Ahh. Deep sigh of reief. Both federal and state taxes are done.
Yes, I do them myself; every time I hire a CPA (like the year before last), mistakes are found. I prefer the control of reading IRS instructions and doing them myself. Despite my trepidations, it actually wasn't that bad. Partly because I was a W-2 employee last year so that in itself eliminated two or three separate forms.
I usually use last year's form as a guide, but I had a few new income sources this year for the first time, plus a federal energy credit for installing a heat pump water heater. It turned out to be not that difficult. I'm getting sizable refunds from both state and federal. I know, perhaps not ideal, but my employment and income situation has been so changeable for the past few years that estimating income was not always easy.
If you've ever scoured your state's unclaimed property website, here's a tip: don't do it once and assume you're done. Check again in a few years. Things pop up. That's what happened to me. i have checked not just under my name, but also my father's, since he doesn't use a computer, and I found a significant item listed under his name. I'll be collecting the documents needed to process the claim next time I see him. I think he'll be pleasantly surprised.
All winter I've been taking advantage of warmish days (above freezing) to continue cutting down branches of a HUGE burning bush (really a tree) in my yard. I then have to drag the branches about 100 feet to the driveway, where I cut up the branches so they fit in my trunk. Once the trunk is filled, I go to the transfer station to dump them. I've made good progress, but will need to hire a tree guy to cut the main trunk near the ground. As soon as he does that, I'll need to paint with an herbicide so it doesn't resprout. My idea is that I would lower the bill I'll be paying...one would hope. Plus, it gave me something physical to do over the winter. I'll be working on it today and tomorrow.
Here it is in winter, many years ago now...
I also went through my jewelry and have an appointment with a local jeweler to hopefully sell them some unwanted gold, silver and a small diamond. I did this before but somehow still found a few things I really don't need. I have plenty of costume jewelery that looks just as nice, and the real stuff just mostly sits there. Better to liquidate it and put it toward something more useful. I don't entirely trust jewelers though. Some of the gold is 14K, some 18K. I'm going to make sure I've identified which is which and to check current prices online so I have some idea of the going rate. Anyway, this is something I've been wanting to do for a while.
Am hoping my mason will be here Monday as we tentatively agreed to do some important basement work. Also anxious to have tree guys over to do some much needed pruning, and it needs to be done soon, before dormancy breaks. Finally, I found a single mouse in a trap this winter so mouse exclusion person is to come back looking for anything she may have missed, or a new hole. Just one mouse is a huge improvement over past years, when I recall catching mice in the 20-something range, in the basement.
2024 will be my last year of comparative frugality. Next year I have the planned new vehicle purchase and will just generally loosen the spending reins a bit, to lower future RMDs and just enjoy my hard-earned retirement as well. I need to settle into a routine with IRA withdrawals which I really haven't started on a recurring basis.
Socially, I've met 3 women through a group I joined online...one of them lives across the street from me (!) and for 20 years, she had never said hello! They all were quite nice; one even offered to give me an old tablet she wasn't using for my father, since you can enlarge the font on it and perhaps he could learn to use it.
So now that I've met each once (1 for lunch, 1 for brunch and 1 for afternoon tea), I feel I should reach out and suggest another get-together. One of them traveled abroad shortly after our visit, but she has since returned home. I really am just waiting for decent walking weather and also just a settling down of things to do around here, and getting the taxes out of the way was at the top of my list. Once I get my home improvement stuff at least scheduled, hopefully within the next 2 weeks, I'll feel free to schedule the fun stuff.
That's pretty much all that's new in Patient Saver's world. I'm happy to report dad has taken a real liking to some borscht he had at a really nice restaurant we sometimes go to for lunch. No doubt we will be returning there soon.