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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.

kitten eyes

January 3rd, 2009 at 06:11 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $20 brunch

$20 because I got two breakfasts. By accident I got someone else's breakfast, then my real one came. 1 1/2 breakfasts are now sitting in a styrofoam box in the refrigerator. Tomorrow I'm eating breakfast all day.

Another 1099-R has come in. Last year I used my 600$ stimulus to open up a new DRP, now I pay taxes on $21 worth of dividends. Look Ma, I'm helping the economy!

It takes adjusting to eyes staring back at you in the dark when you first wake up...

DH looked at my face and said, "you know you have a claw mark underneath your eye." I can laugh. I'm still a heavy sleeper even with a kitten claw near the eye.

converting to a Roth

December 26th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $0

In a more normal month, I would have taken what I collected in my tip box to the bank a few days ago. But a few days ago we would have been lucky to make it to work for a few hours. Today was a nearly normal work hour day, so I had a bit of time to make it to the bank.

I brought my lunch, so I didn't spend anything today. I'm in a good spot this month - near the end of the month and I still have over 300$ left.

I found out that converting my traditional IRAs to Roths in Vanguard is very easy - you basically "buy" the Roth from the proceeds of "selling" the traditional IRA. Vanguard then gives me a 1099-R, and I declare the proceeds of the traditional IRA as income. We make less than 100K, the 2005 and 2006 traditional IRA each dropped about 40% so I will be paying less tax on it, and I've put 15K in my 403B, so my income is so much lower compared to my withholding. The original expectation that I used to do that - I'll make more interest and capital gains in 2008 - ain't going to happen. Converting the traditional IRA to a Roth will be a tactical win-win-win for me.

devil money

December 8th, 2008 at 09:10 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $0

I managed to work out during lunch, or more precisely, before lunch and I brought my own lunch - a ham sandwich - and used a gift card for the coffee, so no money was spent on my part. Nice to make up for the heavy-duty weekend spending. I will be spending tomorrow though.

Sister emailed me. In addition to the flooring, which I totally support, she also wants to replace the windows at the farmette. I support her far less on that project. There are some bad windows, sure, but replace those and wait for next year. The window guys I think are starting to apply some pressure on her. They are interested in a 2 yr contract. I can see that that would help them out more than it would us. It means that we are locked into a price, and if the price of the service rises, great. But what if the price falls? Best to do what absolutely needs to be done and wait until next year. 10K on the farmette is my spending limit for 2009.

The 2008 tax season is here. I got my first 1099 of the season, and at work we got the change-your-403B-withholding email. We can save up to $16,500 for the year in the 403B. This last year, as part of getting into a better tax situation, I hiked up the 403B withholding to the limit, and found that I got used to the much smaller check. Not to mention that this year its the golden opportunity to buy into equity-based mutual funds. I will continue for 2009.

As far as the title of my post - dividing $16,000 into 24 pay periods gave me an answer that made me smile.

roth conversion thoughts

August 31st, 2008 at 06:50 pm

When I woke up this morning, I had a thought.

I've increased my 403B withholding up, near the limit of $15.5K. I did this to counter-balance the gains in my taxable accounts. (2007, I paid a bit of tax because of dividends, interest income, and capital gains).

Well, unless there is going to be a freak stock market rise, I'm not going to have a ton of gains for 2008. No gains to pay tax on and a big 403B increase in withholding means that I might be looking at a big refund.

Maybe I can treat this paper refund strategically. For 2005 and 2006, I put 5K in a traditional IRA. I'm thinking it might be better to convert these IRAs into Roths and balance the taxes on that against my refund.

Time to do a bit more research. I know I have to do this by the end of December.

following one thing down, the other up

July 8th, 2008 at 08:01 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $1.70 decaf coffee + $9 lunch & snack

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $9 lunch

You might remember a certain shack that was apparently to be had for a certain princely sum of $499K.

I promised to follow it down. And down it is going.

