This year, I was looking forward to Valentine’s Day weekend for reasons that probably won't ever be found in a Hallmark card. Of course, my family is big on holiday traditions, so I knew I'd be enjoying my favorite foods — a heart-shaped pizza from Giordano's (a Chicagoland favorite) and as much chocolate as my long-distance boyfriend could afford to ship from England.
And when I wasn’t busy stuffing my face with food, I was hoping to snag a few extra Skype dates. (I did. They were great.) But I also had a secret guilty pleasure on the agenda: finishing my taxes.
To be fair, I wasn’t nearly as excited about taxes as I ever am about seeing my boyfriend's face, but I do still get weirdly giddy about it. It might have something to do with the fact that I've always loved filling out forms. (Oh, shush. You have quirks, too.) Or maybe I just enjoy that I always get a refund. Or maybe my parents dropped me on the head as a child.
Regardless, I was so looking forward to finishing up. I've been collecting student loan documents with a strange fervor throughout January and actually made it 99 percent of the way through the tax software walkthrough before I got held up on a weird HSA question and took a five-minute break — a month ago.
So last weekend, I forced myself out of a sugar coma (or cheese coma) long enough to plug in the final number, mail this, e-file that, and put a bunch of paper in a secure, fireproof box somewhere in my parents' basement.
I might even make a party out of it later this month because I know my refund will be able to cover the paying off of one teeny tiny student loan. (Eee!) I have tens of thousands of dollars left on other loans, but making a final payment on one of them? That's a huge step for me in my goal to being debt-free! Talk about a "sweet spot." It makes all the months of barely scraping by worthwhile.
So happy Chocolate and Skype and Tax Filing Month to you and yours, and stay strong, whatever your goals may be.