A lighthearted look at the news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Right about now is the time I set aside every year to sit for a moment and reflect on my earnings and accomplishments of the previous year. Then I cry a little, and then I kick myself repeatedly for never saving a single stupid receipt. Really. What’s wrong with me?
Throughout the year, everyone always says, “save your receipts!” For what? For why? I rack my brain trying to think of a reason for saving a piece of paper that says I rode the train or ate a burger, and I can’t. And then around April 16th, it suddenly all becomes clear.
Well this year, it’s going to be different. I’m going to be different. Tax time is a much better time for resolutions than New Year’s, if you ask me. New Year’s is so predictable, so contrived. But if you’re a financial moron as I am, there’s no better day than April 16th to make a whole bunch of promises I probably can’t keep. Here goes.
1. I will SAVE MY RECEIPTS. In the name of not setting myself up for failure, rather than attempting to know which receipts ought to be saved and which oughtn’t, I will not set a goal that assumes I have morphed into a completely new person. Instead, I shall save all of my receipts indiscriminately and file them according to type of expense. Or I will drop them into an unmarked shoebox in giant clumps every few months when I remember I’m doing this thing.
2. I will save more money. No, seriously. I will! So will you. We’re going to do this together. I’m going to do grown-up things like automatically transfer a portion of my paycheck into a grown-up sounding account like “IRA” or “CD” or “money market” or some other such mysterious thing.
3. I will stop justifying frivolous expenditures on restaurant and bar outings as “an investment in my happiness.”
4. I will stop pretending that I have to take a taxi after 10:00 p.m. because “it’s safer than the subway.”
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5. I will stop searching real estate listings for obscenely expensive estates and duplexes and three bedroom apartments with a view of the park and a really pretty lobby. It only leads to heartache. And the more you do it, the more you start believing the lie.
These are my pledges for the fiscal year. I swear to try to remember to abide by them most if not all of the time.
What are your tax time resolutions? Share them below…