Monday, February 22, 2010

Almost Tax Time!

Thanks to those of you who asked, My neck is feeling better. Seriously, I went to shake/flip my hair out of my face one slightly windy day and put my neck in spasm.

I have all my tax documents in a folder. All I have left to do is go over my mileage logs and double check my "office supply" receipts and then I can sit down and do my taxes. I think I will either owe a small amount or get back a small amount. I'd of course, love to get back a large amount and not owe anything, but don't think that's in the plans. I keep good records, but this past year I started using a program called Neat Receipts. It's a program that scans in your receipts, keeps a running total on your expenses and makes up expense reports if you need them. The nice part is I can print out my expenses and then plug in those numbers to my tax forms. It does have the capability to import the data to Quicken as well. I'm sure the more organized amongst you have spiffy excel spreadsheets with all those columns and fields and diligently scan all your documents. I'm not that excel proficient nor do I diligently scan. The nice thing with this program is it saves me the step of inputting the data in a spreadsheet. I have a pile of 2010 receipts to input, I’m slowly learning better paper management!

This year I think I will actually touch base with a CPA or some other person to find out the best way to pay myself via my LLC. I'm filing out a Schedule C, but I do have a "company" that I "own" listed with state as an LLC and want to make sure that in the future, I put this part-time 1099 income through the LLC and then pay myself. I have no idea if it will be a tax advantage for me or what, but time to talk to a professional once the tax crunch is over.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Getting Ready to Do My Taxes

And I am soo behind schedule.  By this time last year I had them e-filed and was awaiting my refund.  This year I am just getting all my paperwork together.  I got all my forms in one pile, I've scanned in the last of my reciepts,  I've got a list of things I will need to do my taxes.  I'm planning to take a weekend off (I really need a weekend off) from my part time job and will take a day to do my taxes.  I have my W2's, my 1099's, and all those little forms one needs.  I'd like to get my taxes done so I can start thinking about my home improvement loan process. 

Not helping matters is a pinched nerve in my neck.  One bad hair flip and I'm in agony and pain.  Yikes.  I feel twice my age. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The House Repair List

As promised the work list for my little house,

1) New clapboard siding, rehang gutters
2) New windows (10).
3) Retile bathroom
4) New flooring in entire house
5) Kitchen, fix warped floor, fix damaged dry wall behind water heater, new cabinets and counter tops, perhaps new appliances (cooktop and wall oven to replace range). New floor-
6) Research replacing tank hot water heater with an on demand one-How to best install
7) Upgrade electrical to 200 amp service and upgrade power head coming into the house.
8) New supports for enclosed porch, fix damaged floor boards.
9) New doors interior and exterior.
10) Replace old insulation in crawl space and attic
11) Talk to contractor about removing old unused chimeny from side of house.
12) Fix Stone step to back door.
13) Painting as needed.

The only thing on this list I can do is paint.  The rest is out of my league. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Really Can't Make This Stuff Up

Just to give you an idea as to what I've been dealing with for the month of January and why I've been not blogging as much as I would like. Individually, not a big deal, but all together one after another, just plain tiring. So here goes!

Pets: Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I have been taking care of a dog that belonged to my deceased elderly friend. I still have this dog and I really want to find her a home. One my older pets does not get along with her and it's tiresome keeping them separate. The rescue service she is registered with is going through yet another administrative change. This pet has a few health issues and it makes her harder to adopt out. It's like she gets pushed to the bottom of the list since she is in a "good foster home" as they call me. Next time someone asks me to "help" with an animal, I'm saying no. Not trying to be pet unfriendly, but I've been stuck with this dog for almost 18 months, when it was supposed to be short term. Elderly friends estate is no help, because there really is no one. I tend to think with my heart and not my head.

