Handling Setbacks & Staying Motivated

Any journey inevitably has challenges along the way. For me, it was a potentially a $3,000 IRS bill. I have been doing my taxes using Turbo Tax for years and had always received a refund, so I was shocked when I found out I owed that much. As if I didn’t own enough money as it was already, why not an extra $3,000 on top of it? I was working WAY to hard to dig myself out of a pretty deep hole, and the last thing I wanted was something else adding to that burden. It was time to explore my options. I didn’t want to pay a ton of money for an accountant to tell me what I had already figured out for myself. That being said, I am not a tax expert. I started doing some research online and found an accountant that was highly recommend and most importantly was affordable. I hired him for a mere $60 to do my taxes (that were relatively simple) and he was well worth the investment. He was able to get my tax bill down to $1,300. While this amount was not chump change and put me further in the hole, I gladly took my $1,300 tax bill opposed to a $3,000 one.

Some people may have looked at this setback and given up. I chose to take lemons and make lemonade. I learned that I needed to make adjustments to my tax withholding for the following year. I also had someone else to do my taxes for me for roughly the same amount Turbo Tax would charge me, but with better experience.

Another setback came more recently and not in the form of a bill (thank god). With my credit score on the rebound and my debt almost gone, Daniel and I had scheduled that we would be ready to buy a house in August at the end of our lease. After LOTS of research, we decided on a location and to go with new construction based on the fact we could get a brand new house with lots of upgrades for the same price as one that was a few years old. When we visited the builder we were informed that we would be looking at a move in date near the end of 2017 as in November/December. Yet another let down. Daniel offered some encouraging insight that we would be better prepared and have even more money saved by then. I still couldn’t help but to feel disappointed.
After hearing this news, I took a hard look at my journey, crunched numbers, and realized just how far I had come. I had paid off $20,000 by myself through hard work over a period of 9 months. Pardon my french, but holy shit! That is a lot of money! Some people may cry thinking about everything else they could have done with that money (the thought has crossed my mind too), but that money has been my life preserver. It has been a tough lesson, with a great outcome. This energized me to start my blog as a way to share my experiences with other, but to also document it for myself.