Feb 2008 - $499K
April 2008 - $445K
2hrs ago, 2008 - $395K

Still too much even with a 20% haircut.

Yesterday afternoon I found my electronic pay stubs, which list my 403B contributions. I changed my withholding after Q1 2008 to shelter a few more dollars from taxes and I aimed for the limit of $15,000K. (I know the limit is $15,500; I wanted a little breathing room) The good news is that I will get a 4% raise, possibly a 6% raise, which is, in a sense, bad news if it tips my 403B withholding above $15,500.

So I added up what I already put in. I get paid 24 times. I calculated my current withholding times 1.06, and got an estimated withholding. I figure I will be just under the limit with a 2008 withholding at $15,445. Cutting it a tad close, so I will look again on the August 15th pay stub, just to make sure. I'll have 4Q to adjust if I go over.


April 15th, 2008 at 08:01 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $13 lunch + $7 groceries

I got the first paycheck after my new 403B withholding. In case you missed it, I hiked up my 403B withholding to bulk up my non-taxable accounts, force me to spend my taxable accounts, and basically put me in a better tax position for next year.

Better tax position, baselle, better tax position. Keep repeating that while I blink at my direct deposit deposit in my online bank account. It was a 400$ drop. Per paycheck. That makes me queasy.

This is going to be very, very different.

Collected up my coupons and bought $14 worth of groceries that we use for $7.

tax coda 2007

March 24th, 2008 at 09:11 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $8 lunch

Delivered the CPA coupon that I got Friday night to DJ friend. If he uses it, he gets 20$ off and I get $20 back.

I sent my tax check out last week - the US cashed it Friday night. I just paid for about 1/1000 of a second of federal spending. Some people will wait until Apr 14 to pay, which is wise because they still get a little bit of interest, but I prefer to pay it and get on with the rest of my year. I just don't like playing chicken with my bills...guess wrong and you're late, or rather, these days you give the bank, credit card or business the ability to charge you the late fee.

Finished voting my proxy online; the next day all the paper materials showed up. Just as well, its a lot easier for me to calculate valuations from a paper annual report than it is online.

pulled the trigger

March 12th, 2008 at 09:06 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $8 lunch + $17 groceries

Went to my 403B administrator in HR to get the form to change my 403B withholding.

"You're early," she said.
"But its for a change of April 1," I said...

Usually HR canvasses for changes the week before, I guess. I tried to explain why I was changing it and that it will look weird, but she would have none of it...she didn't want to know. Smile Filled out the form, so I pulled the trigger. It puts my take home pay at what I was at 4 years ago; it'll be something to get used to.

And I have to remember to back it down for next year.

Picked up some plums and apples for $1.48/lb/each, received grapefruit from Harry & David. We are awash in fruit.

new commitments

March 11th, 2008 at 08:45 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box + $35 Drp 1 + $40 Drp 2
Spending log - $1.55 coffee (16 oz size), $6 lunch

Put money into two of my Drp stocks. They aren't going gangbusters, but its nice to be able to put a little something in when stocks are cheaper.

I finished figuring out what I want to now put into my 403B. 2007 I had to pay tax with a penalty, and I want to avoid that. I figure the most strategic way to avoid it is to increase my 403B to the max.

The maximum that we can put in is $15K; from my latest paycheck (end of February) I've already put in $1170, I can change quarterly so I will have put in $1755 by the end of March (quarter 1), so I have $13,245 to put in for 9 months. That works out to be around $1470/month, or $735/pay period. I used the paycheck calculator, first putting in what I was doing already to see if the numbers were about right. They were within $5, so I increased the percentages by 5%, then 2.5% until I got a 403B withholding close to but under $735. 37.5%. I drop my paycheck by 300$ and that's per paycheck - $600/month. I can do it, but it will take some getting used to.

