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Archive for January, 2012

Investing - IRA

January 30th, 2012 at 09:59 pm

I decided what to invest the $31,000 I had in cash in my traditional IRA. Some of the money was not invested when I rolled money over, some is from 99 cent only store sales.

So I am set up to buy (tomorrow hopefully, I have market limits set that should get triggered).:
Starbucks (SBUX), Intercontinental (IHG), Southwest (LUV), and Seniors Living (SRZ). The first 3 are companies I use frequently and think they will be in business for a while. The last was a calculated gamble. Well, its all a calculated gamble. More than just numbers.

I currently have $31,000 already invested in this account, stocks I bought in July when I rolled. $4000 of that is earnings, the stocks I chose are doing ok. I'm quite liking Coach - COH.

This is an interesting retirement account, I don't think I will be able to add money to it. So it starts here and goes for 14-24 years. I'll switch to more conservative investments in the future :} Or not. Perhaps I'll be conservative with other accounts.

I have a few other brokerage accounts that need stock. TO DO.

Update Jan 29

January 29th, 2012 at 02:16 pm

Finished with taxes. Yesterday I organized all of the official documents I need to bring with me. I remember not so long ago I only had a couple of W-2s and a mortgage interest statement. This year I had to organize my forms in plastic sheets.Income in one (W2, 1099s, 1099-INTS), mortgage interest, stock sales. And then I have 2 big things that I am also bringing in accompanying info, 'cause I'm not sure what is wanted.

One is for an investment house I sold this year, we got income for a few months and then the sale and a few costs associated with the sale.

The other is for info about rolling retirement accounts with fidelity into an IRA I'm managing. I had a Defined Contribution Plan, a 403(b) plan, and a 457(b) plan. Some of it was already taxed so I took that out and didn't roll it over (k was out of a job at this point). Fidelity confused me by sending me FOUR 1099-Rs, but they add up to what I rolled over and what I took out. I am also bringing my own printed proof that I rolled money into an IRA, I'm not sure if that's required (or if there is something more official I need).

I am only missing 2 forms, a W-2 from one of my jobs which I am going to get on Wednesday. And a form that I think I misplaced. Its for income for k for cashing out a retirement plan. He only had the job before this job for 8 months. We decided to not roll over the amount and pay tax. From my bank statement I think it was $3517.22. And I think I saw that on an official form recently. I haven't thrown anything out, so if its here, its here.

Happy Dance, Taxes are done. And I have a week before the accountant meeting to think about things.

Update Jan 27

January 27th, 2012 at 09:32 am

I think I have my IRA stuff as organized as I need for taxes, so I'm going to move on. I still need to list the stocks I sold in non-IRA accounts that I need to account for taxes.

And I should continue on the accountant form to see what else I need to do. Week and a half till the appointment...

I need to print out 1099s today.

And I can work a bit more on organizing and start to track down the official statements I don't have yet. I got one of my W-2s. I have a plan to spend time next Wednesday when I'm on campus to track down my other W2, either try to get into the system or figure out where the paper copy went.

If I can get that done today that will be good progress, and perhaps I will be inspired to do something else. Plugging away at this a little bit a day has really been helpful, its made the task not so overwhelming and easier to stay focused and amused. Its how I organized the house, an hour or two a day.

I will be happy when taxes are over. Noon at Feb 4th. My meeting is at 10. I bring Ks stuff too. Since he wasn't working 1/2 the year I'm just claiming everything and he'll do a EZ or whatever the simple returns are. I know I could do it, but I like the accountant to do it for continuation, and I"ll need her help next year if we do split things. (cross fingers he keeps his job...). I used to do my taxes myself, even with the business (sole proprietor so it goes on my form). But when k and I got together and I had to start dealing with stock options and such, I went to an accountant. Saved me a few thousand that year on deductions I didn't know about, so I haven't done my own taxes since. I've had a few naive people tell me it must be nice to not have to do anything for taxes since I have an accountant do it all. I then baffle them by saying I tend to take 10-20 hours to prepare.

