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@Weasley I was under the impression that you can ALWAYS file for yourself. There's even a box, like "Check here if you are filing and no one else can claim you as a dependent", don't check the box and then do it. I filed as a teenager so that I was entitled to the refund of the taxes that were taken out of my paychecks for my after school jobs.
On Open Thread
@Weasley It seems to me that in science (are you doing science? I assumed with the research bit) this is the norm. I would never have thought about doing that, but all of my husband's recent salary negotiations/raises have been done through email.
Huh. I probably just wouldn't really know what to do. I have a pretty big "stealing is wrong" thing, and even though starbucks is a corporation, the theft hurts people that have a stake in the corporation. Although, if this was my favorite mom and pop place where I learned to smoke cloves and read dark books while drinking black coffee, I'd probably tell the guy to hit the bricks.
@josefinastrummer You can have good/excellent credit and carry a balance. The difference is "secured" and "unsecured" debt. You can have an excellent credit score, but your debt to income ratio can still affect your credit-worthiness. Financial advisors typically advise paying off "bad debt" (unsecured debt) because it does more negatively impact your credit-worthiness than "good debt" (secured debt), though it may not negatively impact your score. Typically, having unsecured debt helps you get more unsecured debt. Carrying a balance on your credit cards and paying them regularly will make your credit score excellent. Secured debt will help you get more secured debt (house/car). Because those payments are typically higher than standard credit car payments, it demonstrates your ability to consistently make large monthly payments. Unsecured debt can interfere with you getting secured debt. Financial advisors advise paying off unsecured, "bad" debt first for a myriad of reasons. Not the least of which is that the interest rates are typically much higher. If you are looking at buying a house or a car, a lot of open lines of credit will affect your debt to income ratio and while your credit score is good, your credit worthiness is not as good. When I used to work in auto finance I would tell people to go pay off a small credit card and come back in a week, their score wouldn't change that much, but it made the difference between first tier and second tier financing (interest rate) and even whether or not they got approved.
Friday: ($10 Groupon) Lunch date with the husband (?) Had my folks over to ours for dinner and Jeopardy. (Groceries were included in the meal planning/grocery budget) +$85 Cleaned out MIL old house and sold some crap Saturday: ($10) Backgammon date with husband. A beer, a coffee and a glass of wine. Sunday: ($32) Diner breakfast for three ($8) Acquiring Equifax score Spend -$24.00!!!! Wooot! We are on a super strict budget, but we agreed any extra cash stuff (gifts or the selling of items etc) is all bonus fun money. YAY!
On Open Thread
It's going to be an expensive weekend in the Welch household. My husband is out of town on a bachelor party trip. I kind of hate that his social circle INSISTS on this stupid thing. We've spent more than 1k on trips where they drink at bars and go to strip clubs. WHY do 10 dudes need to sleep in a multi-thousand dollar rental home to do this? I am a little resentful of so much of our travel/entertainment budget going to this. So, the deal is that $500 can go to the trip, but I get $100 to blow on pedicures and booze so that I can more happily deal with being left alone with my crazy MIL for four days.
I worked a lot of retail and never considered straight-up shoplifting. I would, however, take everyone's money and use my discount and bonus store cash (for getting people to open store cards) and buy all of our friends' wedding gifts. Everyone and their brother was getting married (8 weddings, ONE year!) and registered at the store I worked at. I was able to get 20% off, plus use my fake store money instead of real cash to contribute and always was able to get the best/nicest/most expensive stuff off of people's registries. A manager friend (after I didn't work there) told me this was technically stealing. But, for real, I made the store MORE money than they would have otherwise. (two people 100% registered just because I worked there and got a bonus for their registry and they knew I would get our poor friends good deals). I regret NOTHING!
This is the BEST! We had a traditional-ish wedding. I had a fancy dress, but we also had a keg and a case of Kentucky Deluxe, a wedding fudge, tiki-torches, christmas lights and tablecloths made out of thrift store sheets and curtains. It was beautiful and wonderful and everyone had the most fun ever (we even forgot to get officially married because we were busy having fun). It was in a rented museum and a borrowed back yard and cost less than $2000.
Love love love. Two days after I got engaged I lost a job I hated and a car i hated broke down. We traded in my car and bought a fancy new one in my husband's name. I cried inthe bathroom at the dealership. I felt badly for not contributing. However, I Negotiated the price and terms of the car to save us about $5k. My options for employment (while in school) were limited to jobs I hated. My wonderful fiancé (now husband) sat me down and reminded me of the fact that he made 2x what either of us had I the last three years. He said he would rather have a happy, unstressed wife and live on one income. It took a while for me to come to terms with it,but I did. He said that since he met me he wanted to see what I would be capable of if all of the bullshit were removed from my life. I was interested to see too. Turns out, when I am not freaking out about rent, I am better, stronger, more creative and more loving. It was amazing to me how clear and calm I felt. We don't have much, but we have what we need. He is happy because I have the time and energy to be the most supportive wife in the world, I am happy because he is happy. It wasn't about the money, it was that my non-monetary contributions (moral support, time, extreme thrift) were just more valuable to our family.
Man, Florida is so different from top to bottom. I always forget that. My husband is from crazy-town, drug addled, lavish lifestyle Florida. I am from weird liberal college town surrounded by rednecks, assorted poor people and alligator wranglers. Great read!