The other commitment was to the trainer. I've had a heart to heart. I've basically been 185 (sometimes as high as 190, or as low as 183) for over a year. Is the plateau an issue? What kind of new goals should we go after?

I thought about this over the weekend, and I came to some conclusions:

1. The weight plateau doesn't bother me - unless I stepped on a scale, you wouldn't guess that I'm 185, and these days, maintaining and not increasing weight even during the holidays is an achievement.

2. What does bother me is my waist. Legs, arms, chest, back, butt, even upper waist have become more defined and I'm happy with their progress. My lower and mid waist are stubbornly resistant. Don't get me wrong - the ab muscles underneath have gotten a lot stronger - they just are still cloaked by the fat on top.

3. Weight training is great and I enjoy it - but right now its the same moves with increasing weights. Not too much to learn after you get the form down and you figured out what muscles get targeted. I suggested that I'd like to learn some pilates and yoga moves and with that my trainer brightened up. We did a couple of them today - the v sit keeping the chest up and moving the arms up and down. Pumping arms up and down gives you something to do while you are holding that darn v sit...my mid back is very stiff.

Conclusion is that we are going to work on an inches goal, specifically for the waist. Not that you can spot lose, but something's bound to happen. Big Grin

I owe, I owe ... off to the tax man I go

March 7th, 2008 at 09:36 pm

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $9 lunch + $175 tax prep

Got back from the CPA tonight. Now for the downside of saving, not spending, and squirreling inheritance money away instead of whooping it up:

I owe Federal taxes, the first time in about 20 years. Over $1300, and it includes a slight penalty - $38 - for not prepaying quite enough. Both the CPA and I were sanguine about it... its about 1.5 months of ING interest or 13 minutes of CPA time.

I owe because I put taxable money into vehicles that made interest, and moved money into a Roth IRA instead of a traditional one. Unless I do something though, I will run up against the "problem" of making lots of taxable interest every year. Well, it might not be so bad this year with the stock market losses and low interest rates.

This weekend, I'm going to go through scenarios with a couple of paycheck estimators. I'm going to try and hike up the % of my paycheck that goes to 403B. Right now its at 15%...but I can put up to $15000 in a 403B every year. If I try that, it does two things - 1. shelters more of my money in a non-taxable account and 2. makes me spend some of my taxable interest.

Its either that or file quarterly..by my old cheap self.

On the bright side - the Schedule K form was filed, but changed nothing in the tax calculation.

Errands and taxes

February 18th, 2008 at 09:55 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.28 coffee, bagel + $1.65 coffee + $6 pho lunch

DH worked President's Day, while I could play. It was a glorious sunny day, which never happens in Seattle this time of year. Mostly did errands - made the chiropractor appointment, then walked north through the Pike Market, through Belltown, then cut through some of the Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, then the park maintained by the Port of Seattle, then crossed over the Amgen double helix bridge - about 4 miles.

Picture time!

This one was actually taken last week at the Pike Market. How did he get that cat to wear that hideous sweater?

The one thing I missed seeing the first time at the Sculpture Garden was the Neukom Vivarium. Its a nurse log gently and greenly rotting under green filtered glass. Simple, but refreshing.

A very different perspective of one of the bits of sculpture. If you don't know what a typewriter eraser is...well that dates you!

Shot of glorious blue water and blue sky, with a freighter and ducks.

More blue sky, a squiggly tree sculpture, a red ampersand sculpture, and the PI globe.

Inside the Amgen double helix bridge.

Then the bus mostly home. I'm doing my taxes late this year. Normally I do them myself and get right on it to have it over and done with...but because I inherited and sold property, received a 1099 where I might have to fill out a Schedule K, and earned decent money off of taxable investments, well, discretion is the better part of valor this year. I made an appointment with a local CPA this afternoon three weeks from now.

