It’s tax season, which means it’s critical that you get organized, remember to include all your charitable donations and other write-offs, and generally act like a responsible adult.
As a serious adult, I kept organized in 2015 using a handy folder for my tax-related documents:
Throughout the year, I’d toss any donation receipts from Goodwill, receipts from medical checkups I had, or important tax-related documents into the folder, which I kept in my paperwork box. That way, when the time came I could just go to the folder instead of sorting through every nook and cranny trying to find receipts or documents.
I did my own taxes using Turbo Tax, and received both a federal and state refund. There’s a lot of discussion on budget blogs/vlogs about what to do with your tax refund, if it’s better to devote it to savings, or if it’s the ideal time to #treatyoself. I decided to allocate my tax return as follows:
- 17% to my weekly flex fund for normal expenses (which took a hit recently because of gifts, a short weekend getaway and a work trip to DC which wiped out my normally adequate weekly budget)
- 22% to my emergency fund
- 22% to my travel fund
- 37% to my regular checking account (to help finish off the last expenses for our home renovations)
So. Not exactly glamorous, but indirectly it is! We had some amazing sushi on our weekend getaway, and I had delicious Russian and Indian food in DC. I was glad to bring some goodies from Hawaii to friends, and getting the tax refund to boost my accounts back makes me feel more secure after the additional expenses. Both my emergency fund and travel fund have taken a hit over the past months due to the home renovations running over budget– I raided both accounts to cover those expenses. I think getting my tax refund came at a perfect time for me, to help my accounts have more of a buffer and get the ball rolling for a trip later this year that will demand quite a lot of cash– we’re planning on a 2 1/2 week trip to Europe!
Good luck on your own tax journey and here’s hoping you’ll also have the fun task of deciding where to put a hefty refund check.