Unfun Times At The DMV: Things To Bring And Do Before Arriving In Hell!

DMV HellThere might be a new way to wean car addicts off their car buying behavior.  That way is to simply have them experience a day at the DMV.  Recently, I had the pleasure to go to the DMV and re-register my car because I never got the tags in the mail.  Apparently State documents cannot be forwarded to a new address.  Hence, if you ever move residences or offices, make sure that you contact the DMV and other state departments immediately to notify your change of address!

I only drive on weekends now since I take the bus to work (ladies love bus riders).  I drive so little that I had no idea the tags never came for 3 months!  Of course, the one day I do drive to work due to a dental appointment, a cop pulls me over for a “fix-it” ticket.  “You know why I stopped you right?” Mr. Officer asks.

Actually, I have no idea Officer,” I sincerely replied back.  He gave me a ticket for expired tags and told me that if I went to the DMV and got new tags within 30 days, I wouldn’t have to pay the $276 fine, but only $25.


Fixing Our Absent-Minded And Forgetful Selves

Have you ever had a period of time where all you did was lose and forget everything?  For the past four months, I’ve been wondering whether I’m in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease or something of that nature.  It makes me worried.  Wait, what was I saying again?

Just the other day, I brought my tennis bag to work so I could go directly to the club and meet a client.  When I opened the bag in the locker room, there were no shorts, only sweat pants.  Not ideal in this mini-70 degree heat wave we’re having, but doable.  As I rummaged through my bag further, I discovered I had no shoes either!  No wonder why my bag was so light, I thought to myself in retrospect.

Walking out of the locker room and to the front desk, I asked Peter whether they had any demo shoes or left-overs.  Unfortunately there were none, and as I waited for Peter to feign a thorough search, I could see my client stretching on the court waiting for me.  Drat, no time to go home and fetch.  Instead, I ponied up $90 bucks and bought a brand new pair of tennis shoes right there, even though I literally have five pairs at home!


How Insurance Companies And Appraisers Scam Their Customers

House On Golf Course In HawaiiI’ve always trusted my insurance company, which I’ll call TRICKY DICK in this article, to do the right thing. After all, I’ve been a client of theirs for almost 20 years. They’ve benefited from my growth in assets and I now have auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, valuable personal property insurance and an umbrella policy with them.  Furthermore, I’ve got a relatively large chunk of change in CDs deposited with them as well.

I had a unwelcomed change in my credit card the other day and had to call Tricky Dick to cancel my existing card on file and add a new one. Imagine my surprise when looking over my previous statement that they were billing me 45% more a month in premiums!  What the hell, I thought to myself.  Clearly there must be a mistake.  Oh how wrong I was.


Where Are My Credit Card Rights?

I’ve had my home rebate credit card for 7 years. It’s my one and only personal credit card I use for everything. Once a year, a rebate of 1% of total spending gets credited toward my mortgage. I was totally happy with the card and then one day, I get a letter from the bank saying they are changing it out of the blue. They didn’t ask me whether it is OK or not, they unilaterally made the decision for me.

I’m not particularly fond of credit cards which give me rewards points so I can go buy things I don’t need. Unfortunately, as a replacement card, that’s exactly what I’m getting!

It really gets my goat that a credit card issuer can just changes things at a whim. You’d think that after all that’s happened in the financial world, there would be more protection for consumers. But, as always, I’m disappointed with how my tax dollars are spent, and nothing really changes, just the people in power.


State Budget Problems Are Going To Screw Us All

* In order to pay for President Obama’s $450 billion Jobs Act Bill, he has proposed removing the muni bond tax exemption benefit for those above the 28% marginal tax rate (~$200,000 for singles).  Given those in the 33% and 35% tax brackets invest the most in muni bonds, there will be a huge sell-off, and a resultant rise in borrowing costs for State governments.  This will lead to more budget shortfalls due to higher expenses, and less local construction.  As a result, MORE jobs will be lost or never to be re-created!

Taking advantage of State level governments to pay for a Federal Jobs Bill is very astute.  The more States get crushed, the more dependents and voters will be created for the Crusher. 

