May News Update | McIntosh & Associates, Inc.

Kids & Finances: Give, Save & Spend

In our house we use three labeled piggy banks to build a foundation and serve a specific purpose – GIVE, SAVE and SPEND.

We use a clear colored jar to save – so they see the money growing. For younger children having the banks color coded is great if they can’t read yet. Establish a system of what the GIVE bank is for with donating time and money, SAVE for college or items to purchase with a need and SPEND to save up for a toy, candy or other wanted purchase. Yesterday, they had a dollar bill and five dimes. Today, they have a dollar bill, five dimes and a quarter. Talk through this with them and make a big deal about it!

Set an Example

Little eyes are watching you. If you’re slapping down plastic every time you go out to dinner or to the grocery store, they will eventually notice. If, at the end of every month, you and your spouse are arguing about money, they’ll notice. Set a healthy example for them, and they’ll be much more likely to follow it when they get older.

Show them that stuff costs money. You’ve got to do more than just say, “That pack of toy cars costs $5, son.” Help them grab a few dollars out of the jar, take it with them to the store, and physically hand the money to the cashier. This simple action will do more than just a five-minute lecture.

Talking About Money

It’s going to take an investment of time on your part, and it won’t always be easy, but if you want your children to understand how to successfully manage their money when they get older, following these guidelines will be completely worth it.

If you don’t teach your kids how to manage money, somebody else will. And that’s not a risk you want to take. Teach your kids how to handle money now, and they won’t end up with money regrets later on in life. You can give them the head start you wish you’d had and your kids will love it!


Book of the month: Start by Jon Acuff

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is start! Move through the different phases of life an be motivated to do it with excellence. Start will compel you, challenge you and help you finish well. No one aims for average or sets out for status quo. No one longs for ordinary. This shows you a way to punch fear in the face, escape average, and do work that matters.


Vacation Saving Tips

Vacation is about quality time not stress you can do so by preparing and planning ahead by setting a budget each month to put money away.

  • While on vacation bring a cooler and pack lunches and snacks so you are not eating out every day, every meal.
  • While you are on vacation use apps and websites like Groupon to see what local deals there are.
  • Always ask for discounts if they apply to you (Military, AARP, AAA, etc.)
  • Prepare a packing checklist to minimize having to pay high prices for forgot items on the road.
  • Take your vacations off season if possible, and be flexible with your dates.

“Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods.
Every time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.”

– Alexander Graham Bell

Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Perfect as a main dish or to pair with pasta! Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 small zucchini
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 links sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
Parsley, chopped

Directions:

1. Cut zucchini lengthwise.
2. Scrape out insides from the zucchini, creating a ¼-inch shell.
3. Chop zucchini insides into pieces.
4. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet on medium high.
5. Add to the skillet chopped zucchini, Italian sausage, onion, and salt.
6. Cook together for 8 minutes, breaking up pieces as you go along.
7. Spread marinara into a 3-quart baking dish.
8. Arrange the zucchini shells on top of sauce with hollow sides up.
9. Fill the shells with your cooked sausage mixture.
10. Top each zucchini with shredded mozzarella.
11. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 450°.
12. Uncover foil and bake for another 5 minutes.
13. Garnish with parsley.
14. Serve either as a main dish or paired with pasta.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping

Details About Filing Your Taxes Late

Sometimes, being able to file your taxes on time can just be plain impossible. Whatever reason may cause you to file late, you have obligations you need to address as a result of your delayed filing status. Here are some important tax items to keep in mind.*

If you expect to receive a refund, will the IRS penalize you for filing late?
No. The IRS doesn’t penalize taxpayers who expect to receive a refund.

What fees will you get if you file late?
Late filers may be stuck with two penalties:

  • Filing your taxes late: The minimum penalty for filing more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date is $205. You could receive a penalty of 5% of your un-paid taxes each month, and the maximum penalty is 25%. If you owe less than $205 in taxes, then you simply pay 100% of that tax.
  • Paying your taxes late: You also receive more fees when you pay your taxes late. Generally, this monthly fee is 0.5% of your unpaid taxes and can grow to become as high as 25% of the unpaid taxes. You also accrue interest on these fees; the longer you wait, the more fees you may pay. Other filing details may apply, so be sure to check out further guidance on the IRS web-site.

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov

Soothe Hand Pain From Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be a debilitating experience. When your cartilage wears away, you have no buffer left between your bones and your joints. If you have arthritic hands, you can experience swelling and inflammation that result in stiffness and pain, making moving and using your hands challenging. Here are a few tips to help you manage hand pain from arthritis.

  • Make a fist: Hold your left hand up straight and slowly create a fist. You’ll want your thumb to be on the outside of your hand. Be sure not to squeeze your hand, as this can cause more pain. Once you create a fist, slowly open your hand and straighten your fingers. Do this exercise 10 times, and repeat with your right hand.
  • Make an “o”: Point your left hand straight up and curve your fingers inward. Your goal is to make the shape of an “o” with your hand, where the fingertips touch. Once you create the “o” position, hold it for a few seconds before uncurling your fingers. You can do this for each hand, repeating multiple times a day.
  • Do a finger lift: Lay your hand palm down and flat on a table. From this position, slowly lift each finger, starting with your thumb. Once you lift the finger up, hold it for one or two seconds, and then gently lower it. Repeat this exercise for each finger on your other hand.

Tip courtesy of Healthline

Three Green Uses for Lemons

The acidity in lemon juice can serve a variety of cooking, cleaning, and gardening functions around your home. Due to its disinfectant qualities, you can swap your other chemical-based supplies for lemon juice, which provides an all-natural remedy for a variety of needs. Here are three ways to use lemons at home.

  • Clean Cutting Boards – Cutting boards can host a variety of germs and smells that regular washing often won’t erase. Lemon, however, can help you cut any odors and bacteria. Wash your cutting boards as normal, then apply lemon juice and let it stand for 20-30 minutes. From there, rinse the juice off the board and allow it to dry.
  • Lighten Your Nails – Our finger and toenails naturally yellow as we grow older. Fortunately, lemon can help reverse the effects. Simply combine 1 cup of water with juice from 1 lemon in a bowl, and soak your nails for a few minutes, rinsing when you’re done.
  • Use for Laundry in Place of Bleach – Bleach is quite toxic—yet, it’s a common laundry cleaner to help us remove stains and keep whites bright. You can replace bleach by swapping it for lemon juice. To do so, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your laundry before you wash.

Tip courtesy of Care2.com