Her column dealt with how veteran parents handle the "empty" nest syndrome and how this step in life, although difficult, is a much-needed progression for teens to become healthy and independent adults. Thank you, Maaliea for picking such a great topic and thank you to our wonderful readers for their comments.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
Our children do not really belong to us but remember that you should always have their gratitude and abiding love once they are gone if they have been taught the correct values in the home. Communication is all the more important when their physical bodies are absent from the family home and only their spirits are felt.
While it is great to be involved with your children's school and sports activites, you should develop your own interests as well. Have a weekly date night with your spouse, join a club, or take up a sport, so you have outside interests besides your children's. Kids do go off to college and jobs, but they do call, text, and come home for a visit!
Now, onto this week's topic—the rewards of recordkeeping.
Paper clutter affects so many people and inhibits them from getting things done; this rings especially true when it comes to the task of filing taxes. Most of us must first de-clutter last year’s receipts and records before even beginning to fill out this year’s required forms. It’s no wonder Americans wait until the last minute to complete this dreaded chore.
There is an easier way.
- For personal use, first create a tax year folder for statements/receipts that pertain to taxes. It’s important to place this folder in a convenient location for easy access all year long. Second, keep an envelope in your purse/wallet to collect receipts when you’re out to transfer to your tax folder at home. Third, if you want to go paperless, keep in mind there are apps which help keep track of expenses such as mileage. It’s not too late to get started for next year by immediately implementing these simple tools to save time now and your sanity later.
- Checklist: year-end income, bank, mortgage and brokerage statements; property taxes, DMV registration, daycare allowance; community/charitable/alumni contributions and donations, etc. if applicable.
- Include folders for other IRS schedules that apply, i.e.: rentals, partnerships, etc.
- For businesses, set up a filing system for expenses and income by category according to Schedule C. Print out the tax form and make separate categories listed in a profit-and-loss Excel spreadsheet. Each year you can literally plug and play from such spreadsheet to insert updated information in your tax form, ready to submit.
- Checklist: mileage, phones, gifts, meals, advertising, professional associations, etc. Consult a tax professional with specific questions for your personal or business situation. Last minute appointments don’t work well for anyone; tax planning/preparing should start well ahead of the rush.
- Finally, once you have your spreadsheet, make an appointment with yourself—and plug into your calendar—weekly, monthly updates to maintain and personalize your tax system. Get organized with your taxes, and you will go from a dreadful “to do” to a delightful, “They’re done!”
How will these tips help you get organized for tax time? Have any tips you can share with us for better recordkeeping?
To learn more about Coach Carrie Vawter-Yousfi, please visit www.themommyscoach.com.