We just mailed our check to the IRS. Once again, we owe. The good news? It’s only five bucks. I believe we owe something like three dollars to the state of Pennsylvania, and our accountant praised us for being in the “sweet spot.” Meaning, I guess, not owing and not getting a refund. That’s what you’re supposed to strive for, correct?
However… we used to get big(ish) refunds, and they came in handy. You don’t need to lecture me on how it’s better to have that money in our account throughout the year, I get it. But when it arrived in one lump sum, back in the day, we’d book a vacation, or have some home improvements done. An extra $87 per paycheck just disappears into the black hole, and we don’t really notice it.
On the other hand, we went through a period — back when I was making home video money — when we owed every year. That SUCKED.
So, the sweet spot ain’t a bad place to be, I guess. But, to tell you truth, it doesn’t feel all that sweet. How’d you fare with your taxes this year? Did you have to write one of those clenched-jaw checks? Tell us about it, if you feel like it.
There’s some guy who’s advertising that he’ll mow any lawn in our town, weekly, for $75 per month. If it’s a legitimate offer, he’s got himself a new client. Money well-spent, I say. I’ll take it from our make-believe extra $87.
I hate mowing, I work all the time, and my kids half-ass it. If I can outsource that shit, I’m gonna do it. I’m excited about this dude’s approach — he certainly distinguishes himself from the pack — but will believe it when I see it. Stay tuned.
When we lived in California I paid some guy to mow our lawn, but it was super-cheap. It’s expensive here, partly because the yards are so much larger. There are other reasons, as well. But I’d love to get back to a situation where I never have to walk behind a mower again. I used to feel mildly guilty about it, but not anymore. Funk dat. I’ll celebrate the day it happens.
Do you outsource something that makes you feel a little guilty? Something you simply hate to do? If so, please share. My goal at this point: outsource as much as possible. Sure, my grandfathers are looking down at me and frowning, but they need to mind their own business from beyond. Go mow a cloud or something, and get off my back.
We actually have a few things in the works here at Chez Kay. We MIGHT go to New York City on Saturday (it still seems to be an unknown), the boys and I are going to see the Eels in Philadelphia on May 30, and we have a condo in Myrtle Beach reserved for later in the summer. I don’t think we’ve been on an actual vacation since London in 2007. Myrtle Beach is a downsize, but it’s better than nothing. People like to turn up their noses about that place, but we’ve always had fun there.
Do you have anything scheduled for the summer? We’re squeezing blood outta stones up here… blood outta stones.
See you guys next time.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!
Patty in Cleveland says
First and I got a refund over two thousand so that to me is a good thing
Puddles Pity Party – that dude sure can sing
I don’t own a home and have not cut the grass since I was a teenager. Last summer my landlord sold the place and gave me a nice lawnmower. I will be cutting the grass for the first time in over thirty years this coming summer.
I use to get several hundred dollars back. And then they started keeping it – due to my student loan debt. About 5 or 6 years ago they stopped taking my refund. For some unknown reason – they took my refund this year.
jim britton says
I agree, Puddles (Mike Geier) has a great voice.
Wait. Holy shit is that big mike from kingsized in atlanta and tended at the star community bar?
WB in OH says
I’ll be writing Uncle Sam a decent sized check this year. I sold some real estate and apparently he feels obligated to share in my good fortune.
Heading to an all inclusive resort in Mexico this summer.
Al K. Hall says
Last year we got a $4000 refund because we had both kids in college and could claim their tuition. Couldn’t claim the older one this year even though she’s still in school, so we got a $2000 refund. Next year we won’t be able to claim either one, so we’ll probably owe big time.
Making plans to go to St. Pete Beach in early June.
Billy Joel says
Billy Joel says
What I really mean is that I have not had my taxes done as of yet. I am dropping off some hard-copy materials to my accountant this afternoon. I have already filed for an extension. I just sent about $1100 to the Treasury for a mistake I made on my 2011 taxes, so I hope that my 2013 tax year doesn’t amount to another butt-ream. I need more time to heal.
Getting $700 from the state and a mere $300 from the Feds. But that dough is going towards an unknown vacation. I don’t even care where we go as long as I can walk on sand and drink. The only definite things I have going on is seeing Bill Maher in June and Billy Joel in August. And if I don’t take at least a long weekend pretty soon, I’m going to lose it.
I started my job in May so I didn’t have a full year’s wages. Got a few hundred back on my federal return, but owed a two-digit check to my state due to having a gargantuan* amount of dividend income. Hey state I live in, if my combined income isn’t very high (well below median household), why does it matter whether it comes from wages or investments? Still this state is better than many out there (glances at Illinois).
I am considering hiring out the mowing too. A big back yard, no trees and a push mower combine to make for some unpleasant summer afternoons.
