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Posts tagged with: Taxes

Debt & the City Introduction

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Note: This post comes from Debt & the City who would like to be the next BAD Blogger. Read her introduction and ask any questions you may have. This is for the new blogger position which you can find out more information about here

That was the name of my old blog so I’m not new to blogging about my debt. At my highest (start of 2012) I had about 26K in credit card debt and 26k in undergrad and grad school loans. That’s a lot of debt! Thankfully, I’m down to approximately 7K in Credit Cards and 19k in loans so you can see I’m motivated.

Let’s talk about me for a second. I’m a typical twenty-something year old with lots of debt that I mostly incurred before I started working full-time. I had absolutely no concept of money management in school and thought that once I got a real job, I’d be able to pay it all off in one year. With that in mind and a job offer in hand, I decided to travel around Europe and “experience the world”. Needless to say, it was a shock to my system to find that i could not find a semi-decent one bedroom apartment in New York City for less than $1500. I got an even bigger shock when I got my first pay check – what do you mean I have to pay state AND city taxes? My plan of paying all my debt off seemed laughable and I literally lived paycheck to paycheck. I tried to focus on paying my debt but struggled with balancing that and enjoying life. My turning point came when I found the world of personal finance and eventually started my old blog.

Now I live in a different (but almost as expensive) city and I can finally see the light at the end of a long and dark tunnel. Having so much debt throughout my early adulthood has held me back from so many things I want to accomplish and I am ready to finally throw the weight off. There are some life decisions I am currently contemplating that might slow my progress down a little but that is still in the works.

I’ve read BAD since the era of Trisha and I don’t think we have really had a younger more urban perspective. I’m not gazelle – I will only read recycled newspapers for entertainment – focused but then again, I did go 6 months without a bed because I didn’t want to spend so I have my moments. I try to balance having a reasonably enjoyable life while getting rid of the debt so that might not be for everyone. I definitely know that I don’t always prioritize the way people expect (plane ticket over couch and dining table anyone?). However, it means that I find creative ways to enjoy myself or make extra money (craigslist is a treasure chest guys).

I’m closer (knock on wood) to the tail end of my journey and would love to share it with the BAD community because i have NEVER in my adult life known what it feels like to get paid and keep all the money (it’s actually scary when I think about it). I should add that I work in the finance/accounting industry so I’m a lover of excel and spreadsheets are my friend.

Hopefully, there are readers out there that can relate and would benefit from my story as I know I have a lot of information to share with you all and I am excited to get some feedback (and advice).


2012 Taxes

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I have heard from my CPA friend and I am smiling big with gratitude!  Thanks to his guidance upon my ex’s move out, I made major withholding adjustments for the last four months of 2012.   As a result, I will owe less than $500.  I cannot begin to tell you what a relief this is!  And there’s more great news:  I can re-adjust my current withholdings because I was on track to get a refund for 2013!   Answered prayers my friends…answered prayers!  I was having near $900 PER PAYCHECK withheld!  I know I make a good income but losing $1800 per month hurts!  AND, let me just throw my shoulder out here patting myself on the back…I was STILL able to make payments toward debt and not incur any new debt.

I am a new person!  Truly!  I never thought I could do this.  Just a year ago I was spiraling out of control.  Bouncing checks!  Yes, seriously.  Only making minimum payments and sometimes scrounging to do even that!  I didn’t have money left after pay day and could not figure out why!  My debit card was flaming hot with the constant use!  And then I started blogging.  I slowly, SLOWLY started keeping track of every dime I spent and started downsizing my life in every possible way I could think of.  Remember when I went to the hair salon every 6-8 weeks for a $200 cut/color/style?!  My last salon visit was in December and I don’t plan to go back until June.  The examples are many and for those of you who have been reading since the beginning, you’ll surely remember the changes.  Have I hit major bumps in the road?  Uh, yea.  Like a surprise divorce!  And other smaller hiccups too.

I want people who are in debt to see my story!  I want to motivate others and, in turn, be motivated!  It has not and will not be easy but each of us can make changes to turn our sinking financial ship around.  Don’t be afraid and don’t wait another day to start this process.  You will find freedom like you’ve never known.