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Don’t Tax Me, Bro!

by J. Money on Monday, February 25, 2013

don't tax me bro

Haha… whatever happened to that guy? One minute you’re getting tazed and the most popular person around, and the next you’re the butt of everyone’s jokes… I’m sure it was fun while it lasted though :)

Anywho, how’s everyone’s taxes going? Anyone already done and over with it?

I’m having two firsts over here: 1) This is the longest I’ve gone so far without filing in recent memory, and 2) it’s also the least stressed I’ve ever been :) Mainly because I’m now using Outright which tracks all my business expenses and income for me! No more messy spreadsheets and manual tracking, it’s awesome (and also free).

The problem now is that there’s no real sense of immediacy to get everything together since I’m not forced to scramble! Haha… that, and companies neeeeeeever follow the legal rule that we need all our tax forms send to us at the end of January or whenever that cut off date is. So I’m afraid I’ll get everything together and filed, and then realize I left something out by accident when it’s sent to me in the mail :( I just got another form over the weekend! Outright is good, but it still depends on you to make sure everything is accounted for and captured for those things that can’t be automated…

So that’s where I’m at anyways. Got most of my paperwork/info all ready to go, just waiting to pull the trigger and sit down with my accountant… Which I happily pay $200-$300 for to help me manage all our personal stuff, along with all our businesses and my billion random questions I’m constantly calling her with whenever I have a cockamaimy company idea ;) That hook up alone is priceless!

I’ll probably get my act together in early March. And have a bucket full of cash waiting to be invested in my SEP Ira too in order to soften the tax burden after having a good biz  year… Another reason it’s not a bad idea keeping lots of cash around! It may not be doing much most of the months, but the second you need it for something it sure does come in handy :) It reminds me of a quote I once heard from Mark Cuban (of Dallas Maverick and Shark Tank fame) which went something like, “Always be able to jump on an opportunity whenever a good one arises.” He may not be building/investing/creating something every single month, but the second he’s found something to jump on he’s ready to take action ASAP because he’s got the structure all set up and ready to go.

That’s stuck with me over the years, and I find it applies to personal finances all the same. It’s about setting yourself up to win over time and not having to worry about your foundation. And it’s not that hard once you’ve knocked out the “big ones” like debt and emergency fund/etc. All that gets knocked out over time and it’s then all about growing and building on your own net worth there and being able to make quicker (and smarter) decisions because you know where all your money is, and what it’s set up to do. Kinda like when you know if you can afford something in a split second rather than having to revert back to your numbers and run the calculations. It’s really some powerful stuff!

But I’ve digressed :) How are your taxes going this year? Gonna owe or gonna get some nice amounts back? I hope it’s the latter! You may be “lending the gov’t money” that route, but I’d take that option all day every day even just for the thrill. If it makes you happy, so be it!

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{Photo by soukup / Tweaked by J$}


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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Financial Independence Journey February 25, 2013 at 5:38 am

My taxes are on hold. I’m waiting for my MLPs to send me their K-1 forms so I can do knock these things out. I’ll probably be waiting into next month.

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2 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I’ll have to do K-1 forms next year too – seems like there’s always something we have to wait for! Jeesh.

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3 Alex February 25, 2013 at 5:50 am

We just got the last of the figures in last week, so I’m hopeful our taxes will be filed shortly. Already planning on a few buckets where the refund’s going. Plus, I’ll be seeking the accountant’s advice on how best to minimize our “interest free loan” to the government. Really need to put that money to work throughout the year.

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4 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies February 25, 2013 at 6:57 am

Pleasant surprise of a refund that’ll be just about big enough to pay the accountant. =) But that’s much better than owing over $1K, which was last year’s fun surprise. The better news, we managed to slip under the Roth IRA phase-out levels just barely, so we can drop that money in confidently now!

