Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ok. Really trying to get back in the groove here.

I filed my taxes on March 13. I have not yet received my NY state refund, which is starting to irritate me a little bit. I don't even know where I can find more information about it, as the NY department of taxation website says it was accepted, and is being processed, and no more information is available about it and please don't check back here for another week. It also says that refunds are sent within 4-6 weeks and faster if direct deposit is used. It is now going on 7 weeks, despite requesting direct deposit.

Hrmmm.

I wonder if this means I'm going to be audited. I've never been audited before, and that's a little nervewracking. But I filed both my Schedule C's in good faith (meaning no fraud, I did the best I could but I wouldn't be totally surprised if I made a mistake somewhere--but not one that would get me a refund when I should have had to pay). Well, I'd like the refund because it's more money to add to my clothing/apartment makeover pot (or put aside for my CRUISE), but if I have to pay then I'll pay. Whatevs.

I've also figured out a little more about how much this degree is ultimately going to cost me. I took out about $3,800 in loans for this first semester, plus just over $5,000 for the two summer sessions. If I keep attending at this rate, I will have $16,200 in loans--with an annual cap of $5,000 each year in tuition reimbursement from my company. So, my master's degree will cost me out of pocket about $6,200 plus books and incidentals. I can't say that's too shabby. I might even keep it up and take one or two more classes the following semester (which would totally be covered by the tuition reimbursement) because I want more electives than I need to have.

Although I didn't partcipate in Krystal's budget challenge, I did fairly well with my cash flowing this month--until Sunday. Sunday wound up being an expensive day for me! I went to a Mets game ($20 for a ticket). I bought drinks and a snack on the way since I hadn't had breakfast ($2.50). I was FREEZING at the game so I bought a cup of coffee ($4!!!! for plain black coffee!!!) and some french fries ($5). Then I went to dinner with my friends ($20, which wasn't too bad except I didn't much like my food, so it seemed expensive in that regard). Then I went to a pub quiz in my neighborhood, where I took care of the $10 entry fee (I forget why exactly, but I never did ask anyone else to contribute. Also, my friends bought my drinks, so it definitely worked out in my favor). Total damage for a Sunday: $61.50. Which was still cheaper than the $87.45 lunch I paid for on Thursday with my lunching lady friends.

This wiped me out of my cash for the rest of the month as well as an extra $20 I pulled out of the ATM. I'm not financially hurting because of it, but will be doing a little more pantry cooking the rest of this week.

And you know what? I'm THRILLED that because of my careful budgetting and cash management skills, I CAN throw money around like that without being worried about the electric bill. I can't spend money like that all the time, but I'd rather spend it on good times with good friends.

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