The Wealthy Accountant Recommends
People want to know how that crazy accountant from the backwoods of Wisconsin spends his money. Over hundreds of posts I have shared ways to get more while spending less. Hunting for these nuggets of wisdom gets harder by the day as the volume of material published here grows.
I have an advantage. The number of people I interact with in a given week is larger than most people and the people I interact with want to share their ideas. I see a lot! Improvements to my life have resulted and I share many of those ideas here with you (if you can find them).
There is one more reason to have a “Recommended” page. The amount of precious time away from family and friends to produce this blog, plus the cost of updating and maintaining this site, should be compensated. Many recommendations are affiliate programs which compensate me without costing you a penny more.
I still have values. Money is important, but money will never influence my recommendation. Or does it? I’ll buy a box of granola bars from Amazon if its 30 cents cheaper than the local grocer. For a measly $.30 I modify my behavior and I bet you do to.
With this in mind (and the disclaimer at the bottom of each page of this blog), each recommendation will include a notation on compensation. This is only fair. First, if you like what you see here you can reward my work. Second, you can decide if compensation affected my recommendation. Not all recommendations create revenue for me or this blog. Letting you know my connection to a recommendation is the right thing to do.
DIY Tax Preparation: Clients and readers are sometimes confused when I tell them they should prepare their own tax return. The truth is it's an honest answer. Some people need consulting, other professional preparation services. However, with modern technology, many people are completely capable of handling their own tax return filing accurately. Saving some coin isn't bad either. The banner below is a link to what I consider the best online filing program. It also happens to be the same software I use in my office. Some online tax software is a watered down version. I can only recommend a commercial grade program like the one below. For disclosure, my practice receives compensation if you use the link below to file your return. Kicking the tires is always free.
- Amazon: Amazon is the ultimate affiliate program for bloggers. By starting your Amazon shopping trip here and closing the purchase on the same visit, this site receives compensation from Amazon.
- Amazon II: Mrs. Accountant and I discovered Amazon Pantry recently. It’s not our first time to check out food prices on Amazon. In the past we were disappointed, but recently the prices have become low enough to justify some food purchases from Amazon. Many times Pantry prices are lower than we can find locally and completely eliminated the need to pay for a Costco membership. Sometimes it’s so close we prefer to avoid wasting time shopping and all the driving, opting for home delivery instead. I recommend Amazon Pantry as long as you do so carefully. Not everything is a deal on Amazon.
- 4GCommunity.org: When I wrote the original post I recommended Calyx for this service, but readers soon clued me in on 4GCommunity.org with the same exact product for a fraction of the cost. High speed portable Wi-Fi is a must for travelers. Living in the backwoods means our internet quality is terrible and expensive.
I opted for 4gCommunity.org in the Accountant household. Both organizations offer their portable Wi-Fi hotspot with unlimited usage. We stream Netflix and YouTube videos all the time without issue. As a bonus we can take our Wi-Fi with us on the road! Neither this blog, nor I receive any compensation from Calyx or 4GCommunity.org. I checked to see if they had an affiliate program. They don’t. Regardless, this is one of the most useful devices I own. (It works great on the road with your cell phone, too. No more using data on your phone.)
- Netflix: My attitudes towards television are legendary. There was a time I thought I couldn’t give up football or other sports. Still, when I watched television I did so with the sound off while I read, wrote or worked on some other project.
A decade ago I cut the cord. My life with cable was short. Mrs. Accountant and I were the last to adopt cable, waiting until we were in our upper 30s before cracking open the wallet, and the first to pull the darn thing out. I was paying like $50 or $60 a month back then! I hear cable blew past $100 a month in many markets since. Glad I am off that crazy train.
My concern was the kids. They never missed a beat. (They are awesome!) Never once did they complain about the loss of cable. Of course with Netflix and Amazon Prime we get more viewing material than a guy has time to watch (or should waste time watching). The library has more movies if you want and YouTube has more documentaries and educational videos than either Netflix or cable. (I tend to watch YouTube to learn a new skill or dig deeper into an existing passion.)
Netflix is a low cost source of family entertainment I recommend.
Netflix is enjoyed by the entire family. I still rarely watch TV and when I do the volume is off. Some habits die hard. No compensation is received by this blog or me for this recommendation.
Payroll Services: Small businesses can outsource their payroll and avoid all the complicated hassles involved with the payroll process. Even your favorite accountant outsourced the payroll in his practice to free time to serve clients better. I worked with ADP, the nation’s largest payroll firm, to build a dedicated team to serve your needs, including the tax strategies you see in this blog. Contact Chris Dudley by email (Christopher.Dudley@adp.com) or call him at 414-502-9884 to get started. Mention The Wealthy Accountant and receive a 20% discount on your services. I’ll be adding a banner soon where you can do all this online and privately if that is your preferred method. Finally, you can read my post on the topic here. (TWA receives compensation from ADP if you become an ADP client through this blog.)
