Balance and Taxes

Nothing of great importance is going on for me right now (that I’m willing to talk about here, anyway). I am steadily chipping away at the Grove membership manual that has been sorely lacking, as well as my CTP. I do a few web projects now and then for my Grove and for ADF, and I make sure I have personal time to just enjoy. Whether this is by watching deer outside with dad or going through boxes in the basement. The key thing for me is to find a balance between duties and life. For some reason people always seem to think I am overwhelmed or too busy with projects. That is simply not the case. I balance my life out very well. I reached a high point of busyness when I was taking my tax class, but that has long been over. I change tasks that I work on now and then, usually because I want to ride the “motivation” for a certain project until it runs out. Then I will move on to a different one. This works for me. I don’t have to complete everything right away, and I’m certainly not taking on anything new (unless it’s freelance work for extra $).

Speaking of taxes, I did get my return back on Friday. I got $1606 back, $114 of which went to state because of some of my freelance work. PA also has what is known as “Local” taxes, which I saved up $600 for throughout the year since work does not take out local taxes. I also spent $200 on some new clothes which was sorely needed as my duct tape was not holding up anymore 🙂 The rest went to debt, and to starting my dad up his own checking account so I can see if switching him to that instead of credit will help us balance out our financial relationship some. On average he puts about $900 on my credit card, which is about what I pay into it every month, so this was clearly not working.

And before someone preaches to me about getting money back for taxes……I am not stupid. I know what taxes are. But I prefer not to “owe” taxes, I claim one of my exemptions and that is it. I do not care about your opinion on this matter.

I have not had much desire to blog about much of anything lately. I’m note entirely sure why. I’ve had things to write about, but most are summed up quickly and tweeted. I suppose twitter is taking away most of my blogging.

Financial Karma, Taxes, and Guinea Fowl

I decided to loan a friend $95 to get a discount on something that was important to him. I know he’ll pay me back as soon as he is able, and I mostly did it because I wanted some good financial karma right now. Those that give will receive, afterall.

Dad has also gotten some baby keets (Guinea fowl), so we will be having some tick eating ugly birds in a couple months. I am excited 🙂 I’ve missed having them.

I checked my escrow account and saw that my taxes were paid on time, so I was able to get the $100 or so discount for paying early. I’m still going to call and confirm the tax collector that it was received just for my own peace of mind.

I’m very excited for the coming months. So many possibilities 🙂

First Property Tax and Escrow

I received my first tax notice for Fiscal 2009 on Friday. I wasn’t sure what it was at first and then realized that in PA you have to forward your property tax bills to your mortgage holder to pay out of your escrow account if you have one, which I do.

Right now my escrow account has like $1600 in it, and this bill is for $503.97 if paid by April 30th, which is a 2% discount. Normal price is $514.26 if you pay by June 30th, and the penalty price is $565.69 if I pay by December 2009. Naturally I want the discount so I mailed this off Monday.

I’m very very new to property taxes and escrow though, being as this is my first time owning property. I’m curious, does the $1600 currently in my escrow account mean that I have over $1,000 overpaid in it? Or should I expect another tax bill soon for some other crazy PA tax that would take over the $1,000. Or do they split property tax bills into several payments throughout the year and this is just the first quarter or something? And even so, I’m still paying into my escrow account every month, so the account is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger, so that wouldn’t make sense.

These may just be questions for my mortgage company, but if anyone has any insight, I’d be all the appreciative for it.

Silly PA taxes.

I’m going to set up a reminder on April 1st to verify the payment was received from my mortgage company because 1. I don’t trust mortgage companies to do anything right, and 2. The tax collector does not send a receipt unless you mail a stamped addressed envelop with the payment, which I can’t because I’m not sending the payment.

Taxes 2009 and War on Ice

Total tax return for this year: $9677

But that’s with the first-time home-buyer tax credit of $7500, otherwise it’d just be a little over $2k.

Normally I wouldn’t have taken the credit, but since it’s an interest free loan, and I wanted to pay off my car that is -not- an interest free loan, I figured it would be a good trade off. Especially when I’m trying to pay off my fathers loan this year as well. Then all interest debt is gone except the house.

$6,000 is paying off the mustang. I’m going to ask for a pay-off quote though so we’ll see how much less it might be.

$775 is going towards paying four more people that donated money to me and my father for our down payment.

The remaining $2900 is going towards my father’s loan (though I have $140 to pay for PA local taxes). I’ll update the amount left on that at the beginning of March when I post my monthly report again. And with the car paid off, my car payments will be going straight to that balance. We might actually have it paid off in June 🙂

I may take a little bit and buy some clothes or a book or something, but most of it will be going towards the loan.

Then it’s complete focus on paying back the last donator! Slowly but surely, I’m getting there 🙂

In other news, I completely busted my ass on ice tonight while walking out to the car. I mean instant firey pain to my knee the moment I hit. It’s completely numb now from swelling and I have ice on it which just makes it feel even more ridiculous. I don’t know what I’m going to feel like in the morning. I doubt anything’s broken, it’s just not happy.

Saturday Job, Next Year

So I talked to my Aunt about working for the tax company she manages, and we’re going to look into that as a possibly second job -next- year. There is a tax course I have to take in order to prepare to answer questions about all sorts of situations regarding taxes, which I will be taking this fall. My cousin Steph is going to take it with me so I’m really looking forward to that.

Anything to diversify my skill-set and get a leg in the “financial bracket” of the work force 🙂 That’ll put at least 5 different types of jobs under my belt that I have experience with should I ever need to fall back on one.

Now if I can only get into more programming 🙂