“You don’t have any more deductions?” the accountant asked me.
I’d always done my own taxes, working through my self-employment income with help from TurboTax, but I agreed to see him when my wife wanted an independent check on our finances. We weren’t paying a ton in taxes, but we also suspected we were paying more than we needed to.
The accountant’s advice? “You need to spend more on your business if you want to lower what you owe.”
Encouraged by the accountant, I spent more on my freelance writing career. Each week, I tracked my business expenses on a spreadsheet. I wrote down household expenses like utilities or internet, which I’d claim proportionally for my home office deduction. I listed software, magazine subscriptions, conferences and webinars, books, supplies and more.
I congratulated myself for making all of these investments in my business. And it was money well spent, creating new opportunities for my career.
Recently, a simple budgeting exercise showed me how these seemingly smart decisions may not have been the right ones for me. Sure, I’d been acting on good faith to nurture my