Monthly Goal due 3/31: Taxes & More

Here are my financial goals for March (or what’s left of it):

1) File taxes for myself and the missus. I sent in the many rebates for the TaxCut Deluxe tax prep software that I bought. Will need to do 1 joint Federal and multiple state returns due to us being married mid-year. Not looking forward to it.

2) Looking forward, do the research in order to find the right amount of tax withholding per paycheck in order to pay as little taxes during the year as possible without penalties and avoid giving out an interest-free loan to the IRS. Especially since I wait until March to do my taxes!

3) At least install the Microsoft Money 2005 software that I bought along with the tax stuff, and poke around a bit. I’ve done this once before a few years back, and I just got frustrated and gave up. I’ve never actually worked out a monthly budget. April’s goal will probably be to at least get a grasp of where all my money goes. Feels daunting.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    For your item #2, be sure to start with the IRS’s own withholding calculator, http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96196,00.html, which helps you calculate your tax liability for 2005 and even tells you how many withholdings to claim on your w4.

  2. Yeah, the IRS’s calculator is quite helpful…and takes into account where you are in taxes at the point you fill it out (just remember to do it again next Jan) — see my post on January Paycheck maintenance (but my experience has a homeowner bent)

    As far as a budget…I am in a similar boat, though I have done the “data gathering” (aka Quicken) but have not yet completed any “analysis”. I’m currently noodling with “the 60% solution” as a simple way to just get started.

    Good luck!

  3. I have been using Microsoft Money for some time and it’s been pretty helpful. The only thing is you must regularly update your accounts or else you’ll have a lot of adjustments and it’ll become useless info.

    Money is espeically helpful when you need to keep track of many accounts (banks, investments, debts, etc). I find the reports very useful, especially the Monthly Income and Expenses, and there’s where software tracking really shines. I can compare my income and spendings from month to month and see where I have spent too much.

    Microsoft Money, like any other money mgmt software, takes a while to set up, but once you get familiar with it and use it on a daily basis, you’ll swear by it.

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