Wednesday, April 6, 2011
A Taxing Lesson
Well it's April and many of us are busy finishing up our taxes.
This year looking at my taxes and reviewing my finances for the year was a real eye opener. While we were happy to see that we pretty much broke even, (that's good it mean's we are not giving too much of our income to taxes throughout the year nor are we getting too little taken out), so we have things set up correctly, although it would sure feel nice to have a lump sum coming our way. But this is not the case and it was no surprise.
What was surprising though was what I found after I took a good look at our income and financial state for the year. I was surprised to find that although we made much less (due to income reduction at both of our places of employment) than we did the previous year and our expenses went up drastically (due to a tuition increase as our middle child entered into a private high school), we faired well financially. By that I mean we did not incur any extra debt, and we actually payed down much of our consumer debt. So in sum we lived on approximately $12,000 less last year and our financial picture doesn't look any worse for the wear. It's actually better. Not by much but better, still.
Of course I know this didn't happen on it's own. It took a lot of work, planning, strategizing, self control and prayer.
I still would like to be able to save and put money away for things I've mentioned in previous posts; kids college, retirement, vacations, replacement vehicles. But so far that has not been possible. And looking at our income to expenses ratio it may not be possible. It appears that we are living beyond our means in one area- our childrens' private school, but we're not willing to give that up, we've made a comittment to it and to them. In every other area I can feel confident in saying that we are living within or below our means, which takes daily sacrifice. So realistically it will be very difficult for us to save. But hey, who knows, God is full of surprises.
So in the end it means that we will have to continue to depend on God's grace to get us through and that's fine by me, because grace is really what has gotten us this far, and it's enough.
How about you? Is His grace getting you through?
With loving thoughts,