Well, we ended up just breaking even on our Federal and getting a bit back on our State so I was happy, and confident that I could do it again. I still thought things were a little strange, though, because every time we've paid to get them done we don't end up owing anything, on either taxes we file. Oh well, we came out ahead so I was happy.
This year, instead of using Turbo Tax, like last year, I used TaxACT because it's free and I saw a commercial for it (so it had to be good, right?). I was coasting along, and having a great time, they even let you upload a PDF of your previous year's taxes so that it's even easier, and everything seemed a-ok. Then, on the next screen, it started showing me the amount I owed and it was $1,666 (yep, I know) to Federal and like a $500 something refund on State. I thought maybe it was a mistake, because the numbers were in green (wouldn't they be in red if it was that bad?!) and so I kept on going. At the end, when it asked if I was ready to file, it said that was what we owed, a bit over $1000 if we combine State and Federal - WTF. I haven't owed on my taxes in over 15 years and it was a total shock. It was also 11pm (the time I happen to turn into a pumpkin) so I took my depressed, defeated self to bed and tossed and turned all night thinking of my $1000 going out the window - to who? The government? Ugh, please.
I know you may think I'm complaining and it's not that much, because you are a real estate agent or are self-employed, but for two teachers who have claimed what we have claimed for years, it is a lot. And, who don't make any money as it is, even with us both working (yes, yes, we get summers off, I got it!). I just don't get it. And, I think ok, I could pay to have someone do my taxes but then what if I still owe? Then I owe $1000 AND $160 for someone to tell me that I owe $1000! I'm just stuck. I did review my PDF preview with my PDF from last year and it matches, for some reason we just didn't pay enough Federal taxes on our paychecks to give us a return, or even match what it should be. What a fucking bummer.
$1000 to us - here it is. We are planning another trip this summer for Lemon's birthday and this is usually a $2000 trip after it's all said and done. And did I mention we are meeting friends we've never met in real life, who live in Australia, in Hawaii next New Years and our plane tickets alone will be $2300 for all three of us (thank goodness my mom has a time share and is letting us use it!). Yes you are proabably saying, then don't go on all of these trips - duh. But then I will say to you - why the fuck do I work all year then? If I can't spend the money I work hard for, or even some credit card money, why do I leave my kid every day to go to work? THIS is why I do it, so I can travel with my family and make memories. Duh! But, this $1000 really throws a wrench in my system and now I have it looming over me, along with our $3500 in credit card debt (also not a lot but enough). All of the extra money (not our salaries) that we make, all year long, goes towards our debt and now I have to add $1000 to it - SO UNFAIR.
This is not a taxes suck rant post, not in the least. If I had you fooled then I'm sorry. Let me tell you what happened next. I was grumpy, sad and depressed and this mama who already takes care of all of our finances, has another thing to worry about now, always in the back of my mind (along with a hurt neck that I've had now for a week, I'm over it). But, if money is all that I have to fret about, I am a pretty lucky lady.
Last night, Ian went to a friend's house to spend the night so he could stay up late and hang with his boys. Lemon and I were by ourselves after dinner, and after jammies and brusing teeth we laid in her crib together and sang songs and told stories. We found some old Pooh stuffed animals of mine (it's one of her favorite movies right now), and I took the tags off of them and we played with them in bed. One of the tags stayed around so I started throwing it up in the air and then watching it float back down to us, and Lemon thought it was the funniest thing. She giggled when it would land on her, then when it would land on me and even more when it would land on Tigger. We must have done this for a half an hour, and it was just one of those moments I want to remember forever.
Usually I am the one who puts Lemon to bed, and it has been this way for years. Not because Ian doesn't want to, but because she's a mama's girl (and I'm a control freak). The moments before I turn off her light and say, "Night, night Lemon, see you in the morning, sweet dreams," are some of my favorite moments in my whole life, in the whole time she's been on this earth with us. The giggles we share, the jokes, the stories and the songs are what fuel me every day and what I look forward to every night. These are the reason I am a mama and what make me a good mama, these moments we have together, just the two of us. This is what my life was meant for, what my life is all about.
So taxes, who cares?! I decided to save my work and come back to it later. Right now, I choose to bask in the sun of my little girl who is growing up so fast, but still loves a tag slowly falling like snow to her, and I am going to enjoy these moments with her, despite everything else that is going on. She is my light, my ray of sunshine and I am so thankful for her, even when I have another debt always on my mind.
It could be worse. It could always be worse. So, in the time of taxes - I want you to remember that - it's just money and we are all just so damn lucky in other parts of our lives. Money is just money but we have our health, happiness and a family who loves us. I couldn't ask for anything more.
Now, my wish for you? I hope you get a big fat return!! Nighty night!