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given interest rates, do you let them keep it?
Old 12-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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given interest rates, do you let them keep it?

I know pretty much everyone here understands the time value of money --- but our money is now earning next to nothing in a bank accounts (I realize there are diminishing promos to get a little more than nothing and your investment accounts do better than nothing over the long term)

my question is whether people still hassle trying to tweak their tax withholding to keep every last penny from uncle sam until the last minute when it must be paid

and do you still pay last minute on bills or use services like "bill pay" to extend a float

I personally don't hassle trying to nickle and dime these situations anymore because the resulting benefit is minimal

anyone else getting lazy given the current interest rate environment?
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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anyone else getting lazy given the current interest rate environment?
I prefer to think of it as maintaining my skills while waiting for a higher-interest-rate environment.

EFTPS lets me set up the estimated tax payments a year in advance, so I only have to do it once.

Billpay lets me do the payments on the date they're due instead of estimating mail/processing times, so I only have to do it once for the due date.

And a money market account still earns 2-3x a checking account, so it might as well hold most of the money.

But we are enjoying having cash on hand for the Craigslist after-Christmas gotta-pay-the-bills fire sales:
hawaii all for sale / wanted classifieds "longboard" - craigslist
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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I prefer to think of it as maintaining my skills while waiting for a higher-interest-rate environment.
Now that's the kind of hard-hitting analysis that brings joy to my heart.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:22 PM   #4
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Leftover cash goes into VCSH almost immediately. There are no nickels and dimes lying around. I was not quite consistent because I made $7.54 in interest so far in 2010 and 59 cents in tax-exempt interest.

Tax-withholding is tweaked. When 2011 rolls around, only $1 per paycheck will be withheld for taxes. 75% of paycheck will go into 401(k) plan. 90% of spouse's paycheck will go into 401(k) plan.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:37 PM   #5
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Tax-withholding is tweaked. When 2011 rolls around, only $1 per paycheck will be withheld for taxes. 75% of paycheck will go into 401(k) plan. 90% of spouse's paycheck will go into 401(k) plan.
The first 6 months of 2010 I maxed out my 401k - I put away $22K since I was over 50. Those teeny paychecks were painful (I also had pretax medical coming out etc.) but it was worth it when I retired.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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I find it difficult to break the

Buy Low,
Sell high,
Collect early,
Pay late.

Habit.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:01 PM   #7
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+1 on Nords and RonBoyd.....


BUT, I will admit that I pay a couple of days early as I have been burned by the bank and will give up a few days...
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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I appreciate the responses ... I admit that I am slacking off

that is not say that I have completely lost the proper mindset of scrimping for dollars ... because I have a lot of extra space in my house ... my new thing is to buy large quantities of things on sale (in Hawaii given the cost of goods, this yields good returns)

cooking oil on sale for $2 --- I buy ten (33% gain over regular $3 price)

toilet paper on sale for half the regular price --- I come home with a truck full

my wife finds this a bit odd --- but I have discovered I am getting about a 20-30 percent return on this kind of purchasing --- these are regularly consumed items that don't go stale
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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I appreciate the responses ... I admit that I am slacking off

that is not say that I have completely lost the proper mindset of scrimping for dollars ... because I have a lot of extra space in my house ... my new thing is to buy large quantities of things on sale (in Hawaii given the cost of goods, this yields good returns)

cooking oil on sale for $2 --- I buy ten (33% gain over regular $3 price)

toilet paper on sale for half the regular price --- I come home with a truck full

my wife finds this a bit odd --- but I have discovered I am getting about a 20-30 percent return on this kind of purchasing --- these are regularly consumed items that don't go stale

You have not had them long enough... I know for a fact that toilet paper does go 'stale'.... found some in my mom's house that had to be over 20 years old... just crumbled.... I will not bore you with what else I found...
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:57 PM   #10
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You have not had them long enough... I know for a fact that toilet paper does go 'stale'.... found some in my mom's house that had to be over 20 years old... just crumbled.... I will not bore you with what else I found...
interesting .... I buy toilet paper by weight ... I don't bring a scale with me so I just kinda hold it up with one package in one hand and the other package in the other hand

if prices are equal, I take the heavier one

I wonder if there is some water content that evaporates and causes the paper to not survive over the years ... if that is true ... then a pure weight test might not be an accurate gauge of value
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:20 AM   #11
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interesting .... I buy toilet paper by weight ... I don't bring a scale with me so I just kinda hold it up with one package in one hand and the other package in the other hand

if prices are equal, I take the heavier one

I wonder if there is some water content that evaporates and causes the paper to not survive over the years ... if that is true ... then a pure weight test might not be an accurate gauge of value

Since the wife is buying it now... I can only comment on how I did it.... look at the number of sheets and also if it is single or double... Also, I have found that even this is not the whole thing as there are 'thicker' sheets even if double... which means you use less per 'visit'....
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:10 AM   #12
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seems more like a "working capital" thing rather than a "time value of money."

one should only need to live in CA the last couple of years to understand why they shouldn't let the gov't over with hold
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:20 PM   #13
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interesting .... I buy toilet paper by weight ... I don't bring a scale with me so I just kinda hold it up with one package in one hand and the other package in the other hand

if prices are equal, I take the heavier one

I wonder if there is some water content that evaporates and causes the paper to not survive over the years ... if that is true ... then a pure weight test might not be an accurate gauge of value
I wouldn't put it past the manufacturers to try to trick us with extra moisture content.

I shop on price/sq ft since I use it by the area and not by the weight.

Unlike dryer sheets, I doubt this is a product where significant savings can be realized by cutting it in half. In our case, the biggest savings came from sending our progeny to college. Of course I'm still paying for her room/board (including toilet paper) but at least I can pay for it with tax-free education savings bonds...
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:55 PM   #14
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I wouldn't put it past the manufacturers to try to trick us with extra moisture content.

I shop on price/sq ft since I use it by the area and not by the weight.
......
Stay always vigilant - Mouse Print»Blog Archive » Scott Toilet Paper: Here We Shrink Again

Bastarde!
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #15
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Cutting it too close only adds stress. If you are not using auto debit, pay a week early. You won't lose anything.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
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Right, cutting it close does add stress. Nevertheless, we have a friend who always uses an entire roll of toilet paper every time she uses the toilet. Then we have to unclog the toilet as well. She's a dear friend, so we always buy extra rolls when she visits and discretely put the plunger next to the flush-handle.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:35 PM   #17
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Right, cutting it close does add stress. Nevertheless, we have a friend who always uses an entire roll of toilet paper every time she uses the toilet. Then we have to unclog the toilet as well. She's a dear friend, so we always buy extra rolls when she visits and discretely put the plunger next to the flush-handle.
.....next to the Imodium
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:00 PM   #18
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I have become lazy on this front given how low interest rates are. I BillPay a couple days before the due date out of habit more than anything else.

Agree that the return on finding deals on things you use and couponing probably are a better use of time rather than trying to wring the last nickel out of float.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:50 PM   #19
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Leftover cash goes into VCSH almost immediately. There are no nickels and dimes lying around. I was not quite consistent because I made $7.54 in interest so far in 2010 and 59 cents in tax-exempt interest.

Tax-withholding is tweaked. When 2011 rolls around, only $1 per paycheck will be withheld for taxes. 75% of paycheck will go into 401(k) plan. 90% of spouse's paycheck will go into 401(k) plan.
So all your extra cash goes in to this fund now?
Steve
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