Should You Pay Taxes with a Credit Card?

pay taxes with a credit card

You can pay your taxes with a credit card. Should you?

Every single year when I do my income taxes, I think about the things that I should do differently. For one thing, I always buy tax software. However, I could use the IRS eFile tool for free. I’m a creature of habit and making the switch challenges me. Nevertheless, it would be a financially smart thing to do.

I also typically pay taxes with a credit card. I’m aware that it’s doesn’t make the most financial sense. I do it anyway. That’s something I really need to look at it if I truly want to stick to my frugal living goals.

It’s Convenient to Pay Taxes with a Credit Card

Sometimes I pay a little bit more for convenience. That’s part of frugal living. I’m not trying to get the cheapest thing all of the time. I’m just trying to “trim the fat” to make sure that where I spend money is where it makes sense to do so. Sometimes convenience makes sense.

It’s definitely convenient to pay taxes with a credit card. I see what I owe. I enter the credit card information. It’s all done. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have enough money in the bank to cover it. If I don’t, then I’ll move money around later to pay that card off. You can’t do that if you pay with a check; you have to have the money right then and there.

I Like My Credit Card Rewards

I have a good cash back credit card. My rewards accrue all throughout the year. I don’t touch them. Then, come December, I have a nice chunk of cash back money that I can use. December is a tough month financially for almost everyone. I also have several big annual bills that come due around then. Plus, as a freelancer, it’s almost always my slowest income month. Therefore, I love using those rewards.

When I pay taxes on a credit card, I get a nice bit of cash back. I don’t need it in the spring, but I’m really happy that it’s there come December. Therefore, I do like that aspect of paying taxes with a credit card.

The Rewards Don’t Outweigh the Fees

Here’s the thing, though. If you pay taxes with a credit card, then you’re charged a fee. You can’t pay the IRS directly with a credit card, so you have to use a processing service. The fee varies depending on the service you use. According to the IRS, the fee is sometimes deductible. However, that’s not always the case.

In my experience, the fee almost always costs more than the rewards I get back on my credit card. If you have an excellent cash back card then you might still get a little extra money. At the very least, it might even out. However, if you’re trying to pay with a credit card just to get cash back, then you should be aware that you probably aren’t doing yourself any financial benefit.

If you’re using a cash back rewards card, try to use one that’s got at least 3% cash back. Moreover, check with the processing service to see if the fees differ depending on the card that you use. For example, the fee is sometimes higher for American Express, so you might want to pay with a different card to keep costs down.

If You Don’t Pay the Credit Card Immediately, Then You Really Pay

It isn’t cheap to use your credit card. I usually pay my balance in full each month. Therefore, I don’t pay a lot of money in interest. However, if something goes awry, those interest charges can add up fast. If you do pay your taxes with a credit card, make sure that you don’t rack up a bunch of interest fees by failing to pay that card balance off quickly.

You can set up a payment plan with the IRS. Therefore, if you don’t have the money to pay your taxes right now, then you shouldn’t go straight to a credit card. Save money by working directly with the IRS instead, where the fees will be considerably lower.

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How to KonMari Your Money

konmari your money

You can KonMari your money.

KonMari is the Marie Kondo method of decluttering. The method is designed for simplifying the mess in your home. There are a popular book and a Netflix TV show all about it.

However, you can take the main principles of the method and apply them to your finances. Doing so, you can make smarter financial choices and feel more in control of your money.

Put It All In One Place

One of the first things that you do when you Marie Kondo your home is to take all of the things in one category and place them where you can see them. For example, if you are organizing your clothes, then you take every single clothing item out and place it into one pile.

It absolutely makes sense to KonMari your money in the same way. You should have one place where you can look to see your income, expenses, investments, budget, net worth, etc. If all of that information is scattered in different places, then you aren’t going to be able to make sense of it. For example, if you use a bunch of different credit cards, and you don’t really know what your total amount of debt is, then you’re in trouble.

Find a method that works for you to KonMari your finances in this way. You might use an app like Mint. You might use pen and paper. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s both clear and complete. Just this simple act of putting all of your money information in one place can help you feel like you’re more in control of personal finance.

KonMari Your Money with a Budget That Sparks Joy

One of the things that Marie Kondo is most known for is the idea that everything that you own should spark joy. When it comes to your closet, you pick up each item of clothing, hold it, and if it sparks joy then you keep it. If it doesn’t spark joy, then you get rid of it.

You can apply this same concept to your budget. Look at all of your expenses and how your budget is allocated. Go line-by-line to determine whether or not your spending choices truly spark joy. For example, let’s say that you spend $100 on cable TV. Does watching cable TV spark joy for you? If not, then maybe that’s a cost that you can eliminate. Where in your budget could you reallocate that money to spark more joy?

