one else will do it for you. If they did, then they would claim all the bragging rights, as well as the money. There are many reasons why someone can’t get started, but the one easiest to overcome is money.
Some ideas require a little bit of money to get moving. Some short term financing can be the ideal solution in many cases. I remember back in my younger days, before unsecured short term financing was available, I would go to the local pawn shop and hock some personal item for way less than it was worth to get the money I needed. Today we have many more options for short term financing, some that you are able to do from the comfort of your own home! These options can also be faster, and safer than the local pawn shop, and you don’t have to risk loosing that diamond necklace your girlfriend gave you for Christmas.
Why am I dancing with the Ostrich? Because it’s fun!!!
One of Bob Parsons’ (founder of GoDaddy.com) 16 Rules is “There’s always a reason to smile.” This is very good advice for many reasons, most importantly it makes you look like a fun person to be around! And as Bob’s brother reminds us, “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”