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This past weekend plans went off without a hitch, at least on saturday. We enjoyed the Big Flea (noting that people who rip apart old books and matte the pictures in them make a killing!!), made it to Sunflower where much fake meat was consumed, and then arrived in the nick of time to see Der Golem. For those who attended and enjoyed the music, I think John is going to upload the tracks or sell CDs on cafepress, FYI. Sunday was less on target as my classmates bailed on me and I spent 2 hours at the library studying alone.

I've gone ahead and made a LJ feed from my Twitter account so you can be privy to the 140-characters-or-less witticisms or complaints or what have you that I generally send from my phone when I'm trapped. I doubt any of you will add it to your friends list, but there it is!

And now something you guys can help me with: I have an overabundance of furniture (and other things) (but for now, chairs). I am ready to part with two of my kitschier finds which take up a little too much space in our small house. So, if you are interested, please consider taking one or both of these chairs into your home:

1. The Barrel Chair Yes, a chair made from a barrel. Only downside is that it's heavy.



2. The Faux Eames Chair Pretty Self-Explanatory. Lacks footrest. Has a few scratches.



Please, someone, give them a new home.

In band news: Our bassist, my friend from rock camp Olya, is leaving. She is moving to San Fran, and her house sold within a few days of being on the market, so that's not going to delay her. As of December the Jelly Sharks will be looking for a new bassist. Any bassists out there want to be in a band? Anyone want to learn the bass really quick? I am worried I will soon be the only girl in the band.


I am trying to figure out a way to make it so that I will pay bills on time. I need a system that promotes timeliness - I have the online thing going on making it easier, but I seem to get around to it every other month, instead of every month. I am still loath to set up automatic payments for fear of a spiralling miserable overdraft situation, unless someone convinces me otherwise. Maybe I'll try putting a monthly thing on my google calendar? If only I could access that from work. *dark looks* If any of you have bothered to read to this point, how do you ensure that you pay your bills on time?

Finally, I now have 2 401ks I need to roll over into my new 401k and I am discombobulated about how to do this. I should be worried that the Qwest one is going to asplode soon and make me pay taxes... I wonder why it hasn't yet? Has anyone successfully rolled over a 401k? What should I expect in the way of obstacles?

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( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
serendipity9000
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
On the 'paying bills on time' front - I have divided mine between those that autopay every month (generally all the ones that have a fixed amount so they are predictable) and those that I basically pay as soon as they arrive (all the better to not forget about them). The big exception to this is any large credit card bills which I often DO put in my google calender to ensure I pay them before my grace period is up each month. Small credit card bills I just pay right away.

About your 401k. My best knowledge is that you can leave your old 401ks right where they are forever.. you just don't get any extra choices about how to invest the money beyond whatever the old plan offered you. I think there might be a time limit on when you can rollover into your NEW 401k - but I believe there is NOT a time limit on rolling your old 401ks into an IRA. The benefit of this is that you get to pick which company you want to use - and pick what sorts of investments you want to use for the money in the IRA. The only BIG no-no about pulling money out of on old 401k (to my knowledge) is pulling the money out without it being a rollover into something else. If you pull the money out and put it in your pocket - then Uncle Sam gets involved and taxes you on all that money that used to be tucked away where he couldn't see it. This page has a good summary about the options: http://beginnersinvest.about.com/od/401k/a/aa122104a_2.htm
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I always thought that when you left a company, they would disburse your retirement junk if you didn't roll it over in time. Maybe that was just Digex/Intermedia/Worldcom.

I know you're not supposed to just take money out - and I have no intention of doing that - but I thought it was better to have it all in one place. I just don't know what the first step is for rolling it. :P
omphaloskepsis
Nov. 8th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
I've found it will only disburse if your account falls below a certain level - the digex one was a magical threshold of 4 or 5 thousand dollars. I found this out when the market tanked and I got a mysterious check.


