Sunday, February 7, 2010

Taxes Finished

Every year I have had to file taxes, I do my own. This makes my tenth year of being a taxpaying citizen, and my tenth year of filing with TurboTax online. I think most of the online programs are pretty comparable, but Josh ran the numbers through H&R Block and I used TurboTax and we ended up with a bigger refund through TurboTax. That doesn't really make sense, but I think it includes more deduction categories or something. Josh commented that this is such a good example of why the tax code needs to be simplified.

It took me about five hours this year because I had to total a mountain of medical bills and receipts. Our out of pocket medical expenses ended up being $6,892 for the year. That's not even including the three thousand we put on the flex spending account card. Unbelievable. We have health insurance. I really don't understand how people without health insurance can handle medical catastrophe without filing medical bankruptcy. I went through every bank statement for the year and highlighted the medical expenses, Josh's work expenses, and anything I spent on my classroom and it was fascinating to see what was left.

I didn't realize how our country's recession has affected us until I thought about last year compared to the previous year. Having a child has also changed our spending habits dramatically. I'm already trying to be optimistic about this year. Without major medical expenses, and with both of us working regular, salaried jobs that have taxes withheld, I think everything should go smoothly.

I am still adamant about cutting costs where possible. We may not need to buy shampoo or toiletries for another year with the amount I bought with my couponing binge. However, if we run out, there is no way I will shop without a coupon. We also purchased a Sam's club membership with intentions of buying in bulk to save. On diapers alone, we will make back our membership fee this year.

Ben is so, so close to taking his first steps. He stands for quite a while, and can walk all over the house if you hold one of his hands or if he's pushing his train.

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