New year, new money issues

Tax season is upon us
The W-2s and the 1099s should start rolling in within a week or two. I’m not looking forward to doing my taxes — er, my dad doing my taxes — this year. While one of my freelance gigs considers me a part-time employee, 2008 found me taking on a few extra side gigs that use the good-ol’ 1099. Plus, I shouldn’t forget the wonders of bank interest, which is also taxable. Since I usually get a bit of a refund, I’m hoping I will have little or no tax liability.

Unexpected wedding
This past weekend, we got short notice that my cousin is getting married in early February, an expenditure that we weren’t expecting so soon after our Christmas bills have started rolling in. At least the venue is nearby, so there won’t be a need for a hotel. Plus, the food will be delicious! =)

401(k) — so far, so good
Well, for the first week of the year, my one 401(k) was up 1.84% and the other, 2.1% (I have yet to roll over the first one into the second). It’s a small dent in the 38.54% drop for 2008, but I’m hoping it’s a hint of a better 2009 for everyone’s investments.

Obama stimulus plan
I have to say, even though the total price tag on Obama’s plan to jump-start our half-dead economy ($800 billion) is more than a little scary, I think he’s on to something. I’d rather see money appearing in my bi-weekly paychecks than get it in a lump-sum rebate. When I’ve gotten government rebates in the past (even my yearly tax rebate, rest its soul), I’ve done nothing with them except deposit them in my savings account. With additional money in my paycheck, there’s more of a chance of it going back into the economy through gas fill-ups and grocery purchases.

Would you prefer a lump-sum rebate or more cash in your paycheck? Talk to me!

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