Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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February 7, 2013

How to organize paperwork before tax day

The most common complaint I hear from people is that they are buried in paper. When they describe their struggle to tame the paper in their home, it is often with a look of desperation on their face and the sound of defeat in their voice. Add the rapidly approaching April 15 tax deadline and sheer panic sets in. Even if you can survive for most of the year without having your papers in order, this is one time when locating a specific document and keeping track of all those tax forms really matters. Here are some practical tips for getting a grip on all that paper, for tax time and throughout the year.

— Put incoming papers in a designated spot

It takes about the same amount of time to put something in the right place as it does to put it in the wrong place. The key is to create the "right" space and make sure everyone in your family knows where it is. Put incoming papers like bills, receipts and schoolwork in a designated inbox each day and regularly transfer the contents of your inbox to labeled bins with the following categories: "To File," "To Pay" and "Needs Action." Throw away or recycle all unwanted mail and school papers before they pile up, and don't get frustrated if you are unsure whether to keep a document. For guidance on how long to keep specific documents, financial planner Ric Edelman has a good list on the Web sitewww.nextavenue.org.

— Make sure you have the proper tools

You need permanent filing space, either drawers in a desk or a filing cabinet. It is difficult to get by with a combination of portable boxes, magazine boxes and desktop files unless you are really organized; they can be hard to keep track of. If possible, find a space on the main floor of your house for your papers. Having to tote papers to the basement or the second floor requires time and is one of the main reasons paper piles up.

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  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

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