Too many accounts!

January 26th, 2012 at 08:16 pm

I have too many brokerage accounts. There. I've said it. Now I suppose I have to do something about it.
At least get them organized.

I got my history from my 4 investment accounts with USAA, they uploaded back from 2007 to the document area and I printed them out and put them in folders labeled. I have a joint brokerage (with k), a traditional ira, a roth ira, and a sep ira. And a mutual fund that was cashed in this year. I sold stock too, but it looks like I sold some at a loss to make the total gain only a few hundred. So that won't add to my tax burden. I have a lot of cash in these accounts that need to be invested, when I have time to think about what to invest in. I rolled over an IRA. I invested about half in July and made $3707 or 15.89%. That includes the NDN that was sold.


I also have 2 first trade accounts that I have had for a while. I used to do a bit of day trading and quicker investments, during the 90s. I took most of the earnings out, but never sold any of the stocks that lost money, so I have some bizarre things going on. I have a few stocks without symbols I can't trade. and a few work 0.004 or 0.002 or 1.46.
Of value:
8 shares of ARET for $9.28
235 shares of GERON for $488.80
and $2167.88 cash.

My 99 cent only store (NDN) stock sold 1/17/2112, 99 shares for 2178. I will need to declare than next year.

I have a ROTH IRA account with First Trade it has 488 shares of GERN for $1015. And about $5 in the cash account.

I have an ING brokerage account. I set it up with automatic investments coming from the business account and buying NDN stock. The stock buying was automatic too. The stock I had got sold for about $7300 and I transferred that back to the business to pay a credit card. The business is increasing stock and has a bit of debt. I am going to have to pay tax on the stock sale next year.

I used to have an etrade brokerage account. I'm going to continue to ignore it. Its probably gone.

The only IRA I can add to is the SEP IRA, and I think only if the business makes profit. I make too much income to add to an IRA. I am putting money away through one of my incomes, which I also need to organize. I just started this year, I think its about $4000/year. And I think its getting matched.

I also need to organize k's retirements, he has a few from a few jobs too. This will be the major project after taxes.

Update Jan 24

January 24th, 2012 at 11:51 pm

The payments hit, k's credit card is now $13,378.85.
Feels a lot better.

Started to organize the investments today and realized I don't have very good records. Got a bit overwhelmed. I am going to call one bank and see if they can get me a history. I'll call Thurs or Fri.
I downloaded jstocks to keep track. But I don't have all my purchase info. And the info on the dividends reinvested. Much I seem to be lacking.

I do need to figure out the investments I need to report on taxes within 2 weeks. Can't wait till that deadline is done and the tax game put away for a while. And hopefully I won't have to come up with piles of money at tax time. Last year was about $18,000 ($8,000 was to my SEP IRA from profits from the biz). I didn't make money this year. And I sold a house at a lose that should offset the non-taxed consulting income. Hoping....



Update Jan 23

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:07 am

Aren't I boring with titles!

I did some moving around of money last night. I decided to empty out some of the savings accounts I'm not really using to pay off K's credit card. Its at $15,562 and bothering me. So I decided to see how much I can throw at it.

I transferred: $750 from the 'house' fund. That money is designated for our new fence we are building with the neighbours. But they want to put it off for a bit, and it probably won't be that much, so I'll just find the money when it happens.
I also had $110 in 'my' savings (I have savings accounts for K and I to save for personal things, but I"m not putting anything into them while we owe on credit cards) $100 out of 'mortgage and bills', $350 out of 'Vegas' (already paid), $60 out of 'etc', and possibly $1000 out of taxes.

I set up the transfers to happen today and they haven't gone through yet and they don't appear to be in 'pending'. Hopefully I actually did set them all up last night. I had had a few glasses of wine so perhaps I never hit submit *grin*. (I don't think so, but I"ll know by tomorrow).

