Out of the Rabbit Hole

My last post was 318 days ago. What in the actual f@$# was I doing for 318 days? Desperately climbing out of this hollow place of despair also known as the rabbit hole.

The duration of my visits depends on how much I over-commit myself to people and/or projects. Managing my own mental health and the war within, trying to be a good human towards others, and striving to achieve my goals, all while trying to find my niche in this chaos so I can be a somewhat dependable being and contributing member of society, has left me wanting to nap to avoid the anxiety that comes with it all.

Alas, I pressed on and checked off many of my tasks from 30 Days of Projects. Due to certain projects changing while the rest took more days than anticipated – most notably Marie Kondo-ing the sh** out of my condo, the not-so-fun renegotiation of household bills, and putting the final touches on my office – I have been delayed on the last 10 projects on my list. Interestingly enough, my husband and I decided to sell our condo and randomly move to either Florida (and be closer to my seester Meriel but abandon seester Karo) or Baltimore to live in a high-rise overlooking the Harbor and the Ravens stadium even though I’m not a Ravens fan. Instead our second home is a cozy 1973 single-family house very much separated from our neighbors with lots of green space and much closer to seester Karo. In other words, and because I must be a glutton for punishment, I have a new set of projects. This time, however, I do not intend to return to that rabbit hole.

P.S. I did return to the dark side, or at least my hair color did.

Taxes, Tips, and Tantrums

I must’ve angered the tax gods because I’m still unable to cross this damned project off my list. What’s taking me so long? I always itemize my deductions, a task that will always and forever be tedious. Nonetheless, in the adult world, it’s important to itemize your deductions to see if itemizing or taking the standard deduction will benefit you. Feel free to check out Nerd Wallet’s blog on Itemized Deductions if you want to learn more.

Another added delay is due to my decision to use the TurboTax Live Self-Employed ($199.99 or $179.99 + 2% cash back through Ebates) option. Once you complete all the requested information and provide blood and your firstborn child, you will have the option of scheduling a live meeting with a CPA/EA to review your taxes before submitting, which is comforting for someone who is recently unemployed and has a small business and other complex tax situations.

I should note that this is my first time meeting with a CPA or EA via the web, so I’ll make sure to report back tomorrow. I can, however, vouch for the EA with TurboTax’s Max Audit Defense, who assisted the Mister and myself during a stressful tax review of our 2016 returns. Long story longer, during a 401k rollover, one of the two institutions we were working with inadvertently transposed some numbers, and we were staring at a pretty scary notice of:

Please remit XX dollars to Uncle Sam within the month, or we will slaughter you and your entire bloodline.

Thankfully, our superhero EA was more than empathetic each time I lost my shit on the phone.  He explained that he would (i) manage all correspondence with the IRS moving forward and that we should notify him if the IRS reached out; (ii) superhero EA would then review all documents and contact me with any additional needs and/or updates; (iii) after an eternity, the IRS would decide either (a) we don’t owe squat or (b) we owe a shit ton of $$$ + interest, which superhero EA would negotiate to the lowest amount possible. The end result? We didn’t owe a dime since I file/save pretty much EVERYTHING.

Looping back to the last delay, I received a Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit (thanks Maryland!). For Marylanders with student loans, each year you can apply for a tax credit to use towards your student loans. The only con is that those of you who e-file, like me, will need to mail in your MD taxes along with the Final Certificate of Approval that is mailed to you. How is this a con? Snail mail means state refunds will take a while to reach your pockets.

At any rate, the 64th Annual Taxing Games are upon us and I hope my tips will help others but please feel free to comment below with your own suggestions and/or experiences.

May the refunds be ever in your favour.

Unproductively Productive

Or productively unproductive…

Regardless of how one might perceive my productivity on the third day of my 30 Days of Projects campaign, I certainly worked a lot but did not accomplish what I intended to accomplish – my taxes. I wholeheartedly blame TurboTax as it didn’t auto-save the information I entered. It decided to time out when I ran downstairs to refill my sad and empty glass because GOD FORBID a human being get thirsty whilst entering her taxes.

Despite its flaws, I still love TurboTax and for those who love a bit of extra savings, if you use TurboTax via Ebates.com, you can get $20 off plus up to 7.5% back on Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed Editions.

Anyhoo, I’m 75% through this annual traumatic ordeal and hope to have a more productive update EOD 4/4/19.

Cheers.

When life hands you the wrong seminar, get a library card.

I had every intention of providing a thorough write-up on what I learned from a financial seminar I was to attend this evening; however, there was a mix-up with the events. Tonight’s seminar was on social security and medicare, not the savings and investment topics that initially caught my attention. Though these topics are important, by the time I reach the applicable age (whatever age that may be in the future), it’s likely that the laws and the programs themselves will have changed significantly, making Millennials like myself question whether we’ll even have access to those benefits – but I digress.

Consequently, I decided to tackle another project on my list: resolve my library card’s status – err, or lack thereof. And now that I have restored my MoCo library membership and gotten a bit of redemption as a self-proclaimed bookworm, I have also discovered some awesome services provided by MCPL:

  1. Free access to Lynda.com
  2.  Books for $1.00 thanks to the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, MD

Not only do I have a lovely new library card with all the incredible online educational tools, I’m the proud owner of 3 new books for the low, low price of $3.00 – all proof that when life hands you the wrong seminar, get a library card.

30 Days of Projects

April 1, 2019 is not only my first day of freedom from the corporate shackles but the commencement of finishing all of my unfinished projects. Inspired by a friend and former colleague, I aim to accomplish at least one project on each day of April. Today, I finally set up my new desk and reorganized my work space.

One down and only 29 more to go!