Posts Tagged ‘college’

How Do You Get Rid of that Horrible Math Smell? (Otherwise Titled: Doin’ Taxes Stinks)

School is now in session.  Take your seats.  Make sure your pencil is sharpened.  Do you have some hand sanitizer near by?  Because we are talking about math today.

With our oldest Wolfie nearing the end of high school, (she turned 18 yesterday) our last few months have been all about college prepping, scholarship applications, FAFSA paperwork, and even buying winter boots on sale for trudging to class through the ankle-deep snow next winter.  We enrolled her in the Dave Ramsey Foundations for Personal Finance for High School Seniors to enlighten her on the ways of being smart about money in the big world.  I’d like to think that through the last several months, our pre-collegiate kid is learning and getting smarter so she will be ready to decide on her college soon, make solid financial decisions, and learn to stay out of frat parties. (I’m personally schooling her on that.  Nothing good to learn there.)

In addition to all this hoopla at home, it’s tax season.  So how is this relevant to Gigglicious, you might ask?  We are being schooled, too.  In order to get her FAFSA paperwork completed, we needed to fill out our taxes early.  Being self-employed, this is something we are loathe to do  due to the hideous sums of money we owe Uncle Sam.  Taxes aren’t neatly removed from our paycheck like most people.  Typically, we handed off to our semi-organized paperwork to our accountant and then happily washed and sanitized our hands of the whole thing so no nasty contagious tax math contaminated us till we had to write the check.  This year, however, we decided to tackle them ourselves since we had a large portion of them done already in order to fill her FAFSA out.

Days and days and days and days of math contamination later, we’ve become far smarter about self employment tax laws, deductions, and our own accounting process.  We have had to discuss the merit of how we structured our company (Funny story. . .it turns out having a husband and wife partnership is the MOST complicated way to structure a company for tax purposes.  Who knew?  Not us.)  Conversations about our expenses, deductions, and location of receipts have permeated every single lunch, dinner, and bedtime conversation.  Our house reeks of numbers.  The stench of math is killing me.


Yes, we feel more educated about taxes.  Yes, we feel smarter about how we will keep track of our accounting in future years.  Yes, we feel poorer.  (hello, McDonalds, goodbye St. Elmo’s) Mostly, we feel humbled about all that we do NOT know and grateful to continue to learn to make ourselves and our business better.

Would we have decided to not go into business for ourselves if we knew the hurdles we would have to overcome?  I wonder.  Well, perhaps that is the beauty of not knowing everything: you never really are afraid of what you don’t know.  You just go out and do.   And you’re usually better for at least trying it.

With that in mind, we realize that for all all the preparing we are trying to do to get her ready for going away to school, nothing can compare with her having the experience of setting foot on the college campus of her choosing and learning things as she goes. (Still preferably not at frat parties)  She just gets to go out and do and be better for it.

I’m proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money. ~Arthur Godfrey