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  • Saving Money on Your Taxes!

    Posted on January 12th, 2016 savemoney No comments



    Yep, it’s almost that time of year again!  Time to file your taxes!  BLAH!  However, there are some ways you can save money when it comes time to file your taxes.

    Don’t be fooled by those folks who offer to do your taxes and then write you a check that day.  This is the biggest mistake that people can make.  They give you that check based on what your tax refund would be MINUS a percentage of what they make to give you that big fat check that day.  Do you really want to give up 10 – 20% of the tax money that is due back to you?  I sure wouldn’t!  That’s my freaking money and I want to keep all of it.

    Contrary to popular belief, if you file electronically (no matter where you go) you should have that money in your bank account within 5 – 7 business days.  It’s not like you have to wait for months on end to get your tax money back like you used to.  So don’t let them sucker you in to writing a check the very day they file those taxes for you.

    Also, you can find free help on the internet to any and all of your tax questions.  You can log on to the IRS page and they can give you all of the answers that you need.  You can also call them if you’d prefer; either way, they can help you and they don’t charge a fee.  Don’t think you have to pay someone to answer questions that you can get free answers to.

    You can also use several programs online to file your taxes that don’t charge you anything at all.  You will pay absolutely nothing (sometimes it’s based on your income) so you don’t need to go sit at a tax preparer’s office for hours on end waiting for your turn and then dishing out a fee to them to boot!

    So, plan to wait a few extra days for your tax refund and don’t pay someone else to do what you can easily do at home yourself!

    I hope you get a HUGE refund this year!

  • Get Your FREE Credit Report!

    Posted on January 5th, 2016 savemoney No comments

    Credit Report

    I wanted to check in with you today to remind you that it is time to get your FREE credit report for this year.

    You are entitled to a FREE copy of your credit report ever single year from all three of the largest credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  However, you don’t have to contact each of them separately; you can simply go to ( is the official site to get your free annual credit reports. This right is guaranteed by Federal law {from their website}) to receive all of them.

    Once you have received your credit reports look them over completely.  There might be information on one that isn’t on another, but as long as the information is accurate and all of the accounts on the report are yours, it doesn’t matter.  Some companies report to only one agency while others report to all three.

    If there is anything on your credit report that doesn’t belong to you, follow the steps with each reporting agency to have it removed.  It generally takes them about 60 days to do an investigation and if they find the information isn’t true they will remove it.

    It is also important to do this because of the high rates of identity theft.  If you notice several credit cards or loans in your name that you weren’t aware of, you could be the victim of identity theft.

    The reports are free and you ARE entitled to a copy of each one every year so make sure you take advantage of that.  You never know what you might find on there that doesn’t really belong to you.

    Now, I’m off to get my free credit reports right now!

  • Saving Money on Christmas Gifts!

    Posted on December 10th, 2015 savemoney No comments

    Christmas Gifts2      Shopping for Christmas can get expensive quickly, especially when you have a lot of friends and family to shop for. There is relief, however, in knowing that you do not have to break the bank in order to provide a lovely, thoughtful Christmas gift.

    Before you head out and try to do your Christmas shopping, be sure to make a list of people you plan to give gifts to. Making a list ahead of time will help to ensure that you are not leaving anyone out and at the same time having your list handy for when you find possible items.

    Homemade gifts are well received because of the thought and effort put into the gifts. There are many different types of homemade crafts that you can make as gifts with little money and effort. If you like to cook, jellies and jams can be made in a relatively short time and many can be made at one time. Simply use an old family recipe, or if one does not exist, use one found online.

    Other handmade ideas include memory shadowboxes or scrapbooks and jewelry. Personalized gifts show the recipient that you took the time to make them a special gift.

    Visiting thrift shops and second-hand shops is another way to save on Christmas gifts. Many of the items in thrift shops are gently used, making them acceptable for gifts. Keep an open mind as you walk through the shops, and keep specific ideas or people in mind as well. This will help you to find the hidden gems while shopping.

    Another venue you can search for Christmas gifts is at a flea market. Flea markets have gotten a bad name in recent years, but if you take the time to look you may find reputable dealers who sell decent merchandise. You may be able to talk down prices as well, especially if the dealer is having a hard time moving the merchandise.

