On Life and Love

On tax returns and economic stimuli

So, as I’ve made clear in the past, I’ve decided to take on my debt full-tilt using ideas from Dave Ramsey’s books and various financial blogs I read.

My budgeting earlier this year was skewed by irregular income for a couple of months, courtesy of leaving teaching, having unemployed time, then starting a new gig.

I’ve been chipping down at one debt in particular these past few months — it’s a credit card where one charge went just over the credit limit, blooming in fees and extra charges beyond what I could pay during my paycheck-to-paycheck living while teaching.

I made out like a bandit on my tax return this year, both on the federal and the two states I filed for. Other friends seem to have made a lot more, but I’ll take my $1200 and run, given that I owed last year.

That $1200 will get me current on that credit card — the first, often-unmentioned step of Dave Ramsey’s plan — and the remainder, along with my economic stimulus check of $600, will get me very close to the starter $1000 emergency fund. I went ahead and created myself an account and snowball plan at What’s the Cost. Luckily, my two highest interest debts (don’t even ask) are my smallest — the two credit cards. After that, my next biggest is a loan from my parents, but that’s zero interest. I think I’ll still go ahead and knock that out before I tackle my student loans, especially since there’s a real person on the other end of that debt.

Paidtwice wrote just this morning about how debt sucks because every windfall is already spoken for. I don’t resent using $1800 to pay down my debt, and I don’t even feel bad about not stimulating the economy with my $600 check. I find it satisfying, like she does. If I were free as a lark from debt and with a good emergency fund, I honestly don’t know what I’d spend the money on. I’d probably invest some and use the rest to plan a trip to Texas to visit T-dawg, my parents, and the sister (who’s growing up way too damn fast!). I’ve always lived paycheck-to-paycheck and fighting with debt, so that kind of windfall, with no real strings attached, is foreign to me. At tax time in two years, though, let’s see where I am.

I’ve been eagerly and repeatedly checking my bank account for my refund deposits. I want to get this ball rolling. 🙂


  • paidtwice

    I do indeed find it satisfying to knock out debt and move forward. I do though miss the “wonder” of “oh what could I do with this money” 🙂

    Good luck with your refunds and I hope they show up today!

  • Luke

    Ugh. They take forever to put money in, but they sure do take it out quickly.
    Good job and good luck. When you’re done there you wanna tackle my spending habits? 😉

  • Lissa

    Thanks for stopping by, paidtwice! I feel a bit like I’ve been visited by a celebrity. *^_^*

    Luke: My dear, tackling your spending habits would be a Sisyphean battle. Do you really want to change your ways? 😀