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Woohoo - 3/15!

March 14th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I am excited. Maybe prematurely excited, but excited all the same. It's March 15th! The thing is, all of my Corporate stuff is due March 15th (Corporate tax returns) which is our bread and butter. The individual tax returns are really just a nuisance. Bah.

I know I still have another long month, and plenty of opportunity to earn lots of overtime. But I feel I can feel a sigh of relief today. (Even though most everything is on extension. At least, tehcnically, we have a few more months to worry about it all).

I have a few indivudal tax appointments next week, but then I will be done with those. I am tired of dressing up extra nice - dragging out the panty hose and suit jackets and all that. BAck to getting by with the bare minimum of dressing up. Phew! Wink So I am excited about that too.

& strangely I feel pretty caught up. (knock on wood). I have to hound a few clients for stuff I am waiting on. I am sure quite a few tax returns will also arrive in the mail the next few weeks. Will see...

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Clients of note this week -

Another couple of ONE-INCOME families in the LOW six figure range who owed literally 10 times the tax we paid. IT's just craziness. 2-income families have it even worse, because they tend to pay in more social security as well.
But yeah, basically if I made another $40k income, it would be taxed in the realm of 50%.

Another older couple came in and said their young son was house hunting right now and things were selling lightning fast for multiple offers. So that was interesting to hear. THey said it was very troublesome because to gather all the paperwork and loan approvals to put an offer was pretty cumbersome anymore. & yet houses are selling so fast. People with more cash have the edge it seems, for sure. Sounds like could be good news for housing here.

A house behind us, that is clearly jinxed (been on the market most of the last 5 years - various owners) just went up for sale. Surprise surprise. 2 or 3 like it are asking $325k. That's what ours appraised for in November. We shall see. But things seem to be holding on. To be clear though - these are not the houses getting multiple offers. One small home down the street asked $210k and sold in a flash. That one I am still waiting to see what it sold for.

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BM asked us the other day how much money we had. We evaded the question. Well, we told him we had to save up for many different things and we have money in many different "buckets" so to speak. I asked him how much he thought we had, first. He said $3,000. I don't know if he thinks that is a little or a large sum. I think dh said, "We have enough to be comfortable."

I did mention paying for the house as a pretty big bucket and so he asked if the house was paid if I Would have to work. I said, "yes. We tried really hard not to get too much house and the house is not a lot of our bills - we would still need to work." He asked if we could EVER stop working. I said his grandparents were at the age where they were quitting work - to give him a frame of reference. & to say ideally we are aiming for the same age (about 60).

Dh of course pointed out my mom retired in her 20s. I said if you look at it that way, well dh is retired too. Wink IT just struck me as funny that he hasn't quite grasped that we are in a pretty similar situation. Except I remember my parents struggling far more. I really doubt often if he will ever return to work. ANything of the full-time, "have to work" variety anyway.

Just funny conversation with kids. A lot of intelligent questions.

BM's latest thing though is he never wants to work. I have no idea where he gets that from! He just asked me the other day if you have to go to college to become a daddy. He's stuck on that (being a daddy) but if you ask him why it's because "everything else is hard work." Oh, poor naive kid. Wink

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I haven't got my stimulus yet - maybe with my paycheck Monday - I don't know. But our bills have changed enough this year I was playing with it - trying to see where we are at. I was looking at percentages - not necessarily the most helpful way to look at things. But it is what it is:

% of gross income:

16% Mortgage (well I guess it is still our biggest expense - but don't expect it to be - the biggest - forever).

12% short-term savings (Needs - property taxes, insurance, car maintenance, dental, etc.)

12% Health Insurance (close second, as far as expenses go)

12% Income Taxes/Social Security Taxes

10% Work Retirement contribution

7% Groceries/Household goods

6% Mid-Term Savings (for bigger purchases)

5% ROTH Contributions

4% Other (entertainment, extra-cirricular, dining out, stuff needed around the house, wants, etc.)

4% Gas/Auto (though most auto expenses are up in short-term savings - insurance, licenses, etc.)

3% Utilities (gas/electric/water/sewer)

2% Preschool

2% Phone/Internet/Cell (utilities of the unnecessary variety)

2% HOA/gardener (house maintenance expenses I guess)

2% short-term savings (wants - mostly vacation)

***Of biggest note, we lowered mortgage by about 3% of income, with our refi.

Preschool also went down by about 2%.

All of that has gone to increasing savings.

I don't think we are 50/30/20, per se, as far as wants/needs/savings. But I think we are closest we have been since having kids. Getting pretty darn close. IT feels good. It really is a good balance to strive for, for the long run.

I was just thinking the other say about mortgages and how one of our first mortgages was $1800/month (15-year term; much higher interest rate) and I Was thinking we would probably resume that payment when dh returned to work. & I thought, "Gosh. Our take-home pay today is the same probably as it was when we both worked last. Why does that $1800 payment sounds so insane right now?" Oh, could be the $800/month health insurance. $700 more monthly than we paid right before having kids. Yeah - that would explain it.

When I read "All Your Worth" I realized we had been so out of whack since our health insurance had started skyrocketing around 2004. So yeah, before kids $1800/month? No biggie. These days, it's hard to justify throwing any money at the mortgage over our $1100 payment. Boy do things change!

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