UPDATE to Tax preparation – I had to change software

In a previous post called http://lafemmeottawa.com/how-to-prepare-your-own-taxes-for-your-small-business/, I wrote that I had completed my taxes using Studio Press, and I did, but I didn’t send them in. I was waiting for Ma Man’s taxes. So, we started to do them together and…well, lets just say that we don’t see eye to eye on completing them. He has different forms than I do, and investments that I know nothing about. The software would just put up forms and you were to enter information, but you didn’t know what it was. So I suggested to him he hire a professional. When I went to complete the details in Studio tax for just myself, the information that uploaded was not the correct info I added for his salary and I couldn’t figure out how to change it. Nor would it let me remove his details.

All in all it was not an easy to use software. So, the next thing I did was send out a Facebook request to Ladies Who Lunch group asking for a tax expert and got responses, but I wanted them done that day and I know it’s not fair to have some drop everything for me, but I just wanted them off my To-Do-List. So, I decided I would try one more software. The next one listed on the CRA website was Simple Tax, and truth be told, it was..simple that is. It asked you easy questions and then let you select which forms you needed to add.

The only issue I had was trying to find how to add my business income and expenses for my part-time business, but I finally found it. It’s called “Business, Professional, and Commission Income”.

So, good news….I get a refund from CRA. Bad news is…they say 2 weeks, but we shall see.

While I appreciated doing it myself, I think next year I might pay someone again to do it simply because they know what they are doing and well, I was just trying to save money.

Lesson here..Cheaper is NOT always better. You could end up spending more time, which is dollars as well.

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Swapping your winter tires to summer – Make sure to look in the bag!

Today is Saturday, April 8th and it’s a beautiful day, so Ma Man was going to swap the winter tires to the summer ones, when he pulled the tires out of the bag, he noticed that they looked the same as the winter ones. He wasn’t sure they were the right ones and asked me to come and see them, when I saw them I said “those are not my tires”.  He said to go check the receipts for when we bought the car as it had a photo on it. Well, I argued with him and said they didn’t give us a photo, but what he was referring to was the image from the Kijii ad.  I went upstairs and located my car file, which is another important lesson…have a file folder for each item that might need fixing i.e. car, mattress, furniture, taxes😊 so you know where it is if you need in the future.

I found the receipts and it had a picture of my beautiful rims that were originally on my car. My Man suggested I bring the tire they gave us and go to Canadian Tire and ask the Manager to see if they are in the back. So, I went..on a Saturday and…no manager. They asked I call him on Monday to discuss.

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How to prepare your own taxes for your small business

Taxes!!! Are you procrastinating like I am?

I am getting ready do my own taxes this year because I feel that the accountants I have used haven’t really been so amazing at saving me money and I hated having to meet them at their convenience i.e. he sometime shows up late to his own office.

So, it’s mid-April already and I haven’t done my taxes yet. I usually have everything ready end of March, but for some reason, I have found soooo many other things or excuses to do that felt way more important, or fun, like…

  • write this blog post
  • prep dinner
  • schedule in when to have a girls night
  • review Amazon
  • see what’s for sale on Kijiji

COME ON Tina!!! I know, but I just can’t seem to get into it. However, it’s crunch time. I finally sat down on Friday April 14th and read and listened to videos for a few hours on trying to figure out which software to use. I finally decided on Studio Tax. It’s not bad and they have videos to help you, which is very good, but if you’re partly self-employed, they don’t really have anything on that. So, I called a friend who use to work for them and she told me to use the Commission form as it has the income and expenses on it.

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What I am meant to be doing with my life?

Are you feeling blah and not sure why or what to do?

For the past month, I have been feeling blah. I thought maybe I was feeling this way because I was exhausted and winter was here, which I am not a fan of. We went on a beautiful trip in February to Antigua. It was beautiful and relaxing, but when I came back I went right back to feeling blah. I thought it was because I didn’t like the way I looked, so I got a haircut, which did help😊 (this is not my new hair, but rather how I feel)

However, when I wake up to go to work that’s when I feel it the most. I feel a heavy heart. I’m angry and frustrated because I have not found work that makes me happy that I can do it daily.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for having a job, but that’s just it…A JOB. I feel like I am meant to be doing something else, but what else that is I don’t know.

