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taxes much better

March 12th, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Got my taxes done and filed on Sunday. This year I still had to pay, but it was a lot less this year. The reason why is that I finally mastered cost basis. I sold a bit of taxable stock to fund my Roth, so I knew that I would take a hit. Luckily I funded the 2013 Roth in January 2013, so long before the big run up throughout 2013.

The tricky part about this was that my little stock account was old enough so I would incur long term capital gains, but it was also old enough that they were 'non covered' which meant that I had to dig around for when I bought the stock and for what price to come up with a cost basis. Which I did.

Then I filed and it all went through. It means no one stole my ssn and filed in my name already. I keep things protected, but you just never know these days. So yay on that.

This year, since I did drop my 403B contributions, I'll have to think about raising them a bit to trim my taxes for next year.

So relieved for 2013!

dang busy

March 23rd, 2013 at 03:54 pm

Been nearly a month already since I last wrote something. Hopefully, though, it will ease up. It has to eventually.

Lately I've been hip deep in making decisions about my upcoming kitchen remodel - the sink and faucet, the countertop, the cabinets, the flooring, the lighting, the appliances. I sure hope that all of my decisions will play nice with each other, and the new kitchen will play nice with the dining room. I've also notified (and renotified) my condo neighbors and the condo board. The tentative start date is this Monday - I've learned that it really always be a bit tentative because the contractor wants to absolutely, positively make sure that the materials will get here with no delays before they start ripping up things to shreds.

Right now this is the last weekend of the old. I'm treating it as a calm before the storm. Tonight I take down pictures, pull out everything from cabinets. I have enough empty space so that the new refrigerator gets put into the living room. Saves me more decisions about where to put my freezer stuff - and it will be nice to be able store a bag of salad whilst the teardown begins. I've put the kitty food bowls in my bedroom and my fur girl is quite confused. I'm trying to tell her that THINGS will be different in the next few weeks.

The welcome packet project is done. Someone did buy a unit in the last week or two - I'll be a knocking at their door to welcome them, packet in hand.

Just finished my taxes, and yes I pay some. The price of good investing - I've made a bit of coin in these last couple of years, and I had to figure out cost-basis this year.

And of course an update on the death bet 2013 - about 1/2 the players got Hugo Chavez. Don't weep for the other half - they are playing Lindsay Lohan! Wink One player got a local celebrity - Booth Gardner, the former governor of Washington.

productive frugal day

February 12th, 2012 at 09:18 pm

In honor of retire@50 and monkeymama:

Had a very productive, moderately frugal day today:

10:30 - 12:30. did the Sunday routine of going to the coffeehouse and got coffee, a slice of quiche and read the Sunday NYT. Yes, I pay for coffee. Sundays it happens to be free, but if there is a jar about, I slip a dollar in. I've made my peace with paying for coffee - I get drip, I enjoy the ritual of ordering and being social with the staff. NYT paper subscription on the weekend happens to be expensive and duplicates the Kindle, but I like the feel of paper, I see all the pictures and the NYT itself is the one paper that won't turn your mind into cream cheese.

12:45 - 1:30. 2 mile walk, listened to the podcast of Marketplace Money, hunted for change (found pennies and a 10 cent euro coin). Noted on the walk that a Tile company was having a 20 yr anniversary sale. 50% off grout. Will have to check that out.

1:30 - 1:45. Hit the bus stop. (I go carless). I used OneBusAway to figure out when the bus will come - it really helps to take away the frustration out of using transit. Found out I had about 15 minutes, so I went to the produce stand. Bought 69 cent avocadoes for lunches next week, and $1 bagged salad. I was tempted by the $2/pt blueberries but figured they'd get smashed by the time I got home.

2:15. Made it to Bedrock Industries to pick up 10$ worth of vitreous glass for mosaics. Noted that I can get 4 x 4 in squares of marble for 50 cents!

2:45 Walked to Peets and Whole Foods because I was feeling a little hungry. Peets had a line, didn't see what I really wanted at Whole Foods, so I skipped the temptation. Noted that the blueberries were at 3.99$ at Whole Paycheck.

3:15 Caught the bus back and walked another 1.5 mile home. Got my exercise today and quiet time today.

