What personal hangups affect the way people manage their taxes?
Some people walk in the door saying, “I hate paperwork. I hate taxes.” These people are avoiders. They don’t seem to care that much about money. Even if avoiding tax planning costs them money, they’d rather not deal with it. They don’t see themselves as able to get ahead financially. They don’t feel like they have any control, when in fact they do.
Others are procrastinators who have fallen years behind on filing returns, and the onset of the tax season triggers guilt or anxiety. These clients need more structure from us. Before they leave the office, I suggest they set another appointment in advance. Or I say, “Here’s one action to take: When you go back to the office I want you to adjust your W-4 and have an additional $50 taken out of your paycheck.”
Today we have an open thread for discussion on any topic.
Originally I had written today’s post about the SAT and college prep, but since we discussed that a bit in recent days it makes sense to open up today’s discussion to any topics you choose. However, here’s the original post I wrote in case you’d still like to talk about it (and take the quiz):
How did you do? What do you think of how the SAT has changed over the years?
Let’s discuss the SAT, test prep, college prep, what we’re seeing among the kids we know, college search and selection, jobs after graduation, skipping college (gasp), myth vs. reality, anxiety or lack of it, brag, complain, etc. Let’s ask questions and share our wisdom.
The behind-the-scenes calls underscored why the race was broadly seen as a proxy battle between the Sanders-aligned progressive wing of the party, which supported Ellison, and those more closely connected with Hillary Clinton and Obama, who largely backed Perez.
By selecting Perez — and again spurning Sanders supporters — Democrats risk the backlash that could come with leaving the left wing of the party disappointed a second time in the past year.
This article rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was the suggestion that an au pair was the solution for families with two challenging careers that demanded long hours. Or maybe it was this declaration by one of the fathers featured in the story.
“There was no question that Michelle needed to be offering her talents and passions to a wider community” after caring for their children at home for several years, says Mr. Martin, 41. They met during college while both were studying in Spain, and he understands her desire to do international development work. “It’s kind of like, ‘You can’t stop the wind,’” he says.
Are you off from work today? Do your kids have this week off from school? Any special plans?
What else is on your mind today?
I am still slowly going through the Washington Post Presidential podcast series. Yesterday I listened to the Andrew Jackson episode again after reading about comparisons between him and Donald Trump. My latest “favorite” president is James Garfield, who may have been great had his term not been tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullet (and the poor medical care he received). Do you have a favorite president?
Open thread today so discuss whatever is on your mind. Here’s one topic to consider:
What are your family traditions, either now or when you were growing up? For instance, have you always celebrated birthdays in a certain way, maybe with a certain type of cake? Do you have traditional yearly trips or events? Family game nights? Bedtime or dinner rituals? Holiday celebrations? Often religion is an important part of family tradition. So is food. What about traditional songs or games?
Scott Adam’s blog post about two separate reality paths made me think of our blog, which reflects what I observe among many other people I know in real life.
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States has effectively forked reality into two versions that are running in parallel. Clinton’s supporters believe they are living in a world that is a repeat of 1930s Germany, with Trump playing the part of Adolf Hitler. See this reaction for a typical example.
Meanwhile, the other half of the country believes we elected a highly-capable populist who will “drain the swamp” and bring a business approach to government along with greater prosperity.
How can it simultaneously be true that Trump is OBVIOUSLY the next Hitler while it is also true that half the country didn’t notice? There are at least three ways to explain-away this dissonance. Maybe…
Half the country are sexist, racist monsters too, so they like Trump.
Half the country is stupid and can’t identify a Hitler that is right in front of them.
Clinton supporters have been duped into believing something ridiculous about Trump.
We have an open thread for any discussion topics over the Thanksgiving weekend. How are things going?
Related to previous conversations about the “bubble” in which we live, here’s a version called the Thanksgiving Bubble courtesy of CollegeConfidential.
Is Your Thanksgiving in an Elitist Bubble?
No green bean casserole: 0 points
From scratch using a recipe off epicurious and fresh green beans and mushrooms: 1 point
Canned soup base, canned green beans, French’s fried onions: 5 points
Heritage breed, free range, humanely raised, hormone free turkey sold by your local butcher or Whole Foods at price that could pay for a nice dinner out for a family of four: 0 points
Pre-cooked turkey dinner bought at Dean & DeLuca: 0 points
Fresh turkey, nothing special: 1 point
Frozen Butterball Turkey: 2 points
Store brand turkey that you saved up the store receipts for months to get for free: 3 points
Turkey you shot yourself in the woods, gutted and dressed yourself: 10 points, with bonus point given for deep frying it.
