@sthom , I love your debt paydown sticky notes idea! I'm sure whenever you see the notes, you're reminded to stick to your debt payoff plan. Also, kudos to all your budgeting methods! It sounds like you've got things covered using an app, spreadsheet and a pen-and-paper ledger.
@Nicole D. , I use three methods so I can watch what I'm spending closely. Obviously I'm a bit anal but it also forces me to always be thinking of how I'm using my money. Yep, @Sushil , that's exactly right. There's something about hand-writing that helps me retain things. While I will use technology tools if they help me see things clearly, I am still pretty old-school (thus, the checkbook register, and the color coding in there actually helps me at tax time). Once I get the physical book,...
@Michael J , when you create a new spreadsheet in Excel, you can actually select from various budget templates. There's a "personal monthly budget" template, which is a great option -- but if you have specific needs like budgeting for a small business or budgeting for a wedding, there are other budget templates you can choose from. Tiller Money is also an excellent spreadsheet budget software. It comes at a cost, but you can test it out with a free trial.
I am a pen-to-paper kind of budgeter, and I live by The Budget Mom's method! I have been using it for about 3.5 years and it has worked wonders for me. I find budgeting for myself to be easy enough, its when you have to mix in other people (partner, kids) where it is a challenge. (But I'll happily take those challenges 🙂 )
Yes, @Brigat ! Let 2021 be the year you try it! And @KellyFromKeene — I love The Budget Mom, too. :-) Maybe if you can get your partner and kids interested in The Budget Mom videos or show them the cool graphics from "Napkin Finance," they'll jump on board too. Good luck!
Hey, everyone! What’s the best tip you’ve learned from “Napkin Finance” so far or any other budgeting tips that have worked well for you? I hope you’ve all had a chance to pick up a copy of “Napkin Finance” by Tina Hay. Even if you haven't, the book covers so many different aspects of personal finance and I welcome you to join in on our discussions! For those who are reading: How are you liking the book so far? I really like how “Napkin Finance” uses graphics to illustrate different...
Hi everyone, Happy Friday! ICYMI: we launched a book club ! The Penny Hoarder’s senior writer @Nicole D. is helping us take a deep dive into different money-focused books. And, the discussions will take place right here in the community. Our first book pick is “Napkin Finance” by Tina Hay. “Napkin Finance” is chock-full of clever infographics designed to explain complex money topics in an easily digestible way. Nicole published the first of several weekly discussion threads in the community...
What are you doing to prepare yourself for retirement? If you're reading along, what tips have you found helpful from “Napkin Finance?” I don’t know about you, but I wish I had a time machine to send me back about a decade so I could get an earlier start on saving for retirement. I struggled with money in my 20s and didn’t have enough financial savvy to truly grasp the importance of starting at a young age. “Napkin Finance” is one of those books that people of all ages should get their hands...
I still don't have my copy of the book yet, but I can speak to retirement planning. I retired early 2.5 years ago. While I don't regret my decision, I could have been better prepared .One way I could have achieved this would have been to roll over 401k balances when I left a job instead of sometimes cashing out.😚
One of the things I did was to participate in my employer's 401k plan. I started out with the minimum and gradually increased it to the maximum. At first I felt like I couldn't live without that money in my paycheck, but once I made saving a priority, it became easier.
I'm currently reading the book "Happy Money" by Ken Honda. It's good, and I recommend it. I got it from my local library. Here's the Amazon.com link: https://www.amazon.com/Happy-M...p;s=books&sr=1-1 I also think this would be a good book for our book club @Nicole D.
Thanks for the recommendation, @lismox ! I hadn't heard of that book. It seems interesting! We still haven't selected our next book club pick, but I'll be sure to let you know when we do! We want to give people plenty of time to pick up the book and start reading. 🙂
In the past, I used TurboTax which I loved...but then my taxes became a bit more complicated and now I use a professional preparer. It gives me some peace of mind that she is trying all the angles to get me the greatest return. I do recommend TurboTax which I know has only improved since I last used it -- with the added option of getting professional advice.
Ours are done professionally as well, if there are any problems, they will represent us and that gives peace of mind. This year rather than meeting with customers, they have sent a large return envelope addressed to them, we can either mail in or drop off our documentation and deductions. Also enclosed was a table of how much they will charge based on prep time and complications.
Sadly, I still don't have a copy of the book (my local library is taking longer than I thought it would), but I really like the graphic. We typically get our taxes prepared for free through the VITA program. Since the IRS isn't accepting returns until Feb. 12th and because of the pandemic, I'm not sure how we'll file this year.
This is my first year ever having to file for taxes and I am a little worried, anyone have any advice on the best way to ensure I get the best return (as a college student who is trying to make it on their own)?
Hey @Demi Candri , good for you for thinking about your taxes already! I'd echo what other members of the group have said. TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct etc., have great free filing services. They'll walk you through every step and ask you questions to make sure you're getting every deduction and credit possible. For example, they'll ask you some questions about your education expenses and figure out for you whether qualify for certain credits that could give you a bigger return. The...
So I work for a tax prep company. Im not a tax preparer, but I am a supervisor in the national call center and I've trained for every dept we have , giving me a unique view of The Life of a Tax Return. First I just want to be clear, file free on irs.gov is not actually filing with the IRS. They direct you to 3rd party software. And if you have monumentally complex returns you won't qualify for the free file. Second every state is different. Even though we all file the same federal form,each...
Keep an eye out for your parents and grandparents. Tax season is notoriously popular with scammers targeting the elderly. There are also non profit volunteer groups of former CPAs, tax preparer, IRS agents all hanging out to help our old folks get their taxes done right and for free.
My pet peeve each year is gathering documentation and compiling totals to submit to the folks who do our taxes. I have a small side business so want to maximize on deductible expenses. I use an excel spread sheet, but does anyone have suggestions or a more efficient tool, app, software or spreadsheet to use? Should I be using QuickBooks?
I use an accountant. She is very thorough, and I trust her. I don't think I could ever go back to doing my own taxes for my husband and I. They're just too complicated, and I don't want to mess anything up.
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