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5 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

GREAT!!! And even more so that you’re at the income levels where it’s about to phase out, haha… That’s even better in the grand scheme of things ;)

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6 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle February 25, 2013 at 7:00 am

I will get at least $1,000 back thanks to my RRSP (Canadian registered retirement savings plan) contributions and because I can deduct the unused portion of my sons’ university tuitions that they don’t need.

I am hoping for more but I had some student tenant income in 2012 that I must declare.
One year when both boys were in school but their incomes were lower I got $2,500 back. I had to sit down in the accountants office because I felt dizzy when he showed me the number.

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7 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

That’s a helluva surprise!

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8 Lance @ Money Life and More February 25, 2013 at 7:18 am

I’m almost ready to file my taxes but one of my readers has notified me that I need to file a fraud alert somehow with the IRS due to my issues with credit card fraud and identity theft… I may just try to file in the next day or two instead and hope for the best! We’ll see what happens :)

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9 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

What? Really? That’s sucky…. I’d just do whatever the “right” way is cuz you know dealing w/ the IRS is always a pain if something messes up!

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10 Brian February 25, 2013 at 7:46 am

I have to wait for a couple K-1s before I can complete my taxes. They usually show up towards the end of March. I usually get a little something back from the Feds and owe my state, so I am pretty sure that will hold true for this year, but it will probably be a little different this year since I now have a little guy as a dependent.

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11 John S @ Frugal Rules February 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

We just turned ours over to the CPA last Tuesday. It’s the second year we’ve used him, so it’s still odd not to do them myself. As you know, there are just too many moving parts with running your own business that I’d much rather spend the money using an expert as opposed to messing it up myself. We try to get it as close to 0 as possible, so we’ll see. We have some cash on the side in the case it would benefit us more to throw it into an IRA as opposed to giving it to the Feds

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12 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

YUP! Money well spent for sure – especially when they find new ways for you to save that you might not have on your own! I love it…

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13 Jay February 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

Filed my taxes the second week in February and already got my federal return back. Not sure how long state will take (NY) but at least I don’t owe!

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14 Julie February 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

Got my taxes filed a couple of weeks ago… feeling good about that! :)

BTW… many companies are now claiming that they need the IRS extension til Feb 28 to send the proper forms. I know that almost all of the brokerage companies I work with have filed for this so that they don’t have to modify forms later in month (or so they claim.) :)

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15 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I didn’t even know they could do that?? Makes more sense now, even though I don’t like it :(

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16 Kristen February 25, 2013 at 9:14 am

E-filed mine on 2/15 but TurboTax said it couldn’t be accepted by the IRS til March because the IRS hasn’t finalized one of the forms I need. Booo! I normally try to minimize the amount I get back but this year my husband was on unpaid medical leave for 5 months & I was too lazy to adjust how much tax we paid throughout the year (we pay the bulk of our taxes out of my paycheck) so we’re getting a hefty sum back. Figures–the one time we’re getting a lot back is the one time our tax return is delayed!

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17 Dawn February 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

Nice to hear a financial expert say that giving the government a (small-to-moderate) interest-free loan is OKAY! I don’t have liquid cash around (hoping to get to that point someday) so it certainly relieves stress knowing I’m getting a bit back and won’t have to pay.Plus, in theory, that extra money helps us pay down debt, whereas if it were in our paycheck, there would be a greater chance we’d just “waste” it. (Again, I’m nowhere near the situation you are yet with being so good about money!)

And congrats on getting the child credit for the first time! :D That was a thrill for me, too.

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18 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hehe yeah – looking forward to that!

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19 SavvyFinancialLatina February 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

I just filed our taxes yesterday. We actually got a pretty hefty sum back. We paid taxes as if our annual incomes was yey high. But since we started working halfway through the year, yey high income was half and thus our taxes were not as high as I thought they were going to be. Plus we had a bunch of education credits.

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20 Michelle February 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

We’ll be getting money back. I need to start filing!

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21 Joan February 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

Oh, we owe. A bunch. And that’s why I’m glad we did them during the first week of February, gave us two months+ to come up with the $7,100 without going into more debt!! (And yes, I’m proud of at least the second half of that!)

