15 minute posts,  heavy on photos,  Shop Talk,  Slow News Day

Tax Prep Dun. Now the worrying…


I spent the day yesterday preparing to file my taxes. I hate this time of year so much. I don’t use any spreadsheets to track my income and out-going expenses so that means I have to sit down with my calculator and the tower of Pisa pile of receipts and add each one up by hand. This is a whole lot of fun for someone who claims to have Dyscalculia. Several times I had to take a break and tell myself over and over, You’re college educated. You can do this. and then practice breathing exercises for five minutes in the bathroom.


Every year I vow to start using ibank or quicken or some other program but every time I try to set up accounts I get so overwhelmed with all the tabs and buttons and possibilities I just end up giving up. I swear I’m going to do it this year though because there has to be a better way.

tax prep a years worth of income tracking

The only thing I have going for me is that I do like to be organized. I save everything and file it all away neatly like a squirrel. So that helps. I hope all my neatly typed reports get me points with the tax man because I think otherwise I’m going to be one big fat headache for him. Filing separately from Toby is causing a whole bunch of problems, naturally. I closed all of our joint accounts so now I can no longer access my handy dandy online tracking systems (which were really great when I needed to see what checks I deposited etc… I love that check image feature.)

Then there’s the whole what-can-I-write-off dilemma. Can I write off all the parties I organize? Does blogging it count as business? Party planning posts do generate a lot of traffic on this site but I’m thinking the IRS is not going to go for it. I’m thinking a bounce house is right up there with hiring strippers when it comes to red flags.

tax sketches

Of course all this busy work generated some sketches. I figure I’m ready if anyone ever needs to hire me to create some stock art of tax season.

old puncher 2nd book down 1 to go!

In other 50mm news, how cool is that old hole-puncher my Aunt gave me? Her office mate moved out and left a bunch of stuff. Most of it was awful 80’s crap but this hole-puncher seemed like a keeper for me. It worked great for all my notebook organizing yesterday. The holes are extra big which is kind of neat.

I also finished the 2nd Stieg Larsson book. I know I’m late to that book-reading party. I’m really enjoying them though. Right after I finish each book I watch the movie on Netflicks and that’s super fun. Of course I have to watch these in secret from Bug when she is asleep though because they are NOT appropriate for children. Oh my goodness, some of the scenes are not even appropriate for me. But I do love the characters so I keep on watching, not even noticing that I’m reading subtitles. I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the 2nd movie though (I’m half way through it). They left out so many details! I guess that’s why you read the books first!

movie night for a sick kid

Bug got to have her own movie night last night. She really wanted to eat popcorn in bed and turn all the lights out “just like a movie theatre” but I refused. I do not like popcorn bits in my sheets! So I set her up with a beverage bar (she’s caught my cold now too and I wanted her to be hydrated) and popcorn and put my laptop far enough away that it wouldn’t be ruined if she spilled. I know Toby is probably looking at that last picture and hyperventilating over the possibility that some beverages might ruin the laptop that he paid so much money for but I am here to say that it was perfectly safe and now it’s back on my desk far far away from any evil liquids of death.

And that was my day! Now I just sit tight and wait until my tax appointment on Friday to see how much I owe the IRS. Or maybe I’ll get money back. I’m not getting my hopes up.


  • mar

    I know money is tight, tight, tight, but if your accountant uses Quicken (or whatever), they often will do the initial set up for you of the accounts, etc. It makes it easier for you to do the upkeep once it is all set up, and it is easier for them at the year end if they can just get your Quicken file. Maybe you can work it off for them?

  • Yara

    That doesn’t sound like fun at all… having to be all organized & figure out everything yourself : /
    Oh, maybe I’m just lazy…

    You have Apple Care, right? Those extra 2 years are life savers. It doesn’t cover orange juice, though…

  • gingermog

    I was thinking could your blog count as marketing? You sell things through it and its definitely a platform to advertise your talents and garner in more customers. I hate the idea of taxes as well, I tell myself each year I will get them all done before January arrives ( for UK self employed workers the deadlines is the end of January but each first week of January finds me in the same state wading through piles of receipts. I know I should separate the claimable ones from the dross each month, but I don’t. life moves too quickly, if you don’t look a round from tiem to time it passes you by ( i paraphrase for a certain 80’s film). Anyway there the similarity ends I actually like sorting out the spreadsheets and seeing how much I spent on this and ( I have a freaky accountant and side!). I nipped in my takeaway coffee coffee habit several years ago when I totaled up the amount

  • noe

    do you think at a certain point you could do a review of the trilogy and the movies????
    Will you watch the American version of the movies????

  • Abigail

    You have to get more organized! I feel stressed imagining all those receipts. There are so many great systems.

    (I have a crazy love of spreadsheets. Like, even for my FarmVille seedlings.)

  • Madge

    I saw the first movie and loved it, even though some of those scenes, YIKES. Now that you mentioned that math number problem condition thingy, I’m thinking I have something like that, or maybe I’m just stupid, hahahaha.

  • NicoleT

    Gah… I have to do this for my direct sales business (I sell skincare items for a company that begins with an M). My tax guy gives me a workbook every year… so I’ve got file folders for each “line” in that workbook. Receipts just go in their folder, and I have to add them up each year. Saves some sorting, but still takes time. And I do NOT enjoy it either. Best of luck.

  • Kuky

    I love Quicken. I’ve used it for years. But it’s only useful if you input stuff, which I’m very very guilty of not doing consistently once Isabelle was born. I used to be super organized with it. It did charts and reports and was awesome. I tried the newer Quicken Essentials for mac and was not impressed. In fact, I disliked it so much I actually returned it. Just play with it some more. It’ll make tax time soooo much easier.

  • BeachMama

    You are so ahead of me. I looked at my pile of stuff and know that I will need to send Apple out to Grandma’s for the day and do all my stuff. Now to find the day… I vowed to be on top of it electronically this year but here we are March and I am no better off than last year. There is hope for me yet.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I hate doing taxes. I used to love it, because I always used to get a huge refund, but now it’s just a chore. I love the photos you took and sketches you did to document it though.

    ps. LOVE the new banner!!

  • Jaynette

    I have used TaxActdotcom for several years. It’s easy to use and only costs $18 for fed and state.