I was given many opportunities to try new positions with government department. I was a Wellness coordinator and I liked it, minus a few events that made me feel nauseous, but it wasn’t permanent, and I was looking for better pay and working in a team. The one thing I didn’t like was working alone. While I dealt with people, I worked alone. I had no one to go for coffee with, to brainstorm ideas off of, except for the DG, which is not what I wanted to do. I truly believed in the workshops and I loved being at these events because I could see how it helped, but it wasn’t permanent.

Then there was the Awards Coordinator, which was a good position too, and very busy, but that one had way too much isolation for me. This job was mostly about contracts and promoting events, which was fun, but it was not for me. The most painful part about that job was writing speeches. I didn’t have the experience they needed and felt so incompetent and some of the people I worked with helped me feel that way too. This was a big part of the job and I didn’t know it would be when I took on the task. Well, I had nightmares about people getting upset with me because the speech was awful. So I told my boss that I no longer wanted the job and wish to go back to my old job because…I hated it. That was not a way I wanted to feel every day, hating to wake up, crying and not feeling supported.

So now I am at a job that is not challenging, and the people that come to see you are stressed because they are doing tests. I coordinate second language testing for employees. I am a positive person and feel it when people are stressed, so this job takes its toll on my health. I was also working in a separate office and that didn’t help with the emotions. I felt isolation. However, we now have everyone back on the team and it’s much better, and I am back in my old office where there are fun people who like their jobs.

So, the question I am asking myself is “what am I meant to be doing with my life?” well, I don’t know the answer yet, but I do know what I DON’T want to be doing which is working in a stressful or negative environment; being in isolation; doing repetitive work where I don’t get to voice my opinion; not working in a team; having no one to work with on a team; working in an area where people don’t support you or help you; working crazy hours; not being able to take a break and have someone watch the hours you work. That one I hate the most! I am not paid by hour, I am paid to get the job done!

So, what’s my next plan of action? I am going to find something else in another government department. I am going to send out my resume as suggested by my awesome friend Carol, to see if I can deploy to another department where they have opportunities and…do things I value like make the world or the city a better place.

If you know of a department that is looking for someone who likes technical, likes to deal with people, likes training and writing instructional guides, can juggle multiple things, and is willing to learn new skills, please pass along their name to me and I will GLADLY contact them. While I am currently a CR-04, I have been acting in many roles as an AS-03.

Now it’s your turn, if you’re feeling blah, look at why and come up with a small step as to what you can do to change it. Maybe you just need a day off to watch TV all day..DO IT! Maybe your body is sore and need to get a massage, but the hours are during work…DO IT! Maybe you’re like me and need a change of career, write down what you don’t like and then what you DO like and look for work that has those components and then, start making 1 call or email a day. Baby steps is for me the only way to go.

If you have other ways to help with the blah’s, please share in the comments below.

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Goal #7 Declutter – purging…starting with my closets

February is purging month, OK maybe March too because I have soooo much stuff.  The reason I started this goal was because of the book I’m reading called “The Happiness Project” by Grethchen Rubin. If you haven’t read it, you really need to get it. She’s got some great advice for each month. She talks about each project using herself and her family as the examples. I am loving it. In her book, January is the energy boosting month and one of the ways to do that is to declutter your space. If you want to buy it for cheaper, go to Amazon.ca and buy it used. After all, it’s not something you’re going to treasure forever. So, save your money and get it used.

Do you know what purging means?  For some, it may mean puking up what you just ate, but that’s not what I am talking about. I’m referring to getting rid of things you either no longer use, or are holding on to because it might come back, or because you spent money on it. That’s totally me! Holding on to it because I paid money, but the problem with that is it’s taking up space and making me angry because it’s just sitting there.

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Trip to Cozumel for $233

Are you sick of winter yet? I know I am! Even though I was born in January, I am NOT a fan of winter. I try to stay active, but mostly indoors. We just got 28 centimeters of snow, and to top it off, my car died. So, I’m stuck at home and will have to bring it to the shop to get new battery. In the meantime, I am working on February being declutter month, when I found a month old email from my Man showing me a trip to Cozumel for $233. Say whaaaaat?

We have already booked our vacation for end of February, but if you haven’t and need to get away, there are great deals going on. The one I mentioned above is from Yowdeals, but I have listed all the trip suppliers I have used and would recommend.

