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Shelley Elmblad

Shelley's Financial Software Blog

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Webby Awards Nominees: Financial Online and Mobile Apps

Thursday April 17, 2014

The Webby Awards recognize outstanding websites in over 65 categoriesThere are just a few more days left to cast your People's Voice votes in the 18th Annual Webby  Awards, which honor the most useful and cool websites and mobile apps of the year.  I've outlined the nominees in the Banking Financial Services Websites and Real Estate Websites and Mobile Apps categories here in 2014 Webby Awards for Personal Finance Websites and Mobile Apps. There are two links to the voting in the article, and although I explain the financial websites and apps that have been nominated, you can vote for any category using one of those links.

Vote in the People's Voice Awards

4 Best iOS Apps for Easy Home or Apartment Search 2014

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Best 2014 iOS real estate and rental appsThe best apps for finding a home or apartment on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch include the dependable "old timers", Trulia and Zillow, which have real estate and rental apps. You'll want to check out the comparatively new Movoto or Homesnap apps if you're in the market to buy a home. Movoto connects you with vetted real estate agents, and Homesnap gives you info after you snap a photo of a property that's for sale (how cool is that?).

The best iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps for apartment and home hunting in 2014 are:

How to Avoid Paying Income Taxes with Your 2014 Return

Tuesday April 15, 2014

IRS Logo 2014Had to pay income taxes with your return this year? You don't have to next year, and the IRS is providing an of online app to help with that.

The IRS Withholding Calculator asks you questions to take you step by step through determining if you need to have more tax withheld from each pay check to ensure you won't owe taxes or penalties for 2014 taxes. One caveat: while the calculator worked just fine for me, the instructions note that you need to enable scripting. OK, I don't even know what that means and I doubt most people using this online app will. My advice: take the app for a spin. If it loads in your browser, you're good to go. If it doesn't load, check your browser's security options or advanced options to turn scripting on.

If you find that you need to adjust the amount of tax being withheld, here's how to properly fill out a W-4 form.

2014 Best Android Real Estate and Rental Apps

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Zillow App for Android 2014.Here are my annual top picks for the best apps to help you with your home or apartment search on your Android mobile device. While all of these apps help with rentals as well as home purchases, renters need to check out the Lovely app.

Image: Zillow App for Android

2013 Top Picks for Rentals and Real Estate Android Apps | Best Android Budgeting Apps for 2014

10 Minutes or Less to Get a 6 Month Extension on Filing Taxes

Monday April 14, 2014

Clock midnight or noon with dollar sign.You have until midnight tomorrow, April 15, to file your income tax return if you haven't already done so.  If you have a simple return and about 30 minutes to spare, use the free or basic version of online tax software to complete and e-file your return.

If your return isn't so straight forward, take just a few minutes to file for an automatic extension (automatic in that the IRS doesn't ask why you need an extension) and you'll have until October to file the return. The fastest way to get this done right now and for free is to choose one of four easy ways to file an extension online.  If you pay state income tax, remember to file an extension with the state, which is also free.

Remember that if you're not really sure that you'll be getting a refund, you still need to pay an estimate of your taxes with the extensions to avoid penalties!

Image by dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Track Income in Personal Financial Software

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Plan for when you are paid by entering income into personal finance software.If you are just learning how to use personal finance software or you want to understand more about how it works before you dive in to using it, don't miss Tracking Income in Personal Finance Software. This tutorial explains payments and other income that should be included when you use your financial software so budget and net worth reports are accurate, as well as account balances. You will also learn how to deal with entering income for salaries, hourly wages and other types in your software.

More Tutorials

One Week Til Tax D-Day: Help for Getting Taxes Done NOW!

Monday April 7, 2014

Scary movieOK, so you've procrastinated even worse than I have. You have not started on your tax return and you're getting nervous. Here are my advice and tips for started on your income tax return right away and filing your taxes before the the clock strikes the midnight deadline on April 15, 2014:

I need to file my tax return right away. Help!

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tax Software: Online or On Your Computer?

Monday April 7, 2014

Learn about tax software that makes filing income taxes easier, and efile your tax return.I compared online tax software to desktop tax software on these six points to see how the two types of tax preparation software tools stacked up:

  1. Tax software installation
  2. Most convenient tax preparation
  3. Ease of installing tax software updates
  4. Tax data security
  5. Storing tax data
  6. Backing up income tax returns

Online tax software came out ahead, but just slightly. Check out Online Tax Software or Desktop Tax Software? to get the details.

Software Organizes Belongings Into a Home Inventory

Thursday April 3, 2014

Tornado Damages HomeThe U.S. tornado season has begun. Even though it's been a relatively light year for twisters so far, warmer weather will undoubtedly bring more treacherous storms. Protecting yourself and those around you is top priority, but recovering financially after a tragic storm is something to give some forethought to as well. It will be much less stressful if you have a way to prove what you've lost to the insurance company. Home inventory software gives you a way to document the cost of your personal items and to have photo proof to back up claims. Learn more about why you need home inventory software.

Photo by Shelley Elmblad

Still Need to Do Taxes? Me, too.

Wednesday April 2, 2014

Tax software makes completing your income tax return faster and easier.Here we go again. It's another year when I let it get this close to income tax D-Day and I still need to finish up my income tax return.

There are twelve full days left to finish up and file taxes, and I am sure I can do this. Take a look at your options for online tax software to get started right away, or if you're not so sure you can meet the April 15, 2013, deadline, it might be better to go ahead and file for an extension so you have until October to get your taxes done. The fastest way to do this is to use one of four easy ways to file an extension online.  But, just because you get an extension doesn't mean you don't pay now. You'll need to carefully estimate your taxes and send in a check to avoid penalties.

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