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Get taxes done for FREE

January 31st, 2009 at 10:01 am

Yes - for free. Is your adjusted gross income (AGI) less than $56,000? If so, you can prepare your taxes for free. Go to www.irs.gov.com to prepare your federal taxes for free.

To get your state taxes prepared for free go to your state income tax website. There you should be able to prepare and e-file your taxes for free, if they offer it. Most states offer the free service. If you prepare your state taxes on the "free" federal website they will charge you for preparing the state taxes. If you are expecting a refund, you can e-file for free, and get your refund deposited into your bank account within 10 days.

Truth -- this world's system is set up to separate you from your hard-earned money, so keep as much as you can.

Do you pay to get your taxes done or do them yourself?

Thanks for no customer service

January 3rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I went to the Dollar Store yesterday, and was shocked to hear the cashier, while ringing people up, screaming for the manager -- loud. The manager came, and the cashier told him a worker was driving up in the parking lot, and she was 20 minutes late. Then loudly she continued to complain about the worker, while ringing up customers, and told the manager to call the worker on her cell phone to turn around and go home. For a few minutes they both argued about who should call her, while she continued to ring up her customers. Finally, the manager went into a little office with no ceiling, called the worker -- yelling, and told her to turn her car around and go home. He said, "This time he wasn't playing."

By the time he came out I was in the cashier's line. She now was on her cell phone, while ringing up customers, loudly talking to someone saying how tired she was since she started work at 5:00 a.m. Of course, she had to tell the person on her cell phone about the worker that was 20 minutes late, and how she had to now work double shift and how unhappy she was. Then she told the person on the phone she would call them back in 10 minutes, because she had a long line of customers waiting for her. I was the third and last person in her line.

The cashier is now breathing hard, signing, huffing, puffing, and just plain irritable as we stand in her line. Once the cashier was off the cell phone, she asked the manager about his conversation with the late or fired worker. Then they talked about how trifling she was for always being late. They stated that traffic lights and getting gas is no excuse, and those things are apart of getting to work on time.

When I got to her I said, "Wow...Looks like you've had a really rough day. You've been here since 5:00 a.m.; you must be really tired, huh? I really hope your day gets better and you get some rest. Have a great day."

Geez, and retailers are wondering why they are losing business?

I'm excited about 2009

December 28th, 2008 at 02:55 pm

I know it may sound crazy, but I really am excited about 2009. I'm healthy, will be starting a new job, I'm still coaching clients, and I feel like I have a balanced life.

I am refusing to participate in the gloom and doom the media loves to program into us. I see many possibilities for great financial gains and accomplishments in 2009. When the average person is allowing anxiety, worry, and fear to consume their daily thoughts and actions, I choose faith and hope.

Of course faith, hope, and preparation is a major key to weathering this economic storm. I believe since we've been so frugal and have stored away in our time of harvest, we are prepared during this time of famine.

All in all, I'm excited about 2009 and I am looking forward to what the future holds.

What about you, are you excited about 2009 or not?

Prayer really does work

December 6th, 2008 at 11:53 am

We have electrical car problems. The inside light stopped working about 3-weeks ago, and this morning we found out the tail lights weren't working. We were so scared the cost would be a thousand or so. I mean come on it's electical work, right?

Well my husband took the car in this morning, and before he left we prayed for an honest person, and that the total bill would be no more than $200.

We got the call a couple of hours ago. The total bill is only $133, and the rental car we will need until Tuesday is only $66.70. Did you know if you put your rental car on your visa, insurance may be covered. Our Marriott Visa covers comprehension, theft, and liability.

Total bill $199.70 (repair and rental). Prayer really does work, and we are so thankful!

I'm so thankful that I'm thankful

November 29th, 2008 at 07:21 am

Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual. We went to Augusta, GA to spend time with my 4 brothers and sisters, and eight nieces and nephews that live in Georgia. The rest of my brothers and sisters (3) and parents live in Oregon/Washington area. Anyway, our tradition each year in Georgia is to spend Thanksgiving in Augusta at my sister's home. Like usual, we ate so much and it was so good. We all spent the night, woke up early, and cooked a huge breakfast. The breakfast, like usual, was incredible. What I love most is just the hanging out, laughing, talking, reminiscing, and time with a fun and loving family.