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22 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Ouch – I’m sorry to hear :( Do you know how to fix/change it so that it doesn’t happen to y’all next year too? Or was it all designed that way on purpose for some reason?

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23 Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

I filed mine over the weekend. This is usually when I have them done. With the new addition to the family, we got some money back.

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24 Julia February 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

Always did my own taxes. This year I did too many crazy things. The biggest being taking a job in a foreign country. Now I am trying to find a tax accountant that has experinced with that exemption.

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25 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Oh wow, I wouldn’t even know where to begin! Haha… that’s def. cray cray ;)

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26 Miranda February 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

Just finished with the accountant late last week. Filing is delayed, though, for one of my Forms. Ah well. Actually have a refund coming for the first time in years, thanks to the fact that my husband didn’t claim any exemptions on his W-4 for his adjunct job. However, I’m just having the refund automatically applied to my first quarterly payment for this year. It’s just about a perfect line up.

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27 Financial Black Sheep February 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

J, At least you don’t have to worry about your taxes this year, well as much. You seem more relaxed and that is good. Glad you found a good program to help you keep track of everything :)

I must be early or not have to worry about a whole lot, because I already e-filed and should get my return at the beginning of March. I finally FINALLY get a decent return after all these years. I would like to thank all you annoying hospital bills and other itemized deductions, along with donating to good causes :D

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28 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Haha, at least they were good for something!

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29 Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget February 25, 2013 at 10:57 am

I think Uncle Sam is going be asking for some dough. Hate that dude.

I’m usually on my taxes by the second week of the new year, but knowing that I’ll likely owe this year, I’m trying to draw out this process as long as possible. I want to spend some quality last days with my soon-to-be-departing cash.

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30 HappyFund February 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I actually consider owing at tax time to be a win! I know I’m in the minority camp on this, but that’s just how I see things. My best accomplishment would be in 2010 when I owed about just $50 under the amount when they would start charging fees for tax underpayments.

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31 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Haha… y’all are silly.

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32 Heather Stephens February 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

We did our taxes a few weeks ago…waiting on a refund. Changed my withholding to married but withhold at at the single rate since we’re making more money and don’t get as many write-offs. Hopefully that will offset any of the difference as our income increases this year. I’d so much rather get a little back than have to pay.

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33 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Oh interesting. I’ve never even considered changing our statuses, but I’d imagine my accountant would bring it up anyways if she thought it was better… Gonna make a note to ask just in case though ;) Hope you’re well, friend!

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34 Cordelia February 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

When will you cease giving me brilliant tips? I’ve been dragging my feet on entering all my freelance income/expenses into this new software I bought, but now I’m setting up Outright instead and looking to return the pricey software.

J. Money does it again…

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35 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Best thing I’ve found all year :)

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36 Yana February 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

Done with taxes! Used AARP Tax Aide program (no need to be AARP member or a certain age), paid around $900 state & fed combined. I love getting it over with so that I don’t have to think about it any more until next year.

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37 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Cool – thx for the tip!

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38 Greg@ClubThrifty February 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

I finished ours this weekend. Unfortunately, like the others here, one of the forms is causing a delay. I’m glad to have them done.

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39 Scott February 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Got ours done last week and getting a nice return back. Around $4G total. Yeah, I know….we’re “lending the gov’t our money”. Gotta change those withholdings. Feels good to have a fat return, but the money’s better used in my pocket throughout the year rather than forking it over to Uncle Sam. We’re planning to use the cash to knock down some debt and get on track to reach our financial goals. I’m picking up a lot of good info from all the great posts and comments here. Love the blog!!

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40 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Thanks! And I’m totally on your side with getting money back at the end of the year. If that makes your life better for whatever reason, great! Do your thang and rock it, brotha.

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41 Melinda Gonzalez February 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

This is the longest I have every waited to do my taxes as well! Maybe it has something to do with the fact since the government waits forever to deal with fiscal stuff, we can too. It’s only fair.

