Sunday, April 6, 2014

Frugal While Waiting for Fitness

I have been injured, busy, on travel and a thousand other reasons for not staying fit.

Ramification: Weight gain. Temporary of course, but there is nothing worse than busting your budget buying clothing for a size you don’t want to stick with.

Short-term solution: A quick remake. I had a jacket to a nice suit which still fit but it has been a stretch since I have been able to shimmy into the skirt. I took two non-fitters from the back of my closet and made one fun skirt with attitude. Three hours later and I have a fun new addition to my wardrobe with attitude.

Cost: $0.00 Very frugal while working on getting fit. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Envelope Observation

We made it. For fun, we spent the last month going back to using the envelope system to help stay on budget. The theory is that having a personal relationship with each dollar spent increases the likelihood that you will not pithier it away.

I had been in the habit of charging at least three coffees a day against my next month’s payroll check. Running between meetings, it easy to have the barista swipe my staff ID badge to keep caffeinated. This habit comes to $8.00/day or $160.00/month or $1,920/year.  Think of what I could do with an extra $2,000?

Having to draw the dollar bills out of my envelope and slide them across the counter was much more painful than I thought it would be. Many times, my previous cup of coffee was not yet empty, just cold. For two bucks, I’m ok with nuking it for 30 seconds.  When drawing your spending money out of an envelope, there is much more a sense that money is a finite resource, not an endless stream. It now feels very irresponsible to throw out cold coffee.

Waste not. Want not. Thank you envelope.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Don’t Get Scammed

It’s tax time. It is also peak time for tax fraud. Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posts a list of current reported tax scams. Tax fraud through the use of identity theft tops this year’s list of scams. Through email phishing, the thief acquires your taxpayer’s identity so to fraudulently file a tax return and claim the refund.  The IRS has a special section dedicated to identity theft issues, including YouTube videos, tips for taxpayers and an assistance guide.

On, you can confirm your tax return status. If you have not already filed, there should be no record of the return. If you find that not to be the case, send an Identify Theft Affidavit to the IRS immediately.

If you believe you are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 so they can take action to secure your tax account.

Remember: The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email or text messages to request personal or financial information.