IDK Wednesday: April 15th

Hey, yo, buddies!

So, Monday I gave you a short list on how to do your taxes. Here’s a few questions that you may have and an opportunity to ask me for help!

1. Don’t forget to find you 1098-T (your school should have sent you one, if they didn’t call and ask for one to be mailed) if you were a student in 2012. This form tells you how much the school gave you in scholarships/grants and how much you paid them out of pocket–not with loans! Your loans aren’t taxable, don’t worry. Some of your grants/scholarships may be. For instance, if you paid for housing with scholarship money, that’s technically taxable.

2. If you have a kid and didn’t make a bunch of money, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Credit means they give you money as an apology for your hard life.

3. If you had any medical bills that you had to pay out of pocket, add that up. It’s a deductible. Win.

Have more in-depth questions? Send ’em in!

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IDK Wednesday: Get that body

Sometimes the worst part about working out is how difficult it can get to learn how to do it and track it. Here’s a couple of free apps and resources to help you in your quest to that Spring Break Body.

1.Nike Training Club. It’s a mobile app that gives you workouts and trainer guides on your phone.

2. MyFitnessPal. This site and it’s buddy app is a popular choice amongst all the fitness gurus I’ve researched. It’s a free-to-join site that helps you with food and exercise plans.

IDK Wednesday: How to New Year

Happy 2013 YWMers! At the birth of each New Year, people tend to think on the things in their lives they want to fix– weight, jobs, love. As I sat with my friends the minutes before midnight on 12/31, we each went around the table and said what our resolutions were. No one said anything about trying to become more financially secure, I noticed. Once person said they “wanted to get their shit together,” which may or may not include finances. A couple people said they wanted to have careers they really loved, which may or may not include having the kind of financial security they need.

And while creating a budget or living within your means isn’t more important than striving to be more kind, less stressed or trying to appreciate life on the daily, it can certainly be a beneficial improvement. Right up there with losing 15 pounds.

So here are some suggestions for resolving to be stronger financially in 2013.

1. Resolve to be debt free by the end of the year! (Or at least have a goal, if your student loans make it impossible to be debt free by the end of this year.)

2. Resolve to make a budget!

3. Resolve to start saving!

4. Resolve to start your retirement plan! And I resolve to actually write the post on retirement plans.

5. Resolve to not let money rule you.

IDK Wednesday: Christmahanakwanzaa

Hey, gang!

Sorry about my lack of post on Sunday. I was out of town with my very boyfriend (who spends most of his time in a foreign country learning things), so I devoted my attention fully to him and had none leftover to write a post.

Nevertheless, here is a helpful list of ways to afford gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.

1. Make a list. I know it seems weird to prioritize your loved ones, but you need two lists: “people who need real gifts” and “people who don’t.” The first list usually includes: mom. dad. significant other. Et cetera. The second list usually includes: everyone else. Sorry, but when you’re poor, you need to figure out who can live with getting a big fat hug for Christmas.

2. Buy the real gifts as cheap as possible. Mom wants some new perfume that you can’t afford? Get the trial size and say you wanted to be sure she liked it before you got the big bottle. Dad wants some new gadget? Coordinate with your sibs and get it together. You get the drift.

3. For the people on your second list that you fee to guilty not giving anything, why not host a Secret Santa or White Elephant party and put the limit as high as you can without breaking the bank. Having the fun time together with your friend-family will make up for not getting them super awesome gifts.

4. Give of yourself or your time. Even if you can’t afford to give all friends and family a tangible gift, you can always give of yourself or of your time. Offer to clean the whole house as a gift to mom. Give your friend a voucher to use to call on you at any time in the night to pick them up from a bar, or to help move them out of their apartment at the end of their lease.

5. Get crafty. Pinterest was created literally for this moment. Find a cool, funky thing to create that doesn’t cost a lot of money and make it for your roommates.

IDK Wednesday: MAWIDGE

ERMAHGERD, you’re gettin’ married. Have couple-finance related questions? Get em’ to me.

IDK Wednesday: IDK Where U Went

Sorry for the lack of post Monday… and today! I took advantage of what little holiday break I got and rested and recharged. Never fear–we’re back on sched on Monday.

IDK Wednesday: Saving on Shopping

In addition to Monday’s post about how to save money on shopping by using deals, loyalty cards, etc., here are a few more tips:

1. Only go with cash. Leave your cards at home. You’re basically guaranteed you won’t go over your spending limit.

2. Ask yourself three times, “Do I really need this” before you buy it.

3. Go with a list. Only get what’s on your list.

Questions?

IDK Wednesday: Student Loans

Confused about what to do about your student loans? Every situation is different– ask me your questions and we’ll figure out a solution. You shouldn’t be struggling to pay back your loans. Let’s find a solution. (PS- for those of you that haven’t submitted a question before, know that these questions go to my email, where my response is emailed back to you! No one will know your biz.)

IDK Wednesday: Human Resources

Got questions about the paperwork you fill out at work? Let me know!

IDK Wednesday: The Fun Stuff

Let’s be real. The fun stuff is what makes life… fun. We want to pay for those things. But are you paying too much? It’s important to shop around a bit and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Sometimes it can be frustrating and difficult and not even worth the extensive searching it might take you to find the best deal… but if you’re strapped for cash, paying less for things is a great way to have more money.

lolcat saves money by working out at home.

Is your gym more expensive for no real reason? Do your mani/pedis or haircut cost way more and you can’t really say why? Are you buying books from Barnes & Noble instead of at Half Price Books or Amazon? Make sure you’re paying for what you get.

Questions about budgeting?