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Oaktree Financial Advisors Blog

How Long Do I Need to Keep My Tax Documents?

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With tax season now behind us it's a good time to take a look at all the paperwork you may have accumulated and aren't really sure what to do with. How long should you keep all those documents?

For tax purposes the IRS indicates the length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out.

5 Places for Lunch for $5

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We all have to eat lunch and while I don't recommend eating your lunch out every day as it can be costly to your health as well as your wallet, there are those times where you need to grab something to eat out and don't want to spend a lot of money. Here's my list of 5 places you can get lunch for around $5 in the Indianapolis metro area.

  1. Bazbeaux Pizza (www.bazbeaux.com) - Bazbeaux offers a lunch special Monday through Friday from 11am to 1pm that includes a slice of pizza for $2.75 and a $1.50 soft drink. You're out the door for under $5! If you work at Eli Lilly downtown, Bazbeaux Mass Ave location is a great spot for a spring or summer time lunch.
  2. Zaxby's (www.zaxbys.com) - Zaxby's is a franchised chain of fast casual restaurants offering chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and salads. They offer the Zax Pak Boxed Lunch in three varieties – chicken finger sandwich, chicken fingerz (yes, that's how they spell it), grilled chicken sandwich or five boneless wings. Each comes with a bag of chips, coleslaw and a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie for $5.99. They have a Fishers location and a location near 86th and Michigan Road.
  3. Scotty's Brewhouse (www.scottysbrewhouse.com) - This is one of my favorite places for lunch or a casual dinner. Scotty's has a carry-out special they call the Brown Bag for $5.99 that includes a quarter-pound cheeseburger and shoestring fries. Scotty's has several locations around the Indianapolis area with one downtown for the convenience of all you Lilly employees that work downtown.
  4. Dairy Queen (www.dairyqueen.com) - With their $5 Buck Lunch you can choose a crispy chicken wrap, 3-piece chicken strips or the bacon cheeseburger lunch. Each includes fries, drink and a sundae for dessert for $5. Disclosure from Dairy Queen: menu items may vary by location.
  5. Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza (www.jockamopizza.com) - A $5 Combination here gets you a choice of a pizza slice, salad and drink or salad, bread sticks and drink or soup, salad and drink. I don't know how you could go to Jockamo and not get a slice! Jockamo has locations in Irvington and Greenwood.

Whether you work downtown or in the suburbs, no matter where you are around the Indianapolis metro area for lunch, you should be able to find one of these great places to get a bite to eat while keeping your budget in mind.

Written by: Ed Snyder

5 Signs That You May Be Living Beyond Your Means And One Way to Fix it

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Many of you will remember comedian Jeff Foxworthy and his famous, "You Might Be a Redneck If...." bits. Here are a couple for old time's sake:

"If you own a home with wheels on it and several cars without, you just might be a redneck."

"If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Kool Whip on the side, you might be a redneck."

Six Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

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The average tax refund in 2014 was $2,696. Did you know that about eight out of every ten tax returns filed in 2013 got a refund? If you're one of the lucky eight, before you run out and blow the money, consider these six ideas for smart ways to use your money.

Use it to make a Roth IRA or traditional IRA contribution for 2015. The 2015 IRA maximum is $5,500. If you are age 50 or over you can contribute an additional $1,000. If your refund is the 2013 average of $2,696, you're halfway there. Life is expensive and retirement will be more expensive. Start saving yesterday!

Start or add to an emergency fund. A robust emergency fund is your financial security blanket. You'll sleep better at night with the peace of mind that if the water heater goes out or you have an expensive car repair, you've got the cash to pay for it.

Pay off credit card or consumer debt. Still got some Christmas bills hanging around? You're probably paying 15% to 20% interest. Pay them off.

Four Things You Need to Know About Money

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April is National Financial Literacy Month. The purpose is to remind Americans of the importance of being knowledgeable about financial topics and how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

Here are four basic finance lessons you can practice every day :

Budget – spend the money on paper first so you know where your money is going. Otherwise it's going to leak out everywhere and you won't have anything saved.

Pay yourself first – Put money away before you spend. You can tell yourself you'll save what's left, but you won't do it. Make sure you're contributing to your 401(k) or other retirement plan at work and that you're contributing at least the amount that will get your employer's full matching contribution. Then try to increase your contribution each year or when you get a pay raise or a bonus.