Online Tax Preparation

January 18, 2008

Well, the dancing Statue of Liberty is out again this year on Piney Forest Road(photo forthcoming if she’ll pose for me). She’s advertising Liberty Tax Service. Personally I think it’s very cute, though slightly distracting to drivers.  Also back for it’s sophomore year is our link to Turbo Tax Online. This is an online version of their self-prepared tax software. They actually have one option that says it’s free! It doesn’t include state tax preparation though. I figure that it’s good service if your taxes aren’t too complicated. I’ve always been impressed at the intuitiveness of the Turbo Tax for Windows product.

I used Turbo Tax for Windows for several years when things were pretty simple. But now after getting married, buying a house, having kids, finishing a basement, and now paying substantial amounts for medical expenses and health insurance, I’m going to stick with the friend who did them for me last year. (Note: Taxes and Accounting are his full-time job, not just something he does on the side.) I guess I’m the type who will sacrifice a little on the price when it promotes a local business or helps a friend.

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Is your money melting away in the current Spring heat?

March 27, 2007

Lately I have been finding so many things to spend money on! My wife wants a pressure washer, I want a shop vac, I need a car so i can give my mother’s truck back to her!(that I’ve been driving for 5 months now) I don’t know if the reason for my current spending urge is the wonderful weather we’ve been having or the fact that I received a tax refund of much more than I expected this year. I think its a combination of the two. From Christmas until now I’ve been in the mindset of trying to save money. Now that I have some money it seems like it just wants to jump out of my pocket. Perhaps you can relate? When you get out in the nice weather it is so easy to look at your house and think of ways to improve it. My neighbor borrowed a bull-dozer and is trying to level out his back yard. I am hosting my daughter’s first birthday party next month and the house needs to be spic and span inside and out. There are so many things that need to be done. The siding needs to be cleaned, the basement needs to be organized, I need more gravel on my driveway. That is the short list, if you want the long list ask my wife.

Here’s the point of my typing this morning. I have to find some way of saving some of the money I have. It’s ok to spend money, nobody likes a scrooge, but first I must take a few minutes to sit down and think about how much I want to save from this years tax refund. Then perhaps I’ll have a better idea of what I can afford. I’ve got to prioritize my purchases and watch out for the little things that make my money vanish, like a quick stop at a fast food store, or a new flash drive that’s on sale! Stuff like that adds up quickly. If the Spring heat is making my money melt away, I need to put some in the freezer, and thaw it out when I really need it. Share certificates and IRA’s are good for that sort of thing because the money can’t be withdrawn for just anything. But a secondary savings account is also a good idea, one that’s not tied to an ATM card. That way I would at least have to talk to a teller in order to get my money, and I would not be tempted to use it while I’m out and about.

So that’s my encouragement for all who think their money is just melting away. If anyone(PCU member) reading this would like some help with establishing some savings habits, feel free to give me a call at the credit union. You know I just realized something funny. Last year at this time I bought a new freezer!