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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

Text is this and Link is http://www.funnyhub.com/videos/pages/snl-more-cowbell.html
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
Text is fetish number and Link is http://www.americansuperstarmag.com/pics/quentin-tarantino-and-diane-kruger-oscars-2010-red-carpet-pictures-82nd-annual-academy-awards-f
fetish number or Charlize Theron's
Text is cinnabon bustier and Link is http://www.usmagazine.com/celebritynews/news/charlize-theron-defends-her-oscar-dress-197031
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.