I am writing about the dreaded April 15th tax day that we all know about. Ok, I am a little late this year to write about this, but, my buddy Zack gave me a good explanation, “I filed for an extension”.
Why is April 15th such a monumental date and how should we feel about it? In my career, those with wealth and those without, the very liberal and the very conservative, no one and I mean not one person, when it comes to their own taxes, like paying. I would go so far as to say they dread paying.
As Benjamin Franklin so articulately said, ” the only thing that is certain is death and taxes”.
The certainty of taxes lives with all of us. It is interesting though, one would think that December, where our tax year ends, would be the date. But, this isn’t the emotionally stressed day in our lives, but, it is that date of finality, of completion and of filing, April 15th!
For those whose birthday’s or any other special occasion, how do they like being associated with April 15th? I wonder if they couple’s getting married on that day would swing by the post office and drop off their returns on the way to their nuptials? It certainly is one of those days that doesn’t bring a whole lot of excitement or fun.
But, what if we turn it around? Maybe we should view this as a day to make sure something else important is done. Like changing the batteries on your smoke detectors when the time changes twice a year. I would suggest this is a great time to put together your personal financial statement. This is your detailed listing of net worth, listing all your assets and liabilities. I strongly recommend this to people as this is the true score card on how you are doing. Maybe not your w-2 or your taxable income from your tax return. Preparing this annual gives a much better reflection and it allows you to see the trends. Hopefully you have put some money away during the year for retirement, you can see how your investments have performed, the value of your real estate may have changed and progress could have been made on pay down of debt.
Getting into this annual habit brings such a better reference point to your financial life. With focus and attention to this, typically I see progress and with progress comes peace of mind. So I suggest that we alter Ben’s quote to ” The only thing certain is death, taxes and the preparation of my annual personal financial statement”. Well, not the best ring to that, but, I am thinking it will change your view of April 15th to something more positive! What do you think?