Over the past couple of days I’ve been sorting my receipts, getting things in order to file my taxes in early February. I’d do it sooner, but seeing as how I have to wait for about ten forms – W-2s, 1099s, various interest forms – I never get everything I need before February. But getting all of this together brings two pleasures: a trip to the office supply store (accordion files! labels! post-its!) and a trip down memory lane.
As I sorted through my receipts, I got to revisit each purchase:
• Several “business entertainment” dinners with bloggers and colleagues (and some who are both)
• A pitchpipe purchased from a music shop in Porto, with CT the DT and SH
• Makings for closing night gifts for Cendrillon – marzipan-filled pastries shaped into the first letters of everybody’s name. That’s about as “Martha” as I get, and it was fun!
• Lots of sheet music, and all the promise that a new score holds
• Ditto on CDs (anybody know if I can get an itemized receipt from iTunes?)
• Envelopes filled with receipts and train stubs from day trips to DC, Philly, Boston
• Fatter envelopes from my three weeks in NY in January – my first taste of living here – and the pivotal tour of the Pasion segun San Marcos
Who says taxes are boring?
It also looks like I’ll hardly owe anything this year, at least comparatively. I made less money this year, and I had several jobs were taxes were withheld. For 2007 and the future, I’ve started a separate savings account for taxes. Now, whenever I get paid, or even when I’m first told of a future fee, I automatically will cut it by at least 30%, preferably 35%: 10-15% to management, 20% to savings for taxes (which I need to start paying quarterly), and 5% minimum to savings or an IRA.
I’m pretty determined to use these next 19 weeks of excellent pay to get myself on some solid financial ground. I have a budget and a fairly aggressive savings/debt payment plan. Even so, I’ve made sure to give myself some “play money,” otherwise I know I’ll just end up cutting into my savings to buy that dress or go out to dinner!
Like dusting the furniture or polishing brass, getting your finances in order is satisfying because the difference is noticeable, quantifiable. Watch the good numbers get bigger and the bad ones get smaller! No cleaning products (but lots of office products!) required.