Monday, January 18, 2010

A Little Good News

The snow is finally starting to melt, but we've had fog, all day long, for about four days now.

I did find a couple of rays of sunshine, though. Not from the sky, but in our finances.

First, I received a $121 "bonus" for opening an ING Direct checking account on Black Friday last November. They promised the $121 deposit for anyone who opened an account on that day and made at least three signature-based debit transactions in the first 45 days.* (Sorry I didn't post about that great deal back in November, but I didn't find out until late in the evening myself and had to scramble to get the account open).

Second, Shane's W-2 came in the mail on Saturday and I prepared our tax return yesterday. As suspected, we'll get a sizable refund. Also as suspected, it's not enough to pay off the van, but if we're careful with it and with Shane's unemployment benefits, it's enough to (probably) get us through until the weather gets better and the lay-off ends. I know it's recommended to adjust withholding amounts so that there's not a big refund at the end of the year, but I seriously doubt we would have been diligent enough to have saved the difference in a savings account over the year. I'm glad we have the refund coming now. It will be a lifesaver of sorts.

There's no mail today because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, but the return is ready to go in tomorrow's mail. One of the IRS Processing Centers is right here in our city, so I anticipate a turnaround of no more than three weeks this early in the tax season.

Things are starting to look up a little around here.

*Why $121? They say it's the amount of overdraft fees the average account holder incurs over the course of a year. That's sad, because with a good budgeting system, overdrafts are almost always avoidable.


Sheila said...

Congrats on the "found" money. I love when that happens. I can't wait to get our taxes done--we usually get a good size return and like you, we don't adjust for less of a refund either. I don't think we would save that amount over the course of the year. The sad thing is, we have pretty much spent part of the refund already. Kevin is going home to MO for a bit and I am going to see my mom in MS--with gas prices rising every day, we may spend a good part of it!!
Hopefully the weather will co-operate so Shane can get back to work soon.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have prepared a paper return to file with the IRS. Just a thought... You can efile for free with "free file" at the IRS's website. If you efile and have your refund direct deposited, you will have your money in 10 days.

Lisa B. said...

I'm happy you found some extra money. I know it's hard with Shane being laid off. It will be a year next month that I've been laid off. :( And I'm scared to do our taxes due to oweing on all the unemployment.

Be sure to check out my blog, I received a total make over!

I've also been working on my "pay it forward" gifts and will be posting about that within the next week or so.

A.Marie said...

Great post!! I am so glad that you have found some extra $$...that will definitely come in handy!

I am working on our taxes; we itemize our taxes (because of high medical) so it takes me a little while to get them prepared!

Have a great day! :)

Annie Jones said...

Sheila: I've heard a few people say we're supposed to have a lot of snow again in February. I just don't talk to those people anymore. ;)

Anonymous: The max adjusted gross income to take advantage of free e-filing is $57,000. Ours was just a little higher, so we can't e-file for free. I do plan to spend a little time this afternoon checking to see if there are any other free filing sites that have a high AGI max.

Lisa: I need to visit your blog. It slips through the cracks since I can't get it to load right in my reader or blog roll. I'll have to try to fix that again, too. I just can't see why they won't work for me.

A.Marie: We itemize, too, because of mortgage interest, job expenses (union dues, etc.) and donation we make. We've never had enough medical to be able to include those, but I can imagine it would be a headache to get those papers together. It's hard, sometimes, just to figure out the bills when we get them.

Anonymous said...

There are two types of free file. One has the AGI cap of $57,000 (using preparation software), but the other (fillable forms) has no cap. It is different in that you just use fill in forms and it only does basic calculations. Therefore, you would prepare your return first using whatever method you wanted, then you would transfer your numbers into the fillable forms, and efile. If you go to the IRS website and select "free file" on the right side, then you are presented with two options: "traditional free file" or "free fillable forms".

Annie Jones said...

Thanks. I didn't look far enough down on the page. :)

SonyaAnn said...

I'm so happy for you and I feel your relief! Little pennies from Heaven. When will the lay-off end, spring?
And I do the same thing, we up the with holdings so that we get a large tax refund! There is no way that I could ever save that much. And to be honest, I feel kind of good about letting the government "borrow" the money. How many people would yell at me about that one? I just feel lucky that my kids can go to school and feel that most of the time the money is well spent. Well, when it comes to the kids and such.
Have a great week!

Tug said...

YAY for found money!

Holy cow, I thought I was the only one that had the max taken out for a bigger refund - thanks all for making me feel "normal". (as much as I can - lol) I'm with you Annie, I'd never save it through the year, so this way I do.

slugmama said...

I just saw I got my ING Bonus $ too....way cool!
I usually try things like that but somehow screw it up in following the rules but luckily this time I didn't!

It's a lucky thing you gave the gov't. that interest free loan of your tax money last year, isn't it?lol
Nice to find you have $ coming in unexpectedly just when it's needed. ;-) congrats