Monday, February 2, 2009

Doing Taxes

We've gotten what I think is all the paperwork we need for our 2008 taxes and Mr. at Home sat down this weekend to start entering all the info into the tax software. The neat/scary thing about doing it online is that the software keeps a running balance of what you owe or what you can expect to get refunded.

So he would enter the info from one form and all of a sudden we're getting a big refund - woohoo!

He'd enter the info from another form and suddenly we owe a HUGE chunk of change - eek!

The total went one step forward and two steps back, then another step forward, then another, until the final number was again in the black for both the state and federal taxes. It was nerve-wracking. We're not getting a huge refund, but we're not paying, so I'm okay with that. We now know that Mr. at Home's teaching job is considered contract work and we can plan for that this year.

The thing that saved us is our charitable giving. We give a significant portion of our income to a number of organizations whose values and mission we believe in - our church, Compassion, missionaries, etc. After all, none of our income is really our own to do with as we please. We're simply stewards of what God has given and we try to live like that.

Now, don't get the impression that we're selfless saints. We do go through phases where we've fallen out of the habit of giving and it's generally been those times that we find ourselves in financial distress. Funny how that happens. Technology has been a huge help in letting us schedule automatic payments so that we don't have to remember to write those checks every month. It comes right out of our account at the beginning and we're not tempted to just let it slide "this month". We don't give any of it for the benefits at tax time, but I do confess that I'm thankful that it helped up out this year!

Thanks, God, for being faithful. Even in our taxes.

No comments: