Taxes and The Single Mom

Most people have received their w-2 and or 1099’s by now and are ready to file. Are you one of the? I haven’t done mine yet because I’m way too busy with other things but, as an mom that has over 12 years in tax prep industry, I will be sharing a series of tax tips for the next three weeks. It is tips and strategies that I have picked up over the years. So make sure you come back on Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays.

Today, it’s all about the SINGLE MOMS: 

If you are a single mom, you need tax help specific to your situation. You do know that the government takes a chunk of your money every time you are paid, right? Here are three tips to keep an eye out for your money, while putting a couple of dollars in your pocket.

Time to get that MONEY!

If you have not done so yet, please get a empty shoe box  to save your receipts and records. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t earn enough to take advantage of the credits and deductions …….you would be surprised.

1. Child Care

Childcare is a great place for a mom to find a tax benefit. The single mom who works outside of the home usually finds that a big chuck of her paycheck is taken up by paying for child care. Even when the kids are old enough to be in school full time, work schedules seldom align with the school day, meaning child care is needed either before or after school. In addition, there are days when school is dismissed early, canceled and school breaks. Not to mention the dreaded days when the school calls because the child is ill.

Eaim waits for a ride to his weekly playdate.

You may be eligible for a  tax credit on your income tax if you regularly pay for child care while you’re on the job. The credit could be as much as $6,000 for the mom who pays for the care of two or more children. Nice right?

2. Donations People tend to donate more to charitable causes during the year than they think. Between the giving at work in the form of cash and donations toward food collections for the needy, the one and five dollar bills can add up quickly. Add that to donations to charitable shops, and you might find that you have given enough during the year to claim the donations for a deduction on your income taxes.

Kids go through clothes and toys quickly. Whether they destroy them or outgrow them, the items that are useless to your family still have value. Donate the gently used items to charity to be redistributed to others who need them. For the clothes that have been well used, look for a charitable organization in your vicinity that collects fabric items to resell as rags.

Make sure to get a receipt for the donated items. If you are given a blank receipt, be fair when determining a value. I suggest listing the items before giving them away.

3. Relocation for Employment

If you moved to get a new job, or because your existing job required you to relocate, you could be able to get some of your moving expenses back, so make sure you keep all of the receipts for moving expenses.

There are two criteria to determine if you’re eligible:

  • The distance you would have had to travel is 50 miles or more from your former home to the new work location.
  • During the 12 months following your move you have worked for a minimum of 39 weeks in the area of your new home, you may be able to recoup a portion of the moving expenses. You don’t have to stay at the same job for the 39 weeks. The requirement is that you work in the same area.

I hope these three tips help.Here is a bonus. Be careful who you give your tax info to. Think of questions to ask your provider before you get there. If you need more guidance,surf over to KP Tax Service.(KPTaxService.webs.com) You won’t find a friendlier, more knowledgable person to help you with filing your taxes. Good luck!

Toys cluttered

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Friday four: Why I LOVE Huggies.

As I do each Friday, I’ll share four ideas. This Friday, I want to talk about HUGGIES.

It's ok! Your baby can drink all night long and still be dry in the morning.

What diaper do you use? How did you select that brand? Did you go throw at least five brands until you found that right one? So did I. Somehow, I always came back to Huggies. Right now, I have two in diapers. This time I knew exactly which brand I would help reach the cashier lane.
Here’s why:
1. Extra Protection- I hate it when my boys wake in the morning soaked and wet. With Huggies, it doesn’t happen at all. No matter how late they may sleep in. I’m sure my boys appreciate the extra protection as well.
2. Affordable- SAVE YOUR MONEY! You can always find a great coupon in Sunday’s paper for added savings, even at the grocery store. There’s no need to make motherhood too expensive.
3. Comfortable to wear- You know that area right there between the legs? Doesn’t  that look uncomfortable to you? At one point I considered cloth diapers, but then I get the second and third thought. Not! I’ll just continue to use my ole ‘ Huggies.
4. The Dance- Who doesn’t love a good song with a great dance to go with it? I sure do!

