On The Cost of Becoming Interested in Fencing as an Adult

My 3rd grader joined his school fencing club (who knew public schools had fencing clubs??). After only a few practices, he decided he really liked it and wanted to pursue it. My wife and I figured it would be expensive, but then naively thought, 'Hey, maybe he'll get a college scholarship for fencing! After all, how many kid fencers could there be out there??' Then we went to his first tournament. There were wall-to-wall kids, and a lot of them were pretty darn good. Needless to say, we'll be looking elsewhere for scholarship opportunities. Fencing is a bit more popular than I imagined. [I don't even know if colleges offer fencing scholarships, but it's probably a dream of a lot of parents for their kids to get a scholarship for some obscure sport]

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm 0

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

I'd be the jerk who would say, “I never asked you to cook lasagna, I can just make myself a bowl of cereal when I get home.” So my advice to the letter writer: if your boyfriend says this, you should probably look elsewhere for a life partner.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 4:10 pm 1

On Dreams Of My Father's Advice

My mom (who was basically my mom and dad growing up) always told me to marry a tall blonde. I ended up with a short brunette, but she's a much better daughter-in-law than I am a son, so I think it worked out okay.

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm 1

On Talking to Your CPA About Estimated Income

@CMD+click This 90%/100% rule is relevant to me, and hopefully it applies. My wife switched jobs this year making about the same amount, so we filled out the W-4 the same way we did for her last job. It looks like her employer didn't withhold enough, because last night as I finished our taxes I found out we owe $4,365 in Fed taxes. Turbo Tax said we owe $62,243 in taxes for 2014, but only paid $57,878. $57,878 is ~93% of $62,243, so hopefully we don't owe a penalty since we paid more than 90% of our taxes due (assuming I'm understanding the 90% rule correctly - we're not small business owners or self-employed). For comparison, last year we owed $56,029 and paid $62,1476 so we got a refund of $6,118 (which seems to cover us under the 100% rule too because we withheld more in 2014 than we paid in 2013). I liked that situation much better, even though some folks would tell us that getting a refund is stupid since we're giving the government an interest free loan. I think we finally need to break down and go the Nicole route and get a CPA.

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm 0

On Job of the Day: Fake Patient

@Kthompson That was my first thought - hasn't Gabrielle Nuki ever watched Seinfeld reruns???

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm 0

On The Catalogs Keep Coming

@Catastrophe Waitress Agree. Catalog Choice worked very well for me. Did it a couple of years ago when we moved into a new place. 12 unwanted catalogs were stopped after spending a few minutes filling in fields on the website. Definitely worth it.

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm 0

On Josh Michtom's First Job: Helping Teach Argentinians English

Guess it loses something in the (google) translation [andate wing shell mother b*tch who bore you].

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm 0

On Are Land Lines Worth It?

I'm a dinosaur who actually has 2 land lines. I telecommute full time, so I need a dedicated, reliable, good quality line for that. I could probably get rid of my household land line, but my prepaid flip phone doesn't get good reception in the house. I should look into VOIP though, since it's probably cheaper.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm 0

On How Do You Decide Which Books To Buy?

I should get my books from the library, but I'm too lazy. So I get mine from Kobo for my Kindle, because they supposedly give a portion of proceeds to an indie bookstore of my choosing (plug for RJ Julia in Madison, CT). But I wonder how much Kobo gives them. Maybe a few cents on a $9.99 ebook? As for how I choose what to read, I rely on recs from The Week, Grantland and, for my young adult fix, my 13 year old niece.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm 0

On Tell Me The Truth About Debt Consolidation

@PicNic It might be subsidized vs. unsubsidized loans. For subsidized federal loans, the gov't pays the interest while you're in school or in deferment. In unsubsidized, interest starts accruing when the loan is taken out. So if you have both subsidized and unsubsidized, that might be why your bill is broken down into two amounts. My wife's consolidated loans are broken out like that. I have no idea how they determine which part of our extra payments go to which loans.

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm 0