Then I started thinking about how thankful I am for the little things in my life. For my husband of 16 years, our daughter, a job, our homes, good health, food, transportation, a loving extended family, healthy parents, clothes, and money to pay bills. I'm just "thankful" for blessings that so many do not have. Yes, the blessings seem simple and basic, but what if you didn't have them? Yes, I am truly thankful that I'm thankful. And in this economy that is saying a whole lot!

Preparing for Christmas with No Debt?

November 16th, 2008 at 05:59 am

I don't know how much you spend for Christmas, but more then anything I hope you don't get into debt. A time that should bring happiness and cheer, can be diminished because of debt.

For that reason, the best way to not get in debt during the holidays is to prepare at the beginning of the year, like January. That means changing your habits. The best method to achieve this is by developing a Christmas list in advance. Matter of fact, set up a saving's plan just for Christmas spending from January to November. Next, determine the amount you want to spend on gifts, and divide it by the number eleven. For example, if the shopping amount is $500.00 divide it by eleven, which is $45.45 per month. Lastly, set up a separate bank account to deposit the $45.45 automatically, or set the money aside in an envelope each month and hide it. If you stick to your plan, by December you will have $500.00 set aside for Christmas shopping!

A few additional ways to enjoy a debt-free Christmas is to use a piggy bank to store spare change. Let the money accumulate, then deposit it every month into a bank account. At the end of the year you will be surprised to see how much you have saved. Finally, use your God-given talents for gifts: bake goodies, do hand-made gifts, or cook a meal for a group of family or friends.

There are so many other ways to walk away debt free at Christmas. What ideas do you have?

The gift of time is free

November 9th, 2008 at 02:29 pm

Today is my 16th year anniversary and my daughter's 11th birthday. We actually celebrated my daughter's birthday yesterday and had a great time. We took her to see High School Musical 3, had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, took her shopping for clothes, and brought her two finches as pets. Okay, that is way more than we usually spend on birthdays, but she's doing so good as a home schooler and becoming so responsible. We decided to do more than less.

Okay, so today is my anniversary, 16 wonderful years that went incredibly fast. My husband said, "Let's just give each other the gift of time." I thought what a wonderful idea -- time. And, it's free. So we have been enjoying the day reminiscing, laughing, talking, and just having "together" time, ah.

What I know for sure, having all the money in the world or receiving the most expensive gifts will not bring me happiness or keep a happy marriage and home.

Ah, the "simplicities of life" really do work!

Lower gas prices, Um...Election trick?

November 3rd, 2008 at 03:51 am

Yesterday after having a fun day out and about, we stopped to get gas. Surprisingly enough, the prices were quite low compared to just 3-weeks ago. Yes, $2.34 a gallon mid-range.

I told my husband 6-months ago that just before Election Day the prices would start dropping. And, yes they have! I've always felt the whole gas thing was rigged and crooked.

How low are your gas prices where you live? Do you feel the whole gas thing is rigged and crooked?

I'm saving on makeup and skincare products

October 27th, 2008 at 09:41 am

I've worn Mary Kay products since I was 17 years old. I've loved their makeup, skincare, and even perfumes for years. However, while evaluating my financial priorities and needs and wants, I'm staying focused on what is real important.

Yes, I need makeup, pretty skin, and to smell good, but also I need to re-evaluate if I can get all those things and save money too. I can and have!

Thank God I've found alternative products that I am happy with that have saved me a fortune. You know every penny really does count. I don't think my face and body knows the difference. They're just happy someone takes the time to care. Thank you Wal-Mart and Sally's Beauty Supply!

What changes have you made to save money on makeup and skincare products?

Are your kids frugal, too?

October 23rd, 2008 at 09:28 am

My daughter loves American Girl (AG) products. She is 10 years old. If you aren't familiar with AG, their stuff is good quality but very expensive. My daughter gets paid $10 from our neighbor to vacuum her home most weeks. She saves her money and when she gets $30-40, what does she do? Spend it on AG.

Okay, the dolls cost $90. Thank God her grandma gave it to her for a birthday gift last year. However, my daughter brought her doll a tennis outfit that came with a visor and tennis racket. It cost $48. I told my daughter I wouldn't pay $48 for an outfit for her, let alone for a piece of plastic.

