@saretonin I logged in to like this comment and to say that 1 thing saved me $50 once, so clearly it has to stay.
@OllyOlly Agreed, I have a lot of sympathy because I did freelance, and the tax situation really is more complicated, but that’s part of the trade-off. When I switched back to 9-5ing, I gave up flexible hours, working in my pjs, cash flush periods, etc. but gained easy to assemble taxes and stability. It’s part of the job of a freelancer to put something aside: if your gross freelance income X .9 (or whatever would give you your gross income - taxes, depending on your marginal rate) does not equal enough to live on, then it’s vital to get at least a part-time job with a salary to supplement. It’s hard to have your gross pay take something out of it yourself(especially before I developed a saving and budgeting habit: thanks Billfold! And YNAB!), but that’s what freelancers have to do to be successful.
@Mlanterman I think (and am not a tax professional, so this is in no way actual advice that you should take without double checking) that you can report things without getting the form, which is what I did when I freelanced and had projects where I made less than $500 or whatever the cut off is for them to issue a 10-whatever (see, do check with someone who knows what they are doing rather than taking my word for it). If I ever were to freelance again (not likely, see @PicNic's comment below) then I would probably set aside ~300 dollars to take my taxes to an HR Block type place at the end of the year. Or do you bank at a credit union? Sometimes they're willing to give friendly advice about stuff like that.
If you're worried about the tea being made in advance, perhaps it would be good to introduce the idea of being spontaneous, like: "Oh this Earl Grey is lovely, but I'm thinking about shaking things up soon, maybe an Oolong next week? New year, new me. I'll let you know when I come in what I've decided." That way you can reset the ordering process/make it clear that you might switch from day to day.
@Meaghano You are awesome! Thank you for taking the time to formulate that response. I was pondering how to sum it up, but yes, you've covered a lot of what I was going to try to say. Thanks!
@Caitlin with a C I'm a sucker for coffee mugs. Totally using a swag mug right now, actually. Also, a very cute stuffed droid that did sit on my desk for awhile. I've gotten mints in a cute little tin and a wooden puzzle box once that is pretty nifty. And totes, endless, always-appreciated totes. Socks would be super cool (mittens too actually) since I am always loosing them, but then again perhaps that is the opposite of good swag (from the branding perspective).
This maybe belongs on 1 Thing Thursday, but it isn't Thursday, so: I was cleaning my closets and found an old gift card (and vaguely remembered a Mike/Logan talk about loosing gift cards, which gave me a chuckle). Anyway, these gift cards are exactly 4 years old-- one of them was a textbook rebate from when I was a student for goodness sake. But I figured, what the hell, and called the toll free number to inquire about the balances/expiration dates. And ta-da, they don't expire! And I now have mad money outside my budget!! (Mini) Shopping spree!! Thanks billfold! A year ago I would've shrugged and thrown them away without calling. <3
@all Wow! Thank you for all the advice! I do use an envelope-type YNAB like system that I set up in mint, which is how I have been able to save so far. So it's more about what to do next to improve the system and stop myself from being tempted to drip money out of my savings for a cushion at the end of the month. It's possible I may be trying to change too much, too quickly though. Hard to tell, really. All the responses have been encouraging, in that I think I am at least heading in the right direction so far. Thanks!
Not quite, but I think this February I'm going to set a positive goal rather than a negative one (for January, my resolution was to not move money back from savings to checking, which I did and it was mildly discouraging even though I did end up growing my savings, just not by the aggressive amount that I had intended) so this month, instead I'm giving myself a positive habit to build. Except I can't think of one yet. Any suggestions? How did you go from not being a saver to being a saver, people who have made that transition?
@Allison Brilliant, I'm also going to borrow that method.