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Friday, December 20, 2013

Save a tree, and save some time on your taxes

I can be pretty disorganized at home sometimes about paper, so I have made it a policy to try to limit the amount of paper I bring into the house. This is also coincidentally good for the environment. I bank, I spend, I read the news and more, and yet, I minimize all those pesky little pieces of paper that feel like forests of trees being decimated in my very hands.

Once January hits, I am thinking of tax time. You can use a downloaded software package, import your digital W-2’s if you employer offers it, track your deductions and such all online or on the computer. I can save my tax file in a PDF format, in a few places, and never have to print a single copy. I have direct deposit (or payment) with the IRS into/out of my bank account. It is all pretty simple.

I have bank accounts, and I turn off their paper statements. All my banking can really be done online. Utility bills, credit card bills- all of these can be either auto-withdrawn or online payment set up easy as can be. I have some excellent software to track it all (this also feeds into my tax software so I will get all my funds properly accounted for.) My retirement funds, savings bonds tracker, and virtually anything to do with my money can be done with a computer. Bills can be paid online, checks processed digitally, and I rarely step into a bank or post office, saving some gas money at the same time.

I am pretty partial to TurboTax and Quicken- and I have even delved into their free online finance tracker- Mint.com. There are many other great products out there, and they get better every year as our finances get more and more complicated. Basically, when you add up all the time it takes to open mail, read it, process it, and file it- there is quite a savings. My software packages summarize, and if I want to- I can delve deeper, but do not have to do more than close the program when I am done.

Recycled Personal Checks - Save the Environment & Save Money Too - Check Gallery