I started using an accountant last year and my taxes are waaayyy less complicated (I just get one or 2 1099s). But it feels so nice to just hand it over to someone else and not have to worry about it. I was wondering why you have such a high tax bill at the end of the year, though.. Don't you pay estimated taxes quarterly? I thought you had to if you were going to owe >$3,000
If I wanted something special, my dad would actually make me write a grant proposal for it (this was while I was in elementary school). I would have to write up a detailed plan for what I wanted and why with like a budget and spreadsheets and it was all very dorky.. but my dad worked for a museum and wrote grant proposals and I guess he was trying to teach me some sort of lesson (or maybe just torture a small child).
@designateddrinker if you guys liked Obvious Child, I totally recommend Appropriate Behavior. It just came out in January, and I paid $6.99 to rent it from Prime, but it was totally worth it.
On Tax Season
I paid someone last year and it was suspiciously exactly $273. I get a W-2 and whatever the self employment/contract form is from my other job. But I guess I have some weird tax things in that I am not reimbursed the full $0.565/mile rate and I work in a state that is different than the one I live in. Really I just hate worrying about it and it is worth exactly $273 for me to not to have to do it.
@Greenbeans Wow. I just always figured that Universities (even the small ones) would have good plans since don't they require that students have some kind of insurance? I'm sorry you have to deal with all of that! Be careful with Cobra, too. My dad was a day late on a payment and they cancelled his insurance and wouldn't let him reapply, period. There isn't a lot of leeway with them. I'm not quite sure where I'll be ending up for grad school.. I still have to take a year of prerequisite math before I even apply, but thank you for the heads up! Another thing to consider with all the other things to consider :/
@Greenbeans Woah! Cobra is so expensive. I always thought that when you went to graduate school you could purchase insurance through the school at a reasonable price? Is this something that I just totally made up in my mind to make myself feel better about the future (I'll be going to grad school in the next year or 2..)? Are you able to get a plan off of the exchange? Since you're doing that much dry cleaning every month, have you tried those weird dry cleaning bags that you put your clothes in and then throw in the washer? I can't speak for how well they work, but they exist! And they are cheaper.
I once bought a sewing tool (Gingher seam ripper) that was very poorly designed.. it looked pretty but the blade was far too large to be functional. Gingher makes beautiful scissors and things that are supposed to last forever, so I was super disappointed to have spent like $20 on a seam ripper that didn't even work. I don't usually write companies or complain about anything, really, but a few of my friends convinced me that I should write an email and maybe get a coupon out of it. So I wrote them a letter with an "I'm not angry, just disappointed" tone.. and I at least expected an email back, but I never got a response! The experience has further soured me on complaining to companies when something goes wrong. I can't handle the rejection.
@Katni you are me! I also am doing my first Dryanuary and also used my projected savings to purchase a quilt set and shelf from West Elm.
@NoName that's a cute gift! Food has gotten much, much cheaper though. All the mass-producing, globalization, and ease of transportation has made it insanely inexpensive for Americans to eat compared to how it used to be. The poverty line was initially determined based on 3x the cost of a minimum diet.. We still actually use that number to calculate the poverty line even though rent now far surpasses the cost of food for most people and it makes no sense.
@scn231 you can split your transactions on mint to separate your grocery expenses into grocery and home! I had to do this with grocery and alcohol because it looked like I was spending so so much more on food than I actually was (not that I feel much better knowing him much I spend on craft beers). You have to keep up with it more, but it's worth it to know more about your spending I think..