4:30 - 7:30 Pulled my green folder out, took up Vanguard's offer on cheap(er) TurboTax. Calculated and filed my 2011 taxes. I pay $207, which is pretty usual for me. Since my 403b is going great guns, that represents my tax deferred money pool; I put 5K in a Roth - its worth more to me to bulk up the tax-free pool of money than it is to get the refund if I put it in a traditional IRA. My tax rate in total this year is 9.7%; I'm good with the $207.

In other words, I got a lot done, learned bits of information to further my hobby, got exercise, chilled out. I spent a little bit but I'm good with what I spent - it will all get used.

yay to rut roh to yay

January 26th, 2012 at 08:36 pm

Again, insanely busy, which is normal ... my January is like all my other Januarys in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 blah blah blah.

Lately though I've been excited (yay) and then there's one little hitch so I have to "rut roh" and eat a crow drumstick. This menopause thing is getting to me; I used to have a mind like a steel trap. Now it seems to work like a Venus fly trap.

A couple days ago I found a dollar bill, yesterday a wheat penny.

Tax paperwork is trickling in - I have to double check, but I seem to only be missing a couple of Div 1099s. Get those, and I can see what the lay of the land is.

But another yay this evening. DH and I have plans to go to Argentina in September. At least that is the plan. Several other couples are involved - the plan is to rent a house in Buenos Aires and use it as a launch pad. Fingers crossed that it works out.

from one scam to another

January 13th, 2012 at 09:05 pm

It turns out that the twilight zone moment was a practical joke pushed too far by a Customer Service rep. I mentioned it to the Customer Service rep's supervisor to chat with him a bit. The way to have played it was, "yes it was a joke, isn't it funny?" and left it at that. Comedy is a fine line ... and that line is very fluid. When things ease up a bit, he could have played it further but as it is ... show a little restraint.

(Yes, restraint is mighty rich when you are MCing a death bet, but there it is.)

Got home and opened an offer from Chase. If you start a checking account (no doubt with direct deposit), Chase will give you a 200$ gift card. Yippee! Yeah, no.

Collected two more forms for my taxes. W4 and a 1099 from ING.

We are all waiting for snow apparently this weekend. French toast hankerings have begun.

13 players, tax time, and actual spending

January 7th, 2012 at 07:38 pm

Friday night was the deadline to the dead pool. I now have 13 players - which is so fantastically symbolic that I'm closing it to new players. Just got CB's payment, and with her, Mjrube, Mjrube's friend, and Paulette participating, its tempting to consider this the $20 challenge by other means. Good luck to all.

Tax time this year - I've pulled out my green (again fantastically symbolic) folder and am out "collecting". Its different this year - most places really, really want you to sign up for e-delivery to keep you paperless, or to impoverish the USPS even more. I haven't made any exotic moves, the drip re-investments are about 1K, and I haven't made much interest, I can't imagine that I'm going to pay a ton of tax. Only thing is that one of my drip companies got bought out by another drip company (which I like even more), so not only is it one more 1099, I can't write off the stock loss.

Today I did a bit of walking, but I checked out grout colors at Home Depot and Lowe's ... still might go with the gray that I have, and I slipped into Ross and picked up a Cal King bed sheet set. We have a couple of sets that we rotate, but it would be nice to refresh them a bit. Also bought a bit of food from the Greenwood Market, another grocery store that's going away. I'm still bummed. With them going away, the Fred Meyer down until October, and one of our main arterials being ripped up, 2012 is ... 2012.

the answer would have been

April 8th, 2011 at 09:22 pm

Apparently, there has been a deal struck and the government will not be shut down.

DH told me that, yes, he was considered essential and would have had to report to work to answer phones. His supervisor, however, wasn't. So the weird answer would be that the mice are essential, but the cat ... not so much.

In other fiscal news, I moved $300 more dollars into the credit union accounts - I have about $400 in each. Last week, I decided that my summer project was to prep things and move my checking/savings/ from Chase to the credit union. Haven't gotten totally screwed yet from Chase, and we aren't talking about the bulk of my money (just paycheck and tip box savings), but I figure that its only a matter of time.

The only hitch to this project was that I never got the credit union ATM card to work. Re-asked for a new ATM. We will see.

