Today, I thought I’d break out of my normal style of writing and openly think out loud the current set of financial thoughts that are spinning and bouncing around in my head. All too often, we read a direct organized list of things to consider and while this will be similar, it will also me my thoughts as it directly pertains to me.
Taxes For Next Year
Okay, just sold a stock for an almost $4,000 capital gain (doh). While this might seem like a positive (and it is really), it’s also a problem because I now owe 1k in taxes on the third day of the year, grrrr.
This in combination of the fact that my wife doesn’t withhold 25% of her earnings, and that I plan on making money this year from side income means I’ll have to take this into consideration from a Tax perspective. Now I could save and file estimated tax payments 4 times a year, and this wouldn’t really be an issue, I’d rather not. So to keep my lazy ways, I’ve decided to increase my withholds by $200 a paycheck from my primary employer. This should cover the increased taxes that I need to save, and still give me some money leftover next year when I file my taxes. Yeah, I know it’s stupid, but in this particular case, lazy trumps stupid.
Decreased Cash Flow Considerations
Well, I’m officially at the phase in my financial life where wealth accumulation is very important to me, and so in response, I’m channeling as much money from my earnings as I can into investments. This will be a year-long battle, much like it was last year for me. By taking $200 out of my paycheck per week, I may have to live a little more frugally this year than I did last year.
Kids 529 Thoughts
Time to increase my automated contribution amount for my kids 529 plans by another $20 per month this year. $20 a month doesn’t hurt too badly, so this shouldn’t be noticeable (I hope).
I also need to make 1 direct contribution to a new mutual fund option in the 529 plan so that I can split the automated monthly contributions between the current “age based” option and the new “indexed something or other” option.
This year my mind is in a tug-a-war between dividend and growth stocks. The ideal stock would be a solid growth company with an ever-increasing dividend. I have a lot of things bouncing around in my head on this one. I also need to invest 10k in a car debt experiment (more coming on that in future articles).
Controlling Consumption Spending
Life is short, too short to be too conservative with money. So this is where the mission impossible theme song starts playing in my head, since I want to also spend more this year on fun stuff. This might be possible if I actively seek out the best deals on things and/or increase my income by about half. I guess, this is my stretch goal.
I would very much like to increase my “employed” and “side” incomes by about 50% each. To be honest, if I were to just increase one of them two distinct steams by 50%, I’d be pretty happy.
That said, I might also look for a new job. I haven’t done a job search in years, but this feels like the year for me to put out the feelers to see what there is out there in the hard, cold, world (lol). If I do get a new job, a lot of financial reworking will need to be done and a lot of the above thoughts go right out of the window. But if I can find a job that fits me better and still pays a reasonable amount, I’m jumping!
Well, there you have my thoughts. If you’d like to share some of your financial thoughts, please feel free to comment!
Here’s to the new year!