By: Revanche

February Snapshot

March 2, 2010

February was a tumultuous financial month, and I’m surprised that there was still some minimal progress made in the net worth growth. If anything I semi-hinted at yesterday pans out, March will be equally tempestuous with lots of outflow and scurrying to create income to cover it.  Which means: blog fodder! 

Until then, my vow of Don’t Jinx Yourself pretty much means I’m keeping mum on a lot of fronts. 

Taxes are filed — our accountant rose to the occasion and saved me from having to deal with my family’s financial complications.  I always mean well but tax time is that time of the year I writhe in agony over dissecting my financial life, entangled with my family’s, and how that means I have to untangle their finances.  It’s the one time I let my emotions get the better of me and ostrich myself with regards to money matters.  
[By “rose to the occasion” I mean the family accountant called my dad with some tax suggestions before I asked the questions, and won himself my business for another year. I’m filing Head of Household again so that buys me a couple extra thousand in standard deductions and exemptions.] 
Between the much reduced income stream, unemployment income (taxes were withheld), HOH filing and having prepaid a lot more in taxes than necessary, my federal effective tax rate is 10.7% and I’m expecting a rather large refund of nearly $1500.  Combined with the less-large state refund, I’m going to have a nice lump sum in the Taxes nest egg.  That’ll become my Car nest egg.  I’ve whined on Twitter about hating shopping for a used car, and the next worse thing to that is having to finance a car.
Of course the PF wisdom is to always avoid a refund but at the end of 2008, I was more concerned about having to pay taxes (which is why I saved cash for it) and paying penalties to boot (hence the extra withholding).  It wasn’t worth adjusting partway through the year once we found out that I wasn’t going to be employed post Q3 2009. 
This month could have been a lot worse.  

3 Responses to “February Snapshot”

  1. As a recent veteran of the used car trenches, you have my sympathy.

    I agree that it is better to give the government a big, interest-free loan than it is to pay a penalty (especially given today’s interest rates). Just because it is the conventional wisdom doesn’t make it right for your specific circumstances, and kudos to you for being able to prioritize.

  2. A gain is a gain is a GAIN! Good job!

  3. Revanche says:

    @The Lost Goat: What did you end up getting?

    And thanks, I didn’t have the time or inclination to run the numbers during preparations for a layoff of all things, so it worked out for the best this way.

    @Investing Newbie: I’m glad I always have at least one person scolding me about pooh-poohing gains. 🙂 Thanks!

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