Hopefully those of you who celebrate Easter had a nice holiday last weekend. I’m just glad spring has finally sprung around these parts. But you wouldn’t know it if you lived around here. It was 80 on Monday and it was snowing yesterday. Not cool at all. Thankfully, they said it’s supposed to return to normal this weekend. I’m done with the snow for a while.
Also, don’t forget about your taxes. You just have a few more days to get them filed before the tax deadline. As I have mentioned in the past we switched to an accountant a few years ago for our taxes and I’m still amazed each year how much better it is. Like most years, I always start my taxes for free online with TurboTax Online Edition so that I have a rough idea of what my tax situation will be like. This year it was showing a federal return of about $275, which I thought was excellent. I try to plan out my quarterly taxes so that we come as close to breaking even as possible at the end of the year so this was right in line with what I expected.
Even so, I wanted to meet with my accountant to go over some major changes that are in place for 2010 like having another child, being entirely self-employed, renting and trying to sell a house, etc. Surprise! After meeting with her it appears as if we’re getting closer to a $2,000 refund. Not that I’m happy about loaning the government my money or anything, but with so many changes in our life for 2009 it was obvious I missed a few things and it would have been very costly had I tried to do our taxes by myself. So, where’s that money going? Well, we could really use a new lawn mower with the new house and larger irrigated yard, so I’m just waiting for them to deliver it today.
While I’m here waiting for my mower, you can check out these great finance links from the past week.
Parents Should Teach Kids Finances, Not Just Schools – I couldn’t agree more. It would be nice if schools were teaching personal finance, but in the end it is largely a responsibility of the parents. If they set a good example and inform their children about the basics of finance we’d all be much better off.
The Business of Owning Income Properties – This is a useful post for me because we now have a rental property on our hands and I wasn’t really ready for all that goes into it and the special tax situations surrounding that property. Honestly, I’d like to just sell the house and be done with it, but we’ll make do with what we have I guess.
Capitalizing on Free Birthday Food? – Lots of places give freebies for your birthday and restaurants are no exception. Lazy Man shares some of his birthday scores now that he’s officially an old man.
Cheap Flights at the Last Minute – I hate flying. It’s such a scam these days as they charge you for everything, not to mention the delays and hassle with flying in general. But if you must fly and it’s a last minute thing, here’s how you can find the cheapest flight possible.
Learning How to Let Go of Clutter – We had to let go of clutter last year when we moved. It wasn’t fun, but it was more by necessity than anything else. We were not going to move a garage full of junk with us to the new house so it all had to go. It was great!
Airline Ticket Pricing Flap: Extra Fees For Carry On Baggage? – Like I mentioned above about flying, it’s getting about ridiculous. Now an airline wants to charge for carry on luggage. I even read this week another airline wants to charge you to go to the restroom on short flights. Make it stop!
Claiming Dependents on Your Tax Return – This was something new for us on our 2009 tax return. It was the first year we got to claim a dependent. Here’s some of the basics and what you can save by having to claim a dependent.
FNBO Direct Billpay Account $25 Bonus – Do you like paying bills online? Like online banking? Here’s a new $25 bonus for a limited time.
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- Index Investing: A Quickstart Guide
- How I Paid Off My $17,000 Student Debt in Six Months
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.