On Tax Season Anxiety

@Tripleoxer Sorta depends on the nonprofit, right? If it's a friend of Occupy, that would be a bit awkward, no? Also, if basically everyone else there is living on the $40k salary, and paying student loans, and she is not only not paying student loans *and* is effectively making $80k (really more like the equivalent of $100k, bc of the tax disadvantage given to work income), then she becomes one of 'those people'--living in NYC on their "parents money". Which is their problem, not hers, but she sounds like she wants to fit in as best is possible.

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm 0

On Return of the "Good Guy Discount"

@EmilyAnomaly That's another one that works--just asking if they are any current offers or coupons, and saying something about "usually" getting their mailings, but maybe you missed that one. Also, asking if there is a discount for signing up for a mailing/email list.

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 11:28 am 0

On Return of the "Good Guy Discount"

@Lily Rowan The particular instances I was thinking of were jarred product that would 100% keep. They're tired, a little punchy, and having dealt with the hoi polloi all day, cracking a joke they'd hear from a friend is an easy winner.

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 11:27 am 0

On How to Pay April 2015 Estimated Taxes

Oh, and PS to all my other comments: My vote (for Nicole and anyone else in the same boat) would be "IRS Payment Plan", as that's the cheapest thing. Unless you would seriously consider filing bankruptcy (not recommended, but a real option) in the 12-24 month range, in which case--charge it.

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 6:28 pm 0

On How to Pay April 2015 Estimated Taxes

@MemphisBlues And you are right, too, that the final bill is quite likely to be somewhat higher than that. But I think it's a reasonable trade off to come in, say, 2% short of paid in full, rather than being 2% long. Altho--when you overpay, you can credit it against your next year quarterly payments, and further reduce the stress of April.

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm 0

On Gold Diggers And Deadbeat Dads

@chevyvan "I just thought it would be an amount of money that would be large enough for a spouse to notice." If this were Today, and in DC, yeah, you're probably right. And it really might be substantial, in any sense of the word. But that's a viewpoint that applies to very few places, and just *right now*. But there are a lot of folks all over the country who, in the recent past (and some still) are owner's of underwater properties who were renting them for less than their carrying cost bc they wanted to preserve their credit, or they didn't want to realize the (say) $50,000 loss on their condo all at once, and preferred to lose $300 a month for 10 years until the mortgage was paid down enough, or the market recovered enough. And, too, the real 'play' on small time (that is 1 or 2 units) rental ownership is to break even until the market rises enough that you make a fat profit. Folks who own a single condo and see even $5,000 a year in profit after all expenses (especially if they hire a manager, so they could be totally hands off, as this guy seems to have made it seem) are doing very well/lucky.

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 6:00 pm 0

On Return of the "Good Guy Discount"

"Problem + humor + time = free/discounted item" Sometimes just the humor works. Have been granted free stuff (like the 5th one) at street market stands bc I made the proprietor chuckle. Wokrs best toward the end of the day, when they are punchy. Frequently, Problem + Not an A-hole = Discount/Free/Other Positive Outcome. Genuine (and nice) humor is the best way to prove you're not an A-hole, but patient and not mean is often sufficient. And it's 100% possible to be *really* mad about something, and still not be an A-hole--just remember to say something like "I'm not mad at you, you're just doing your job, I'm mad about the situation" as soon as you realize you're visibly/audibly angry, and almost everyone understands that, bc that happens to everyone (who isn't an absolute saint).

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 5:52 pm 0

On Your 401(k) Mutual Fund Might Include Uber and Pinterest Stocks

@HelloTheFuture That's what the prospectus is for. But you can check out more up to date info via whichever fund company you use (or Fidelity/Vanguard--open book)--from my looking at sector funds (noted below) I just pulled up the one at the top of the list, and could see all of the holdings in a $12 Billion fund as of 1/30/15. Down to the $30 in warrants in one company, and $10 in another and $3 worth of equity in another company. Any fund that doesn't provide that level of detail is not a fund you (not "one", but you, personally--opaque funds are for people who can afford to lose everything they put into it, and/or suckers who trust Bernie Madoff) should be invested in.

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 5:38 pm 1

On Your 401(k) Mutual Fund Might Include Uber and Pinterest Stocks

@seakelps It's not a terrible option, but (1) you'd have to have a separate fund for every sector (to have one that excludes each), (2) if in an IRA, then there's re-allocation on job change, which might be at a bad time, (3) who defines what's in a sector? Some are clear (google is tech; exxon is oil; is Tesla really cars? or Batteries? or Tech?). And, the Sector Funds already exist--Fidelity lists 215 no transaction fee sector funds in 13 sectors (2 for energy makes 14). Now, of course, that means you need to buy in 12 funds to be across all sectors but your own, but it's possible...

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 5:28 pm 0

On Your 401(k) Mutual Fund Might Include Uber and Pinterest Stocks

@Oneofthejanes "even in the Contrafund, Pinterest doesn’t even make one of its top 25 holdings; it looks like it has to be 1% or lower of the fund’s assets." Contrafund is $110+ BILLION. So, it's less than 0.2%. But Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and *2* classes of Google are top ten holdings...

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 5:06 pm 0