‘Cause I’m the Tax Man

When I went to bed last night, my checking account had a balance $2.10. This morning when I woke up, it was $2,921.13.

It’s the highest my balance has been in recent memory (maybe ever), thanks to pay day, a 34-cent bank error in my favor and my 2009 IRS refund.

I enjoy tax season. I’ve never been a math wiz, but I feel smart figuring my own taxes and I enjoy receiving large refunds. (Yes, I’m aware that refunds are for idiots. Smart people with good financial sense figure out exactly how much they have to pay in so their tax balance come April 15 is $0. If you’re really smart you don’t pay any taxes out of your paycheck, keeping it all and socking the money you will eventually pay into a high-yield money market account. To pay in extra just so you get a four-figure surprise every Spring is simply giving Uncle Sam a zero interest loan. You dumb peon.) To that I offer this argument: Shut up. Some of know the levels of discipline we’re capable of, and it’s a whole lot easier for me to do the right thing with a large amount of money than it is for me to do the right thing with a small amount 24 times a year.

So what are the right things? Well, last year I financed a road trip to Syracuse and dropped $500 on a stupid-yet-insanely-loud-and-fun toy. OK, so those aren’t really smart things, but I had fun so again my retort is shut up, Poindexter. But this year I’m actually being semi-responsible. I brought my “emergency fund” up to snuff, wrote a check to my church to help send a group of college students to El Salvador for a mission trip cut my Sallie Mae balance in half with one fell swoop. Sure, my student loan balance was never that high, but it feels good make a dent.

Once I tack on my state refund and continue making regular monthly payments, I’ll have it paid off by my birthday. Roll that extra money into my monthly payment for loan from the MBCU upstairs, and the snowball will have me debt-free (except for the house) by this time next year.

Huzzah! Now I just need to start thinking about how I can celebrating by blowing my 2010 tax refund.

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