Taxes and nutty old men and their socks
Every year I vow to do a better job of organizing tax information/financial information, as well as keeping it updated. I did a pretty good job for a little while last year, and then . . . stopped. Today I worked a number of hours on organizing some information. I really need to learn how to use Excel and spreadsheets. You’d think that I’d have learned by now. I’m sure it would be really helpful. I guess that’s something I need to commit to very soon. Like maybe next week. Sigh. Of course, once I get it going, I have to remember to enter the data. That’s the part that I really get slow on. Or . . . stopped on, to be more accurate.
I did not sleep the day away today. That’s a good thing. It snowed. That’s a bad thing. I couldn’t go outside to exercise, thanks to the slabs of ice under the snow. I’m a clod. I will randomly fall. Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. In the meantime, better warm up my elliptical again. I did sit in front of my SAD lamp.
Tried to play rolled-up-magazine swordfight with the kids. The dogs did not like this. They attacked the swords, attacked me, attacked the kids. Bit at the swords and climbed all over us (we were sitting down) and barked like mad. I don’t know if they were trying to participate or telling us to stop. But wave a rolled up magazine at them, and they cower. Wave it at each other, they go nuts. Kind of hilarious really. Corgis taking care of business.
Four or five months ago, my dad had his hip replaced. Again. A couple weeks ago, he dislocated it. Emergency room trip and they put in. He did this while getting his socks. Now you have to understand he’s 83 years old, and most of his back and neck is fused, and he can’t feel the bottoms of his feet or his hands that well. So okay, he somehow planted a foot wrong or twisted wrong and Pop! Then about a week later, when they were going to the Palm Desert to stay for a couple of weeks to help his arthritis, he does it again. This time in the bathroom because he was too impatient (oh yeah, that’s my dad) to wait for the handicap stall. So he dislocates again. Nuther Emergency room trip followed by a very long drive home and now he has a brace he refuses to wear at home. Because, yanno, he doesn’t do this sort of thing at home *eyeroll*. So my recommendation for mom is to duct tape the brace to him and no longer allow him to wear underwear and socks. (The underwear because when I blew my back out the worst, I did it putting on underwear and what good is experience if you can’t foist it on someone else?) She isn’t taking my advice. Not even with the duct tape.
There you go, random family story for your Saturday night. Now go forth and be extra careful with all your undergarments, but especially socks and underwear.
For many years I had to go into panic attack mode around tax time but I switched to Quicken several years ago and without sounding like an advertisement it really has turned all my financial management tasks into a breeze, I pull it up once a day and see what has changed, add anything I need to add and done, takes like 5 min or less most days. The trick is getting it setup to do what you need, there is a learning curve to go with that but it is a LOT easier than Excel for the things I want to do.
I just looked at the Mac versions are less than good compared to the PC versions. But you’re right, a good Mac bookkeeping program would be nice.
I’m on a Mac and I’m using Quicken Essentials. It does a good job of keeping track of categories of expenses (in my case, medical). It’s easy to print out annual reports at the end of the year if you just enter every receipt that pertains as it comes in. I’ve had to do some fiddling to get it set up – all of my bank account info goes in, but medical bills paid on the credit card and insurance payments deposited to the account where I pay the credit card from have to be entered in, even though I don’t do do a full accounting of either of those accounts.
Complaint? Itty bitty fonts that cannot be enlarged. And the steps required to print the reports are not intuitive and not easy to find on the web.
I’ve tried all the Mac bank/budgeting/personal finance options. Quicken, irritating as it is, is the only one that works. I haven’t tried business accounting software.
WOW, I am shocked to find that MACs don’t do something as simple as this better than what you folks describe. It might be worth a cheap laptop just to use the PC version, I log in hit a button and it downloads all my credit cards and banks activities in about 60 seconds. I set it up for manual approval so I don’t accidentally get a charge I am not aware of but it has been the best thing I ever did for my financials. The fact that I never have to worry about balancing my checkbook was the first thing I grew to love about it 🙂 I program my bills and such a month in advance and compared to the nightmare my accounting was before it was like heaven 🙂 The only thing I might warn you of is that once you get everything setup, never upgrade more than once every 3-4 years because no matter what they say it usually turns out to be a frustrating experience and a few days of “WTF is wrong now!” just to get it back to what it was already doing before you upgraded (very hard tough lesson). Few pieces of software get the overwhelming approval from me that Quicken does (for my needs anyway)
You would think, wouldn’t you? I am going to give Excel a shot and see if I can do what I need with that. I do hate when programs “upgrade” to lack of usability.
I think I’m going to try Excel at first and may go from there. But I’ll keep Quicken Essentials in mind.