Of course, there are some things in a budget that just have to be there, whether or not they truly spark joy. However, you can use this information to help you set goals. For example, paying your mortgage probably doesn’t spark joy. However, your home itself should spark joy. If it doesn’t, then you do still need to keep your mortgage in your budget. However, that’s good information to know that perhaps moving should be part of your larger financial plan.

When you KonMari your money, what you’re really doing is figuring out your financial priorities. The idea is that you want to spend less on things that don’t give you joy and more on things that truly make you happy at a very deep level.

Practice Gratitude

If you watch the Netflix show, then you will see that Marie Kondo does something interesting before she even begins helping people organize their homes. She pauses and does a silent prayer of gratitude to the home. Likewise, when people give away an item that doesn’t spark joy, she suggests that they thank the item for the purpose it has served.

This attitude of gratitude is really helpful when it comes to changing your attitude about money. Our society tends to make us think about money in a negative way. We may feel like we never have enough, for example. On the other hand, we may be unhappy with our past spending choices or with the way that money impacts our relationships. Starting from a place of gratitude makes it much easier to work with our money.

Additional Ways to KonMari Your Finances

I’ve read some of the other articles out there that people have written about how to KonMari your finances. Here are some of the tips that I liked:

  • Go paperless with financial statements. This helps you KonMari your whole home.
  • Carefully organize all paper you do keep in one specific, limited places.
  • Simplify your financial life as much as possible in order to make good decisions.
  • Declutter your wallet by reducing the number of credit cards, loyalty cards, etc.
  • Stay in touch with how you feel when you spend and save money.
  • Continue cleaning up your money on a regular basis to avoid another financial mess.

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What is the Best Food Sealer?

best food sealer

If you’re on the hunt for the best food sealer, then there are a few things that you will want to take into consideration. A vacuum sealer for food is primarily used to increase the lifespan of food for storage. However, it has other uses as well. If you’re planning to use the sealer for some of those less traditional uses, then you might be looking for different criteria as you choose the best food sealer.

What is a Vacuum Food Sealer?

A vacuum food sealer sucks the air out of a container. In doing so, it allows for an extended life span for food storage. Typically, you’ll place the food inside of a plastic bag and use the sealer to suck the air out of that bag. However, you might use it to seal other containers as well.

Food sealers are often used for prolonged freezer storage. For example, you might freeze meat or vegetables then stick them in the freezer where they will last for many months. However, you can use food sealers to increase storage time in the refrigerator or even the pantry. For example, you might use a food sealer to re-seal a freshly opened bag of chips so that it lasts a few days longer on your shelf.

Vacuum food sealers can also be used non-traditionally. Some people use them for sous vide cooking, which is when you cook food inside of a sealed plastic bag. People also use food sealers to prevent corrosion on valuable metal items such as cutlery. Sometimes people use them just to save space when preparing household items (not necessarily food items) for long-term storage. When you suck the air out of the storage bag, it compresses to a much smaller item.

Defining the Best Food Sealer

If you want to get the best food sealer, then you first have to ask yourself how you will be using the item. If you are going to be compressing large bags for long-term storage then you’re going to need a different machine than someone who wants to seal small bags for sous vide cooking. Similarly, if you’re primarily going to use your sealer to store liquids then you might want a different model than if you’re mostly storing dry goods. Keep those differences in mind as you look for the best food sealer, reading the reviews for each with your own criteria at the forefront of your decision.

Top Recommended Food Sealers

I’ve scanned through several different lists of the best food sealers for 2018 and 2019. Here are the options that kept showing up on list after list.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers

The FoodSaver brand popped up over and over again. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best food sealer, you might want to start with a review of this brand’s options. Some of the top choices were:

  • FM5200-000 – allows you to choose wet or dry food sealing
  • FSFRSH0055 – a top choice if you want a handheld vacuum sealer
  • 4840 2-in-1 – small, affordable, with an option to make it handheld
  • v22-44 – best for beginners who want a low-cost simplified option
  • v3240 – considered the one that is easiest to use

Other Best Vacuum Sealers

Here are some of the other brands and models that showed up on several lists:

  • Crenova VS100 – quiet and quick
  • Geryon Compact Automatic – small and lightweight
  • Nesco VS-02 – lots of advanced features for a low cost
  • Seal-a-Meal Manual – compact, with a removable dip tray
  • SousVide VS3000 – best food sealer for sous vide cooking
  • VacMaster VP210 – chamber sealer for huge bulk sealing projects
  • Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac – best portable option
  • Weston Pro2300 – commercial grade, used in restaurants

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