Sunday, April 16, 2017

Taxes done...taking a bit of a break...

Ahhhhh the sweet sound of hitting click and having my tax information be swirled through the internet space to our lovely governing treasury authorities.

Well it was more like the sound of my head hitting the back of the sofa at 1:30 a.m. on 4/15 followed by the sound of my laptop falling to the ground.  I failed miserably with getting my taxes done this year.  I usually have my accountant do them but life/work/ugh happened and I was scrambling at the last minute.  

To avoid filing an extension, I did them myself.  I think I did okay but time will tell.

One interesting lesson for me was reinforced this year since I did my own taxes and had to make a payment.  Although I do about the same amount of work as my accountant each year (I tend to study tax information as well as my forms and regularly visit the IRS' website each year...).  But some of the conversations that I have had numerous times with my accountant had not quite sunk in until this year.

First and foremost, my state (like most states) does not have the same deductions/credits as the federal government.  This sucks big time.  BIG Time.  And means that I usually pay something to my state (usually something small).

However, this past year was particularly unusual because I began investing a lot more than before when I was focused on either saving money for a home or paying off my mortgage early.  And all those nice investments and lovely dividends came rearing their pretty little heads in the form of additional taxes.

Definitely not happy about this.  But as they say it is a cost of doing business.  And we all know that Uncle Sam (and Aunt Samantha) like their share of the pie.

What this means for me is that I need to put a bit aside for next year's taxes since I will owe a little bit since I am still gonna be investing and earning dividends.  And I hate having to pay something without having the same amount sitting in the savings wings, ready to go on stage.

Taxes filed, and now I can say state taxes paid - Yes!  I'm good for another 10 months.  (Next year I will not be rushing to do my taxes at the last minute.)  All this means is that Pru was able to head out for a mini-break to get some much needed rest (still working on this!) and change of scenery. 

Hoping things are well with you, whoever you may be dear reader :-)

Oh and if you are experiencing great weather, like my state is, get out and enjoy it!

Pru

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Housekeeping & A Catch-up- 3/31/2017

Hello!  Still here (barely!)

Lot going on in my life (both work and personal) but I'm still keeping on with the financial goals.  

Bit of a reorganization going on at my office so I'm dealing with that.  Not sure how that is going to work out as people are not very happy.  I'm not ecstatic either to be perfectly honest.  Needless to say things are bit rough at the office for my entire team and a few people have separately told me (late at night when no one is around) that they are planning to look for jobs in the coming months.  

I too would like to look for a job but I am in a financial catch-22.  I need my bonuses to pay down my mortgage quickly and invest monies.  I think I get my bonus sometime in may-end june.  With the craziness going on in politics and the uncertainty, I do not know how likely people are to be hiring.  This means I could be stuck at my current job.  (Yes woe is me...)  

On the flip side, if I get a wonderful bonus then (and I struggle with this internally), I should do the logical thing and stay with the current job for at least one more year to make another sizeable dent into the mortgage.

No easy decisions in life eh.

And then there are my taxes.  Still not done.  Need to be done.  In the next 2 weeks.  Double sigh.

So the next few weeks sees me working on getting my taxes filed (on time), adjusting to a new work environment, organizing a few things at home, reviewing my financial status (always good to do at tax time), and getting ready for the warmer weather.

There is a bit of a need to spend some money on clothes etc.  I am trying to minimize that need as much as possible and make do where I can.  But I am also being realistic - my orthotics shred my socks so new socks are being bought today also my sneakers have work thin on the soles so sneakers will also be bought (wear them every single day so a must!).

I haven't kept up with other people's blogs and I am very annoyed at this.  I do think about others (Jill!  Frugal Desperado!) and hope they are doing well.

Should be in a better position in 2 weeks (post-tax time) and will start catching up and blogging more.  Stay tuned!  Hopefully you will all still be here then :-)

Pages have all been updated through 3/31/2017 (except for the historical actual savings amounts):

Ultimate Goals

Brokerage Account Portfolio

Dividends

Actuals

Hope everyone has a good week!
Pru

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My 2nd Home - Location! Location! Location!

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is focusing on my next home.  I have becoming more and more disillusioned with where I am living.  Part of it is because of how expensive my neighborhood is and how much more expensive I believe it will become.  

I am feeling squeezed.  Not literally.  Clearly I have excess funds to invest in savings and investments and overpay my mortgage.  But I have this feeling of not being able to breathe well.

My original plan was to buy another cheaper (much cheaper!) home in the same county.  This was important because it was still somewhat close to my job.  My commute would have worsened but I would still be close - especially on weekends when I used my car.  The town I was looking at was also a really nice low-to-middle middle class town which had a sense of community.

However, the more I thought about it, I have become more concerned about property taxes.  The proximity to a neighboring city means that this town will eventually be in demand and property taxes will go up.  A lot more people will also look to live there.

So I've started to look further away.  In fact, I have started looking as far as 90 minute drive away.  But a place that still has transportation so that I could get to my job.  I've recently done a scouting trip.  I am feeling good about this.  In addition to property taxes concerns, I also just want to ensure that my community is peaceful.  And I believe I will need to move far away to ensure that it remains peaceful.

As part of this plan, one idea that I have is actually moving sooner rather than later.  But I won't do it until I get my mortgage down to a certain reasonable level.  What is reasonable?  That is the question I still have not answered.  I believe the answer is an emotional one and I'll know it when the mortgage reaches that amount - I'll just be in a position to sleep better at night.  Hopefully by the end of this year I will reach my *reasonable* number.

Pru