Not again…

The Honda was taken to the shop yet again this morning. At least it didn’t involve a tow truck this time. One car family?

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Shock and Awe at H&R Block

Cody and I went to H & R Block last night to get our income taxes filed. I usually complete them myself online for free since we really don’t have any complicated income circumstances, but this year I convinced myself that a professional tax preparer might do a better job than an English major. NEVER AGAIN. Add this to my list of unconventional goals…never have such complicated personal finances that a tax professional is necessary. The tax woman took all of thirty minutes to input our information then charged us $213 for the service. Shock.

I had a feeling that we would not get as large of a refund as we did last year ($2800) but was hoping we would receive enough to cover tuition for my first semester of law school. Nope. Our refund is approximately $900 after combining state and federal and deducting the above astronomical cost of having someone figure this out for us. Shock again.

In light of this next piece of information, I know I really shouldn’t be complaining about a $900 tax refund. Last year our combined gross income was $47k. That came as a huge surprise to both of us. 2012 will be the first year that I have worked full-time, so I now expect us to make well over $50k this year. I feel like I need to re-evaluate our budget yet again to see exactly where all of this money is going. Wow. We’re adults. We’re adults who make an average middle class income. This is where the awe comes in.

Decisions, Decisions

This month’s issue of National Geographic features an article on Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona and Utah. Let’s just say it appears to be AMAZING. I immediately showed the article to Cody and started Googling information for our next adventure. It just so happens that UAB Outdoor Pursuits, the group I went to Montana with back in August, is offering a trip to this exact location, along with the Grand Canyon, next month. $350. Oh snap.

My blossoming freelance writing hobby has turned out to be a pretty lucrative endeavor. In January along I was able to make approximately $200 extra dollars. I have already discussed with Cody the option of saving this money for a couple of months to purchase a really nice camera.

Now, I have the difficult task of deciding between a nine-day trip to the desert southwest or a really awesome new camera with which to take pictures of such cool destinations. This dilemma assumes, of course, that I would be able to take off of work for an entire week with only a month’s notice. And it also ignores the fact that this trip would actually cost about $1000 once the lost pay and supplies are added. And I really want Cody to experience these places with me. The decision is becoming clearer. What a useful post this was!