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Adversity Training: Why financial setbacks should make you smarter about saving money

Just about everyone who has every scrimped, saved, spent or borrowed money in their lifetime has had a stretch where anything from their judgment to how they went about handling their finances was anything but enviable.

Perhaps you lost your job, started using credit cards or opening lines of credit to just stay afloat, so that you could pay your bills, take care of your family and not lose your home. Maybe an emergency fund was already depleted and when your roof collapsed so did what was left of your savings account. And, of course, there’s always just the plain, dumb decision making that plagues the masses as it relates to spending money.

No matter how you arrived at this desolate place from a money standpoint, chances are you’ll be here for a while, and you’ll need help picking yourself up and dusting off what’s left of your budgeting and financial self worth. You may enlist the help of a financial planner or search high and low for a consolidation company that, at least in some form, has your best interests in mind and isn’t interested in hitting you with one fee after another.

As disheartening as all this sounds, you still don’t have to take this setback lying down but instead should take it as an opportunity to get better at saving money and grind your way back to even, or at least close to it.

How exactly is that possible, particularly if you’re really struggling with your money? First, you have to get over the spot that you’re in and start assuming that you’re in the midst of a financial turnaround, not a crisis. You also have to train yourself to totally pull a 180 degree turn on your lifestyle and really look hard at cutting out day to day expenses or long term bills that you simply don’t need.

In addition to combing through your expenses to determine what gets cut and what doesn’t, you also might have to pack a lunch so to speak and start working a little longer or, if it is that paramount, get a second job. Working needs to be a primary focus since that is how you’ll earn all, or at least a majority of, your money. The sooner you come to terms with exactly where you are, the sooner you can reverse the trend of spending and improper money managing and start pulling in a much more enviable direction.

3 Choices for 2014 Do-It-Yourself Income Tax Preparation

Income tax season affects different taxpayers differently. Some taxpayers look forward to the season because they know they will receive a refund--and may have already spent it in their minds. Other taxpayers dread the season because they know that they will have to write a check to the I.R.S.

Professional tax preparation services can help to ensure that a taxpayer maximizes a refund or reduces a tax obligation. Tax preparation service can be personal or computerized. Many companies offer software that takes the taxpayer through the sometimes painful process of filing. The following are some of the top tax preparation services available to file your 2014 taxes:

Turbo Tax

Turbo Tax is the best-selling software on the market for income tax returns. The company guarantees accurate results and guaranteed maximum tax refunds. Its extensive software will search more than 350 databases for applicable refunds. Turbo Tax offers 24/7 customer support for people who are having problems with their taxes, as well. Furthermore, the company charges nothing for simple tax forms such as the 1040 EZ and the 1040A. The free and easy forms are benefits that not all providers offer.

H&R Block

H&R Block offers in-person tax preparation services and online services. The company is making a huge effort to bring new taxpayers to them through discounting. Faithful taxpayers that used other services can use H&R Block this year for a 50 percent discount. A 50 percent discount is extremely beneficial because the preparation services can be expensive. H&R Block is popular because it offers a maximum federal benefit to each of its customers. Additionally, the company offers a refund anticipation check so customers can grab their refunds within a few days.


Taxbrain is a trusted source for help with filing income taxes. The software takes the taxpayer through the filing process step by step. Taxpayers can prepare their taxes in less than an hour with the advanced software that Taxbrain uses. A person can usually expect a refund within 21 days after the date he or she files the taxes. Taxbrain will send the taxpayer’s refund by direct deposit after it retrieves any funds that the customer owes. The company does not ask for upfront payments on tax preparation services. Additionally, Taxbrain usually sends its faithful users discount coupons so they can enjoy cheaper tax preparation services.

Many other software programs are available, but the aforementioned are proven services that have been beneficial to taxpayers. Taxpayers can come out on top by obtaining service from any one of them.

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