If you’re someone who puts off those government filings, don’t be afraid to make it easier on yourself by asking for help. “See if your partner is better at those things and maybe let them do it,” says Kegan. “Then give them a treat for it, like take them away for a weekend.” Benson says breaking down your task into several manageable steps should make paying taxes easier. “You can absolutely make it more manageable,” she says. Use resources like Tax Web or IRS counselors for help with the gritty details.
And the psychological relief does not have to be your only bonus for staying on top of your taxes. Those sore shoulders need some attention, too. “It’s a great idea to reward yourself when done,” says Benson. “Not only with positive statements about yourself, but with an activity reward that will really make your heart sing.” If you charged your taxes on a credit card with incentives, like the American Express (AXP) points program, use the bonus points from your taxes to indulge in one of their many membership rewards catalogue items, like a half day at a spa or a private two-hour golf lesson.
“Taking the time to notice the joy you got from actually accomplishing this, even if it was a horrible process, is a great feeling,” says Benson. “Too often we just rush through and don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for facing these kinds of challenges. But it will make facing this hard task easier in the future.”