It's (sigh) tax time. I just turned everything over to my accountant, while I wait for him to tell me how much I owe, let's talk about what you can learn from the tax process. Two clarifications before I start:
- This is based on how I do my taxes, which may not be the way you do your taxes. I wait until mid-March to count everything up, which means I see all my spending at once. If you do this monthly, you may not have the same "look at my year" insights, which is fine! But this is how I do it.
- I'm not an accountant or financial planner (though I have both). I can't answer specific money questions, or address specific tax issues.
- Who were the bad clients? While going through my 1099s, I said "you fuckers" when I got to two of them. I had already stopped working for both, but if you have this reaction to someone in your 1099 pile, make a plan to exit them from your business and your life.
- Who were the good clients? Of course I had the opposite response to some of my 1099s: oh I love them! I had this reaction to two clients who I wrote for in early 2021 but hadn't heard from since, which means I'll be sending them "hey just checking in" emails shortly.
- What costs have gone up/gone down? My accountant gives me a form to fill out, and includes a column of what those same expenses were last year. This lets me do a spending check up. This year, I realized I was paying for something work related that made a category quite high – something I wasn't using anymore. Great that it's a tax deduction but even better if I don't waste money on something I don't need. I cancelled it.
- Am I diversified? I learned a lot as a freelancer during the Great Recession, including to not have more than 1/4 of my work with one client. That way, if they go under or start jerking me around about payment, I can let them go without too big a hit to my bottom line. Since I'm a single income household, this is extremely important – the only backup is myself. Of course there are other ways to judge client diversification (I do that in my year end wrap ups), but sometimes it's just looking at the pile of 1099s. Is it short or tall? My pile was very tall this year.
"What Do We Do with Art from Problematic People?" from Book a Week With Jen
"Addressing Disparities in the Diagnosis and Care of Rare Breast Cancer" for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
"Turning Trash into Treasure: the Plastic to Protein Powder Solution" for Michigan Tech Research Magazine
"To the Moon – and Beyond" for Michigan Tech Research Magazine
"3D Printing Brings Customization to the Supply Chain" for Supply Chain Dive
"Closing the Mental Health Practitioner Gap" for UCSF Nursing
"Expert Advice on a Lab Design or Remodel" for Clinical Laboratory News
"Here to Stay: Supply Chains Gear Up for AI Investments" for Supply Chain Dive
"How to Collect Positive Reviews" for Independent Banker
"Blockchain Drives Transparency in the Supply Chain" for Supply Chain Dive
"Leadership Unscripted: The Private Sector and Public Good" for The Darden Report
"How to Select the Ideal AI Pilot Project" for CIO Dive
What I'm Reading
A quick reminder that these now link to posts from my book website! Full reviews there
- The MacGregors: Serena and Cain by Nora Roberts
- Putting the Rabbit Back in the Hat by Brian Cox
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
- Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
- You Can't Be Serious by Kal Penn
- My Kind of Earl by Vivienne Lorret
- West Side Story. I'm so glad I saw this in a theater. It's gorgeous. Though someone in the theater was surprised at the ending? Of a remake of 60 year old movie that's also a remake of a Shakespeare play? Huh!
- Free Guy. This was far more clever than I thought it would be. My favorite bloggers Tom & Lorenzo also put it in their top costume designs of the year – for good reason!
- Around the World in 80 Days. I loved loved loved this. It aired on PBS but I think it's going to find a bigger audience if it gets onto a mainstream streaming platform, as these shows often do.
- Agatha Raisin. It's always great, and it was great this season. I got myself AcornTV two years ago because of the pandemic. It's stayed. Can't say that for other streaming platforms I've tried.
- Nightmare Alley. Fine? I was underwhelmed by a bunch of movies that were up for best picture (except CODA, which I loved).
- Turning Red. I loved this. And phew do some white men get mad when a movie is not made with them in mind. Guess when it's been that way for…ever, it takes some getting used to.
- Gilded Age. This was very silly but I still watched all of it. I could not get over how many layers they wore in August in New York City without sweating. It's distracting! (And yes I know folks wore more layers then in general, but one room also had a roaring fire. In late August!)
- Righteous Gemstones. I don't even know how to explain this show to someone who hasn't seen it, but it's one of the stranger dark comedies I've ever seen.
- Our Flag Means Death. I thought this was going to be a silly pirate show, and it is, but it's also shows how the expectation of heterosexual marriage is a prison…for everyone, even the straights. I found it very moving and I HOPE there's a second season.
- Bad Vegan. This is a well done documentary about a very messy situation where only one side would talk on the record.