Monday, October 17, 2005

As free as the wind blows

As soon as my check clears, I am debt-free. (I don't count my monthly credit card balance since I pay it in full every month.) That's a pretty good feeling. I own my speakers, my Segway, my camera, and my furniture.

I've even got a bunch of money saved up that could serve as a down payment on a dwelling should I choose to move out when my lease expires. I've been having it deducted from my paychecks and automatically put into poorly-performing Microsoft stock. I don't really know if having the money magically taken away has helped me to save more; my intuition is that it hasn't, as I haven't paid any attention to my account balances when making purchases anyway.

In a few more months I get to find out what tax time is going to be like. I really don't know if I'm going to get a chunky refund, or owe the IRS lots of money, or somewhere in-between.

For now I've got a lot of charitable donations to make that I've been kind of putting off for the Microsoft charity auction. I'm going to bid on the chance to drive the wrecking ball the next time Microsoft needs to tear down a building. That's such an awesome little prize, and it has no inherent value, so I get to deduct however much I end up paying for it come tax time, and Microsoft will match whatever I pay to the United Way. Apparently you don't need any kind of certification to run a wrecking ball. I think that might be fun. And even if it's not, at least a lot of people get to eat.

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