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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 59, April 2014
April 21, 2014
Dear Subscriber

For those that have not yet filed

For those that already got their taxes filed congratulations... I got mine done on time for the first time in several years.

If you have never heard of this product, and there are several versions with and without business, with and without rental property etc., TurboTax is a product that I use and recommend very highly.

Despite TurboTax being so easy to use it's not too early to start planning for next year's taxes...

The item that seems for me to take the longest was to accumulate all of our contributions that we make to charity.

As you know my frugal wife Spends a lot of time at Goodwill and grocery stores that offer coupons... The vast majority of the items that she purchases there we donate to food banks and charities.

It would really be great if we'll get credit for that on our taxes but it seems every year I'm calling "Honey, what is this receipt for?"

Frugal tip number one

With today's smart phone cameras, cheap standalone point-and-shoot cameras, and chief storage devices there is no excuse not to document with photos and what you are donating.

Remember they say that a picture is worth 1000 words.

Frugal living tip number two

On that same subject, please make a point to go through your house with your smart phone or camera and take pictures of every room... The clothes in the closet... Your dishes and kitchen appliances, etc. A real thorough inventory.

There is nothing more frustrating than to have an insurance loss and not be able to get it quickly resolved because you do not have the documentation that the insurance companies require prior to paying what they owe you.

So if you've not done so right now go take 100 pictures is so of the contents of your house... Put the pictures on a USB storage stick... And place it in your safe deposit box.

That way if tragedy happens you will get reimbursed that much quicker with photographic proof of your loss.

Frugal living tip number three

This weekend we are leaning for our annual transatlantic cruise and a couple weeks in London and Paris.

I would like to be able to tell you that I got the absolute lowest price for my inside cabin... We paid $699 apiece for a 14 day cruise going from Fort Lauderdale to Southhampton England.

I had watched the price of this cruise starting in January and minute If dropped from $899 to $699 about five weeks before we leave I jumped on it.

Had I waited another 10 days I would've gotten the same cruise for $499 a person.

We are fans of Princess cruise lines Here is our page on Princess.

Don't want you to think that I get the absolute bottom price for everything, and we're pleased paying a hundred dollars per day for the cruise.

But I am reminded of an old adage... Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered...

It was driving me nuts not being able to make room, train and entertainment reservations.

We're all set now and looking forward to spending the month with my soulmate of 40 years.

And also knocking London and Paris off our bucket list.

To review our best travel is the page on travel tips .

Frugal living tip number four

Anytime a subscription or service goes up in price it is always a good time to examine whether or not you're getting your money's worth.

As I admitted last month I wasted a lot of money by not checking what was available on home and auto insurance.

Well Amazon prime has now reached my point of pain by going from $79 a year to $99 year

We did not take that much advantage of the free shipping that Amazon offers, and were not pleased with the movies that are available through your Blu-ray player when compared to Netflix for instance.

You know we will be paying $84 a year for just the Netflix movies but we feel that is a better deal than the Amazon prime offers.

So I am suggesting that you question price increases whatever they may be always look for a better deal.

In closing

Well that's all for now folks... Please stay safe and healthy and frugal.

All the best,

Gary and Julie

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