Taxes & More Taxes

January 2nd, 2013

Welcome to 2013!

We start the year with tax increases.  President Obama promises that this is just the beginning.  Given that, if you feel somehow let down that you won’t be paying enough this coming year, hang in there.  He promises that there’s more to come.

I rang in the New Year in Palm Beach, Florida.  That sounds cool and glamorous and back in the good old days, I’m sure it was.  For me, it was nice but pretty subdued.  I mainly stayed poolside, ate free food, and read everything I could find on how to keep your tax bill lawfully low.  When I wasn’t doing that because it was a little too chilly out, I stayed in the hotel room and watched my new favorite show, Extreme Couponing. After watching several hours, I feel inspired to recoup some of the money the government is taking from my family by dumpster diving for store ads, clipping coupons, and irritating cashiers and fellow customers across Austin, Texas with my carefully orchestrated shopping plan. I told my kids to get ready.  I’m buying them both a brand new pair of scissors so they can join in the fun.

I haven’t felt this inspired since years ago when I read the book The Millionaire Next Door.  In that book, I learned that most millionaires shop at outlet malls.  I immediately jumped in my car, headed to the outlet mall, and purchased a bunch of stuff I really didn’t need.  Sadly, I discovered too late that I’d kind of missed the point, but it was actually fun while I was doing it.

Hopefully, couponing will be equally as enjoyable.  My sister informs me, though, that I may not be as successful as some of the people depicted on the show.  According to her, many stores have discontinued double and triple coupons because of extreme couponing.  Who knew?  She also tells me that there just aren’t that many coupons out there anymore.  Maybe the manufacturers are catching on as well.  Oh well, savings are savings, and I’ll get them where I can.

As I strive to cut or eliminate my spending so that I can help pay for more Hollywood movies produced in the United States and tax credits for the rum and algae industry (strange but true), there are a few “luxuries” I’ll need to hang on to.  One of them is the pool guy.  When we built our swimming pool, I received detailed instructions on the exact chemical balance I’d need to maintain so that I didn’t create my own backyard cesspool (although on the bright side I assume that if that happened I could apply for one of those algae production tax credits. . . hmm . . . need to check into that).

I must confess I’ve been a bit down about this whole tax thing.  It’s hard to get all excited about a new year knowing that you’ll be working just as hard or harder for less money.  As a matter of fact, it’s really impossible to get excited if you think of it that way.

Now that I’m in that period of grief where I’m gaining acceptance of this bad situation, I’m going to try to look on the bright side and face the future with a sense of optimism.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to do that, please share.

In the meantime, my sister told me about another show, Extreme Cheapskates. I think I’ll become a very big fan!