Financial Wellness @ Work

How My Tax Preparation Software Let Me Down

For the last seven years, I have used tax preparation software to help me file my federal and state income tax returns, and I’ve never had a problem…until now. You see, each year I’ve been entitled to tax refunds, and each year when the tax preparation software asks me if I want to have my tax refund directly deposited into my bank account, I would say yes, but this year was different. This year, instead of getting a tax refund from the state, I ended up owing the state more money, so instead of asking me if I wanted my tax refund directly deposited into my bank account the software asked me if I wanted to have my tax payment debited from my account.   Read more

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A Big Day And A Bigger Check?

Many moons ago, I remember going from catering company to catering company doing tastings for my wedding. Then there were the conversations with florists, musicians, photographers, venues, etc…it’s all a blur now. Because it was a long time ago and because I was trying to be frugal, the wedding came in well below the average cost of a wedding. I believe that all in, the cost was around $10,000 for everything. Sadly, the divorce 17 years later cost WAY more than that!!! Read more

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Bigger Is Not Always Better

I recently took my son to a local family entertainment center to escape the heat and enjoy a little bowling, laser tag, and arcade action with his friends. After a few hours of running around, they all started to get thirsty so I walked up to the concession stand to purchase drinks. They offered drinks in three sizes: 16, 24, and 32 ounces. The 16 ounce drinks were $1.75 and the 32 ounce drinks were $3.25, making them a slightly better deal. Read more

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The Only Extended Warranties I Usually Buy

I am not normally a fan of extended warranties on many things.I once worked with someone who owned car dealerships and in discussing their business, I learned that the extended warranties have very high profit margins so the consumer in me said “if the profit margins are that high, they probably aren’t a good deal for me as a buyer.” I usually opt out of the warranties on relatively durable goods like a car, washer/dryer, microwave, etc. So far, it hasn’t come back to bite me (so far…). However, I do give consideration to buying the warranty on less durable things, like electronics (laptops, TVs, etc).  Read more

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How Many Toys Is Enough?

My neighbor down the street is selling his camper, and so my wife walks in the house the other day and says, “Honey, did you see the camper for sale down the street?” Now I love to camp, and to be quite honest, I was stunned she even asked the question. First of all, we already have a boat, and second, she’s not really a big fan of camping. To me, camping is about “roughing” it, but for my wife, she likes to “pamp,” (which is a word my friend made up that describes people who want to be pampered when they camp—thus the name). Read more

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3 Reasons You Probably Don’t Save Enough

Whether your main financial goal is to pay off debt, buy a home, or retire comfortably, chances are that saving money will be instrumental to achieving it. Yet too many of us just aren’t saving enough. Why is that? The following are the three main culprits I’ve found and what to do about them: Read more

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Getting Rid Of Your Cell Phone? Wipe It Clean First

Cell phones have become so common in our world today that we forget how much sensitive information is contained on these innocuous devices. Such information in the wrong hands could give an unscrupulous person access to private information, including links and passwords to financial accounts and statements. I recently switched cell phone providers to reduce my cost and increase my coverage and reliability, but I was not prepared to make sure the data that had accumulated on my old phone was cleared out before passing it on to the next user. Read more

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Don’t Let Car Problems Wreck Your Finances

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to dip into your savings account or worse, pull out that credit card that you just paid off and use it for sudden car problems? When my husband and I were struggling financially, there were few areas in our finances that brought us to our knees the way that a potential car problem did. As my husband and I were reminiscing (really shuddering), he told me that if he had to talk to a couple struggling to manage their finances and their cars the following is what he would tell them: Read more

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Should You Lease Or Buy Your Cell Phone?

Usually when someone is talking about leasing versus buying, they are talking about a car or real estate. However, have you ever stopped to consider that when it comes to choosing a cell phone provider, you might be making the exact same decision? You probably never thought of it this way, but when you sign a contract with any one of the major carriers, you are in essence leasing the phone.  Read more

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Always Read the Fine Print

Last month was my son David’s 15th birthday. For years, he has been asking for a cell phone, and now that he is a freshman in high school, has maintained good grades, and has shown at least some level of responsibility, his mother and I decided he was ready. I agreed to add David to our cell phone plan on one condition: that he buys his own phone. (Susan and I have found that the kids are more likely to take care of their devices when the cost to purchase it comes out of their own pocket.)  Read more

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