I already had IRA accounts with Etrade, but I think the same would be true for any broker. What I did is went to etrade and say - I want to open a rollover IRA. The opened the account and said I could either tell my current 401 k to transfer the money directly to them, or I could get a chanck and mail it into etrade. I then contacted my 401k company and said I want to roll the money over. It was something I avoided for awhile because it seemed complicated, but ended up being easy once I actually got started on it.
squeegibo
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
On bills: I use autopay for everything that allows it (after doing an analysis of bill-arrival times and deciding that I'll get paid at the right time to pay the big ones) and everything else I leave in daraflower's capable hands. I think she pays them as they come in.

On 401k rollovers: I think you have to tell your current HR people what you want to do and they should tell you what you need. Then you (or HR) send(s) a letter to the old 401k administrator, who sends a check either to you or to your current 401k administrator. If they send it to you, you send it on right away. It's not too ugly, I don't think.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to think if I have anything which is a fixed amt... the car payment, but that is already on autopay (and I've already nearly made that bounce once, because I'm a dipshit and forget it even exists if no physical bill comes.) I guess my phone bill is close... but it still fluctuates a few dollars every month. Hrmph.
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
I should probably just open all my mail the moment I get it and pay bills right then.
yoshimi
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
finances permitting, that's what i do. when i can't do that, i keep them in a stack, organized by date due, and carry them around with me, in my car or my purse or whatever. it's a disorganized system, but it's also oddly anal.

i do have some payments that get pushed out of our account on the same dates every month, and some that get pulled out on the same dates every month. those i handle as follows: i get paid on the 15th and the 31st, and as soon as i put that paycheck into the check register, i take out all the stuff that's coming until the next payday.

i used to be one paycheck ahead BUT all it took to set us back was one outrageous car repair bill. this is a scary thing. i'm also trying to pay way forward on our ginormous credit card bills (five to ten times the minimum payment), however, so that also accounts for being "behind."
lexensis
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
What style of music do you play? Do you have a gig amp? I only have a 250 practice amp.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
We play garage rock/punk/pop, or something. Our bassist is taking her performance amp with her when she goes, I guess. :(

I think you can hear a few songs on myspace.com/jellysharks.
lexensis
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
I played with trephine. They are on myspace also.
pseudotheist
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Like serendipity900 said, you're probably better off rolling your 401Ks into an IRA account. Then it's yours to do with as you like, and the next time you feel like you want to move on you won't have to worry about what to do with your 401K, because you've already got an account into which you can easily roll it.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Noted. I have no idea how to do that either.
pseudotheist
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Ah! So, all you really need to do is find someone who has an account manager they like, and and get their number. Any account manager worth having will walk you through exactly what you need to do to roll your monies over without paying taxes, and should have no problem walking you through any necessary paperwork. I believe there will be some forms to fill out to create the new account, then you'll have to give the 401K company that account info, so they can transfer the funds to it.

pseudotheist
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
The important bit being, if the account manager doesn't make the process painless and simple to understand, he's not an account manager worth having; call another one.
serendipity9000
Nov. 8th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
If you don't want to go the account manager route and feel confident about making choices for investing your IRA - consider an option like E*Trade. As an example - this is their 'come rollover your 401k with us' page: https://us.etrade.com/e/t/plan/rollover

Lots of the online self-service investment companies have pages like this... see:
http://rollover.troweprice.com/index.html?phone=4889
http://personal.fidelity.com/products/retirement/rollover/rolloverintro.shtml.cvsr?imm_pid=1&immid=00098&imm_eid=e14985&buf=999999

