I did my taxes last week, and it was chaotic

I did my self assessment taxes last weekend. This is where I declared all the money I had earned in the 2016-17 tax year through doing self employed contract work at an Arts company, and also all the money I had earned through my market research and ‘money making scams’ as the boy calls them.

Yes, all those Amazon vouchers I had earned through apps and doing surveys, I hate to break it to you but you do have to declare them as earnings. I am ridiculously honest when it comes to my taxes, I even declared the money I had earned as tips when I was a waitress. I have spoken about it before but I will declare everything I earn on my taxes, as people’s taxes paid to look after me (when I was a child in a single parent on benefits home) so I will pay every penny I am due to in order to give back the same to society.

I don’t say any of that to be all ‘holier than thou’, I’m just explaining that this is my particular principle I stick to. As I usually say at this point, do what you like.

Now, normally doing my taxes is one of my favourite days of each year (yes, I am a complete weirdo and really I should have been an accountant) but this year was a little different.

I made a mistake.

In the last tax year I held two different jobs at the company I am working for now. There was a four month gap between the two roles. I wrongfully assumed that the P60 I received earlier this year covered all the earnings I had earned in those two roles, as they were both in the same tax year at the same company.

So I input my earnings on the self assessment online form, and due to earning so little in the last year (due to the four month gap of unemployment) I was due a nice fat rebate of around £490.

Which for me is like winning the lottery.

So I was coasting on a sea of happiness for several hours until I remembered something.

I had been issued a P45 for the first job when the contract there ended.

Which I hadn’t declared.

So I got in a bit of a mental state, embarrassingly in front of my accountant (also known as my father in law), as I was petrified the ‘tax man’ would come after me and get me.

To cut a long story short, I could easily amend the form, and I was still due a rebate, but of £180. Nothing to sniff at, but I’m sure we all would prefer nearly £500 to nearly £200.

And, to complicate things, I was paid the original rebate amount first, so then I had to phone up the tax helpline to pay back the rest of it.

But I am all up to date now, I have paid what I owe to society/the country, and the rebate means that I could pay £100 off my overdraft, and I could give the boy £100 which means I now only owe him £40, which is down from over £1000 earlier this year.

I should point out, the rebate was actually more, but due to not having paid enough national insurance contributions in the past tax year (due to not earning enough) I had the option of voluntarily paying what I owed in National Insurance contributions. Now this is voluntary. I would not, necessarily, get into trouble if I didn’t (what I mean is no one would come after me demanding money if I chose not to pay them).

BUT, in the UK, and don’t ask me to explain it in too much detail because I will fall flat on my bum if I do, you pay national insurance contributions so that you can be eligible to receive things like your state pension or job seekers allowance if and when needed.

And as I am one of those ‘artistic’ people, who typically don’t earn very much money, I chose to pay the national insurance contributions because it could potentially save my skin in the future.

Of course, it’s a gamble, as the world could all go to hell by the time that day comes. But if everything is to stay the same then it was a good decision to have made.

Well, that’s the story of my taxes. Can’t wait till next year when I get to do it all over again.

A Breakdown of My April 2017 Bills

Today was payday.

Cue me doing a little dance and being in a very good mood today.

A few months ago I showed what my bills look like compared to my earnings and I thought I would do an update.

EARNINGS

Wages = £1206.26

Birthday Money = £100

TOTAL = £1306.26

 

BILLS

Final payment to Credit Card A £0.96

Slightly above minimum payment to Credit Card L £20

Current Account Charges £16.17

Double payment to Overdraft £200

Slightly above minimum payment to Credit Card T £31.10

Phone Bill £20.99

Broadband £27.95

Gas and Electricity £54

Train Monthly Season Ticket £295

Train Weekly Season Ticket £76.10

My half of Rent, Council Tax, deducting the Boy’s half of the bills I pay £198.90

Savings £20

Food Budget £200

My half of the new water bill split into 12 instalment’s £19.57

Football Sessions x 4 £16

Train to Football x 4 £15.60

Paying back the Boy for the Football Ticket £15

Disposable Income £75

Membership fees £3.92

TOTAL = £1306.26

 

So as you see, everything matches up and I am left with £0 that isn’t budgeted in any way, everything is accounted for.

The £75 disposable income is the money I have to spend on socialising, work expenses, gifts, travelling costs, homeware etc etc. It is the budget that all my expenses will come from this month. It is going to be tight. I have quite a few social engagements planned this month so I will have to be picky or prioritise, or be very frugal and clever with my money.

But it is my birthday soon and I am planning on getting as many freebies as I can. I hope to have some good adventures that day. I know about the Paperchase free gift, and I have been sent a voucher for a free drink at a pub chain, and I have heard rumours of a free Krispy Kreme donut, I’ll see what I can find.

 

Financial Review of February 2017

Hi everybody,

I have finally had a chance to compile the data of my expenditure in February, so here goes.

WORK EXPENSE £4.69

SOCIAL £80.96

GIFTS £48.58

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING £8.08

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) £5.60

HOME £15

FOOD SHOPPING £243.39

HEN PARTY £65 (separate budget and not included in the grand totals)

FEBRUARY MONEY IN = £1364.29

FEBRUARY MONEY OUT = £1293.59

DIFFERENCE = £70.70

So I was £70.70 in credit in February, which is good.

Trouble is I don’t know where that money has gone, as in theory it should be in my account. And my account does not have that much money in it.

A full assessment of my monthly income

Hi everyone,

Well as you know today was payday, wooo to the hoooo!

I have decided to show the full extent of my finances by comparing my income versus my outgoings.

So here goes:

FEBRUARY 2017

INCOME

(After student loan repayments, pension contribution, taxes and national insurance)

£1206.26

OUTGOINGS

Paying back boyfriend for Dr Who Ticket £12.80

Credit Card A £20.97 

Credit Card L £20

Credit Card N £10.40

Bank Charges £15.04

Paying back overdraft £100

Credit Card T £30

Phone Contract £21.49

Broadband £26.17

Gas and Electricity £54

Train Season Ticket £292.30

Rent and Council Tax £198.42

Savings £20

Food/Grocery/Household Shopping £200

Water Bill Payment £19.15

Football Training £12

Football Training Transport Costs £15.60

Membership £3.92

Work Expenses, Gifts, Travel (Day to Day), Travel (Visiting), Home, Social, Health, Postage and Packaging and Clothing Maintenance = £100 (in total)

£1172.26

Remaining = £35

So after everything has been taken out and accounted for I am left with £35 for miscellaneous spending.

As long as I have food and shelter accounted for then I will be fine.

To be in profit after all the bills (some more fun then others) have been taken out is a great feeling.

I am happy. I don’t have room for error, I notice if as little as 1p is missing from my purse, but I have ‘surplus’ money each month. I’m prioritising my debts, things will be fine. I hope.