"Secret skimping is out, like false bosoms." - Marjorie Hillis, Orchids on Your Budget, 1937.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Is anyone reading this signing up for Ramit Sethi's Earn 1K course?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish...I were a tax professional?

I decided to file my taxes tonight. So here I am. I've got all my shiz spread out, I'm using TurboTax, and I'm pumped for the refund I should be getting. Only I had to stop halfway through because I'm so. confused.

1. I received a 3% employer match this year in July of 2009 for the 2008 tax year. This is the first distribution I've been qualified to receive, I haven't received any kind of related tax form, and I've go no idea how to report it. Also - reinvested dividends? Where do I report those?

2. Once again - Roth IRA dividends - reinvested. I understand it's "non-taxable" and I didn't receive anything but a year-end statement of accounts, but TurboTax is telling me I still need to report it? But only if I've got the 1099-DIV? But Vanguard says I'm not getting one? Basically, it's a head-scratcher.

3. Remember that bonus I received this year? My employer gave me a 1099-MISC with item 7 ("Non employee income") filled. In prior years, it had always been in box 3 ("Other income"). And just to rub it in, they used my OLD address. Anyway, I'm clearly an employee, so shouldn't it be box 3, or an entirely different thing all together?

My finances are INCREDIBLY simple at this point in my life, so why the hell am I having such a hard time?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Only me to Hold me Back

I've been struggling a lot lately with a few big issues. To put it simply, I'm sad and bored. The reason for this is two-, or maybe four-fold. It's difficult to parse out the tiny, separate, nuanced reasons, but here's the gist of it:

  1. I've disliked my job from the very first day I set foot in the office more than 3 years ago -- the atmosphere as well as the subject matter. I've stayed because (i) I agreed to stay for at least 2 years, and I wanted to prove I could do it no matter how tough it was, (ii) I'm paid well for what I do, and I the health benefits are generous, (iii) the economy, and (iv) I can't think of anything I would actually like to do instead;

  2. I am relatively isolated. The only person I see outside of work is my fiance, and the only other people I regularly keep in contact with are my parents (I don't have any siblings). I've never been very sociable, and I find that making (and keeping) friends is sort of exhausting and difficult. However, now that I work in a tiny office, and I'm not in school, I find myself missing a little bit of companionship. And sadly, I find it especially difficult to make friends and identify with other women.
  3. I have no solid interests. This is either the cause or the result of my tendency toward consumption-based addictions (see: FOOD and SHOPPING), I haven't decided. I don't really do many things that could be considered "hobbies". I've tried things like knitting, but it feels pointless. I read sometimes. I tried a silver-smithing class. I've signed up for a sewing class. Nothing really sticks, and I spend most of my time doing what amounts to nothing, which produces more anxiety. It also makes things like "interest inventories" difficult, since I can see myself enjoying each option equally, which makes picking a direction that much harder.
  4. I haven't worked out a purpose. Now, I don't mean some big Come to Jesus moment where I attain spiritual enlightenment. I'm talking about something that I can get passionate about. It doesn't have to be something I do for a living right now; it doesn't have to be philanthropic or IMPORTANT; it just need something fulfilling that excites me -- something that I can nurture and develop that makes my heart pound -- something I want to stay up all night working on until I can't keep my eyes open. Items 3 and 4 are subtly different. 3 can serve as fodder for some light conversation. 4 gets me out of bed in the morning. Ideally (eventually), a career could be derived from or based on 4, but should at least be related tangentially to 3. 3 is broad, 4 is deep. I don't think I need to say it, but knitting doesn't fall into this category either. I painted for a while in college, and that was the closest I ever felt to feeling "flow" (except for maybe my philosophy course), but its such a big, tortured process, and I don't think it was THE THING for me.

I'm aware that these are all big elements of life, and a lot of people would argue that, outside of the things I've included in this list, there's not much else to it. These are really basic things that make up a personality -- likes, dislikes, friends -- that make up a person, and as such, they're things that I shouldn't even have to consciously address, which makes their absence even more perplexing.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who finds him or herself in similar circumstances, or someone who has successfully fixed what needed fixin'.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prolonged Radio Silence

Food poisoning rendered me MIA this past week. I’ll be back soon with bells on.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2010 Net Worth


Emergency Fund: $2,200.00
Checking: $1056.16
Wedding Fund: $332.50
Misc. ING Funds: $27.00
Roth IRA: $7,189.01 (out of the $7,200 I've invested so far)
401k: $4,376.67 (from the $3,790.24 invested so far)
Sharebuilder: $38.62 (out of $50 initial investment)
Amex Gift Card: $100.00
Total Positive: $15,319.96

Rent: $PAID
Groceries/Utilities: $PAID
Doctor Bills: $175.00
Phone: $PAID
Subway Pass: $PAID
Credit cards: $668.50
Student Loan I: $7,954.72 (from over $19k)
Student Loan II: $0
Total Negative: $8,798.22

Total Net Worth: +$6,521.74

What made this month great:
  1. $100 for Hanukkah from Nana;
  2. $100 joint-gift from 2 attorneys at the office;
  3. $1,500 bonus from work; AAAND
  4. January is a 3-paycheck month.
Yes, you read that correctly: I got a bonus this year, and it was substantial. I put $100 of it into the wedding fund, $500 toward my student loan, and $900 into my e-fund. It would've taken me MONTHS to save that amount. I feel like such a greedy, piggly little girl, but OM NOM NOM NOM - MOAAARRR!!!

Meanwhile, because this is a 3-paycheck month, I get to pocket a full paycheck and then some. Great start to the new year, if I do say so myself. Who else had a good holiday?