Is Tax Season Killing You? We’re Here to Help!

By Kody Stoebig

With the April 15 tax season deadline looming, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your money management skills. From dealing with day-to-day expenses and managing a budget, to filing your taxes for the first time, we’re here to help.

The kNOw has teamed with Oakland’s Game Theory Academy, a youth financial literacy program, to guide you through tax season and get your wallet in check.

Check out our top 5 tips to holding on to your money and surviving the countdown to tax day!

Graphic by Kody Stoebig

Here are our Top 5 Tips for Financial Wellness:

  1. Patricia Johnson, founder and director of Game Theory Academy, suggests carrying around a small notebook or using the notes app on your phone to write down every purchase you make. Or you can use Mint.com which will track your spending and help you create a personalized budget.
  2. Instead of just trying to save money, figure out exactly how much you want to save. Need a new car? A new phone? Figure out exactly how much you’ll need and start saving.
  3. Check cashing services charge you a fee EVERY time. Instead of giving them a chunk of your paycheck, take control of your money. Open your own account at somewhere like Bank of America, who waives their monthly fee for students under 23. Or if you live in Fresno, Educational Employees Credit Union only charges $5 for membership.
  4. Paid tax preparers charge huge fees for services and for instant pay programs. Instead of paying them, you can file for free online with IRS tax filing software or, if you make under $54,000 a year, you can file for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site. (There are 8 in Fresno alone!)
  5. The new California Earned Income Tax Credit is a cash back tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals.
  • The CalEITC will boost the income of nearly 600,000 families
  • If you made less than $6580 and have no dependents, you could get up to $214 back!
  • The average refund families will receive is $900!
  • Go to CalEITC4me.org to find out if you qualify!
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