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Viewing the 'Taxes' Category

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

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

Monday
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.

Text is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2008/02/22/the-housing-bubble-in-a-nutshell_35884/#comments and Link is
http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2008/02/22/the-housing-bubbl...

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.

ouch.

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.