Creative Every Day: I (Heart) Tax Prep

by @thewritermama on April 18, 2011 · 2 comments

Taxes are fun, don’t you think?

No?

But I thought everybody loved doing taxes. (Wink.)

Here’s how I find inspiration in tax prep:

1. Numbers are refreshing for a change. I work with words every day. Coming up with them, getting in the flow of them, whipping them into shape. So I appreciate splashing around in numbers once in a while. In school, I was actually pretty good in math, so this probably has something to do with why I don’t mind crunching numbers.

2. I get great ideas while sorting receipts. When it comes to what I’m going to write next, I don’t typically follow the lead of my left-brain, although it comes in pretty handy when doing taxes. When coming up with writing ideas for parenting publications, I am open to topics I have not written about before. And guess where great material is hiding? In the ways we spent (or didn’t spend) our money last year. I’ve gotten at least a half a dozen article ideas that I’m psyched to write about from our 2010 tax prep process.

3. I like to find out what makes us tick and what we vote for. Every dollar you spend is like casting a vote. So if you take a close look at where your money goes, you will see what you stand for in your life. You will also see what motivates you, nurtures you, and makes you happy, assuming you spend money on any of these things. Otherwise insert the words that dictate how you spend and learn about that.

4. I like to get annoyed at what I’m paying too much for. On the other side of the coin, so to speak, I like to see what we are spending too much on and get good and riled up about it. Harumph. Then maybe I will take action to change it. Heating bill? Ridiculous. Gas bill? Ditto. Cable bill? Not pleased. Time to make some calls and change some habits.

5. I like knowing what’s best for me. Okay, so for the past couple of years, the hard-selling folks at Costco have been working double-time to get me to switch over to one of their upgraded plans where I will get money back for spending more.

Now they don’t call it “spending more,” they just chase me around with that little scanner do-hickey and harassing me how much I could be getting back each year if I switched over to their program.

But Costco is not looking out for my needs. If they were then they would know that one of my most important needs, which is necessary of survival is: don’t overspend at Costco.

I am not stupid or foolish. I know my needs. I also understand the psychology of their program. It goes like this: if I think I will get money back for what I spend, then in the long run I will spend more, not less. That’s just human nature, right?

But guess who didn‘t overspend at Costco in 2010?

I overspent at Starbucks instead.

But that’s another story. For another day.

And now you know some of the many reasons why I enjoy tax prep.

How about you? Love taxes?

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