- Credit Cards: Credit cards are one of the most powerful personal finance tools available today when used correctly. By correctly, I mean paying them in full each month with the exception of people playing an interest game to fund a project or get out of debt. For most people, pay the card in full with autopay each month and harvest the rewards.
One way to ratchet your credit score higher is to have lots of credit limit with no more than 10% or so of the card balance used at any one time, even if paying in full each month.
Building a portfolio of credit cards you only use lightly can bring great reward benefits. After the initial required spend for a bonus reward you can use each card as a weapon to manage your finances and spending for maximum results.
The best part is credit card rewards are tax free in the U.S. You can read more of my strategies with credit cards here. When you’re finished be sure to stop back on this page to start building your credit card arsenal.
- Below is a list of links to hone your credit card research. Click on the link for the type of reward you are most interested in. The link destination is updated on a regular basis for the best cards in the indicated class.
- Compare cards side by side to find the best card for you while stacking benefits to your advantage.
Featured Cards (a good place to start for exceptional deals with a limited time frame)
- You can also review credit cards based on your credit score.
The goal is to increase your total overall credit limit while using a small percentage of the total credit limit. This increases your credit score opening opportunities for the best rewards and bonus deals.
Legal stuff I have to tell you about credit card offers (and should).
- Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.
- Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.
Manufactured Spending: Top Cash Back (affiliate link) has a unique program where you can buy American Express and Visa gift cards and get cash back. Buying a gift card frequently has fees attached and this case is no different. However, in this instance the cash back covers most, or all, of the fee. Read the original post here.
Cost Segregation Study: If you own rental real estate or real estate in your business you need to consider a cost segregation study. Property purchased for $250,000 or more is likely to benefit from a cost seg study. Additions or remodeling also work. The tax benefits of a cost segregation study could put $100,000 or more into your pocket. Read two articles I published on the program (Get a $100,000 Gift from the IRS using Cost Segregation and Applying Cost Segregation on a Tax Return) and then contact Randy Leppla at Equity Solutions. Mention The Wealthy Accountant and receive $100 or 5% (whichever is greater) off the cost of the study. You can reach Randy at 608-852-6772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are not alone on this journey either. Randy works closely with me on all cost segregation studies from this blog. With your permission, Randy forwards a copy of your estimated benefits and later the completed study for my personal review. There is backend support for your tax accountant if needed, as well. An estimate of the tax savings is always free so contact Randy if you own real estate. It could be worth a lot of money to you. (Note: TWA receives compensation from Equity Solutions.)
Business Entity Setup: A simple idea commonly used in the accounting field created a stir and put me in the spotlight, bringing this blog into existence. Mr. Money Mustache heard me speak on the topic and hired me on the spot. One of the first articles published on this blog explains how your business or side gig can save big on taxes by organizing as a LLC treated as an S corporation.
You can organize your own corporation or LLC at a very low cost online using The Corporation Company. It’s easy to do and there is plenty of support if you have an issue. (TWA receives compensation from The Corporation Company.)
Legal Help: Law is difficult in the best of times. The law is interwoven into every facet of life. Marriage, divorce, business, landlord/tenant issues and estate planning are just a few of the life events requiring professional legal help. Finding a qualified attorney is the hardest part. I get regular requests for legal recommendations. I really don’t know a good attorney in every corner of the country. But I know someone who does.
LegalMatch is the perfect solution when looking for legal help. Finding the right attorney is imperative. LegalMatch has qualified attorneys is nearly every field of legal practice. There is no cost to kick the tires. The Wealthy Accountant receives compensation from LegalMatch.
Web Design and Maintenance: Kevin Clack redesigned this blog and did a heck of a job, as you can see. If you are looking for a site redesign or maintenance I highly recommend Kevin. I receive no compensation from Kevin for this referral, nor did he give me a discount or any other inducement for the recommendation. It's hard finding awesome IT guys and Kevin is one of the best. I am fortunate to have found him. Kevin's blog can be found here. You can contact Kevin from his blog.
Tutoring Services: My oldest daughter, Heather, has her own tutoring side gig. She has tutored at the YMCA, local colleges and tech schools and in her business. She is sought after as a tutoring specialist on the talk radio circuit. She tutors in math, English, elementary general studies and art. Any spelling or grammatical errors in this blog are the sole responsibility of your favorite accountant and in no way should reflect on Heather's talent.
Heather has more patience than me and I've witnessed first hand her ability to help young people love to learn. Where schools and other tutoring services have failed, she has excelled. My only compensation on this recommendation is the warm feeling a dad gets when his sweetie does well. You can reach Heather on her blog here.
If you see any articles where I recommend a service or product but forgot to add here, send me a note using the Contact button. I'll get right on it.