Wednesday, April 12, 2017


So after weeks of austerity measures, we finally got our "real" taxes back (as opposed to my preliminary estimate).

Remember that Monopoly card that said "bank error in your favor, collect $xxx"? 

Essentially, that's what we got! 

Instead of writing a check for our usual insane amount PLUS $10k, we only have to write a check for our usual insane amount.  Which we were 100% prepared to do (we've owed about the same amount beyond withholding for about the last five years, maybe longer).

I looked over our return to try to see where I went wrong.  I was pretty much dead on through the entire calculation of income and our schedule A and deductions, but it looks like I made a significant error somehow in calculating our tax.  No idea how that happened, but that was the only line that seems to be significantly wrong on my draft compared to our pro. 

Oops!  I guess if I had to make a mistake, better to be implementing austerity measures and living lean for a month rather than going along as usual and then finding out two weeks before the money is due that we have to pay way more than we expected. 

Either way, sweet, sweet relief. 

I'm making a list in my head (well, no, it started in my head, now it's going into writing on the blog) of things I'd spend a "free" $10k on:

Travel!  Trips to see my brother, trips to San Fran, trips overseas, trips home.
Crown molding.  Our neighbors renovated a unit in our condo complex and I saw the finished product mid-Feb and I've been coveting crown molding ever since.
A bike.  Right now I'm only running to work one day a week.  If I had a bike, I'd definitely ride one day a week, and maybe I'd even use it on the weekends.
Lasik.  My eyes I think are almost done with the "age 40" change (as in, I probably need to get readers soon).  I've worn contacts at least 20 years, and I think I'd like to stop.  Not sure if they can fix my original issue (can't see far away) as well as my new issue (starting to not be able to see super up close). 
Mattress.  We got a mattress for our guest bedroom about a year ago, but we're still sleeping on a mattress older than our marriage (8 in a week!).  I think it's probably time for a new one, since I can't even remember when I got the mattress we have.  Anyone tried Casper?  I've heard a few people mention it.  Anyway, anytime I have a restless night lately, I blame it on the mattress.  But the "if it's over 8, it's time to replace" is probably just "big mattress" trying to keep us hooked...
Fridge.  Our fridge is fine, but it has lately started to kind of "hum" louder than before.  We should proactively replace so we have ample time to shop and we don't end up with a melted ice cream tragedy. 

But umm, actually, there's no "free" $10k and I have zero bonus money to spend.  Instead of having to take it out of savings, we'll just leave it there.  And the whole point of savings is to save it for when we need it, not to spend it on fun things like we would free money. 

Oh well, it was fun to dream! 


  1. We finally switched to a CPA this year. It just wasn't worth the time to do our own taxes anymore. And oddly, we didn't owe this year, mostly thanks to some state-specific deductions. Boy, is that a first. We haven't gotten a refund, however small, since I graduated from pharmacy school.

    1. You're so lucky! It's like you really do get the "free" money. We've used our current CPA for about 5 years, but I always do a rough estimate when I'm pulling things together to send him.

  2. this was a fun post! it's always nice to just dream about things! and "free" or truly FREE money that you can spend on whatever would definitely be fun. i need to buy a new washing machine...ugh. will have to wait until after my road trip home to Oregon next month, but it'll be happening...just have to deal with the laundromat for a little while longer. haha. what's your dream fridge by the way?

    1. Oooh, no idea on my dream fridge. I like counter depth and side-by-side, but I'm sure there are some really fancy ones. We'll probably hold on to ours until it quits (it's actually kind of sentimental, my grandpa gave me $1k to buy it when I bought the house 15+ years ago, and since he died last Fall, I'm even more reluctant to replace it, even though he never actually saw it).

  3. Awesome! So glad it worked out - and definitely laughed at the Monopoly joke!

    And isn't it funny how once you consider money 'gone' and then don't have to spent it you can start to justify expenditures you would otherwise wait or consider more carefully?

    As for LASIK, I don't think it is particularly good at multiple solutions ... I know it can't do astigmatism well and also adjust sight ... and when Lisa looked at it she already had bifocals and would still need glasses, so it was never worth it for her. But hey - worth at least having the conversation, right?

    Not sure if I mentioned it on your other post, but we enjoyed the benefits of having BOTH kids in college - more deductions. Still an order of magnitude less than we are paying, but it helped finance our 'spending money slush fund' for our trip :)

    1. Good info, I guess I can take Lasik off the list if I ever get free money for real. I think I have astigmatism, as well as being near-sighted and now becoming far-sighted. Maybe someday I'll confirm, but it's good to at least brace myself for my glasses/contact free dream life probably never becoming a reality.
      It's funny how deductions work. Nice to have more, but yeah, you're right, it's still really more that you're spending and you just get to deduct some. Can't wait to hear about and see your trip!

  4. Oh I'm so relieved for you. I always say if I was ever "Oprah rich" I would... If only?! We have the same mattress we bought in 2002 when we moved back to the states. I'm intrigued by the Casper mattresses, but I've heard good and bad. I read this recently:

    1. Interesting read, thanks for sharing. We live within 2 blocks of 3 traditional mattress stores so that would probably be our inclination, though I like the idea of mail order.