Nov 13, 2008

Making Money Online Through Affiliate Programs

Have any of you made money online through blog affiliate programs? If so, which ones did you use?

I'm testing out sugar's new affiliate program called "ShopStyle." I really doubt I'll make any money off of it, but it's worth a shot.

Basically, I post pics to cute things to buy.

For this blog, only affordable things are allowed. :)

This wallet is cute. It's just $24.

Fred Flare at ShopStyle


Nov 6, 2008

How much will my taxes really be this year?

It's my first year as a 1099 worker. I'm still unclear on what my tax rate is, and how much I will owe in taxes this year. I just hope that I've saved enough.

It looks like my overall earnings this year will be $60k.

That puts me in the 25% federal tax bracket.
So I owe the feds $15,000.

Then state taxes are 9.3%
I owe the state $5580.

Self employment tax is 15.3%
I owe an additional $9180

Totaling $29,760 in taxes for 2008.

Then I have minimal "income" from dividends, interest and such, which I will owe tax on.

I assume that means I will owe $30,000 in taxes, or 50% of my income.

That seems rather high, am I doing my math wrong?


Managing Outsourcing

I was recently assigned the task of managing a team of outsourced workers for a small project at my company. As part of this assignment, I must interview and hire candidates through an online tool that allows me to find a low-cost workforce.

This is my first experience truly managing a project, and also working with offshore help. From a purely financial standpoint, the staff is very cost effective if they follow the instructions and produce quality work. However, I am feeling queasy regarding paying someone $2 an hour. I know in the Philippines and such $2 is worth more than it is here, but I can't imagine it's a livable wage.

However, this is the world we live in and in order to keep up in business, I think I must accept that offshore labor is an evil necessity. And my current goal is to keep costs down as much as possible. I feel like a slave driver. I do not like this feeling. But I do like the numbers.


Nov 3, 2008

Security Deposit Bounced - IRX on Bank Statement

My last apartment sent my security deposit to my permanent mailing address... in NJ. So it took a few months for me to get that check. I cashed it a few weeks ago, but apparently it was too old, and it bounced. I saw "IRX" on my bank statement for $585 and didn't know what that meant, but thanks to Google I figured it out.

So now, on top of voting against Prop 8 and for Obama, tomorrow I have to figure out how to get my security deposit. It will be a busy day.

Speaking of apartments and housing, my current living arrangement is great. Moving here was the best decision I've made in a long, long time. I'm saving so, so much money. Instead of living in my last apartment, which would have cost me $1200 a month this year (!!!) + cable and internet, I'm paying just $612.50 a month + about $50 - $60 for bills. So $700 compared to $1300 a month. Sure, I have less space, but I don't really need that much space. And living with roommates is pretty fun, as long as the roommates are fun and laid back.

Stocks are slowly going up. I'm worried for Obama. That's all for today.


Nov 1, 2008

Election's '08, Holding My Breath

Tuesday is a very important day. It will decide a great deal about our nation's future, especially in terms of the years of my life when this sort of stuff matters.

That is, as a child I was relatively oblivious to politics, financial market upsets, and while I understood what war was, it didn't effect me personally. Now, as a soon-to-be 25-year-old adult, all of this is very relevant in my life. If Obama wins, I may have health insurance again. If McCain wins, well it's 4 more years of Bush. I don't mind McCain, it's Palin I'm afraid of.

I believe in the constitution, and strongly believe in social and economic freedom that, for the most part, goes unregulated by government. Because government is usually wrong. But when it comes down to things that make the people of our country better - healthier, smarter, and prepared for the competition in the international marketplace, the government needs to help out. Look at China - its people may not be doing all that well, but economically they're thriving. America is no longer the big shot nation. We're one of many. And before we fight for democracy, we need to prove why it is so great. We take care of our people. That means providing quality education, health coverage, and mental healthcare. The school system should have a class in finance, explaining why sub prime mortgages don't work. We can't bail out banks, because that defeats the purpose of capitalism. This isn't Mario. You can't just be like, oops, do over. (Though, apparently, you can.)

It never ceases to amuse and confuse me that those who believe strongest in liberty and freedom from centralized government are the same exact people who speak out against gay marriage. In California, there's Prop 8, which will add an amendement to the state constitution saying that marriage has to be between a man and a woman. Now, regardless on your opinion on gay people, isn't that kind of ridiculous? After all, if we're fighting for our freedom - freedom to spend as we please, teach our children what we believe, do what we think is right, then shouldn't everyone have those freedoms? The biggest hypocrisy is fighting for freedom, as long as people agree with your beliefs.

Sorry to go a little off topic here, but this issue really irks me. All the people who are so set on defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Marriage, in itself, is a religious concept. I personally believe that the government should remove itself from the marriage process, and that everyone who wishes to be married can sign up, legally, for a civil partnership, and then let people define marriage as they please. I went to a wedding this last weekend, and while it was lovely, all the traditions and everything were a religious ceremony - that's what marriage is. Two people can love each other and be together forever without being "married," the only difference then is the lack of rights. The lack of freedom to have these rights.

The last thing I have to say about this is how if every marriage between a man and woman were perfect, then maybe it would make sense to say that marriage is this special thing that must be preserved. But look at the marriages in our country. Many end in divorce. Many that don't remain abusive. My good friend just eloped so she could have her fiance's health benefits. This is reality. And letting two people who love each other get married, whether they have different genitals or not, well, that really shouldn't matter. Marriage is about a commitment to someone you love, to share your life together, to be there for each other in sickness and in health. It's not restricted to a man-woman relationship. That's all I'll say about that for today.

I'm feeling good about Obama's standing in the polls, but still worried that McCain will pull ahead. I remember election day 2004, when the results were coming in and it was clear that Bush was going to win. Well, it was never really clear, except I knew it because he did a great job of scaring people into thinking if anyone else won the terrorists would infiltrate our country. Fear is a great campaign to run on. McCain is trying it too, but people are maybe a little smarter now that they've seen what Bush has done.

Obama isn't perfect. But he understands this country. He understands what we need. He may be liberal, he may believe in equality for all, and that may scare a lot of people in this country who, on the extreme, think that America needs to be white in order to still be America. I'm worried FOR Obama, it's obvious that him being African American makes him the target of tons of assassination attempts. He is the next JFK, he inspires hope, and scares the shit out of people who don't want things to change.

But that's really it, why Obama still may not win. The fear, the fear of a president who isn't white, and even more so, the fear of a president who's middle name is Hussein. My mom is voting for McCain because she thinks Obama will not side with Israel. People think he's too soft. He'll let the terrorists walk all over him.

You know what Obama is? He's human. He's a real person. He's smart. He's really smart. And that's what we need as our president. Not someone like this...

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