Sunday, March 18, 2007

I Need Money

Sorry I've been slacking off here and at Pandagon. It's just, I realized tax day's coming up. Guess who can't afford to have money taken out during the year? So guess who always owes, even though she's lucky to clear $15,000 a year?

Take that, all you "oh the poor don't pay taxes" assholes. Yes, they do. I do.

Anyway, I haven't saved anything for tax day. Luckily, there's been plenty of work available at my job, and when I absolutely must, I can take advantage of that. They pay me by line rate at my job--it's something like eight cents per 65-character line, including spaces. This last week I've kept my nose to the grindstone and have been averaging around 240 lines an hour. You work out what that is in dollars and cents; I'm too tired, and my wrists hurt from all this typing.

Other things requiring me to focus more on work-for-pay than work-for-free:

* My food processor broke in December. It's a funny thing about that: I know I sound like a spoiled brat for saying I have a hard time making do without a food processor. But guess what? I'm a spoiled brat, and I have a hard time making do without a food processor. Without a food processor, there's no buy-the-cheese-in-bulk and grate-it-your-damn-self savings (I am not this patient--although, doesn't that look pretty? Besides, I haven't got a microplane zester, which is a whole other tragedy). Without a food processor, there is no homemade hummus.

Most importantly, however: Without a food processor, I . . . okay, look: You know how you'll see some guy barreling down the road in the biggest, ugliest Hummer money can buy? And you know how you'll be all like, "Ha, ha, that guy must have the smallest penis in the world?" Well, without a food processor, I feel like that guy, only, five minutes after you repossessed his Hummer. That food processor, in addition to being a fantastically handy appliance, was a SYMBOL. It was a proud, defiant symbol of the fact that I cook--despite never really having been taught to, despite living in a country where the temptation not to cook never really lets up. I would have to go into a whole bunch of boring stuff here about my stupid issues with my mother to explain this properly. I'm not going to do that, so please accept the short version: That food processor was part of my identity, and I miss it. I am currently saving up for this one.

* Remember the day I got that call from my boyfriend's parents and they said they were going to land on my doorstep in about 4 hours? Remember how I did all this cleaning to get ready for their arrival? What I didn't tell you was that in the course of all that cleaning, I removed the glass top insert to my dining room table and then, what with one thing and another, but mostly thanks to my own clumsy ass, IT BROKE. I mean shattered, all over the entryway. So now I have no table. I need a dining room table. Right now the boyfriend eats at the desk and I eat over the kitchen counters, or vice versa, and it sucks. What with the missing table and the missing food processor, why cook at all? Hey, did you know Jack in the Box serves breakfast all day? Somehow it doesn't feel so wrong to eat bachelor-fashion if I'm just wolfing down some crappy breakfast sandwich anyhow.

* I hate, hate, hate my duvet cover, and I know where I can get an 800-thread-count one that will fit better than the one I have for SIXTY DOLLARS, ONLY, but when I am tempted I remember that (1) we can't go on eating Jack in the Box forever and (2) it's about time to retire the goose down comforter for the summer anyway.

* I'm not even going to tell you I will tell you also a little bit about my broken-down dresser that I inherited from the furniture that used to be in my (then-little) brother's room. It is thirty years old; it looks twice that. An entire drawer is missing. It is all busted up and cheap and ugly and ready to fall down on one or two of the cats or, with my luck, my fat head.

So I need money, and rather than beg you for it, I'd just as soon work.

Some spring break I am having! Well, it beats being dead.


Feministe said...

Tax time tip: when you fill out your withholding form, have them take extra money out. You won't feel it all that much because it's pre-tax.


Auguste said...

Zuzu, although I agree completely with you in principle, I think she covered that with "Guess who can't afford to have money taken out during the year?"

Auguste said...

Btw, Ilyka, I don't know if you're on a 1099, but goddamn, fuck 1099s.

gennimcmahon said...

1099 forms are for contract employees, right? I do that when I work; it sucks. Know what I recommend? Getting crafty and then hawking your wares for cash, unda da table, see? Not that I do that. No sir, not at all.

