Archive for the 'money' Category

Death and Taxes

The truism goes:

Nothing’s sure but death and taxes.

I just spent a day going through my finances and getting them organized. I filed an extension on my taxes in April – there was no way I was prepared to deal with them less than a month after losing Bryan – and now I need to think about actually getting them done

I actually do my own taxes, with the help of Turbo Tax. Mostly it works really well, but a couple of years ago, I made a minor mistake on a 401(k) over-maximum contribution refund to Bryan. I neglected to report it as income in the proper year, and so the taxes on it are now due.

I’m here to tell you that Bryan may be gone, but his taxes remain. They supersede death.

Nothing’s sure but taxes anymore.

Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: money | Comments Off

Economic Insight

There is an excellent article on the origins of our current economic crisis on the Foundation for Teaching Economics website, written by Colorado economics professor Dr. Dale DeBoer.

Economic Insights: The Genesis of a Crisis
It would be nice if the cause of the credit crisis could easily be pinned on poor government regulation, greedy lenders, or careless borrowers. Unfortunately, no one actor is to blame and the causes of the crisis extend back in time. This makes developing an understanding of the crisis a bit of a history lesson.

(Click on the title for more.)

It’s long but well worth the read — detailed, even-handed and extremely educational. H/T to Slatrat (Stephanie) for the article.

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: money | 2 Comments »

All that Glitters

A couple of days ago, we were talking on Twitter about the falling Dow and what we wish we’d done with our money. At the same time, my most recent issue of Jewelry Artist had an interesting article on the soaring price of gold and silver and its impact on the jewelry industry.

Many years ago, long before the dot com boom, I invested in growth funds that were heavily oriented toward tech stocks. They did not fare well, and in fact, the market as a whole faltered in 2002-2003, but then recovered. Now, of course, it’s falling again.

It made me think: what if I’d invested that same amount in gold, instead? I ran an analysis – $2,500 in in 29 shares of an index fund (using VFINX) against $2,500 in 9 ounces of gold. Giving both markets the benefit of the doubt, I bought in at the start of 1998, picked the highest price point each year, and the most recent price point in 2009 for this table.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: money | 6 Comments »

Jobs & the Economy

Unemployment rates continue to rise as we settle more deeply into our current recession. Washington’s rate has hit 6.3%, and the nation’s rate is 6.7%.

Every day’s newspaper brings new sad stories to the business section – layoffs, bankruptcies, business closures, cutbacks, stock prices plummeting. They should perhaps retitle the business section the “Horror Section”.

More disturbingly, I’m seeing friends and acquaintances impacted by this. I know at least three people who are anticipating being laid off in the next six months, and another within the year – and these are not junior, front-line employees. These are college-educated, licensed, valuable senior professionals with considerable company seniority.

My husband’s employer has been through several layoff cycles, leaving the survivors depressed and and in a state of shell-shock. My employer seems to be operating efficiently for now, although new hiring seems to be pretty minimal.

I am very sad for those who are losing their jobs or needing to make a change during these tough times because prospects for a decent new one would seem grim in this economy.

What would you do if you found out – with decent notice – that you were being laid off? Do you have a contingency plan? While we have a savings cushion and I have several weeks of unused leave, I sure haven’t thought it through beyond that.

Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: money, work | 8 Comments »

Minor Money Management Epiphany

Often, when I go to the grocery store, I get $40, $60, even $80 in cash back, depending on my anticipated cash outlay for the next week.

Within 24 to 48 hours, it’s usually entirely gone, handed over to one or both teen sons for some immediate need. When I reach for my cash, for a cup of coffee or a ferry fare, the wallet is empty.

Standing in line at the store today, it occurred to me that if I don’t have cash to give them, they get along just fine. So I tapped the “no” button for cash back, left with my cash reserves at zero, and will not be playing George Jetson with my wallet this week.

Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 by Jeri
Under: money | 5 Comments »