Today’s topic is: “Tax time! What are your best money saving tips?”
As you undoubtedly know, April 15th is the deadline for filing your taxes. (Except this year, the Washington DC-based IRS is observing Emancipation Day today, so they have moved the official deadline to Monday, April 18th.)
To celebrate, here are my top three money saving tips.
1. Avoid the Impulse online.
Just like you shouldn’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, don’t go shopping online without a clear list of what you need. When you’re tempted to just add one more item to your virtual cart, save it to your Amazon wishlist instead. If you still need it the next time you log on, you can buy it then. If not, you’ve saved yourself from one more impulse purchase. (The Amazon wishlist is also a great way to store little nice-to-haves, which you can add on when you need to reach the free shipping threshold.)
2. Carry cash.
Before I met my husband, I made all of my purchases on credit cards. In fact, I carried so little cash that I once got caught at a toll booth and couldn’t scrounge up the necessary 75 cents! But according to Mellody Hobson of CBS Sunday Morning, studies show we spend as much as 18% more when we pay with plastic or debit. With cash, we are more aware of the cost of items and are less likely to make impulse purchases. So if you’re looking to save money, put away your cards and pull out a few bills instead.
3. Revisit your insurance coverage.
If you haven’t looked at your insurance policies recently, now is a good time to make sure they still meet your needs (and you are getting the best prices available). Don’t forget to check your policies for automobiles, home, life, disability, business, renters, and personal possessions. And if you’re a celebrity or a professional athlete, don’t forget to check the insurance policy on your legs, teeth, rear, or whatever your money-maker is. (Did you know that European soccer club Real Madrid insured the legs of its star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, for $144 million?!)
I’d love to hear your top tips in the comments.
~ Phoebe DeCook
P.S. I’d also like to wish a happy birthday to my childhood best friend, April Ruggles. I think about her every year on tax day and I hope she and her family has a wonderful day today and a joyous year ahead!