Saturday, February 14, 2009

Balancing Act

Constantly. Between three generations of women under (sort of) one roof. Life in general. Most recently I've been reminded of having to try to balance my life as I worked on my income tax forms. I'm caught, once again, in the middle. Not little enough to benefit from various credits and tax status thingies, yet not nearly enough to live comfortably. My self employment income, remarkably, was at about the same level as last year. Not bad considering the economy. Not good since the cost of living rose so drastically. But, better than I had anticipated for the year's total. Thus the problem. Add to that my very part-time, seasonal employment and taxes soared. Yep, put me in a whole new tax bracket. Something to remember next time around, balance it out with much higher deductions from my paycheck than this past year. May have to go for 20% to the state and federal, plus paying my quarterly estimated tax for the business. All this will equal trying to live on less when there's next to nothing to cut back on. Entrapped. Gradual growth doesn't compensate for higher taxes and greater living expenses. I keep hitting the 'just over the line' income brackets rather than the top end of any particular bracket.

Oh well, so again this year, I'm paying out while 'A' is getting a MASSIVE refund. I still haven't started on my mom's paperwork. So far I've convinced them that I deserve a dinner out, on the two of them, for acting as their personal accountant. And, in a gem of a moment 'A' offered to buy me a new living room sofa! Don't think I'll call her on that, but the offer was super nice.

Business seems to have gotten a boost. Two more tunings booked for next week. Booked that far ahead because of FIVE sets of keys this week (an unexpected set arrived today). And still working on the reed organ with a couple weeks left on that, I think.

The Statue of Liberty gracing this post is a painting by Andreas Prustel.


elizabeth down the street said...

You're scaring me... I don't dare start our taxes!

deb said...

Well, it was poor planning on my part. I over anticipated a decline on the self employment end of things and I underestimated the amount of hours (= more income) from the part time job. I special requested a set percentage, over and above the standard, to be taken from my paycheck. Still didn't cover it.

Anyway, be forewarned that MA has changed Form 1 a bit. I hate that. Just when I've got it down pat they go and change things.