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How do people live like this?

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    How do people live like this?

    Yesterday, one of my coworkers was all excited that our W-2s were available online. She explained that she had plugged everything into TurboTax the day before and the only thing she was missing was her W-2. Now she could file her taxes.

    Why was she so excited?

    She scheduled a ski trip for her and her son for President's Day weekend but she can only go on that trip if she gets her tax refund in time to pay for it. She's already told her son that if the refund doesn't come in time, they won't be taking the trip.

    I suppose at least it's good that her plan isn't to charge the trip and pay it off later. She wants to have the money in hand, so that's something. But I can't imagine living that way. If I was so broke that the only way I could afford a vacation was to wait for my tax refund, I wouldn't be planning that trip. And I certainly wouldn't tell my son that we're going skiing until I was sure we were actually going.

    Obviously, the fact that she needs her refund to pay for the trip means she has no savings. And clearly, she won't be using her refund to build any savings as she's spending it on a ski trip.

    Rinse and repeat.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    #2
    You just described 80% of America.
    Maybe more?

    Comment


      #3
      I thought the earliest you could file your 2019 taxes is Jan 27th?

      Comment


        #4
        normal is broke...
        Brian

        Comment


          #5
          As people like her loudly stimulate the economy, our money is quietly growing in the shadows.

          Comment


            #6
            Sad for the kids that this is probably how they view vacations and big purchases being possible. IMO there shouldn't be a tax refund if estimating taxes correctly; and it shouldn't be a cash piņata to be counted on.

            Also on the list of things I don't understand; people who get excited about payday at work. Are things so unpredictable or so on the edge that you have to wait for a paycheck to hit in order to buy groceries? We're not talking hourly minimum wage employees here.

            Comment


              #7
              This sort of thing is always a little sad/tragic in my view, for all of the reasons you're all stating and more.

              I normally do mine in mid-Feb (a week or two after Vanguard releases all of their annual documents -- they tend to be last). Though this year, I can't do it until I get home from my deployment in March -- many of the documents I'll need to file are in our hanging file at home. I'll just need to do it before we get our household goods packed up for our next PCS in late March/early April (or else get an extension, which I've never done, and would prefer not to mess with).
              "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
                Also on the list of things I don't understand; people who get excited about payday at work. Are things so unpredictable or so on the edge that you have to wait for a paycheck to hit in order to buy groceries? We're not talking hourly minimum wage employees here.
                My wife used to work with a bunch of people who would run out at 12:00 on payday to cash their paychecks so that they could afford to then go out for lunch. My wife had direct deposit and rarely even knew it was payday, and she packed her lunch. Maybe if those folks didn't eat out 5 days a week (and more outside of work I'm sure) their paycheck would stretch a lot farther.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don’t understand it either. My wife and I make only 75k a year split equally between the both of us. We have managed to grow a net worth of 306k including almost 200k in retirement and 173k home value. Neither of us has made more than $18.15 an hour. People just need discipline and save first. We’re lucky if we go out more than once a month to eat.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Like2Plan View Post
                    I thought the earliest you could file your 2019 taxes is Jan 27th?
                    She said something about that. You can submit your return but they don't start processing them until then. I suppose they process in order of submission so the sooner you get in the queue, the sooner you return is done.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #11


                      Also on the list of things I don't understand; people who get excited about payday at work. Are things so unpredictable or so on the edge that you have to wait for a paycheck to hit in order to buy groceries? We're not talking hourly minimum wage employees here.
                      [/QUOTE]
                      I get excited for paydays and its because i like to see my accounts grow not to buy groceries...but any people live beyond their means and paydays are exciting as they can do something again for another day or two

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                        #12
                        I think many people are raised this way...maybe her parents did this...Im sure her son will do the same its what they know...but when it comes to retirement things might hit home that they arent saving enough etc.....some people can't or wont or know how to change their ways.....I can't understand why so many americans don't use coupons to save money...I'm not talking extreme...but if it saves you money why not....I sure would

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                          You just described 80% of America.
                          You're describing most of humanity, for most of human existence. (Otherwise, Aesop wouldn't have told the fable of the ant and the grasshopper 2500 years ago.)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I can understand using the tax refund as "savings" for large expenses....it's a zero interest bearing account which is not all that much less than what your bank would be paying.

                            Personally I try to break even at tax time every year....to each his own.
                            Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              most people who are terrible at saving use tax refunds as a form of savings. they eagerly wait their w2s at the end of january. People with more complex situations prefer to wait. Many times investment companies will issue incorrect 1099s or the tax law is still in flux for the previous year. If you already filed, you'll have to amend, which is $$ from your tax preparer or personal time used to figure it out. Or you might not even know about the tax law change and miss it entirely. Then rich people also extend their tax returns to make sure there's no weird changes or amendments for their businesses. Difference between rich and poor mentality.

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