I decided to do our taxes last night. I never know what to expect from filing our taxes, especially because I owed several thousand multiple years in a row.

Last year, we got enough back that I was able to pay off all my back taxes, which took a huge weight off my shoulders.

This year (other than it being a sign that my husband probably needs to fix his withholding), we are getting a lot back. Like in the five figures.

At first, I thought of all the things I could do with that money. I could pay off my husband’s car. I could pay off literally all my debt (other than student loans.) We could put a substantial down payment on a house.

But, while I haven’t yet been able to tell my husband about the amount of our refund and get his input, what I would really like to do with that money is to save it. I can work on paying off my debt while I’m working. Just the thought of having that much money in savings is so incredibly comforting to me and offers me a great feeling of relief.

I also looked into the requirements of Social Security and how it will work with me getting a job and that was another source of major relief. Basically, they give me 9 months to try it out, and during that time, I still get to keep my disability payments in addition to my earnings from my job.

Assuming that I am actually able to do the job, that means I can just knock down my debt repayment really, really fast. I’m looking at realistically being in a situation where I can have both a five-figure savings account AND have all my debts (except student loans) paid off by the end of the year.

This is the first feeling of hope that I’ve had in a really long time. No, it doesn’t change any of my fears about my husband’s illness. But it makes me feel like just maybe I’ll at least be financially okay when he’s gone. Only having to deal with my grief will be quite enough without having to worry so much about money too.

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