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I think I agree, somewhat.

But... There's the whole "tax-bracket" coupled with the fact I had to put in an extra $8,000 this year above what my withholdings were that has me convinced I'm screwing something up pretty big. Our combine income will be over $120k this year easy, possibly $130+ if bonuses and extras weight in... And if I could get that under $100 with deductions, it would seem to make the projected $6k I'll owe drop to a couple hundred bucks.

I'll just have to sit down and do the math to confirm if your right, it sounds fairly logical, and you very well could be.

As for 401k's, both of our employers match 50% up to 6% (so if we put in 6%, they put in 3%). I really don't want to drop below that.

As for debt, your ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! As of January 1st 2001, I had paid off ALL of our credit cards, and was doubling payments on a few of the smaller student loans to get rid of them. Then I realized I had to come up with the $8k by May 15th, and that all went to hell... Now the credit cards are back up to a total of $6k because we had to put stuff on them (gas, groceries, etc) in order to get the $8k saved up for taxes. I'd have been better off NOT paying my taxes, because the IRS charges LESS than credit cards. But, no matter, my #1 priority now is to pay those cards back off, ASAP, even if it means eating Mac&Cheese or Raman Noodles for a while (I can do it.. grad school teaches you how to live on a shoestring by necessity).

But, as of now, it looks like buying a house might be a necessity. For a couple reasons. Our landlords are getting a divorce, and selling the place we live in now, so we will be out in a few months. We have 2 dogs, and as much as my wallet and mind tell me to get rid of them and rent a cheap little place for a while, my heart won't let me do it.

Since it's SOO hard to find a place to rent with large pets, a mortgage is a tax deduction, and I'd rather put money towards something rather than passing it off to someone else in the form of rent... I think we should buy a house. It'd cost us over $1,200/month to find a comparable place that allowed pets, IF we could find it. I'm hoping that I can get a mortgage on a little place, and have a payment <$1000/month.

That is... If I can even qualify in the position I am in right now.
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