Money Quote Friday – For Most Of Life Edition.

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his [or her] happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.” – Andy Rooney

I could not possibly agree more with that statement. Stop chasing the major events once in a while and take in what you already have. Enjoy your weekend…


Filing A Tax Extension: Don’t Pay Someone, Do It For Free.

You may start seeing services offering to help you extend the IRS tax date of April 15th, giving you more time to file your taxes. Some of these companies will actually charge you a fee… for something you can do on your own for free. For individual filers, if you are not able to file your federal individual income tax return by the due date, you may be able to get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file. To do so, you must file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return by the due date for filing your calendar year return (usually April 15) or fiscal year return. For details on filing extensions with special circumstances (military, out of the country, etc), check out the IRS page dedicated to these extensions. But please, don’t pay a company to do it for you – it’s free and available to most everyone.


Report A Tax Cheat, Get A Huge Reward.

What do you guys think of this? Would you ever report a boss, colleague, or family member in exchange for a reward from the IRS? I can’t say one way or the other if I would or not, as I guess it would depend on who it was and how much it was for. According to this article I just read at CNN, with the economy struggling to stay afloat, the IRS is expecting more tax cheats this filing year. And if you decided to turn in a tax cheat, you could receive up to 15% of the amount that has been underpaid, with a maximum award of $10 million. OK, for a $10 million dollar reward I would definitely turn someone in for sure!

The IRS has received tips from about 476 informants identifying 1,246 taxpayers in fiscal year 2008, the first full year the program was implemented.

“The program is already attracting an enormous number of quality tips,” said Paul Scott, a former Department of Justice trial attorney and current owner of law firm Paul D. Scott, where he represents whistle-blowers. “The volume of claims and/or tips they have been receiving with really substantial documentation or support has increased dramatically since the inception of this program.”

Scott said that since the new program began, his firm has received claims from whistle-blowers involving billions of dollars in taxes, penalties and interest.

So, what do you think? Would you turn in a tax cheat for a reward?


Total Money Made On Ebay In Last Two Weeks? $493

I enjoy putting a few bucks in my bank account as much as the next guy (or gal). But what I enjoy even more is putting a few bucks back in that I didn’t have to do any work for! You may remember that on February 21 I said that I had sold my original 2G iPhone for over $200. Well, that sale fell through because Ebay claimed that the buyer was fraudulent – and thus I had to relist the item. I am happy to report, though, that I ended up selling it for over $250 this time. Since I only paid $200 for it a few years ago, I not only made my money back but I also made a nice little profit. Not bad for about 10 minutes of filling out forms, huh? But I didn’t stop there, as I have been on a selling spree in order to rid my house of all unused clutter. I have sold $493 worth of stuff in the last 2 weeks and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I wrote about how the stuff you no longer want may still have value to someone else, and this is totally true for the items I have sold recently. The iPhone obviously had tremendous value to someone else, as it is no longer on contract and can be used on AT&T or T-Mobile. The North Face jacket I myself bought at a thrift store for $40 was sold last week for $87. My old guitar was sold for $50, an amp for $25, an unopened collector’s edition DVD for $21, a set of speakers for $25, and an old SLR film camera for $30. I realize I paid a lot more for some of this stuff, but getting back anything on previously purchased goods is always a nice feeling!

Now, the goal is to not buy anything new to replace the clutter I just made some money on.



PadMapper – Free iPhone App Maps Out Apartments For Rent.

Because I am once again looking to uproot my life in the near future, I just downloaded an app for my iPhone that shows available rentals listed online directly on a map. PadMapper is an apartment search tool that aims to make searching online for an apartment a little easier by letting you see where the apartments are on a big Google map and by using filters to eliminate listings that you’re not interested in. After I set the location I was interested in looking in (my old neighborhood) and my price range, I was presented with a map and all available apartments. Upon clicking on each one, I got a better description of the place, contact information, leasing terms, and some other things depending on what the property provided. I can imagine going to an area and then using this application to save me from driving around aimlessly, knocking on doors and wasting time calling on apartments I couldn’t afford. (It can also search near your location using GPS) Here is what the screen looked like after I put in the area and filters I wanted to contain my search within:


As of right now, the following major cities are supported by PadMapper (smaller towns are supported as well):

Dallas/Fort Worth
Honolulu and most of the rest of Hawaii
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
New Orleans
New York City
Oklahoma City
Orange County
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco and Silicon Valley
St. Louis
Washington, DC

For a free app, it sure does a lot to help out. If you are looking for a new apartment and are an iPhone owner, you may want to check it out. It definitely streamlined my search experience!

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