I was laid off in October of 2012 and spent the majority of 2013 unemployed. When my unemployment checks dried I cashed out a small-ish 401k I had so I was forced to pay about $3000 this year in taxes. I learned my lesson though: no more 401k’s for me. You never know what will happen and I didn’t like being punished for pulling out money I put in there. My current job has a state retirement system thing, so money is pulled out of my checks for that, but I created an online savings where I stash additional funds, as backup.
Since I sold my house and am now renting the yard stuff is outsourced, but my boyfriend wants the landlord to fire the gardner. He sends his 13 year old kid to mow, doesn’t edge and there are weeds all over the place. He’s probably charging her a ridiculous amount as well, knowing she doesn’t live there. Instead my boyfriend has offered to do a better job and she can just take the amount from the rent, or pay him directly. She seems interested thus far. She loves that he is a handyman.
As far as vacations go, we’ve decided to stop dreaming. Of course I’d love to go to Europe some day, but I can’t fathom only taking two weeks to do that, which is what I get for time off. Plus we hate the TSA and don’t want to hassle with the travelling aspect. Since we live about thirty minutes from San Francisco we just head into the City when we’re bored and feel like we get the fix just from that. We’ll see how long that keeps us going….
I think we got a refund this year, but it was small. We were close to owing but made some adjustments in the fall that saved us.
I pay to get my lawn cut. I started doing that when I travelled a lot for work and it has been totally worth it. My hourly rate exceeds the cost of the lawn care. That’s how I justify it to myself.
I can’t bring myself to pay for snow removal though. I have a giant snowblower and a kickass beard, so I’m fully capable of handling whatever the climate throws at me.
I also don’t like to pay plumbers or carpenters, but will spend for electricians if there’s new wiring to be done or breaker panels to be worked on.
The cars are maintained off site. Although I am the son of a man who built and tested engines for Richard Petty back in the 60’s, I am not capable of doing my own engine work. I am not ashamed to admit this.
I normally don’t make summer plans, but this year I have to go to one of the Carolinas in July to visit my wifes family. Do you have any idea how freaking hot it’s going to be there? Do you?
I just had one of those body composition studies done. Turns out I’m 87% butter and icecream. I have no business being in the South in the summer. I think I’d rather stay at work in the air conditioning.
‘I also don’t like to pay plumbers or carpenters, but will spend for electricians if there’s new wiring to be done or breaker panels to be worked on.’
My husband feels this way and it seems like a good policy. The potential for death or a fiery inferno is far less with plumbing and carpentry.
Oh and one day very soon I am going to look for a housekeeper. Fuck this cleaning all weekend shit. My living room resembles Oklahoma circa 1939 and I’m just too goddamn tired from a very full week. I’ll do my own laundry – but that heavy duty cleaning and organizing shit has to get outsourced REAL soon.
It could be worse. At least your basement doesn’t look like Louisiana in 1927 (I’m guessing).
We got a surprisingly good refund from both Federal and state this year.
Which might explain why the car decided it needed a transmission rebuild for the second time in three years (seriously, the last rebuild was in 2011!!!!) and my cell phone decided that the only function it was willing to perform was “paperweight”. Since we’re on a no-contract carrier, a new phone is entirely on me to pay for. I figured I might as well get the top of what’s now available so it’ll still be acceptably usable longer, so that got a tad pricey. So did DH deciding that if I got a new phone, he wanted one too.
lew in bama says
This is the first big argument for the hubs and I, taxes. I am in the sweet-spot…just enough taken out to cover me. He, on the other hand, has the max taken out because he likes getting the refund. I’ve tried explaining to him he’s giving the government an interest free loan, and his refund is them merely giving back some of it. This makes no sense to me. I also believe there will come a day when the government has wasted so much of our money that they will be unable to send out refund checks. That day is coming sooner or later. Id rather take the money hes giving to Uncle Sam and throw it into an IRA…it may not yield much, but if it’s going to benefit anyone, it should be the ones who earn it the first time…
lew in bama says
Oh…and vacation. we spent a week in the Keys for our honeymoon last month, so that ate up some of our allotted money and time off. We will likely head to the lake with the in-laws for memorial day and 4th of July, and spend 4-5 days with the in-laws down on the gulf this August. It definitely doesn’t suck that the in-laws have a place on the lake and at the beach.
I honeymooned in the Keys, too! But that was almost 17 years ago.
Holy shit, no way has it been seven years since you went to London. If asked (by whom, I couldn’t say), I would have said it was MAYBE three years ago. MAYBE.
I was thinking the same thing!!!
