If You’re Paying More In Taxes, You Might Get Little Sympathy

I read a post on another one of my favorite blogs recently that rubbed me the wrong way a little bit.  I’m not going to point it out because I don’t think the post was written with the intent to get anybody upset.  Plus, it actually dovetailed into some other advice that was practical and useful for many.   But it still gave me enough pause that I wanted to vent a bit.  The post started with the author complaining that he’s paying more in taxes than most.

Professional Blogger

Some background first.  The is a professional blogger who writes a lot about his profession.  I can tell that he’s very knowledgeable, and I would wager that he is very good and very successful at what he does.

As such, I think he probably earns quite a good living.  Which, just to make very clear, I am 100% fine with.  People that do good work and are compensated well for it, I really have no problem at all with.

Read moreIf You’re Paying More In Taxes, You Might Get Little Sympathy

Sexiness Is A Powerful Force

Just in case you are living in a rock, Kim Kardashian posted a naked picture on Instagram and Twitter last International Women’s Day. Stars including Chloe Moretz, Bette Midler and Piers Morgan called her out for being a bad role model for young women. She hit back by writing an open letter, which had a caption “HAPPY #INTERNATIONALWOMENSDAY.”

Kim Kardashian On….

Kim Kardashian wrote, “I never understand why people get so bothered by what other people choose to do with their lives. I don’t do drugs, I hardly drink, I’ve never committed a crime—and yet I’m a bad role model for being proud of my body? I’m empowered by my body. I shouldn’t have to constantly be on the defense, listing off my accomplishments just to prove that I am more than something that happened 13 years ago.” Wow, that was powerful. It hit me personally because sometimes, we criticize others by their mistakes they made way before yet I am pretty sure no one of us wants to be defined by our past shortcomings.

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Why It Pays To Be Persistent

Here’s a quick lesson on why it pays to be persistent when asking for something.

Annual Conference

Last week, I attended a project management conference here in the Detroit area.  It’s held every year, and thousands of people attend as it gives required credits that are needed to maintain professional certification. My day is  filled with various speakers and presentations that discuss knowledge and trends in the profession.  It’s not the most exciting thing in the world.  Sometimes if you pick a poor speaker, can be an outright drag, but for once per year, it’s not a bad day.

I go just about every year as it satisfies about 40% of our yearly requirements in one day.

I got my project management certification while at my current job, so I’ve only attended the conference while working for my current employer.  One thing that has always been a constant is that, while we were given the OK to attend the conference on company time, they would not pay for the conference.

It’s not that much money, about $150-200 over the years, but it was still enough of a sum that it hurt a bit when writing the check.

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I’ve Run 25% Less This Year Than Last, And I’m Totally OK With That!

Tracking numbers is something that I enjoy.  I have a spreadsheet that has tracked my/our net worth since the year 2000.  I check my Fitbit application a few times a day to see how I’m walking.  My Inbox at work must have no more than 15 e-mails at the start and end of each workday.

Tracking Workouts

I just love numbers, so it should come as no surprise that I keep track of my workouts.

My routine is to run at the gym , and I started keeping a log (in a spreadsheet, of course) of how often I’ve been running.  I also keep track of my pace, my distance, my estimated calories burned, etc.

I thought it would be interesting to compare this year to last, and as it turns out, I’ve completed roughly 25% less runs than I did as of the same date last year.

To date, I’ve run 41 times, compared to 55 times last year.

That sounds pretty bad, right?

At first, but see as a numbers guy I’m here to tell you that it’s really not so bad at all.  Why? One word.

Read moreI’ve Run 25% Less This Year Than Last, And I’m Totally OK With That!

Qdoba vs Chipotle: We Finally Tried Qdoba For The First Time

Both Qdoba and Chipotle have been in business near our house for years.  We don’t go all that often, maybe once every few months, but when we’ve wanted a big old burrito wrap (or bowl), we always ended up in the nearby Chipotle.  However, Qdoba recently moved about a quarter mile down the road on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in the area.  The short move definitely seems to have helped business, as it’s always hopping.  It got us in the door, and we can now do a Qdoba vs Chipotle comparison.

Qdoba Vs Chipotle

OK, I’ll admit, part of what got us there was that we got a coupon in the mail.  A good ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ deal will work anytime.  But after we went, it made us realize that we’d been missing out!