I also set up a new transfer/account, to go to Italy in April 2013. I am taking one niece to the UK in Nov, and the other said she would be ok with that if I took her to Italy. I love Italy, and am excited to have the chance to go back. I only have 2 nieces and I love spending time with them, and I won't get the chance to travel with them alone forever. Soon they will be having children and families and responsibilities. So I ran the numbers, $4500 will do a nice 10 day trip. $5000 is about $330 a month, so I"m saving $350/month and should have enough by April 2013 to cover most of the trip.

Still plugging away at taxes. I started filling out the accountants forms and entering numbers. Its a great form that shows the numbers from last year so I can compare. I have highlighted a few things I still need to check and do. I haven't looked at any stock sales. My 99 cent only store stock got sold when the company got privatized, I need to get all that info together too. And of course I have multiple brokerages. TO DO - organize investments...

K was unemployed for 1/2 the year and since they take taxes out as if that is your typical yearly salary, he has overpaid and will get a refund. So I think I am just going to take all the deductions and have him just claim the standard credit. Next year we can get complicated with splitting things. Next year, when I"m all organized and ready :}

Still need to get the official documents together. I don't have any of my w2s. i also need to make 1099s for contractors and mail them out. busy, busy, busy.

Yet more on taxes but the end is in view.

January 22nd, 2012 at 01:43 pm

I'm still plugging away at preparing taxes. I find it humourous when people think that I don't have to do anything since I have an accountant. The reality is that I spend hours and hours working on it. The business books take 20-30 hours to do the entire year (and this year I SWEAR I will keep up and not do them all in December). And then organizing my personal info takes 1-2 hours a day for a couple of weeks. I really need to keep up on organizing this through the year too.

Today I finished entering my business travel. I took a trip to Germany for a meeting and then vacationed for an additional week with my mom (I paid). We rented a car and stayed in castles, had lots of fun. I can't write off that part, but I can write off the part associated with work, including my airfare.

Update Jan 20

January 20th, 2012 at 10:13 am

I noticed I had ~$7,200 in the bank today and tried to figure out from my timeline http://purple.savingadvice.com/2011/12/28/time-line_89165/ what to pay. It wasn't obvious. I don't seem to have K cc on the timeline, I think that is because I"m putting all extra cash to it.
I have my bills paid. I owed $2100 on my credit card (budgeted $1000 but I did go to Vegas) so I paid that off, and $500 to K cc. A bill still needs to clear, but I should have ~$1000 left after the mortgage gets taken out. And I'm getting another $1400 on the 2nd that I don't think is spoken for.

Its very nice not to be worried about the automatic withdrawls going crazy.

I'm working on the Kansas house sale for taxes.

ING and Disneyland

January 19th, 2012 at 07:41 pm

Finally got into my ING account. I have several savings accounts adding to about $3000. And a stock account (with cash) of $4600. Need to invest/move at some point.

Had fun the last few days, but most of my financial things were about spending.

Disneyland was $240 (tickets) + $54 (mouse ears) + $60 Lunch + $7 (snacks) + $15 (parking)= $376. For 3. My niece said it was her best birthday ever so that's priceless.

I don't have an estimate on how much I spent for the time the girls were here, I tried to pay for everything. We ate out a few times, and went shopping. I bought the birthday niece who just got a job she needs to dress for, some clothes and shoes. We went to discount stores (Marshalls and Payless) and only spent about $100 for several outfits and 2 pairs of shoes. I bought myself a new shirt for $15.

Jan 14 update

January 14th, 2012 at 08:28 am

The stuff I ordered from staples.com arrived, as I expected it was earlier than I could have gotten it. I bought things I need for 'end of the year', including plastic bins for all the receipts. The IRS wants records to be kept for 7 years and I can't remember how long my merchant account(VISA/Mastercard) want them. So far I haven't gotten rid of any so I know everything is here. Somewhere.

