I hate April. It’s not all about springtime and bunnyrabbits in this household. Because when you’re self-employed like we are, this is when the evil tax man comes hollerin.
Every April the tax man shakes us down, along with numerous other large expenses that are due, like vehicle insurance.
The money isn’t always there, but even if we have to dig into our savings, at least we’ve got a sense of satisfaction knowing that we’re not going into debt to pay The Man.
And no, we don’t get a tax refund — we haven’t since we became self-employed in 1998. During the year, we give the government the bare minimum necessary to stay in their good graces. Why do we hold out until April?
Because why should we lend free money to the government all year long? As Dave Ramsey says in his free Guide to Budgeting:
If you get a big check from Uncle Sam at tax time, that’s actually a bad thing. Why? Because it’s just money that you’ve overpaid, and now Washington is giving it back to you. It’s not a gift. It never belonged to the government in the first place.
Overpaying on taxes . . . It’s letting the government use your money interest free for one year.
Download Dave’s Free Budget Guide
Staying debt-free is an ongoing process, one that we revisit each month by creating a new budget for our coming expenses.
Every dollar that we think we’ll earn gets a name, and nothing extra is spent without consulting each other first.
We think we live pretty bare bones and our expenses usually match our monthly forecast, but many times they don’t.
Creating a monthly budget based on sporadic income is challenging — and sometimes downright depressing, especially on the 31st. But instead of quitting and going back to our old charge card habits, we pare back and just try again next month.
Going debt-free is one thing; maintaining that discipline is the bigger challenge. As long as we dedicate a couple of hours a month to Dave’s budgeting tools, I’m certain that we can stay debt-free for a lifetime.
Check out Dave’s website and financial help books. Remember, he’s got a “biblical” approach toward money so if you’re not into that, just put your biases aside (as we have) — you’ll find his money advice is applicable no matter what your spiritual beliefs are, and it’ll change your life for the better.
Download Dave’s Free Guide to Budgeting
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money: The Handbook of Financial Peace University
The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family’s Financial Health