One last thing - I managed to score two fantastic deals at two different grocery stores 1. on frozen vegetables - .99/lb for frozen corn, peas, peas & carrots, green beans; 2. ground beef at $1.49/lb. The freezer is full.

sandwich riding on a game

January 7th, 2008 at 08:43 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee, milk + $8 lunch

The first thing out of my mouth (me, Packer fan) at the chiropractor (he, Seahawks fan), was:

"We are going to kill you!" Big Grin

He was about to tell me the same thing, hah hah, I got it out first. Of course doing an adjustment on my mid back he said the same thing and then pop and CLICK.

So we made it interesting - we bet a sandwich on the game. A no-spend day next week depends on which Brett Favre shows up: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. Big Grin

Lawyer friend suggested a mutual friend (who used to work with us) who is now working as a financial planner. I've wanted to catch up with him anyway so its time to contact him.

I have three goals for any financial planner because I'm a DIY at heart:

1. Entry point for services: CPA for taxes, lawyer for estate planning.

2. Coalescing of accounts and making sure that the allocations are diversified.

3. Knowledge - I know what I know, I'm trying to learn what I know I don't know. What don't I know to even learn about?

I get the feeling that I will be buying this lunch, so life's a wash. Big Grin

lose two pounds, gain a CPA?

January 3rd, 2008 at 09:28 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $13 lunch + $5 magazine

And now I'm coming into the busy period at work, where one day gone means a very, very busy next few days. Such was the case today.

But I got brilliant news at gym. I dropped two pounds and another inch around the waist so I am now back down to 184, where I was in August.

Time also to clean out the tax launch pad - a green folder where I kept last years W2, various DIV and INT tax statements to prep for this year's tax season. Does anyone use a CPA? How did you find him or her?

Schedule K-1

October 10th, 2007 at 07:55 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.84 coffee, milk

Ate the other half of the sandwich I bought on Monday. These days a lot of people use the work refrigerator, but no one used the vegetable bin. Ha ha, score for a hiding place!

Last night I got the final piece of mail from the executors - a Schedule K-1. I'll have to look it up in the IRS site to see when and if its used. The letter stated that they filed a copy with the IRS, so we shouldn't. I suspect that it means that they've filed and paid so if I file and pay, I've paid twice.

Tonight I voted proxy as on one of my DRP stocks - M&I - is splitting off one of its subsidiaries into a new company - Metavante. If the split goes through, I get some additional Metavante stock.

refund already

February 9th, 2007 at 07:59 pm

Saving log - 0$
Spending log - 2$ coffee, milk + $7 lunch

I logged into my checking account online, and lo and behold my refund was grinning at me. (289$) I filed my taxes on Jan 29, got my refund on Feb 9. 11 days.

Shame on you if you do the rapid refund! H&R Block is loaning you your money and all because you want to shave a few days off.

night before the super bowl

February 3rd, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Friday, Feb 2
Saving log - $8 tip box ($3 to replace what I took out, $5 extra)
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $6 lunch

Saturday, Feb 3
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $10 breakfast + $33 groceries

Friday I went to work. It was a trial for the first hour and I thought I would only stay 1/2 a day, but I got a second wind and left only 1/2 hour early. That 1/2 hour made all the difference - I managed to leave work while it was still light. The walk from 8th Ave NW was still dark blue dark, but it is early February.

Took a nap when I got home, then checked to see whether I filed the taxes correctly and when the refund would come (Feb 13, it turns out). Finally, I managed to get 10 minutes of calisthentics in before I went to sleep for real.

Saturday was the usual - breakfast at Denny's and a little grocery shopping for the super bowl get-together hosted by friends in Duvall. The friends are kind of drinkers, kind of not. I wasn't planning on drinking much tomorrow. At the HT Oaktree - whose parking lot today was as busy as I had ever seen it when it was Larry's - I picked up bottles of Mexican-made soda. Interesting flavors like tamarind, mango, guava along with orange and lemon, and at .65/apiece, I figure it will be a trip in a bottle. I bought and cooked our week's meal - beef stew and barley salad. I just didn't want to cook during the week.

