Some Not So Interesting Facts about Tax Time

 

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin

ben franklin

 

Every year about this time we have to mentally prepare ourselves for tax season.  For some, a refund is in your future; for others, a chunk of change is doled out to the dreaded IRS.

tax checklist

This got me thinking, when did this yearly chore begin, and why?

 

So I went to IRS.gov and researched a little history about this annual affair.  Maybe with these tidbits of information, April 15th won’t be such a stressful event.

1862

A brief history

The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

16th amend

16th Amendment

In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

IRS

Today

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 prompted the most comprehensive reorganization and modernization of IRS in nearly half a century. The IRS reorganized itself to closely resemble the private sector model of organizing around customers with similar needs.

tax prep

Well, there you have it in a nutshell.  Income taxes are still a stress factor in our lives, but to be an upstanding citizen (and not go to jail) we must do our part to participate in this event.  And maybe this was interesting to the history buffs and Tax Preparers’ out there.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

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Life is a Journey

I travel, I read, I write, I have other lives. But when I have a camera, I know that’s my country, my island.

Leos Carax

costa rica 3

 

I woke up this morning with allergies in full swing, which let me know Spring is in full progression.  Which means the weather is getting warmer and the Summer months are just around the corner.

gardens3

The travel bug has hit, and it doesn’t help that my beautiful daughter, who lives in Costa Rica sends her breathtaking pics and posts them all over my social media page.

costa rica 1

Surviving on a budget like we do, can make the idea of a vacation seem financially daunting, and the  expense of travel can blow our budget through the sky and seemingly out of reach.  Here are some ideas, that might help this dream become more attainable and maybe the trip can be an adventure in itself!

airplane

The flight:   The cost of flying can be so unpredictable, and does require planning and shopping around for the best deals.  Spirit Airlines offers very low rates, the planes are smaller, so you are sitting closer to your neighbor, and if you are checking in luggage, they charge for every bag.  This is a good way to fly if you just have a carryon.  And since we are traveling on a budget, who needs all that luggage anyway?  Also, Spirit is a fairly new airline, and has minimal destinations, but they are continually adding new stops.  I actually used Spirit in the past to get to Chicago, and my daughter used Spirit to get to Costa Rica.  The flight is a little rough, but the staff is very friendly.

I also came across Cheapoair.com.  It works basically like Cheapflights.com or Priceline.com.  Just put in your destination and dates and it spits out a list of airlines and prices.  Speaking of Priceline, if you aren’t committed to a time frame for your vacation, you can use the Name your Price option to get that flight on the cheap.

fly

Getting around:  Renting a car can get expensive and inconvenient, and taxis run up the budget meter in no time flat; check schedules for local transportation, like the bus or transit system- it can be exhilarating!   In some areas they offer moped or bicycle rentals for short journeys, much easier to maneuver especially in an unfamiliar town or country.   Each town is different as far as local transport.  I couldn’t find a one stop shop for this, it all depends on where you are going; just look up local transportation for that area.

motor scooter

Where to stay:  This can be an adventure on its own!  There are many options out there for the thrifty traveler; Hostels can be a great way to meet new people. In Europe, this is very common; sharing a room and facilities with others.  They can be same sex or mixed, depending on your preference.  Hostels.com, Hostelworld.com and KAYAK.com are some of the websites I found to reserve your bunk.  Airbnb.com is also another option.

hostel

If you really want to be boho chic, there is couch surfing.  This is basically staying in someone’s home and ‘sleeping on their couch’.   I know some hippie chicks that have done this.  Just carry your back pack and travel across country and couch surf on a student’s budget.  There are websites you can register to be a host or to find a couch to sleep on.  Of course, safety is a priority.  Sites like couchsurfing.com have a page dedicated to safety.

couch surf (3)

If you plan on staying somewhere for a while and want to save your pennies; there is the option of house sitting.  You basically stay at their house for free while they go on vacation, and take care of their animals, garden, etc.  I  know a retired woman who does this and has for years.  She has stayed all over Europe and parts of the States.  Each job can last a week up to a few months. Housesittersamerica.com is a good place to start if this is the way to go.

garden

There are so many options out there to travel on the cheap.  Just a little creativity and an adventurous spirit can send you on your way to a memorable vacation!

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Jumbot

My Mother-in-Law, when my kids were little was Sicilian.  She taught me so many tricks to feed a family of six and sometimes more on a tight budget.

Pasta was the mainstay of almost every meal, but sometimes we had to switch it up.

The kids called it JimBob- after our late Labrador Retriever that lived to be 16.  (I know, twisted sense of humor)

jumbot

One thing that is so awesome about cooking Sicilian, is you can change up the ingredients.

When the kids were little, we used sliced  hot dogs for the meat.  This version I am using Turkey Sausage.

Jumbot

Enjoy!

Saving my Pennies

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

Thomas Jefferson

 

One of the greatest things about my blog is that I get to share stuff that I happen to come across, and as you know, I love to share!

my samples

Since I am living in my new environment, I am constantly finding ways to save a buck or two or even find freebies.

Especially free samples.

There are quite a few beauty and bath products that I haven’t purchased in a very long time-I use samples.  AND they are great for when I stay over at my bestie’s for the weekend.

penny heart

Here are just a few freebie sites I use

 

http://www.mysavings.com/free-samples

This one has everything from free audiobook downloads to Starbucks BOGO iced Macchiato’s.   The site has samples, coupons, freebies and deals.   It has lots of ads for other sites to check out for your other favorite deals and freebies.

 

Getitfree.us

Has tons of links for free stuff.  I got a cute elephant and turquoise good luck bracelet and I only needed to pay for shipping.  Or how about this unicorn coffee mug, to make each and every morning magical!

 

http://www.freeflys.com

This one has links to specific company websites and you can sign up and get your free stuff and discounts!

 

Beauty Products?

I just signed up for a free sample of Hydra Genius Liquid Care Moisturizer at

http://www.lorealparisusa.com

loreal

 

target.com/beautybox

It isn’t free, but you can get mini sizes of products for about $7.00.

target beauty box

 

And of course, Walmart has a beauty box and it is always a flat fee of $5.00.

You can check it out at walmart.com/beautybox.

walmart beauty box

 

 

 

 

There is always a birthday lurking around every corner, so I found this site:

 

www.heyitsfree.net/birthday-freebies

 

 

birthday cake Someone actually took the time to make a complete listing of every possible freebie you can think of for your special day.

 

 

There are many more.  And one thing that is so great about this is one website will lead you to another and pretty soon your mailbox will be celebrating freebie day on the regular!

mailbox

 

Now, I must warn you, will need to sign up for their emailing list- if you don’t have one already, it is very simple and FREE to have that Spam account to use for the bulk email lists.

 

If you have your favorite freebie sample website please share in the comments!

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane