Our clients and readers vary in age, sex, occupation and financial status. But everyone could use a little help with managing his or her personal finances. Do you dread that April 15th deadline every year? Sometimes filing your taxes and managing your personal financial goals can get complicated and overwhelming. Paying for services or accountants to help can break your bank, as well. So how can we do it on our own without puling our hair out? Here are a few helpful tips and “tax technologies” that we think will remedy your tax season—and general, year-round—anxiety.
- SnapTax by TurboTax – This mobile application is provided by Intuit, Inc., a trusted name in tax and banking needs. The app is available for free iPhone 4 and Android equivalent phones, as well as on Kindle Fire and Chromebook. I’ve used it for the past two years and have not had any problems organizing multiple W2s and getting them done in about 20 minutes. Of course, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect if you’re a first-time filer, a student, and don’t have assets or deductions to consider. If this describes you, it’s extremely user-friendly and efficient. TurboTax also provides access to tech support and chat features if you need extra help. This is a beloved feature of TurboTax along with its usual 100% refund, accuracy and audit support guarantees.
- Quicken, also by Intuit, has been around for 30 years but is still the leading personal finance software on the market. Quicken secures to your bank in seconds, automatically sorting and categorizing your expenses; allowing you to track all of your finances in one place for as low as $39.99. Quicken takes the worry out of finance, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.
- Mint.com – Like TurboTax, Mint is a free, online site by Intuit, Inc. that connects all of your bank accounts, investments and general banking needs into one easy-to-use platform. One can access Mint via computer, laptop, mobile or tablet devices. By linking your accounts and providing budgeting suggestions, you no longer lose track of your expenses. This site is comparable to Simple, both have great reviews and set you up for effective personal banking.
- Financial Literacy Month – April is not only when taxes are due, but it is the National Official Financial Literacy month. This is a website that helps you get financial wellness advice and set goals in a 30 steps. It then assists you in realistic ways of getting there within a month. The goal is to educate our community about money because a lot of us weren’t taught how to manage our money as kids or young adults. It is a guideline to get your financial education and your life started on a balanced path.
If you like these few tools, you can find more by following financial wellness sites and personal finance blogs with several more recommendations. A few examples that I like to refer to are Two Cents by Life Hacker, Creative Savings Blog, or CNN Money. Whatever way you choose to go about it, it’s good to pick a road and plan for that rainy day, or that dream vacation, as soon as possible because being financially fit helps us stay worry- and stress-free. That way you have more time—and money—to do the things you truly enjoy.