Monday, February 20, 2006

 

My Tax Return

I meant to post this last month but forgot. This post will sound like a plug, but thats fine by me because I was really happy with how everything worked out. I efiled on Jan 25th using H&R Block's TaxCut. Usually I telefile because I'm a strict 1040ez kinda girl, but this year since I was claiming the bf as a dependent I wanted to use a software program to make sure I was doing everything correctly. Also the IRS discontinued telefile, boo hoo! It cost me $19.95 to file which I didn't mind because I was getting double my normal refund back this year. The program was extremely easy to use and the whole process only took about 20 minutes. And the best part is that because I chose direct deposit, I received my refund on Feb 3, only 9 days later!!! And the added benefit of the refund is that I am now at 85% of my savings goal.
 

5 Reasons to Get an IRA

Motley Fool has an article citing 5 reasons to get an IRA, I like all of the reasons:

1. How else will you retire?
2. Lower Taxes - especially with a Roth IRA
3. If you don't put money in an IRA, you'll spend it - This is so true, I'm a big proponent of putting money away where I can't touch it, it seems to grow ever so much faster that way.
4.
You want more control over your investments.
5. IRA assets can be shielded from creditors - Take that debt collectors!!

I have a question for anyone thats reading this, how many IRA's should you have? I have a Roth IRA and a defined contribution plan through work, but I'm feeling the need to put more money away for retirement, but I don't want to go overboard. Or is it even possible to go overboard?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

 

Link Exchange

I've been asked by Kirby on Finance to do a link exchange, so I've dutifully added him to the blog list in the sidebar. He's got a pretty informative pf blog and although he's in law school, its all written in plain english, thank you Kirby!
 

My bank wouldn't accept my deposit

Today I walked to my bank to deposit my bf's paycheck. Since I'm paying all the expenses, he makes over his check to me and I give him cash back. Today I went into the bank instead of using the atm because it was cold outside. The teller said that since he did not know my relationship to either the company who wrote the check or the person the check was made out to that he could not deposit the check because of fraud issues. I explained that I had done this before at other branches, he wanted to know how recently and I said every 2 weeks. He said he could not accept my deposit. All the while in my head I was thinking that the very transaction he said he couldn't do, I could do outside on the ATM. He then said that I would have to go to the bank on the check, cash the check there and then come back to my bank to make the deposit. That was when I went outside and used the ATM. I understand that banks have to be careful of fraud, but I'm still having issues with this:

1. Unless the teller know me personally, there is no way in the world that he could possibly know my relationship to the person the check is made out to or the company that made out the check.
2. If I was going to commit fraud, why would I go to my own bank to do so?
3. Why shouldn't I be able to do inside what I can do and did do so easily outside?

The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, I don't like being accused of possibly trying to perpetrate a fraud especially when I've been a customer of this bank for 10 years. GRRRR. I did send an email to complain when I walked back to work, but I doubt I'll be getting a free toaster any time soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

It pays to complain

A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with a couple friends to a restaurant I'd never been to before. The food and the drinks were absolutely excellent however the service was subpar. We were never offered drink refills or dessert, although we said we weren't finished with our appetizers the waitress kept trying to take them away, she never checked on us once she brought our food and the whole time we felt we were being rushed so that the waitress could turn the table over to the next set of customers. I spent the weekend thinking about how bad the service was and I decided to email the restaurant and complain. I felt bad about doing so because I enjoyed the food so much, but the service was really bad. I made sure to let them know in my email that I thought the food was very good. I received an email back apologising for the service and letting me know they were sending a gift card. I expected maybe $10 or $15, imagine my surprise when it arrived and it was for $40!! I will be going back with the same friends and hopefully the service will be much improved. Either way I will email the restaurant back thanking them for the card and letting them know how my second trip went.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

 

February Budget and Goals

I have increased my budget (see sidebar) to account for the bf's job. He should be able to give me $600/month, the goal is to put at least 90% of that towards the cc debt. I also have to increase the funds allotted for gas from $65 to $100 since he has to drive to Bellevue for work. Its roughly 26 miles round trip I think. Hopefully next month I'll be able to adjust that back down a little once we've got a more accurate picture of how much gas we will be buying. Also I got tired of paying the water bill every other month, it made for annoying budgeting, so I've decided to pay it monthly. Its not due until March so I will be paying half of what I think it will be this month based on previous bills.

February goals:
extra $540 towards cc
lose 3-5 pounds
ride the bus to work at least 3 times/week
complete January missed goals

Hopefully I will be more diligent this month than last about my goals
 

What's in my wallet

Bus pass / employee id card
Safeway club card
insurance card
doctors office id card
starbucks gift card with $2.00 left on it
doctors office business card
drivers license
$10 (emergency lunch fund if I dont want to eat the lunch I brought)
1 orange guitar pick

Stop Buying Crap started this topic
 

January Budget Results

January's budget finishes a whopping $297.07 under budget!! This is due to the bf's job, some birthday money and part of my tax return. This should go towards the cc debt, but I'm thinking of using it first to stock up the fridge and cupboards, new socks etc. I'm looking forward to the end of February's budget already and this month I'll be able to figure in the bf's income as his hours are pretty much set at his new job.