Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wedding and Taxes

Just when you think you have your budget under control, BAM! Something completely random smacks you upside your head.

It all started when Mr. PaC and I found our ideal honeymoon destination: Little Dix Bay. We had our hearts set on LDB, but it was a bit more than we planned on spending. And so we hemmed and hawed for weeks... re-working the budget, making compromises or cutbacks where we could. Finally, we reached a comfort level with the cost and gave ourselves permission to put the remaining third on a no-interest rewards card. Brilliant!


No sooner than we booked the airfare (which had risen $150/pp because of fuel) and paid our deposit, a fat envelope arrived from the IRS. For me. The girl who follows all rules, pays bills before they're due, and is embarrassed when she has an overdue library book. I wanted to hurl. It seems I owe a significant chunk of money because I had unreported 1099 income (pre-tax dollars). Like Miss Magic, I don't do math. This is why I have an accountant to make my complicated tax returns go away. And yet, here I am experiencing the same stomach-churning stress that I pay good money to avoid. (Despite being the one who missed an entire tax form, my accountant has no culpability. "Too bad, so sad" sums up his response.)

It gets worse. The IRS wants their money by May 31st or additional penalties will be applied. Our wedding is June 4th. Dude, we don't HAVE 5 grand laying around 3 months before our wedding! Not after just booking our honeymoon and putting what we couldn't afford right away on credit. Stupid stupid stupid. We should have never spent money we didn't have, even if it was just a short-term cash flow problem. Compounding the money woes is my yet-to-be-filed 2010 return, for which I will inevitably owe another significant chunk of money... even if I could max out my retirement contribution.

Money only grows on trees in Animal Crossing

Hive, it sucks. I thought we were being so good with our money. Mr. Pac and I were proud that we weren't going into debt for this wedding, paying for most of it out of our own meager pockets. The whole IRS thing has shaken my self-confidence and robbed us of the peace of mind we worked so hard for in these last months before our wedding.

I guess the moral of the story is: Life outside of the wedding can't be be planned or controlled. It refuses to fit neatly into your spreadsheets. It will happen at the most inopportune time. It has the capacity to throw you a curve ball that you'll never see coming. Sometimes life is a real bitch.

Hive, what random and humbling things have you experienced while planning your wedding?

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