5 Unfortunate Facts About Self-Employment

boss mugAs most people know, I left my stable, full-time job to pursue self-employment in April of 2013.

The fact that I was able to quit was a dream-come-true at the time.  I truly liked my old job at the mortuary, but working for someone else got old- and fast.  I had always dreamed of being the boss lady- creating my own schedule and succeeding or failing on my own terms.  And now, here I am, doing exactly that.

And on most days, it rocks. [Read more…]

5 Constructive Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

tax refundA few weeks ago, I admitted that I overpaid my taxes for 2013 and would be getting almost $6,500 back.  Ugh. Well, it landed in my bank account a few weeks ago and we did some really boring things with it.  Brace yourselves.  This is what we did: [Read more…]

How Would You Spend $6,500?

uncle samAs many of you know, 2013 was my first year of self-employment.  And for the most part, it’s been awesome.  I made plenty of money, did all kinds of fun jobs, and had my writing featured in places like Lifehacker and Fox News.  It’s been epic.  But, despite all of my successes, I managed to roll out one epic fail.  It’s confession time, folks, and I share this shameful admission with a heavy heart.

So here it is…..*cue tears* [Read more…]

Prepare your Taxes Using FreeTaxUSA ….and a Giveaway

taxesThe holidays are long gone, we’re now well into the month of February.  If you’re like most people, now is the time to start preparing and filing your taxes.  By now you should have received all of your tax documents from the previous year and organized your donation and expense receipts.  If you’re looking for a place to file your taxes, check out FreeTaxUSA. [Read more…]

I Just Wrote a Check for $3,500…

I just wrote a check for $3,500.....Yes, folks.  You heard it.  I just wrote a check for 3,500 smackaroos…and it wasn’t for anything awesome like a vacation to Aruba or a hot tub for my back deck.  Unfortunately, the $3,500 check I just wrote was the June 15th installment of my personal income taxes.  What’s even worse is that the $3,500 I just paid in is ON TOP of the hundreds of dollars we’ve been withholding from Greg’s paychecks every month.  Have you ever heard the saying “mo’ money, mo’ problems?”  Although I’m only making a moderate salary as a freelancer, I’m still feeling slightly resentful about the money I just paid in.  When I think of how many freelance jobs I did to earn $3,500, my brain actually hurts. That’s a lot of freaking jobs, people!   Becoming self-employed made me feel like a rebel without a cause, but paying income taxes makes me feel like I’m not really the one in charge.  I no longer have a boss, but I’m still a slave to the man…..and I don’t like it at all.

However, I do think that it’s weird that I’ve never felt angry about paying taxes before.  After all, I’ve been paying income taxes for over fifteen years.  And honestly, I hadn’t thought much of it until now.  So, why does writing a check for my taxes feel so different? [Read more…]

Five Constructive Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund


Constructive Ways to Spend Your Tax RefundAccording to the Internal Revenue Service, the average tax return in the U.S. in 2012 was about $2,700.  For most people, 2,700 bucks is a significant amount of money.  And in recent weeks, I’ve seen multiple Facebook posts proclaiming the giant windfall of cash that people were so darn excited to have.  “I spent my tax refund on a flat screen TV!”     “I can’t wait to get my tax refund and buy some new furniture!”  Ummm…I don’t get it.  It’s your money.  You didn’t win the lottery.  You just spent your own money on stuff, right?  But I digress.

I’ve often asked myself why anyone would want to forgo that much money out of their paycheck throughout the year.  I am one greedy bastard, and I try to squeeze all of the money out of mine that I possibly can.  On the other hand, I really do think it’s more complicated than that.  I, myself, have even had a difficult time estimating what my taxes will be in any given year.  Ours can be complicated and include variable items like rental income, investment income, and the often unpredictable freelance income.  A few years ago, we got back nearly $3,500 in our federal tax refund.  Horrified, we changed our withholdings immediately.  Even after making some changes, we still got back around $1,200 this year.  Since we are free of consumer debt and have a hefty emergency fund, we chose to throw our tax refund into our vacation fund.  Here are some other wise uses for your tax refund: [Read more…]