I boxed up all the 2011 files. And realized I still need to go through the state invoices for sales tax. I only have to pay sales tax on the items that were shipped or billed to my state. Do one thing, add another to the TO DO list. Sigh.

TO DO - compile state sales tax.

Jan 13 update

January 13th, 2012 at 09:34 am

I was inspired again last night, and spent several hours organizing...

I finished the business books. Just wrote about the business in a comment - http://purple.savingadvice.com/2012/01/12/jan-12-update_90101/#comment-197691

I thought I had already finished the books, but I had one last statement to resolve. The merchant/credit card, so it took a bit of time. I bought a lot of inventory this year so I think I officially lost money, my quicken summary shows only $2000 or so profit and I still have to deduct rent. I'm hoping not to make money, I would like to not have a big tax bill this year. Last year was over $10,000 combined. :{

I organized all my personal files, I moved the ones I don't use regularly and have a really nice empty drawer for this year's financial things. I went through and organized all my personal tax items, and everything else is at least in the proper file folder.

I started entering charities into an excel file and got all the info from the receipts I have and and my checkbook registry. Still have to do the credit cards.

I also entered the charity receipts from the Veterans Association. I bring them 'snacks' on a regular basis. I bring them cup of noodles soups they can just heat up for a meal. I go to the VA regularly and was bringing them magazines, and a few years ago they asked if I could possibly bring food. Apparently when some of the vets have long appointment days and no money they sometimes steal food, and end up in jail. So if the volunteer office can give out food it doesn't happen. So I have been the snack lady for the last few years (4 or 5?). I buy 'flats' of the soup (16 or so?) for about $4 at the store I get my paper towels, toilet paper, etc. I go once a month (or K does, and he's trained to get the vet snacks) and buy a few flats. Costs me about $20-25 a month, 5 minutes of my time, and has an incredible ROI. There hasn't been one jailing for food theft (that's saved me in tax dollars!) and there's been a lot of vets fed.

Jan 12 update

January 12th, 2012 at 03:11 pm

I'm trying to blog every day to stay on track and spend time focusing about money and not wasting it playing on the web. I love playing on the web :}

I was inspired after blogging yesterday to finish entering the remaining statements for my hobby business. I tend to call it a hobby business because its not my main job, but its a real business, it did gross $150,000 last year and employed 22 people at least part-time. Plus me, but I work for free :} Its run from my house and I do a lot of advice, but the daily stuff is run by others. I do all the financials though. I am currently a sole owner so it all goes on my personal income tax.

Other things I need to compile for taxes - charity donations - work trip receipts (Germany, ?), bank info (interest, mortgage interest), Kansas house sale info + income before sale, stock sell info (wasn't there a letter about this from last Jan?), ... I'm sure I"m missing things. Next year I will be more prepared because of this wonderful blog that will help keep me organized.

TODO - organize paperwork and set up files so they will be maintained over the year instead of just putting everything in a 'to be filed' hanging folder.

I bought a $50 coupon for a local Mexican restaurant for $4 yesterday. Yes, FOUR dollars. From Restaurants.com. Regularly $20, but I got $16 off by going through upromise and typing in DINNER for a coupon. My friend is getting 13% for her student loan. I chose a place I haven't been that I think my nieces will enjoy. Its an inexpensive place and I'm not sure we can even eat $50 worth!
I also bought some toner and other things for the business using the upromise link, Staples.com offers 2% so I bought all the things I usually do at the end of tax time (1099 forms, storage boxes, etc) and got free shipping, and they will arrive before I could have gone shopping anyhow.