Phantom Railfan says
I’m headed to a well-known nationally-advertised tax preparer tomorrow. I tried to do them myself with a well-known nationally-advertised website but there’s some kind of glitch involving a health insurance savings account I didn’t realize I’d even opened. I want someone who (purportedly) knows what they’re doing to take a look. The peace of mind will be worth (I keep telling myself) the no-doubt-exorbitant amount I will be charged.
Summer is shaping up to be a banner one for railfanning: There will be something like 10 mainline steam trips (with two different restored locomotives) within a half-days drive of my current domicile during May, June and July. I love the smell of coal smoke in the morning…
Figuring taxes has become a crazy chore… it involves clearing roughly 10 acres of forest land for the paperwork and always involves me writing a ridiculous check sometime between July and October for money I never knew I made. Phantom income is a bitch. I’m still waiting on all my tax forms. I’m short about 20 k-1’s… for 2012 taxes that have to be restated before filing the 2013 taxes which I’m short about 30 k-1’s on. Which reminds me… I was promised half of those k-1’s today and have not gotten them.
I like mowing the lawn and PLANTING the new landscaping every year. I hate trimming trees and preparing the beds for planting. So, I outsource that shit and then do the easy stuff. Also, I don’t clean. I hire a house keeper to get that shit done and when I’m between housekeepers I live in filth.
I was in the sweet spot this year with paying the fed $6 and the state $174. Last year owed $3000 so I made some adjustments to my withholding.
I cut my own lawn and hate it very much. We will be downsizing to a 3 bedroom townhome in July or August so I very much look forward to no-to-low maintenance.
No vacation plans but I have a business trip schedule to boston at the end of the month and will see my first redsox game as the play the reds.
I’ve been using the same tax guy for over 25 years. Been married for 12 now, and we both file single, no dependents. We got $1700 back from the feds, 300 from the franchise tax board. That’s only because I have my pre-tax retirement deduction set at 28% of my base pay. Otherwise we’d get killed every year. Back when I had dependents and could write off major work related mileage I used to get $7-8K every year.
As I type this, my wife and a woman I work with (who we are both friends with) are on a cruise to Mexico. They left last Sunday and come back this coming Sunday. They are spending about half of the $6096 I accidentally won in the lottery. My half just paid for a new catalytic converter in my truck. My vacation for the summer was to take the week off, and sit on my ass. Although, I did spend most of the day on the roof getting the swamp cooler ready for the coming hot season. And I got in a short 100 mile motorcycle ride yesterday.
I do the mowing I can do off the garden tractor, sometimes having to sit on a fender to keep it from rolling over. My wife handles all the weedeating. We have almost 5 acres here, but we actually only mow/cut about 2.And since we don’t water anything, after the rain stops, which is about now, one more round of serious cutting and chopping should do it for the year.
The sweet spot would be sweet. Ideally I’d like to have a small refund, like less than $100. This year I got $1300 back from the feds. I haven’t faced up to state taxes yet, but they’re not due until May 1 here in Virginia.
I hate yardwork with the heat of one thousand suns, which is why my place is such a shambles. I need to find some Spanish dudes who have a trailer full of small two-stroke engines.
I have no problem doing plumbing and electrical, but as a carpenter I’m a pretty good programmer. Sunday I replaced the plumbing bits feeding my outside garden hose; seems the 60-year-old shutoff valve wasn’t taking its job very seriously, and has been lightly pissing water onto the patio all winter long. I would have noticed sooner if I’d cleaned up the leaves last fall.
My CPA always recommends I turn my refund back in the to the feds and the state to pay next year’s taxes, so that’s what I do. I never see any cash.
Yardwork is a different story. Last year, I started feeding the birds in the back yard, and the birdseed grew some really strange and different plants, so I didn’t cut the back yard. All summer long. Last week, one of my neighbors called code enforcement about my yard, and I got a visit from the code enforcement guy, telling me to CUT THE GRASS!! He gave me two days to get it done, and they were two days of rain, so I had to do it all Wednesday afternoon. I was so sore after 6 hours in the yard, but it got done. The front yard is always mowed and edged perfectly, once a week. I HATE yardwork, and if I could get it done cheaply, I be through mowing.
That $3 should fill one pot hole. And I should probably know this, but what was the end home video income?
John Smith says
$75.month for lawn care?!?! That’s outrageous! We need to send a couple of hundred thousand Mexicans up that way.
My taxes were weird this year. I had a nearly identical tax bill as last year, and a nearly identical refund, but instead of being 70% from the feds and 30% from the state, it was 95% from the feds and 5% from the state.
I also think the old adage of the $ being better off in your pocket than Uncle Sam’s doesn’t apply any more. I have a year’s take home pay in my savings account. My interest for the year…. about $15. I’d rather get that fat check from the gub’mint.
I got about 1900 back total. I can’t believe london was that long ago!