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Friday Faves: Happy no NFL week ladies!

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Happy Friday.  Am I the only one who is glad there is no NFL Football this weekend?  For the first time since September I will finally get a chance to spend a Sunday with BF and I’m excited.  Until next weekend that is when it’s time for the Superbowl.  It’s OK!  If you’re husband or boyfriend is obsessed with sports like mine is I’m sure you’re like me and you’re happy to have whatever time you can with him.  Right?

Enjoy your weekend.  Here are some great posts from our friends across the web:

Centsible Life – New Year, New Resolution: 7 Ways to Spend Smarter in 2015

YRL Planning – New Year’s Resolutions for Your Money – And How a Financial Coach Can Help

Money Crashers – Lifetime Savings Plan – Major Life Expenses & Savings Principles at Every Age

GoGirl Finance – 3 Financial Goals You’ll Actually Want to Accomplish This Year

Smart Money Chicks – Car Financing 101: Know Your Borrowing Options Before Car Shopping

Surviving and Thriving – An Explanation of millennials and money

Photo from I’dPinThat

Your Taxes: Love or hate relationship?

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After the new year starts everyone is focused on their New Year’s resolutions – as am I.  But once I’m set into my routine including my new goals – this year it was to hit the gym and lose weight – my focus quickly shifts to something else.  Taxes.

I have a love hate relationship with my taxes.  I love getting a refund but I hate collecting papers all year and calculating my income and expenses over the last 12 months.  I like to do as much as I can to prepare my taxes before I take them to my accountant because he charges by the hour.  The more work he has to do the more it costs me and I already think it’s ridiculous to pay a fee for a service that is mandatory by the government – but that’s a whole other story.

Personal confession: I’ve never filed my own taxes

It’s true!  I have to admit I’ve never filed my own taxes.  When I was 15 and got my first job working at McDonalds my Dad filed my taxes.  When I was 17 I started working two jobs and after my parent’s divorce my Mom took my taxes to her accountant.  At 18 I moved away from home to go to college and started filing my taxes out of state with H&R Block.

Now I’m 34 years old and I take my taxes to an acquaintance who I met through a colleague at work.  It’s actually turned out to be a great relationship; he sends me clients who need a financial planner and I bring my friends to him to file their taxes.  It’s a win-win situation.  But he still charges by the hour.

I’m sure if I really wanted to I could probably figure out how to file my taxes, maybe – but probably not.  Even though I work at a bank numbers still give me a headache so I much prefer to have someone do them for me.

Are you a brave soul who files their own taxes?

Hats off to you if you do.  I honestly don’t think I could do it – although I’d like to think I can the truth is I probably can’t.  I would sit at my kitchen table for 15 minutes staring at all my tax slips and forms and then get up to take some Tylenol.

I have a 9 to 5 job as well as my own freelance hustle on the side so I wouldn’t even know how to start doing my own taxes.  On top of that I wouldn’t know where to begin looking for tax credits.  So for me it’s worth paying a professional to file my taxes.

If I had a very basic tax return I would probably be able to crack down and do them myself, but even then we have to add BF into the equation.  Do you file joint taxes?

If you do file your own taxes our friends at H&R Block have a special offer for you.  Right now you can get their Deluxe or State desktop software free.  More details here.

Happy tax time!

Photo from IdPinThat

Will Borrowing Money Help Your Financial Worries?

payday loansFinancial troubles are the worst things that a person can face in his life. Of course none of us like to face any monetary problems in our life but everything cannot go so smoothly all through our lives. Financial ups and downs are a part of life and we have to deal with them as and when they occur.

So, are you faced with a financial emergency all of a sudden? Has an emergency arrived out the blue and needs you to invest a good deal of money? If your answer to these questions is yes then you must be requiring a quick solution. A financial emergency may arise out of nowhere and leave you totally baffled. Even the previous night before going to bed you might not be able to realize the next morning is going to be a huge burden of financial emergencies for you.