It was pretty darn good!  It wasn’t perfect but it definitely made the list as far as places we’d visit now and then.

Here are some of the things we learned:

Qdoba has Queso

Chipotle is very well publicized for offering only fresh ingredients.  So they don’t offer anything the lines of gooey melted cheese.  Well, as much as I like fresh ingredients, I also like gooey melted cheese, so Qdoba gives you that option.  They have a couple of different varieties and they’ll put it on willingly for you.

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Consider Failure On Your Path To Success

I love a good success story.  Who doesn’t?  There are so many stories about people who make money blogging that I thought I’d give some perspective.

Make Money Blogging: Going Full Time

As you know, I read a lot of different blogs and one of the themes that comes about with blogging, especially here in the personal finance niche, is how people are able to turn their blogs into businesses, often with the ability to leave their day jobs and concentrate full time on blogging.

It sounds pretty cool.  And it is!  Think about some of the success stories:

  • Back in the heydey of blogging, some of the more established bloggers in the personal finance space were reported to have sold their blogs for over $1 million dollars each
  • One blogger left her job, started making a few thousand a month, and last month reported income of over $78,000 just from her blog!
  • More than a few bloggers have written eBooks about topics that they write about and have watched the money pour in
  • People are able to freelance and write articles and promote their own blog and write for others to the tune of thousands of dollars per month.

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How To Get Fired From A Management Position In 4 Easy Steps

As I’ve gotten more and more years of work under my belt, you learn a lot of things.  These relate to how to do your own job, but also in watching other people do their jobs.  Everybody has their own style or way of doing things, and the repercussions of this can be far and wide.  This holds even more true for those hired into management positions.

Here’s a story of one management hire that started off well but only went downhill, finishing up as an absolute calamity.

A Tough Situation To Begin With

The manager, we’ll call him Manny for the purposes of this story, was hired a little over a year ago to manage a group that was facing quite a few challenges.  The group was growing quite a bit as the focus within IT was getting more and more substantial.  The group did not have a great working relationship with many of the other groups, which was often a source of frustration.  See, with IT, when you’re working on big things, which often happen here, groups have to work together  in order to have a successful outcome. This group was very hard to engage.  Their members often didn’t show up to meetings or would make changes out of sequence or make promises that they would do something and simply not do it at the scheduled time.

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Top Things to be Aware of Before Filing an Tax Extension

The tax deadline is quickly approaching, but if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, then chances are you may need to file an extension instead. As such, there are at least five things you need to be aware of before you file your request.

You Can E-File Your Request

That is correct! You can skip the hassle that comes with filing your extension on paper, and file directly on your computer. E-file extensions are guaranteed to be received by the IRS within 48 hours from the time you file, and you receive an email confirmation once it’s been handled. Forget waiting in line at the post office or the hand-wrenching agony of wondering if your extension has been processed. E-filing is the smart choice.

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Amazon Must Limit Third Party Sellers

I had a pretty frustrating experience with Amazon recently.  By and large, I’m willing to forget about it for two specific reasons:

  • Amazon rocks more often than not.  They’ve built lots of goodwill points
  • It wasn’t technically Amazon’s fault

The Lost Fitbit Charger

It all started last November.  After we returned from our Disney World trip, I realized that I had left behind the charger for my Fitbit.  I have a Flex, and the charger is really quite simple.  It is about six inches long with one end holding a cradle for the Fitbit, and the other end a plug to a USB port.  It’s pretty small and I can see where it got overlooked during our packing.

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Kids And Money: 5 Things My Kids Teach Me About Money

Kids and money can be a fun mix.  My wife and I are doing a few things to teach our kids about money.  We have started giving our kids a small weekly allowance.  We have started talking to them about spending money and the different devices that we use (cash, credit cards, etc.).  Our kids understand that when we work, we are making money so that we can afford the things we have and the experiences.  For our kids being six and four, I’m really comfortable with what they learn.

It’s great, because there are times when I watch their approach to money and I realize that there are things that they are teaching or reminding me.

Counting Your Money Is Important.

Every week, when my son gets his allowance, he wants to make sure to count his money.  Even when he remembers exactly the amount that he had last week, and he knows the new number that the weekly allowance would give him, he still insists on counting it.  Calculating your net worth is important, and he’s getting started on doing just that!

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