April 1st, 2002


More Money Maunderings

Some followup to my recent post on our tax-time troubles:

- Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful, generous outpourings of support. Wow. I feel almost embarrassed by this, since...
- Our condition is not actually all that bad. We wouldn't be more than $500-1000 short on the taxes; we don't have any credit card debt; and my parents are willing and able to give us a short-term loan if we do fall short. We are only risking significant financial inconvenience here, not serious financial catastrophe. (I find the financial inconvenience pretty frustrating, admittedly, but I know it's not a crisis.) I know that many people are in much worse financial positions.
- Also, I used TurboTax Online tonight for a more precise estimate of our taxes. (I'm still going to see the accountant, though--we've already started with him, and I was over-cautious about potential deductions.) TurboTax's estimate came up $300 short of the tax target I was expecting. And that turns it into a much more manageable challenge--things are still going to be a bit tight, but I can unclench my wallet sphincter a bit.
- I really did feel a lot of love and support about my financial woes. Thanks so much.


A wonderful friend (whom I will not identify; they may if they like) offered us a loan to get by this crunch. I feel like sharing my reply to their question of "How much money would you like to borrow?", because I think it says a lot about me:

Gulp. Wow. I am deeply touched by this. Thank you for your very kind offer.

The first answer that comes to mind, which is both wise-ass and true, is "none". I actually think that we *can* make it through this without going into debt, either to friends or to credit card companies.

Given this belief, I don't want to borrow, for several reasons:
- I have a stubborn streak a mile wide, and since we've made it through so many challenges, I'm really yearning to make it through this last one. Borrowing would cheapen the victory. (I think we may assume that appeals to rationality are not going to have much impact on this reason.)
- I don't want to borrow money just to avoid belt-tightening. We'd need to do more or less the same belt-tightening to repay a debt; it's just as well for us to do the belt-tightening up front.
- Furthermore, I have some fear that we may be spending beyond our means. If this is true, then we need to tighten our belts now, and lending us money is not actually a kindness.
- If we have to borrow, I'd prefer to borrow from my parents (who have expressed a willingness to loan us some money if necessary). I have experience with being financially dependent on them, but I've seen bad things happen with financial dependence among friends.

So, I am grateful for your kind offer, but I have realistic hopes of not needing it.

This is all true. And I do have high hopes of posting a "Woohoo!" message when the taxes are paid and we are still debt-free.