How to Start Saving Money

Everyone has been there, you are paying your monthly bills or want to do something special but you just don’t have the money to do it. You wish you saved money instead of spend it! Where do you start and how do you begin? Besides getting a second job or winning money on Icy Wilds Slot, below are some starting points to help you get on your feet and on your way to saving.

Savings Account

The first simple step to saving is to open a savings account. Savings accounts are meant to sit there and save your money in the bank so you don’t spend it. Some accounts offer interest which allow you to make money by it just sitting there. This first step will allow you to be capable of even putting money aside from your everyday spending and bills.

Automatic Withdrawal

Once a savings account is established, set up an automatic withdrawal. An automatic withdrawal is when you instruct your bank or financial institution to withdraw money from your account automatically and put it in your savings. You can do it on whatever timeline you prefer (Weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) and by doing it automatically, it forces you to do it and doesn’t require you to take any action. You could be saving money and not even know it. Nothing is better than looking at your savings account statement and see a sum that has been accruing for some time and you now have the money you need! The key here is that it is OK to start off small. No amount is too little. Even if it is $5 a week or $25 a month, it will add up over time and amount into something.

Change your Spending Habits

Another step to saving money is to change your spending habits. This can be in the form of your bills but also your everyday spending. It is very possible to save money on your bills just by reviewing them and making a few key decisions. Are you being charged properly? Are there better/cheaper plans? Do you really need the service? You can also look at what you are spending your money on and ask the same questions. Do you need to buy all of the food you buy? How can you save on food/clothes/entertainment? Saving money on shopping can go a long way.

Consolidate Debt

Consolidating your debt (loans and credit cards) can be helpful for many reasons to save money. It allows you to have all of the money you owe in one place/bill and sometimes you may even be able to get a better interest rates or rewards if it is a credit card.

Eat at Home

Our final tip is an easy one, eat in your own home. By dining out and going out for drinks you are spending way more money than you would at home. By yourself a nice steak dinner at the grocery store and you will spend probably ½ what it costs at a restaurant. Same with alcohol, you can buy a single bee at a bar for what a six pack costs. It is best to stay in if you want to save.

Follow these simple tips to begin your money saving journey.

I’m Being Audited – What Should I Do?

Being audited can be intimidating, but the truth is it’s often innocent mistakes that landed you in this situation—that doesn’t make it any less convenient. If it’s your first time being audited, you’re likely confused about next financial steps. There are measures you can take to make the process as painless as possible. Read on for tips on what to do if you’re being audited.

Get Professional Help

First and foremost, get professional tax audit help. As much as you think you know about doing your taxes, something you did got you into this situation in the first place! As this Entrepreneur.com article notes, “A pro will have a much better understanding of tax law and the audit process and can coach you on what to say and do.” The money you spend on this person will be well worth it—especially if the IRS is claiming you owe many thousands of dollars.

Hold Off on Your Tax Return During an Audit

If you get notice of the audit when you’re about to file a new tax return, hold off on that and instead ask for an extension. If you don’t, the audit could expand to include new information, which could work against you in the long run.

Get Hard Copies

Whereas the trend in just about everything else is to go paperless, in this instance you’ll need a paper trail. Print out all statements as they become available, as the IRS doesn’t deal with electronic files during an audit. Nail down exactly what is being audited. As this article from FoxBusiness.com notes, “If you are being audited because you wrote off 100% of your car usage as a business expense, get your mileage log and other evidence that the car was used only for business purposes all in one place.” In the event you don’t have the proper documentation, the article notes that there some instances in which a third party can verify the accuracy of the claim. Again, your tax pro can help you navigate circumstances like this.