I guess we'll find out

April 5th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

DH works Customer Service for the IRS, which last I checked was part of the Federal Government. He expects that he will not be working next Monday if the government shuts down. No word at all about it, or at least no word that he told me. The IRS is very busy - no quiet time as you can well imagine.

But I wonder, if state and Federal taxes are due on the 18th, is his function "essential"? I guess we will find out.

2 little windfalls

March 8th, 2011 at 08:55 pm

Windfall 1: Did my taxes this weekend and filed them electronically. I'm getting back $379.

Windfall 2: Tonight I found a $20 bill on the floor by the cashier. It took me aback enough that I asked the guy ahead of me if he lost it. Nope, he said. The cashier told me that about 15 minutes before someone was hunting for a $20, but they were long gone.

I'm not quite at finding $50 bills yet, but I'm getting there. I guess I can't say that I don't find bills.

before Vietnam, actual fiscal news

March 4th, 2011 at 08:04 pm

Discovered that one of my Drp stocks did a 2:1 split while I was gone (WEC). Actually, the split got completed my first day back.

I found out because I look at the share prices every couple of days and it was freakishly low. Like, tear my hair what happened low. Nice to know it was a divide by two situation.

I'll be checking the transfer agent to see how they account for it and how they calculate the cost basis, but as for me right now maintaining my spreadsheet, all I'm doing is multiplying the shares I have by 2, and dividing the price I paid by 2.

Also turns out that the dividend increased by a couple of pennies per share also. Good news on that front.

I picked up a copy of Turbo Tax yesterday. My financial moves this year have been pretty boring - no IRA conversions or odd schedules coming from an inheritance. (Unless I find $100 bills on the sidewalk, the IRS doesn't particularly want to know.) This year, bread and butter. I can do bread and butter myself.

Finishing up catching up at work which has been a struggle. I'm still jet lagged and when I wake up I think that I'm not in Seattle but somewhere in Asia. Its been much rougher than Paris. Getting to Hanoi I wasn't particularly jet lagged, or perhaps I was so excited that I didn't care. Could also be the light - Paris is a similar latitude as Seattle, so the day lengths are similar - May/June nice and long. Vietnam, being close to the equator, has a day length close to 12 hrs year round, while Seattle, not so much.

Did make it to the gym and miracle of miracles, I'm under 170, with a 1 lb weight gain. That after 3 full meals/day, hours mostly on the bus or a plane with a bit of walking, and multiple course meals with beer or wine. I thought for sure I'd have put on at least 5 pounds.

Sent sister the $5000 for farmette upkeep. She's back in Milwaukee from the trip. I hope she had a good time - those last few days when the tour ended and we were flying home was especially rough. Incheon airport in Korea with an 11 hour layover was especially hard.

cost basis

January 10th, 2011 at 08:49 pm

Yippee - one fun bit of 2011 fallout from the 2008 bailout is that now all of my Drp transfer agents have to calculate, going forward, the cost basis of my shares in my accounts. Yippee...I was interested in selling some stock for the taxes (decided not to) and had to figure the cost basis. It was not, I repeat not, fun. I'm very happy that my accounts have to do it on the fly, starting with the shares bought in January 2011, and the dividends reinvested beginning of January 2012.

It will make figuring out my taxes, should I wish to sell my shares for some purpose, ever so much easier!

Tax season is coming up, but I'm really not feeling it. Nothing particularly exciting happened to me this year, and the interest rate is fairly poor, so I'm thinking that it will be straightforward enough for me to do my own taxes this year.

the cowbell has been a clankin'

March 8th, 2010 at 09:33 pm

Monday
Saving log - $1700 tax refund
Spending log - $0 coffee (free)
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalks, bus stop)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $7 apple, magazine
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk crack)

Saturday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0
Found money - $0

3/6 - no car, no walk, no bus
3/7 - 1 mi car, 4.5 mi walk, 3 mi bus
3/8 - no car, 2.5 mi walk, 14 mi bus

Last few days, I've been a feeling like karma has been dancing around my head like Will Farrell in a too tight hideous 70s knit. Like this.

