It’s that time of the year again: tax time! I spent a large portion of last weekend preparing and filing my taxes. This was my first year trying out online tax software, so I figured I would test the waters at each of the big online tax software websites and see which one was most appropriate for me and my situation. And now I’m sharing it with you, so if you’re not sure where to start, you have a concise overview of the options available to you.
I think it goes without saying, but I’m no accountant. While I do have some experience preparing tax documents for a former part-time job, I’m certainly not an expert and nothing below should be viewed as tax advice. My goal is to provide you information about the different online tax filing websites to help you figure out what might be a good starting point for yourself.
I reviewed three popular tax sites: TurboTax, H&R Block Online, and TaxACT. Before I get into the nitty-gritty of what I found, let’s take a look at who the contenders are.
If you’ve been hanging around Living in Flux for any period of time, you know that student loans are one of my topics of interest. I’ve talked about why I pay extra on my student loans each month. I’ve talked about what I think could help solve the student loan crisis in the United States. I even won the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge in 2012 for my app design concept to help student loan borrower more easily manage their student loan debt.
And while I’ve skirted around the topic on this site for over a year, I haven’t fully shared my student loan story.
That is, until now.
I’m pretty frugal. And my frugal lifestyle has leaked over into my choice of cell phone. My current cellphone is a Motorola Droid X and I’ve had it for nearly 3 years. And, let me tell you, it’s on its last legs.
There are a number of reasons I’ve held on to the good ol’ Droid X for so long. I’ve been trying to maximize the value of the money I spent on my phone. It was one of the high-end models a couple of years ago, so I’ve wanted to get as much mileage out of my phone as possible. I’ve been on a family plan, so laziness of trying to coordinate upgrading has been a factor in holding onto my phone. I have been lucky enough to not have any major issues until lately. Plus, I’ve been able to hold off paying for a new phone until a model I really like has come along.
While I’ve been able to hang on to my smartphone for almost 3 years, the writing has been on the wall for a while that it’s time for an upgrade. While I’m not thrilled to depart with the cash, I do recognize there is a line between being frugal and being cheap. I use my smartphone as a tool to check email, surf the web, connect with information, and communicate people. With my upcoming change to working remotely, having a reliable cell phone will be really important since, I am on a lot of conference calls each day for work.
If you’re in a situation where you’re trying to decide whether it’s time to upgrade your smartphone or not, here are some signs it’s time.
You work hard for your money. So you should be paid what you are worth! Also, you’re fabulous.
While obviously you should be paid what you are worth, you may or may not be currently paid what you should be (let’s also take a moment to remember that equal pay isn’t a “thing” yet). The first step toward making sure you are paid fair compensation is to actually be knowledgable about what average salaries are like for people in your profession with your level of education and experience. To find this out, you need to start looking up salary information.
It’s no secret that student loans are one of my areas of interest. Specifically, I’m interested in how to pay off my student loans faster. Heck, I won the grand prize in the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge for an app concept that would help student loan borrowers pay off their student loans faster; plus, one of my main goals is to pay off all of my student loans by the time I turn 30.
One of the things that really sticks out to me about the options for student loan borrowers is that a lot of resources focus on making monthly payments more manageable. It’s true that there are a lot of student loan borrowers who are having trouble making their payments each month. However, one thing that is rarely mentioned is that you often trade a lower monthly payment for a longer repayment period and more interest paid over the life of the loan.
Running is often seen as an inexpensive alternative to having an expensive monthly gym membership. However, what many people tend to forget is that running isn’t just about buying a pair of shoes and venturing out into the great outdoors. In actuality, it’s a hobby that can vary greatly in terms of expenses.
Living in a city can be expensive. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself in some deep trouble. However, being proactive, living a mostly frugal lifestyle and counting your pennies can allow you to live it up in an expensive city without going broke.
My year in the New York area has taught me a lot about money, especially since I’ve been trying to stay afloat and pay off my student loans at the same time. Frugal living in an expensive city requires, in the words of Mad Eye Moody, “constant vigilance!”
In my year here, I’ve learned some lessons about frugal living in an expensive city. While I’ve talked about general strategies for frugal living before, here are some of my favorite strategies keeping it frugal in an expensive city.
Spring is the perfect time to clean. We all know that. As blossoms bloom and we come out of our winter shells, it can be refreshing to clean house. Out with the old! In with the new! While the act of cleaning can be refreshing in and of itself, it can also be refreshing make money online from spring cleaning.
Whether you are a mini-hoarder and a Hoarders marathon has frightened you into cleaning or you are just looking to make a few extra bucks, you will find the following sites useful.
Happy Equal Pay Day!
Well, I guess I take that back. It’s not really a day you celebrate. Not sure what Equal Pay Day is? It’s the day that women would have had to work until in the new year to in order to match the pay that men received (on average) in the previous calendar year.
It’s April, right? We’re over a quarter of the way into the year! Yup. On average, women make $.77 for every $1 that men make. It’s a sad, but true, reality.
If you’re just starting to take control of your finances and life a frugal lifestyle, there are a lot of low-hanging fruits that can make a big difference in the wallet arena. Some of those that come to mind that you can find in many places on the Internet are: