Lessons for Tax Season

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This will be a short post about taxes. I promise.

Because who hates doing taxes?

I definitely do.

And not only because I don't understand all that scary lingo, but also because at the end of such a confusing experience, there's a possibility of losing money! My hard-earned money! At the same time, they're taxes, and so it's going to a good societal cause (mostly). TurboTax has been my savior, as well as my dear old dad. But this year is my first year doing taxes for my business, all on my own, without my dad's tech support over the phone.

I decided to start early. I told myself in January that I would be done by the end of January. Because I want to leave room for making mistakes, like accidentally deleting EVERYTHING (which I just did...which then prompted me to write this post).

I didn't start in January. And as February rolled around, I realized that my goal of being entirely done with my taxes by the end of January was too ambitious. It wasn't (SMAR)ealistic(T), see what I did there? It was a really scary goal, and honestly I expected to be sitting in front of my computer for hours, poring over my dismal bank and credit accounts, and mostly crying.

In February, I made a very small, tiny, SMART goal to "buy the Personal and Business TurboTax bundle by the last day in February."

And on Sunday, I finally did. Then I made another teensy goal of "opening the app on my computer."

Then when it opened, I realized that TurboTax was very kind and friendly, and not so much like the scary giant I had expected. So I started filling out some stuff, and before I knew it, I had sat on the couch for a few hours, poring over my dismal accounts, and...not crying (yet). Yay.

Today, as I reviewed what I had worked on, I hit the Back button one too many times (and I think a Transfer button, heh), and all my stuff was gone. I sat in shock for a bit, angrily texted my best friend, almost cried, and then remembered, this is why I started early. To make mistakes. So I gathered my balls, and thought, "Huh. I should probably have SAVED my stuff."

So after writing this post, I will open up a new TurboTax doc, SAVE it, and go at it again. And maybe this time, I'll quit being so cheap and just do the (free) trial of QuickBooks already. There. That's my goal for the day. Download QuickBooks. That's all.

Lessons for Tax Season:

  1. SAVE YOUR STUFF.
  2. SAVE IT AGAIN BEFORE HITTING THE BACK BUTTON.
  3. Try QuickBooks if you have a business.
  4. Make SMART teeny tiny goals to do teeny tiny parts of your taxes so you don't end up pulling an all-nighter and sprouting gray hairs (our going bald) overnight on 4/17/16.

Good luck, and may you either 1. get money back, or 2. not owe more than $2k!