Saturday:
Good - sunniest, warmiest weather of the year so far. Bad - laid up all day with a case of self induced food poisoning. The day before I packed my lunch with the last of a bean stew. Quit when you are penultimate. Nothing ucky - just shivery, achy, and sleepy. Slept all but 6 hours that day.

Sunday:
Good - Enjoyed the Oscars, got a lot of ideas for refreshing the Netflix queue. Bad - not enough bad dresses. I'll have to make do with Quentin Tarentino's girlfriends' pink pjyama black boa fetish number or Charlize Theron's cinnabon bustier.

Monday:
Good - Filed my taxes. Am getting a refund! Bad - late for work, meeting meeting meeting, big set of errors hitting the fan at around 4 pm today.

Clank clank clank.

six month point for tracking found money

January 13th, 2010 at 09:39 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $6 salad
Found money - $0.05 (road, sidewalk)

Tuesday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.41 (sidewalks, bus floor, Safeway floor)

Well, I'm at the official six month point for tracking found money. Still not finding many bills, but I've found 4 quarters 4 separate places within 6 days, which puts a smile on my face. I've been finding about 75% of money outside in the elements, 25% inside.

This month has been spectacular - $7.28. One would have to have $6500 in an ING account to match it. Thank heavens that Seattle is so very careless.

I'm at a total of $20.27 - 512 pennies, 17 nickels, 83 dimes, 20 quarters, $1 bill. And yep, while I find a lot of pennies, I find a lot of silver too. Picking up a penny means you are more likely to pick up something bigger.

I asked DH whether I have to declare it with the IRS. He promptly told me that he was taught to field the question this way:

"I'm sorry ma'am, let me transfer you to tax law."

DH appears to be doing pretty well at work. Its such a relief that he is working even if he didn't answer my question.

weekend wagashi

January 11th, 2010 at 09:42 pm

Monday
Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch
Found money - $0.20 (sidewalks)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $20 (japanese plate, box of wagashi) + $3 bottle of bubble bath
Found money - $0.34 (sidewalk, road, floor)

Little bit of fun over the weekend. There is a Japanese confectionary shop that is only open to the general public on the 10th of every month - 1-6pm. Usually the 10th fell on a day when I was working or otherwise occupied. Yesterday was the 10th, so for curiosity's sake I checked it out and split a box with DH. (3 pieces, so not diet busting) Delicious by itself, although I was supposed to have it with the green tea during the tea ceremony held in the center room. A Japanese potter was selling her creations outside on the porch, so I bought a shallow bowl.

2 days away from 6 months of noting where I find change. I'm at $19.81: 501 pennies, 17 nickels, 82 dimes, 19 quarters, $1 bill. Hard to believe that I might make $40/yr in "dirty money".

After that, I'm the process of figuring out from my sister how much to send for farmette maintenance, and I've printed out my W-2 from work.

IRS, war, the death bet

January 8th, 2010 at 08:24 pm

Friday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (escalator railing)

Thursday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 salad, trail mix
Found money - $0.27 (bus stop, crosswalk, sidewalk)

A penny on the railing of the escalator, for pity's sake! I was lucky to be alert at the right moment, all to find coins in the oddest places. Total of other people's money found thus far: $18.88: 493 pennies, 16 nickels, 79 dimes, 17 quarters, $1 bill.

Ever since DH has been working for the IRS, our snail mail looks forbidding; a lot of pieces addressed to DH from the IRS. They are nearly all new hire decision bits... apparently DH's paycheck comes from the Dept of Agriculture (?!). Write your own public servant joke here:________________________________.

Pulled the trigger and I am now beginning a new stock Drp (actually since the dividend has been suspended, its a Direct Stock purchase account). Its is OSK. I've officially diversified into war.

The organizer of the death bet is about to publish everybody's list. We have 9 entrants. We talked about this at lawyer friend's lunch. The bad karma and the creepiness aspect was brought up, I argued for the death bet. The fact that the onus is on you to alert the organizers should one of your list perish means that you do exactly what most celebs want you to do: be alert to their every move, career change, etc. And it is so rare to have a bit of black humor "fun".

