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 The income tax was repealed 10 years later.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

 

Freezing Veggies

 

 

I remember as a child, my mom working to the bone, and still sparsely any food in the cupboard. 

There was this one summer in particular; we somehow ended up with lots of garden fresh veggies and fruit of all sorts.   A friendly neighbor helping an overworked mom, I am sure.

baby cooking

Mom and I spent the entire weekend, canning and freezing these lovely treats that were given to us so generously.

 

bus groceries

When I finally got to go grocery shopping; I told myself to just get a few things since I was taking the bus.  Unfortunately, I don’t listen very well and ended up with a half a basket full of deals and edible treats!

I bagged and doubled bagged the best I could and proceeded to put my arms through the handles, and in the process, a gentleman asked if I had it okay.  Being of Scotch-Irish and Welsh decent, nothing can stop this tenacious redhead and I continued with my 12 bags of groceries down the walk to the bus stop.

I set my bags down, and asked others to double-check as I didn’t want to board the wrong bus.  A nice girl helped me get my groceries onto the bus so I could swipe my boarding pass and sat with my loot wondering how I was going to reload.  I still had to change vehicles when I got to the East Side Exchange Station.

bus2

I managed to resort my stash and managed to change buses when it was time.  When I finally made it to my stop, the bus driver lowered the bus so I could step off easier.

I muddled across the busy thoroughfare to my building.  I stared at the stairs and thought better of trying.  I set everything down and carried 3 at a time into my apartment with two anxiously awaiting fur pups that were very excited to see me.  Only smashing one loaf of bread and one egg in the dozen.

Since I got carried away with buying fresh veggies from the produce isle and no way could I eat all of these treats by myself; I remembered when my mom and I bagged and froze our dispensations.

I spent my morning dicing and bagging veggies for various recipe starters and meals.

A tidbit of history-freezing food was introduced back in the 1930’s by a man named Clarence Birdseye.

There are many sites on the web that have lots of good info on freezing guidelines.  Here is one example that I used.

hooch

BTW, my first batch of Hooch came out yummy!

Hugs and Hope

Diane

dtc recipe 7

Sasy’s Tips-Price Matching at Walmart

Hello fellow savers,

Summer is upon us and the cost of feeding those hungry active kids can be overwhelming. Well here is an easy way to save money on the go without clipping coupons. Who has time for that! lol
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Let me introduce you to the flipp app. It is so very easy to use! It gives you all the sale ads for what ever zip code you put in.
Download the app from your play store. Once you are have it on your phone, put a zip code for a fairly populated area. I live in the fort worth area, so I use 76109.
Then just cruise the ads and tap the ones you like, the app will circle the item & place it on your shopping list for easy access in the store. Or, if you know of a certain item, search for that item specifically like Pepsi. The app will find all sales in the area for the zip code you have set.
A few things you need to know:
Items MUST be EXACT brand & size/quantity per package as listed in the ad when price matching.
For store brand items, like milk or eggs, Walmart will pricematch their store brand item for same size/quantity.
For produce, it cannot be a certain brand unless you are buying the same brand. Like oranges, if you buy the cutie brand has to be same size/quantity as the ad. But for loose produce without a brand name, just bag up how ever many pounds you need and they will price match the unbranded, loose produce, per pound item that you choose. I did tomatoes earlier.
For meats, its a little different. Make sure meat does not have a specific product name on it like Johnson, or Oscar Mayer. For hamburger, it has to be the same level like 80/20, Angus, or like butt roast etc., and must have the per pound dollar amount in ad. Like if its hamburger meat in the ad without the per pound amount listed and all it says is “family pack”, Walmart will not price match that.
Things you cannot price match:
Buy this get that
Buy this get this for a penny.
Items MUST have a specific price listed. But you can do this: $1.99 each when you buy 3, so in this instance you would buy three of the listed item @ $1.99 for each item. I did that with Dr. Pepper 12 packs the other day. Amazing deal.
Once your at the register, let the cashier know you are price matching. I like to line the items up at the register in the order they are listed in the app so the process will be smoother.
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Here is the price matching I did at Walmart earlier. Its not much, but I am on a budget.
2-liter Pepsi – price matched to CVS @ .99
18 count eggs, price matched to Fiesta @ .87
Roma Tomatoes, price matched to Savers Cost Plus @ 2 lbs for .99
5 lb bag of potatoes, price matched to Supermercado Teloapan @ .99 for the whole bag!!!
I also purchased some Brat sausages and pork chops, but could not price match them because I just couldn’t get them to match up. I only paid 12.19 by price ​​matching, no coupons needed, I cut my grocery bill more than half!!!
But you can easily see how much you can save on grocery cost without clipping coupons or driving all over town to catch the good deals. There are a ton of snack and drink items for the kiddos on sale right now. Just look, you will be amazed at how much you can get for pennies on the dollar!!
I truly hope my tips and tricks help you guys. Let me know! Any questions, no problem, I am happy to help! Saving money makes me happy!!
Happy Savings Everyone!
Sasy 💖

A New Beginning

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.

