Nope, I haven’t figured out how I will eventually meet her so I can’t give you that advice. Tune in later this week to hear about a book that I am reading (yes, I said I was reading a book) which may be the key to my behavior, though. But back to making this post rewarding…
Not So Resolutionary
It’s now January 8th and this is not where I bemoan that I am missing the target on my January Goals (that happens below). Rather, this is the Self Help portion of the Inside The Perimeter Show. Today’s topic is finance. I am about to step onto a soapbox but before I do remember that I manage software developers for a living and that I am not a certified financial adviser. The tips provided within are from my life’s experiences. As always, read all of the instructions and your mileage may vary.
Right now you should be putting a financial plan in order, unless of course you are independently wealthy to which I ask “Are you female and single?” Here is a short-list of things your should be considering and doing for ’07.
- Do you have all of your ’06 paperwork ready for your taxes? You probably haven’t received your W2 and other income-related paperwork from your employer(s) and financial institutions, but there are other things you should have available to make tax time less painful
- Receipts for donations to charities
- Statements indicating capital gains/losses
- Receipts from medical expenses (if you have enough to itemize)
- Your receipt for your 2006 Georgia tag registration (you do know that your ad valorem tax is tax-deductible, don’t you?)
- Your 2005 tax returns, both Federal and State (you did make a copy before them last year, right?). I find this is a great check-and-balance when I do my taxes because if my calculations aren’t about the same as last year’s then I probably screwed up. It helps me remember some deductions I may have forgotten about.
Another important thing to think about is when to do your taxes. It’s a painful task, I know that all too well. However, if you even think that you are going to get a refund you should complete a first draft early in February (as soon as you have received your W2s). Then if you are receiving a refund get that thing in the mail ASAP, otherwise make sure that you have enough money to pay the Tax Man.
- When was the last time you ordered your (most likely free) Credit Report? You probably know there are three major credit report institutions — Equifax, Experian, TransUnion — and at least one Govermnent approved institution, Annual Credit Report, which all offer free credit reports (at least in Georgia). Order a Credit Report today! My only additional advice on this matter is to read all of the fine print to make sure that you are not automatically enrolled in some sort of credit protection service by ordering the credit report. Remember, these companies are out to make money and not to be altruistic.
- Now is the time many companies have an open window for medical and 401k enrollment. Be wise, if you can afford to invest into a 401k I recommend it. There are people who disagree, and I will admit you are “investing” so there is no guarantee that your money will make more money, but it’s a pre-tax contribution so it essentially reduces you Adjusted Gross Income when you do your taxes in 2008. Also, if you have a well-defined medical expense consider opening up a flexible medical spending account (if you company provides this option). Contributions to a flexible medical spending account are also pre-tax (see that whole AGI statement above). The only “gotcha” with a flexible medical spending account is that whatever you don’t spend you lose. Essentially you are betting the Government that you are going to use this money and that if you don’t they get to keep the remainder.
And there you have it. Most blogs would stop here, but not me, I’m going to give 120% today.
ITP Flickr Pic
Dollars to Donuts this is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken recently…
When Stacy, Phil and I went for a downtown photostroll on Saturday we came across about a dozen donuts, all broken in half, scattered on a sidewalk. It was strange, but oddly photogenic (imho).
Same Old Song And No Dance
Boy sees show listing
Boy is happy to see band
Boy gets sick day of show
Boy starts piddling around the house
Boy loses track of time
Boy misses show
Off to mark “See Manchester Orchestra in concert” as a failure for my January Goals because Saturday was their last local gig until April. Double Dammit!
But now that I’ve read James’ account of the fiasco that is “The 585” maybe things worked out in my favor in the end.
Have once again moved into my attic, or so I think from what I’ve seen and heard the last two days/nights. I’ve unfortunately encountered rats and squirrels inhabiting my roof and each winter dread the sound of small feet scurrying in the middle of the night (rats) or at dusk and dawn (squirrels). Generally I am a non-aggressive individual, however when it comes to non-domesticated animals invading my domain then it’s time to become executioner. That’s right, I do not subscribe to the “Have a Heart” solution here. I didn’t ask them to move in so they must go for good.
All I know is that it is now 4am and I am wide awake because I heard commotion in the attic. At 5am I decided to go up in the attic and leave them some tasty gifts which are a few years old so I don’t know how “stale” they are. The gift I left up there for them are German and for some reason there was a picture of a skull and crossed-bones on the box. Uh oh, I just remembered that “Gift” in German translates to “poison” in English. Ooops. Stay tuned…
Weekend Wrap Up
The re-gift item that I brought to Stacy & Phil’s “Wine and Re-Gifting” party was a glass gingerbread man filled with the ingredients necessary to make gingerbread. I thought it was an okay re-gift, apparently I was wrong as it was never stolen and then voted as the “shittiest gift brought.” Huh, I guess I have no taste after all.
Just like the morning following last year’s “Wine and Re-Gifting” party breakfast on Saturday morning was at Crescent Moon in Northlake Mall. The service was slow and the food wasn’t as hot as I would have liked it to have been. At least this year I was smart enough to order a half Heap and not an entire Heap.
They shall be forever known as the “Hateriots.” The New England Hateriots beat my beloved New York Jets yesterday. Congrats to my buddy Dave who is a Hateriots fan.
I went hashing yesterday. The hash was fine and we were spared the majority of the rain which dowsed the Atlanta area late last night.
Tonight, Tonight, Wooo Hoooo
Well all I am certain about my plans for the evening is that from 6pm – 8pm I will be in the first meeting for my Composition class at Showcase. Where I wind up watching tonight’s BCS Championship Game is still a mystery to me. I am not sure why I have had such a problem deciding where to watch the game, perhaps because it’s been so long since I’ve gone out to a bar to watch a Gator game.
And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – violated by rodents
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Silversun Pickups — “Lazy Eye”
Website Of The Day – Joe’s Goals is a neat little website that allows you to track goals. It’s like a web spreadsheet that allows you to make categories and click on the day to mark that item a success or failure.
Training Target – probably a long run
Exercise (b)Log – hashing yesterday
1) Lose two pounds. (starting weight 205 lbs)
2) Run no fewer than fifty miles.
3) Do twenty push-ups and fifty sit-ups at least three times a week.
4) See Manchester Orchestra in concert. [FAILURE]
5) Read two books.