2010: the mundane and the carnivorous

January 4th, 2010 at 08:59 pm

Monday
Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 yogurt/trail mix for desserts
Found money - $0.45 (sidewalk, under bus seat, parking meter, Safeway floor, vending machine)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $0.75 apple
Found money - $0.10 (sidewalks, road)

Well its 2010. Anybody else get a creepy feeling as a 2010 date popped into the news, work databases and what not? Like I should be on Saturn while perusing the calendar. Of course it should be 2010! And I'm posting from a cold, rainy, dark, dreary, boggy, foggy place...maybe I'm on Saturn. It sure feels like it. The Saturnians around here are practically throwing dimes and pennies on the streets today.

Was successful at all the small stuff today - fixed a database just using compact and repair; checked Vanguard to make sure that the 2010 Roth is going to be funded sometime this week; more 2010 tax 1099s arrived in the mail today.

Bigger wheels are turning - there is enough interest on many, many fronts for a beef fest year 2. Only this time instead of buying 100 lbs (1/4 cow), its 400 lbs (full cow). We are still eating the 40 lbs - just finished the beef ribs (fantastic) - so unless the purchase can go in the summer or fall, I don't think I'm in for the full 40 lbs. But I suspect that I inspired, by my buying and storing 40 lbs of beef in my top freezer, others to think that they can also buy and use 40 lbs. For certain, it will be a lot easier to deal with 10 households who want to buy a lot than 20 households who want to buy some. Big Grin We'll see what the timing issues are, how many other people we can get in on the deal.

giving and receiving

December 11th, 2009 at 09:15 pm

Friday
Saving log - $4 tip box + $50 drp
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $1.60 2 apples
Found money - $0.02 (bus stop, parking meter)

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0
Found money - $0.03 (bus step, gas station pavement, parking lot)

Wednesday
Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $13 groceries
Found money - $0.02 (floor of grocery store checkout, parking meter)

gifts on two fronts:

1. Christmas - got the Christmas gift from sister of mustard, coffee, hot sauce. Not mixed up, of course. We especially treasure that jar of horseradish mustard; my sinuses won't stand a chance. Also got two very cool looking stainless steel coffee mugs decorated in a kind of Mayan glyph design. All ready for 2012!

Waiting for the spiral stakes to arrive for me to send to sister. I've sent several small gifts along with the dutch oven...heck, the dutch oven is a fine gift on its own...so if its late, its late. No biggie.

Moving on the other gifts for DH's family. They will not be as creative as in past years. Several parts of the family tend toward the food gifts, which I frankly like. Less stuff to kick around. (Body fat doesn't count. Big Grin)

MIL will be an issue. She's mentioned no food, her tastes are kind of tricky, and I don't feel that I know her well enough for a fun basket of smallish stuff with a theme. No sense of humor, so no Festivus pole Big Grin; and I don't feel like I can handle the fallout if I'm truly mean.

And its not as if I'm a goob in this department. Giving gifts can be pretty easy for me - I bought an apple today for a co worker as a surprise to her, and the apple was (magically) just the way she liked it - crisp, sweet/sour, and cold. I can promote thoughtfulness, good will and holiday spirit just like that & all for a grand total of $0.80.

I think I'm overthinking this gift thing.

2. Tax season. Got one of my 1099-DIV this evening. Tax season is opening with a bang!

In other news -

DJ friend is working and mastering the Internet radio station's second compilation CD. He's becoming a music impressario on the sly - the CDs he is producing are becoming even more important calling cards than the radio station ... Interesting to me because I thought the CD was dying.

Still is cold! I ran an errand during lunch, then walked back to work in the frigid weather. I walked past a woman walking in flip flops. Not only is it so 2006, it risks a wicked case of frostbite.

no need for the stock sale

September 22nd, 2009 at 08:16 pm

Tuesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.10 (sidewalk) + $0.03 (under table on Safeway floor)

Monday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 grocery
Found money - $.01 (bus floor)

Tax guy helped me decide whether to sell the stock for the tax loss. It turns out that since I haven't converted any Roths, my salary hasn't increased enough (that 2% only begins in October), the interest rate on savings and the cash I'm holding sucks, and I've pre-paid for 2 quarters of taxes already ... My stock sale will only generate 300$ of refund. "Sell it if its important for you to not hold it," he said, "but on the tax side, it might be more strategic if you sell it later. At least wait until Dec 29 if you do."

