I bet you thought tax time was behind us, didn't you?
In reality, though, it's always tax time. Am I having enough withheld? Am I saving enough? How much will I owe? How much will I get back? What impact do the changes to tax laws have on me, if any?
Roughly 1 in 4 Americans will have a tax bill (not a refund) in any given year, and recent tax law changes mean that many people are finding their tax refunds are smaller or gone altogether. If you're self employed, you know this struggle well - particularly if your business is changing rapidly, and/or you don't have the cash to consult with a CPA to do detailed tax planning.
If you're one of the folks who got a bill this year, you might be asking yourself - what happens if I can't pay my taxes?
If you’re like most folks, you probably use credit cards. Maybe you’re working on paying them off, or maybe you’re like a lot of people and use them for points.
Getting rewarded for spending money you were going to use anyway? Sounds like a great thing, right? Just switch the card you pull out of your wallet and there you are. Points! As long as you pay off the cards at the end of the month, you don’t pay interest, and then you get all these magic points. Win-win, am I right?
Do you wish you could travel more without having a vacation-budget-hangover?
What do you like most about traveling? Checking out new places, spending time with family or friends away from the hustle of everyday life? Are you more of a staycation person, a backpack through Europe person, or a rent-a-house-with-the-whole-family person?
In this week’s Two Cents Tuesday video, I’m talking about why the answer to the above questions can help you save a bundle on your next vacation.
In this Two Cents Tuesday video, I’m talking about some spring cleaning you can do to your finances. After all, spring often feels like a mini-new year. A great time to reexamine things and check in on your goals, like:
Getting life insurance like the good adult that you are
Figuring out how retirement savings works when you’re self employed
Start budgeting, if you don’t already
Setting aside assumptions about what gets a spot in your budget - and what doesn’t - and looking at it with fresh eyes.
Ever really wanted something, but knew you didn’t exactly need it? This week’s Two Cents Tuesday video is for you. In it, I’m talking about the ways that I use wish lists to get what I need without spending lots of money - no whining and begging required.
Humans are great short term thinkers, and pretty poor long-term thinkers. We want things and we want them now. This makes things like paying down old debts, saving for the future, and cutting carbs oh-so-tough. Not paying debt and eating pasta is just...better than the alternative. At least, until a few years later when we’re cursing our younger selves and trying to repair the damage that was done.
A big part of this reason is that in essence, we’re actually of two “brains” here - an emotional (short term) brain, and a logical (long-term) brain. As one author of a study on economic behavior said, “Our emotional brain wants to max out the credit card, order dessert and smoke a cigarette. Our logical brain knows we should save for retirement, go for a jog and quit smoking.” Even the most logical among us has felt this tug, and it’s telling to know that we’re really hardwired to respond to short-term stimuli. Flashing lights, great sales, oncoming tigers.