Are You Giving an Interest-Free Loan to the Government?

If you are going to receive more than $500 as a tax refund, you have been giving an interest free loan to the government.

interest free loan to the government

Are You Giving an Interest Free Loan to the Government?

Many people get excited while waiting for their big “windfall” after filing their taxes. They think it is a gift from the government…it’s not!

A tax REFUND means that you overpaid and they are giving it back to you! It’s not extra money that you’ve earned, it’s the money you have already earned and gave to them to “hold on to” until you ask for it back. Then they return it to you without paying any interest.

Here’s an example for ya: You receive a big, fat tax refund of $5,000 this year. Woo Hoo! But guess what? This only means that you overpaid the government $5,000 or $417 a month.  That is $417 that you could have had in your pocket each month. I hope you’re thinking, “That money could have helped me pay off my debts or fattened up my savings account!” If that’s what you’re thinking, we’re now on the same page. 😉

What can you do to change this? First, calculate how much tax you should be paying each year. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator to help figure this out.

Once you figure out the amount of taxes you will owe, adjust the allowances on your Form W-4. The IRS Withholding Calculator will tell you how many allowances to take.

Every year you should run the calculators to figure out how much you will owe that year. Then,  you can make the adjustments to your W-4 and begin putting the extra money you will start receiving into your savings or towards paying off your debt.

Related Posts:

Building Our NV Home: Design Selections

Before signing our contract to purchase our home, we were given a master list of all the structural options available. This list shows every option available for your type of home and gives you the price for each option. Design selections are done a little later.

building our nv home design selections

Examples of structural options are: extra windows, extensions to make certain rooms larger, extra bathrooms, and updated appliances.

The biggest chunk of money we paid was for our brick elevation.

Of course, you’re able to skip all of the upgrades and just purchase the base house and you’d still have a beautiful home. Thank goodness our home came with a lot of standard features, but we still added quite a few options.

Keep in mind that your base price will likely go up if your builder charges a lot premium. This is a fee that is added onto the base price of the home, if you select a “desirable” lot. Some builders attach a lot premium to every lot they sell, but may vary the amounts they charge.

When you’re ready to sign the contract, your selected options are documented and then you sit back and watch the price of your new home climb higher and higher!

The way NV works, is once you select your exterior (brick or siding), there are preselected shutter and door color combinations to choose from. This is designed to create a more attractive looking neighborhood. To enhance the overall appearance of the neighborhood, there are also rules as to which home or elevation can be next to or across the street from your home.

After signing the contract, we had to make an appointment with the mortgage company to get approved for the mortgage. Then we scheduled our meeting at the design center to make the design selections for the home.

At the design center, you’re able to put your own personal touches in the house. This is where you choose your flooring, bathroom tiles, countertops for kitchen and bathrooms, light fixtures, and faucets.

We were given a private, two-hour session to select all of our options. This was my favorite part of the process!

Here are some of our design selections:

design selections

Granite Kitchen Counters-Dallas White

design selections

Kitchen Cabinets-Espresso

 

design selections

Bathroom Cabinets

Design Selections

Master Bathroom Granite Counters-Burlywood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

design selections

Hardwood Floors-Deep Java

design selections

Family Room Carpet-Champagne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very excited to see our design selections come to life in the coming months and will take pictures along the way to share with you.

Hopefully, this series of posts will be able to help someone going through the home building process and make things a little easier to understand.

In the next update, I’ll share our process in selecting a moving company and share pictures of the house under construction.

Click here if you missed our first post discussing why we decided to move and be sure to subscribe to come along on our journey! :)

12 Week Organizing Series: The Kitchen

I have had multiple requests for an organizing series here on the blog.  I’m guessing it’s because it’s the new year and everyone is trying to get a fresh start by organizing their homes. I loved the suggestions, so I went ahead and created a 12 week organizing series.

12 Week Organizing Series The Kitchen

12 Week Organizing Series: The Kitchen

If you follow this series, all of the major areas of your home will be organized in 12 weeks. Each week I’ll showcase a different part of the home and give tips on how you can organize that room and keep it organized throughout the year.

The first room we’ll tackle is the kitchen.

I decided to start with the kitchen because I believe it is the hub of the home. We cook there, eat there and whenever entertaining, everyone tends to gravitate to the kitchen.

If we can find ways to create an efficient kitchen, life will seem a little bit less stressful. Having things where you need them will help you prepare meals faster and will eliminate lost time looking for things.

I like to set up a kitchen by zones. When items are located where you use them, it makes it easier to find things and put them back where they belong.

Related: Organize Your Kitchen Using Zones

The first thing you’ll need to do is open all of your drawers and cabinets (upper and lower) and ask yourself if the items are located in the proper place.

Here are the zones you should be looking out for:

  1. Food prep
  2. Stove
  3. Sink & Clean up
  4. Serving
  5. Pantry

When looking around your kitchen, keep these things in mind:

  • Knives and flatware should be kept in the prep area.
  • Cooking utensils, oils, spices, condiments, pots, and pans should be located near the stove or cooktop.
  • Dishes should be stored near the sink or dishwasher.
  • Cleaning supplies should be stored under the sink. Be sure to put a child lock on the cabinet if there are small children in the house.
  • Linens like placemats, napkins, and tablecloths can be stored in the serving area.
  • The pantry should be used for storing non-perishable food and dry goods.

Now that you know where the items belong, you can begin moving them to the correct places. I suggest purging anything you don’t use or need before going out to purchase any kitchen organizers. Most times you will be able to make due with what you already have.

To keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy, try to only put things on the counter that you use everyday.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Counters Clutter-Free

This is a job that could take a few days to complete, so be sure to pace yourself. I don’t recommend taking everything out all at once unless you have someone there to help and motivate you to finish the job.

Next week we’ll tackle the pantry. If you have any specific questions about organizing your kitchen, feel free to ask away! :)

Here are some organizing posts I found around the web for inspiration and motivation. Click the picture for more information!

under kitchen sink organization

How to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink

storage behind cabinet doors

How to Create Storage Behind Closed Doors

condiments on lazy susan

Smart Kitchen Organizing Ideas

storage for baking pans and pots

12 Kitchen Organization Ideas