Clutter and Taxes and Time, oh my!

A few weeks ago my niece, Ellie, who is in med school, told me, after reading my blog post where I mentioned my son’s addiction to his cell phone, about an app she uses to ignore her phone so she can focus on her studies. She thought it might help her cousin Andy. The app is Forest and is available for android and iPhone. The way it works is you pick how long you want to focus: 20 minutes or less you can plant a bush, for 25 minutes or greater you can plant a tree. If you leave the app before your time is up, then what you planted dies. Plus you get points for each tree or bush that lives, and when you get to 2500 points they will plant a real tree. Here is Thursday when I was working on taxes:

I downloaded and printed IRS Publication 502, Medical Expenses,which is 27 pages long. My husband gave me a hard time for not saving trees and I said but I am working on planting one!

I find the app very motivating for decluttering, cleaning, and doing other unsavory things like taxes. Unfortunately, Andy is not very motivated by it. Ellie told me, “don’t worry, he’ll figure it out”. I sure hope so and soon!

Speaking of that medical expenses publication, one particular item caught my eye. “You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met. 

  1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care. 
  2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
  3. The lodging isn’t extravagant under the circumstances.
  4. There is no significant element of pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from the house.

The amount you include in medical expenses for lodging can’t be more than $50 for each night for each person.”

So the government wants to make sure you are going to the medical appointment only. Do not pass go. Do not have fun.

With Stan retired our income has lowered and our medical costs have risen. So now it actually makes sense for us to itemize medical expenses for our tax deduction. It’s more work but worth it.

My office has been terribly cluttered and I have always said someday I will organize it. Forest has helped me start. Now taxes have intervened but I will get back to the decluttering of my office. I can’t leave that for Stan and Andy after I am gone.

We don’t know how long I will have. Every ALS patient is different. Some can go on for 10 to 20 years, others get less than a year. So Forest came to me just in time. Thanks Ellie!

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