Two things you should do sparingly: (1) complain about money and (2) complain about how busy you are. No matter how difficult things are, there's always someone worse off. You gripe about paying your mortgage, and someone else is swamped in credit card debt, living in a crowded studio apartment, wishing he or she could get approved for (or afford) a home loan. You talk about your job, and they're unemployed. It's difficult to avoid these conversations, because we love to complain and it's easy to complain about work. We assume everyone listening to us is in a similar situation. Thus, such complaints build solidarity. However, this is rarely the case. Friends will tolerate the occasional "venting," but when it becomes habit, they may start to complain about you.
Infographics like this make it hard to sympathize with wealthy people who complain about paying taxes. Also, it is hard to feel badly about my family's situation. April and I are doing okay. And nowadays, okay is good. We have a few financial challenges, but we'll get through it.
That being said, 2011 is the last year I do my own taxes. Once I start freelancing full time, I'm hiring a CPA. I've tried my best to keep up with the tax code. For several years, I used TurboTax and I even read the fine print. At the same time, I get all sorts of conflicting messages.
I listened to a Freelancers Union presentation from a CPA. He said to claim your home office, and went through all the details. Then I've heard others say whatever you do DON'T claim your home office. I've heard a lot of friendly wisdom on how to file taxes. I'm not the first person to figure out what percentage of my comic book purchases constitutes a "business expense." It's all a little overwhelming. Ultimately, I need one hired gun to be my expert.
I'm excited about my journey into freelancing, but I'm not deluded. I see a future of quarterly payments, saved receipts, QuickBooks, IRAs, and invoices.
I'm in a business, and this is part of business.
I pay taxes, because I believe in government services provided efficiently for the common good. I know, government can't solve everything--but I'm also not so cynical to believe that government can't solve anything. Transportation infrastructure, security and defense, scientific and medical research, public education, corrections, I'm okay with my money going to these things. I'm not complaining... too much.