Friday, May 30, 2008

The IRS, the USPS, and You

Just FYI, if you happen to be in the same situation I am with the stimulus payment (i.e. moving before you're supposed to receive it), you need this page of the IRS handbook, which I stumbled onto by sheer luck. Filling out a mail forwarding form (which you can do online for $1 here) does not forward your government documents, so you need to alert government agencies separately.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Come Back, Money!

Money is running through my fingers like water at the moment--it's the move. Gassing up my parents' Volvo, with which we're running stuff out to Brooklyn. We're going to need a U-Haul on Saturday. We bought a perfect little side table at a flea market last Sunday ($200, and the first piece of non-particleboard furniture I own). Plus, the apartment is in such a state that we're eating out and ordering basically all the time right now. I'm making an IKEA shopping list that's rapidly heading towards $300, and we're going to need a new dining room set (the one we've been using was so broken and haphazard that it served more as a surface for putting stuff than an actual dining table, and we're not planning on taking it with us), and gah.

But the new apartment is going to be great. Seriously. And I'm willing to spend a few hundred bucks to get into it and get it set up--I'm sort of thinking of it as spending my stimulus check, even though I haven't gotten my stimulus check yet (note to self: and never will, if you don't fill out a mail forwarding form). There's definitely a cost to living a little bit more like a grownup, and I think I'm willing to spring for that cost at the moment.

(I'm also going to need to shell out to fix my computer: both the battery and the power cord are well and truly dead.)


Monday, May 19, 2008


It's been quite awhile--I do apologize. The apartment hunting really ate my life for a week and a half or so there, and I've been recovering since we signed a lease last Tuesday. That's right! Signed a lease!

K and I will be Brooklyn residents at the end of the month, and it feels a little bit like the end of an era. I'm a born-and-raised Manhattanite, so it'll be a bit of an adjustment.

My personal rent bill is going from $625 to $750, which is a big bump. The raise (about $90/month in real terms) will make much of the difference, but I'm also going to have to dial down my 401(k) contributions. While doing so is a bit disappointing, I've been contributing a pretty sizable amount up until now (about $115/paycheck), and reducing that to about $60/paycheck will allow me to pay my rent while still earning the full employer match in my 401(k) this year. I'm just going to get from here to December on that--my budget will need to be totally retooled then anyway, since I'll (hopefully) have met my Freedom Fund goal, and my travel fund will get much more urgent, and everything will be in flux some more.

We've paid the security deposit and the first month's rent, but have yet to figure out the situation with the broker fee--we're still hoping to negotiate the broker down from her draconian 12% figure, and it's all a little bit chaotic right now. Having pulled $1250 from savings is scary, even though I'm pretty confident that it'll be paid back when we get our security deposit back from our current place.

There's a limbo period in which many balls must be kept in the air. I'm just hoping not to drop any.


Monday, May 05, 2008

I Will Not Get What I Do Not Ask For

Wow--I totally got what I wanted. I got more than what I wanted. My request for an accelerated salary review at the beginning of June turned into a $2,000 raise, no questions asked, effective immediately. I win at negotiating!

See, okay, I'm a nonconfrontational person by nature. I'm also, despite current appearances to the contrary, really not that great at advocating for myself. But I'm definitely better than I used to be, and improving all the time, because over and over and over I learn that I will not get what I do not ask for. And you won't either.

I think a lot of people, especially young women, are scared to be seen trying. We think that if our merits are apparent, the people in charge of evaluating us will see and will reward us, and if they do not see and reward us, we are not displaying merit, and we will look like stupid, stupid fools if we start talking about our merits to people who clearly have already decided that we have none (or at the very least, not enough). So we sit still and we keep quiet and we cross our fingers. As a strategy for getting oneself where one wants to go, this sucks. I've just had that demonstrated for me very powerfully. So I'm going to keep trying. Visibly and otherwise. I succeeded this time, but I definitely have a ton of failure in my future--I think I'll come out ahead for it.