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Mom money issues

July 21st, 2005 at 06:45 am

DMom, who for years has given us an annual chunk of money for our IRAs, mentioned she *might* not be able to do it this year because she *might* be getting some work done on her house. We really do refrain from spending any of this; it goes right into our IRAs. So it might not sound like it should affect our budget.

However, what we're doing are traditional IRAs to save on current taxes. I haven't thought of the situation as using a "Mom gift" for living expenses. Since it seemed like something we could count on, long ago I adjusted my withholding lower at work. I'd rather have a smooth income all year long, instead of scrimping and then getting a big tax refund. But that means the tax savings we've been using for living expenses is actually the result of a gift from DMom, even though the money doesn't come directly from her. It's a tax break we wouldn't get on our own, since we couldn't afford to put that much away ourselves.

The result is, if DMom doesn't do it this year and I leave the withholding the same, we'll owe a big chunk on taxes in the spring, maybe even a penalty for not having enough withheld. So I just upped my withholding and now have to figure out where to find another $100 a month to keep our budget in the black.

Now, my mom's "mights" don't often come to fruition. I'll be really surprised if she actually moves ahead with the home improvement projects. Even if she does, she's apt to give us the IRA funds anyway. Although it might be next April 14--I think she likes to keep us guessing. Wink But preparing for the worst seems like the safest course.

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