Ellen said...

Cats + high thread count = tears in duvet cover. I speak from experience, having 2 cats and 400 thread count sheets (with tears). They don't claw my bed; the tears, along with the scratches on my futon arms and floor, are a natural result of having claws at the end of their toes which occasionally contact the surfaces they walk on.

ilyka said...

Thanks, Ellen, I'm not kidding when I say that really cheers me up. I love sour grapes!

I'm not 1099'd, not a contractor. If I were, I could set my own hours and have more control over things, which would be nice, except come tax time.

Lesley Plum said...

Damn, that sucks. Given the business I'm in, I know a lot of assholes that make more money than they could ever really need. And then to hear about people I like who are constantly strapped for money just to get by? Stupid world.

I hope you make enough soon. And not because I miss your blogging. Well, that too, but that's not the primary reason.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain about the food processor; ours is on its way out in terms of a cracked bowl. And as far as the dresser goes, I recommend trying something like Freecycle, or UsedWhereverYouAre. I am always seeing people trying to give away stuff like dressers, and I just got one that's *oak*!

You might even find yourself a food processor that way.


Radalan said...

Ilyka, you need a tip jar so we can throw some $$$ your way. That is, unless you do indeed have one and I've just missed it.

Ron O. said...

I am sorry to hear about your troubles.

(Not directed at you , but our nation) How the fuck can you owe money? When I made that little, I got a tax credit. The feds gave ME money. That was over 10 years ago. You'd think the threshold was higher now. But instead we give the rich tax breaks in this country.

Note – I waited until I had a chance to talk to a family member/accountant before posting. I had about a minute to ask, due to crazy stressful tax time. so this is incomplete.

The cap on Earned Income Tax Credit for single people is $12,120. In 1995, when I qualified, it was just under 10K. So, you may be SoL on this program, unless you have a dependant you haven’t mentioned. One thing that might help is deductible moving expenses. I think you mentioned moving some time ago. If it was in 2006, claiming them might help the bottom line. Good luck.

If I were an accountant, instead of just conveniently related to one, I’d do a HUHO on this.

I've heard the payscale is low in the inland SW and you've said before you didn't make much, but I have to say I'm a little shocked at the number. I assumed you were middle class. This is another rude awakening to my privledge. Anyway, I think it is OK to put out a tip jar and occasionally ask for some help. I value your thoughts and would kick in a few bucks to help. Obviously it is your blog, so it may not be OK to you; but I bet many of your readers would be happy to help out too.

ilyka said...

Once I put out a tip jar, this would go from being an occasional fun hobby to being an obligation. I would drive myself crazy--"must provide content! Content! I need content! MY READERS DEMAND CONTENT!"

I'm neurotic like that.

It's fine, y'all. I'd have more money if I worked harder. I don't like working harder, so I don't generally. I got no one to blame but myself for this one.

Sage said...

It was a real eye-opener being below the poverty line a while. When I made $50,000/year, I got a refund. But when I made $6,000/year (home daycare - I kid you not!) I had to pay in!


And, Ilyka, my dad always said, if you've got energy left to complain, you're not doing so badly after all!

Margi said...

Ilyka, please allow me to hug you mightily for the tax time woes. To date, I've not been able to save a DIME towards April 17, and I've been a contractor for FOUR YEARS.

I have got to get my shit together.

But it makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one.

*clinks glasses* Here's to procrastination! Long may it. . .eh, whatever.


Margi said...

P.S. I meant April 15 -- but it is the 17th this year, meaning I get to sweat it out TWO MORE DAYS! Yay.


ilyka said...

Ooh, do you mean they don't need their pound of flesh until the 17th this year?

[checks calendar]

Woot! I get paid the 16th.

By gum, I just might pull this off without having to charge it!

ilyka said...

Ah, I'm not eligible for the 17th, I don't think (heaven forbid the IRS write anything clearly).

But the 16th is good.

And, Margi, ask Meryl about the federal phone tax. Or just read this.