Filed under: Frugality, Mindful Consumerism | Tags: tax help, Valentine's Day
Those of us in the South have had quite an interesting ‘weather week’ with lots of snow and ice. Yeah, even the beaches of North Carolina have turned from white sand to white snow.
Weather like this induces a very strong cocooning, or nesting, instinct in me, so I’ve spent a great deal of time at home, especially grateful that I don’t HAVE to get up and out to work in the mornings anymore. After several days of it however, even I can get a case of ‘cabin fever’, and with today’s sunshine, that’s kinda where I am.
Monday: Our trash is picked up on Mondays, and this snowy one found me with no garbage bags to reline my kitchen can with. Necessity is the mother of invention: I emptied a bag of cat food that morning…. You guessed it already:
Works great, and repurposes something that would’ve been difficult to recycle, since my city only takes printed single layer type papers and this heavy duty bag has a ‘plastic’ type coating. * A Star Is Born!! Bags that hold 25-50 lbs of dog food, bird seed, potatoes and other ‘stars’ will no doubt debut in my trash can from now on. Savings?? I don’t know but I think it’s priceless when I can find a new use for something that would otherwise be thrown away.
Tuesday: Speaking of finding new uses for things in order to avoid throwing them away: We don’t buy much prepackaged food, but I always save those that come with waxed-paper bags inside and use them for layering between tortillas and pancakes before freezing or to wrap sandwiches in. You can easily pull the bags apart to make a flat sheet of strong waxed paper for this purpose:
By the way: Can you read the 25 cent price written on the package of whole wheat tortillas on the left? That was a bargain that came from the discount grocery I wrote about a couple of weeks ago here. I hope you can find one in your area too!
Wednesday: I like to mail cards for special occasions to my grandteens and this Valentine’s Day was no exception. I bought the cards last year AFTER Valentine’s Day for 25 cents each. Savings: The cards were originally $2 each, so I saved $3.50 AND I used some of my ‘recycled’ stamps on them! That kind of savings allows me to slip them each some cash in the cards too! They’re old enough to have their own spending money and it’s always nice to have a little extra jingle in your pocket when you’re a teenager!
Thursday: A quick walk to the thrift store last week yielded a scrap of turquoise fabric from one of the store’s ‘craft bins’. It was perfect for a patch job I needed to make on a pillow sham that I’d also bought at the same store some time ago. The scrap was so small that they store didn’t even charge me for it!
I know, I know, a small hole is no big deal, but this sham is part of a comforter set, and my eye was always drawn to it when I looked at it on my guest room bed. Now I really have to look for it. Savings: ”Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. I’m happy with it now, and it only cost me a bit of time, which, as you can see, I had plenty of this week!
Friday: OK, here’s this week’s BIG savings: When my mom passed away last March, my brother and I split the remaining cash she had in one of her accounts but because the account was tied to MY social security number, I recently received the IRS 1009 Form showing the whole amount as my income! I called the company where the account had been held, and they told me you have to make changes like this before December 31st in order to have two separate 1099’s issued. Hmmm… Gentle but firm questioning on my part revealed that there’s a special form that I can include with my tax return, and that my brother will include with his tax return, which will make us equally liable for the portion we actually received. The form arrived in the mail today, and it’s quite simple to understand-apparently, even ‘Jack and Diane’ can do this, since those were the names used on the form’s example! Long story made short here, splitting this tax liability will keep my annual income down into the level that I want it to be in order to be able to take advantage of senior tax savings on my county and city personal property taxes, as well as keep me within the income limits to continue to qualify for my sweet O’bamacare health insurance policy. Savings: Literally, hundreds of dollars!
Here’s my last thoughts on this snowy week to share with you, my sweet readers:
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