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January Challenge: A Tax Prep Party

I know it’s hard to believe that both ‘tax prep’ and ‘party’ can co-exist in the same sentence.

Tax prep brings out a lot of dread for many people (myself included), so I was inspired by my financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons to adopt her enthusiasm for all things taxes and challenge myself to make this task into a celebration (of sorts) for my January challenge.

I used to think of doing taxes as a total drag. I didn’t see the positive side. What came to mind were negative quotes like ‘all you’re guaranteed in life is death and taxes’ and flashbacks to how I used to hear adults talk about taxes as a kid… which doesn’t help my motivation.

So before starting this challenge, I decided to remind myself through a bit of research why paying taxes is a positive thing. Here are three great reasons if you’re looking for some inspiration:

#1) Paying taxes is an investment in our glorious country. More than ever before, I truly appreciate being Canadian and don’t mind paying for the privilege.

#2) Paying taxes keeps us safe, provides education and ‘free’ health care. I sprained my wrist this past year and forgot how easy it is to just stroll into a hospital in Canada and get care by showing my health card.

#3) Emergency services. I’m appreciative that I haven’t needed to rely on police or firefighters this year, though it’s tremendous peace of mind to know that they’re on-call for any tough times.

I’m just scratching the surface here with these three reasons.

Now back to the ‘party.’

So last year, I got my taxes in early, as I invested in myself and booked in to work with Shannon for tax filing. As an employee and a freelancer, my taxes always seem a bit more complex, so I prefer to outsource this to a professional.

In preparation to meet with Shannon last year, I came up against the wall of resistance too. Literally the night before I met with Shannon last year, I was up until 3 a.m. working on last minute number crunching. It sucked to feel exhausted as I walked into her office like a zombie.

So my January challenge was to book in a Tax Prep Party for a couple hours every Monday of the month to be prepared for my meeting with her on February 28th. This was set to be a time where I started entering digits into a spreadsheet.

Results: I am about a quarter of the way done, and only spent one Monday this month working on taxes.

Truth: My enthusiasm quickly waned after week one, and I found convenient excuses not to sit down and do the work.

Learning from this (and the resistance I have to sitting down and doing the work), reminds me that this is the type of task I should get down all in one (or perhaps two) sittings. And ideally, I’ll find a way to enjoy the process (I’m thinking latte + fun music + dance breaks!)

So with this, I am officially sharing that my February challenge is Tax Prep Party II! My meeting with Shannon is on February 28th, so there’s definitely a huge incentive to really get this done!

Now accepting all positive vibes and well-wishes 🙂

-Gwen

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