For many years my income and therefore my income taxes has varied significantly from year to year, and for many years I would pay in way too much in taxes one year only to follow it up the next year by having to write a big check on April 15th. In 1999 I finally tired of this routine and decided to do something about it.
In looking at my income tax returns, it dawned on me that all of the forms and verbiage notwithstanding, our income taxes are really nothing more than a mathematical equation. It can be a very complicated equation with lots and lots and lots of options associated with it, but in the end it was still just an equation. And because it was an equation, that meant I should be able to put together an Excel spreadsheet that could calculate my taxes for me.
So I set about creating this spreadsheet, and I discovered that my income taxes were not too terribly complicated. Continue reading →
In a previous post, I discussed the need for every person to engage in accounting to keep track of their own personal wealth. In an attempt to concretize this idea I plan to go through how I developed the program I use today which has helped me, my family, and my wife’s family immensely through the years. Indeed much of the reason why I now have the freedom and the time to spend in developing Shurts Accounting and Shurts Tennis can be attributed to all of the information I gleaned about our family’s finances through this program. And I have employed it in one fashion or another for my mother and my mother in-law through the last 20 years to help them live comfortably after their husbands died.
Far from being a constricting straight jacket that doesn’t allow you to enjoy the money you have, a good financial accounting program liberates you by giving you the peace of mind that you are doing well and the early warning system to tell you when danger is on the horizon. With the information you generate from such a program you can see weeks, months and even years in advance when a financial problem might be coming, or you can be re-assured that your wealth is growing and you are going to be able to do all of the things you want to do in life.
There are three major components to my program, but also a number of sub-divisions to these major components that I plan to write posts on. Continue reading →