Due to our recent move, I have sold two cars in the last 3 months. Both cars were sold private party (not to a used car dealership or reseller), and as luck would have it, to women.
I was in a bit of a time crunch for both cars, and probably could have held out for a bit more money, but both cars were sold to good families and everybody was satisfied with the transaction. In fact, both women buyers gave me a HUG and thanked me after buying my car(s).
Selling a car to private individuals is a very different process than car trade in to a car dealership or used car lot. Here are a few tips and recommendations to get the best deal when you sell your car, and to make this as easy and quick as possible! Continue reading How to Sell Your Car
Getting a driver’s license is pretty easy, right? (Many years ago) In Phoenix, Arizona I read the driver’s booklet, passed my written test, then demonstrated basic driving skills for the practical exam. I have been a licensed driver ever since.
So, why would I be nervous or hesitant to become a licensed driver in Puerto Rico? All the paperwork and instructions are in Spanish (which I barely read, and am learning to speak). Driving in Puerto Rico can be a challenge. And multiple trusted people and websites told me how difficult it is to get a driver’s license in Puerto Rico.
THEY WERE WRONG!
It was easy and quick to get a Puerto Rican Driver’s License (for licensed US Citizen). Continue reading How to Get a Driver’s License in Puerto Rico, 4 Easy and Quick Steps
You’re Pregnant? Congratulations! I’ll call you in 15 years.
Many of my friends went into Mommy Hibernation when the first Baby was born. This is the reality that your entire life is now focused on feeding schedules, naptime, and poop. This phase can last a few years, or in rare cases it can be permanent going from helicopter Mommy to helicopter Granny.
At first, it was really emotionally hard to lose my friends. I did not realize it was a hibernation, I thought it was permanent! I tried to stay connected, making the effort. I endured horrific Baby showers, Smash cake for 1 year olds, and overall lack of topics for conversation. I tried to look interested in the latest diaper genie and poop disposal systems, but it was obviously not a topic that I could contribute to. I enjoyed shopping for pretty dresses and cute tee shirts, but it is hard to feel engaged over a few outfits. Every time I was shown Baby pictures, I eagerly whipped out cute photos of my Dog, apparently it is not the same. Continue reading Tale of Mommy Hibernation
5 easy steps for doing your own taxes, plus advice on when to hire professionals.
When I started filing taxes decades ago, it was a tedious process of convoluted tax tables and writing the information on the correct tax forms by hand. There were separate instructions on exactly how to staple the W-2 income statements correctly to the exact page. Annual returns were manually entered into the IRS system, introducing another person to make a mistake. I remember double checking everything I had written before sealing the envelope, mailing my return, then waiting weeks and weeks for my refund check or correction letter. While attending University for my Finance degree, I took many accounting classes, and worked for several accountants over the years, including an independent tax firm. Admittedly, I have a complex tax return, and I pay a professional (after I have completed a preliminary return on my own) to file my taxes.
Today, tax preparation software makes the entire process less error-prone and much easier thanks to the software performing all necessary calculations, plus extra help from the questionnaires. All information entered is automatically reviewed and anything the software detects as out of the ordinary is flagged for review and possible correction.
DIY Tax preparation can be completed and submitted in 5 easy steps.
- Gather all of your tax Forms mailed at the beginning of the year. W-2 Employment income forms and 1099’s must be sent to you by the first week of February for the previous year income and tax withholding.
- Select a tax preparation software. The big 3 programs are: Tax Act (usually the cheapest option), H&R Block (tiered pricing, easy to use, great user reviews), and TurboTax (tiered pricing, consistently ranked highest for ease of use, integrated mobile app, excellent customer service). You will need to purchase Federal and State forms for every state in which you have an income.
- Start entering your information and follow the prompts. Register your account and save frequently. You may need to take breaks and gather more information (or your sanity). Health care costs, car insurance, student loans, new spouse, new baby, charity donations, interest earned and other major life events will have a section or form to complete, based on initial questions and prompts.
- If at any point there are too many forms and you feel overwhelmed, save and take a break. Maybe you entered something wrong and now it is asking for your Texas farm revenue, but you are not from Texas nor are you a farmer! No problem. There are review options and you can go back and correct or start over.
- Perform the double check and read any alerts, flags, or errors from the tax software. When everything checks out with the software and you have entered all your information, submit your return. The software will provide IRS Federal & State receipt confirmation, progress reports, and refund/payment information.
Continue reading 5 Easy Steps for Income Taxes DIY or Hire a Professional