Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BQOTD- Tax Time

It's nearing tax-time people! So, I'm curious--do you get a tax refund, or set it up so you keep most of your money throughout the year and break even (or have to pay) when tax time comes? 

If you are getting a refund, what are you doing with it?

This year, we are getting a refund, though it is smaller than it would have been since we're having to pay back the 1st Time Homebuyer Program for the first time this year. We took a gamble with it knowing that we'd likely have to pay it back, and I'm so thankful we did, because replacing the nasty carpet with hardwood has done *wonders* for my allergies.

So. We'll be getting just over $2000 back. Of that, $1400 will be going to pay off Justin's truck. After that, we've allocated portions of the remaining amount to be spent on garden supplies, my new laptop screen, grass seed to hopefully have a grassy backyard this year, our summer softball team, savings (which is no longer with Chase--YAHOO!), and offering. Nothing too exciting, but man is it ever a blessing.

The only bummer is that our refund keeps getting pushed back--first it was scheduled for March 11th, then March 18th, and now March 22nd!


  1. While I was a student we always ended up with a refund, so we should end up with a refund for 2010. For 2011 though, I'm working technically as a contractor so I will actually have a pretty substantial tax bill that will need to be paid... boo for that...

  2. We weren't trying to but somehow this year we ended up with a ginormous one.. like over $5k. Obviously we are adjusting our paperwork at work this year..

    For us, $2k went to paying back the loans my parents gave me for the car.. so that is paid off. $3k went into the mortgage, bringing us back down to below where we were before we refi'd this fall. The last 1k we have designated for some spending that we had been putting off- $200 for a chainsaw, $75 for a deep freeze from craigslist, $100 for a keurig for me, $200 for a new sewing machine, we had set aside $200 for a new task chair for me at work, but work bought one! I don't think we will spend it all and then rest will probably be dumped into the addition savings or car savings.

  3. We are still working out how we need to get our refund to $0... this year was a little wacky... my maternity leave pay and a rebate for our HVAC systems. Anyways, our rebate was pretty large. And it went straight back to savings to get our emergency fund back to it's full status (we had to take a lot out to pay for those HVAC systems).

    We are big Dave Ramsey fans :-)

  4. We already filed and got our NICE refund (due to out-of-state tuition). We're just saving it. Sad? LOL, but we'd like to build a house eventually, so we felt that we would just put it toward that goal.

  5. We always seem to get a huge chunk of money which I don't think is necessarily a good thing. I'd much prefer to keep our money in our pockets for the majority of the year. This year we got back $5k which will go straight into one of our Roth IRA's....scandelous, I know ;)

  6. Typically, we get a very small refund - we try to keep it pretty balanced throughout the year. This year, however, we got a HUGE refund. Between it being the year of Isaac's birth and us not knowing exactly how much to have taken out plus us having all new windows installed and getting a large tax credit for that, we ended up with a $4500 refund.

    We put about half towards our bathroom remodel, we're using about a 1/4 for some work outside (garden, chicken coop, painting the shutters, etc) and the rest will be saved.

    While I like keeping it pretty balanced throughout the year, it sure was fun to get a fatty return!!

  7. We typically keep it balanced, but this year we have to pay a ton of money. Goodbye savings. Despite my job changes & making less money than last, John ended up making a lot more this year. I think our income ended up being 20K more than last year. Since he only had 6 months at the new pay rate we're making some big adjustments to his withholdings so this doesn't happen again.

  8. We don't get anything back anymore! Being self employed, we OWE! :-( But luckily I have one handy accountant husband, so he knows all the ins and outs! But is sure was fun to get them when we did!! I can't remember what we did with them! Probably savings or debt...with a little fun thrown in!

  9. We also took that first time home buyers credit in 08 when we bought our house, thinking we'd be there forever... Well now because we both got laid off last year and we moved in order to find a new job for my hubby, we now have to pay back the entire thing in full.

    So, while we originally were going to get about $5500 back, now we'll be owing.

    Awesome. :(

  10. We got about $6,000 back this year. We put 4k in savings and are putting the other $2000 towards some house improvements and a new vehicle that will fit two rear-facing carseats. I much prefer having more taken out during the year and getting a big refund each year. If I don't see it until tax time, then I'm not tempted to spend it. This is the biggest reason our savings account is as healthy as it is right now.

  11. We owed (a bunch - thousands bunch) last year due to a payroll screw up and having no deductions... they had my husband down for 5 exemptions... and our daughter wasn't even born yet! I still worked and it made it worse.

    This year we received a refund! About 1250. We each got to spend $50 on something fun. I bought make-up. Silly, but it made me happy. We bought zoo membership and the rest went back to savings... which is a relief to have something in there finally.

  12. How long did you have to stay in the home to keep the credit?

  13. Paid off some debt.

    Bought a new couch that we needed/wanted.

    Paying for our trip to Oregon.


    We are so exciting huh? ;)

    Oh, I need to get a new dress for Jesse's ALS graduation next week, we can say I'm using tax refund moolah for that :)

  14. I'm self employed, so we don't get a refund, we owe at the end! The money doesn't come out my paycheck, so at tax season we pay it all at once...a very scary number to save through the year!

  15. Amber- We're still in our house. It was just that when we purchased, they hadn't decided whether or not it would be an interest free loan, or a grant like it was in subsequent years.

    I can't speak for the subsequent years, but in the year we bought our house, the deal was that you have to repay $500 a year until it's paid off (at the time we purchased, the grant/loan was $5000) OR until the house sells. If the house sells, the remainder is paid from the profit. If no profit is made, then the loan portion would be forgiven.

  16. We both love getting a refund, even if it is our money to begin with---so we make do during the year for our early spending spree! This we were have enough to pay down debt and put some into the house and savings. It was a blessing for sure, something we have needed for some time to give us a boost!

  17. Filed mine and got a quick return. I did the direct deposit option. I paid off all my debt. And that felt really good! Except now I'm looking at a small car loan. Time to say goodbye to my faithful Jetta and move up to something that's not almost 15 years old.

  18. We usually get a refund, which we're a-ok with. This year, it was much larger than normal because we got to claim all things IVF-related. Our refund will be put into our savings for our FET this fall. Wish us luck!

  19. That stinks. I have friends who purchased and got an $8000 credit back on their taxes last year. I'm pretty sure they have to be in the house for at least 3 years - so no sales or other primary residences. Or they will have to pay back the credit.

  20. We usually have to pay a small amount around tax time (600-900 in the past) which is fine because we perfer to no give the gov't an interest-free loan and have to jump though hoops to get our money back.
    I am not sure what we did/didn't do in 2010 (maybe the 2nd kid and new house?), but ended up with a large return that went into savings.

  21. If I get one, it will go straight to student loans!

  22. When Buying a home, Discuss the interest rate outlook with your loan officer and try to learn as much as you can about how ups and downs in interest rate quotes might affect your mortgage payment and your ability to qualify for that loan.

    first time homebuyer


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