Weekly Roundup – Is It Tax Time Already?

My W-2 arrived with my paycheck today and I was reminded that once again, it is tax time.  I’ll probably run the numbers through TurboTax in a couple weeks, see what the damage is, and then wait until the last possible minute to pay my taxes for 2008.  Fortunately, I made a little extra money this year.  Unfortunately, I think I’m going to owe quite a bit for it (even a little more than I estimated).

The Roundup

Buy American.  I like Steve’s take here, and share his sentiments on the loss of American manufacturing capacity.  Unless you happen to live in one of the few remaining industrial cores in the country, I suspect your town looks a little like mine.  A drive from one end of the main road to the other yields not a single business that manufactures anything.  I hope that changes one day.

How To Work Full Time While You’re In College.  Lots of people are down on the idea of working through college, but I managed to do it with a family and appreciated my grades much more!

15 Uses for Coffee Filters.  Some great ideas here!  We bought a pack of filters a while back, but aren’t big coffee drinkers.  Now we can put the remaining filters to use.

Slow Economy Has More People Learning How To Cook.  One of the things we’ve been doing more often is finding crock-pot recipes.  It is easy to toss the ingredients into a crock-pot in the morning and have a meal waiting in the afternoon.

How I Look at Economic News: Beyond the Talking Heads.  Whether or not the recession is as bad as it is made out to be in the media probably depends on where you live.  Still, I can’t help but think much of this negative news drum was beaten in the name of a creating an “October surprise.” Unfortunately, members of both parties bought into it, and their knee-jerk reaction of doling out billions in bailouts has only worsened our financial position.

2008 Federal Tax Brackets Explained.  The author asks, “Why does it have to be so complex?”  It’s a good question, and one I don’t know the answer to.  I wish we could completely overhaul the tax system in this country, moving to a Fair Tax or similar based on taxing consumption rather than income.

How Long Do We Really Need to Keep Those Papers?  While we are on the subject of taxes and financial organization, this article provides some guidelines on how long to retain paperwork.

Save Money on Airfare.  Traveling soon?  If so, Lazy has some great tips for saving on airfare.

Comments

  1. Hopefully you budgeted throughout the year when you made that extra money! I am in the same situation, I made some extra money on the side, but I stuck 25% of everything I made in a “2008 Taxes” envelope in my budget in NeoBudget.

    With a little bit of planning ahead, even if I owe the IRS money this year, I’m pretty sure I will not owe everything I saved. Essentially I’m giving myself a tax refund.

  2. I think you brought up some great points here. On my site, I advocate finding money within your current budget to “pay yourself” If you made coffee at home rather than buying it at the local coffee shop, “pay yourself” that $4 straight in to your savings account. Read my article (linked here) to read the rest. I agree that the economic sentiment may be worse than what it actually is.

  3. I’m eager for my W2 so I can go ahead and take care of my taxes. My CPA screwed up my filing last year and I didn’t get my stimulus. I don’t think my return will be as handsome, but I take that as a sign I filled out my tax forms properly.

    I’m sort of proud I get to pay some taxes on self-employment income this year as well.

  4. @FrugalDad, I would have thought that between your joint deduction as well as the dependents deduction, along with claimed mortgage interest and the child tax credit that you would actually be getting money back this year. Unless you really made a pile of money from your side hustles. In which case, congrats to you good sir.

    I will be eagerly awaiting my W-2 as if it is anything like last year, I’ll be getting back a sizable return due to my student loan and mortgage interest. Of course, it’ll go straight to a credit card as soon as I get it, but that works out great for those debt-free goals!

  5. @DavidK: I made a medium-sized pile (LOL!). I should probably ratchet down the number of exemptions on my W-4 at work to even things out. I’ll see how the dust settles.

    @Luke: I do the same thing–toss about a quarter of my side hustle income into an ING fund for “taxes.” Then I transfer to checking to pay quarterly estimates.

  6. @FrugalDad, ah those W-4 exemptions, I always forget that people do different things with those. I prefer to keep it at a single exemption when I get a job and just have a big ol’ return come February or March. It also helps me work my budget on less money each month so that if a raise comes around I can increase my retirement savings without affecting a change to the bottom line.

    Glad to hear you’ve made headway with your side hustles. You must be pretty close to being (mostly) debt-free. After that, it’s the mortgage and retirement.

  7. Since I started to work online, I haaaaaaate tax time. It used to be fun to see that final refund amount pop up on Turbo Tax. Now, it’s depressing to see the amount owed. I put it off until the last minute, hoping it will all go away if I ignore it long enough. :

  8. This is the first year I’ll be married and able to file taxes with my husband, who gets to claim two of his kids. He gets less, but I don’t have to pay in- YAY! In previous years, I put off filing my taxes for as long as possible. Now I’m actually eager to get my W-2.

    I wish your blog had been around when I first entered the professional working world. I might have budgeted for my taxes throughout the year and wouldn’t have been hit with the amount owed all at once!

  9. I have run a small business for over 8 years, never put a penny away, out of almost 300K.its all been spent here there are anywhere. Should I set up a SEP or a SIMPLE? and how can I determine my maximum contribution?

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