I have a secret hobby. I make diaper cakes for friends and family as great new baby gifts. I will only use Huggies in them because of the recognized quality. Right now, they are running a great promotion on line .As soon as it arrives in my box I will bring you into the world of saving with Huggies! So come back soon now ya hear!
Now, who wants to do the potty dance with me?

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus 2011

Need a reason to bond with your favorite little ones? Go to the circus!  Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus is in town this weekend!
We were invited out to see it last night and everyone was impressed! Inside of the BoJangles Arena was packed with excited kids of all ages running all over the place.
WoW!!!! The show was thrilling from the pre-show to the end, when they introduced baby Bama. This was such a needed “break from the norm”! I was really excited about the pre-show, even though I  didn‘t get to see any of it.. I’m going off of what the kids told me. I was busy making sure every winner received their tickets, so yes,  I missed the elephant painting, but again, the kids thought that it was really cool! During the show, I was pleasantly surprise to see a lama, and a bull parading around down there.
I had my 18 yr old, 11 yr old,  10 yr old, 4yr old, 2yr old and my 6month old with me and often find it hard to entertain everyone at the same time. But on our ride home, I asked them about their favorite parts of the show and each of them had something  positive to share.
Well, tonight mom wins again! I’ve placed yet another entry in our family memory book.

Jaylin's Mom, QC Super Mom, & Royce's mom RBBB 2011

A Real Interveiw with QC Super Mom

QC SuperMom and son, Amen Ceazer

A Mothers Gift: A real interview with QC Super Mom

 

Right before we had our 7th baby, I was asked to appear on FOX Rising, a local news station here in the QC (Charlotte, NC- that is, for my non- residential readers). I was asked what was my purpose of being a mom. The interviewer asked me if all mothers had a “gift”. Well, I guess that made sense. As I do call myself QC Super Mom. If anyone had an answer, I figured they felt I would have an insightful answer. (yes……..I have arrived ya’ll)

After I picked up my then 16 month old son, I began to answer as following:

A mother’s gift is to give life. But in the daily demands of feeding and forming, cleaning and cautioning, tending and teaching, her gift can get lost in the layers. She needs to remember that her work begins with herself. To be attentive to others, she must listen to her own heart. To care for others, she must take time for herself. To teach self-love to others, she must act lovingly towards her own body and her time.

I was really in the zone, right about now. So I continued to say that ;

If she finds her own sparks, she will fan them in those around her. If she frees her own spirit, she will help others soar. If she focuses each moment by being wholly present, she will point the way to holiness and to God.

By the time I was through talking, I felt all types of breezes blowing through my hair and scalp. Low and behold, I quickly realized that my fast behind son had pulled my hair wrap off! I wanted to forget about everything that I had previously said except for the spark part and wear his little behind out! Dang kids make you go there! Just when I was giving them accolades! When Ringling Bros. Barnun & Bailey come to town Wednesday, I think I’m gonna lock them in the cage for a few minutes……..just joking!

Friday Four: Just a little green

Let’s Go Green!

Everyone else is talking about it. You’ve seen it everywhere! I thought I would add my two sense as well today. I will make this entry as simple as possible for the “non-go -greeners”. Every little change makes a difference right? Here are just 4 easy ways to go green indoors.

1. Use dishtowels in the kitchen. I am still working on getting this one perfected, but when I do cave into paper towels I make sure it is the recycled brands.

2. Replace most, if not all, cleaners with eco-friendly ones. There are several great environmentally friendly options out there. Some, I agree, are not the best quality, but even those I sometimes use. The long term benefit of me scrubbing a little more just to use this product makes it worth it. Plus I need the exercise.

Hand-made napkins on a roll by D & Cassie

3. Plant with your children. I have no green thumb. I barely see things through let alone do gardening well. Each year I go further with my attempts. This year we are using an inexpensive greenhouse ($7 for one that houses 72 seedlings including the soil pellets). My kids and I had a ball putting the vegetable seeds in. More than just seeding I am planting the importance of the earth in them.

4. Print On Both Sides – if you have a printer with a double sided print option use it. You will save half of the amount of paper you would have normally used. We do that all of the time.
 

What are you doing to help the earth? 

http://www.nutrabella.com/

Now run over to http://www.meetup.com/QueenCitySAHM/

to grab up a winning chance to get the best new mommy nutrition bar!