I hardly ever get anything back. This is the one time of the year being single bothers me (ha, even Valentine’s isn’t as bad). I do wish I could claim my dog, because lord know he takes a huge chunk of my paycheck.

I saw a new space on the tax forms for “health care insurance” costs. Apparently, what you put into that space this year will affect your taxes next year. Just keep an eye out for that.

Happy Taxing Everyone – We should all get some tea :)

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42 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Woah really?? this will be the 2nd year (I think?) that I include health insurance stuff in the taxes, so I’ll have to ask my accountant about that too… I’m now paying over $600 for my own plan for me and the baby, what a racket :(

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43 Jacob @ iheartbudgets February 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Sounds like you have a great accountant. $200 – $300 is a great deal, too. Are you filing as an S-Corp, or just using Sch. C as a Sole Prop? I’m doing the latter, and it’s a LOT of fun :)

We’re getting about $2k back this year, shooting for only $300 – $500 next year, though. We’ve got very little taxable income after the mortgage interest, charitable giving, donations, etc… All good though.

I’ve finished my return, just need it reviewed by another CPA in our firm. Hoping to get it filed by next week, and then beef up our savings with it.

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44 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I ended up going the LLC route instead, but I believe it all runs through me the same tax-wise as a regular person too (though I could be wrong – I always forget!). However it’s set up, it’s apparently the right way for our current situation :)

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45 Jose February 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I’m almost done with mine and thus far, I’m in positive territory. I need to hurry up and finish with the charitable deductions, which should take me a half hour and then I’ll be done. The sooner the better, my return, although not huge is still an interest free loan which I want back. Seeing that sequestration is right around the corner, I suspect that even if I file tonight,it will be a while before I see anything back.

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46 Nick @ ayoungpro.com February 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Just finished my taxes on Saturday. I claimed exempt all year due to a large credit I was expecting from the adoption of my daughter and I’m still getting $2,100 back. This is the first year I have had a rental to claim and it helped out A LOT on my taxes!

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47 J. Money February 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I bet!! Would love to hear more about the process of adoption too, especially as it relates to money. Have you blogged about that yet? Would you like to, as a guest-poster on this site? I bet people would find it pretty helpful and at least interesting :) My wife and I would like to adopt once we’re doing having our own kids, so it would give us a better picture too. But no worries either way – I know it can get pretty personal. Just hit me up on email if you want to discuss: j @ budgets are sexy (dot) com. Congrats on growing your family!

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48 Edward Antrobus February 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I finally got my last form; which the IRS states should be received by Jan 31, on Friday and filed. Crazy that I was held up by the form that says how much we spent on our HSA when we played by the rules and used it for allowed, tax-free purposes!
I’m a little upset by the refund. My wife and I both put ourselves down for zero exemptions on our W-4′s and I did an extra $10 over that just to be safe because we owed last year. I put my wife’s w-2 into the tax software: estimated refund $2000. Then I added mine, and it shrank to $900. This year, I’m going to up it to $30!

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49 J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:04 am

It’s a good way to force more “savings” that way if you’d rather have the bigger chunk in the end – I could get down with that :)

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50 Lynn February 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

My dad does my taxes and I got them ready to mail this weekend. Yeah I am getting $1100 back. Did not play with the exemptions in 2012 because I thought I might have more income than I ended up having. Well the refund will help if sequestration happens. My gov’t agency is talking one day off a pay period without pay for 6 months . I will loose around $200 per pay check If no sequestration, it all goes toward my trip to Europe next February.

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51 J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:05 am

It’s all scary stuff :( I hope people can/will fill some of those days off with side gigs to keep the money flowing in! A great opportunity to get into things that time usually doesn’t permit.

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52 Wayne @ Young Family Finance February 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I love your title, hahaha. You know the saying “the cobbler’s children go barefoot?” Well, I’m an accountant and I have someone else prepare my taxes! The last thing I want to do after thinking about everyone else’s is to do my own. We haven’t had a tax refund in a few years, but we haven’t owed anything either. We’ll see this year with the tax changes.