Anyway.. not recommending any one in particular.. just wanted to show you that they will give you the steps and forms you need to do it. They WANT your money at their institution so they try to make it easy.
pseudotheist
Nov. 8th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
"just wanted to show you that they will give you the steps and forms you need to do it. They WANT your money at their institution so they try to make it easy."
Definitely the point I was trying to make also.
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Awesome guys - this is great advice. Thank you so much.
leenacia
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
I pay a lot of bills online, but I don't like automating it, because it tends to get me in trouble. So, each month I write out what bills I have to pay, how much, and when, and then I tape it to my monitor. It works pretty well.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
So you do it on a certain day each month?
leenacia
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Not usually. But I cross them off when I pay them, and I don't miss the due date because it's staring me right in the face. That used to be a big problem of mine. I'd pay a few days late because I just forgot.
rshackleford
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
I might be interested in #2.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
Fortunately that's the one I more want to leave my house! It has a crack in the not-leather in two places. Which, honestly, would be easily covered by electrical tape... heh. Let me know... I can see if it would fit in the hatchback...
rshackleford
Nov. 8th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
Ah, right on. I was wondering how I'd transport it, since I'm no longer Saab-enabled.
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
I would have to come down on a saturday when I had a drum lesson or something; if it doesn't fit we will have to try plan b. whatever that is.
bitchiekittie
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
I love your chairs, but sadly cannot offer them homes.

I'm the same with finances, and I'm a bookkeeper by trade, so don't feel too badly! I have never successfully rolled over a 401(k) because I am a terrible jobhopper. booo, retirement is not in my future!!!!
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
My parents call me on an almost daily basis about my 401k and my retirement. I don't have anything like a savings at this point at all really.
kittenscribble
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
Even if google calendar is blocked at work, you can make it send you a daily agenda email. I've got an item that occurs at the end of every month called "end-of-month billpay check" and when I see it, I log into my bank's website (which isn't blocked at work) where I pay all the bills online. I usually pay bills as they come but they've been known to get lost between the mailbox and my desk, so I just do a quick glance down the line to make sure that everything has a "last-paid" date of sometime within the past month.

That's just what works for me. But it does help to have an automated reminder sent straight to my inbox, and one location where I pay all the bills.

As for 401k's, it wasn't be too hard to roll one into the other; I don't remember many details, but it went smoothly and the dude on the other end of the customer service line was very helpful. Just remember it come tax time (they should send you helpful forms). Why would a 401k go asplode? They're generally supposed to just sit there forever until you're old (unless they're invested in bad things).
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
do you know how i can get google cal to send the email to an email address that is NOT gmail? since i can't really check that at work.
kittenscribble
Nov. 9th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)
ah! Hadn't thought of that. What I would do is go into gmail and set up a filter (go to the "create a filter" link near the top) to forward anything from "calendar-notification@google.com" to the email address of your choice.

Good luck with the money stuff.
drivingblind
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
We're using Quicken to manage our finances right now; I use it to download info from my checking account several times a week, presently. I mention it because:

a) It seems to have a bill paying reminder feature (that you'd still voluntarily assent to) that I haven't actually checked in on using yet, and

b) It has strongly increased my willingness for us to set up automatic payments, since it's much more likely I will *notice* that an automatic payment has happened, now, since Quicken will happily pull down that data and show it to me.
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
I wonder if Quicken would talk to my bank. :-/
drivingblind
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
If it's a credit union, probably not, alas. But if you told me your bank, I could see if they have a conduit for it.
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
It's NASA fed credit union.
drivingblind
Nov. 9th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
The NASA Federal Credit Union shows up in the list of banking institutions when I go to add an account. This is in fact a very good thing: it indicates there's probably a "conduit" that Quicken has established for doing the automagical syncery.

It's pretty easy to give Quicken a trial run... especially if we're about to give you a few Amazon gift certificates. ;) Though when we decided to give it a shot, we googled around for "Quicken Free Trial" and did some URL hacking to download a trial version to test out for 60 days or so...

Though maybe the hacking's not necessary. Seems there's an easy page for it now: http://quicken.intuit.com/free-trial-download.jhtml

At least to start you shouldn't need anything more complicated than the starter edition... Upgrading's pretty easy, in my experience, if it comes down to it.
elizardaa
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
regarding bills...
Because money is tight and I can't always pay the bills as they come in, I do this: As they arrive each month I write the due date and amount on the outside of the envelope. I then tuck them away into the "bill" cubbyhole of my desk. As new ones come in I put them in chronological order. That way the one that's due the soonest is on top. Generally then I just look from time to time to see if anything is due soon, at which point I pull out all the ones due for a bout a five day period and send them out. And repeat.