Taxes 2006

January 29th, 2007 at 10:14 pm

Saving log - $3
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $8 lunch

But the $8 rare beef pho lunch came with a walk, which is what I needed. Tonight all the electrons around me went on strike - two electric buses made a turn, twisted a bit - I wouldn't really call it a jack-knife - and stalled out, blocking all the other buses heading north on 3rd Ave. I thought I had missed my bus, instead I walked past it. Waiting there for a little while, I got antsy again, found that my MP3 player died (electrons again) and decided to walk all the way to Macy's and catch the easy bus home.

Just finished calculating and free-filing my taxes. It seemed easier last year, but the reason could be that I had a couple extra 1099s, and I there were a couple of IRA twists that I forgot about. This year I free-filed at the same site that I did last year, so I saved having to hunt around for a company that would do it. (I file in WA state, which has no income tax. Most of the free filing sites will let you file your Federal taxes for free as a loss leader, but want the ability to charge for your state taxes.)

I was very happy that I had my financials on my USB drive (w/ password). The last step had me looking at several lines of my last year's 1040 - the answers would be known only to me and would form an electronic signature. It was a lot easier to look for my .pdf form on the USB than it was in my paper files.

I'm getting back $289. Not bad - I try to shave it close, and with all the interest income I've gotten, I needed the traditional IRA to keep it super close. Next year I expect to pay because I've gone for the Roth IRA, which won't shelter any money.

One horsefly swatted

January 26th, 2007 at 10:38 pm

Saving log - 4$ tip box (starting anew!)
Spending log - 2$ coffee, milk + 13$ lunch chirashi

I must have semi-overdid it in the gym "classes" this week, everything's stiff - legs, stomach, arms right at the side of my armpit. Didn't even think I had muscles there. But my upper arms don't jiggle. Managed to drink water and eat salad for dinner, but I got caught with an afternoon cookie. The cookie was worth it.

Needed the relatively expensive chirashi (strewn sushi). Its brain food and I needed my brains today. I managed to finish the first draft of a very complicated company match calculation (company shall remain nameless, but not link-less, I'll be mean that way). Sometimes doing these things is like having a proctologist do a root canal - not only are are you screwed in an unexpected way, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

But I'm happy that its done, and now I can concentrate on catching up.

Like Ima Saver, I'm finding that my big check is taking soooooo long to get posted. A piece of it was supposed to post on Friday and it still hasn't. What gives? I mean its a big check, but cripes its coming from another bank, and not a tiny one at that! I found a partial explanation on the bankrate.com site.

Got the TIAA-CREF 1099 form that had all zeroes on it. I moved the 403B money into an IRA so it was sheltered on both sides. Cost more to mail it than I'll be using it.

new park fun

January 20th, 2007 at 08:46 pm

Saving log - $35 Drp
Spending log - $10 breakfast + $2.50 hot cider

This is a big, disgusting story in Seattle. Nothing more dangerous than used car salesman when they find a mark, which happened to be a frugal, but mentally unstable man. Worse for the used car salesman, this only matches their reputation.

Got 3 1099 forms and the 25K check in the mail, the third advance. I think I am close, but I think I do my taxes in early February, instead of now.

DH and I had some very frugal fun - Seattle opened the new Olympic Sculpture Park today. Completely free, except for the hot cider. ($2.50) It was a lot of fun, walking in the open air, tromping through nine acres. Its a lot better, prettier use of land than what was on the land ten years ago - it was a fuel storage site operated by Unocal. There were far too many crowds and lines for my taste, though. I think it'll be much more fun and entertaining in a couple of months, when it will just be a few people tromping around. The only other weird thing was there was graffiti on some of the sculptures already! We got animals here.

Plane tickets have been bought

January 19th, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Savings log - $6
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $7 pho lunch

DH and I are going to Paris, France May 17 - May 31 with MIL. Its final - the plane tickets have been bought. Boss has been alerted. I've been told that I had better bring back pictures.

