Posts Tagged ‘College’

#5 - Do It Yourself!

#5 – Do It Yourself!

Depending on when you filed your return for 2013 you have probably had your tax refund for a couple weeks now or if you filed by paper you are probably just receiving it in the mail. Us at Againstiflow thought it would be a good idea to write up 5 tax reminders to remember for next year. A lot of money changes hands between the government and its citizens from February to the middle of April each year and we figured maybe this would help you keep a little extra in your pocket.

1. Student Loan Interest

Student loans are at an all-time high nationwide. The only good news about student loans is that Uncle Sam has setup tax savings out there to motivate recent loan recipients to pay down their debt. If you have any student loans you can write off up to $2,500 a year on the interest you have paid. In a perfect world people with student loans should pay them off ASAP to maximize the yearly tax benefit they receive and to eliminate their debt faster.

2. Moving Expenses

I know, as a college graduate, I told myself that I would go wherever a job took me. Good news! Uncle Sam has setup tax benefits for people who move and don’t get reimbursed for their relocating expenses. To deduct these expenses on your tax return your new job has to be more than 50 miles away from your old home and you have to work full-time for 39 weeks during the 12 months following your move.

Expenses you can deduct following your move:

  • Mileage for driving your car to the new location
  • Packing materials
  • Rent cost and gas for moving truck
  • Lodging

3. 401k Credits- Saver’s Credit

It is never too early to start planning for your future and your retirement. Why not now? If you haven’t started, START NOW!!! If you are single and make less than $29,500 in a year you are eligible for the Saver’s Credit.

4. Paid Tuition – American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is perfect for students who are going to school part time and trying to finish their bachelor’s degree. The credit is for students that are not taking a full load of class and are in the first four years of their education. Students who are eligible may qualify for the maximum credit of $2,500. The Lifetime Learning Credit can amount to $2,000 in tax savings. The Lifetime Learning Credit has no limitations. It can be used to pay any tuition no matter the field of study.  It can be used towards graduate school tuition or if you want to just take a class for fun.

5. Do it yourself!

At minimum filing your own tax return online will save you $200. I get it, I know it can be intimidating and you want to be sure that you get the maximum refund, but that is what the software is designed to do. The software walks you through everything and simplifies the process by asking yes or no questions to cover EVERYTHING. Not only will you save money by completing your return, but it will give you the opportunity to learn about future tax savings. DO IT YOURSELF!!!


How To Stress Joyfully Blog Post ImageAs a college student when finals week approaches, it seems like the entire campus falls ill. Everyone seems to have the same symptoms of becoming monotonous, tired, and quite frankly unpleasant to be around. With dreams of summer, the beach, no stress, and relaxation jumping around in everyone’s head, we are forced to find some way to focus on the work that needs to be done. I find myself falling into this trap not just during finals week, but also just on stressful weeks in general. This year, I have challenged myself to try and be joyful around others, no matter what life throws at me.

With Easter just having occurred last weekend, I find it appropriate to relate this to what Jesus went through about 2000 years ago. Jesus knew what was going to happen to him, and he may not have been able to be “joyful” knowing that he would die a death that he didn’t deserve. However, Jesus continued praying and pursuing relationships with his disciples and those around him as He powered through what he knew must be done in order to fulfill the word of God. As it says in Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'” Jesus did not want to die on the cross, but he knew that it was his Father’s will, so that we could be saved.

As Christians we are called to live a Christ like life. Going through a stressful week does not even begin to compare to Jesus preparing to sacrifice himself for us. For me, when I am going through finals, or a stressful week at work, I think I am called to be joyful and fun to be around. There are going to be enough people moping around feeling sorry for themselves. We need to go againstiflow and encourage people to do well, and power through. I believe by doing this, you will not only find that you will bring joy to the people around you, but you will also find yourself filling up with joy.

We are called to have a smile on our face as we cross the cafeteria or walk through the library. We should start conversations with those who are obviously stressed and give them a cookie that mom sent us in a care package. If we are to live a Christ like life, studying for finals should be a perfect time to profess Jesus’ name by just being joyful and happy! People are going to be tired of reading their chemistry books or responding to emails anyways; start a friendly conversation and really invest in someone!

Over the next couple of weeks, I encourage you to pray Philippians 4:4-7 over your classmates, co-workers, and even yourself:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Brothers and Sisters, be joyful! Make a joyful noise for the Lord! Wear a smile around for the Lord! Make people wonder why you are so happy, and when they ask use that as a platform to spread the great name of Jesus! Live againstiflow!