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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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these are the moments I look for my grandparents behind me
children of dune - leto 1
Sometimes I think, after too much reading, that we really only have one taboo left in discussion, and it is money. I can do entries on my kinks and squicks, go into deeply biological detail of many sex acts that I am physically incapable of performing, and ask everyone to show me their underwear. And some people will. And explain how they wear them. And I think cool.

I twitch when I talk about money. It's odd.

So I gave up on MSMoney after much tearing hair and dramatic gestures.

I did like it a lot, and when it worked, it was amazing, but the lack of the most rudimentary ability to edit was driving me nuts, and having to recorrect the balances every day to compensate for the time delay between when something posted to my bank and when something posted to my cards was kind of--crazy inducing.

It also wasn't terribly intuitive. Honestly, my finances are relatively simple; I do no dramatic trading nor rapid changes in accounts. It should not be that hard to get it right. But it was nice (and deeply depressing) to look at the total balances in a glance and actually see where my money was going. It was also nice to have the advice thing; I'll be honest. I like having an explanation and a pie chart on what I'm seeing. Looking at numbers helps, but the program showing proportion was a lot better at striking home on the amounts I'm spending.

So Quicken! Except I'm running into the same problem.

1.) I have two retirement accounts; one is state funded and state matched and is proportional to my income and is mandatory. The other is a 457K I just started playing with, and whose basic value to me is in entertainment, because God knows I'm losing money on it. How can I explain to Quicken how to configure both? They're autodeduct, so it's not like I do anything with them, but I cannot convince it to just go with it and download it correctly. There's also this: the 457K money is removed from my check before taxes, but deposits to the 457K on the third or fourth; for some reason, neither program can comprehend a delay between payment and posting.

2.) Related to one; I keep running into a problem with transactions; when I pay from my bank account and when it posts to my credit card can be two dffernet days. Neither program seems to understand how to reconcile this. This could be my fault in how I originally entered them, but seriously, this is driving me crazy.

3.) On both programs, it's hard to edit if I made a mistake early on when entering information or I misinterpreted what I was asking for. This was *bad* in MSMoney, where it took forever to make it stop counting my check twice and when I downloaded in all my 457K information and then made a mistake while setting up categories. I ended up having to give up and delete all information, and even that didnt' stop the problems.

Hmm. The other part is that my tax refund, probably my last big one I'm ever going to get, is coming in, and I want to use it wisely. I also want a 42inch plasma TV. Now imagine which one is going to win if left to my own devices.

If anyone out there would be willing to walk me through the intial setup of Quicken, I'd be deeply grateful. I'm actively worried about doing March, because pretty much everything is going to change with the new job and the change in income, and at least half the reason I want a program is that I can likely clear all my debt but student loans (God. *twitch*) fairly quickly if I can see everything at once. I admit it; I am not good at this sort of thing, and I'm probably going to need an accountant myself in a few years to help me handle this correctly.

Granted, normal adults should be able to handle their finances, but I really can't afford to keep trying to raise my learning curve and fail miserably. I'm not near a desperate debt situation, but I can see very clearly that the way I go about this is going to put me in it very quickly, and I really do want to try actual investment in the next few years. And just my background reading tells me that this isn't something I can learn on the side and do well at.

Short version: anyone who uses Quicken, would you be willing to walk me through initial set up so I don't make stupid mistakes?

...I have never felt more boring in my life. I don't sound like my parents. I sound like my grandparents. But considering how well they have taken care of themselves, I can't consider this a bad thing. Merely a depressing one.

Right. Carry on. *sad*

But I'm curious; for anyone who does 401K or 457--do you get the same glee watching them slowly depreciate no matter how much you will them not to? Granted, there's not much there, but it's weirdly addictive.

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Trust me when I tell you that most "normal adults" DON'T seem to be able to handle their money.

Can you tell the system to count your 457 withdrawal and posting as two separate events? Maybe put in the net amount of your check, instead of the gross, and treat the posting as a completely independent event?

Hmm. I wonder if setting it to deposit in a dummy account in the program and then manually remove it move over the day that it deposits *would* get it fixed. I--didn't think of that. That would keep it tracking accurately, just change the number of transactions and not be auto. I can live with it not being auto. *enchanted*

I need to try this. Thank you!

both msmoney and quicken are designed for more complex accounting although they can work on the basic level.

under my money tag (newsletter)in my LJ I know I have linked to a few simpler more basic online finance apps that might suit you better. if not, google quicken basic tutorial.

last I use quicken - on very few accounts can I use the download function. this is not necessarily quicken's fault - most institutions care not for interoperability. so for my 401k etc I manually enter the investment data.

lukcily my bank - wells fargo - has a download feature that works with quicken. ditto with my credit card - but since dates never match because of how each institution reports the transactions, I use the Match Manually function

I wish I had time to help more - we're swamped here. don;t give up - knowing where your money is going is the first step.

ps. while the markets have been down these past few months, if you;re losing consistently (over 12 months) in your retirement accounts you may want to examine your overall investment strategy. at my age (40) it should be 70% stock, 30% bonds. of the 70% stock, 15% should be in foreign, the rest split between small and large caps. index funds and funds with no loads and low fee expense ratios are a must. look at all your accounts together - not just each one on their own. (if you are in your 30s, the split should be 80% stock, 20% bonds)

I need to shift the stock/bond balance, as I do not have one; I think all but one are fairly volatile, from what I read when I started, but luckily, since this is thorugh the state as well, they give us very limited rope by which to hang ourselves. Since this was experimental, I only invested the very minimum allowed per month to see how it worked. Basically, I'm running it for a year to get at least some kind of idea how it works. Since my mom does the same thing, I also read hers to see how we differ. Our big difference is that I tend to spread out my eggs a lot and she consolidates more in a few with a lower overall risk.

