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Archive for January, 2012

It's all about taxes and fafsa....

January 29th, 2012 at 07:33 am

....or so it seems lately! Actually, there is light at the end of this tunnel...

I've been working on our taxes last weekend and this, and finished! I'm always so jealous of all the mentions of people finishing earlier in the month. Between both tuition statements and one w-2 finally showing up on Friday - well, I'll be polite and say I was extremely pleased with their arrival.

We owe the state a little as usual, and will be getting a refund from federal thanks to the American Opportunity credit for both girls. People used to tell me that we'll have it made with two in college at the same time, but except for more offers of loans, we weren't seeing it. Compared to the dollars spent on tuition, the refund is a drop in the bucket, but I'm not refusing it! I think we'll get to do this one more year, unless the credit is renewed by the government again. We'll have almost the same tax situation in 2012, except I'll lose the child tax credit on my third. Makes my head spin!!

I still have to do the oldest two girls' taxes today- simple and easy. Then I'll start on the FAFSAs for each. I think these will be similar to last year's, and probably similar financial aid offers.

To take a break from those head spinning taxes, I've been trying to learn all the ins and outs of our new version of health plan (same provider as last year, but it's a HDHP this year) and our new HSA. Kind of makes my head spin just as fast the other way Smile I momentarily panicked after paying outright some of our first prescriptions earlier in Jan, thinking we may have made a huge mistake doing this option. But after having real figures to finagle, and not the wild ones my mind was plucking from my panicking memory,I was relieved to find the numbers that helped make the decision last Nov. Oh the safety of having those real numbers, a working calculator, a pen and paper....though there are moments when being oblivious to it all may be the way to go (lucky husband of mine!)

Otherwise, we've been hanging tight here. We had such a bout of beautiful weather most of Jan. Wonderful for getting out for walks and for less heating costs. No snowshoeing, but I can deal Smile

I've been on a soup kick lately - maybe because so many here have been mentioning soup too. I love soup because I've been using up dibs and dabs of stuff in the fridge and freezer, it takes care of itself once it's assembled (lots of crockpot ones) and it tastes wonderful. Along with our usual standbys of chili, taco soup and minestrone, I've tried chicken enchilada soup, broccoli cheese soup (huge hit!),
black bean soup (supposed to be similar to Panera Bread's and it's a close match) and a potato/vegetable soup. Many have come from a website called skinnytaste.com - it has the nutrition info and Weight Watchers points for those wanting that, and the photos of the food are wonderful.

We've been doing well with groceries, but have been noticing the creeping up of prices. It's inched up at restaurants too, so the best deal all around is homecooking. All the more important to not let any food go to waste (yay soups!) I've been baking a little every so often for the younger girls' lunches. I bagged up the leftovers from the holidays and stored in the freezer, and have started to add in a new choice - I love to bake, and it saves a little over buying at the store.

Well, a novel as usual....plus the rest of those taxes and the FAFSAs aren't getting done by themselves! Have a great day!!!