Despite the fact that I work in the financial business we have our taxes done by a professional. Not because it’s a particularly difficult return, far from it, I’m sure if we set our minds to it we could do it ourselves using a tax program. The fact is, I spend so much time dealing with other people’s money and taxes I don’t even want to think about doing my own return. Since the cost of tax preparation is a deduction from year to year, I figure we paid for his services once and now the fee just gets rolled forward. Or something like that.
D and I went through this year’s questionnaire last week and filled in the boxes for our earnings, attaching the 1099s and W2s. Where the hell did all that money go? Tens of thousands of dollars! We do all our banking online and if I glance at just a month’s worth of transactions its very easy to see where it all goes – groceries, gas and the on-going monthly bills eats most of it up.
I’ve been through some very lean times in my life, when I knew where every penny was and where it was going, my checkbook always balanced. Now I am lucky enough to know that, under normal circumstances, I don’t have to worry about how much money I spend, there will always be some left over. My sister and her husband don’t write anything in their check register for the same reason.
This is a huge life change. We aren’t very organized or frugal, we pay just enough attention to make sure we don’t pay bills late or go into overdraft. When did we get so nonchalant about money? When we no longer had to watch where every penny was and where it was going. I just got a substantial raise when I switched from hourly to salary, but I would bet you there won’t be a substantial increase in the money left over in the accounts from now on. We spend what we make.
Is this a bad thing? How many of you have a budget and stick to it? We put money into the savings account when we can, but inevitably it gets transferred back to checking when a big expense comes up. In the last two weeks D got new tires for his SUV and I had major service on my car that involved a new catalytic converter and a rental car for a week, but it will be paid for by the end of the month.
I’m in my early 40s and D’s in his late 40s, should we be more worried about retirement? We both have old and current 401ks and lots of life insurance. I spent the last 40 years worried about my past, I don’t want to spend the next 25 worried about my future.