Money Saving Tips

Get A Jump Start On Your Taxes

Tax season is right around the corner and there’s no better time to begin preparing than now.

Hopefully you have been preparing all year by saving and filing receipts, expenses, paperwork etc. in order to make taxes this year as painless as possible. If you haven’t, it’s not too late. Make a list of any transactions that you need documentation for and start tracking down how to get in touch with the people or companies who can give you copies. The sooner you start contacting and looking the better as people will only get busier the close it gets to April.

Many online banking programs offer filtering systems so that you can look for certain transactions. They often create graphs and charts that outline expenses and can help you sort out business expenses from personal ones. This is very beneficial for those who are self-employed and need to track down transactions to deduct. Banking statements can usually be accessed for at least a year prior and easily downloaded to your computer.

It’s also a good time to start looking at your options for completing your tax return. Many websites offer specials leading up to tax season in order to secure registered users. Talk to friends and family for references on accountants or companies they have used in the past. Look for programs or companies who specialize in the type of work and tax help that you need assistance with. Tax laws and requirements can be confusing and the consequences of filing your taxes incorrectly can be disastrous. The IRS can come back years later for a simple and innocent mistake that can then cost you thousands of dollars in interest.

To better prepare for next year, make sure you save and file all receipts and documents. Consider keeping a running list of expenses or utilizing one account so that all of your transactions are easily accessible. Also make sure that you learn about potential deductions you can use and charitable donations that can save you lots of tax dollars.

Agency Fusion contributed this guest post, and offers help and assistance on organizing your business for the upcoming year.

Money Saving Tips

Don’t let yourself be harmed by your lenders

Are you someone who is weighed down by your credit card debt burden? Did you max out all your credit cards due to impulsive shopping with credit? If answered yes, you might think that the company that offers to erase your debts for pennies on the dollar is perhaps the right answer to your prayers.

But beware as this isn’t true! While seeking help of the debt relief services or debt service can certainly put an end to all your financial woes, at the same time if you blindly believe them, you might even face serious long-term consequences for your credit report that might affect your future ability to get new lines of credit.

A word of caution for the hapless debtors who are looking for seeking debt relief

Before you know the various debt relief services that you can get help from, you should know the dos and don’ts that you need to follow before seeking legal help:

  • Don’t work with a company that promises to reduce your unsecured debt for pennies on the dollar. The truth is that there’s no guarantee whether or not any creditor will accept the partial payment of a debt that is legitimate.
  • Don’t work with a company that asks for a substantial fee before even reducing your debt amount.
  • Don’t work with a company that asks you to stop making payments to your creditors as this will hurt your credit score. Ensure that the company that you work with, reports all your payments to the credit bureaus.

The debt relief options at your service: Look before you leap

Transfer your credit card balances: If you’re having trouble making headway with your overwhelming credit card debt due to the hefty finance charges, you can consider transferring your balance to a new card with favorable interest rates. If you have an excellent credit, you may even get a card with a nominal rate for an year. Transfer your balance to a new card so that you can reap the benefits of lower monthly payments and convenient charges.

Combine through a consolidation loan: You may also combine your debts through a consolidation loan that carries lower rates than what you were paying on your credit cards. You can effortlessly replace multiple payments with a single monthly payment and thereby save a considerable amount of your dollars every month. By making timely payments, you can get out of debt within a specific period of time.

A debt management program: When you need the genuine help of the expert credit counselors, you can get help from them. They will teach you budgeting techniques after assessing your finances. However if you still can’t get back a grip on your situation, they will enroll you in a DMP through which you can legally repay the debt in single outgoing monthly payments.

When you’ve tried all the debt relief options and you still don’t get a satisfying result, you might file bankruptcy after speaking with your attorney. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a government debt relief option that helps you discharge your debts and repay an amount through an alternative repayment schedule proposed by the Bankruptcy Court. Although bankruptcy hurts your credit score, you can yet start a new life.

(This was a guest post from a writer for Debt Consolidation Care.)

Money Saving Tips

Top 5 Best Coin Storage Solutions

Coins have a rich history. If you are a coin collector, it makes sense to store your coins safely so that they are not lost or damaged. The monetary value of properly stored coin collections cannot be underestimated. (It is important to purchase quality coins from a reputable coin dealer, of course.)

Coins tend to react with various environmental factors. (Gold coins don’t tend to react as badly as silver coins, though.)  Some of the causes of coin damage include exposure to humidity, contact with acids, extreme temperatures, improper handling, contact with chlorine, and air pollution. Here are some of the best storage ideas to protect your coin collection form damage.

  1. Choose the best coin holder.  Do not store your collection inside jars, cigar boxes or dresser drawers; these areas cause huge damages to your collection. You should buy a coin album or a coin folder to house your coins safely.
  2. Select a good location.  Where you store coins determines how long the precious items last. Do not store coins in areas with extreme conditions such as the basement. Make an effort to store them under conditions that don’t vary too much.
  3. Safe deposit box.  This is one of the safest places to store the collection. It is wise to hire the services of a local bank where the coins will be stored safely in a safe deposit box. This option may seem very expensive but it is very rewarding in the end. This solution ensures that coins are safe from criminals and fire. At the bank, silica gel is placed inside the safe deposit box to protect the coins form water vapor damage. The silica gel has the ability to absorb moisture from the environment thus keeping your coins in good shape.
  4. Home/office safe.  A cheaper alternative to storing your coins in a bank is purchasing a home or office safe deposit box. This method of storage is very safe as you eliminate extra charges for storage. Make sure that you constantly buy silica gel to minimize the effects of water vapor.
  5. Metal cabinets.  You should never store your coins in wooden cabinets as they emit harmful chemicals, which cause damage. Metal cabinets will provide a safer environment for storage as they do not pose any risk to the condition of your coins.
Money Saving Tips

Return unneeded items immediately

We recently had some storms in our area, and the power went out over a large part of our state.  (We got our power back within a couple of days, thankfully.)

In preparation for the next power outage, we got a couple of box fans that could run off of a generator.

One of the fans seemed like a fairly powerful model — and was priced higher than other models — but when we got it home, the power wasn’t that great.  We expected more.

Seeing that this fan wasn’t what we wanted, we returned it immediately.  The danger with not doing so is that the store might think that we used it for a few days, and then returned it, without ever expecting to keep it.  In essence, it might have appeared that we were just renting it for free.

The lady at the customer service center gave us no problems when we returned it.