Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Using my Education Wisely

Nearly thirty years ago, when I starting thinking about returning to the workforce (I was a stay-at-home mom then), the one thing I was sure of was that I did not want to return to working in a hospital laboratory.  First of all, procedures change much too fast to be able to pick up where one left off.  And, I certainly did not want to worry about bringing hospital germs home to my children.

The university where I attained my bachelor's degree had a program for alums who were looking for a new career.  I spent a couple of days there talking to advisers and taking some interesting aptitude tests.  The number one career that came out of the testing was 'financial analyst'.

Ultimately, I entered their MBA program, majored in Finance and Economics, got appointed to my job as Treasurer of my community, and eventually got my degree and later, my professional certifications.  I put my knowledge of finance to use both in my job and in my personal life.

That knowledge still comes in handy now, but in more subtle ways.  I shop around for the best deals no matter what I am purchasing, e.g. food, insurance, household repairs, etc.

When my bill came for my local paper subscription, I gave it some serious thought.  There really is nothing in there of 'real news'.  They rarely cover my local community.  Any major stories are covered by the Detroit papers, which I also subscribe to.  The only thing I take advantage of in the daily paper is the New York Times crossword puzzle.

So, faced with paying $385 for the local paper versus $39.95 for the NYT x-word online (one year), I opted for the NYTimes.   That is quite a savings.

At the same time I was making this decision, I was busy doing my 2013 taxes.  I managed to e-file my Federal taxes and received a confirmation 21 minutes after filing telling me that my return had been accepted.  I am receiving a modest refund of a few hundred dollars and will look forward to seeing it deposited in my account.

I also did my State taxes.  Those have not been filed.  I owe the State $2.00.  Two dollars.  The State requests that I e-file, which will cost be another $20.00.  They are kidding right?  Did I not get a degree in Finance?  I will print the form off and mail it in with my check.

The State can then spend probably more than that two dollars processing the payment.  Their website says that if you owe less than one dollar you do not have to remit it.  But since everything is rounded, you would owe one dollar or nothing at all.  Geniuses who work in Lansing must have figured that one out, no?

Even our County Treasurer does not pursue tax delinquencies of less than $5.00.  The cost of doing so outweighs the benefit of collection.  Maybe the State should consider a 'cost-benefit' study.  Then again, we are talking about a State that continued to pay the State Treasurer his full salary even after he resigned and even took a vacation.  Such perks.

1 comment:

  1. I could use you to look at our budget LOL. Governments do some stupid things.


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