With much of the country experiencing frighteningly cold temperatures, it doesn’t seem like the time to issue “ways to save during winter” advice. With temperatures well below zero, the last thing anyone should be doing right now is turning off the heater and just bundling up with an extra blanket. I’m even hearing advice on the radio such as, “Worry about your heat bill later,” and I couldn’t agree more. But, this IS potentially a time to check off some of those long put-off tasks that could have big positive impacts on your financial life. Here are a few to think about taking care of while you’re stuck inside:
Make the call
When we talk about ways you can improve your financial lives, many points include actually picking up the phone and making a phone call. Whether it’s with a credit bureau to remove old dings or a credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate, now that you’re on lock down, pick up the phone and follow through on this advice. It’s the kind of thing where it doesn’t hurt to ask and the rewards can be plenty.
Do your taxes
In case you missed it, last Tuesday was TurboTax‘s very own #W2sDay, IRS opened for e-file on January 28th, and you should start seeing your W-2s, which means you can officially get a jump start on filing your taxes! With your W-2 in hand, you have what you need to file your taxes for free with TurboTax. With TurboTax you can get a jump-start on your taxes by snapping a picture of your W-2 or importing your W-2 from your employer or payroll provider and the information will go to the correct forms without data entry. For many, they are almost done with their taxes once they snap a picture of their W-2 and answer a few questions.
And, if you have tax questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average of 15 years-experience to get your tax questions answered. A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can also review, sign, and file your tax return in the comfort of your own home so have no fear! There’s absolutely no reason to make the trek to a tax store. So don’t delay – get one step closer to your biggest possible refund on this blistery day.
Check your transactions
When’s the last time you took a detailed look at your transaction history? I once caught fraudulent activity – it was only a $10 charge – but I knew it wasn’t mine. When I called the credit card company, I made the joke that if they were going to use my card, I didn’t understand why they’d only make a $10 purchase. But there’s a reason for it! I guess fraudsters will often use your card for a smaller purchase as a way to check it will go through before running up your balance on larger purchases.
Other benefits to combing through your transactions? Know where you’re spending your money. When you use Mint, your transactions are categorized so you can see how much you’re spending on restaurants, ride shares, and your weekend getaways. When you have this high-level view, you can easily see if your money is disproportionately going to one category – giving you an eagle eye view into a potential money saving opportunity.
Another money saver? You’re not eating out! With the weather too cold to venture out into, your outflow of cash will more than likely decrease on restaurants, gas and activities. It may mean making up for it in your heating bill, but at least you can take some peace of mind that you’re saving in other ways during this time. Just stay off the online shopping sites shopping for vacation clothes!
Stay warm and safe, Minters!