Tantalizing Tax Time Tips

by Alexandra Pauline – February 20, 2012

Take Your Finances from Fragile to Fabulous

Wondering what could possibly equal the excitement of Missoni at Target?  Yes – tax season is almost here!

Ok… tax time gets a bad rap.  But since we want to look at your bank account as being half full – rather than half empty – here are some things you can do to make tax season (a least a little bit) more tantalizing!

Mirror, Mirror

While you’re busy preparing your tax returns, your recent financial history is staring you right in the face!  Instead of freaking out, open your eyes and take an honest look at your year.  Did you reach your money goals?  Or did another year of potential savings slip you by?

According to Lois P. Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich, “Women have a very complex relationship with money…we don’t think accumulated wealth is important.  And what you focus on is what you get.”  So, whether it’s starting a small CD or paying off your student loans, setting a financial goal is key when it comes to financial independence.

Invest In Yourself

Maybe you’re tempted to invest your tax refund in the market – but afraid to pull the trigger?  Ginita Wall, CPA and co-author of It’s More Than Your Money — It’s Your Life! said, “While men procrastinate because they have something they’d rather be doing, women tend to put off investing because they are afraid of making a mistake.”  Don’t let being a perfectionist get the best of you!  Instead, start off with small amounts of money and invest in the products you and your friends use.  Another good tactic is talking to your employer about their options as many companies offer stock options upon hiring.

Get Out Of Your Financial Comfort Zone

Investing your tax refund is an excellent way to start saving.  And if you’re already in the habit of saving your refund, this year consider mixing up the types of investments you make!  Diversified savings portfolio are typically the strongest (even if they’re teeny tiny).

If you put all your money into your kids’ college fund – and ignore your personal IRA – your financial status will likely  remain stagnant.   “The reason more women are not financial successes is they don’t want to be uncomfortable.  Any time we do something we’re not used to doing — asking for a raise, buying some stock — it feels uncomfortable.”  It might feel risky at first, but try saving towards different things every month, or rotating between saving for yourself and saving for your kids every other month to help round out your overall financial future.

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4 Responses to “Tantalizing Tax Time Tips”

  1. Linda Isenson says:

    Investing in your company’s stock options, while the “American” thing to do is pretty stupid. Not only do you then derive your income from the company but you have put more eggs in one basket than probably wise. The key to not getting screwed in the stock market is to diversify. It sounds like a great deal because your company gives you a discount but in the long run you should only invest minimally in it. This is how people at Enron and countless other companies ended up with nothing while the folks in top management made a killing.

    • Steph says:

      We definitely agree investments should be diversified – and if stock options are bought they should of course just be one part of an overall diversified portfolio.

  2. Beth says:

    Grea tips! Thanks.

  3. Pea` says:

    Excellent article and I agree with Linda. Diversify is a must. Do not put all your eggs in one basket and I’m speaking as a former employee of “ENRON”. Ouch!!! It did hurt, but am recovering. Thank GOD! So continue on investing, but be wise and smart not to put all your eggs in one basket. Food for thought!

Any Thoughts?