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I Lost My Money

April 9, 2014


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6355220839_982b1263d5_zIt’s that time of year again, the time when people find out if they over-paid or under-paid their federal and state governments. It can be a blessing for some and a curse for others.

I finally got a call from my accountant at the end of March telling me that my tax returns were completed. When I met him that evening to sign my returns I found out the news: I was getting a $734 federal refund, but I  owed $130 into my state government. This was the smallest refund and biggest payment I’d ever had to make. I guess being a student has some advantages: for tax year 2012, I was only a student for half the year, but my return was MUCH, MUCH larger.

When I got the bill for my tax-prep in the mail a few days later, I was shocked. $445?! Holy smokes! After paying the state and my tax-prep bill, I only got a net of $159 back.

Time for some full disclosure: I have no record of where this $159 went. But I have some ideas – I went out to eat twice and used my debit card, I re-loaded my Starbucks card, I got a snack and drink during Happy Hour on the way to my weekend job, and I bought an E-book from Amazon. I guess I’m a bad PF blogger… I didn’t track my money and I didn’t do with that money what I said I was going to. (increase savings, pay off debt)

The good news is I didn’t completely blow my budget for April. The bad news, I don’t have much of that tax refund money left and since I’m not sure if I have any more pending transactions, I have to wait a few days to see if any others go through.

I’m human and I made a mistake, I know it happens, but I’m mad at myself. I spent money mindlessly! This is one of the biggest habits I started this blog to change. To successfully get out and stay out of debt, I believe you cannot spend money mindlessly.

What happens now? Now, I have to pick myself up, get back on the band-wagon and track all of my purchases. I will mostly likely not be getting any additional big chunks of money this year, so I HAVE to be careful with what I spend.

I know this will likely not be the last time along my journey to debt-freedom that I fall off the wagon and make some poor spending choices, but I have to remember that 2 steps back still doesn’t put me behind where I started, as long as the backward movement stops there.

What money mistakes have you made along your journey? What have you learned along the way?

Note: I didn’t meditate last night… I forgot 🙁 Hoping to start tonight?!

Check out my Pick My Brain page if you need help balancing your budget!

Photo courtesy of: 401(K) 2012

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7 responses to “I Lost My Money

  1. Hi Shoe!

    We all have our ups and downs when it comes to money. I am still in the early stages of trying to track my own spending and some days I am right on top of it all, and some times days go by and I have completely forgotten to track and I get down and out and somehow go and spend money on needless makeup (like yesterday with the MAC store :S ). I guess the important thing is to do as best as you can. Like you said in your post, “Get back on the band wagon.” I look forward to your next posting.

    Jen

    1. Hi Jen! I’m glad you understand the ups and downs that comes with tracking spending and paying off debt. It is a long, tough road. I hope you at least enjoy your MAC makeup 🙂 Thanks for checking in and sending encouragement!

  2. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a blip in terms of mindless spending. I do it now and then with top up food shopping. I go out for milk and come back with milk, bread, cheese, wine, sausages, toiletries, stationery and much more! The best thing is to just keep going and don’t beat yourself up about it. 🙂

  3. Wow! What a large tax prep bill! Mine have only cost less than $200 ever, and I’m self employed so there’s a schedule C that’s involved. I would shop around for a different accountant. Sorry if I sound preachy, but I hate to see people paying more than they need to.

    1. Lots of things are high priced here, small town America and no competition. Also, mines rather high due to my home business having to be itemized and my farm income and expenses also having to be itemized. On top of those I also have the income from my “regular” job and my weekend part-time job. It’s a lot to sort through… I am thinking about finding someone different for next year, but am worried about finding one of quality in my small town.

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