Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saving Money on Accounting Fees

My husband is a CPA... but no he won't do your taxes, or ours.  He's not that kind of accountant.  Unfortunately, tax fees are one of the many things we found out that we've been over-paying for.  I've had an accountant that's done my business and personal taxes for the last 8 years; when we got married she continued to do our personal returns.  Paul didn't really question the price, as unfortunately neither of us really paid much attention and I didn't realize that I was paying too much.

This year, however, we've really been questioning the price of EVERYTHING, and in questioning the price I was paying for accounting fees I found out I was paying about 3 times the average price for S-Corp and personal returns.  EEK!  Seriously!?

I think in a lot of ways tax accountants can prey on fear. I keep going back to something I read in The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy about how even though most millionaires tend to be frugal, accounting & legal services were the two areas where they were willing to pay higher prices.  Evidently, in those two areas there is a bit of "you get what you pay for" mentality, and I can definitely understand why.  It's a scary thought.  In 8 years of having my own business I've not been audited, what if this year (after changing accountants) is the year I get audited?  It's scary.

Despite my trepidation, we decided today (after meeting with the new guy) that we will switch.  For the huge amount of savings we will reap for switching I can afford a little fear I guess.  We did consider saving even more and having my husband do our personal return (even though he's not that kind of accountant, he figured he could handle the personal return) but he decided that it really wasn't worth the additional savings to do so.  After all, he'd still want to purchase the Business & Personal version of Turbo Tax and it will still take him a couple of hours to do it.  I have to say, on that note, I'm kinda glad and it gives me a little better gut feeling than the idea of him doing it himself.  He asked me what my gut said about this new guy; if I thought he might be shady or anything. I told him I didn't think he was shady, but I did get the feeling he'd much rather deal with numbers than talk to his.  His response: "Well, that's what you want in an accountant, it probably means he'll do a better job."  Man, I hope he's right.

FREE SAMPLE: Miracle Whip

Click here to get two sample size packets of Miracle Whip!

I'll be honest we use mayo of any type so rarely in our house that if we could just find a way to buy single / sample size packets at an affordable price, we would do it (same with sour cream).

Couponing Favors the Rich?

I saw this headline and I first thought that this was going to be an article about how often you'll find the best printable coupons under zip codes of the Rich & Famous... that wasn't the case.  This was actually a letter from someone who was upset because a coupon writer's advice seemed to favor using the internet to get deals and coupons.

I thought this was interesting that someone would think this and unfortunately I think it's another case of blaming the wrong person.  Anyone can get great deals, some of us will have to work harder at it than others.  There are definitely some advantages to having the internet when it comes to getting some of the best deals but they all boil down to 1...

It's easier to get multiple coupons when you can buy them off coupon clipping services or print them.  It's easier and cheaper to really stockpile when you can use multiple coupons.  However, if "Extreme Couponing" taught us anything it's that you don't need a computer to save major money.  One of the most featured couponers from that show was Joyce, who got multiple copies of the coupons she needs just by asking her friends, relatives and neighbors for their unused coupon inserts.

The great thing about the internet is that you can get help from others on finding deals and don't have to rely on yourself to do the matchups. However, I kinda think that doing it all yourself may save you some money too as you won't be looking at these deals thinking "oh I got to have that", you'll only be looking for the things you already buy and saving money on them.

Publix Competitor Coupon Policy About to Get Clearer

Laurie over at Passionate Penny Pincher just shared that Publix stores have finally gotten together and come up with a company-wide competitor coupon policy.  For more details on what she found out, check out her post!

Silk Soy Milk - $1 1/2Gallon After Coupons @ Publix

Starting on Wednesday, Silk Soy Milk will be $1 for 1/2 Gallon at Publix after coupons.

Sale Price: $2.50
-use $.75 Printable Q
-use .75 Publix Q (from Yellow Advantage Buy Flyer - usually located at the front of the store)
= $1 per 1/2 Gallon

- You may also have the .75/1 Qs from the paper a few weeks ago OR
you may be able to print off a $1/1 Q from the Silk website, which would make the price only .75 per Half Gallon.

New Coupons on SmartSource.com

There are some new coupons over on SmartSource.com that you may want to take a look at. The ones that I found worth my time were...
  • .50/1 Halls
  • $1/1 Smart Balance milk

Great Coupons on Coupon Network

The Catalina Company (the coupon company not the salad dressing) has a website for coupons that you may want to check out. Not only do they list the possible Catalinas you may get at your local grocery store (if they use the Catalina system) but they also have many printable coupons available, including these coupons that I just printed....
  • $1/2 Lean Cuisine entrees
  • $1/3 Idahoan potato pouches
  • $1/6 Yo Crunch
  • $1/2 Starbucks Via
  • .50/1 Starkist Tuna pouch
(that last one should come close to equalling free tuna if you use it at a store that doubles coupons).

Amazon Prime Membership Now Includes Unlimited Streaming of Over 5000 Movies & TV Shows

 I just read that Amazon Prime members now also get unlimited streaming for over 5000 movies and tv shows. It's by no means their entire catalog but it's an extra bonus for those of us who have Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime is Amazon.com 's "prime" membership that provides you with FREE 2-day shipping on all items shipped by Amazon (not including those shipped from third parties). Prime memberships cost $79.99 a year, but you can share them with up to 4 people (so you may want to get some family members involved).

I signed up for a FREE trial of Amazon Prime last fall and forgot about it. We ended up getting billed for it but I haven't regretted it as it's come in very handy,  especially for my husband who decided to wait until the last minute to order Christmas presents. 

The list of movies that is available for FREE streaming appears to be along the lines of those available on Netflix (give or take a few hundred).  If you don't already have an Amazon PRIME membership, you can get a 1 Month FREE Trial and see what you think. 

You may want to take some time and compare it to Netflix offering.  You can get unlimited streaming on Netflix for just $7.99/month (with a 1 month free trial) or pay just $1 more a month and it includes their 1-at-a-time DVD plan, so you can always have a DVD on hand as well as watch streaming.

Since we already use our Amazon PRIME membership to save on Shipping we will be keeping it and will enjoy having the added benefit of an additional choice in streaming movies.  As I posted a week or so ago, we canceled our cable movie channels in favor of Netflix a while back and have found we didn't miss the movie channels at all and really enjoy the ability to watch the movies we want to see when we want to see them.

thanks Frugal Coupon Living