1. Go green and save some green. You can get tax credits under the Energy Policy Act for reducing your home's energy use. To find out what qualifies, go to energystar.gov.
2. As long as you itemize, nearly all of your medical expenses can be deducted, from prescription drugs and doctor visits to surgery. See the full list of medical deductions at irs.gov to make sure you're not forgetting anything.
3. You already know you can deduct charitable donations, but don't forget any ticket you've purchased that had a "suggested donation." You can also write off out-of-pocket costs you incur while doing charitable work, like the ingredients used in a dish you regularly prepare for a soup kitchen.
4. Certain costs for managing your money that top two percent of your annual gross income are deductible, like safe-deposit box fees, calls to your broker, tax-prep fees, and subscriptions to investment journals.
5. Still paying for that pricey diploma? Student loan interest is deductible, even if you don't itemize.
6. Send in next January's mortgage payment early - if you make the mortgage payment in the current tax year, you can deduct the interest this year.
7. Chin up, unemployed college graduate. If your job hunt leads you to relocate for your first job, keep track of your receipts as you pack up. Your moving expenses are deductible.
What recession? Keep your wallet padded with 43 more tips for saving money on clothes shopping, your commute, grocery shopping and eating out, and your energy bill.
The Mommy Tax: 7 Penalties Paid by Parents on April 15 (And Every Other Day)
Tax Day is looming, but when you're a parent, April 15 is hardly the only day you pay the price. Having kids is a miracle, and it's wonderful and amazing, but it takes a toll - and not just a financial one (although that, too). Here are 7 ways that moms (and dads) are assessed penalties on days that the IRS isn't even looking.
It's bad enough that parents of young kids rarely wear anything but yoga pants, but when those pants then get spit-up, pooped or drooled on, it means one of two things: 1) We'll just stay home today since the only the only other clothing option is a cleaner pair of yoga pants; and 2) Who are we kidding? If every pee stain from a child meant we couldn't leave the house, the fire department would be called in to un-fuse the love seat from our butts.
Brushing your teeth, using the toilet or taking a shower -- if it's in the bathroom, your time as a parent is taxed in the form of never, ever being alone. It's one of those things that's as reliable as death and, well, taxes. Except the Grim Reaper in this case is usually under 42-inches tall and thinks that personal space is a right afforded to everyone except you.
Being a parent - especially in the very early years - often means surrendering your body to that of your child. You simply don't have control of any one of your limbs - or any part in between. Whether it's your breasts to a nursing baby, your shoulders so a little one can get a better view at a parade or your lap at their every whim... because God forbid anyone should ever sit in their own seat.
It's always good when parents can find time to spend with those who don't require others to wipe their butts. Except that when you have little ones in your life, it gets to engage in a conversation that doesn't include your little ones.
Other Adults Relationships
Good luck trying to maintain a healthy, uh, relationship with your significant other while there are children present, awake, and able to open doors. Let us know how that works out for you -- especially since you've already removed the locks from the doors after that one time the police had to be called in to rescue your child from the bathroom.
Your idea of a nice meal used to be a bottle of wine paired perhaps with something containing exotic-looking mushrooms in a sauce covering something else that maybe once swam in the ocean. However, when you became a parent, the tax on you is such that a nice meal becomes filling up on whatever your toddler tossed from their plate onto on the floor while simultaneously dreaming of popping open a beer and watching something on Bravo for a few minutes before falling asleep.
Having time to yourself is taxed from the moment that little one enters your house until the day they leave for college. Aside from the time spent doing the shopping, folding, cooking, carpooling, homework-helping, boo-boo attending, cuddling, nose-wiping and tear-blotting. Calculate the time you spend thinking about your children. It's amazing there are enough hours in the day for the thinking, worrying and planning - not to mention the actual doing.