Then I asked whether I need to pre-pay taxes for the other two quarters. Nope, I have definitely pre-paid enough for this year. I might well get a bit of a refund during tax season 2010.

closer to selling that stock

September 18th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 ketchup
Found money - $0

My current money project is to sell a bit of bank stock to harvest a long-term capital loss that I can use to lower my taxes this upcoming season. Since it is a from a dividend reinvestment program, its not as simple as calling a broker and yelling "SELL!" Wink. I have:

1. warned my tax guy.
2. got into my shareholder account (connect w/ the transfer agent).
3. figured out the shares that I want to sell (FIFO- the ones first in to get a long term capital loss) and get my spreadsheet of shares in order.
4. wait until Sept dividend has been bought and in my account.
5. went to Yahoo Finance and got the split, spinoff, and share adjusted price of the stock.
6. multiply the adjusted price by number of shares to get cost basis
7. multiply the current price by number of shares to get estimated value.
8. subtract number 6 from number 7...I get around a $2400 loss for the 130 shares I want to sell.
9. made a phone appointment with the tax guy to get his opinion and see what he needs. (Tuesday)
10. send my spreadsheet to the tax guy.

What I have yet to do:
11. Contact the transfer agent to get the final protocol for how to sell. So far, I know I have use written means.
12. get whatever the tax guy needs.
13. Sell some stock.

The cost basis of the bank stock in question is in the low $30s, while the current price has hovered in the 7-8$ range. All my other Drp stock holdings are very, very much up.

cost basis

September 10th, 2009 at 09:42 pm

Saving log - $3 tip boc
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (55 bus stop) + $0.10 (hall carpet at work)

Well, I got my username and password reset from the transfer agent, but my true goal is to sell some stock at a loss for tax purposes. For that, two more hurdles remain:

1. Figuring out the cost basis of the stock that I want to sell. Since this company spun off another company, its like a stock split, and the cost basis is not what I bought it at - its a bit less. A quick look around tells me that I can get a great cost basis for lots of $$$s, or an iffy one for cheap.

After step 1, I'm calling my tax advisor for his opinion. Basically, we are going to figure whether I can sell enough so I won't have to prepay any more tax.

2. No sell form on the transfer agent's site. I've have to call them and get the scoop.

bogged down

June 29th, 2009 at 08:47 pm

Saving log - $11 tip box
Spending log - $10 library + $5 large limeade

Looked in my tip box and realized that with all the sadness, I hadn't put anything in. Sigh.

I noticed, along with fern, that I've been bogged down in saving money. I'm putting in the devil's contribution to my 403B ($666.00) every paycheck for the tax deferral. I've already added to my Roth, and now its just the tip box, $125 off the second paycheck of the month, feeding the Drps, and plowing the interest earned already into savings. Maybe about $300/month.

Interest is pretty depressing - I bonds are paying 0% interest, I'm not adding to my position. T-bills are maybe earning a bit more - still less than a dollar on $4K, so again, I'm not adding to my position. All of my savings accounts earn a pitiful amount of interest - the best of them earn about 2.5%. In other words, no account seems to be earning anything worthy of taking the time to put those few bucks into savings.

This recession trying my soul - I'd love to see some investment catch fire, but it looks like I have to make do with knowing that as long as I cover my bases, the next few years will be better.

I also am a bit late in pre-paying the 2Q tax bill (I'm now on the pre-paying quarterly schedule, rather than in April). Since I'm not earning a lot of interest, the tax bill is taking out a huge bite out of savings that I'm not earning back. I'm planning on talking with the tax guy to see if I should even bother paying the next two quarters.

At least I'm still employed - haven't heard anything yet about layoffs.

