I've been bringing lunch every day, which saves me a few bucks a day, I guess. I make sure that when I do go out, I eat as cheaply as possible and spend as little as possible. I've cut back my 'discretionary' spending to minimal levels. I'm still broke as hell. Sigh.
On the upside: it should get a lot less tight this week, as I'm due something like $600 worth of paybacks/reimbursement/etc. from work, money I've loaned people, etc. That'll mean I can actually pay my bills without bouncing checks (or in this case, dipping into the ole' overdraft account).
I hope I get a decent tax refund. Filing individually for the first time, uh, ever basically. I might've filed as an individual when I was 17, because I did earn a few thousand bucks the summer before college. Then the whole marriage thing meant I filed jointly for every year since... until now. I hope it doesn't kill me. Actually on second thought chances are my parents just had to report my income on their taxes, I was still a dependant back then, doubt if I filed myself at all.
You know, I spent around $16,000 last year on childcare - I don't mean diapers, food, whatever, just on daycare, afterschool program, and summer camp. Basically, in order to keep my job, I had to pay people $16,000 to watch my kids. That's so insane. Sigh. How much did my wife contribute in 2001 to raising the kids? $0. Well, that's not true - she did pay for J's food on the weekends she had him - so maybe $40 or $50 on the year. Woot.
On the upside, I'm sure I can deduct that stuff somehow, and maybe get a slight tax break from it. I think the normal deduction is $7500/child, which'd mean I'd be at least $1000 over if I list the childcare costs separately. Oh well. Thank God I've got an accountant to figure out that crap for me*.
Anyhoo... enough babbling, I need sleep. Busy, busy, busy week this week (like this is unusual nowadays).
* - If you don't have one and are thinking I must be a rich bastard, I'd like to point out that before I had one I used the old standby, H&R Block, and ended up spending over $100 each time in tax prep fees (since I live in NJ, work in NY, and was married with kids, I had lots of forms needing filling out), not to mention that they did a shitty job of it. I pay a little more for him, but I'd bet I actually come out better financially, in the end, for spending the extra money. He also provides financial advice during the year, and doesn't charge extra for asking those questions (although I guess if it required a lot of time/effort to answer he would). So yes, I pay an accountant every year for his services, but I get enough help from him that it's well worth the money. (Is it called being 'on retainer' for accountants too, or is that just lawyers? Heh, you know, I sound like a rich bastard nowadays - I've got both an accountant and lawyer on retainer right now. A Chase salesperson called saying that I had qualified for a free month of legal advice, and I told him no thanks, I already had a lawyer on retainer. He was a bit taken aback by that answer, but apologized for bothering me and ended the call quickly. ;) )