The situation would be worse if you have a monthly loan or rent to pay to a bank or to someone. An emergency means, you will not have any savings left and your bank accounts would also dry out. In such a scenario when skipping a month’s loan or rent is also not an option, it leads to a situation that is extremely hard for you to handle. And in these situations it becomes extremely difficult to come up with a solution. A relative or friend might not be always available to extend you a helping hand. And moreover, finance is a very delicate subject and not many of us can trust everyone with our money!

Therefore if you are facing a short term financial crunch and are looking desperately for a quick solution then no longer will you have to run from pillar to post. You can find your solution in the simplest way with the help of a few clicks of the mouse. Over the internet you will come across a company that will offer you the required amount of money for a certain time period. Thereafter you will have to repay the amount. However, before applying for these loans you need to remember that these are your short term requirements and are not going to suffice your long term needs. Therefore, you cannot depend on these loans for long term borrowing.

There are various payday loans lenders available on the internet today. You can visit their websites and know them individually. Each lender might be unique when compared to the other in some way or the other. Their loan lending terms and conditions may vary and before you borrow the amount you must read all their terms and conditions very carefully. Also, once you review the profiles of a few companies, you can conveniently go for the one that gives you the best offer and deal.

Therefore, it is time you kiss goodbye to all your short term financial worries as you can borrow money as and when you need and return them when the situation becomes stable and your financial condition no more worries you.

How to Save for Retirement and Keep Your Cushy Life

retirementI’m not sure about you, but I know there are always a million demands on my budget.

Whether it’s a home project, credit card loans, or the dreaded retirement savings that need to be set aside, the demands seem endless.

A comfortable retirement is something everyone desires; after all, most people don’t picture themselves working forever. With that being said, no one wants to live on a bare bones budget in their 20s and 30s to live in comfort “someday.”

So how do we do it? Save for retirement without forgoing the small pleasures in life?

1) Set It and Forget It 

If you don’t currently save money for retirement, it’s time to get started!

This may initially impact your lifestyle, but the longer you put off saving for retirement, the more “shocking” the lifestyle adjustment will be when you finally pull the trigger.

Cutting your expenditures by 10% today and diverting it to retirement fund is a lot less painful than cutting your expenditures by 50% later on–which isn’t unrealistic if you have to “catch up” down the road.

My advice to you is to “set it and forget it.” Set up automatic retirement contributions and get used to life without that additional income. It may be hard to imagine right now, but eventually you’ll get used to it ideally “forget” about it.

Fast forward a few years. Check your retirement savings. Voila! A nice nest egg.

2) Save Raises, Bonuses or Unexpected Income 

The second way to save for without sacrificing is by avoiding lifestyle inflation. This can be effectively accomplished by saving raises, bonuses, or unexpected income.

Let’s say you get promoted with a pay increase of 6%. Instead of improving your lifestyle with these additional funds, consider diverting some or all of the increased income to your retirement account.

A good way to maintain this balance is to take a page from Donna and Tom and “Treat yo Self” occasionally. Once or twice a year, splurge on yourself (whatever that means to you). Saving that extra income isn’t so difficult when you have occasions to spend your hard earned money.

3) Create New Income Streams

The final way to save for retirement while keeping your cushy life is by creating new income streams.

While creating additional income is easier said than done, it can be one of the best ways to improve your finances.

Find something that you can do outside of your full-time job. There is virtually an unlimited number of ways to make money “on the side” including freelance writing, teaching lessons, or starting an etsy shop. Creating new income streams is extremely beneficial because it’s all “in addition” to your current lifestyle; you don’t have to find funds within your current budget for savings goals, instead you can divert new funds towards those goals

While these ideas are a good start, you should also spend time learning about how much you should be saving, current inflation dates, and compounding growth.

An easy way to do this is by asking yourself these 4 retirement questions.  Once answered, you can formulate a plan to guide you forward into your new (but still cushy) life.