I know, I know….it’s been a while since I’ve written. Normally that would be because we’re just plugging along, with nothing interesting to report. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case here.
Remember my previous post about how (relatively) great things have been going? We’ve been sticking to the budget, bills were getting paid, and we were still squeaking out a little money here and there for date nights and such?
Well, I kind of feel like perhaps I was tempting the financial gods with that post. Just a couple of weeks after that, Todd and I sat down to do our taxes. I was feeling alright about it, to be honest. In previous years I’ve always gotten a refund of some kind (a couple of years I got fairly generous ones), and although I wasn’t expecting much, there was a tiny hope in the back of my mind that I would get even a teensy little something.
Um…yeah. Not so much. Turns out, I owe a big ole’ chunk of money to the government for taxes last year.
How’s that possible, you ask?
Well, Todd and I got married back in August, 2013. Prior to that, I was a single mom who was able to claim one of her kids as the equivalent to an unemployed spouse. This is a huge tax break. On top of that, I was also paying a fair bit into child care expenses, which is also a nice little tax break. What I didn’t realize was how much these two things added up to over the course of a year in terms of taxes.
Last year when I filed my 2013 taxes, I still received a bit of a refund. We didn’t get married until August, and so I was able to again, claim my daughter up until that time. We were also still paying for after school child care.
2014 comes and I don’t give my taxes a second thought. Our daughters stopped going to after school care and still, nothing clicked in my mind. And then suddenly…boom. It’s tax time.
The end story is that we’ve got a fair bit of money that needs to be paid back to the government. On top of that, I have had my tax contributions adjusted for this year, which means that our monthly budget is getting squeezed just that much more, since I have a smaller take-home pay.
How has this affected our financial plans?
Well…our plan has taken a significant hit. I had a bit of money set aside that was going to be used to fully pay off one of our credit cards, which now needs to be used as a down payment on our tax bill. We’re still in the process of re-arranging and re-adjusting things to make up for both paying off this additional bill, as well as dealing with the lower pay amount.
While I’m in a better head space about this than I was initially, having had time to process it all, I’m still pretty bummed. I know we have no choice but to just keep pressing onwards, sticking to the (now-modified) plan and doing our best.
That’s all any of us really can do, isn’t it?
Until next time,