Financial Doom Narrowly Averted

Financial Doom Narrowly Averted

p4020012.JPG This is my gorgeous new bathroom. Everything is new — the tile, the door (was on a different wall altogether) the sink, the curtains — the tub is original, but the paint is new. Oh, and all of the plumbing below the bathroom is also new — the grubby old cast-iron pipe has all been replaced with very high-tech (if frighteningly flimsy-looking) water lines. I have clean water running through new pipes with a whole lotta water pressure. My bathroom is gorgeous. It took six weeks for the MH and various helpers to build it and paint it and now it’s done and I have to figure out how to pay for it.

Which is why blogging has been slow the past few days. Taxes were looming, and the IRS sent me a terrifying letter about my 2005 return — so it’s been days of crunching numbers. The good news is that thanks to the lovely people at TurboTax who gave me complimentary upgrades for both 2005 and 2006 to the Premier version of their software, you know, the version that actually calculates both ESPP and Stock Options correctly, it looks like not only do I not owe the IRS the terrifying amount of money they said I do, but I get money back. Not a lot, but some.

And, should those options the Big Corporation gave me, the ones that were worth nothing for so long, actually hold on for a few more days, it looks like I’ll be able to pay off the gorgeous bathroom … I’ll be broke, but I won’t be in debt. So that’s all good. Phew. A narrow escape.

I’m always astonished that I manage to get through these scary financial moments okay. I grew up in the kind of family where sudden financial disaster — events where the house had to be sold and we had to move and jobs were lost and there was no money in the checking account and what were we going to do? were commonplace. Happened with heart-sinking regularity. And so, as an adult, whenever I find that I can get through one of these scary patches, I’m always hugely grateful, and quite surprised. Who knew? It’s not a disaster.

And I didn’t make it up. I worked hard. I bought a house. I am reasonably solvent. I’m a long way from debt-free still, but I’m not in over my head, and putting money into my house is never a bad idea, and even though I screwed up my 2005 tax return, look, I figured out how to re-do it and show them that I wasn’t lying and they’re not probably going to throw me in jail. It’s always an astonishment to me that the things I’ve worked so hard for are real. I’m always half-expecting them to come take it all away. And so, when I spend a whole weekend crunching numbers and filling out forms and find out at the end of it that really, it’s going to be okay — well, the relief makes me want to go lie down with a cool compress on my head.

Now I can get back to writing about interesting things like books, and the garden, and wildlife.

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