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Taxes -- I forgot!

April 21st, 2006 at 01:55 pm

I completely forgot it was tax day this week. No harm no foul, though.

DH evaluates our tax withholding once every three months, and make adjustments accordingly. April 15th, we never pay, never owe. Even though we've retired, he still reviews interest, capital gains, medical costs, and keeps things balanced out.

I used to feel cheated at this. Before we married, I loved getting that "end of year bonus": the tax refund. After we married, as grad students, we always received a renters credit and other refunds for a welcome albeit tiny check. There was something marvelous about this "found money" that we suddenly had to spend. One year, an aquarium, one year a couch...

And, certainly we had things to spend it on. Living on family reject furniture, formerly loved couches and whatever came with the apartment from the previous renter...ICK.

Tax Day was like a special holiday!

As we took our first jobs, it seemed like an even better deal. We were both SO busy, and spending was easy. Getting that check felt like someone had saved for us, so we didn't have to think about it. Of course we immediately turned it into SPENDING. Still, it felt like we had tucked money away. I probably would have INCREASED my withholding if I could, just to get a bigger refund!

The truth, simply, is we had no savings, no down payment, no emergency fund, and we needed new cars. Having the government "save" our money for us, while it was EASY (Thanks Baselle!), was not SMART. The government got the interest, and failed to gain the discipline we needed to achieve financial security.

Eventually we learned to save the money ourselves, each month, and to see the growing investment as the reward, not the penalty. Recognizing that we needed to take control of our spending, saving, and financial security, that was the real reward.

I still miss that annual "bonus". The Tax Refund. But I don't miss the lack of security, the missing credit score, or wondering if DH checked the bank balance before he withdrew $20 from the ATM.

1 Responses to “Taxes -- I forgot!”

  1. contrary1 Says:

    It took me awhile to "get" it too..........the bonus wasn't a bonus, I had loaned out my money, interest free. Made those changes in a hurry & tried to get it as close to zero every year since then.

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