"Do it now!" - Lena Stevens, The Power Path
I am working on my taxes today. I know...SUPER EXCITING, right?
Hold on...Wait!...Don't click away yet...keep reading...you know you LOVE hearing all about how much taxes suck...Misery loves company!
So, I know that most people aren't even going to be THINKING about their taxes until April or so, but I have to get them done suuuuuper early this year because I need to file the FAFSA. And I've gotta get ready to submit all the financial aid paperwork for grad school (should I happen to receive an offer for admission).
I am sooooooo resistant to doing all this financial-number-crunching and paper-pushing. It's one of my top 5 least favorite things to do in the world. And I would avoid it at all costs...if it wasn't required by LAW to file taxes every year.
Sigh. I don't mind contributing some of my income to the good of our society, but does the process of filing the paperwork have to be so freakin' complex? Just sayin'...
It's gotta get done though, so...
In motivating oneself to sit down and tackle a project that one would rather NOT do...What are the tricks that you use to help you get through it?
Here are some of mine:
1. Set aside a BIG chunk of time. (Rushing only stresses me out MORE.)
2. Taxes are always better with red wine. ;-)
3. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (It's not going to be perfect, so do it well enough to get the job done. But don't stress if you can't find EVERY receipt and can't deduct EVERY expense. Besides, if you discover a mistake later...you can always fix it by filing an amendment to your taxes. No worries.)
4. Get the help you need. (I have an AWESOME tax professional that helps me with my taxes every year. She specializes in the unique financial situations of actors and performers. She's a great resource for all my questions. And she always does a fantastic job and is very reliable. Love her! But before she was recommended to me, I always used TurboTax...which was a great tool too.)
5. Focus on how great you're going to feel when it's all DONE. (Though I may be banging my head against the wall right now, muttering expletives under my breath and sighing in frustration every 10 minutes...I know that when this thing is alllll done and I've got it all signed and finished and can look forward to a nice refund from the government about to be direct-deposited into my account...THAT will feel AWESOME.)
6. Think of the future benefit. (If I DO get accepted to grad school this year...and am able to get a good, solid financial-aid package from the grad school of my dreams...Well, then I will look back on this day of tax-return-preparation-torture...and I will be VERY HAPPY with myself that I took this time to get it DONE. It will be a HUGE pay-off in the end...I hope.)
7. Be grateful you're an "adult" now. (Sorry, if this one doesn't apply to you yet. It will someday. You have something awesome to look forward to. Trust and believe...Since I'm 30, I no longer have to submit my parents' financial info for the FAFSA. In undergrad, that used to be the bane of my existence. Nagging people to get stuff done is NOT my fave. I am very happy that, at least now, I don't have to deal with motivating my PARENTS to complete their tax returns early too. I just have to motivate myself.)
8. Keep starting. (When I hit a roadblock or a tough moment where I just want to throw all my receipts into the air and shoot them with a flame-thrower...I take a deep breath and think. "Okay, I'll just start from here." And for some reason, that allows me to keep going. Can't really pin-point exactly WHY that works for me, but it does.)
It's so strange to be doing alllllll this work sooooo early and not knowing if I'm even going to need it. But, on the other hand, even if I don't get accepted to grad school this year...I will still need to file my taxes...so it's gotta get done at some point...might as well be now, right?
Getting into grad school will be AWESOME!!!!!...Paying for grad school?.... Hmmmmm...that's going to be...challenging.
Since there haven't been any millionaires sending anonymous contributions to my Paypal account offering to finance my future education and no corporate sponsorship agreements have been signed...I'll have to go through all the normal channels to try to secure some financial support and make my grad school aspirations a REALITY.
So I'll have to stop blogging and get back to it...Here I go...
"TAXES...YOU ARE NO MATCH FOR ME! I WILL DEFEAT YOU! WHERE HAVE YOU HIDDEN MY CALCULATOR?! DON'T MAKE ME PULL OUT THE FLAME-THROWER! WHAH HA HA HA HA!"
Anyhoo,...HAPPY TAXES to all ya'll filing the FAFSA this year...and commiserating with my 1040 aversion.
Best wishes to all...
May your federal return be hefty and your estimated family contribution be minuscule.
"Perhaps the hardest linear process to let go of is the accounting part of the mind that links the amount of money you have in the bank to what is possible. Get rid of this limiting process, be practical but don't base your goals and commitments on something as powerless as money. Practice seeing money as an energy and play with increasing that energy instead of counting dollars." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path