Money Saving Tips When it Comes to Travel

Try being a house sitter. The website TrustedHousesitters.com matched travelers with homeowners needing their pets and homes looked after.
Need a hotel? Book last–minute hotel rooms via your smartphone. Rooms will be cheaper than reserving through a personal computer, as hotels deeply discount a few days in advance to lure in mobile guests. You can also try the mobile app HotelTonight finds big discounts on hotels without having to book ahead of time.

Tidy Up Your Financial Files Part 3 of 3

Now that you have your system down, staying organized is a matter of upkeep. Put all incoming bills in the same spot daily. Mark the due date on the calendar; then after you pay the bill, write “paid” on it, then file.
Here’s an idea for gathering those tax documents year-round. Use a three-ring binder with pockets to house all the tax material you get during the year, such as 1099’s, acknowledgements of charitable contributions and proof of estimated taxes. For electronic records, print them out and place in your binder. The payoff: When you meet with your accountant or tax preparer (or sit down with TurboTax) in 2017, you’ll have everything at your fingertips. You’ll be glad you spent the time to organize those files.

Tidy Up Your Financial Files part 2 of 3

Now that you have your files in order, what do you keep and what do you toss?
Organizing isn’t just purging; it’s knowing what to save. Anything tax related gets saved at least three years. Anything tax related that reflects a loss, save for seven years. Insurance policies? Get rid of older versions and keep the new ones when they arrive. Keep receipts for transactions until you get the monthly bank and credit card statements that reflect them. Then keep the monthly statements until you get the year-end reconciliation. For guidelines on what to keep, check out IRS publication 17, at irs.gov; learn more about how to protect your information at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

Tidy Up Your Financial Files

Part 1 of 3

One factor that makes your financial life complicated is that it runs on two tracks: paper and electronic. If you’re like me, you receive bills in the mail but pay them electronically. Or maybe you receive some brokerage statements via email, others via snail mail. The key to keeping this organized is to have a filing system. Try creating files like Advisors, Auto, Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Home, Health or Taxes. Give the folder on your computer that same name as the one in your filing cabinet.

Tricks to Scare Away Burglars

Check the latest tech. Thieves are less likely to target homes with surveillance systems. There are all sorts of new home security devices like doorbells that ring on your cell phone (like the Ring Video Doorbell). It’s inexpensive and easy to install. Get advice from your local electronics store or read reviews online. I’m not surprised but, having a dog made the top of the list as a burglar deterrent. If you don’t have one, try getting a virtual pet. Hearing that barking dog will send thieves running the other way. Another idea is, timing for your devices. By setting lights or devices to turn on and off will give the impression that someone is home and the normal routine is taking place. One more thing, if you’re going away for the day or evening, consider leaving your car in the driveway as opposed to inside your garage. These tricks should turn potential burglars away.

Be Safe!