Thursday, January 19, 2012
Filing income taxes is one of the things I have never procrastinated about. By this time in January I am usually ready to file and just waiting for the final tax forms to be released. I've been like this since the early 90s, when I first started filing when I got married, as my now ex-husband's tax philosophy was have too much taken out of (my) check so we would get a ginormous refund every year...and he wanted the $$ as soon as possible.
Since the divorce in 2008 my philosophy is I'd rather have my money as I earn it and not give extra to the government to muck around with interest free during the year so I've been gradually dialing in my withholdings to try and achieve a no refund / no tax bill balance. I still took care of it immediately, just in case, because if I were to get a refund I wanted it immediately and if I were to owe I wanted as much time as possible to prepare for it.
But now I am "behind". I was on vacation from 12/28 - 1/8, and then sick all of last week and most of this. So I have not even started my taxes yet. This has been making me a little crazy.
My deep dark dirty secret is...I like doing taxes. If a parallel universe were to exist my counterpart is probably a CPA or tax accountant. Back when I started filing (in the years before tax software was available) I would do them by hand. I considered it a personal challenge to understand the forms well enough to "beat" the government at its own game and get back every penny owed. Even my first year of marriage when my ex insisted on having his CPA sister do our taxes I still did them by hand to compare mine to hers (about the same so I know I could trust my numbers).
Even after we got a computer and I used the tax software for the first few years I would double check and prepare a set by hand, which were always pretty darn close to the software. I don't do that anymore, mostly due to not wanting to spend the time for no additional benefit.
So today I am starting the process. I will likely still be delayed by the government not having all the federal or state forms released yet, or one of the banks or loan companies deciding to be stupid and not make information available until the last possible legal second, but I will have my part done. No procrastination here.
Although you'd think that if the government delays in releasing forms it would push back the April due date by a corresponding number of days so people would have the alloted amount of time to prepare adequately.
Yeah, I'm not holding my breathe either.
And one of these days I'll get around to taking a formal training class and become a tax preparer for real, probably when I retire for extra income or something to do. And to keep my brain sharp, staying ahead of the legal crooks we elect.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Just getting my daily blog done for the Winter 5% Challenge - Go Cats!
While I was on vacation Scout Dad, he painted most of the house last spring, came back and finally finished the ceiling & walls in the last 2 rooms. He's not a slacker, he was working his regular jobs over the months and finally had the free time over Christmas break to finish. And since he's not charging me anywhere near what a painting company would charge I'll work with his schedule. So now my ceiling is no longer textured, the light fixtures are once again properly installed and the walls are painted instead of paneling and the whole house flows together. Before he started every single room had a different look and feel which really dated the house and kind of created a low level of background stress for me.
I actually started on my daily housekeeping goal last Monday when we were back from vacation. That, plus having the kitchen area ceiling & walls finished, has really left me a lot less tense. That background stress again from when things aren't quite right but you're so used to the situation that you no longer notice it consciously...is gone and finally noticeable by its absence.
Purple Heart finally called again tonight to schedule a pick up time for this week when they are again in the area so I can get rid of several bags of stuff I've been waiting to donate. More background stress eliminated.
I'm hoping by tomorrow I'll finally be over the worst of this cold, it has completely wiped me out the past week. Today was the first day I felt almost OK energy wise...but was completely congested so couldn't breathe well. I miss exercising especially as being sick seems to increase my appetite (or at least it completely disables the stop switch).
Today it rained a lot, and now it is very cold, so I'm guessing there will be ice in the morning. Yay - NOT! The commute will be horrible if there is ice. It was bad enough this morning with everyone stopping to look at the water falling from the sky, whatever could it be, they've never seen such a thing before! Driving tests should be mandatory to weed out the stupid drivers. That would also do wonders for my stress levels.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Procrastinations is the theme for my 2012 goals. Or rather to stop procrastinating, as many of them have been around for awhile, if only on my mental to-do list.
Here it is, already the middle of the month, and I realized I have been procrastinating starting work on my goals to reduce...procrastination. It is a vicious circle.
So without further delay, and in no particular order, my goals for the year:
1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds, putting me in range from 120-139. This should be very doable as I have been maintaining since September.
2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August. This will require a minimum of 3 half marathons in 90 days (I think that is one of the ways to qualify, I will have to double check).
3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily. This can be as simple as cleaning the sink, I just need to start a new habit of doing a little bit every day so I'm not faced with a seemingly insurmountable housecleaning task by letting it all pile up. Track in Other Goals.
4) Break my dependence on Splenda. I drink 4-6 cups of tea daily, each with 3 Splenda packets. I want to reduce this to a maximum of 1 packet per cup, if not eliminate its use entirely. I will do this by the end of March. In January I am down to using 2 packets per cup, February will be only 1 packet, and March will see if I can do without.
5) Finalize my budget by the end of January so that I will pay off at least 3 loans by the end of December. These will be my furnace loan, student loan #2, and personal loan #2.
6) Earn my black belt! Somehow this has slipped my priority list as other things came up. No more! I will detail the steps I will take to do this in a separate blog; I intend to be ready to test by the end of June.
7) Finish replacing all the light switches and wall outlets by the end of March. Then focus on completing 1 room at a time instead of jumping all around the house and never really finishing anything. Complete the 3 in use bedrooms by the end of December. Completing a room involves replacing all moldings & trim, doors, light/ceiling fan and drapes.
8) Run my first marathon by October 21. This is the date of the Detroit Free Press Marathon, so it will be this one if I don't decide to run something earlier in the year. I probably won't because I will be focusing on black belt training the first half of the year and I don't want to distract myself and take up my time by also training for a marathon.
9) Other goals as they occur to me.
10) Have fun and stress less!
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