Here are my top 5 preferred booking places:

  1. Tripcentral (I like this one because they include the taxes, but I believe they all do now)
  2. Voyagearabais (They offer extra gifts like gift cards to St-Hubert or points to get things from their website)
  3. Selloffvacations
  4. Redtag
  5. Yowdeals (haven’t tried it, but will be for sure when we book our cruise for next Decemer)

What other ones do you use that works to save on travel expenses? Please share because I know we all love to save money.

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What exercise program will work for me? UPDATE

As part of my new years resolution, I have decided to go back to working out, which is what I like. I like to lift weights. I am not a big fan of fitness classes because  I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but I am now starting to do hot yoga and OMG, it’s frigging hot:) So for January , I tried an exercise program that I put together and, well, it didn’t work.  For many reasons, mostly because I didn’t commit to it. consistently. I also didn’t do more than 1 set of 12, which is what I was testing to see if there would be a difference. So, this month for February, I am going to try using a stability ball exercise program. I am going to do 3 days a week no matter what. If that means I go later or a different day and it messes with my routine, too bad. I have to do it, or rather I want to do. I found a program with actual images from Runpretty.com. So, for the next 28 days because February is shorter, I will do this circuit program and track my results on my workout log and will report the results on Feb 28.

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Where can you buy prescription glasses for $33?

My glasses were starting to fall apart because I manage to hit my face somehow. I know when I’m tired I smack into doors, but not always. And, they are over a year old, so it’s time to get a new pair.

I was talking with a few wonderful ladies after volleyball about glasses and they were mentioning how much theirs cost. Sandra said she had progressives and they cost I think she said $300 just for 1 pair of glasses. Tula said something like she gets 2 pairs for $300, and then I said I just ordered 2 pairs for $33, and that includes shipping and anti-reflective coating. They were shocked, so was I  when I found this place. I didn’t believe I would get a good stylish pair of glasses for anything less $100, but I did. In fact, I have bought over 10 pairs from them.

The place I buy from is Zenni Optical. They have frames that are $6.95!!! Just look at the new purple ones I bought for $6.95.

Oh and the fun part about them is I get to customize what I want written on the inside of the arm. I wrote in this pair “You go girl!” Talk about designing my own stile. Did I mention they also come with a case and a clothe.

If you’re looking to save money on glasses, this is the place to do it.  I love my glasses and have never been happier with the service too. They arrive in less then 2 weeks as promised.

 

 

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How to get FREE road salt for your driveway

I don’t know about you, but when I see ice on the road or a walking path my legs get all wobbly . Maybe because a few years back, I slid down 30 stairs and injured my back and butt. I still have a bump on my butt, but that’s a story for another day.

Man man is usually the one who goes to by the road salt at Canadian Tire or Costco, but while driving in the car a few weeks back, I heard an add that said you can use your Petro points now to buy anything in the store and it doesn’t have to be a minimum amount. FINALLY!  After my volleyball game I needed gas because I was at ¼ left and well, I promised the man I would not let it go past that in the winter anymore! So, I filled up at $1.04 yikes! Gas is sooo expensive. When I went in to pay, I saw the road salt was on sale for I think $5.97 and I asked the cashier if I could use my Petro Points to buy it and he said yes. My bill for the 35 liters of gas and a big 10 kg bag of road salt was…$33.20

To learn more about the points or sign up, click here.

On a different note, if you’re looking for a way to De-ice your windshield too, my man came up with a great way. He re-used a bug spray bottle and filled it with antifreeze. In the morning if there is still ice on the windshield, which there is always, he squirts it on the window and voila!!! No more ice. It’s amazing.

What other ways do you know to help save money? Please share in comments below.

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Goal #3 – Make $1,000 a month with my business

Goal #3 – Make $1,000 a month with my business

So you might be asking, “Tina, how are you going to make $1,000 a month with a blog”? That’s a very good question.  The truth is I don’t know if I will make $1k a month with my blog, but I am sure going to try because I love writing my stories about my experiments or experiences. Speaking of which, some of you know but for those who don’t I wrote a book in 2014 about renting your cottage out and making a profit. It was a self published and I am super proud of it, thanks to my old friend Katrina Moy who helped me rewrite it over 90 TIMES! Well, it finally paid off. I received a check from Amazon for……$107.00! I couldn’t believe it. I finally got paid for all that effort.

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