It’s no secret that I work in an accounting, tax and financial planning firm. I talk about it a lot. Maybe it’s because I love what I do or maybe it’s because that’s where I spend a lot of my time. I’m not sure, but either way it’s tax season. Surviving tax season is a whole thing. It starts in mid-January and continues until mid-April. That’s 4 months… 4 months where your life is flipped around.
I’m not an accountant or tax preparer… yet. The plan is to become a Certified Public Accountant in the next two years, but first I need to get through becoming a Certified Financial Planner®. You see, back in college I never dreamed that I would be returning to my hometown to help my Dad in his practice. That wasn’t in the cards. Then flash forward 4 years after graduating with my Bachelors and I feel the pull to come home.
Naturally I didn’t study accounting in college, because why would that be fun?! I studied Marketing. Now to sit for the CPA exam I have to have a few more accounting classes. The plan is for me to get through and pass the CFP exam. I’ve already taken the courses to prepare for the exam so now it’s just all about passing it.
Once I get through and earn my CFP designation then I will go back to school to finish those pesky accounting classes before sitting for the CPA exam. Then when that happens my tax seasons will be even a bit more wild than they already are.
But right now my job during tax season is to review returns with clients, help with any financial planning needs during the next few months and continue rocking our marketing campaigns. I work 6 days a week. It’s hard. I also am studying for the CFP exam and have night class two nights a week.
I have a lot going on. So does J. Our schedules keep us pretty busy and when we have free time we prefer to be doing something as a family.
Surviving tax season can be rough for those in the field or even connected to the field. Here are my top 10 tips for surviving tax season like a boss:
- sleep when you can
- make it clear that you are unavailable starting the second week in January through mid-April to everyone you know
- Say goodbye to your Saturday social life
- Love what you do
- Take deep breaths
- Take time in early January to plan the next few months
- Learn to say no sometimes
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Spend quality time with those you love
- Have a daily schedule
Small tips, but they really help. I’m a huge planner so I need my calendar to be in order at all times. It helps me from feeling overwhelmed. At the first of January I sit down to really schedule out the next few months. I ask myself are there any trips J and I need to plan for? What days do I or J have classes on? What about J’s bowling league, what does that schedule look like? Plan for any doctor appointments for Baby Boy. And so much more.
Then I start filling in my calendar. I’ve used the Purposeful Planner before and really liked it, but this year I’m going to try to stick with all digital. I’ve setup our Google calendar so that it’s color coordinated. It can be accessed from anywhere so I don’t always have to haul around a paper planner with me, which is nice. About a year ago I wrote a post about what my day looks like. It’s still somewhat similar, but I think it might be time for an update. Baby Boy wasn’t here yet and our life sure has changed with him being in it.
I remember that tax season is just the next few months so that means I may have to miss out on a few things, and that’s okay. I don’t mind. I really enjoy what I’m doing and love learning something new each year. Tax season is all about sacrifices, but I still get amazing quality time with my family and the time I get with my friends and other family members is special.
What are your busy times during the year? I know when I worked retail that the busy season hit right before Thanksgiving and lasted through Christmas. It’s all about phases and finding time to balance it all.