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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter

 

Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterMarch 21 2013 newsletter
 
Top ten reasons you will be audited this year 

Ten reasons you'll be pulled for an audit

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

No one wants to go through an audit from the IRS. It’s time consuming, stressful and could very well end with you paying steeps fines or even facing jail time.

It’s also very unlikely to happen to you. In 2011, the IRS audited 1.6 million individual returns, which sounds like a lot but only represents slightly more than 1% of the total returns filed that year. And, if we’re being honest here, it’s not something you should be afraid of presuming you haven’t misrepresented yourself.

The process certainly isn’t pleasant, but as long as you have the necessary supporting documents you should make it through the audit just fine.

That said, given the choice between getting audited and not getting audited I think we’d all choose no audit. So here are the top ten reasons why you may get pulled for an audit this year and what you can do to avoid it.
 

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A Tale of Two Sara's 

How MMI helps you pay down debt

By Jessica Horton, Community Manager

We all have goals in life. Whether it’s to buy a home, get married, have children, pay off student loans – or all of the above. Unfortunately, most of us also have debt. And the trouble with debt is that it tends to get in the way of our dreams for the future.

While it’s easy to acknowledge that debt is getting in the way of your hopes and dreams – ultimately, your future – it can still be easy to think of it as something that will just “take care of itself” one way or another. I’ve been guilty of that, and I’m sure at some point in your life, you have been as well.

And this is where I’ve really seen the difference our services here at MMI can make in the lives of our clients. When our clients say, “Thank you for giving me my life back!” I now know what they mean.

Freedom from debt is truly like getting your life back. When debt is no longer a barrier to making your goals a reality, it’s a truly incredible feeling. And all of the sudden, it feels as though your hopes and dreams are attainable. They are no longer things that you wish would happen some day, they’re things you can plan and save for, because you no longer have that huge barrier standing in your way.

Now this may sound great in theory, but we all know it’s really about the numbers — and the numbers really do tell the story best. So let’s take a look at a debt breakup through the eyes of "Sara" - and two of the different paths she could choose to take...

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Do you have thoughts about any of the topics included in this newsletter?  Do you have questions or concerns?  Do you just want to brag about your latest money-saving epiphany?

Be sure to stop by the MMI Forum and join in the discussion!

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit MoneyManagement.org.

 

8 cheap ways to have fun this spring

In certain parts of the country it might not feel like it, but spring has arrived! In the north that means melting snow and rising temperatures (hopefully sooner rather than later) and in the south that just means rising temperatures (…yay?).

Wherever you are, spring means that you no longer have an excuse for self-imposed house arrest. It’s time to get outside and get active! (Or, if you’re in the northeast, get outside and get back to shoveling.)

Getting out and making the most of spring shouldn’t bust your budget. To help you find your way back into sunlight without lightening your wallet, here are eight cheap ways to get out and have fun this spring.

  1. Get on your bike: The fastest, most enjoyable way to re-familiarize yourself with your surroundings is via bicycle. If you’ve got a bike, grease up the chain and get those tires pumped up. If you don’t have a bike, no worries! Bike rentals are common and easy to navigate. You can take a bike out for a day and in some states like Minnesota they even have a public bike exchange!
  2. Run a marathonor just watch one: Spring is the beginning of marathon season. Of course running in marathons is great, but it’s also a bit of a big deal and takes a lot of time and dedication to successfully complete. Watching a marathon, however, hardly takes any effort at all! USA Marathon List has a nice guide to all the major upcoming marathons.
  3. Have a yard sale: You need to do some spring cleaning. You also need to unclutter your life. The next logical step is a yard sale! Get rid of some unwanted possessions, make a little money and haggle with your neighbors – what could be better?
  4. Head out to the old ballgame: Okay, so spending an afternoon at Fenway Park or Wrigley Field isn’t anyone’s definition of “cheap.” But that’s the beautiful thing about baseball – you don’t have to go to a major league game to have fun. Minor league, college, high school and heck, even work league games can be fun to watch and cheap to enjoy.
  5. Hit the water: Rent a kayak and start paddling. Make sure you wear your life preserver though. No offense, but you’re probably going to fall out.
  6. Enjoy a free outdoor concert: Now that everyone can finally leave their homes again, it’s time for outdoor concerts to start up. Sunshine and free live music? You can’t beat that combination. Check your local papers for dates and locations (or, you know, just boot up the old Google machine).
  7. Smell some flowers: Arboretums are cheap, fun and beautiful. They’re a great place for a romantic afternoon or some scenic “me time.” Find the one nearest you and you’ve got your next Sunday all booked!
  8. Walk the trails: Lace up your most comfortable walking shoes, toss some water and a granola bar or two in your pack, and take to the trails. There are smaller, more local scenic trails just about everywhere, and enormous national historic trails for the most intrepid of hikers. Get some exercise, some fresh air and a whole lot of nature – at hardly any cost!


MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

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