June 2, 2009 at 8:00 am
“So how was London?” Mr. Grimm asked me.
I blinked for a second as my neurons fired, trying to figure out how the man I had just met knew where I’d recently vacationed. I sat in front of his desk, staring at the computer screen he’d pulled up. Oh, right. It’s in my file. Mr. Grimm was not a purveyor of macabre fairy tales. He was my banker. I’d let them know I was leaving the country so they wouldn’t suspend my account for suspected fraud when I withdrew pounds from a London ATM.
“It was good,” I told him. I had come to the bank to close a savings account because every time I paid bills online the site defaulted to withdraw from my savings account instead of my checking account. A few times I’d forgotten to select the right account in the drop-down box and had even overdrafted once, though they waved the fees when I explained what happened. I have higher yield savings accounts at other banks, so I decided to close the account [...]
March 31, 2009 at 9:18 am
“Furlough” is a much nicer f-word than “fired,” but it’s still one most people would rather not hear. The company I work for is making everyone take at least a 1-week furlough this quarter, which means you get a week off but you’re not paid for it. Thankfully, after having financial problems in my early 20′s, I have built up a savings account which I guard more vigilantly than any secret stash of Oreos. Some of my work friends are not so lucky and are looking for ways to make up the difference in their paychecks. Which is why I’ve been brainstorming ways to make extra money quickly.
1) Sell your blood plasma
If you’re not scared of needles, you can donate your blood plasma for about $25 a pop. I had a friend in college who did this when she was tight on cash. It does seem a bit icky to be selling your body fluids for money, but if every dollar counts it’s an option
2) Sell stuff on ebay or Craig’s list
Most people have stuff [...]
March 6, 2009 at 8:38 am
As my life gets more complicated, so does my tax return.
When I first entered the work force and I had to fill out a W-2 form, I looked at it in cross-eyed confusion. Exemptions? Wha’? When I got my first pay check I was giddy and excited…until I saw all the money they took out for taxes. And when tax season came I only filed a return because my mother told me to. She volunteered to be my personal accountant and didn’t charge me any fees. I just signed my name on the line and trusted that she knew what she was doing.
Then I started to make money outside of my full-time job and became utterly confused about Schedule C’s and 1099 forms and self-employment tax. Was I supposed to be making estimated tax payments during the year? Huh? What? So I eventually cracked 6 years ago and paid $20 for software instead of trying to read and understand all the forms. TaxAct asks me odd questions, like whether I own farm equipment or if [...]
March 3, 2009 at 1:40 pm
Every year the National Institutes of Health gives money to researchers so they can put on their lab coats and mix up strange concoctions and cure us of all disease. (And genetically engineer unicorns, perhaps?) The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy sent out an action alert today asking that people sign an easy-to-email form letter to their Congressional representatives which asks for more money for headache research. So, if you have the time and the inclination and currently live in the US, please go beg Congress for money on my behalf. Then maybe a researcher will get some cash which will allow them to run the experiments that one day will figure out what the fuck is wrong with my head. Thanks!
If you live outside the US, your concern is appreciated, however since you don’t get to vote here or pay taxes here, Congress doesn’t care what you think. You may as well write them and request research into how to make more pink dolphins.
December 10, 2008 at 9:54 am
I opened my mail and saw the Kohls 15% off coupon at the bottom of the stack. That’s when I knew. It was time to buy some pajamas.
I needed winter pajamas, not my flimsy summer pajamas that keep me cool in the summer months. The pink hearts and polka dots are cute, but I needed pajamas that would keep me warm enough under the covers that I could turn the heat down to 60 degrees for the night. That’s because I am becoming my mother, a woman who kept the house at 64 degrees during the winter to save on heating bills so we could afford to pay the mortgage. (Hi, Mom!)
At the time, I was not happy that I had to pile on comforters when I watched TV and that I had to wear layers of sweaters to keep warm. I would beg to turn up the heat a degree or two, and she would usually oblige. But now that my electric bill is creeping up and the stock market has crashed down, I’ve [...]