    Shopping on Black Friday is another way to get great deals on items that would not normally be on sale. Browse fliers beforehand and make a list of possible items to purchase. You can find websites online that cater to providing sales fliers, such as If you do not wish to venture out on Black Friday, know that most retailers now offer shopping online for that holiday weekend.

    Christmas shopping can be a stressful event, especially if you do not have a lot of money to spend. Keep it simple by shopping around at unique venues or consider making your own gifts. Either way your friends and family will enjoy the gifts and the holiday with you.


  • Christmas Decorating on a Budget

    Posted on December 8th, 2015 savemoney No comments

    Christmas Decorations

    Believe it or not, it is that time of year again where we begin to prepare for our Christmas Holiday. This year does not have to be a stressful event if you plan ahead and utilize all resources. You do not have to spend a lot to create an enjoyable environment. The traditional Christmas complete with tree, wreath, garland, candles, ornaments and lights can become your families tradition, where all members of the family come together to partake in the event.

    The tree, probably the most prominent item for the holiday, can be dressed up to suit your style. For the garland, why not try stringing popcorn together. You can use food dye to create your desired color. Or if you have younger children, make chains made out of construction paper.

    As for the ornaments, take a trip into your local craft store and purchase some Styrofoam balls, pins, glue and fabric samples (which are usually placed in the front of the store) to create one-of-a-kind delights. If you do not have the time to create your own ornaments, another option would be the second-hand store near you.

    For the wreath the possibilities are endless. Again, if time permits you can make your own wreath from fresh evergreens. Or simply purchase a wreath, adding on some of the leftover fabric samples for the bow and then add on simple things that can also be purchased for very little such as dried flowers, fake birds, fake snow, and throw in some pine cones from the yard.

    Do not forget the candles. There is something to be said for the ambiance created from candles. They definitely bring atmosphere to the holiday. Making candles with the family can be as rewarding as the finished product. Again there are many shapes and styles of molds for the candles, and you can create your own masterpiece.

    If you have a fireplace, you will want that decorated as well. At this point you probably have most of what you need from the other projects, except for some evergreen branches which can be purchased almost anywhere. You can either leave the fireplace mantle exposed or for a warmer feel, try draping a cloth over it.

    Now that you and your family have created the perfect Christmas on a budget, throw a few logs on the fire, sit back and enjoy. This is one Christmas the whole family will remember.


  • Save Money by Shopping Early for Christmas!

    Posted on December 3rd, 2015 savemoney No comments

    Shopping Early

    When should you purchase Christmas presents? Many people wait far too long to do this.

    There are a number of reasons to shop early. Here are five of the best:

    1) More availability

    When the holiday rush is on, there will be a limited supply of items. When you purchase at a time when there isn’t demand, you ensure the product is still available. So the quality of your gifts is likely to be better.

    Often when you wait until the last minute and the product isn’t available, you have to get something nobody wants. When you do your shopping early, you ensure your presents are well thought out.

    2) Spreading out the expenses

    When you make all your purchases in December, this can wreak havoc with your finances. Instead, when you spread out the cost over the whole year, you will take less of a hit.

    The reality is, you never know what expenses you will have in December. What if your car breaks down and you have to spend $1000 to fix it? This will seriously lower the amount of money you have to spend on Christmas presents. So buying throughout the year, instead of all at once, ensures you won’t be caught unprepared.

    3) Save money

    This is one of the biggest reasons to shop early. While there are many “sales” during Christmas, few of them are legit. This is because the stores actually raise their prices right before the sale. They then “mark them down”, giving the item the appearance it’s on sale.

    In reality, it will still cost more than what you would have paid at non-peak season. After all, why would they have a sale when demand is at its highest?

    4) Save time

    When you go to the stores during December, they are much more crowded, and it takes a lot more time. Wouldn’t you rather be spending your time doing something else?

    5) On time presents

    When you wait until the last minute to get something, you just are asking for trouble. If the product has to be shipped, there is a high probability it won’t arrive on time. When you buy something in July, on the other hand, you are guaranteed an early arrival.

    Just don’t forget to keep track of what you’ve already purchased. This will prevent you from buying the same item twice.

    The bottom line is, there are many reasons to do your shopping early. These are five of the most important. So get started shopping now. When Christmas rolls around, you will be prepared.