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Tips for Tax Time

Posted on Jan 22, 2012

Keep Uncle Sam from knocking on your door.  Here are some tips to get organized for this tax season and to stay organized throughout the year. Get organized for the 2011 Tax Year Collect your necessary documents: W-2’s / 1099’s Mortgage Interest Statement (1098) Bank Interest Statement (1099-INT) Broker Statement (ex. 1099-DIV) IRA Contribution Statement (5498) Charitable donation receipts Call your tax professional now and make an appointment. Write down all questions and concerns for you tax professional.  When you’re at the appointment, sometimes your tax professional is asking so many questions that you may forget yours. Once complete, you can shred taxes from 8 years ago, which would be 2004.  I’m paranoid, so I like to scan all tax returns before they hit the shredder. Staying Organized Throughout the Year Keep your receipts in one spot.  I already have my “2012 Taxes” envelope for all receipts I need to save for next years’ taxes. Create a file folder for “Current Year Taxes” and “Prior Year Taxes”. Create a virtual folder in your email for “Taxes 2012” or “Donations”.  I have both.  I save email confirmations for donations, purchases for my business, medical expenses, etc. Write down your write-offs from 2011 and remember to keep track of those expenses...

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Organize Your Healthcare Benefits

Posted on Dec 4, 2011

Don’t forget to use your healthcare benefits before year-end.  Most benefit programs and flexible spending accounts expire on December 31st.  There are only 3 full weeks before Christmas, so place your orders and make your appointments now.  Many insurance plans offer reimbursement benefits, so gather your receipts and submit them to your insurance company.  With the high cost of healthcare be sure you take full advantage of your benefits. Use it or Lose...

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Surprising Financial Statistics

Posted on Nov 10, 2011

As I was waiting patiently for the elevator today, which seemed like forever, I thought to myself…Hmm I wonder how much time is spent waiting for elevators in one’s lifetime. Which of course led me to wonder how much time is spent being disorganized. So I did a little research and here are some surprising stats: The Wall Street Journal reports that the average U.S. executive wastes 6 weeks/year searching for documents lost in clutter. About 25% of workers save things in piles rather than files.  Source: Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch Agency Sales Magazine states that 80% of what we keep we never use. The US Department of Energy reports that 25% of people with 2 car garages do not use the garages for parking and only 32% parked one car.  The irony is that people are leaving their expensive cars in the driveway and on the street, yet their garages are full of stuff.  Source: NAPO The National Soap and Detergent Association believes getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home. Harris Interactive reports that 23% of adults say they pay bills late and incur fees because they lose them. The Self Storage Association estimates that there are almost 40,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S., and the demand for...

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Will Your Bank Start Charging You Debit Card Fees?

Posted on Oct 2, 2011

Banks have decided to pass the fees on to their customers and here is why.  Congress passed a bill limiting the amount of fees a bank can charge it’s merchants for credit/debit card use by its’ customers.  Therefore, banks have decided to make up for lost fees and charge their own customers a monthly debit card use fee.  Some banks have began implementing the fee, others like Bank of America will begin in early 2012.  This is ridiculous in my opinion!  To find out more, click the link below....

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Labor Day… Where did the Summer go?

Posted on Sep 2, 2011

I don’t know about you, but my Summer went lightning fast.  I cannot believe it’s Labor Day weekend already.  Check out these Labor Day sales at some of the popular retailers.  Sales on clothes, home goods, electronics and other great items.  Click on the link to get organized and start saving before you go!...

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Negotiation Requires Organization

Posted on May 23, 2011

I recently read an article about how important it is to be organized when negotiating. With the economy slowly improving and companies increasingly hiring, it is crucial to negotiate, especially since many companies are lowballing candidates. Here are a few things to ponder. You were chosen from a significant pool of applicants. Typically companies interview 4-6 candidates after cherry picking the top resumes. If you are at the point of receiving an offer, consider yourself very qualified, not lucky. You may be thinking… ‘I have to take what I can get’, but remember they chose you from a large group of applicants. This is where negotiation is key. Here are a few items to prepare: Do your research online. A good start is looking at salary websites — what are others in your position/area making? Print out all information. http://salary.com http://www.indeed.com/salary http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/home Gather information regarding your previous salary, bonus, profit sharing or stock options, and all benefits and put in on paper. Do not discount your benefits. Weigh your options when it comes to health insurance, commuter benefits, vacation time, etc. I went from a job that paid 100% of our health insurance to one that we paid into. It really makes a difference. Putting it on paper will visually help...

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