Money Apps

Find Out Your Bottom Line BEFORE Filing Your Taxes


It’s me again with another tax filing tip for you. Got taxes heavy on the brain right now. Don’t most of us? This is a trick that I use every year. Since my tax situation has varied quite a bit over the past few years, I always try to get an idea of my bottom line before I actually file.

The good news is that because so many companies are vying for our business each year, there are a bunch offering to electronically file your federal return for FREE (and in some cases, your state taxes too). All the major tax filing companies offer this for free through the IRS’ website. Get the details here: Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

So, to see if I’ll be getting a refund, or if I’ll owe, I plug my information into TWO different free file programs to see if they come up with the same or very similar results. If they do, then I feel fairly confident about what to expect that year. If I’ll be getting money back, I file asap (Yep. Just like you.). And if I owe money, I typically wait longer to plan out how to pay it (Again, just like you. Chuckle).

Give it a try. Try plugging in your information before you actually file to see what your bottom line will probably be. If you happen to have investment or business income, a mortgage, etc. (or a more complex situation), I suggest skipping this step completely. Rather than inaccurately plugging in any information and getting the wrong results, just leave all of that up to the tax experts.

However, if you have a fairly simple return with employment income, student loans, etc., and are a renter, this is a pretty good option for you. And honestly, it’s NOT as hard as you think. Really. The programs do most of the work for you. If you think this would be too hard for you - or just plain ole’ too boring -  ask a trusted, more-financially-and-computer savvy loved one to do it for you.

It’s an excellent way to know what to probably expect WAY before you sit down to file your taxes this year. And the more (and sooner) you know how your taxes will affect your money, the better you can plan the rest of your year. You’ll have a much better idea of whether you’ll have splurge money for that trip to Jamaica this year, or if you’ll need to focus on pulling in some extra money from your gigs. 

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom is a financial educator, speaker and workshop trainer who teaches clients to confidently master their money so that they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and provides transformational financial literacy training. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at her website

A Few Minutes Now Can Equal Bliss Later...

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Financial Tip of the Day

Many people don’t reach their goals simply because they don’t realize how much time and/or money their goal truly requires. And they’ve never taken the time to do the research to see what’s involved. The same is true for retirement. Many now-retired people never stopped to figure out how much they would need to save in ADVANCE to enjoy the type of retirement they desired. So they got there and had a rude awakening…often having to drastically scale back their lifestyle.

After working so hard for SO many years shouldn’t we be able to live the lives we TRULY want at that point? Take the time to use your plan’s retirement calculator to figure out how much you’ll need to save NOW to have the life you want then. It may be scary to see how much you’ll need (my figure was larger than expected). But isn’t it better to find out NOW and make the necessary changes rather than live unhappily during your non-working years? Take out a few minutes to get clarity on this (if you haven’t yet). Here’s a calculator you can use, if you’d like: Retirement Calculator

P.S. – Are you looking for a speaker to show your organization/group learn how to find money to save for retirement? I am available to speak to your group! Visit my Speaker Page at or email me at to arrange a time to discuss your needs/goals.


Shared Tips to Reduce Thanksgiving Stress & Cost

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Financial Tip of the Day

For all those cooking and planning Thanksgiving dinner, here are some tips to make it less stressful. In this article there are tips to save money on food and on organizing your Thanksgiving dinner: Five ways to save money & reduce your stress buying and cooking your Thanksgiving dinner

Apps to Jump Start Your Savings


Financial Tip of the Day

During the savings series I hosted last week, I became acutely aware of how challenging setting aside savings can be. I’ve been hearing about some apps that can help with this and located this piece: The Top 8 Automatic Savings Apps Of 2017. If you love apps, and need/want to begin/increase your savings, here are some to get you going. They range in price and feature, but if you want to start or ramp up your savings “automatically” these apps may be perfect for you.

Also, for more tips, check out my 3-part savings series. Click here to get free access: Special Presentation.