Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Could Have Had A Vacation!

Anyone else remember that V-8 commercial or is it just me?
(And you know there was coffee, not juice, in MY cup when I would see that commercial on TV!)

How did I get sidetracked to vegetable juice when this post is about TAXES?


You know that bane of most adults' existence... especially teachers?

As of yesterday, my taxes are done!

It's not that we make a lot of money--but that so much of our money is spent on the classroom!
(Increasingly so now that school budgets are so incredibly slim)

I've been doing my taxes the same way for two decades...

I keep a binder for each year.

I tape the receipts on paper--with the date and the total spent indicated.
(This year my Dear helped me.  He does VERY neat work! He got a gold star.)

It takes longer to find the date on a faded receipt than it does to spend the money!
I also put the charitable donations on different colored paper so they are easy to find, since they are tabulated in a different part of the return.
Then I arrange everything chronologically and separate the months with those pretty dividers.

I total all of the receipts on a spreadsheet using a sum function.
I don't really speak computer, but I sure was glad to have those columns add themselves up!

This year I also printed out a list of all of my purchases from Amazon--it's great that there is a place where you can do that on your Account page!

Since I worry about positively EVERYTHING, this ADD/OCD-driven system keeps me from worrying that I would crumble if I were to be audited.  (Well, I might still crumble, but my book would be complete as it sat on the auditor's table while I sat there crying!)

I'm pretty sure everything is present and accounted for!

I just re-read what I wrote. 
As much as I love my pretty notebooks, it is scary how much money I continue to spend to make my lessons interesting and engaging.

And while I will never have as many books as Mor from A Teacher's Treasure, I seem to be buying a LOT of books each year as interests (and authors) change.

Further, despite my cajoling and/or lecturing, many books and countless supplies are lost, broken and/or damaged each year. Some things have been bought... repeatedly!

I can see I am making a choice.
We can make cuneiform clay tablets or I can spend an extra day on vacation.

I don't like having to choose.
When it's Wednesday and the kids are yawning while I try to have them discuss the progression from concrete to abstract symbols over time, the clay wins out. And they learn better and they remember--happily. We don't have clay in our supply room. We don't have much more than paper and pencils.

But when I added up those funny columns, I was surprised that it was getting close to what I bring home in a month. (Does that happen to you too?)
And I found myself wondering what I didn't get to do or see or visit.

I'm not complaining (because I know it is a blessing and a JOY to love what I do most days)
But I am thinking...

And this post might make me pause and reflect for a least a minute or two before I purchase that next book or box of clay...

Maybe I'll compromise and buy three boxes of clay instead of five.
Or, maybe I will find a new book that goes with the clay tablet-making lesson, and we'll have so much fun...


  1. It's pretty hard to see it in black and white, isn't it?

    Most people don't understand how much teachers spend each year. Is there any other profession that does this? I highly doubt it.

    Keep on truckin' girl :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  2. Fist of all...YOU KEEP A BINDER FOR EACH YEAR OF TAXES?? MONTH BY MONTH? (That's me yelling with excitement!!) I am so pathetically unorganized, but I may give this a try...seriously! I really like this!

    Second of all...spend less and take the vacation:)

    Third of all...Your comment on my blog brought huge tears of joy to me! Thank you sweet Kim!

  3. Friend, that is what I call ORGANIZED! WOWIE! I put my receipts in an expandable file folder and alphabetize them. But that's all. And then I spend one long day adding them all up. And then I am SHOCKED over how much I spent on my classroom. Every year. SHOCKED.
    In other news, I tried to email you last night just to say hi. How in the world can I not find your email? Especially since you email me all the time? Anyways, I just wanted to say hi. So hello!!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. Kim,
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. You are my bloggyangel, too :)

    Asking all them questions...can't get that song out of your head, can you :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  5. I feel you pain too! I spend a lot of money myself to give kids the experiences I think they deserve in my classroom. Their appreciation and looks of "i get it NOW!" are priceless.
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
    Find me on Facebook!

  6. I bow down to your receipt organization! I spent a TON of money this year on classroom materials because I thought I was getting a $500 voucher (which means you buy teaching materials) for being the middle school math liaison. Come to find out I get paid $500 and it is not a voucher! Oh well, live and learn and I do have all my colorful cute chairs and organizational tools.

  7. One of my biggest fears is getting an audit. I too spend entirely too much money on my class but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love it! Thanks for sharing your binder. I might give it a try. Come check out my Ultimate Giveaway-I'm on day 4 and have 6 more days of awesome giveaways.
    Happy Saturday!

  8. I am feeling bitter about taxes today as I am PAYING this year and then The Husband read an article that Ford and GM are getting tax REFUNDS. Somehow, that does not seem at all fair to me :(

  9. hahaha!!!! Kimmy If I kept a binder like yours I'd be divorced by now!!! NO WAY will I EVER let hubby know how much money I spend on school and books {the number is in the thousands each year)
    You're so organized I'm inspired!!!!

    Hope you got some well deserved R & R on vacation!!!

    Please come to our Blogger Meet Up in June!!!!


    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  10. Do you get to deduct more than the $250.00 that we get where I am? Goodness . . . I think you've exceeded your limit!!! We were crying as we did ours because somehow we lost all of our kid exemptions since the girl is 18, the next child is 17 and without the older two, the numbers didn't add up to enough to qualify us to deduct the 13-year-old that lives with us . . . aren't we supposed to be able to deduct dependents???

    I stand in awe of how organized you are! If you do decide to vacation instead of buying that extra clay or Zero the Hero, come. to. TeXaS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. Oh my word, I have to tell you the truth Kim. I can do that because you are my friend and you will understand--right? I actually started reading this and clicked it off because I completely panicked because I DON'T KNOW where half my receipts are!!!! But I quickly came back because this is just incredible. I must do this. I feel like a new woman now. One who will be MUCH more organized. Thank you, I love coming here for my dose of Joy!!! :)

  12. I completely understand!! It is so hard. Have you checked library book sales? Here in NY we have one where paperbacks are 25 cents! I get a lot of my books that aren't new this year there (because I stalk the tables until it officially opens LOL) but it has saved me a lot! :)

    Anyway---I think you're a great teacher!

  13. WOW! How I WISH I was that organized - I haven't even begun my taxes yet (think I'm scared) ... but I have until the end of the month to get them in (and procrastination is my best friend). And THANK-YOU for reminding me I must go out and get some clay for my art / science project this week. ;)

    Runde's Room

  14. I didn't think I would ever find someone more organized than me but I just did...YOU!! Happy Sunday!

  15. After reading this post I'm actually thinking about taking up this type of organization system JUST so I can STOP spending so much on my classroom! :)

    Those little purchases do tend to add up, don't they?

    I LOVE your tax binders!! I just might have to go shopping.....



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