A certain portion of money has been withheld from my wages and other sources of income since I first started working. I was taught that it was an interest-free loan to my country. The upside was filing tax forms in April and receiving money back after deductions for taxes owed.
I reduced the withholding several years ago to compensate for the change in the economy. Cash in hand puts food on the table. At the same time, I like to have a cache in the government coffers. One reason is to cover any taxes that might be owed. The second reason is that it’s taken the role of the old-fashioned Christmas Savings Plan that banks used to offer. Interest on savings is abysmal. Some banks even charge for savings accounts with balances below a certain amount!
My tax return this year is targeted for two specific items.
1. Medical bills for my husband: A stack of unpaid charges for deductibles, medicine and other items related to healthcare is steadily growing. I hope to negotiate a settlement on the $2,000 and put the debt behind me. My husband ordered refills shortly before he died. The items could not be returned. I turned the items in to the sheriff’s department for disposal.
2. Renovating my home: Roofs were put on the house and outbuildings two years ago. It is now time to repaint the house, garage and four outbuildings. The front suffers from the weather. Icy cold winds and snow pelt it in the winter, while hot desert sun bakes the walls in the summer. There is some peeling that makes the home unsightly. Although painting is not my trade, renovation is how my husband and I survived while attending college. I know the proper steps and methods to produce a professional job.
It is important to wait until the right moment to buy paint as the savings are between 10 to 50 percent. Good quality exterior paint drops as low as $19 a gallon during certain times of the year. Average coverage per gallon is between 250 – 400 square feet. Once I measure the exterior surface of all the buildings I will have a better idea of how much to buy.
Past refunds were divided four ways: bills, savings and a slush fund for each of us to use however we wanted. This year’s return will bring a sense of peace and well being as the buildings get a fresh new look.