[-$29,900] I’m in the 20’s! : That Sounds Like Berries to Me!

Welcome to the Roaring 20’s!

Today is a big money day for me. I woke up this morning and immediately checked my bank balance.  You know, as I do. I was stunned to see 4 deposits: my paycheck, my bonus, my federal tax refund, and my state tax refund.  Whoa!!!  I was expecting my paycheck and bonus, but not my tax refunds.

First, what witchcraft is going on at the IRS? I filed my taxes last weekend. I got BOTH state and federal refunds today, 6 days after I filed!  Six days?!  I’ve never seen the IRS process anything so fast.

Oh yes, Surprise Cat. They did! And in 6 days.     Read More

[-$31,700] Another Taxing Tax Season

Work Update

I had my annual review meeting with Manager, who apparently, and miraculously, has no plans to fire me, despite what I perceive to be recent decreased performance. I’m getting a small cost of living salary increase of 1.7% and my annual bonus! I’ll be getting my bonus soon. I was really nervous going into the meeting as I didn’t know what to expect or if I’d have a job coming out of it, but was relieved that it went as well as it did. I have improvements to make, but I still have a job.

In fact, I’ve been assigned two new projects. Thankfully, these projects will be in line with the old workstyle, so I expect I’ll feel comfortable running them. I’m planning to stay where I am for the immediate future. It won’t be easy at all, but if I can somehow grind it out here for one more year and pay off / down this debt, a lot more avenues will open up to me starting next year. Newish Leader (my manager’s manager) has been more hands-off lately, and this trend should continue. I plan to stay under Newish Leader’s radar as much as possible.

I just need to be able to survive for one more year before I can escape for good.       Read More

[-$56,835] Feeling Like a Rat … and a Cat

Image Credit: Steve Cutts’ short film ‘Happiness’ (Youtube)

The Rat Race

Hey Peeps,

Another $1720 minimum monthly student loan payment, another seemingly minuscule movement in my balance.

I’m still busy at work and thankfully looking forward to the 3-day weekend for a bit of rest. Although my employer is benefiting from the new corporate tax cuts and pulling in record profits, it has done nothing to raise pay for people in my division beyond the standard cost of living adjustment. If there was any doubt about the impossibility of getting a raise, it’s gone now. Getting a raise, a REAL raise, was never a possibility and never will be one.

Other people have moved on from my employer and are earning more now. I’ll need to think about my long term earning potential. Ahhh. Trapped in the rat race and searching for more cheese. At the same time, I’m hesitant to make any risky moves now with so much debt and uncertainty hanging over my head. Afterall, there IS value in stability.  Read More

[-$75,003] Where Your Tax Dollar Went

Source: nationalpriorities.org

In my Being Single is Taxing post, I hoped that all the money being ripped ‘liberated’ from my paychecks was being spent wisely. I recently stumbled across this breakdown, which confirmed my fears.

According to Nationalpriorities.org, from every collected tax dollar we spend nearly 30 cents on health care, almost 24 cents on military/defense, but less than 4 cents on education and science (research and exploration) combined.  Read More

[-$77,295] Being Single is Taxing

So, if you are in the U.S., I hope you’ve all paid your taxes by now. If not, you’re juuuust about out of time. The clock is ticking, peeps. Get on it!

I paid a LOT in taxes this year, as usual. Most of it, I hope, is going to various good causes, but it still is frustrating to see that money disappear forever.

I’ve seen a few blog posts by bloggers with families proud of paying little or no taxes. Between marriage, having a kid (or three), and home and other tax breaks / benefits / deductions, they are living well. Good for them. As a single person who qualifies for, seemingly (based on my recent tax return), no breaks or benefits of any kind, my spend on taxes feels disproportionate and unfair.  Read More