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This & That

December 29th, 2012 at 08:56 am

**Survived hell week, though it wasn't so bad. I did work last weekend, but also missed quite a few days of work before that - feeling under the weather. I've felt many years in the past I improved and simplified with my own more efficient approach to year-end tax stuff. This year was just more of the same - plus able to anticipate much after 11 years of this. Phew!! All the work I was able to do ahead of time paid off.

I was going to work today, but changed my mind late last night. Trade-off is I will have to go in very early Monday. As the year-end work is not all done yet. But I only have *one* client who is working on Monday. We will be done well before noon. & maybe I can leave early if I get in early. Getting through the last 2 weeks of the year with no overtime (Except to make up sick time) is totally *insane.* I think this mostly speaks to improvements in technology in recent years. Plus, the bad economy is some of it. (Many of my clients had no profits to pay out and no taxes to minimize with last minute planning). Though that seems to be turning around. Two of my big clients did have profits, but they also had huge prior year losses to offset - so no taxes. Phew!!

I am so ecstatic to have a peaceful weekend. Plus I do get Jan. 1 off. I also have a couple of days off the following week for a school field trip, but other than that, tax season is in FULL force. Time to earn some overtime. So, why I am so happy I don't feel like I have to work this weekend. Next week will mostly be the calm before the storm. & I am definitely working next weekend so I can take a couple of days off mid-week.

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**I have enough info to do my taxes at this point. BUT, waiting to see how the AMT patch shakes out. Last I looked, we would owe $500 AMT. I am hoping that goes away. !!! {Since our taxable income is low to begin with, this $500 is quite a chunk of change compared to our usual tax bill}.

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Christmas was WONDERFUL. No drama Christmas. How did that happen??? Actually, there was lots of drama leading up to the big day, as always. But, basically, MIL was on her best behavior. So we all had a nice time, for once. Phew!!

I made out very well. My favorite gifts were new bed sheets, and a cookbook that Thriftorama had recommended. It was an Indian slow cooker cookbook. O.M.G. Dh made saag paneer the other night (spinach cheese). We have a new Indian grocer and so just bought the cheese. (Good move!). I do not usually like this dish, but I thought it was A+. Next up is probably chicken vindaloo. Dh seemed a little "eh" on the saag, but is fair since I usually don't like it - it was a little different. Big Grin But, the spices were just far more authentic than any other recipe we have tried. YUM! There is endless more to try - I also got another ethnic slowcooker cookbook (of note, with a lot of Thai recipes). The slowcooker seems to be the magic pill for otherwise *very* complex and time-consuming meals.

{I grew up on home-made Indian food since my best friends were Indian. I know it when it is the real stuff!}

I also received two gift cards. I already used up the Target one for some household items. (I had been needing a toothpaste coupon, but it was on sale and I decided "free" would work). I received a prepaid american express card. Wasn't sure what to do with it, but mymoneyblog mentioned that any amount (no matter how small) could be used to purchase an Amazon gift card. Seemed easiest, so I just did that and credited the gift card to my account. Will likely use it for dh's birthday gift. (Otherwise, I would have just gotten gas with it - usually the easiest way I have found to redeem gift cards - because then leaves no balance. Though I like this amazon tip. How would I ever survive without mymoneyblog.com???).

Buying anything besides a "need" feels ridiculous after the Christmas deluge. I also received a fair amount of useless *stuff.*

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GOALS 2013

I already have my prelimiary goals listed in my sidebar. Nothing overly exciting. Not much thought - just all part of our long-term plan.

BUT, I am also waiting to see how my taxes and compensation shake out for 2013. I can't get too specific until I know what I have to work with. I will know by January 15th (first paycheck of the new year). I am expecting *no raise,* for the first time in my life. (Boo hoo!). My employer primed me for this possibility when he told me last year that I was the only one to receive a raise the past two years. I had no idea!! I know he wants to give me a raise again this year, just not sure if he can. Will see...

As far as the big picture, my focus for 2013 is for our cash and investments to exceed our debt (mortgage). As of today, the gap is exactly $18,000. !! That is the point where I could technically pay off our house and be debt-free. We won't of course do that (most of it is earmarked for retirement), but it is a VERY exciting milestone!

It depends on the stock market, but the savings side is covered. Plus, the mortgage is going down down down with every regular payment. I think it is possible we will pass this threshold mid-year. Will see...

4 Responses to “This & That”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Life is good, right?

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I hope you have a nice restful weekend. Smile

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    Happy to hear you had a wonderful Christmas and that you are feeling better and you don't have too much year-end work to finish. Smile

  4. scfr Says:

    Glad to hear you had a nice Christmas. The gifts sound nice. I've been daydreaming about new sheets too (ours are fine but since it has been cold lately I've been lusting after flannel.) Isn't it nice to be able to find delight in fairly "simple" pleasures? Good sheets ... good food ... good time with family ... what more could you want?

    I remember when we hit the point in our mortgage paydown when more was going to principal than interest ... Such a great feeling!

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