Make Your Money
Work for You
A solid money-management plan will help you navigate real estate’s
unpredictable revenue streams. By Maggie Sieger
When she jumped into real estate a decade ago, Amy
Karegeannes of Racine, Wis., made a lot of plans
for her new income. “You get that first check, and
you’re so excited, and it seems like a lot of money,”
she recalls. Karegeannes began dividing her
commissions into various pots—from the serious
(private school tuition for her three children) to
the frivolous (a fancy new purse at Nordstrom).
But she forgot to set aside money for one critically
important account: the Internal Revenue Service.
“My first year in real estate, I didn’t put any money
aside for taxes,” she says.
Karegeannes mistakenly assumed that her
husband upping the withholding from his salaried
paycheck would be su;cient to cover any taxes she
owed. “It was a really bad assumption,” she says
ruefully. By the end of that first year, Karegeannes
owed $10,000 in taxes. “When I found out, I felt
like I’d been punched in the stomach,” she says.
“We had to be put on a payment plan with the IRS.
That’s not a position anyone wants to be in. We
paid it o;, but it was a hard lesson to learn.”
Her major misstep, she says, looking back
from a position of greater financial security, was
After a major tax miscalculation early in her career, Amy Karegeannes now strives to be smart financially “on the front end.”