< Back

Frugal Friday: Get Out of Town

This week on Frugal Friday, we have a mix of fun and, well, not-so-fun. Let’s get the latter — which has to do with taxes — out of the way first.

Free — and Cheap — Tax Prep Software

If you’re late to the game in filing your taxes — you have about a month left, and the latest report from the IRS says that 64,265,000 returns have been filed, down about 12% from the same time last year — this first item is for you. Cheapism.com has a round up of free tax-filing software, comparing the options so you don’t have to. The first thing you should know, they say, is that the IRS has a program for tax payers with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less. If you fall in that range, you can file for free via the Free File Alliance.

If you don’t, and your return is pretty straight-forward (in other words, you don’t own a business, buy and sell a lot of stocks or other assets, rent property, etc.) you have other free or inexpensive options. Cheapism goes through them all in great detail here. Keep in mind that while many preparation services advertise free filing, they are generally referring to your federal return. You’ll almost always pay for the state version.

Vacation Packages from Orbitz

iStock_000019714677SmallThe average tax refund so far this season is over $3,000. If you’ve got your emergency fund locked down, you’re saving for retirement, and you don’t have any high-interest rate debt, maybe you’re looking to splurge on a vacation? RetailMeNot is running an exclusive Orbitz.com promotion for up to $500 off a qualifying vacation package (flight and hotel) plus an extra $50 off with the promo code RMNSTPATS2013. There is, as always, fine print: The deal is valid on travel through June 30, 2013, and the offer expires on March 17. Some packages are excluded from the savings, and you’ll note that the discount is up to $500 off. One example included in the deal: Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. A five-night stay for two guests from April 5-10 will total $1,482, a savings of 20% (or $328).

Kindle Price Drop

kindleFor me, vacations and reading go hand in hand. I always load my e-reader up before getting on the plane. A press release landed in my inbox yesterday from Amazon, letting me know that they’ve dropped the price on their Kindle Fire HD 8.9. The Wi-Fi version will now start at $269 (a savings of $30) and the 4G version will go for $399 (a $100 savings). Why the change? The tablet just became available in Europe and Japan, so Amazon was able to increase production — lowering costs, a savings they are passing on to you.

Subscribe to my free weekly Newsletter

We collect, use and process your data according to our Privacy Policy.