I am the Queen of Procrastination, so it’s quite surprising that I have already completed and filed my taxes. This is the first year I’ve ever finished my taxes before the very late hours of April 14th (seriously!). But I know a lot of folks probably aren’t done with theirs yet, so I wanted to share a great article from one of my favorite personal finance blogs, Get Rich Slowly.
The article is called “The Truth About Tax Deductions” and it’s a guest post submitted by a CPA. The author, Greg Braun, does a great job of explaining how our drive to finagle every possible tax deduction can actually be counterproductive. Braun sums it up nicely by stating, “The problem is that saving on taxes usually amounts to spending cash, or worse, signing up for debt.”
Even if you’ve already filed your taxes, the article is worth a read for next year. It really makes you think about tax management and spending in a new way.
And just in case you’re wondering… I’m getting a tax refund of just under $1000 combined from my federal and state returns. If anyone else told me they were getting a tax refund, I would encourage them to save or invest the money. But I’m going to be a bit of a hypocrite and not follow my own advice. I have an empty bedroom in my house that I would really like to turn into a fully functioning home office, so I’m going to use my refund to buy a desk, bookcase, filing cabinet, and wall shelves.
Should I be saving the money instead? Yeah, there’s really no way to deny that my emergency savings fund is pretty meager at the moment. But I’m desperate for a quiet, dedicated workspace in my home. I know I will be more productive (and hopefully my HotFrugal posts will be much more frequent!) if I can sit down with my laptop somewhere other than on the couch in front of the TV.
I guess I should mention that I also tend to be the Queen of Rationalization, though usually it’s in the area of dessert. (Most people don’t understand that chocolate is a vegetable because it comes from a bean, so I have to explain that to them.) Anyway, it’s pretty difficult to live a HotFrugal lifestyle if you rationalize and make excuses for your spending. I’m going to go ahead and buy my office furniture, but I’m going to do it fully acknowledging that it is probably not the best financial move I could make.
C’est la vie.
(Hopefully the next post will end with the usual “viva la frugal!”)