It's not totally fool-proof, but it usually works well for me. I do also have some utilities and such on auto-pay because it's just easier that way. But I only do this if they will continue to notify me in paper, so I don't overdraw my account. (Other than my mortgage which is auto-pay as well, but large enough I don't think I'll ever forget it!)
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: regarding bills...
Hrm - that's sort of like what I do now, but I put off looking at the cubbyhole too long. I need to go high tech. :)
schpahky
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
I get paid by direct deposit every other Friday. So every Thursday night, or Friday day, I sit down and write any bills out that are due in the next two weeks. Doesn't matter if they are due in 13 days -- I write 'em and mail 'em. Or I sit down and do the online payment. This has vastly simplified the process.

Also I put all bills in the same place when they arrive in the mail (after I've opened them) so I can just rifle through and check due dates on that date.

Having a wall calendar with pay days marked helps too. I have come to associate my red $ sign with "time to pay bills," and it's always visible near my checkbook.
tzel
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Ack! I'm sure someone has already called dibs on the barrell chair but if not, I love that chair! I need that chair! Ack!
thatwhichisgene
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
We need that chair.
snidegrrl
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
I will be happy to release it to a good and loving home. I will come visit it sometimes.
csue_n_moo
Nov. 8th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
That IS one awesome chair. :>
omphaloskepsis
Nov. 8th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Full disclosure - I still end up being a month late with some frequency on gas or electric bills.

Credit card bill was the one that was painful when I was late whether it be for late charges or finance charges, so I came up with a two step process so this wouldn't bite me in the ass anymore. So since we charge almost everything we buy (we do this so we can better track what we spend money on and match it up with our budget) I know I will have at least $250 to pay every month - which is normally quite similar to the minimum payment amount. So - I set up an autopay through my bank for $250 at the first of the month. This way I never ever get a late fee. Next I set up a cron job (but google calendar reminder works too) to mail me about 10 days before my credit card payment was due. Then I just have to keep the discipline to react to that email as soon as I get it and pay my bill online through my bank.

Like Jeanne, I have auto pay from my bank for the bills that cost the same every month like phone and cable. And gas and electric I do with my credit card or when I remember - which is why I still end up late on those sometimes. I don't like giving other companies access to my bank account, cause it freaks me out, but as Fred mentioned, we might start using the quicken method.
snidegrrl
Nov. 9th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
With my bank I use the online billpay but I think they just mail an actual check, because I have to put in th address. So nobody really has access to my bank account.
csue_n_moo
Nov. 8th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
We autopay everything except (1) the mortgage, so I can figure out how much or how little extra we can afford to add each month to the basic payment (nothing like paying down debt!), and (2) the cable bill, since I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Oh, and the water bill, which is only four times a year, and has no autopay option anyway.
motorharp
Nov. 9th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
Bills: I signed up for paperless billing, but not auto-pay because, like you, I'm scared of the overdraft. That way, when I get the bill, I'm already online and just click a link, go to the website, and pay the bill. My bills always come in the second half of the month after I've been paid, though.

Rollovers: I went to my bank and told the financial/investment people that I needed to rollover my 401k. They did EVERYTHING for me, and it's a LOT of paperwork. So I now have an IRA that's doing way better than my 401k ever did. =) I waited about 7 years after I quit Goodyear to do it, too.
binkitybonk
Nov. 12th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
i did a rollover on my 401K from a previous job and another financial company to my current job account / company. it was super, super easy, and no tax ramifications.

olya in sf - tell her to look me up! i'm helping with the bay area girls rock camp they're trying to get started, in case she is interested in helping out. :)
snidegrrl
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
I sent Olya in the direction of your myspace, since she is LJ-less. :)
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