Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

Columns of numbers swirling in my head

I fell asleep around 10:30 a.m. and woke up at 4 p.m., so as expected I could not get to an event at 1. I need to shift the sleeping period until it's normal again.

Checking account recordkeeping is done and bank statements have been reconciled. Whoo hoo! There were 2 expenses entered manually that Quicken refused to list in the reconciling statement, and that was what it was off by. Grrr. I finally deleted and re-entered them and that did the trick.

Now I'm almost done with entering investment data, where I save the hardest until last - one firm which sends monthly statements and includes a sometimes complicated IRA account, and another where I have a unit trust with a confusing tax treatment. I should just take their reports on faith, but I attempt to understand them.

I received a payment from a Qualified Settlement Fund from one of my mutual funds, which came with an unhelpful letter telling you to consult your tax advisor. Their online site is equally unhelpful, in heavy legalese. Come on guys, I don't have a complicated tax situation, just tell me where to report it! It appears this payment may not be taxable at all, but I may play it safe and report it. But where? Ordinary income? Investment income? Schedule D? It's $41.89 with a .58 advisory fee so hardly worth agonizing over. I found a forum of tax accountants who were confused how to handle it, which made me feel less dumb.

Then there was the stock I received 3 shares of in a spinoff years ago, which is now merging with another company where it becomes 2 shares, plus a cash payout. Same ticker symbol. People were debating ways to handle this specific case on a Quicken forum, and I just chose one and will hope for the best. Again, the amounts are small and not worth going crazy over.

I'm missing the tax report from a mutual fund, but thanks to the wonders of technology, I viewed it online. To do this, it made me set my preferences to electronic instead of paper statements, and I'll want to change it back since I prefer financial statements on paper. The form may still turn up in a wrong pile.

Another fund's company was taken over by a large brokerage firm with the most confusing statements imaginable. I won't name names but I was surprised a firm this well-respected has such a user-unfriendly format. I thought my head would explode trying to figure it out, and I'm fairly savvy.

My NYT 1099's were wrong, and didn't match up to my records. Investigation showed they apparently counted one of the Digital Media checks as Print (billed separately). The grand total is the same so it doesn't matter to me, but this could affect internal budgets and their own tax situation.

I hope I can keep living off my current cash flow since if I had to sell something, I'd hate to deal with the tax reporting. I'm not finished yet, but it appears the 2007 cash flow was negative, where I spent more than I made. I had to move money from savings to checking, but haven't had to sell any investments. Still, that's what they're ultimately for.

When I do taxes, I also update my 401(k) records even though they're not directly relevant. My ex-employer switched to another provider, so I'm not sure I have the stomach to navigate the new site and new funds with different symbols and put them into Quicken. It would be nice to track what I have, but I may need a break.

Sorry for the mind-numbingness of all this. It's my life for another week or so. :(

Food is some comfort. I just had a veggie-cheese-noodle casserole (yes, at 4 a.m.) which was the first time I ate since I woke up this afternoon. I either forgot to spray the cooking dish with Pam, or Pam is not very effective.

On Thursday, after returning from Border's I bought some frozen dessert pints (and soup) across the street, parked the bag in the kitchen, and got on the computer and blogged and bummed around. I had a vague feeling I needed to do something and realized I never put the groceries away. By then, everything was close to melted so I ate (drank) it then and there. Very unsatisfying. It was either that or throw it out, since I wasn't going to risk refreezing.
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