First I want to thank everyone whom has donated in the past and those whom have sent some funds recently. Every $ does help cover expenses.
I try to stay out of these posts just from a political stand point. The last thing I want people to feel is pressured into giving away their hard earned money.
Some of the members whom may have not donated before may be thinking to themselves: "Why do they need my money if they have sponsors." Well the answer is fairly easy to answer. Most websites you visit unless they are really big sites will be hosted on shared servers. What this means is that there are many other websites on the same server and the people running the site pay a fairly small monthly fee to have the site hosted. Aquarium Advice on the other hand after out growing a half dozen hosts in a little over a year decided to go the route of a dedicated server. This means that the only site on the server is ours. This results in a much higher per month hosting fee. The plus to that is fairly quick load times on pages normally as well as fairly stable enviorment. In a shared world if someone else on the server has alot of load all the other sites are affected. Or if someone else messes up the server everyone is affected. In addition to Aquarium Advice we also operate 5 other pet orented websites. Those websites are run from the Aquarium Advice hosting server (aka Aquarium Hosting). We went this route so as to not cause AA's performance to suffer by the other websites traffic as well as to asure that AA's traffic would not make their performance go down. The end result is the need to pay the monthly fees of two servers. While we do have sponsors here and we do sell hosting the monthly revenue collected from those items comes close to breaking even but we do still on occasion put our own funds forward.
If your not fimular with the other sites we operate ill link them below. Some of them are in a state of rebulding.
On the subject of tax refunds. I like Liz try to give as little to the Fed during the year as possible so when it comes to tax time our refund is often below $200 and in some years we have had to pay in a little extra. I remember when I first purchased our house I thought to myself "Now this is the year we will start getting good sized refunds." The logic was the interest we would be paying on the mortgage. What I didnt count on is that the side effect of a low interest loan was the interest paid in was below the threshold to kick our itemized deductions over the standard deduction and thus we where left unable to claim that interest.
Then last year I though NOW we will get a good sized refund cause we now have another dependant. Well that didnt quite work out either. Since both myself and my wife claim the correct number of dependants (2 each, for myself I claim my wife and Kaya and she claims me and Kaya). The amount of tax witheld each pay period is alot lower than if we where claiming no dependants or only 1 dependant. The end result is more money during the year and hardly any money at tax time comming back to us.