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Archive for March, 2017

Taxes - Do you ever REALLY pay attention to how much you pay?

March 9th, 2017 at 04:16 pm

So last night I dropped off my taxes to a professional. The very first time that I have not done our taxes. This year, we bought a house, put our townhouse up for rent, had non-payment from renter and a few other out of the norm financial items that led us to take the advice of a professional for this year's taxes.

I know from talking to friends and family and from reading blogs, that a lot of people focus on the amount they owe or are being refunded when they file their taxes. I know I am guilty of it, but I really want to take a hard look as the dollar amounts we pay in taxes – Federal, State, Local (if applicable), Social Security and Medicare.

We do pay attention to what is withheld versus what is estimated to be owed. Our refunds have usually been within $500 or so. Last year, we had a slightly larger refund. This year, I’m not sure how its going to turn out.

I am also looking hard at any way to lower my AGI to pay the least amount of tax as possible. Right now, my husband & I contribute to our 401ks, but not to the max for both of us. We contribute to a H.S.A, and a Childcare FSA. My goal this year is to try to contribute to IRAs for both of us and this year I am hoping to max out on my 401k at least.

Still – seeing the hard #s of what we gross, what we pay in taxes and what we actually net is eye – opening.

Do any of your take a hard look at the dollar amount and/or percentages paid?

March Goals

March 6th, 2017 at 07:53 pm

1) OT Hours Goal: 60 Hours this month to cover mortgage on rental that is being prepped for sale, $300 per paycheck into savings and a 1/2 of the car repair I put on a 0% card

2) Savings: $1046 (including Savings but not sinking funds, 529 and Kid Savings)

3) 3) Debt repayment $400 (including the partial car repair)

4) Cash flow Rental Townhouse Mortgage Payment: $1009 (from OT)

5) Sell 8-10 Items on FB Sales Site. Baby items plus household items

6) Pack Lunches a minimum of 3 times a week (only work in office 4 times per week, work 1 day remote )

7) Do Alt Income tasks (Bing, mypoints and mycoke rewards)

8) Continue to track all personal & household spending (I don’t bother with DH’s personal spending – no need to know how much he spent on lunches, etc when it’s his fun money)

9) Professional Tasks:
a. Mail Professional Membership recertification paperwork
b. Complete 1-2 webinars
c. Update resume

10) RENTAL Unit:
a. Complete repairs
b. Meet with realtor about putting up for sale

11) Meet Tax Professional – Appointment set for 3/7/17

12) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year

13) Research/plan for bigger house purchases:
a. Fence
b. Blinds for 1 room
c. Pressure washer
d. New bed and bed frame for master bedroom

February Goals - Update

March 6th, 2017 at 07:37 pm

1) OT Hours Goal: 54 hours in the month FAIL: 27.80 hours. Was sick the first week of the month and did not worry about doing OT.

2) Savings: $1046 (including House Savings, 529 and Kids Savings); Actual: $1061.64

3) Debt repayment $100; Actual: $157

4) Cashflow Rental Townhouse Mortgage Payment: $1009 – GOAL MET

5) Sell 5-10 Items on FB Sales Site – Sold 2 items and a 10 pack of clothes

6) Meal Plan all 4 weeks - FAIL

7) Limit lunches out to 4 days in the month - FAIL

8) Do Alt Income tasks (Bing, mypoints and mycoke rewards) – Did, but not consistently

9) Continue to track all personal & household spending (I don’t bother with DH’s personal spending – no need to know how much he spent on lunches, etc when its his fun money) - DONE

10) Keep within budget for Atlantic City Trip. Budget $200 for DH & I. We have a free room, are bringing drinks & food, have coupons for meals and are planning on only playing a few penny slots and enjoying time with our friends. - DONE

11) Professional Certification Tasks:
a. Attend Chapter Event - DONE
b. Complete 2-3 webinars - DONE
c. Sign up for recertification & start paperwork (once work pays) – DONE (Work submitted payment as well)

12) RENTAL:Unless paid up by Day 11 after court date (where the renter agreed to all amounts owed and the judge said we have the right to evict), the PM company will fill Writ with courts for 24 eviction. That would be on Monday the 6th, so wish us luck - DONE - Eviction complete. Repairs started and hoping to put on market asap

13) Set up tax appointment - I normally do our taxes, but with the rental, the rental income loss, etc, I am going to a professional for this year only - DONE

14) Start sale process on townhouse - Pending

15) Keep up calculations for utilizing OT to keep on track to max out 401k this year - DONE

February Update:

March 6th, 2017 at 07:23 pm

Retirement Update Balance as of 3/1: $128,841.71 (not including Spouse’s retirement funds)
CC Debt Balance as of 3/1: $2470.86 (all 0%)
Sinking Funds Balance as of 3/1: $2195.78
Daughter Savings: Balance as of 3/1 $213.67
Daughter 529: Balance as of 3/1 $549.65
Savings Accounts: Balance as of 3/1 $13,789
Health Savings Account 1 (invested) Balance as of 3/1 $1799.67
Health Savings Account Balance as of 3/1 2 $803.21
Cash Savings (FB Sales) Balance as of 3/1 $259.50
2017 Gifts Fund Balance as of 3/1 $1271
2018 Gifts Fund Balance as of 3/1 $37.01
Total Alt Income in February: $79.01