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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 70, January 2015
January 21, 2015

Spectacular even for Arizona

We tend to take sunsets in Arizona for granted... But last night's sunset was absolutely spectacular.

My serious photographer friends were running outside trying to get just the perfect shot, this was made from my iPhone as we were returning by golf cart from round of golf.

All we could say is, "Nice job God!"

Frugal Tip Number 1

We just had good friends visiting from California who wanted to play golf.

I had planned on taking them to one of the four courses that we have in Sun City Grand where we live...

Since they travel in their fifth wheel and are avid golfers themselves they are always looking for a way to save a buck in order to indulge their favorite pastime.

Always glad to know that your frugality rubs off on others.

Try this site for discounted rates on popular golf courses...We paid $32 a person to play a very nice course in great condition.

They also recommended this site for last minute discount bookings.

Frugal tip number two

If you find something laying around the house that you haven't used in several years you may want to consider putting it on eBay.

For instance my wife discovered some garment bags that I used to use a lot when I traveled on business... But since I have not used them for over 20 years now she decided to put them up for sale on eBay.

She sold them for $35 plus shipping.

So take a look around the house and if you have something that you're not using anymore go to eBay... Click on completed listings and this will give you what the item is actually sold for in the past.

One of the things to go next is our set of crystal wine glasses, when we do have guests we use glasses from Costco... And don't worry about someone breaking a glass.

We know of one friend who makes his living exclusively selling on eBay and does very well... You may find that you can make some extra money on a smaller scale getting rid of items that you don't use as much anymore.

Frugal living tip number three

This is a reprint from last month but it really does make sense for you to use TurboTax for preparing your personal taxes.... I have done so for many years and am very pleased with the product... Try it you will like it.

"I had some last-minute end of the year tax planning to do and was playing around with some what if scenarios on TurboTax.

The details aren't important but I want to point out how outstanding the TurboTax customer service really is.

The last limited partnership that I owned was sold in 2014 and as such I had an opportunity to move some money from one of our IRAs with limited tax implications.

At no charge, it is part of the $79 that I spent for TurboTax, I spent over three hours on the phone with a real live CPA to go over some of the more complex parts of my return for next year.

So if you still pay someone else or even use a service like H&R Block you should consider TurboTax for doing your 2014 taxes... It sure has worked out well for me and it can work out for you as well...I have used it since 2000.

It is a fill in the blank software that guides you step by step on how to do your taxes.

They crunch all the numbers, and will e-file your return. Some versions will do state returns as well and e-file them for an extra charge.

If there are any mistakes they will tell you by not letting you e-file."

Frugal living tip number four

Here are some pages that you may want to review on-site.

Get your free credit report

I have reformatted and cleaned up the e-book on how we went from not knowing anything about sailing to living on a sailboat for eight years... If you have a similar dream you may want to take a look...The information is just as pertinent today as it was 20 years ago.

A checklist on how to retire early

Frugal Living tip number five

It seems like I get a letter every month on where I get my cheap cruise deals.

You are not going to get your best prices by your favorite travel agent calling you and saying here is a deal that you can't pass up... At least that's never happened to me, you have to do your own research and I find these next two sites to be my favorites.

Vacations to go and Cruises only.

Another valuable travel site is trip advisor... I had used the site before but I have never written a recommendation until I was especially impressed with the shuttle service from hotels to the cruise lines in Fort Lauderdale and Miami... Using Q LS.

I received a email from trip advisor stating that my review of Q LS had received 207 visits in less than a month, so it is a very powerful way to do some pretrip research.

Please do not take everything that everyone says is gospel there are some people that are just unhappy and nothing pleases them... use your own discretion when reading some of the reviews... It's a good resource.

Here is my review

Final thoughts

Living in Arizona gives you a lot of sun exposure and as you get older more susceptibility to skin cancer... Take my advice putting on sunblock is a lot cheaper than going to the dermatologist.

Stay frugal and safe until next time.

All the best, Gary and Julie

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