Thanks, Uncle Sam!

Do Taxes. Check.
Get Refund. Check.
Throw at Debt. Check.

It feels good to get a little windfall and have the confidence and self-control to just throw it at my looming debt. It kinda sucks too. I’ve had wild fantasies of what I’d do with my $384 refund:

Get a massage.
Get a facial.
Get a pedicure.
Buy plane ticket to see my 91 year old grandpa in Michigan.

I want all those things and never get them. The things listed make me feel good, relaxed and happy. But they are wants and not needs. It’s hard sometimes to be so frugal/practical and miss out on some minor luxuries, but there is a time and place for everything. I feel like after Iceland I’ve had enough luxury for the rest of the year!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, doing my taxes, I found the astonishing amount of student loan interest I paid. Doing your taxes can be depressing, because all of your financial details sit there in their harsh, brutal honesty.

I made roughly 20k last year.
I paid $4,292.48 in student loan interest.
I put double that amount towards my loans.

Usually, I have a fairly large refund and in years past have received anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.  This year, I knew it would be different. I clearly don’t make a lot of money and my withholding setting set at 1, they take their share of my hard earned money.

But this year, my side hustles have been an integral part of increasing my income–and sometimes, they were my only income. Most of my side hustle income comes from being an events marketer, a fancy term for Brand Ambassador. I prefer events marketer because no one knows what the hell a Brand Ambassador is. We are those friendly people talking to you about cool new products, handing out samples and engaging the public in a face to face marketing campaign.

It’s kind of ironic that I do this work as I am a minimalist (and don’t buy anything) and usually end up getting free swag (oh hey, Columbia Sportswear Jacket, I’ll take that!). Most of the gigs are fun and ridiculously easy. Some are not. Either way, it’s a great way to make money and all of it is as an independent contractor. I made close to 7k this year in independent contractor income, meaning un-taxed. I was so nervous, because I really didn’t want to owe any money to Uncle Sam. I mean I don’t even know this guy. He must be some sort of distant relative, definitely not by blood.

Let’s do some math. I made 13k this year at my “real job” (contract, but employee status) which I worked 9 months this year working full time hours. I made 7k having that as my only income for 3 months and the spattering of gigs I also worked while working full time. Looking at the math gives me comfort looking into the future. Knowing my taxes weren’t a huge disaster makes me feel even better. I also booked another gig this weekend, which should bring another $288 towards the debt repayment!

I am making it work and hustlin’! Sometimes work attracts work and I love that. 🙂

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3 responses to “Thanks, Uncle Sam!

  1. This is all true. I look back at my taxes and think: REALLY?

    The more you make, the more you make. Period. Just depends on what you’re willing to give up to make it (Time, Energy, etc).

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