Just How Behind Is QC SuperMom?

You may be wondering what’s up with QC Super Mom. I mean I have not yesterday as promised., Well, it’s not because I don’t have oodles to share (because I do) but just because these days I am behind EVERYTHING. Not just on my blog but in my life too.

I’m in a awesome business boot CAMP and it is just now kicking my butt some 15 days later. Now, I also prepare taxes, so I don’t even need to mention how crazy it is with that. Now you tell me , how can I prepare taxes with a sick computer? Yes my laptop is sick! I do have a desk top but I promise you, five minutes on there and you will want to pull out ALL Of Your Hair. That sucker is so Slow!!

But hey, it could be worse. Now imagine if I had NO means of getting online, combine that with me still waiting on my mobile phone to arrive, being overwhelmed alone at the house with the three babies till 3:30 pm……wait a minute-all of that is true! O ‘well, once I get my laptop back running strong….I’ll have some really good stuff for you to discover! So watch this space for some exciting tit-bits (and don’t you dare unsubscribe).

Wednesday WooSaah; bandages and solutions

Get away at home.

Stress and motherhood often seem to go together hand in hand. No matter how joyous a time it is, there are always constant worries and problems that haunt mothers in particular. And this is without added concerns such as relationships, money matters, running a household, and in my case a growing business as well.
“When do I have time to myself? “Girl, you good -I couldn’t do that! Well obviously, no one has ever introduced you to meditation. It’s healthy, spiritually fulfilling, and for me calming. I know that I’m a better mom because of it!
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I have to growl at them to get them to stop nagging, but even that makes the both of us laugh., so I guess it also enlightens the mind.

As a breastfeeding mom, I know that I should be calm, relaxed and stress free but at times, unfortunately that just isn’t how it works. Stress can affect breast milk production. When that happens, I rely on my friends over at BellyBar  to get me back on track. Let me know if you need a coupon.
I choose the hours of 10PM to 4:30AM.  When most people are sleeping I go to my quiet place. My desk. It’s just a few feet away from the kitchen, so I can make nice pot of herb tea and  if I really want to get the  real bliss of it all, I’ll go in the living room and light scented candles. It’s there that I find my me time. Ok, so I choose to forgo a couple of winks.  I got peace and quiet. Wooooooosaaaaaa!

Here, try this tonight for yourself, & don’t ever say that I have never given you anything:
http://tipnut.com/5-homemade-bath-salts-soaks/

Another great stress reliever is exciting events like the circus. Ringling Bros. Barnun and Bailey circus  is coming to town next week and I know that the kids will be so mesmerized by the amazing animals, flying acrobats, action-packed moves, and baby Barack & his mom.
“>>
I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll win the  masterpiece created by one of Ringling Bros. artistic Asian elephants.

I think tonight, I mean this morning as I wait for the kids and hubby to awake, I’ll  grab another cup of tea and nibble on my toe nails…..(yeah, that‘s my thing too!)

My Friday 5: 5 Tips For Enduring The Terrible Two’s!

Friday 5 is here and trying to still catch up on posts (and life) but better late than never, right. Soon my next to littlest son will be turning 2 and while the antics of his one-someness is still fresh in my mind I thought I would share some of my ideas:

  1. Give a choice of his age (two)! Asking open ended questions is really asking for trouble. In

    Amen will be 2 next month

    fact I was still pregnant with my first child and a colleague at work when I received this golden nugget of advice (while I was innocently praising how wonderful the twos were). By limiting the choices you make it easier (on hin and you). Like, “Would you like a blue shirt or green shirt?” instead of “what color shirt would you like?”.