Learn How to Interact with the IRS Agent

As much as you might be tempted to tell an agent off, this will only make things worse. Be kind, courteous, and helpful. At the same time, don’t offer information that hasn’t been requested, as each bit of documentation your offer is another chance for them to reveal more errors

Do Your Due Diligence

Read up on this subject as much as possible, even if you do have a professional helping you. The IRS website has particularly helpful resources that will not only help you with your current audit, but will teach you how to avoid them in the future. Trust us—when you’re done with this one, you’ll want to avoid another at all costs! According to this article from NerdWallet.com, the seven most common reasons you’ll get audited are as follows: math errors, failing to report all of your income, claiming an excess of charitable donations, reporting too many losses on what’s known as a Schedule C, claiming too many expenses for your business, being too loose with your claim of a home office deduction, and using numbers that come out far too “nice” and “neat”. In addition, your annual income becomes a bit of a Catch 22, as the more you make, the more likely you are to be audited. As president of Surevest Wealth Management notes via the FoxBusiness.com article, “There is an overall 1% chance of getting audited.” This same article goes on to note that “for those bringing home more than $200,000 in 2013, their chances jump to 3.26% and 10.85% for those making more than a $1 million.”

So, you’ve been audited. Don’t panic! This is a marathon—not a sprint. Be patient, get help, follow these tips, and it will all be over soon enough.

 

How to go green in your home

The world is at a turning point: fossil fuel stores are beginning to run out; global pollution levels are at a record high; the ice caps are melting, causing widespread flooding; and many other global issues are forcing a worldwide restructuring. Unfortunately reversing and slowing the changes that we have already caused to our planet is a long and drawn out process that requires the participation of everyone worldwide. It is not going to be easy, but we all need to do our bit. Implementing slight changes to your household eco-friendliness is the first step towards change, which you’ll find out how to do in this article. Plus, not only will you help the environment, but it will also save you money in the long run.

Switch to LED bulbs

Lighting is a huge part of the average household electricity bill. This term is not just limited to your spatial lights, such as in the living room, but also in your fridge, your extractor fan, your bedside light and the other mini light bulbs you find dotted around your house. If you are in an older house, you will generally find that if you’ve not switched anything, you will still be installed with incandescent-style bulbs, which are highly inefficient in comparison to today’s technology.

It is estimated that the average household electricity bill in the UK is made up of 25% electricity, which is a huge number, and should not be this high. Switching to LED bulbs will reduce your consumption between 75-90%, which will therefore drastically reduce your overall bill amount. According to the Telegraph, by switching just 10 bulbs in your house to LEDs, each with a 60W output that was switched on for an average of 10 hours per day, you would save £240 per year.

Switch to a renewable energy tariff

As the world energy crisis continues to get worse, energy companies worldwide are being forced into stricter regulations and given shorter deadlines to reach renewable generation targets. One of the trends that has emerged in the UK is the green energy tariff. This originally started with just electricity but has now expanded to the gas markets also. It basically means that if you purchase one of these tariffs, your usage amount will be directly removed from that company’s fossil fuel generation/purchase efforts and be generated through renewable methods, such as: hydro; wind; solar; and geothermal.

Sometimes these tariffs can be a little more expensive than the cheapest on the market, but if you have never switched before, there is a 99% chance that you will still be making quite a large saving. If you are with a Big Six supplier and have never switched, meaning you’ll be on a variable tariff, your savings, based on average usage, would amount to upwards of £200 per year.

Generate your own electricity

This tip will not be appropriate for everyone reading this, as the initial outlay of solar panels can be quite hefty. But, if you do have some money that you could invest into solar panels, read on!

Solar panels can be bought in varying degrees, from a tiny bit of generation to removing all reliance on your energy supplier completely. Obviously the more electricity that you want to generate, the more it’s going to cost you in the initial investment. After that, however, your ROI will be higher, the more you generate.

If you wanted to remove all need for your energy supplier, thus generating 100% of your own electricity, you would probably be looking at paying around £6,000-8,000 to start with, with a £2,500 battery storage system for low-light and night time scenarios. This would see a return on investment after about 18 years, doubling that investment in the following 18.

Increase your insulation

Whether it be your expensive, proper insulation for your floor, roof or walls, or whether you simply hang thicker curtains or rugs, all insulation in your home is important. Having good temperature retention in your home will do wonders for your energy bills and will mean that you don’t have to waste as much gas and electricity in controlling the temperature of your house. You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds to increase the insulation level of your home, but it is obviously recommended to have ‘comprehensive’ insulation fitted.

It is estimated that following percentages of heat loss occur in their corresponding areas. It is thus worth prioritising accordingly:

Roof – 25%
Walls – 35%
Windows and doors 25%
Floor – 15%