Spring Clean Your Financial Clutter

It’s that time of year when houses get scrubbed from top to bottom, but why should you limit cleaning just to your house? It’s time for your finances to get a good scrub! Cleaning up financial clutter can save you money, prevent identity theft and get you on your way out of debt. Speedy Cash is here to open a window and help you begin shaking off the dust that’s been lying over your finances.

Organize Payments
Consolidate your payment due dates to around the same time each month. It may seem intimidating to pay all bills at the same time, but it’s easier to keep track of payments and know how much you’ll have left after everything’s paid.

Dust Off Accounts
Examine your finance accounts: Checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, credit union accounts, etc. Once you have a comprehensive view of your accounts, find ways to make things simpler. Can you get rid of any credit cards? Can you consolidate bank accounts? More accounts mean more fees and a higher risk for identity theft.

Wipe Away Debt
Start small by identifying the accounts you can pay off quickly. Even if they’re lower interest accounts, start by paying them off all the way to simplify your debt. Once you’ve paid off a few accounts completely you’ll keep the motivation to pay off those larger amounts!

Start cleaning your finances every spring and you’ll see the difference in your wallet size!

 

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Transparent Tax Talk

Tax season is finally here! With the filing date pushed back to Jan. 30 this year, refunds will arrive a little later and wallets will be running on empty a little longer. Speedy Cash keeps you updated with filing tips, a refund guide and what to do if you owe money to the IRS.

Tips for Filing
There are many ways to file taxes, the most convenient being e-filing or electronic filing. Check out Free File, the IRS’s software that helps you prep and e-file your taxes at no charge if your annual income is $57,000 or less. There are more no-cost options for any range of income such as Fillable Forms which are electronic versions of paper forms.

Refund Guide
What’s the quickest way to receive your refund? The IRS is making no promises this year on when you’ll receive your refund, but does give a timeframe of less than 21 calendar days after they receive your tax return*. With that in mind, depositing your refund directly into your checking account is the fastest option to receive your refund.

Speedy Tip: You can check the status of your refund at http://www.irs.gov/Refunds with the “Where’s my refund?” tool.

*Information found at http://www.irs.gov/Refunds Last updated Jan 18, 2013.

Owe Money?
Owing taxes can be scary, but don’t put off payment for long! One option to pay a large sum is to set up an installment agreement and pay over time. If you don’t start paying on your debt, the IRS can file a tax lien against your property, seize your bank accounts through a tax levy and charge you fines up to $135.

Don’t let taxes stress you out this year. Whether you’re struggling with filing, waiting for your refund, or have to pay taxes, there are free resources to help you get the most value out of the season.

 

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Roo’s Financial Tips: Buying the Perfect Valentine’s Gift

The average person will spend $126.03 on their loved oneValentine’s Day is just around the corner, are you panicking because you’re broke? There’s no need to worry! I’ve compiled some cheap Valentine’s gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

Feeling Flush?
Want to take your loved one to a nice restaurant? Why not make it a lunch instead of dinner? Lunch prices are usually much cheaper, not to mention lunch reservations are much easier to book! Is jewelry more your thing? Try finding some cool vintage jewelry (trendy and reasonable!)

Got a Tight Pouch?
A nice meal together is always special – even if it’s at home. Instead of stressing about reservations and over-priced food, cook a tasty meal in your own kitchen. Don’t forget to cheese it up with a tablecloth, a few candles and a music playlist your partner will enjoy.

Can’t Spend a Dime?
You want to show your significant other how much they mean to you but you just can’t afford to spend any money right now – I get it! This is the time to let your creative juices flow. Get your hands dirty and do a chore your partner hates, leave fun sticky notes around the house, or do it up old-school style and create a playlist of songs that remind you of them.

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Financial Tips for a Fresh Start to the New Year

Did you go overboard for the holidays? If you spent too much on gifts, decorations and entertaining for the season, holiday bills can put a damper on the New Year. Resolve to get out of debt and save more money this year. Speedy Cash has financial tips to help you ring in the New Year with a fresh start!

 

Start a new budget January 1.
If you’re in debt, last years’ budget did not work. Find a different way to manage your money. If you’ve been tracking expenses in your head, try writing them down in a special book or monitoring them on a worksheet software program such as Microsoft Excel or a free alternative, OpenOffice. Find alternate ways to budget.

Plan ahead for the year.
Your expenses and income are probably going to change in the year ahead, but it doesn’t hurt to look forward and plan where you’re going to be spending money. Have an old car? Plan to spend money on it. Is your child interested in sports or music? Put aside money to spend for those activities as well.

Only spend what you NEED.
January sales can be tempting, but resisting discounts will give you more money to pay off bills from the last year. Make January your saving month and live as frugally as you can by eating leftovers, returning gifts you won’t use and staying inside!

These tips are just the beginning to a healthier wallet. Don’t let your debt build up over the next year. Read Speedy Roo’s tips for paying off those extra holiday expenses.

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Roo’s Financial Tips: Pay Off Holiday Expenses

Roo holding cash with a thumb upStockings have been emptied, presents have been unwrapped and the tree is coming down. Yep, that’s right – Christmas is over. Now comes the part that all of us dread; it’s time to pay the bills. But don’t panic! I’ve got some tips for you to pay off all of those holiday expenses.

Know What You Owe
First and foremost, you need to know the total amount you owe for all of those wonderful Christmas gifts. Gather all of your credit card statements and bills, add up the balance – remember to calculate the interest rate for each balance.

Make a Plan
Once you have the total amount that you owe, make yourself a game plan. Depending on your situation, you may choose to: Tackle paying off your credit card debt one at a time, pay more than the minimum payment, cash in your credit card perks, call your credit card company to negotiate your interest rate, transfer balances to one card, or even return gifts that you don’t want.

Stop Using Your Credit Card
Now that you know the damage and you’ve got a game plan, stop using your credit card until the balance is paid. You will thank yourself for this one!

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