Monthly Archives: December 2012

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS TO FIX YOUR FINANCES

Last month I sent along a list of some of my top suggestions for saving on taxes before the ball dropped in NYC.  This month, I’m looking ahead on your behalf and sending along some of the best New Year’s Resolutions I have found for jump-starting your income for 2013.  There are a million ideas out there yet these seem to be simple steps to achieve financial success.

Resolution # 1  Get Fit

It’s a world-wide resolution every January 1: Time to get fit.  Yet in this particular case, I’m talking about taking a good look at the shape of your finances. Are you spending more than you’re bringing home?  If so, time for a check-up.  In an effort to keep things simple, I suggest you make this easy on yourself and create a spending log and document every penny that goes out of your pocket for the first two months of the year. This will give you a real good birds-eye-view of what you need to do to maintain a healthy financial balance for the balance of the year.

Resolution # 2  Take Simple Steps to Save

If you’re spending more than what you’re bringing home, you’re not alone.  At this point you have two options:  reduce your expenses on the items that you can truly live without (even if it’s just for a month or so) or find an additional avenue for increasing your income.  Let’s take the first option: cutting back on simple pleasures. You don’t have to approach this concept at a level that will keep you from a good night’s rest.  Take small steps.  Maybe you don’t really need that extra latte everyday or fresh flowers for the weekend.  Perhaps you can live without a few extra beers at the local brewery every Monday night.  You’ll be surprised at how simple pleasures like these can make a substantial difference in your spending patterns; so readjust a bit and I bet you’ll be amazed at the extra cash that will come your way.

Resolution # 3 Expand Your Income Horizon

I am not suggesting you get two jobs or become involved in multi-level marketing programs.  What I am suggesting is that you look around to see if you have a skill that others may need?  Are you a handy-man?  Enjoy woodworking?  Do you love to cook?  As the economy has started to truly challenge all of us, it has fueled a whole new revolution for entrepreneurs.  It’s not uncommon for men and women to promote their ‘other talents’ while networking with friends, family and acquaintances.  Don’t be shy; strut your talents and you make be surprised to hear that someone will pay you for what you love to do best.

Resolution #4  Follow The “Best Buy” Craze

So it takes a little work – yet the end result is worth the effort.  The world of technology has spurred a huge surge in the “battle of the bonuses buys and coupon cash” craze that marketing pros are using 24/7 to get you to their online stores.  Before you make an important purchase – be it a new car, new coat or new set of tools; do your homework.  Use those search engines and key in the words “Best Deals”, “Best Buys”, before the name of the item that you have in mind.  I know for a fact that these deals are there for you to abuse so get savvy and save!

Resolution # 5  Face Up To Your Finances

Saving money, or finding new ways to make money, can be difficult topics to talk about yet the more you talk about it, the more it becomes instilled in your mind and daily life.  When you keep your New Year’s Resolution in front of you, you will be surprised how it can become a subliminal culture that you’ll want to keep for years to come.  So be brave.  Look at your finances in the face and move forward to healthier new you this year, and in years to come.

Need Help Resolving your Financial Challenges?

That’s what we do best.  Call Mark Robertson, your CPA Consulting and Tax Service Professional, at 775-825-5522.

 

MONEY SAVING TAX TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

With the clock ticking toward the end of the year, it’s time to move full steam ahead to put a few more pennies in your piggy bank and wrap up some savings before the clock hits mid-night on December 31st.  Here are some of the easiest tips to get you started.

Tip # 1 General Contributions and Donations

I hit this subject hard in my last Enews to you yet in case you missed it, here’s a synopsis: You can make as many donations as you’d like yet when it comes down to how much you will actually be able to deduct, the rules tell us you can deduct donations in full up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.  You can read the whole story here.

Tip # 2             Contribute to your HSA

If you happen to be a candidate for this option, you have the opportunity now, before December 31, to maximize the contributions that are allowed within your own HSA plan.  This is a great way to stash some non-taxed cash into your account that will be available for you to use as needed next year, and in years to come.

Tip # 3 Ditto for your IRAs and 401K

Every good tax advisor should tell his/her clients about this strategy which allows you the opportunity to contribute to your 401K through your company’s payroll system.   And don’t forget about the ability to convert your IRA to a Roth IRA before the ball drops in NYC. Another option, you can also use your IRA for a Qualified Charitable Distribution to your favorite non-profit.

Tip #4  Pay your 2013 January Bills Now

If you have the financial ability to do so, now is the time to pay your mortgage and property taxes for the month of January, and beyond. As long as your check or on-line transfer is dated before the end of the year, you can use these monies as a tax deduction for 2012.

Tip #5  Ditch the Blanket, Save the Planet

I am not actually suggesting that you crank the heat in the house, yet I am suggesting that you look into making your abode more energy efficient.  Every time I research this subject, it seems like there are more options to help you save money while you help the environment.  This concept behind this is called “Residential Energy Credits” and with a little research, you will probably be able to get a tax credit for new exterior windows, insulation, roofing materials, water heaters and much more.

Tip # 6 Hang up the Mistletoe

If someone in your household has asked Santa for a new Washer and Dryer, or Refrigerator, now is the time to do some serious holiday shopping.  I have seen Energy Credits offered at a variety of levels so do your homework, wrap a ribbon around the gift, and have a holly jolly celebration under the Mistletoe.

Want More Tips?

Contact Mark Robertson, your CPA Consulting and Tax Service Professional, at 775-825-5522.