Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Taxes are like a late Christmas gift from Uncle Sam"....I call bull!

"Taxes are like a late Christmas gift from Uncle Sam", that was something that someone said on the birth board that I am on. The post continued to fill with people agreeing and talking about how much money they were getting back and all the things they would be spending it on. We have never get as much as it seems others get back. I never really understood how people could get back more than they pay in, but I also never really read up on the different credits out there or tax laws. This year was my first time evening hearing about the Earned Income Credit which is what most of the people on the posts were talking about as their saving grace.

Anyways, I was hoping we would get back something like maybe a grand or two just so I can put in my savings account so that come time for baby I wouldn't have to stress as much about my leave and the possibility of leave without pay. We don't get paid maternity leave and borrowing advanced leave is really going to leave me stuck if I plan on leaving the agency in the next three years. I knew that we had done everything right this year. We didn't have really any extra income, nothing to claim taxes on, or anything like that. I had a daycare bill to write off, the last bit of my school, our mortgage and different things I thought that would really help us.

Sunday night I was getting impatient, especially knowing that people were getting their money back and seeing all the different things they were doing. All I kept thinking was how nice it was going to be to have a tiny cushion to rely on. I decided to throw everything quickly into Turbotax just so I could see a round about. I got halfway through and it showed we were owing so I just quit and knew my lady would work her magic. Last year Turbotax left me owning like $6,000 because of some stocks that were sold for closing costs on the house. She ended up looking into it and doing the math and got it down to $295 that I ended up owing Federal.

I had everything ready and printed off. I have every copy of check I had written. I had donation receipts. I had spreadsheets organizing everything for my businesses and I also had everything neatly filed and typed out. This was going to be an easy appointment!

What I was not prepared for was finding out that even though everything was in order, we would end up owing big money in the end. We both claimed zero on our paychecks for witholdings, I donated a lot in both cash and clothing, and even my businesses were both considered a wash since I had way more to deduct then I made. I just didn't understand! She went over everything over and over again seeing where the errors were and what was different from last year. The biggest thing was the amount we paid for interest on our mortgage. Our old house was an interest first loan and was at 7.8% so that meant about $15,000 was paid in to interest each year. This loan we have now has a lower interest rate and no longer a crazy interest first loan. She said that together we make "too much money" and it put us in a different tax bracket so we pay higher taxes, and there was nothing really "saving" us anymore to bring it down.

I went in thinking I would have some cushion in my account so I could stop stressing over the baby, but instead with the little I get back from state, I am still $1400 in the hole.

It makes me sick! It makes me beyond angry! It makes me jealous! We do everything right, we both work hard and have jobs. We have great credit and no outstanding bills. We both have credit card debt, but we are working on it. Neither of us have real savings account. In fact, Hailey's account which is pretty much empty, still has more than mine. We both go paycheck to paycheck. And still I don't understand how we are getting screwed.

I give up so much by working! I hate my job and I hate the crazy commute. I hate the fact that I am gone before the sun comes up and come home after it goes down. I hate that Hailey has no down time in the evenings because we are rushing to make dinner and then getting everything ready for the next day. I hate that we don't get to spend much time together. I hate that I barely see my husband since we work different schedules. I hate that I miss school events and that she was disappointed no one was there to cheer her on for different events. I hate that everyone else got to experience Hailey's "firsts" because I had to work and even more I hate that history is about to repeat itself with the new baby.

We never got help. I never had financial aid. We never applied for WIC or for any type of discounts. We made ends meet when we didn't even have enough money to buy ground beef at foodlion for our daily spaghetti dinners (not by choice, just because sauce and noodles were cheap). While I was pregnant with Hailey, Mcdonalds was considered a treat and we could only order off the dollar menu. There was times we had no food in the house. After Hailey was born, I was making pretty much no money at my job and was basically going further into debt with each paycheck. We have worked hard to have what we have. We don't have fancy furniture in our house or a the ability to buy new things. We have hand me downs and stuff that people were throwing away, but we are happy with what we got and do our best to take care of it. And believe me I appreciate the ability to buy something here and there. We hardly ever eat out and going out to dinner is considered a real treat so it's not like we have huge fancy dinners. I can't tell you the last time I bought steak was because it's just too expensive. We've given up so much to provide for our family, but in the end we are still don't have much to show for it.

It just doesn't make sense to me. We try so hard and rely on no one and still come further in the hole in the end. It kills me that so many of my friends are stay at home mom's, and believe me I know it's not a glorious job and that it really is considered a job. I know it's not sleeping in late and sitting on the couch watching soaps. It's giving your all to your kids 100% of the day. And even knowing that, my heart breaks that this can't be me. I have had so many people tell me that I should just stay at home. Believe me, there is not an ounce in my body that wouldn't jump at that chance. But that's not in my cards. We barely make ends meet when something like a medical bill comes up or any expenses that are not in our typical month. There is no way around it. Besides canceling our cable, I have already cut out everything I can. My gym membership has been gone, I was getting a monthly stamp kit subscription and that's gone. Weight watchers is gone. Hulu is gone. I have refinanced my Jeep. It seriously is not a doable thing right now.

I think I have done enough crying in the past 24 hours so I should probably just end this here. Plus I need to remember to go down the Human Resources and switch my taxes to "single". This will take away about $70 I don't have to give up off each check, but hopefully next year we can break even. And what are we going to do about the debt we owe federal now? That's a good question! I am still working on coming up with the rest of the money for Hailey's dental bill due at the end of March.

I just got to face it........sometimes life is so unfair!

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