Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Making Money is Expensive

So last year around this time, I was super excited because I was getting all this money back from the government! If you scroll down to the end of that post, you'll notice a little exchange between blog-reader Tim and I with him warning me about this years tax possibilities.

Damn him for being right!

This year, I was all excited about doing my taxes! (foolish I was). I sat down with a big smile on my face, fired up Turbo Tax, and started dialing in some serious numbers!

High Interest Bank Earnings: Yea!
Mutual Fund Dividends: Woohoo!
Blog income: My piggy bank is jingling!
Salary: Cha-Ching! etc etc etc.

I was flying through, getting even more excited as I saw all the money I made last year. Now for deductions!

Charitable Contributions: Yes...Cancer donation plus Salvation Army.
Renters Deduction: Do not qualify
Phone Deduction: Do not qualify
Student Deduction: No longer qualify

Hmm...not going so well anymore. I was still excited as I got to the end with and hit the calculate button! Last year a big green number popped up with my tax returns. This year, a big RED number popped up. Hmmm...they must have changed the color scheme this year, right?

I double check, and...WHAT!?!!? I OWE money!? I went back through my taxes three more times, and yes, it was true. My excitement was gone, and so was my money. I couldn't believe it! It seems like everyone I know is getting money back except for ME! Not only am I getting NOTHING back, but I'm actually PAYING to both the federal government, and state of California!

Making money is expensive. I made considerably more than last year, and man am I paying the price. I suppose maybe I should hope that I'm paying a lot MORE next year because that'll mean that I'm doing pretty well, right? Yes, I'm an optimist by nature :)

But that's not where the money drainage ends! Oh no. A couple of weeks ago, I take my car in for a "simple" $20 oil change and a slightly squeaky engine. Four Hundred dollars later I walk away with new oil and no squeak.


It's always difficult, because they call you up after you've dropped the car off, tell you all the crazy stuff they found wrong, and you have to decide on the spot what to do! I know nothing about cars, so I'm probably a prime target to get swindled.

In retrospect, I investigated the repairs, and I don't think I got taken too bad...although the cabin air filter replacement (basically the filter for the AC) was probably not necessary...oh well, lesson learned.

The four hundred dollars however was such a thorn in my side though, because I just the week before spent some $700 on San Diego Chargers season tickets! As I've mentioned before, I hate the Chargers, but I go to about two or three games a season (I'm a Chiefs fan) and sell off the rest at a profit. I suppose I'll get a lot of that money back, but it's still money out of my bank account NOW!

And then, just yesterday, I splurged for plain tickets to Austin Texas! My good buddy, and fellow troublemaker/model/adventurer Jeff lives there now, so I decided it's time to raid his new house.

And of all three of these expenses, the Austin trip is the cheapest! So, I think I'm going to forgo major car repairs from now on, and go globe trotting instead! Now I just need to decided on something fun to spend my $600 tax rebate check on :)

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