Anyone dreading April 15? Not me! I have a dinner date with an old friend that night. But maybe more importantly, I finished my taxes weeks ago.
I am in training this week, hence the lack of blog posts. But I did have an interesting financial conversation yesterday. A guy in my group is foreign and here on a work visa. He has been working for this American company for a few years, but rather than drawing from his salary, has been letting it accumulate tax free in a bank account here. Now, when he moved, he had to put it into some fund to keep the tax free status, but now he’s worried about paying taxes in general. He’s used to a system where the money you owe in tax is just taken. The end. No later payments, no tax refunds. It was interesting to learn a little bit about another system and to hear just how crazy our system sounds to a foreigner.
One good thing came out of it. He just got here in February and was told by a coworker that when he files taxes, he will owe from the date of his move. True, but he thought that meant that when he files now, he will owe for that period, not realizing that we’re filing for 2009. Of course, we encouraged him to call his company’s relocation division and maybe the IRS helpline for clarifications about other reasons he may need to file.
Just goes to show how ridiculously confusing our system is, even on the simplest level.
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.