I stopped by the library to pay off my library fine. I went through my email and caught one from the library asking for donations. I've never seen that before, ever. Turns out that my library fine was $2.10. I gave the librarian a $10 and asked that the difference be considered a donation.

nearly a tweet

April 14th, 2009 at 09:35 pm

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $11 groceries

Added to my tip box at work and popped the 1Q tax pre-payment in the mail in advance of tax season 2010. Nothing else happened fiscally today.

semi lazy weekend

March 29th, 2009 at 06:22 pm

Saturday
Saving log - $40 Drp
Spending log - $13 breakfast + $57 mixed stuff + $100 public radio

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.50 bagel & coffee + $10.50 apple, tea, magazine, lunch

Mixed spending yesterday - I bought $30 worth of women's underwear packs, various sizes, for our non-profit's underwear drive, along with three more large outdoor pots at Big Lots, then I broke down and pledged during our local NPR station's pledge drive. I have it on reasonable authority that our local station is doing all right - didn't drink the kool-aid and grow the station unsustainably - however, the PI's demise has hit me hard. Times are a changin'.

Last night I also shut the lights off for an hour at 8:30 pm. However, I also watched a few episodes of Battlestar Galactica, and it felt like cheating. Smile Let's just say that a few of those CGI battles made up for the dark living room.

Today, I jogged about 1/2 the way to the Fremont Bridge, a mock 5K. Last week I made it in 51 minutes, today I did it in 50 minutes. Trainer's goal for me in this is 48 minutes. I'm getting better - heart rate did not go over 145 bpm - but when I start to flag and walk, I'll have to curb that because when I walk, I want to walk the rest of the way. My weight is plateauing again at around 179-180, so I have to provide the trainer with a few days of my food diary.

Rounding out the rest of the day, I looked at my lettuce bowls, and I see sprouting (they were planted shallowly - 3x the diameter of the seed). Another sunny day or two and I should see little green leaves. Also put up a sage plant in a plastic pot. My little patio pot garden is coming along.

Noted that the IRS cashed my tax payment Friday when I mailed it on Monday. As my grampa used to say, "somebody really wanted your money." He hated taxes with a passion - he definitely would have commented that I shouldn't get caught paying so much. Your inheritance is killing me, gramps!

tax season 08/tax season 09

March 24th, 2009 at 08:33 pm

Monday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $40 groceries, and sigh, taxes.

Tuesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $10 lunch

Yesterday I wrote and mailed the checks to the IRS for 2008 and to the state of WI. It ended up to be a bit over $5K, and only $143 to WI. I suppose I could have filed and kept the money for a month, until the last minute to squeeze out that little bit of interest, but these days I'd be playing chicken with the IRS for a grand total of $6.25. I got the IRS 08 return, the WI 08 return, and 4 quarterly vouchers for 09...but then I got confused. Was there supposed to be a amended 2007 return somewhere? Or is that in my future.

I stopped by this morning. Apparently the lawyer's letter stated that since the sale was in September 07, that the sale fell in fiscal 07-08, and the proceeds should be filed in tax year 08. So no amended return - he got everything in 2008. At least if the IRS asks, he's an enrolled agent, and I asked about it.

Thus ends tax season 08.

Tax season 09 begins for me next month, when I pay my first quarterly tax.

yesterday, today, and tomorrow

March 20th, 2009 at 08:35 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee

Friday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $20 haircut

Yesterday I received my stock proxy vote for KO. Every year some shareholder puts in a motion to control executive compensation. With the furor over AIG, I wonder how many more shareholders will vote for it? I know I voted for it, with more than a bit of glee.

Yesterday at our all staff, the CEO noted that our health insurance had to be maintained as a top priority, while our 403B was competitive, and therefore strengthening it was not a priority. Fair enough. I wonder how that bodes for the match.

Today I got my haircut (once every three months), and noticed that credit unions aren't safe either - a couple of those got taken over also.

Tomorrow morning I'll go in and file/pay my taxes (ugh - 2008, revised 2007, and probably the first quarter of 2009). But tomorrow night, I'll be ghost hunting at the job. Tee hee.

even more stimulus

March 7th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

Friday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee

Saturday
Saving log - $40 DRP1 + $100 DRP2
Spending log - $12 brunch + $60 clothes from Ross + $11 ground coffee for work

Got a call from the enrolled agent (2008 tax guy) this afternoon. He asked, and I provided him with my 2007 tax return and paperwork, which also had a different Schedule K-1 on it. He is pretty certain that the 2007 tax guy didn't do it right, that I unfortunately underpaid, and that I should amend the 2007 return, and pay the penalties wherein. 2008 tax guy also suspects that since the 2007 Schedule K-1 came from the sales of real estate, I should have filed non-resident Wisconsin state taxes also.

