Carnival Of Personal Finance, And Why I Do Our Taxes Myself

The Carnival of Personal Finance is live over at Budgets Are Sexy.  There are tons of great articles, but here are some of my favorites this week:

Money Beagle asks if the bank forced you to sign your mortgage.  Prepared to get fired up – there’s lots of discussion in the comments too.

You Have More Than You Think explains how friends don’t make friends overspend, when it comes to weddings.  My husband and I got married on top of a mountain in our hiking clothes.  I love this article!

No Debt Plan explains why doing your own taxes is a good idea.  I’ve been doing my own taxes for years.  Back in the day, it was simple – just a W2 and a 1040EZ, and I was all set.  I would do my own, and my husband’s (back before we were married) in about an hour each year.  Then we became self-employed and our taxes got much more complicated.  Instead of one W2 for each of us, we had about ten 1099s each, and tons of business expenses.  A few years later, we incorporated our business, and I had to contend with a corporate tax return, in addition to our personal return.  I thought about throwing in the towel and going to an accountant.  But I have a strong DIY nature, and more importantly, I wanted to really understand what the heck was going on with our taxes.  I didn’t want to just dump a bunch of paperwork off at the accountant’s office and come back a few weeks later to sign our returns.  So I poured over the tax laws, reading and re-reading things until they made sense.  There were some frustrating moments, for sure.  But I just finished our 2009 taxes, and it does seem to get easier every year.  I now have a very solid understanding of tax laws pertaining to an S-Corp (granted, only for our particular situation, where we have no employees – but hey, I’m not doing anybody else’s taxes, so that’s really all I need to understand).  I know how various expenses will impact our taxes, and I understand how the structure of our business and compensation impacts our personal return.  Yes, I have devoted a lot of hours to taxes over the years, but the knowledge I have gained seems well worth it to me.

Check out the carnival when you get a chance – I’m sure you’ll find lots of interesting reading.

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  1. AD says

    We’re building a straw bale house, as I think I’ve mentioned. Our architect gave us final construction documents two weeks ago, and we started to move forward with the loan process. Only I found out that I can’t quit my job until the house is built for loan purposes (my goal is to expand my freelance work this year and leave my job). Fine, I could deal. But then we needed 20% for the total value of land plus house. We have a lot of equity in our land, but we don’t have enough to cover 20% of land and house, so we’d have to wait several months before we could start to build. The more inspections and documents and hoops we were going to have to jump through to satisfy the bank, the more I toyed with the idea of paying in cash as we can. I think it will take about 5 years to finish the build, and waiting will save us $300K in interest.

    Right now we live in a double wide. It’s not luxurious, but we’ve made it pretty nice. I’d love to be in our house ASAP, but we’re in a very fortunate position to not pay rent, and I think we’d be stupid not to take advantage of that. Anyway, I thought about your blog when we finally made the decision. I knew FB would be proud! :)

  2. FrugalBabe says

    Wow, AD, I’m impressed! I share your love of straw bale houses, and I’m sure yours will be fantastic when it’s all done. But being able to quit your job on your own terms instead of waiting until a bank says you can is worth a lot. Can’t wait to hear all about your project once it gets underway. You’re going to have a great house and a whole lot less debt than most people do. Congrats!

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