Time to see if I can download some French tutorials so I can practice as I walk. All I know is please and thank you. And when the thank you comes out as "mercy buckets", they're gonna know.

Sister wrote to me that she has asked for another 25K disbursement, so when I get a 25K check ... I won't be alarmed.

Bought another round of personal training, aka the gym class. ($718).

Printed out several 1099s from different online places. I see a fault with having so many online accounts - I have to go through each of them, one by one, and think "is this tax-deferred or not? am I supposed to get a 1099 here?" Much easier in the bad old days when they had to mail it to you. Also got the W-2 from work.

winter horrorland

January 11th, 2007 at 09:32 pm

Saving log - $3
Spending log - $3.50 breakfast + 5$ lunch

Well, it was a winter horror show disguised as wonderland. We got about 3 inches, which wasn't bad, except for that we are on a ridge (no matter which way you go, its down an icy hill), and Seattle drivers can barely drive in rain, not to mention ice. !!! It was beautiful, though, quiet and everything covered in white.

The office opened 3.5 hr late. Luckily DH could drive me to work, and MILs old car actually lived in Bozeman, MT before we got it. Its tires were thick with a nice heavy tread and well balanced. Drive it cautiously and you could get anywhere.

Actually got to work about an 1.5 hrs before the office officially opened, so I just played hooky at a coffee shop and served myself some relatively frugal treats - spare time, coffee, pizza bagel, and the newspaper. I wish I could start every day as nicely. The day was great, as it always is when not everyone comes in. These days, there are a couple of people that I don't want to hear from at work.

Gym class again. Lost a pound, so I'm at 190 - close to getting back to where I was right before Thanksgiving. Exciting! But because of the ice, I just wanted to get home, so I took my old bus - no long mile walk from 8th Ave NW. It turns out that the trainer and her fiance are starting some money moves on their own. That's great - I can share some info and it makes the conversation less about me, me, me...

I monitor my money and accounts online, which is problematic when the hard drive got upgrade. Tonight was the night I got my financial accounts in order. Yet another 1099 came in - my tax folder is filling up slowly but surely.

Jan 3 - no spend day

January 4th, 2007 at 07:34 pm

Wow. A no spend day for once.

Breakfast - Boss bought me a coffee and picked my brain about the possible reorganization of our department. Didn't go for the milk after that.

Lunch - potluck to celebrate new years. Everyone seemed to have similar resolutions - there were a lot of great salads. I brought my "scottish tabouli", and chopped a lot of fresh parsley. There was an angel (no, demon... no, angel) who brought addictive sweet and sour meatballs.

Another new tax form came. And another 10 minutes of calistenics at night.

the first day of 2007

January 1st, 2007 at 08:12 pm

Back to the salt mines, I guess, but I implemented what I could at home.

1. Increased my 403B % to 13% of gross pay, up from 12%. I'll be bringing that form to HR tomorrow. It means that my 2% raise from 12/14 has been spent.

2. Put 4K into a 2007 Roth IRA. I didn't actually save it, I moved 4K from one Vanguard account to another.

3. Got my first piece of paper for my taxes Friday. Started my 2007 tax file.

Found a deal on cup of noodles. As I was waiting in the grocery line, the woman ahead of me bought a pack of brand-name cigarettes. $6.49/pack. I hate to imagine the fiscal carnage of a carton. In a sense, though, cigarette prices aren't high enough. We all pay for a smoker. Unfortunately, we all will pay for overeaters and non-exercisers and the non-prudent in general. Its the fiscal take on "judge not, lest ye be judged."

Last night was fun - conversation, Cranium, and Scene It? - although I had 5 little tacos, boodles of tortilla chips and guacamole, 2 glasses of wine, and a glass of champagne.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

IRS refund

February 10th, 2006 at 09:57 pm

Is now in my savings account, at least 4 days early. Very nice, because what with the copays to the chiropractor and the fitness routine, this is really going to be February's new money. I plan to keep it in the savings account, and it will eventually roll up into a $300 I-bond.

