Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The tax-man ate my paycheck.

I should be more excited right now. I mean, I am happy… super happy, but WTF! Is it really necessary to take that much money out in taxes??

I need to elaborate.

I just found out that we are finally getting our bonuses at work for 2008. Woooooo hooooo!! I haven’t mentioned it at all because I didn’t want to jinx it. There had been talk around the office for the last few weeks, so right after our last pay period ended, I went into our payroll system and changed my exemptions from 1 to 5, thinking this should help soften the blow from the tax-man. Our finance chick sent me a text message last night saying that my bonus was 17% of my annual salary! I suck at math, but my calculator says it should be about $8200 give or take! Awesome! I’ll be able to pay off at least 2 of my credit-cards!


When I got into work this morning, the finance chick printed out my prelim pay-stub for this week, my gross pay is listed as $10,110.38 (SCORE!)… I scan the printout trying to find what will actually be deposited into my account…

I almost fainted; $6886.44.

Okay, I don’t want to sound ungrateful but this amount not only includes my regular bi-weekly pay, it also includes my expense return from my Dallas trip. This means, that out of my $8200 bonus, I get $4602.91. COME ON! That is ridiculous! That’s effin’ 45% paid in taxes!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I am still very excited, because it is money that I didn’t have. But just the thought, if I would have changed my withholdings to exempt instead of freaking 5 I could have paid off TWO credit cards plus some!! (Okay, I might have been pissed come tax-return time next year... but I still would have made out better!)

No point in dwelling on what ifs.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I can focus on the positive.

I do have $4600 to work with, so I will pay off Credit Card #1 ($418.15 from my expense return, so I’ll have to take $735.39 from my bonus.) That leaves me with $3865, so I will put that towards Credit Card #2 bringing my balance down to $3822. Not too shabby! I’ll have to plug in the numbers, but this also means that I will have my credit card debt paid off earlier than I anticipated!! This is really good news!

Okay, I’m happy again! =-)


  1. that's awesome! i work for government... so no bonuses for us!

    can i ask a question? how come you're not paying off your highest interest card sooner? I could see wanting to get the smaller balance one out of the way first (#1) but wouldn't it make more financial sense to pay the one with higher interest off first? just wondering!


  2. Yes, it does make sense to pay the higher interest card off first (and I have been thinking about switching it around). I guess I have let Dave Ramsey get in my head (yes, I admit, I do listen to him on the way home from work!). He has this thing of working a “debt snowball”… basically paying debts off smallest to largest regardless of the interest rates.

    I think part of it too is the instant gratification I get from seeing a $0 balance. You are right though…. I need to get rid of the 19% credit card. Thanks for making me think about that!

    And thanks for reading!

  3. Congrats on your bonus!

    It is depressing to see how much money is taken out for taxes. I always tell myself that I want the potholes fixed and that is where my tax money is going. If only IL was not one of the most corrupt states...

    I totally understand your need for insta gratificatiom...I think that it is a trait of our generation. I make list for everything, and crossing something off of my list makes me so happy. I would see why you would want to pay off the small ones first. Just to make u feel like your making progress and getting somewhere. Plus then it is one less payment to make.

  4. I agree… I think that is a trait of our generation. We want to see results NOW! I guess there isn’t anything wrong with having high hopes!

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. Cash-strapped state governments are offering amnesty plans to encourage delinquent taxpayers to bring their tax debt up to date. These states are willing to reduce or eliminate some Tucson Tax penalties in order to get more funds into the state treasury.


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