Friday, 31 January 2014

Shopping Trips and Preparing Taxes!

Hi Everyone,

I've been in such a lazy mood for the last few weeks with the winter reaching -30 C daily. I've done the bare minimum with couponing and price matching by just checking a couple of stores for their deals. I can't but help dreaming of hiding under my sheets until spring arrives or dreaming about a quick trip south to recharge and bask in the sunlight. I hope you guys are all surviving and thriving! And Happy Chinese/Vietnamese New Year!

Here's what I promised! My shopping goodies from Walmart after New Years!
- Kinder Eggs $2
- 3 X Christmas card boxes for $1.75 each
- Owl Gift Card Tin 60 cents
- 8 X Various Ribbons ranging from 25 cents to 75 cents
If you're a big ribbon user like me, I find it hard to find good ribbon for cheap
- 2 X Non-seasonally descript wrapping paper for 75 cents
One was a red kraft type paper and another a super glittery red paper. Best part was they weren't the dollar store kind and was actually a large long roll that is about 3 or 4 times more than what I regularly would get from Dollarama.

Two Weeks Ago
 - Turkey Pie $1
- Baby Carrots $1
- Bagel Bites $1
- Chunky Soup $1
- 4 X Blueberries $1 each
- Empire Apple Bag $1
- Country Harvest Bread $2
- Bananas 57 cents/lb
- Snap Peas $1.50
- No Name English Muffins $1
- Barlett Pears 97 cents/lb
- Field Cucumber $.97

Last Week
- Wonder Bread $1.97
- Dolfino Havati $2.97
Makes really good grilled cheese!
- Activia 12 pk $4.97 
Who knew you could buy all strawberry flavour! That is the best thing ever!
- 8 X Grapefruits 4/$1
- Old Mill English Muffins $1
- Potato 97 cent/lb
- Plantain 97 cents/lb

Sadly, it's that time of year again where the government gets their pound of flesh from everyone in the form of taxes! There is a good two months left to get your things organized and pay up what you owe without incurring penalties. I found the stress of doing this last minute isn't worth it and if you're getting them done by someone else you'll be waiting in a long line up at the mall.

A few years ago, I used to be terrified to go get my taxes done as my parents always took care of things for me. But, I knew it was time to grow up and figure this crappy life chore myself. So, after being hugely dinged in my wallet by H&R to do my taxes as a self-employed person, I vowed to never take this huge financial hit again for my ignorance. I signed up for the next available H&R Block tax course and sat through 7 hours of a double tax class on Sundays for months. I was so dedicated going to every class after having worked till about 3-4am the night before. I can't say I can do my taxes perfectly as I learned you can never know EVERYTHING about taxes but I'm glad to say I'm a lot more knowledgeable about it. I tried to make it my friend than make it my enemy. This one course helped me:

- Budget properly to account for taxes paid in April
- How I pay and keep receipts
- Organize my paperwork for taxes and remitting HST
- Force me to see what I spend
- Get me to submit all my receipts to get reimbursed from my benefits so I can claim the remaining amount I actually paid
- Keep me on top of my TFSA and RRSP contributions
- It actually saved me money! Knowing what I can deduct/claim and enrolling me in government programs like getting an HST Credit!

Taxes just seem scary because most people just don't understand them nor want to. Who can blame them, it's probably one of the most boring subjects on the planet! So, if you're like me and are self employed take baby steps and learn to understand how taxes work. If you're like most people I know and get a T4 from an employer, you can still benefit by learning to do your own taxes and saving the dough you'd pay for someone. Or figure out how you can make filing benefit you and your family.

Good Luck!

Eros and Pookie

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