Friday, February 29, 2008

The Taxman Giveth; The Creditors Taketh Away

Both my federal and state income tax refunds have now landed in my bank account. The good news is that I resisted all efforts to either do a tax-refund loan or even to pay for electronic filing. I have always done my own taxes (not to mention those of my family and some of my friends). The money is, therefore, all MINE.

At first glance, the refunds are sizeable--a total of $5794.99. Spare me all the lectures about giving the government interest-free loans. I know. I agree. But I also know Grace--there's just no way that I would have exercised the needed control to save that amount of money out of my checks. Also, the refund was greater this year due to needed repairs on my rental property which resulted in a net loss for the year.

Large as my refunds are, they are still too small to cover all the places where they are needed. $1300 will be put away for my trip to Japan next October. $2200 is to cover even more repairs to my rental. $2000 is needed to cover my daughter's private high school tuition payment and my granddaughter's college tuition.

All of which leaves me with less than $300.

I was rather hoping to treat myself to a 59th birthday present of Cirque du Soleil and dinner at Todai (where my dinner would be free but I'd have to pay for my kids). I may yet do that and apply whatever's left over to my debt snowball.

But can I indulge in a few minutes of whining? $5794.99 is just too large a sum to be wiped out this fast. Dang!


Canadian Saver said...

Oh :-( Well at least you have good plans for the money!

Going to Japan?! That sounds exciting :-)

Sharon said...

Is $300 enough for the Circus? and dinner? I hope you'll be able to do at least one thing for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand having the kind of debt that you have at the age you are and being so unfocused on getting out of debt. A trip to Japan, private school, college tuition, a $300 birthday dinner?
All of which are fine, if you have the money but you have big debt and a limited earning time. Unless you get focused on the debt, you are kidding yourself about a graceful retirement. IMHO. Florence

Grace. said...

Florence--you are asking me the questions I ask myself. I don't know if you read any of my previous posts, but the explanations (excuses?) for the trip to Japan, private school for my youngest child, and college tuition for my granddaughter are all there. As nearly as I can tell, I am on track for an adequate retirement--a bit lean if I have to retire sooner than age 69, but doable nontheless. However, I do want more than that which is why I am finally (at a woefully late date) focusing on debt reduction and building up my retirement funds.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace, I'm new to your blog so I haven't read back posts. I'm sure there are good reasons for each of those expenditures and I know it is hard to balance what you want for your children today with what your needs tomorrow will be. I wrestle with it too--I'm 60 and working. Florence

Anonymous said...

Go out to dinner, you deserve it. I know you will save up again.