I told him that to me its all about being able to sleep at night, and that I wasn't willing to wait to get caught (or not get caught). So its even more stimulus. I'm blue, of course, but at least I have the money to pay it.

My concern is for sister, who I am very certain blew off her own Schedule K-1, and no doubt faces a similar issue, perhaps even a worse one, because I at least gave 2007 tax guy the 2007 Schedule K-1. Although I am responsible that the filing is correct, it is a slightly different problem - I didn't blow it off.

When 2008 tax guy gets done calculating, I'll have to ask him to give me some simple explanations of what the Schedule K-1 is, and what happened, and advice on how sister should proceed.

when you think of stimulus, think of me

March 3rd, 2009 at 08:37 pm

So today I took off from work to catch up on a couple of things that I needed to do during business hours. Namely, taxes.

Again, I got the schedule K-1, this time from my grandma's trust. I also converted my IRA to a Roth, so I wanted professional help. (And you never know, if something happens to Turbo Tax Tim, maybe I get the nod. NOT.)

I made the appointment and talked with one of the co-owners (family business, now owned by a brother/sister). Nice guy, does mostly business taxes throughout the year, but also does hundreds of individual returns during tax season. He is also an enrolled agent, which means that he can come with me should the IRS come a knockin'.

After about 10 minutes of interview, and 20 minutes of doing a quick calculations based on what I brought, we came up with the fact that even with moving the maximum into the 403B I still owe some serious coin, even more serious than last year. Sigh. Its the downside of not spending much of either inheritance, and putting it in cash instead.

We talked a bit about the possibility of this year estimating the tax and paying quarterly, rather than the all at once biggie. And for a little strategic meeting in October to sell something for a capital loss, if necessary.

And he did complement me - he told me that I 'won' the award for making the most interest, capital gains, and dividends of anyone he'd done taxes for this year. "Amazing," he said, "every piece of paper you gave me made money."

So when y'all get your refunds and your stimulus ... think of me.

Finally Ameriprise

February 18th, 2009 at 08:44 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $10 lunch

I've been putting off doing my taxes. They are going to be complicated enough again this year that I want a little outside help. Last night I FINALLY got my paperwork from Ameriprise this year.

Grandma had her money in Ameriprise when she died, the money got moved from her trust to me, I moved all but $1.96 to my lair in Vanguard in May. Thankfully, they invested in the Reserve Fund, the money market fund that broke the buck in September.

Stupid Ameriprise. If I had been a little less anal - the checklist in my little green tax collection paperwork folder - and a little more in a hurry, I'd have to fill out an amended X return.

Grr.

180!

January 30th, 2009 at 08:50 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $3 tip box + $35 drp
Spending log - $0

Friday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1172 gym

I'm at 180.6.

You know, 180 was the original weight goal from three years ago. The very first trainer I had thought that I would get to 180 in three months. Reality took a bit longer.

Because I've dropped about 8 pounds, I've signed up for another round of personal training - 18 sessions, 1X week. Along with the couple of leftover sessions, these should last until about July. So its a lot, but monthly not so much. And if I bring the lunch instead of buying it, I save about $300 per month. So I'm shifting.

I'm close to getting all the pieces of paper I need to do my taxes. I have to go through my checklist. It used to be so straightforward - a W2 and away I would go. That's the one problem with a little fiscal empire - if I'm the emperor, I have to give my governors and generals time to report.

I'm busy, but my crunch time has been delayed. I was supposed to get a big influx of data Thursday and Friday. Crickets. So I'm still clearing my decks, getting all the projects that I still have to get done done.

And I think I'm done.

2nd nsd of the year

January 5th, 2009 at 09:42 pm

Saving log - $7 tip box + $40 DRP
Spending log - $0

Free lunch today - it was a combined thank you for the temp staff, and a welcome back to my boss, coming back from 12 week leave and to another temp staffer who had been out with a fractured forearm.

Got three pieces of paper for taxes today: another 1099-R, a copy of my last paycheck (yes, I know, I must wait for the official W4), and a K1 from grandma's trust.

After that, same old, same old. Walk through slush, work, come home, get attacked by kitten.


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