It's very--educational, even if part of the time, I'm not sure what I'm learning. Most of my actiivty is entering it into a spreadsheet to get a visual on waht everything is doing. It's not dramatically bad, just--well, ordinarily bad, and I'm thinking most of that is the combination of my inexperience and a not-great market.

And thank you! Hitting the tutorials tonight!

"And just my background reading tells me that this isn't something I can learn on the side and do well at. \"

back again - I think investments are not as hard as we're led to think. a lot of people make a lot of money telling us otherwise. I have links to some very basic books under my money tag - and it all boils down to - pick a few index funds, use the right generic ratios (see above), invest on a monthly basis, check the accounts 2x a year etc.

debt management and budgets can be a bit harder - but the books I recommended really break it down to the basics.

I love your tagging--I did start looking at them last month with the job change, because if there was ever a time to completely get everything on track, this is it.

The investment thing is probably the thing that makes me most nervous; the 457 was how I wanted to get at least a general feel of how it looks and works. *crosses fingers* Will delve more deeply now.

Would it cheer you up if you setup a Porn Comment Fic Challange to make up for it? Bring this blog back to it's one true love of...well...everything you've so described?

...I am so tempted. Bring it back to the True Path.

(I am reading Dune again. I almost said Golden Path. Oh shoot me now.)

Well, it's not much, but it's the best I can do while a 1 1/2 year old and a 2 1/2 year old are running around the floor above me. Do you know how hard it is to write porn with kids playing above your head on a Sunday afternoon? ...Well, yes, you probably do, huh? ::G::


"How is this fair? How, in any theoretically possible logical universe, is this fair?"

John rolled his eyes and thrust his hips hard, forcing the toy deeper into him, "Who said anything about ooooooh fair? You lost the bet, Rodney, get over--" Rodney cut off the last word by wrapping his hand tightly around John's cock and stripping it once, hard.

"It was a lousy bet." Rodney pointed out.

John shook his head, "Doesn't really matter how good or bad the bet was, the point is you lost it, and so now you've got to pay up. Now will you please get back to work?" John groaned and tried thrusting his hips again, which had worked pleasurably well last time, but this time Rodney stilled his hips with a heavy hand. "Rod-neee."

Rodney frowned, "No, it wasn't a fair bet, so it seems to me that I shouldn't have to pay up your way."

John sighed, and forced himself up onto his elbows, looking down his own body to Rodney, kneeling between his legs, one hand on the toy inside him, the other braced across his groin, fingers and thumb splayed around his cock. "You have to pay up, McKay, because a deal is a deal, and a bet is a bet, and you lost. Now will you please stop complaining and fuck me already?"

As soon as the words finished, John recognised the look in Rodney's eyes and groaned again, falling back down onto the bed again. It was Rodney's "oh, I'm very cleaver" face.

"Oh, I never said I wouldn't pay up," Rodney pointed out, and began to slowly pull the toy out, inch by inch, until it rested just barely inside him, "I just said, I shouldn't have to pay your way." He finished with a hard thrust back in, and once more the slow glide back out.

John wanted to glare at him, but found that Rodney had started to teasingly caress his cock with just the pads of his fingers, his thumb at the base the only firm pressure. That, combined with the slow out, hard fast back in of the dildo, left John unable to keep his eyes open for any longer then it took for the toy to brush across his prostate again. He finally managed out a harsh and a breathy, "This is going to take awhile, isn't it?"

He could hear the laughter in Rodney's voice as a twist was added to the trust, and with a flick, deep shocks of vibration shattered his insides.

"Probably all night. It was a very lousy bet."

..wow. I did not get this in my inbox, and--wow. *breathes* YEah. That's--yeah.

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God, that was my first reaction! *g* And that about the most helpful thing I can add to this topic... Good luck!

I adore Quicken. I've had it for three years, nearly, and I use it for my checking account, savings account, and all my credit cards, including store cards. I find it easy and quite simple to navigate, but I don't have any bonds or retirement funds or anything like that in this country (or in dollar currency), so I'm afraid I can't help with those things, specifically. I'd assume they work the same, but you know what they say about the word 'assume.' As to the 'deduction versus posting' issue, I personally use the posting date as the default, unless it's something like a check that hasn't cleared within a week of being written. But I hardly ever write checks, so that's not a big deal to me.

I'd offer to help you, but before you take me up on it, keep in mind that I have an older version of Quicken and there might be differences between the two.

I'm wondering if fandom as a whole just considers money less important than other groups do--we do tend to be all, "Yes, I am spending a lot of time doing something that will never make me any money, and that's the way I want it."

But then again, we post about everything on the importance scale from "I had oatmeal for breakfast" to "Hey, that rash is clearing up!" to "I'm getting married!" so I don't know why money doesn't fit into there somewhere.

I'd help but... I've never used the online features of Quicken! I'll just blame that on the fact that I started using it back in '97 or '98, and crawl back into my cave.

thank you for posting this! lead me to morgandawn's LJ which lead me to a budget spreadsheet that I think I can actually *handle* and *use* and yeah. Much, much thanks!

its amazing how some one can say so little but jumble it up to seem like so much lol...i am even a complicated person but good lord...i read this and now i got a headack from thinking so much lol...and trust me when i say i think a lot on my own as it is, but very impressing never known ne one to be able to raddle my brain like that...
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thats a little fucked up...ok so ur writing a porno...with stargate atlantis actors..a gay porno at that...wow i take back that last comment...you guys are just really really brain fucked...
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Hey, Oli.
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