Am I the only one excited that it’s time to do my taxes?
Probably not, but I’m sure I’m in the minority. I love tax time. It’s a bit of a game to me – to see if I can get the numbers just right so that I have a small refund. No tax free loans to the government for me! I mean, if I suddenly got a huge refund, I wouldn’t be upset, though I would change around my withholding for 2010. But in an ideal world, I will come very close to zero.
If I’m honest with myself, I’m probably going to owe money. One of the downsides to being a saver with no mortgage (yet). That interest income starts to hurt, even though it’s not all that much. I do a good job of tracking everything and taking every single deduction I can, but ultimately, I end up owing money. It’s just a question of how much.
I’m pretty good on the federal tax side. It’s the state taxes that tend to throw me off. So we’ll see how things go! I use TurboTax and my copy arrives tomorrow. Of course, I don’t have any of my paperwork yet, so I can’t really get started, but it’s still exciting.
How do you feel about tax time? Do you dread it? Put it off til the last minute? Do you use your tax refund as a savings method? I know people who purposefully have a chunk of money withheld because if they tried to just save it, they would end up spending it. Thus, even with the interest-free loan to the government, they have more money than they would otherwise. If that’s what works for you, then it makes sense to me. Just make sure that if you’re supposed to pay your taxes, you’re paying them. Breaking the law is never good.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.