I also opened a new type of savings account and transferred my 6-month emergency fund to it (and set up the $1200/month automatic savings). The old savings was getting 0.25 (going to .3 at 25,000), the new one is 0.30 now going to 0.35 at 25,000. Not a huge difference. The CD rates weren't worth the lock. This savings is something to look into when I start studying my investments... (TODO)

Jan 11 update

January 11th, 2012 at 05:44 pm

Had my new consolidated deposits go through today. $2575 in total. It dropped my bank balance to $650 which was a bit unnerving, I like it over $1000. I didn't get a $1741.15 paycheck automatically deposited, I need to look into that, not sure I turned in the timesheet or if it was just late due to the holidays.

I transferred that exact amount from my 6-month living expense/saving, I will transfer it back when I get the money. So my checking account is accurate - $2675 with about $1200 that hasn't cleared. I'm caught up on bills, and according to my http://purple.savingadvice.com/2011/12/28/time-line_89165/ timeline I have more income coming in before I pay my credit card (have $1000 budgeted, but it will be more this month thanks to Vegas. http://purple.savingadvice.com/2012/01/11/vegas-and-vistors_...

I need to start focusing on taxes. I see my accountant on Feb 4. I have to finish my books for my hobby business, pay sales tax and issue W-1099s by the end of the month. And start on my personal stuff which will be complacdo this year.


TO DO - enquirer about paycheck
TO DO -move 6-month savings into at least CDS. Balance is currently over $16,000.
TO DO - change timeline figure so the dates are accurate.
TO DO - TAXES!!!!!!


Upromise

January 11th, 2012 at 11:43 am

I joined upromise to help a good friend pay off her student loans. She's already out of school, I think the program is through Sallie Mae.
I set up the toolbar so all my relevant online purchases will get credited.
I also applied for a credit card and got it, it will give 3% on top of any other deals towards her loans. The bank gave me a $15,000 limit, so I'm thinking crazy credit is the norm again. (I have a few things to post about this in the future, I've played some funny credit card games - all in my favour!).
I have already done some shopping using my card and the upromise site, and bought things I usually purchase like flea stuff for the cat, cat food, and last night I went through drugstore.com and picked up a few things I usually buy and have wanted. I think so far I've made her about $40 for her loans. A few of the places gave back 8% when I used the credit card too.

I made one unplanned purchase; I bought one share of a stock certificate from the 99 cent only store (NDN). I am getting an actual certificate, matted and an engraved plaque which I am having 'Thanks for the ride'. I have bought a lot of this stock (NDN) over the years, its made me a lot of money, and its about to go private. I currently have hundreds of shares which I guess will be sold. The shareholders meeting is tomorrow to vote, but since the board wants to sell I assume it is a done deal. So I guess this is officially artwork.

TO DO - make a list of all the stuff I buy and compare online prices. I don't like shopping (except at the farmers market) and tend to buy most things online anyhow.

Vegas and Vistors

January 11th, 2012 at 11:24 am

Wrote a long post last night and lost it. I hit 'save and publish' and it went into the eithers. And I wasn't awake enough to save it.

I posted about my recent vacation with my boyfriend, we met in Vegas for a few nights. We live in different countries so don't get together often. I got a deal for $109 at the Venetian (from the email list, we've stayed before). He flew in on miles ($114) in fees. And I drove. We didn't spend much else, the fancy dinner I budgeted $100 was only $56, and we mostly won back the money we spend so we could get free Heinkeins in the casinos. I find gambling a bit boring so can't do it for too long. I think its more interesting when the outcome might actually change ones life. I originally budgeted $1500 for the trip, I need to see how close I came. And I have no money saved (I only planned the trip last month). I should have enough in my monthly discretionary funds to pay it all this month, but perhaps I'll have to dig into next months money.

I have 2 nieces coming on Friday for 5 nights. This trip has been planned for 6 months and back then I started a special account and put in automatic savings. I have already used it to pay for their airline tickets, and have $780 left. The only big thing we have planned is Disneyland for one of the nieces birthdays. (they are in their 20s so they will have their own spending money, but aunti likes to pay for things). I'm thinking the money I have saved should easily cover things.

TO DO - get actual figures for both trips.