What is that old expression about making plans and then God laughing at them? Well, my plans for 2021 just got thrown for a loop. Not completely, and it is something we can cash flow through March for, but it means only putting $195 a month into the Emergency Fund. For the first time ever we will be owing taxes.
It isn't an exact amount just yet, and won't be until DH gets his W-2, but with the numbers we do have, he estimated we will need to pay $2304 in taxes. It might vary. That means saving $768 a month for the next three months. The only place to take that money from was what we planned to put into the Emergency Fund.
If I want to hit our goal of six month's expenses by the end of the year, that means I will need to save $1018.55 a month from April through December. What I had budgeted for was $950 a month before all this. So that is a shortfall of $68.55 a month or $616.95 total. We might be able to make up for that on 3 paycheck months where medical would not be taken out so the checks are bigger. There is one in April and one in October this year. I would know how much it would be by April to know if it was enough in October to make up that difference. If not, I'll just have to find the money somewhere.
I'm not sure what our tax situation will be for 2021. We will be almost maxing out our 401K which one would think would lower our taxes by quite a lot. We only did 5% in 2020 and are doing 15% this year, which is $17,160. The max is $17,500 for 2021, although since we are over 50 we could do the catch up rate of $19,500. But we're not, at least not this year. Once we have our six month's expenses saved, the plan for 2022 is to max out to the catch up rate if we can.
I don't know if they will eliminate that tax cut Trump put in or not, but if they do that will affect everything, too, so until we see what they will do in Congress, it is kind of tilting at windmills to even try to think about taxes for 2021. Of course, that drives my planner's mind crazy. I am going forward assuming it will be eliminated, though.
I guess if we do have to pay taxes in 2021, we will probably be fine just doing what we are doing this time, altering the budget to cashflow the taxes.
You know what? I am so grateful we have no debt. So, so grateful. This would have made me so upset a year ago, but now we can just absorb it. Yes, it makes me annoyed, I don't like change, but not "Oh, my gosh, what are we going to do?" freaked out. I knew exactly what we could do and how to manage it without even blinking. That peace of mind, after so many years under the burden of debt, is priceless.
I don't know if I mentioned here about my little grand niece, but she was in the ICU at Children's for a couple of days, then one day out of the ICU and today she got to go home, but she's still not great, just not life-threatening anymore. There is something wrong with her blood sugar, like she's not absorbing enough sugar or something and it just got so bad because she stopped drinking for a day and got dehydrated. They had genetic testing done, but won't get that back for a week or so. Meanwhile they gave my nephew and his wife some sugar paste that absorbs directly into her gums if she won't drink enough juice to keep it up. They haven't mentioned diabetes at all, so I don't think that is the issue. Hopefully they will get it figured out soon.