Tag: money and finances


When the mail came today, there was a plain #10 white envelope from InterGalactic Medicine Show. Taking one look at it, I knew what it was. Every writer knows. It was a rejection slip for a story that I submitted to them not too long ago. Plain white #10 envelopes are burned into the psyche of every writer after a dozen, a score, a hundred or more rejection slips. Reluctantly, I tore open the letter, grimly disappointed in myself, and was momentarily confused at what was within:

It was a 1099-MISC tax form for the payment I received for the story I sold to the magazine back in 2007. It’s my first, and hopefully, not my last.

Incidentally, if you’ve never seen a 1099-MISC form, there are some interesting boxes on it. Some of them make sense: (1) Rents; (2) Royalties; (3) Other Income. But how about these: (5) Fishing boat proceeds; (10) Crop insurance proceeds; or lucky (13) Excess golden parachute payments.

Mine is listed in box (7) nonemployee compensation. Interestingly, the instructions for Box 7 reads (in part) as follows:

Box 7. Shows nonemployee compensation. If you are in the trade or business of catching fish, box 7 may show cash you received for the sale of fish.

What is this obsession the IRS has with fish?

Jamie’s Rules #1: Waiting on “hold”

I will not wait on hold longer than 15 minutes. If I have to wait longer than 15 minutes, I hang up and the place I was calling loses out. Or, if it is for something like changing the expiration date on a credit card (which is what I am trying to do at present), I hang up and then tell the manager at Bally’s tomorrow morning of the unacceptable wait times, and that they will need to come up with another mechanism to get my new expiration date, if they want to continue to receive money from me.

I’m at 14:03 at the moment. Wanna bet I’m still on hold when 15:00 rolls around?

UPDATE: I was.

Tax rebates and taxing days

The government decided to fight the recession today with a tax credit. The idea here is that taxpayers will get rebate checks. $600 if you are single and $1200 if you are a couple. In the fine print, single people who make more than $75K or couples who earn more than $150K are out of luck. Since I fall into the former category, I won’t be getting a tax rebate.

On the other hand, I did give myself a little gift, which in a way, is even better. For the last 8 years or so, every time I get a raise at work, I have the full amount of the raise taken out of my paycheck and added to my retirement account. My net paycheck, therefore, has not changed in more than 8 years. Since the market has been tanking lately (and I have a substantial amount of retirement money already in the market); to help speed up the paying off a credit card bill; and to treat myself for a change, I decided, finally, to “take” my raise in my paycheck for a change, rather than adding it to retirement.

Just for 2008–then I go back to contributing to my retirement at the same levels that I left off.

Today, I got my first pay stub that includes my accumulated raises from the last 8 years, and my net pay was about $400 more than it was before. So in a sense, for the next year, it’s as though I am receiving twenty-six $400 tax rebate checks. That’s not a bad deal.

Another long, busy day at work. We were supposed to roll this application out on Monday, but I found myself trying to squeeze in too much too fast at the end. Even my tester was concerned that I was rushing things. So it looks like we’ll be rolling out on Thursday instead, which gives me enough time to put on the finishing touches that are needed without rushing things too much. Still, I worked through lunch once again, and didn’t leave the office until after 5 PM.

The day doesn’t get easier tomorrow. I should be in the office at around 5:30, giving me about 4-1/2 hours to work on the finishing touches, before I have to stop. Beginning at 11 AM tomorrow, I have 5 hours worth of meetings to attend. Actually, though, since I’ll be leaving the office at 3:30 PM, I’ll be skipping out on part of the last one.

On the bright side, Kelly and I head up to New York City tomorrow. That should be a lot of fun.

I’m off to bed, to read for an hour or so before fainting dead away. In the back of my mind, I wonder… when will I get back to the gym? When will I get back to my writing?

Boskone 45 and bills

I stopped at the grocery store after work today. Arriving home, I found Boskone 45 Progress Report 2 waiting for me. I’ve already registered for the conference and I’ve got my hotel room (at the Westin Waterfront). All that’s left is to decide how I’m getting up there, either by train or by plane.

I had a “end of year” letter from my Uncle Dick–Mom’s older brother. And several bills, most of which I paid at once including the electric bill ($88.66), the gas bill ($187.17), and the phone bill ($118.58).

I was busy at work today, another day spent on fine-tuning the Visitor Center application I’m working on (the first application I’ve developed that is fully AJAX-based). I plan on taking it easy this evening, reading and doing little of anything else.