So ends 2005 tax season.

We were asked at work to change our addresses (if necessary) on our medical benefit accounts using the web, which is good for me because now I know how to get into it. Time to take a peek and perhaps put some pages and settings into my password protected USB drive.

Work is piling up and now my coworkers are really starting to bug me. I'm getting better at not rising to the bait when someone stands at my doorway. Without looking up or away from my data I simply say, "not this afternoon. Come back later."

I did something that I've never done before. I went to a lunch place where I was seated off in the distance. I waited 5 minutes for water or chance to order. Nothing. I left. I never do that, but today was a frustrating day, it was a late lunch, and with just the menu on the table, I didn't owe them anything so I figured it was time to cut bait. Next place I went to I got my food in five minutes.

Saving log - 4$ tip box + 539$ refund
Spending log - 1.75$ coffee + 7.00$ lunch

Nut popped up, saw his shadow...

February 2nd, 2006 at 11:23 pm

and its six weeks more probate.

Got word from sister that Nut has filed as a creditor. Wonder what he thinks we owe him. I've got to be sanguine about this; as DH put it "everyone back there knows he's a nut - the sympathy is with your dad." Now its sister's lawyer's turn to do his stuff.

And I wasn't the only one to get bad news. My lawyer friend got his ATM password skimmed. He found out when he apparently bought something at my neighborhood Fred Meyer. "Geez," I said, "if you were that close, you shoulda stopped by."

I got my butt handed to me again in gym by the rubber bands with handles, aka the exercise cords. And now I can do the same things at home - my very own set of rubber bands with handles came in the mail last night.

Checked on my refund at the irs website. I should expect it to hit the savings account on Valentine's Day.

Spending log - $1.65 coffee + $5.51 lunch + $17.81 exercise cords (it was $9 with $8 shipping)

Saving log - moved $100 to ING + $50 to regular savings + 7$ tip box (tip box stands at $22)

Small slices

February 1st, 2006 at 10:50 pm

Lots of little financial bits - bit of everything:

1. Put 5$ in the Super Bowl pool. Unfortunately, I signed before my luck magnet did; plenty of spots but no guidance. I'm flying blind. -$5.

2. Got a little e-note from the website that I filed my taxes with. Filing accepted. I should get my $540 refund in my savings account in 2 weeks.

3. Congratulations all around that I made it 6 years at my job and I'm vested in the retirement program. (who would have thunk?) Difference between 80% and 100% vested is about $1500.

4. The executors gave my sister a mystery call. She asked me whether I got one. Nope. Wonder what it is - creditors slipped under the wire, or the sale of the second piece of property?

Tax-o-rama 2005

January 30th, 2006 at 09:50 pm

Well, we e-filed taxes last night. It wasn't bad but it wasn't easy-peasy either.

I went on the www.irs.gov site, looking for free file. Found at least thirty sites and software areas willing to do it as long as you didn't make that much money. However, we file in Washington state (WA). WA has no state income tax, which is somehow a weird twist. At least two thirds of the sites wouldn't do a WA state filing, including the big famous ones like TurboTax. I picked one that would do WA and started up. I didn't like the interface particularly, so when it bailed out on me because I had an IRA, I was relieved. (Too complicated a return, it said. Wow. No wonder no one wants to save for retirement. Smile)

The second site (www.olt.com) was a lot better. It looked more organized and felt like the tax software I used last year when I volunteered for EITC, and I used a lot of the skills from that here. For example, no matter what, fill out the 1099s & W2s completely, match it exactly to the form down to the 0s! The program asked for the forms you had first (1099INTs, 1099DIVs, 1099Rs, W2), then pitched the questions based on what you had. I took awhile before the IRA question came up but thankfully it didn't think that was too complicated.

