There will be no dramatic debt payoff in March.
I met with my tax preparer this past Monday morning.
We combed through my expenses (go me for keeping a tight spreadsheet -- though I had to plow through some papers to find some information). Unfortunately, my refund will not be enough to completely pay off my credit card in March even with using the money in my emergency fund.
The reason why, though, is a good one.
I compared my return this year to last year's and saw that I made about $7,500 more in 2007, but paid about $500 less in taxes than I did in 2006. Why? IRA contributions and maximizing exemptions to keep more money in my paycheck.
So though my refund is not big and fat as it has been in previous years, that's because I was doing things right.
I still have some work to do though. I think the time has come to be more fine grained with where my money is going. The reason is that I made more and kept more in my check, but, uh, I'm not sure where it went. I'd like to think that it went on my credit card (I did raise the amount I put down a month), but I never actually calculated what that extra would be so I didn't plan for a place to put it.
I may have outgrown my Excel spreadsheet. A few of you guys have suggested MS Money and I think I might try it.
I am a little disappointed that I won't be able to write one big check and be done with my credit card payment. I could just see the balance vanishing and suddenly have more money available to do whatever!
Ah, but my dream is not deferred, just delayed a little bit.