Tag

waste

Lifestyle, Taxes and Investing

Never Miss a Charitable Deduction Again





The Wealthy Accountant is turning into a vibrant community. Readers share their stories helping me do my job of teaching you, kind readers, how to live a joyful life without money problems. Readers also do things your favorite accountant cannot. For example, you would never ask me anything about IT. On my best days I am dangerous when given the access codes to computer files in my office. Karen, my office manager, has a standing order with the IT firm managing all our information to never give me a pass code or access to any secure files. It’s better that way.

When it comes to taxes, the story is different. I immerse myself in taxes the way a college guy plays video games. Most tax questions are front brain answers to me and minor research for most of the rest. (Every now and again someone throws me a curve requiring serious research, but we will not talk about those times to protect the ego of the innocent accountant in the room.) Then a reader sends me a link for a website that blows my mind. John Haldi did just that.Continue reading

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Hypermiling: Hybrid Mileage In a Regular Car

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ScanGauge on a Velcro Strip.

Grandpa told us stories of how they increased fuel economy during World War II rationing years. The technology has advanced over the years, but the goal is the same: increase the miles traveled on a gallon of gas. Today we call this behavior: hypermiling. Rationing is no longer the motivation. Saving money and reducing our personal impact on the planet are the two main drivers (pun intended) behind hypermiling today. I will share the best methods I use to achieve 46 miles per gallon in a 2007 Toyota Camry. If you are willing to work the technology harder your results will probably be even better.

The Toyota Camry is estimated to get 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Moving the fuel efficiency from 24/34 to 46 mpg blended requires a few modifications to your driving and proper maintenance of your vehicle. Remember, hypermiling is a lot of fun, especially if you are competitive. Beating your best performance is addictive. Incremental progress is normal. Colder weather hurts performance as does winter gasoline blends in the northern U.S. Hot summer days without a breeze can really send your fuel efficiency through the roof. Awesome!


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My Allergic Reaction to Commercial Media

TV (2)Cable TV arrived late at my household and left early. Back in the 80s and early 90s we only had local channels available over the airwaves. As the year 2000 approached I broke down and allowed cable TV to enter my home. It was a disaster. I could not believe I was paying for something that was mostly ads to get me to waste even more money. A few years later the fix was in; cable was on the way out.

My greatest concern was my family. Mrs. Accountant and the girls liked a few shows on the glass teat (reference The Glass Teat by: Harlan Ellison). I had to devise a way to cut the cord without making it look like I was cutting the cord. My idea was to convince my family we were only temporarily suspending the DirecTV account for six months as an experiment. To my surprise nobody was bothered by my idea.Continue reading

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Frugal Living, Lifestyle

The un-Free

Student of the MonthA letter was waiting for me on the kitchen table. My daughter had a letter from school. “What’s this?” I ask. My daughter was all smiles as she says, “I made Student of the Month.” Mrs. Accountant was not as excited as she should have been and I know why. Her bullshit meter goes off as easy as mine. I read the letter and discovered there is more than one Student of the Month. In fact, there are a lot of Students of the Month. And here is the coup de grace that set off the BS meter in Mrs. Accountant: Our daughter gets a free meal at a certain restaurant with all the other “Students” of the Month. Of course, mom and dad have to fork out an armload for their meal and mom and dad are required to attend the function if our daughter is to get her meal gratis.

Free: The one word in the English language sure to get people to look. It is used by marketers and scam artists alike with great skill. It is the most dangerous word to a responsible lifestyle and early retirement. Free is used to get people to spend money on stuff they don’t want. In the case of my daughter, it is a tool to get people to buy overpriced meals out of obligation. The best part is that the mark is not the person you have to convince. The school is all too happy to oblige. They can hand out awards at no cost while sending the worst financial message possible to the student.




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Free My Coke Rewards Promo Codes and Points: February 2017 (Now with Pepsi Codes)




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A decade ago I started writing on a content farm called HubPages. All the crazy ideas I did not know what to do with found life there. It was a great venue to publish experimental work. The best part was the income HubPages threw off from my experimental writing. At the height I could expect $1,000 per month showing up in the business checking account. Then came Google’s Panda update and ended the party. Content farms were in the doghouse with Google and any experimental writing I did had no chance of a real audience or the possibility of significant profit. As the years passed it only got worse; HubPages struggled with nonstop changes to counteract a portion of Google’s new policies and I had no desire to keep working on something with no possibility of gain.

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Buying Stuff Just to Throw it Away

Out in the boondocks where I live the garbage is picked up every two weeks; recycling once per month. Until a few months ago this arrangement worked well. Garbage was placed in a large barrel the garbage truck could automatically empty into the truck hopper. Recycling was placed in blue plastic bags with paper and cardboard placed in either a box or tied in a bundle. A few months ago the system was changed for recycling. Bags were replaced with a blue barrel the same size as the garbage barrel. I understand why the change took place. Under the new system the recycling company could run the route with only one employee. The truck has a lift (like the garbage truck) to grab the barrel and empty the contents.

The problem comes from the amount of recycling I have. All the recycling from my office, farm and home went into the barrel and it was not big enough. It was hard to believe I had so much crap every month. The garbage barrel was almost empty; we have one small kitchen garbage bag for disposal every two weeks. But the recycling did not fit. At first I wanted to blame all the stuff (a technical term used by hard-core wealthy accountants) on the office and farm. Certainly, they played a roll, but personal recyclables still would fill the barrel monthly.Continue reading

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