Turned out you could do your state taxes, too, for an extra fee. That's probably why few of these sites really wanted a WA filer. No take for them. The site I picked really tried, though: it claimed that I have to file WI taxes. All for 137$. I'll look into it. (and I did - I would owe 7$. Come and get it, guvner.)

We're getting a $539 refund, yay IRA, so of course I had to come up with the routing/ account numbers. No fee for that either.

The last item necessary is a bit tricky. I had to dig out the 2004 form because the AGI on it was going to work as an e-file ID. Sent it off into the queue, and I'll look in on it in a couple of days. You can track your file to some extent.

Saved a .pdf file of the 2005 1040 to print in a couple of days. Later, when I get my financial USB drive started up, that's one of the first files going in.

All told it took about an hour and a half. Not as easy as claimed, but it does take the drama out of it. Remember only ten years ago when all the post offices were bedlam in early April? Waiting in incredibly long lines to get forms, then at the end racing in to get your filing postmarked by the 15th?

Disappointments of the rich and thin

January 27th, 2006 at 09:26 pm

Well, this'll be a short blog entry! Smile

This morning right before lunch I nearly tore apart my office looking for my wallet. WHERE WAS IT? Awful thoughts - I had gone to the chiropractor, which meant I could have lost it outside... Argh!

Then I fished around in my back jeans pocket. There. I could not feel my wallet in my jeans. That was not the case three months ago. Progress, I guess, and a sneaky way of having gym intersect with saving money. I'll be thin, but I'll be pickpocket bait. Smile

Turns out that I have good medical insurance chiropractor wise - 20$ copays.

Picked up my W-2 today. I'll take another look, but I think I have everything I need.

Like everyone else, I'm running on empty. No milk or wet cat food, which makes the cat cranky. It's every man for himself tonight.

trainer leaving

January 21st, 2006 at 02:11 pm

Miscellaneous: Last night I counted my tip box out and sent $42 into my brick & mortar bank to be later sent to ING. I sent $150 to PayPal for some miscellaneous payments. Wow - 4.3% without a hitch...might pay to shove a bit of ING money in there to incubate a bit. Sent 500$ to the credit card.

Used a Peet's complimentary card to get a latte, a nice break from the drip. Oranges, eggs, frozen green beans are cheap in the grocery store. I really like finding frozen green beans - they keep well and they very rarely are cheaper fresh.

The shocker news yesterday was that my trainer is moving up north. We made an appointment with another trainer as a transition. Apparently the trainers talk about me - that I work hard at this and how rare that is. Funny story - yesterday I was scheduled to do 15 minutes on the elliptical, making me 10 minutes late for my next appointment. I split the difference, only doing 10 minutes on the elliptical, and being 5 minutes late. All the trainers laughed at this; the usual thing would have been that the client would have completely blown it off. I'm not happy about the trainer leaving, but I'm philosophical - the trainer is the facilitator, but ultimately I have to be the one who loses weight and gets healthy.

Still have not lost pounds, but I am swimming in my clothes and my body fat dropped a percent, so something is going on. I figure that if I look thinner, I can always lie about my weight. Sister send another box of clothes - very nice ones, with tags still on them but now 2 sizes over mine. I'll put a little ad in craigslist before I send to the thrift store.

The next appointment was for the chiropractor. Most of my asymmetry on my workouts is apparently due to a wicked hunch and bad posture. The daily adjustments take 10 minutes, and they make me feel pretty good as long as I stand up straight. Smile The only disconcerting thing during them is that my back and neck sound like a bowl of rice krispies over milk.

Collecting my 1099s and other papers for taxes - all I need is my W2 (or is it W4). Taxes are going to be different for me yet again this year. I used to Telefile it, last year I had to do paper because of dividends, this year it's online filing.

Savings log - $42
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5.00 lunch

Savings log - 0$
Spending log - 5.00$ lunch + 42.96 groceries

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