Work: My boss has been penny wise and pound foolish. He has spent about 10 hours of his time trying to find someone who can repair an old printer we have. The printer is about 8 years old, it was a refurbished model when the office bought it. It's not in production anymore and the parts are a bit pricey. Plus, almost without exception, every repair company I've found charges close to $120 per hour to do work, some charge travel as well. My boss is positive he can find the parts for the machine and we can do it ourselves (we can't). We have a second color laser printer that needs both a black drum and color drum, both parts just slide in/slide out, but cost around $600. This will probably give us at least another 2 years of excellent service. We do a lot of in house color work, we need a working printer. My boss's mantra is "we can find it cheaper, I know we can". At some point, you have to just retire the old electronics or pay the price for the parts to get the newer ones working. I am fully aware we are operating on a budget, but spending money on old outdated equipment that keeps dying is just plain foolish. Don't get me started on the toner research either or the fact each time I come in on Mondays my desk supplies are slowly getting pilfered while I'm out of the office. I don't share well and this irks me.....
We have also decided to hire a new consultant and my boss said while he thinks she would be a good fit, he wanted me to talk to her about the color of her purse (it was shocking pink) and how she should not bring it out when she goes to see clients. Ah, I don't think I can do that, we don't have an official dress code and we certainly don't have a color dress code, official or otherwise. He had already given her the office policy manual to read prior to the job offer, so she has this all in writing already. If he objected to the color of her handbag, he should have not offered her the job.
FHA Mortgage Research: By talking to other real estate brokers, I found a mortgage broker who specializes in FHA loans and FHA refinance loans. She and most of her office have a good reputation. I met with her a couple weeks ago, explained my situation (BK and all) and told her that once I did my 2009 taxes, I was interested in trying to do the FHA rehab loan for the house. I came prepared with a list of repairs and a list of contractors that I would be contacting. I also asked what other information she would need. We agreed to meet again last week to start the paperwork and for her to go over some financials and figures with me. We agreed to not pull a credit report until I had done the 2009 taxes and gotten all my paperwork in order. I call the office last week to set up a second meeting only to find that the broker I was talking to had eloped. Yup, eloped and is probably gone for good. The "new" broker assigned to my loan is someone I was warned to avoid, so I made sure both in writing and by phone that I was suspending all action on my loan until further notice. The "new" broker is a man who had been in banking, got laid off post 9-11 and while he may know finance, does not know or do mortgages well. I've heard enough horror stories on deals crashing to make sure I avoid him like the plague.

Weekend Job: My weekend job has been ultra busy, my job duties have changed a bit as the facility did a much needed assessment of how best to use the staff we have. I'm fine with the job changes, I took on some new duties, and dropped some others and we are working better as a facilitynow that we have adapted to our new rolls, it took a couple weeks to get the wheels in motion. My weekend boss is heading south for a while with both clients and horses to take advantage of the non cold and non snow weather. He did not do this last year, but is opting to do the "southern circuit" this year. We do have working at the facility, yet another very talented rider, but very young and insecure person trying to make it as a trainer/instructor. Alas they don't have the communication skills or the people skills (yet) to teach or to deal with the staff. And almost without exception these very talented, yet insecure people tend to be "on a high horse" and not nice to us "underlings" at the barn. I've dealt with this prima donna attitude enough to deal with it, but it does get tiring. It just makes my job a bit more irksome when it does not need to be irksome. Plus I was told this past weekend that since I was only "the groom" and "barn baby sitter" that I really knew nothing about the equine business or equine management. This from someone who still lives at home with mummy and daddy, is just of legal drinking age and has never had any kind of management experience at all. I looked at them, leaned on my broom and said, "Did you fall off of a horse, hit your head and not tell us, 'cause you are really talking about something you know nothing about!" When the big boss is away, the assistants sometimes think they are the big boss.

Social Life~I may be 40 some odd years old, but... I got dressed to go out to dinner the other night with a group of friends. I was really looking forward to it, a bunch of us had not gone out for ages. Plus we had a new male addition to the group. Like any slightly vain person, I wanted to make sure I looked good. Clean clothes, clean hair, but what the freak is in the middle of my nose? Yes smack dab on the end of my nose right in the middle was a zit. When I went to touch it, it popped and I then had a large red spot on the end of my nose. Plus since I was at the weekend job, I did not have any cover up with me. I'm not a big make up person to begin with and what few basic make up items I have are home. I walked around the house swearing and looking for something to use to soothe the spot. Gwad I felt like I was 17 and going to a dance..

I will end this post with some good news. I actually have my first real real estate client in over a year. We are in good negotiations for a piece of land, clean deal, no contingencies; we are just coming together on price. So I'm looking forward to a nice end of February with a nice commission!

How has your month been?