Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Tax season. Some people dread it, which I can completely understand. But my life is fairly simple -- no real estate, stocks or bonds to speak of -- just the occasional deduction that needs itemizing. Up until two years ago for every year of my adult life, I did my own income taxes. Starting on February 1, I got all the forms from the post office, then spread everything out on the table making a mess of papers, and struggled through reading and re-reading each line of legalease to squeeze every last dollar out that I conceivably could. It would take the better part of a long evening to complete both state and federal returns. That's how my mom did it, and that's how I assumed it needed to be done since I'm too cheap to pay an accountant to do it for me.

A couple of years ago I figured there had to be a better way and started using TurboTax. Best thing ever. Instead of laboring through small print trying to figure out which lines I could use to my benefit, this lovely invention cuts my tax prep time by about 75%. And it's most satisfying to be able to breeze through it on a slow day at work, which is what I did today. Unusually delinquent on my part, but e-filing takes the guilt away for postponing it for a few weeks.

Anyway, now that I'm filed and just waiting for the money to automagically appear in my checking account, my mental plans for how to spend the money are underway. Last year the bulk of it (no pun intended) went to a weight loss clinic -- a very worthwhile investment. This year, I think a bit more frivolity is in order.

Two things on my list are virtual skydiving and hang gliding with my sister at Point of the Mountain. I don't have any big-ticket items for purchasing in mind yet -- I usually do, but can't think of any fun toys I feel are missing in my life. So maybe for the time being I'll just save the rest of it. Couldn't hurt, that's for sure. But the idea of a little extra cash -- so FUN to think about! It leaves my wallet salivating -- for what, I don't know yet, but I'll figure it out.

Meanwhile, Happy Tax Season! Many happy returns to you and yours. (Hee -- I crack myself up! )