Anyway, obviously our daughter is a great saver. But once she saves her money, it all goes to this pretty plastic non-human thing. I've started to take 50% of her earnings to go towards her savings account.

Funny, my husband and I are so frugal, and our daughter loves saving for pricey frivolous things. Hopefully she'll grow out of it.

Have your kids picked up your frugal ways?

Are you worrying or are you happy?

October 20th, 2008 at 08:23 am

Do you live your life saying, "I'll be happy when?" One thing I know for sure, happiness is a choice and so is worrying.

Regardless of our current economic crisis, I have made the decision to be happy and continue to enjoy life. Yes, we have lost plenty of money, too. However, I've been there and done that before. The season passed, we kept on living, and continued to save. You just do what you can do, right?

When you realize that you have absolutely no control of what will happen in the world and even your life, you just learn to ask God for his favor and blessings.

In spite of the economy I am happy and not worrying. I am doing better than some and worst then others, but I'm happy and okay with life and me. Are you?

I'm watching the budget, but cuban food is calling

October 17th, 2008 at 11:26 am

With the economy as it is, we are watching every penny. We're very frugal, but sometimes I just want what I want when I want it. You know what I mean?

Okay, so we just discovered this wonderful cuban restaurant five-minutes away. Hadn't tried cuban food before that, but basically it's just caribbean or island food. I LOVE it! I actually dream about it, and they have a great dinner special for $6.99 before 4:30pm.

So one thing we have decided to do to save money is to get food to go (no tip), and we are ordering a regular entree and two kids meals. Come on, I'm a kid at heart, right? Anyway, kid's meal portions can be bigger than adult meals at times.

I'm too excited!

What is it that you want when you want it, and sometimes you just got to have it?

Help someone and get a tax deduction

October 13th, 2008 at 01:18 pm

The end of the year is almost here. All through the year my family collect things that are still in good condition, but we have outgrown, do not need or want. We give our items to the Goodwill.
The great part, we are helping someone in need and we also get a tax deduction.

What do you do with items you do not want? Do you give them to others in need?

What are you doing to cutback on spending?

October 9th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Wow...times are pretty rough for most people. If you have not made adjustments to your way of life by now, I'm not sure what to say. We're frugal, but we've become even more frugal since June. These are a few things we've changed since June.

- went down to one car instead of two
- home school our daughter (hubby does that)
- have limit our 1-2 hour one-day-get-aways to once a month or every other
- haven't went on as many 2-4 day vacations. Have only went twice this year. Usually go 4-5 times.
- go out to eat around two times a month with coupons
- eat more salad and soup dishes with very little meat
- pay bills online or via phone to cut down on stamps
- our entertainment is more parks, walks, board games, and videos
- do not go out of our area to visit people, mainly talk on the phone
- do more home-churching than going to church (been doing that for years anyway)

What have you done to cutback on spending?

Buying gifts can really take you off your budget

October 6th, 2008 at 07:37 am

I have a baby shower coming up Saturday for a client. I just found out about the date this Friday, so I probably won't be able to attend because we already have plans. However, I do plan to purchase a gift, hopefully, going in on half with my sister (she's her friend too) who will probably attend.

Because most of my clients are all over the country, I never meet them face-to-face let alone ever see them. But this is a client since 2005 (off and on), before I made the rule of coaching clients over the phone, only.

I usually spend $10-15 dollars on baby shower gifts, but I will probably spend $15-25 for this client. However, since we're not a big gift giving family, it will throw us off our budget some. But I will take the cash out of another of our envelopes.

Are you a big gift giver? If so, do you have a budget, and how much do you usually spend in a month or year?

When no money comes in how do you cope?

October 1st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

In this economy with people being laid off left and right, how do you cope if both people in a household lose their jobs? That is a very difficult situation to be in. In 2001, my husband and I moved to Washington state. Unfortunately, 9/11 happened a few months later. We ended up living on our savings for 2-1/2 years. It was really really hard.

Now we are back in Atlanta, but I really feel for people in that situation. Especially if they do not have money saved. Here are a few suggestions to make ends meet and bring in extra income, if you are in that "season" of no income.

- Still track your expenses and budget your money
- Rent out a room or two if you can (do you have a basement?)