Christopher McCandless

 

June; the perfect time to start a new chapter.  My son and I are finally getting a one bedroom apartment!   If we can ever get moved in-it’s been one hurdle after another; but you can’t stop this stubborn red head!

 

The universe always has her own timing, so it is very important we listen to her!

 

This past weekend we planned on moving, but our unit flooded!  We would’ve lost all of  the few things we do own, AND I decided to get very sick.

I spent a few days in the hospital with some stomach issues, which told me it’s time to take my health a little more seriously.   I guess level 50 is the magic number to start thinking about that sorta thing.  The good news is, now I am part of the medical system and I have more options for care.

New carpet, new eating habits and a new outlook, I am ready for my next chapter!

 

So, with all of that life stuff happening, it’s time for me to get back into my handy dandy budgeting skills I am so famous for in unknown circles and get to budgeting!

These are a few of my old school tricks and some new ones that I have picked up along my journey of surviving this world on a budget!

big things

Big Things

Word of mouth works great when gathering things from scratch.  I clean house for a dear friend, she has been so wonderful, and if only everyone had a fraction of her giving heart; this world would be a hundred times better than it is right now.  Not only has she shared her home with my son for the past year, she has a garage full of furniture just waiting for a new home and has generously given it to us for our fresh start.  If only I could return the gratitude to her to show her and her family how this fills my being.

cool shop

 

Little Things

Of course, now I have the perfect excuse, I mean reason, to hit the Goodwill shops!  Oh, how I miss my second hand shopping!  I can do so many magical things with my findings from Goodwill!  Curtains, throw pillows, baskets, odd pieces, whatever my whimsical heart desires!  I have a few blogs on this very topic, since it is one of my many favorites, but check this out for some ideas.

lady in bath

Saving money and the environment

Since I have to watch my budget and my health; I was trying to think of ways to do both.  Since paper towels can turn into a huge expense-what about using finger towels and linens for wiping and drying?  The dollar stores and secondhand stores have both for very cheap and I can reuse them!  I also found bleach tablets where the fabric dye is in the cleaning supplies at your favorite grocery store, so I can sanitize them during each wash cycle.  Not too shabby!  I can use the pretty baskets and dishes I found to display them nicely in my kitchen and bath to add some personal touch that blends with my décor.

pests

Pests

Living in an apartment can make it challenging to keep the infestations to a minimum, so I am going to have succulents that have natural repellent properties. I haven’t actually tried these yet, but there is lots of info in the great world wide web, Mother Nature Network has lots of great info.

pooches

 

Pooches

Since my furbabies have to share a yard with other critters, large and small; I will need to keep an area by the door with wipes and sprays to keep my babies from bringing in unwanted house guests.  This not only is healthier for me, but for them too.  I can use some hand towels to wipe them down so we all can be happy puppies!

 

Since we are also on the second floor, my poochieweenie doesn’t have a great attention span and a tiny bladder, so to remedy this, I can have an indoor potty yard just for her.  Keeps her off the carpet and instills the mindset of grass being the potty place for pooches.  You can find all kinds of grassy yards of all sizes and prices to fit your needs.  So far, I found that Amazon has the most variety.  I found one that is reusable that lasts for about 2 weeks depending on frequency of potty stops.

It is also very important for my babies to be current on their shots and flea maintenance.  There are always clinics to make sure this can be possible.  Check out humanesociety.org  to find out more.  And never skimp on your flea regimen.  For more info on my tips for caring for your fur ones check out my blog here

vintage shopping 2

Pantry

With so many convenient options nowadays in the grocery store and the cost of food items, staying healthy and budget friendly can be quite a challenge.  My cure for this problem is buying fresh fruits and veggies and dividing them up into meal size packages and following food guidelines for proper storing. Good Housekeeping has some very reputable tips.

I could keep on going on and on,  but I do tend to get long in sharing, so maybe another day.

I just got a phone call that the apartment is still being worked on, so just a few more days…….

 

When I do finally get to move in, I am kissing the floor and am going to have a good cry!

Thank you for reading and

Hugs and Hope!