If you haven’t heard, the United States of America is having some serious state budget problems!  It’s estimated that 44 out of 50 states will have a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012, which starts on July 1, 2011.  The largest absolute dollar offender is my home state of California, with a $25.4 BILLION shortfall that accounts for a whopping 29.3% of the state’s 2011 budget!

Everything is relative though, and there are three states more screwed than California based on a deficit as a percentage of 2011 budget: Nevada at 42%, New Jersey at 37.4%, and surprisingly Texas at 31.5%.  The overall US shortfall is $112 billion dollars, accounting for 17.6% of 2012’s overall budget.


2011 Income Tax Rates: Raise Taxes On Millionaires Not Us

President Obama’s State of The Union address was well delivered.  He said almost everything right – from restoring spending discipline to improving education to allowing everyone access to affordable health care.  The one thing President Obama didn’t say correctly was regarding taxation.  He said illogically not to let millionaires get away with their tax cuts at the expense of X, Y, and Z.

Can anybody guess where the inconsistency is in President Obama’s words on income taxes?  On the one hand, President Obama attacks millionaires, yet he so strongly pushes to raise taxes on individuals making only $200,000 and couples making $250,000!  Last time I checked, someone making $200,000 a year isn’t making a million dollars.  And someone making $200,000 a year isn’t necessarily a millionaire!


My Fear And My Guilt

On Sunday, January 16th Yakezie.com received around 6,300 visitors thanks to Little House’s (Yakezie Scholarship Committee Member) efforts to reach out to other organizations online.  That organization was Fastweb.com, a site that helps students find monetary support for education around the web.

Not expecting such a surge in traffic, immediately things started going haywire.  My registration e-mail notifications started flooding in, and then personal e-mails started coming in asking why they didn’t get an e-mail confirmation to register to the allow them to apply.  Frantically, I tried addressing all problems over comments, Twitter, and e-mail myself as Chris was not near a computer.  When Chris returned, he did some testing and things seemed to work, but because of the sheer flood of visitors, things locked up.

Our e-mail system (Google) supposedly has a ~200 limit per day on sending e-mail notifications for new registrants.  After about 1:30pm on Sunday, the 200 limit was quickly hit but the registrants kept coming in.  As a result, any eager student who was looking to register and compete could not.  Oh my, how bad I felt for them.


Does My Vote Matter?

Every two to four years we have government elections and every two to four years I wonder the same thing, “Does my vote matter?” In California, we have two Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) who have the most vicious attack ads I’ve ever seen. Their ads make them BOTH sound unappealing, which makes common citizens like me depressed that no change will come.

I have to think there are attack ads in almost every city in America which is resulting in the same voter ambivalence. Am I wrong? You tell me. Every single politician says the same thing:

* I plan to change the way the Capital is run. No more politics as usual.
* I plan to balance the budget.
* I am qualified because of my experience in politics, or my experience in business.
* My opponent is unqualified.
* I answer to no one but you.
* Wonk, wonk, blah, blah, schimmy, schimmy, bang, bang.

Kids and Growing Old: Musings Of A Newly Thirty Year Old Woman

 The following is a guest post by a regular reader who just turned 30.  Hope you guys enjoy and help her share in her thoughts!

So often we let society overly influence how we feel and act. I could go on for hours about topics like body image, nutrition, and politics but for now let’s just touch on age and children.

Maybe I’m on my own in this, but it annoys me that society teaches us that couples should raise a family once they’re married. While I have no ill feelings towards you wonderful parents out there, it frustrates me that I still find myself doubting my lack of interest in having kids because it’s abnormal, against the grain.


How Higher Taxes Saved Me A Boatload Of Money

When the state of California raised the sales tax by another 1% on April 1, 2009 I was pretty pissed.  What kind of government expects their residents to pay a whopping 10% tax on everything they buy?  Pedro doesn’t want to pay $200 in taxes on his $2,000 60-inch LCD TV.  Nancy shouldn’t have to pay $300 more on her $3,000 diamond encrusted bracelet.  And I certainly don’t want to spend $5,200 in taxes on a handsome $52,000 BMW!  That’s just ridiculous!

We the people of California deserve our luxury items just like every other parrot-brained consumer in America.  Who’s to dictate what we can and can’t waste our hard earned money on?  Certainly not some bureaucrat in Sacramento counting all his money under the table, no way!