Sunday, April 12, 2015

Taxman - Ready Player One

I know I lament a lot about the past and things that went wrong,  or rather, choices I made that turned out to be wrong for me.  But something has happened that has made me feel like the move to Chicago was the absolute right thing for me to do, and at the right time.

I’m a nanny.  Thats my new career.  For the last year and two months, I have had my own business being my own boss and doing what I love.  Which was easy to see as a right decision.  But what was harder is the way I’m paid.  Always in cash, no W2, nothing withheld for taxes or social security.  Part of this great experiment for me was this time of year.  As with all business owners, not being able to pay your taxes at tax time is a good indication that maybe this is the wrong business for you.  Even with the stat that most new businesses fail within the first two years. I was determined to make that payment.

I got my news early so I’d have some time to save.  In late February I got the amount and it was significant for me.  Having lived my life as a daughter of a single parent and being one myself, I was used to living with just the essentials, no frills.  So cutting back was easier than I thought it would be.  Saving has always been a challenge.  I don’t have a savings account.  (I’m opening one on Friday).  But that wouldn’t help me with last years taxes, or the wonderful idea of paying for next year every quarter.  Which being a secretary for many years I knew about but was also skittish as to setting that up and how to do it for myself.

So through the month of March and two weeks into April I went into deep survivor mode.  Nothing was purchased that wasn’t a necessity.  And by my tax appointment yesterday I had saved enough to pay all of last years state and federal tax.  And be able to put the first quarter estimate of next years on my charge card.  So now I’m not saving for next year already three months behind.  I’m on track!  And I did it without any help from any friends, or family.  I owe my charge card true, but most of us do.

And I felt like Mere Winningham’s character in Saint Elmo’s Fire, when she made that first peanut butter and jelly sandwich in her own new apartment.  And it was the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the world.  I feel so adult, and successful that my business is not with the majority of new businesses.  And I hope I can start saving what I need every week.  As Heinlein said, “Pay yourself first.”  And he was right.

Side note:  I’m reading Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline and I find that everything in life is now peppered with 80’s references.  I love this book and can’t wait for the movie.  If you are like me and behind the times, and haven’t read this best seller yet, PLEASE pick it up.  You will love it.