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Taxes and Credit Card debt
I electronically filed taxes last night.

Before, I used to get back, oh, ${3 digits}. That's thanks to filing 0 exemptions, and having an extra $10 sent to state from every paycheck.

I still file 0 exemptions, except that now, i have mortage interest, property taxes, AND I tithe 10% (or more) of my salary. These are things I'm proud of. My refund is a lot larger.. in the ${4 digits}, combining federal and state. A lot of people get on my case: "hey, you're giving the government an interest-free loan!" ... well, good, they're giving me a penalty-free way of saving money on a consistent basis with outside controls.

I had intended to pay off the last bits of credit card debt (again, 3rd, 4th time) with this refund. Turns out, $refund == ($creditcarddebt +/- $50). Its that close. Awesome.

Leaves me wondering -- every time i've come out of debt before, and built up some savings, I've gone right back into debt again:
1st time: Bought Used Chevy Cavalier (in '95?)
2nd time: Bought Mobile Home (in '99?)
3rd time: Bought House (in '03)
Okay, not so bad. Each time was moving up the financial ladder a bit. Maybe the next time, i'll be buying a business or something. :]

Now that I'm coming back up to solvent again, I need to know what I'm going to do. I brainstormed last night, and this is what came out:
* Pay off Truck loan. (not much left).
* Increase payments towards house.
* Put aside $xxx/mo into something not-easily-liquidable (like CD's, that auto-roll-over. After 12 months, i'll have an option of cashing each CD out if emergencies arise.) Note: i've already tried the Stock Market and Mutual Funds -- its just too damned easy for me to decide to spend money. With a house -- i need/want to have like $4 to $10k set aside for bigger repairs -- like the furnace, or the roof.
* Be more conscientious of where I spend money -- like, go to Farmer's Markets a lot more. Range Free Chickens in Choppers.
* Increase tithe amount -- add other organizations in, like Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, or provide support to a child in another country. How many kids could I support in that way?

The general feeling is .. its not really my money. I'm just a sheperd of the Universe's fortune... (very grateful for this job, btw)... and its up to me to be responsible with it, to do things with it that furthers the Universe's plans/things that feel right, as opposed to being selfish and hoarding. Doesn't mean that I'm _not_ going to get a surround sound system, -- it means, i'll try to get a used one instead of a new one.

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Money makes my head hurt at times. lol

Good that your getting something back. I've ran the prelims for my situation, and I look to be owing in the $mid-3-digit-range. This is despite endless devotion for 401(K), Profit sharing, and Employee stock purchase plans. I used to make more and get back larger returns. So I can't figure this out. :-/

Feel free to sheppard some of the universe's money this way... hollow wants a second corvette! ;P

Hmm.. Request denied. Naughty Sheep. Baaaaa. :]
I'll be getting myself a 44-mpg-Jetta-Stationwagon-Diesel-Used long before I buy anybody else a car... ever again, anyway.

(yeah, I once bought somebody a car. Bad call -- people don't take care of cars given as gifts. They drove the car into the ground and gave it back to me. I ended up reselling the car back to the guy I bought it from for a net loss of $100.)

You mean you'd pick a jetta station wagon over a 400hp hunk of good old american muscle?! O_o

Well if it does anything persuade you, you have nothing to fear from me driving it "into the ground"... You should see how well I take care of the corvette I now... Washing and waxing the thing usually takes me anywhere from 3 to 5 HOURS and sometimes I even us a FIVE STAGE wax. Heck I paid $1200 just to have the front bumper cover repainted after I bought it because when I got it the bumper had a few little (and i mean little) scratches on it! So I promise if you sheppard me a new corvette (red or black C6 please) I will treat it better than I would treat a child of my own blood. Trust me, I'm a corvette owner and member of 2 corvette owner clubs...

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