Category Archives: taxes

from $95k to $55k…is this real life?

It’s been a hectic (but quiet on the blog front) 3 months, and here we are in May already. I missed the updates for March and April, and amazingly we are looking at over 41% of my student loans paid off since the birth of this blog!

If you look at my very last post, I was stoked that I had hit almost 30% paid off. Well, if you recall, I had negotiated a student loan payoff deal with my current employer and the first of 5 x $10,000 payments hit my Navient account on my first re-anniversary with this job. I’ll get a check every anniversary for the next 4 years as well! Here are the monthly outstanding amounts that have gone down since the last update:

March 1, 2016. $66,528.05
March 3, 2016. $56,540.13 (huzzah work anniversary!)
April 5, 2016. $56,181.26 (oops I checked 4 days late)
May 1, 2016. $55,779.22

That’s a whopping total of $39,247.65 paid off (41.3%) since the birth of the blog!

I’ve been still paying my standard minimum payments (totaling about $557/month) and looking forward to the day (projected in about a year and a half or so) when that gets knocked down to $242/month.

Unfortunately we’ve racked up a balance on the credit card, but have been able to pay it off each month; and there’s still the furniture (interest free for 12 months) we’ve been working on. The good news is that Mr. Bacon was finally promoted to full-time status at his job, which comes with amazing healthcare benefits (and even a pension!). He was even able to apply his 12 years of experience from a previous job, which moved him up the payscale by 12 levels–pretty insane (in a good way) how cut & dry that was.

We also got our taxes done–I was able to manage getting the federal returns done on my own using the H&R Block software and we got over $1300 refunded. BUT the state returns were tricky since we lived in two different states, so I ended up paying someone $135 to get those done. We ended up getting about $250 back from Maryland and owed $380 or so to Delaware. Not too shabby!

Other than that…we got A PUPPY! So much for no major life changes this year. 😉 That might explain part of why our expenses went up this month. Looks like I will be adding a budget line item for the Bacon Pup! My goal this month is to start using the budget categories in Mint.com again to get an idea of what they all are.

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Taxes have been done!

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On a Friday (Jan 23rd), I got my W-2. I spent the next day, Saturday morning, doing my taxes. It was not crazy like last year, when I owed over $2500 (see “ouch, my taxes!“). Nope, not so bad at all. This year I owed Maryland $216 and actually got a $24 REFUND from the feds! Say, what!

It was amazing how quickly my returns were accepted too, when you do them as early as the end of January. Within half an hour of submitting them, they were both accepted. I just checked my account yesterday, and saw that within a week, I got my huge $24 refund (Jan 30th).

Not too shabby at all. Next January, I am looking forward to seeing what our tax situation will be like, since we are getting married and that’s supposed to come with all kinds of tax benefits right? Spouses with benefits! 😉

ouch, my taxes!

I am a sad, sad panda. 😦

taxes owed

Everyone is all like “Why are you waiting til the last minute to do your taxes?”

Well, if you owed as much as I did, you would wait until the last minute to pay it too! It took less than an hour to do them, so I wasn’t ever in danger of not doing them on time…I was just procrastinating on paying out over $2,000. 😦

Why so much, you ask? Well, I started a new job last year and ended up making much more than I had before. Over $33k more actually. But my taxes also went up about $8,400, so my take-home increase was almost $25k. A nice chunk of change that has helped immensely with paying off the student loans and consumer debt! There was a good amount of bonus money involved, and from what I gather, the bonus money was not taxed as much as it should’ve been. That’s why I owe over $2500.

Luckily I’ve been planning for this huge expense since getting my W-2 forms back at the end of January. I was able to deduct some moving expenses, at least, and so my federal amount owed was reduced a bit, but then there were the state taxes. ARGHHH!

So basically, my emergency fund is being nearly wiped out again. But that was part of the plan. I will grow it back slowly, and I think I’ll still be able to contribute $1500 this month to the student loans. I had really hoped I would be able to start increasing that amount (to a whopping $1900) but that will have to wait. Steady $1500 payments are pretty damn good, especially compared to no payments at all, like in February!

How’d everyone’s taxes go? Anyone else owe BIG? 😦

a planned STALL in debt repayment :(

So just as I’m starting to pick up some great momentum in the debt repayment department (try saying that 10x fast!), that progress is going to be put completely on hold for the next few months…hopefully two months at the most, or even just a month and a half!

March/April probably wasn’t the best time to schedule a move to a new place as we are doing a little vacation/race trip to New Orleans and Florida the first weekend of April…AND I probably owe $2000+ in taxes on April 15th. 😦 So a couple days ago I just put down a big security deposit of $1500 (which is more than the $600 I put down for our current digs, all of which we hope to get refunded), in addition to moving expenses and the “overlapping rent” while we give ourselves time to move things 5 miles up the street.

Luckily we bought our plane tickets for the trip already (just need hotel accommodations which will be split with friends). Also March is an “extra paycheck” month, and this Friday will be my first paycheck post-10% raise. Mr. Bacon also realizes we don’t need to hire movers, maybe just a small moving truck for the couches, bed, and big bookcase we have. Since we have several weekends of “overlapping rent”, that gives us time to move the smaller things a little at a time. I also have over $2000 in the emergency fund, and it looks like it’s time to pull some of that money out.

I’m also 4 months ahead on the portion of the Sallie Mae loans with a higher interest rate, so I cancelled my automatic debit payments for that until I get back on track. (Unfortunately I then realized that this removes the 0.25% interest rate deduction for automatic debit, but I’ll get back on that program ASAP.) So the next couple months, I’ll only be paying the minimum of $242 for the lower interest loans so that I have more cash to pay for these moving expenses and taxes.

This of course means the possibility that my total loan amount may actually go UP about $60 this month, as I’ve been paying about $300 in interest each month. We’ll have to see. I’m hoping it will only be February and part of March I have to do this, and that I can still put at least $1000 down in March. Then I’ll get completely back on track in April!

In the meantime, I realize I’m lucky to have a job and income that allows me to move my money around like this, and I know I’m still ahead of my original uber-conservative game plan…for now. Being a couple months behind will put me behind that original game plan, but I can play catch up once we get over this hump. More income + decreased expenses means I can contribute more, about a $1900 decrease in debt each month (more than the original $1500), which will have me back on track to be under the $80k mark around July.

Anyone else have to pull out some emergency funds and temporarily stop debt repayment?

No student loan interest deduction :'(

So I got my W-2’s back and was really excited about doing my taxes. My coworkers thought I was nuts. I usually get a big refund, that’s why I’m excited! But. Then. This may be the year I owe big. Huge sad face. 😦 😦 😦

On the plus side, I’m making more than I ever have. On the other hand, it bumps me into a new tax bracket. More than the $75,000 threshold where you can deduct any student loan interest!!! Wah!

So….I have yet to punch in the numbers officially (I’ve always done my own taxes) but a simple online tax calculator estimated that I would owe $2300 or so. Wah! I hope it’s wrong!!!

Anyone do their taxes yet? Getting a refund or owing money??