  2. Time is everything! Don’t assume that if kiddo is doing well you can push your luck and extend that errand. A seasoned mom knows there is a thin line between “I am happy” and “I am having a meltdown”. Keep disrupting routines to a minimum while trying to workaround them more.  It makes it easier to “read” his needs and for you be an audience to less tantrums.
  3. The more the merrier! Although you may feel you have a handful with one toddler on your hands, opting to add more kids to the mix (weirdly) makes it easier. If you can try to get the accomplice kids to be older. Toddlers always behave so much better around “older” kids(most times).
  4. Don’t let them smell fear! This is the truth, once they realize they have you stumped you can relinquish all control to them. By at least believing that you have a handle over matters (or at the very least making it look so) you can reign in the situation. Since I know my 6 kids inside and out (thanks to being a SAHM – I would hate for someone to know my kids better than me) I always add a (sheepish) grin when I can see how the babies  whip hubby in a frenzy and make him anxious. Repeat to yourself “I am in control, at least I hope so!”.
  5. Grin and bear it! When all else fails and you are beginning to rethink this whole “parenting being the best job evah” nonsense, then break out in the sillies. A silly song, a silly face or silly song and watch those gremlins move slowly from shock to smiles.

Blogging is a habit. So, I go hard!

How can I change the World?…………

What better way to share my  experiences than with a good blog?

 The rewards are endless. Think about it. I can meet all of my goals for the most part, right here. On this blog I can share my:
  • spiritual growth, one small step at a time
  • creative strategies  in attaining total childhood wellness
  • personal motherhood experiences with 6 wonderful kids
  • womanhood, because sometimes  I have to sneak time to restore myself and
  • life as a wife of a veteran with thick locks (trust me, there is a difference)
  •  
    I hope that I haven’t left anything off. If I did, I’ll plug it in later. But that’s what Queen City Supermom is all about. Right now, I use http://www.meetup.com/QueenCitySAHM/  to give away awesome” mama tools”and to organize fun play dates. I do it for my babies, they love them, and it ensures that they will always have a little social life outside of the house.  I also hang out and  give goodies to http://www.meetup.com/hipmama-322 . That group is a refuge. For now, go ahead and call it a No Sir club. 
    Right now, I have a Phillips Sonicare toothbrush and  some Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey ZingZamZoom tickets to give away on one of those sites. Hint: It’s the QC SAHM one. Gosh, how I love giving away other people’s things. Anywhoots, blogging also give me an opportunity to work on my “handicap”. Shhh, I am dyslexic. (I really hate talking about this) If you know anyone that is, you will understand why I keep my blogs so short.
    Never will I use it as a crutch though, I learned a lot watching the movie ‘RAY. The way I see it, posting three times a week, as well as on the other pages, no one will ever know unless I tell them; and I’m not saying anything! Now, I will share this tip. Never go into a business boot camp without disclosing that information.  YOU WILL PAY FOR IT!   I did the same four tedious assignments three times. WoW! \”I Go Hard by Rihanna\”

    My BFF; Jack Frost

    I LOVE when it snows! I doesn’t even matter that the school system has cancelled it for

    Deana and Cassie delivering a basket of love to elderly neighbor.

    Jack Frost's no. 1 snow bunny!

    Let It Snow!

    today either. But with 6 kids, three under four, what’s a mom to do? ……two words- PLAY DAY! The local news channel said stay inside. Is he serious? Yeah, Right! We get snow how often in the Carolinas? Queen City Super Mom and her chaps are about to have a play day with Jack,  Jack Frost that is. After my 18 year old son made breakfast, we started planning. We’ll, at least I did. Everyone else went back to their beds or the couch. I guess if I didn’t threaten them, excuse me I meant to say convince them, to get out of the house, gosh, yet another slip of the tongue! Ok, Ok, here’ it go; if I didn’t suggest that we made the most of this snow day, we would all be in the bed all day long watching TV. (Yeah, that’s better)

     So far, we’ve made a gift basket for our elderly neighbor. My 10 and 11 yr old girls filled it with soup, fresh fruit, whole wheat bread, and medicinal tea. That was really my way of checking in on her. She thinks she’s a young girl at times. Before coming back in the house, I just had to jump in that thick, bright, velvety snow and make a snow angel. It felt so good. You should have seen the look on my 4 yr old son face. “Mom, you ok? Get up off the ground. It‘s dirty and cold mom”. I could have sworn he whispered “idiot“. (He reminds me of Stewy from Family Guy at times) The kids jumped in and did the same. They got upset when I sent them around to the back door to get in the house though. I also went with my 18 yr old son, Jervon to pick up some groceries, just in case we got stuck in the house. I’ll get him and the hubby to make soup tonight while I finish my homework and figure out whose doing the laundry. I wonder what my BFF is going to do tomorrow.