Your Questions, My Answers – Part II

Nancy asked:

Do you ever get stressed out, and splurge on coffee or chocolate?

Nancy, thank you for your question!  I’m sensitive to caffeine so I limit any intake to 4 ounces at a time. Otherwise I get shaky. I had an experience when I was sixteen where I got addicted to drinking coffee when I’d come in to work in the afternoon. One day I came in and they were out of coffee and I was falling asleep on my feet! I decided then and there that I didn’t want to be addicted to caffeine. Mr. A is a bigger chocolate fiend than I am, although he likes to think I’m the chocolate hound. I prefer dark chocolate over milk, but I actually like vanilla more than chocolate!  My current stress relievers: trying to get enough sleep, taking naps when possible, when I can feel my stress level rising I take Kava Kava and extra Vitamin B.  Sometimes a hot bubble bath is helpful, too. Thanks for asking a question that was easy to answer!

No Debt Plan asked:

Financially speaking, what would be the best way to achieve the goal of moving several states away from your current city?

Considerations:
1. You are married and both have jobs
2. You own a home in your current city and would like to own one in the future city
3. Your potential future employers do not offer relocation assistance.

A nightmare scenario if I ever heard one, especially given that I have absolutely NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER to move to another state. but I’ll give it a shot as to the steps I’d take if I found myself and Mr. A in this situation.

  1. Start planning at least a year in advance.  Determine the cost for moving and save 1/12th of that each month. Ideally you would save enough money for your current mortgage payment 6-12 months while waiting for it to sell once you make the move.
  2. Fix up your house in the meantime, in anticipation of putting it on the market, like Frugal Babe and her husband.
  3. Start decluttering in earnest, have yard sales and/or donate to Goodwill or other local thrift stores.  Ask for donation receipts to use for income tax deductions. Save all moving related receipts in case you will be eligible for deducting your moving expenses (see Publication 455 Moving Expenses at IRS.gov).
  4. Near the end of the year, list the house, start packing, stowing boxes in one room and the person who is giving up their job should be applying for jobs online. Set up in-person interviews during a two week period and ideally this two week period will coincide with a vacation from the current job. Look for a house or apartment while there.
  5. Decide on a moving date. The husband gives a two to four week notice at his job, the wife notifies her employer they will be moving.
  6. Move to the new city.  Live in the apartment while looking for a house, the husband job hunting forty hours a week as if it’s a job.
  7. Hopefully he’ll be employed soon, they sell their home and then find a new home.

Sheila asked:

How do you stay focused on the ‘big picture’ when so much time and energy is used taking care of all the many details of life? For me, I read personal finance blogs. What do you do?

Another great, but hard question. I have been so busy lately; I feel like I don’t have time to kick back and relax.  I used to get to the end of my work week (Thursday) and actually feel excited about having the next three days off.  I would take Friday to relax and do whatever I felt like doing. Blogging here or on my personal blog, reading or knitting. On Saturday I’d do chores:  thorough cleaning of the kitchen, laundry, wash the bedding, personal finance chores, etc.  But now Thursday comes, and there’s no break for me on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I used to read personal finance blogs on a daily basis, but I’ve had to cut that down to once a week.  I guess I don’t have an answer to this question.  I am thinking seriously about cutting my “day” job from four days to three to gain more “free” time.

K. Cleaver asked:

Have you found yourself an accountant yet?

I haven’t. I got myself so stressed out over taxes that I decided to shelve everything for a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with the taxes Mr. A has to pay to the state, county and cities that he works in, but the income taxes are set aside for now.  We have leads on two different companies, both local.  I want to get all the receipts in order before I actually go in and talk to someone.

Vanessa asked:

Let’s see…I am interested in all of the self-employment stuff since I am myself. At what point do you think a person should get an accountant? What do you use to keep track of all the business money flow?

I’ve been using Quicken
since 2001 for personal finances. I still use it to track the checking accounts because Mr. A’s new business accounts don’t have the option of downloading the transactions into Quickbooks. I started using QuickBooks Pro 2009
last year, starting with Simple Start. Now that I’ve upgraded to QB Pro, I would definitely recommend starting with QB Pro over Simple Start. Simple Start was so basic that it confused me in some areas. By starting from scratch, I saw that Quickbooks Pro gives a lot more information than Simple Start did. For example, Simple Start had almost nothing in the Chart of Accounts and I was very confused as to what should be in there. When I started the new year in QB Pro, I ended up with a better Chart of Accounts better suited to Mr. A’s business.

I work closely with my boss and she does all of our books (manually) at my job. I also keep the books for a small company, and I’ve always kept track of my own money.  So I feel I have some knowledge of accounting.  That is probably why I have gone so long without hiring an accountant. When I do hire an accountant, I want someone who will be willing to help me understand what I’m doing, not take over everything.  I also learned there is a difference between a “bookkeeper” and an “accountant”.

If you have a lot of questions, I think you should find an accountant at that point.  I felt like things were going pretty smoothly until recently, so now I feel like I need someone who can help guide me instead of trying to figure it all out on my own.

Thanks everyone for participating in my Question and Answer post. I hope you received satisfactory answers to your questions. And Vanessa, I hope you enjoy your shopping trip at Amazon.com!

Hugs,

Mrs. Accountability

OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. This post may contain affiliate links.

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2 comments to Your Questions, My Answers – Part II

  • Great advice! I’m glad our situation is a lot more simple than that scenario! The town we want to move to is only about an hour from here, and we can move whenever we want – we’ll still have our same jobs, since it doesn’t matter where we work. Our only big hurdle is selling our house, but we feel confident that all the work we’ve done to get it ready for the market will pay off. We met with our Realtor yesterday, and she’ll be sending out a stager this week to help us with finishing touches. Hopefully there will be a sign in our yard next week. Fingers crossed!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    I love how you and your hubby are going about your move. I love the deliberateness of it all. I have these ideas in my head of how things “should be done”and I hope if we’re ever in the same position of needing to move we’ll follow the same steps! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Frugal Babe! 🙂

    [Reply]

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