Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekly Recap

Happy Friday!  This was a much longer week for me than normal due to the new outsourcing company that I work for changing our normal 2 telecommute days to 1, but really it wasn't too bad.  Friday is here, I'm home and life is good.  I'm trying just to go with the flow and look on the bright side of everything, 1 work from home day is better than none!

I wanted to do a quick recap on what's been going on this week, highlight a few tid bits of info I think might be helpful to you and talk about what's coming up in the next few weeks.

House Sale Update
One good bit of news we got was that we finally have a closing date on the sale of our old house!  Yay!  It is next Tues, Feb 5th at 10am. We cannot wait to be done!  I took great joy in calling the gas company, power company, water company, lawn service and pest control services to let them know I will be canceling all of them as of our closing date!  That will be a big savings not to have to shell out ANY more $ for that house.  We've been through a lot with the short sale on that house over the course of the last year, so it will be a huge relief to put that behind us for good!

Taxes and Roth IRA Changes for 2013
First off, I started on my taxes this week after getting our W2s and I noticed something.  If you contribute to a Roth IRA, the max amount you can put in per person went from $5000 in 2012 to $5500 for 2013.  That was the first I heard of that.

We have our Roth IRAs through Vanguard and I highly recommend them if you want to set one up.  When I went to check our accounts, they were automatically set to pull out $5500 next year instead of $5000, which is what I went in there to do anyway.  So that was cool.  Just wanted to make you aware of the higher limit and if you already have a Vanguard account setup that way, I wanted to let you know they'll be taking out $500 more this coming year. 

Speaking of taxes, if you use TurboTax, be sure to get the 35% discount from Bank of America.  You don't have to be a customer to get the discount.  I think I'm pretty much done with ours and Dave Ramsey would be proud!  We owe $28 this year, which is about as close to being even as possible. 

As Dave says, the goal with taxes is to always break even.  That way you're not giving the government extra $ throughout the year interest free, just to get a big refund the next year.  It's better to get that $ in your pocket throughout the year.  This is the first year we've made a conscious effort to get as close to even as possible and it feels good that it worked out.

You can play with the IRS Withholding Calculator to help you out, but the easiest way for me was that since we were consistently getting about 2-3k back on most years claiming the max of 0 on our W4 withholding, I decided that for me I would claim 0 for 1/2 the year and 1 for the other half and that is what got us to owing $28 this year.  It was as easy as that in my case.  Your mileage may vary, be sure to do your own research.

iOS 6.1 Jailbreak Proceeding As Planned
All indications are that the iOS 6.1 jailbreak is proceeding according to plan and as of right now it should be released in the next few days with Super Bowl Sunday being the target.  I found this link on how to repair if you're planning to jailbreak your iPhone.   How to prepare for the coming iOS 6.1 jailbreak

Looking ahead....


Next week the plan is to successfully get through our house closing on Tuesday and celebrate, then we have a Jimmy Buffett concert to attend on Thursday evening.  We're not die hard Parrot Heads or anything, but we have always been a fan of his laid back beachy living style and we hear the whole event is a sight to see.  We missed it when he was last in town, so we're glad he's coming back around!

Our Nephew Max is turning 1 on the 9th!  Hard to believe he's already one.  He's been having so much fun lately going from crawling, to pulling himself up to recently being able to walk a bit on his own!  He is a very happy boy now and loves to play.   His birthday party is the following weekend and we're really hoping to be able to attend!

The wifey has to report for Jury duty potentially next Monday and as long as she doesn't get picked or only has to report for a day or two, we'll be good.  We were planning to fly, but prices doubled and to save some $ we'd drive instead now. 

So we're hoping to be able to see Max and our new Niece Hadley as well, since she'll be attending the festivities!

We were also considering a trip to Hawaii for a vacation this year, but I think we've decided to go back to our original plan, which was to go next year for our 10 year anniversary.  We're finding there is a lot to plan ahead for as far as picking an island or deciding between potentially 2 different island, picking the excursions, etc.  And from what we had on our initial list, we're also finding it is quite pricey.

It's great we broke even on taxes, but since we don't have a big tax refund this year and didn't plan ahead, as well as having the additional uncertainty with my job situation, we think it would be better to plan for this type of trip and save up to be able to do everything we want to do.  Also another downside would be the traveling that far west again after we just did San Francisco last year.

So we're thinking Mexico, since that was our initial plan and so far we're real excited about this very cool Monkey Jungle Place where they interact with you!  Here is a random photo of strangers:

How awesome is that?!  No guarantees they will come to you, but it seems to happen to most based on pictures!

So that's where things are right now!  I've been really meaning to get back to my acts of kindness, but it really is true that once the holidays are over and normal life kicks back in it is more difficult.  Please help me out my showing acts of your own or give ideas on our Facebook page.  I have one idea, but it will take a little more effort to figure out. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy the big game on Sunday!  Since the Ravens beat the Patriots for me, I'm rooting for them. But really I don't have a huge preference.  Enjoy!


Jen said...

Loved the update! I'd like to do my taxes soon. I have vanguard so hopefully they adjusted for me, also need to check that out. Stop being so on top of things! lol jk. Max and Hadley want their Uncle Chris and Aunt Marla to come so noooooooo jury duty Marla. Tell them you know about the case already.

Chris said...

Haha...I just always like to put in my numbers as soon as I can to make sure I don't unexpectedly owe a bunch o $! :o) Glad to help and planning on being there for the Bday fun!

Mock family said...

Great recap! Woohoo!

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