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Archive for January, 2007

Who Pays on Dates?

January 28th, 2007 at 03:21 am

Alright, this is hardly personal finance-related, but I would like to use this blog to see if my thought process is relevant.

I've always been hearing from guy friends who complain about taking girls out and being expected to pay for expensive dinners and drinks. It appears to me that guys should pay for the first date, since he is the one who initiated. This act of gentleman politeness is definitely appreciated. However, if the girl becomes interested at the end of first date, she could offer to pay her share to indicate her interest. I've met a guy who insisted on paying for first three dates, then I offered to take turn paying so we don't have to do math lessons all the time.

Of course, when I meet someone interesting, I don't want him to spend all his money on food. After the first date, if there are more dates planned, the going-out could be split. Moreover, nowadays, women are making more money and prefer to pay for their share.

As for expensive dinners and drinks, well, I have low-tolerance and one drink is about it. I consider a good time in a coffee worthwhile for a date also.

Don't be a jerk, if you (male) ask someone out, then bring your wallet. Don't be a freeloader, if you (female) haven't offered to pay by the third date, don't waste his time.

Tax 1 - What Do You Use for Tax Return?

January 21st, 2007 at 12:06 am

Today I received the first tax return document from my bank, the 1099-INT. What does this mean? Oh no, tax season is here (and hopefully getting a refund)!

Can you tell what do you use to do tax return, i. e. good old paper forms, software (TaxCut, TurboTax), accountant, or "I have to pay taxes"?

December Cash Flow!

January 9th, 2007 at 05:32 am

After a month of shopping and eating, the time has finally arrived to tally up the staggering expenses. This is also a good month for income, as there are three Friday paydays.

Incoming (all figures are after-tax):

$5,558 salary
$800 housing
$50 misc
Total: $6,408


Outgoing:
$483 car payment, gasoline, tolls, parking
$101 cable, broadband, phone
$40 cell phone
$97 utilities
$2,175 housing
$275 student loan payment
$80 cash withdrawal
$84 clothing
$153 dining out
$230 groceries
$106 contacts, medicine
$173 household
$457 leisure - Christmas gift shopping
$122 company store - Christmas gift shopping
$34 post office - shipping those gifts
$19 train rides to/from airport
$483 plane tickets to Houston
Total: $5,112


Net:
Difference: $1,296


* December is unusually due to the higher income and expenses (now every month has its reason to be unusual).

* About $600 was spent on Christmas presents. Mostly for parents and myself :-)

* About $500 was spent on Christmas travel, including plane tickets and train tickets. For some reason, travel this time costs more than before. I guess plane tickets have been going up.

* The extra money left over will be most likely going toward credit card loans.