Friday, January 27, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good: I have made a little progress with some wedding things this week!

We officially have a wedding website:

And thanks to my awesome sister who bought us a domain name, it is just our names and not the long one that the actual wedding website gave us :)

I created it at It was really simple to use, and free, which of course I liked, and it doesn't have obnoxious ads or anything like that. It has a place to list information about you as a couple, the wedding party, other details/events, as well as provides a place for RSVP (since I'm pretty sure nobody sends in those response cards anymore...) and a place to list your registries!

Speaking of...I also finished setting up our honeymoon registry, which was a lot of fun :) We had already registered for some gifts for the home, but since we are 25, have lived on our own for so long and already have the essentials for a house, I thought a honeymoon registry would be a good alternative in case people wanted to add a little adventure to our lives ;) 

When I started researching honeymoon registry websites, I couldn't believe how much the website itself was charging the gift givers/wedding couple (depending on how you look at it)! Most of them kept 7-10% of the amount that people gave as gifts before it actually gave the gifts to the wedding couple. thank you. I  contemplated doing lots of work to set up one on my own and just use PayPal, but then I found Honeyfund. It is a free honeymoon registry website, but it uses PayPal as an optional payment method - so the only kicker there is that PayPal does charge some small fees (2.9% of the payment + $0.30 per transaction). BUT it gives gift givers the option to give the wedding couple the gift as a cash or check gift, which is of course fee-less. It does have a few ads on the page, but I like free, so I can live with that :)

I honestly don't anticipate a lot of wedding gifts considering we do have a lot of things we need already. Not to mention, the people that are coming to our wedding are already sacrificing more than we could ever ask to be there and I am completely and overwhelmingly honored by how many people are actually coming to share our big day with us! But I have had a few people ask me where we are registered and what we need, so I thought having some registry options would be beneficial :)

The bad: Though I have made some progress with the above mentioned items, I am falling behind on the invitation details. We did send out Save the Dates a long time ago, which had all of the information about the resort and how to make reservations through our travel agency...and I think most people that are planning on coming have already booked or at least told me they plan too...but I still want to send out the official invitation. I am just trying to plan a few more details ("rehearsal" dinner, reception, etc.) before I have them made. I need really need to get on that...I also have my PhD proposal draft due a week from I kinda have my hands full. This has been a bit of a hectic week...which leads me to...

The Ugly: 

Tax returns.


I have been working like a madwoman all week on getting my taxes done. I really miss the days when I could just file the simple little 1040EZ form and call it good. With the way my scholarship pays me, they don't automatically deduct my taxes from my paycheck, which means I have to pay them myself, directly. Also, with my internship this summer, I had a whole heap of travel expenses that qualified as deductions. I miss the days of "standard deduction," which I could still take, I would just have to pay more taxes, and who wants to do that? So I've been hunting down and sorting through receipts all week and finally got it all settled. Fortunately, I was warned that I needed to make quarterly tax payments to the federal government in order to avoid penalties and interest for late tax payments. Unfortunately, I did not know that also applied to state taxes (I know, probably should've used a little deductive reason there, but I didn't). So the good news is I get a decent little chunk of money back from the federal government, but the bad news is I do owe the state a small fortune. Thanks to some advice I got last year from my friend who is an accountant, I saved 25% of every paycheck I ever got for the sole purposes of using it on taxes if I needed it...which is significantly more than I actually had to pay in after all my even though I owe the state some money, it is still kinda like getting a tax refund :) 

My take-away here is mostly just that filing taxes can be an ugly process. Plan ahead. If your employer doesn't take them out for you, be sure to pay your quarterly tax payments (both federal and state). If you can get your employer to just take them out for you, please do. And know that I'm super jealous of those of you that have that ability. Also, I highly recommend if you are doing your taxes yourself. It is super handy and walks you through every detail and helps you take every deduction properly.

Now onto brighter wedding invitations and becoming Dr. Woods someday. 
Well...actually it'll be Dr. Merriman by then! :)

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