Homemade cranberry sauce with fancy ingredients like candied ginger, figs or kumquats: 0 points
Homemade cranberry sauce, nothing fancy: 1 point
Canned whole berry cranberry sauce: 2 points
Canned jelly cranberry sauce still bearing the ridge lines from the can (my favorite kind ): 5 points
No cranberry sauce because you’re from the deep south and they don’t do the cranberry thing there: 7 points
Fresh sweet potatoes with a brown sugar/rum glaze (family favorite): 0 points
Fresh sweet potatoes with store bought marshmallows: 2 points
Fresh sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallows: -2 points
Canned sweet potatoes with store bought marshmallows: 5 points
Fresh whipped cream for your pie: 0 points
Whipped Cream from a can: 1 point
Premium ice cream: 0 points
Store brand ice cream: 1 point
Cool Whip: 5 points
What’s your score, both from your childhood and from today?
Refute his argument, if you can. The author touches on topics previously discussed here, like the possibility of a growing class of “unemployables”. He focuses on the role of the technology sector.
A common assumption was that new jobs in new industries would take up displaced workers. Unfortunately, the reality has been different.
The number of people employed in technology has remained modest, around 5% to 6% of the workforce. By one estimate, only 0.5% of the U.S. labor force is employed in industries that did not exist in 2000. In Silicon Valley, only 1.8% of workers are employed in new industries.
One reason is that many new industries are not labor-intensive, and when they are, the tasks are outsourced to the cheapest supplier in the world. A leading technology company like Google GOOG, -0.02% has only around 60,000 employees worldwide.
We have an open thread today, with a side conversation about tracking apps.
What do you all think of tracking apps? I’ve seen kids and parents go to both extremes. Some kids are nonchalant about the use of this technology, finding nothing offensive about having parents know every move they make. Others are fiercely resistant about their privacy and want none of it.
One mother I know wanted to use a tracking app for the times when her 19-year old daughter was taking public transportation late at night after work. Her daughter was against it, and they compromised with agreeing to regular texting from the daughter. On the other hand, another mother and her twenty-something daughter seem to know each other’s every move by using Find My Friends. Young people I know use that app to keep track of each other.
Do you or will you use a tracking app with your high school or college kids? What about with younger kids? Do you think it’s helicoptering, or just a common sense safety measure?
Today we have an open thread to discuss any subject of your choosing.
August marks the end of summer for many of us. I am trying to enjoy every minute of the warm weather, and I’ve decided summer is my favorite season. What’s your favorite time of year?
Here’s another thought. Did you ever watch Wife Swap?
Wife Swap is an American reality television program that was first broadcast on the ABC network in 2004. In the program, two families, usually from different social classes and lifestyles, swap wives/mothers – and sometimes husbands – for two weeks. The program will usually deliberately swap wives with dramatically different lifestyles, such as a messy wife swapping with a fastidiously neat one, or a wife who only cooks vegan swapped with a non vegan wife, documenting the cultural and social differences that the two families discover with the new family member….
Which Totebagger would you switch with to make for an entertaining episode of Wife Swap because of your “dramatically different lifestyles”. Or which other Totebag family is so similar to your own that you would blend in seamlessly? Can you imagine swapping with a famous family, like the Kardashians, the Duggars, the Mr. Money Moustaches, or others?
Can you predict any totebaggers who might score high on the need for drama? I think most totebaggers avoid drama. Do you know any drama queens in real life? Is it mainly tiresome or fun to be around them? How did you score?
Today we have an open thread to discuss anything on your mind.
The Totebag 30-Day Challengeis scheduled to begin on May 1. My initial idea had been that each participant could pick a particular activity they want to do, not that we would all do the same thing. However, some Totebaggers would prefer that we all do the same activity. A compromise would be to select one activity for the group, but leave open the option for individuals to select their own personalized challenge activity if they wish.
Let’s brainstorm. You can suggest group challenge activities in the comments, Or let us know if you have a particular activity you’re considering for yourself.
Today we have an open thread for anything you’d like to discuss. Maybe politics? Here’s a question to ponder:
What event divided your life into “before” and “after”?
The survey so far shows that many of us are interested in doing a Totebag 30-day Challenge. — 19 yes, 10 maybe, 6 no. I’ll get it organized. Should we start right away on April 1 or wait until May 1? You can express your preference in the comments.
What’s the budget you need to have to be considered?
‘Buying & Selling’ is the best deal you’re going to get from any television show. It’s unreal; the homeowners contribute from $10-$15,000 and they’re getting a $50-$60,000 renovation. For one house, we just redid the entire exterior siding, which was lemon yellow, before we even filmed. It’s huge benefit to have this quality of renovation and to have this incredible team come in to renovate your house.
Today we have an open thread to discuss politics, or anything else on your mind. Hijacks are encouraged. Go at it.
The presidential race continues to be interesting. Bernie is giving Hilllary a run for her money. (The Millennials I know are going for the “Bern”.) Trump is trumping his rivals, apparently garnering considerable interest among Democrats as well as Republicans.