As usual I have put off writing. I’ve had my share of good and bad days since my last post. Two weeks ago the hubby and I cashed in our Marriott Rewards points and stayed at a hotel for 4 nights. It was AMAZING! We always love the thrill of sleeping on a king-sized bed. At home we share a queen and there are times when a king would be a better guarantor of sleep. I love my hubby and we love starting off our slumber curled up with each other. We then inevitably get hot and there are times where the added distance in a king-sized bed does make the heart grow fonder. I remember how relaxed that stay made me feel and that its effects lasted for at least a week. And then of course, as they often do, the effects wore off and I was back to being fully stressed and depressed.
Being self-employed is hard, so too is adjusting to a $35K reduction in income from last year. I cringed when I worked on our taxes two weeks ago. I decided to wait until the end of February to do them this year since I had to amend our return twice last year. Waiting did little to calm the devastating blow its results had. Considering how little we made I was certainly not at all happy that we now have to pay the federal and state government. The cherry atop a somewhat dismal 2014. Needless to say, it was a bit humiliating to have to ask my parents to borrow money to pay the almost $1K bill. I’ve subscribed to QuickBooks Self-Employed so that I’m now able to keep on top of my quarterly taxes (even though I’m not required to pay them quarterly) and so that I can easily transfer all of my business information into TurboTax next year. I’d certainly suggested it to everyone out there who are self-employed.
I have started doing a bit more writing, having placed a notebook beside my bed. At this point I have two stories that I’m working on. In the past few days I’ve waned a bit but I’m sure I’ll be inspired to write more soon. I did manage to write a lengthy letter to my grandfather. We’re both still in mourning and I do miss him and my grandmother. Since sending it I have not called him. Not because I don’t want to but because it’s so hard. My mom told me yesterday that he’s read what I sent him 3 times and that it makes him cry. I can imagine. It’s still a very open wound for me. I suppose it will be for some time.
I’m also reading a lot more. I go through these periods of being really dedicated to reading and then I fall back off. However, as I always challenge myself to read a least one book per month (I know that’s very little to many), I am on track thus far for the year. This of course doesn’t count the fact that I’m reading news articles and stuff daily through SmartNews or Pocket. Since I finished up the book for this month early, it means I get a head start on my next one! I’ve made myself a task list in Asana that allows me to track the books I have in my Goodreads queue as well as their status (preordered, downloaded, read) and I put in my reviews which I then add to Goodreads and iTunes (I’m all about electronic books).
Last week I decided to start using Mint again. I signed up for it when it first came out a few years ago and upon logging in I realized that the last time I did anything in it was in 2011. I seem to be using a lot of Intuit products now, Turbo Tax, QuickBooks Self-Employed, Mint and Mint Bills. I do wish that there was an integrated checkbook/check register in Mint. That has always been my issue with the product. However, I do like that they have improved over the years and that I can now better automate my monthly budget. I have a monthly/yearly budget that I’ve done since the early 2000s. I have found that there is no excuse to not have a static budget that doesn’t change unless there is something major. For instance, for many utilities you can have a “flat bill” for the course of a year and in other cases you can always pay the average and make adjustments as needed. What this has resulted in is being able to not ever be late on a payment. It’s a fairly involved process on the onset but once you’ve set it up, you’re good to go. I use an online check register, Clear Checkbook. I’ve used them for a number of years as I can easily enter items online or on my iPhone. There was a product that I actually loved a lot more, CheckBook Pro but it is not one that can be used online or on my iPhone.
Considering that I’ve had this post in draft for quite some time, it’s time to publish and start anew.