Monday, February 1, 2010

Do What Works (If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It Edition)

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope this post finds you well. My Monday was great and I've ended with a wonderful band practice.

So, I got to thinking today about how people can over think decisions like doing their taxes, and keeping their "books" in general. There is a lot of advice out there with regards to this stuff right now. It can be confusing and overwhelming quite frankly. The truth is that it's all up to you and what your comfort zone entails. I happen to like going to H and R Block to the tax guy that I've gone to for a few years because he knows my situation and the whole mess that is "my taxes." I have rental properties, self employed income, W2'd income, income from playing music, etc. It all gets convoluted and interesting, but having someone that has done this stuff for years makes it much easier and much less stressful for me.

What I'm getting at here is that do what works for you. Find your comfort zone with this stuff. If you have easy returns, just do them yourself if you know how. If you're not comfortable with that, do like I do and have someone do them for what you think is worth the price. For me, the $300-400 that I pay some to do my taxes is worth it because I usually get the money back in some kind of write off or depreciation that I would have never thought of.

This applies to all aspects of your book keeping too. If you have a system for balancing your checkbook that's outside of using the ledger in your checkbook, keep doing it. I find that an excel spreadsheet works for me and then I just balance it up with my online statements and online balances. That's what works for me. What works for you for your book keeping? I think of it this way: If it's too tedious and I'll never get back to doing the task, then it's not for me. The excel spreadsheet is laid out very simply and it works for me because it's easy. If it was time intensive and difficult, I frankly would not do it.

Good luck with this tax time and I wish you all the best!

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