Whatever you might think about the New England Patriots, it’s nearly impossible not to respect their prowess on the football field. And there are plenty of storylines we can all take away from that epic game:

* Apparently it’s a good year to be a man with a foreign-model wife, with a much-discussed history with the rules and who is written off by nearly everyone …

* Or maybe it was about the completion of the ultimate scrappy underdog story (remember, Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the draft, despite his current hero-status) …

* Or, for the commercial-watchers out there, we learned many things: cleaning the house turns regular Joe’s into muscular, computer-animated hunks, Justin Bieber likes to dance, all of us should appreciate each other’s differences, pursue our dreams no matter what, etc.

Sports is a diversion, entertainment. But it also tells a story. And I hope that if you’re feeling like life has knocked you to the mat, that you can find the strength to get back up. Even when nearly everyone (perhaps even yourself) has written you off.

And, of course, the commercials also wanted to teach us that artificial intelligence software is going to help bored, big-chain tax preparers with your taxes. Or they wanted to teach us that we can sit on a wall and do our own taxes with our smartphone (and fall off in the process).

Sure … you can try to go one of those routes.

But I’m hoping you see the value of having a real, well-trained professional in your corner.

Well, next week happens to contain Valentine’s Day. And just because I’m a tax professional, doesn’t mean I won’t offer dating advice. 😉

(Even if it is coming from a compulsive penny-pincher like me. But maybe that’s a good thing for you.)

A San Antonio Tax Professional’s Valentine’s Day Plan
“Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With all of the turmoil in our nation, it’s a good idea to save money wherever possible. Anything can happen.

Truth be told, of course — I’m usually in favor of saving money no MATTER the occasion, which is part of why we’re so ruthless on behalf of our clients.

With Valentine’s Day coming up (Tuesday the 14th), I thought I’d help my San Antonio clients and friends make some romance magic, but do it in a way that saves them cash. Yes, America — you can still be romantic on a budget.

With that in mind, here are some ideas to jumpstart your Valentine’s Day plan.

Of course, I should add a disclaimer: “Results not guaranteed.”

So, instead of the tired old “flowers, candy and chocolate” [boring!], here are a few of my favorite modest (and occasionally tongue-in-cheek) suggestions for a sizzling Valentine’s … one that won’t torch your wallet!

The Video Greeting: With all of the the video tools out there these days, it’s never been simpler to create a heartfelt message of love for your sweetie. Then, post it to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SnapFace or whatever other platform you choose! Um, just be sure to make that video setting to “private” unless you want to share with the world your undying love for your honey (hopefully with all your clothes on).

The Hopeless Singer/Artist Method: I hear this one works well. Even if you can’t sing, your valentine will give you kudos for the effort. (Ask me how I know about that one.) You could step it up by writing an original song and then sing it. Or, for the slightly-less courageous, you could pull a page out of John Cusack’s book in Say Anything and hold a boombox (or smartphone) above your head and blare Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. That seemed to work.

Not a singer? More of a writer? Or artist? For the otherwise artistically inclined:
– You could pen a poem on nice paper
– or even paint it
– You can paint a picture of your honey. Just be sure it looks good.

And, of course, you can COMBINE the previous two suggestions for even more romance sizzle.

The Surprise Mid-Day Outing: Surprise your love with a ‘picnic’ in the park, at the beach, or any other outdoor nature spot. If the weather isn’t ideal for outdoors, you could bring the outdoors inside — find a fake palm tree, flowers, sand, beach umbrella, radio, towels (borrow them). Nothing says “I love you” like fake palm trees.

Write a Message To Be “Stumbled Upon”: Well, perhaps not *literally* stumbled upon, but try a nice outdoor surprise. With snow outside, you could stomp out the message and fill in the letters with spray paint or flower petals or rocks.  Without snow, you can use sidewalk chalk to write a message to your sweetie.

Of course, always the most rare and precious thing to spend on your loved one is your precious time – after all, there is no way to get more of it – so spend it on the most important person in your life. Enjoy.

Wait a minute, you say? I should stick to taxes?

Fair enough.


Sherry Tolbert

Tolbert CPA LLC