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53 J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

haha… no, I actually haven’t heard “the cobbler’s children go barefoot,” haha… so random! But I like it :) And I agree it’s hard to do things for yourself that you do all day long non-stop. Reminds me of a friend who’s a landscaper but who rarely works on his own yard :) You would never guess!

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54 stephanie February 25, 2013 at 11:22 pm

@Melinda, oh how I hear you sister! If I could only claim my cat, I might land in refund-land one of these days.

I have the $(&*# State of California insisting I owe State Tax for 2003 (I didn’t even move to CA til 2006) and we’ve been fighting about it for 4 years. So, you can be damned well certain I am not going to file with the State until the last second; I’m hoping, at this point, they’ve reviewed all my documentation and realized I don’t owe anything!!! If you think dealing with the IRS sucks the big one, try the bankrupt-State-of-CA. I still ask everysingleflippingtime I talk to them, whether on the phone or in writing, why the heck they think I owe. That’s apparently one of the new 7 wonders of the world. No one’s telling me. I’ve decided, if it comes filing day and there’s no response, I’m going to a Tax Lawyer and we’ll get this settled damn straight!

As far as Uncle Sam, I always try to be $500 one way or the other. I firmly believe in having the $$ in my pocket during the year, as opposed to getting a big old refund. I really like to put lots into my retirement when I can, since I didn’t get as good a start as I should have. So that will go in around the 1st of April, like always.

And @Nick, if you are so inclined, I’d love to read your blog about adoption. I am an adopted child; in fact, in my family of 8 children, 6 of us are adopted. I’m with J…I know it can be very emotional, very personal, but just know if you feel like sharing I’d be right first in line to read. And thank you; what a beautiful gift to give of yourself (and to yourself). Be blessed!

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55 J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:10 am

Wow, that’s so cool your family adopted so many siblings! What wonderful wonderful parents :) And that DOES suck about Cali screwing stuff up over there, I’m sorry to hear :( It’s always frustrating dealing with problems that shouldn’t have even been brought up to begin with – ESP when it’s someone else’s fault! Good luck killing it once and for all! I think getting legal help might not be that bad of an idea.

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56 stephanie February 26, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Yeah J-my parents were the best role models I could have asked for! The older I get, the more I realize the wonderful gifts they gave us. While I say I miss them every day, I see so much of my parents in the things I do now, I’m grateful for all those lessons they taught me. Rocking parents all the way. A mighty mighty blessing!

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57 Samantha February 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Looks like we’re going to owe about $20 this year, which I guess is perfect and right where we want to be.

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58 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter February 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

We may be getting a little back but we won’t know until March. We wait to do our taxes since paperwork seems to magically appear in February sometimes…

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59 Jacob Erickson February 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

My wife and I did ours almost a month ago, but haven’t submitted yet because we’re waiting on one last form. Hopefully it comes in the next week or so. I really like what you said about being able to jump at an opportunity when it arises. So many things in life are about timing and it would be nice to have money setting aside until that “right time”.

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60 J. Money February 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm

YUP! For both opportunities and expenses too – just good to know where you always stand at any given point in time.

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61 Cat March 3, 2013 at 12:18 am

The two states I filed in were pretty much a wash. Federal gave me a little money to play with. I spent it all taking my cats to the vet! Of course!

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62 Mario March 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Forced savings is how I see refunds. I have rental properties so I like to tell myself that I withhold far too much because my rental income and property repairs are unpredictable… but really, I could re-balance as often as every month if I wanted to. But yes, refunds are fun

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63 BillGuard Blog March 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I’ve heard that Mark Cuban quote before, and it’s an awesome one. That piece of advice has stuck with me. Good opportunities present themselves to almost everyone, but lots of people don’t capitalize on them, either because they mentally hold themselves back, or because they haven’t set their lives up to a place in which they can logistically capitalize on it.

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