money


Reanna and I are in the process of officially combining our finances. I’d been a little nervous about it, but so far it’s going great. One of the tools we’re trying out is Mint.com, a free, online program for tracking money. Maya pitched us pretty hard on You Need a Budget instead of Mint, and my early impression is that YNAB is in a lot of ways simpler and more useful. We’re trying Mint first mostly because we can access it from our own computers. (How about some way to sync one account between two computers YNAB?) I’ll post a review after I know Mint better. So far, it seems adequate and is mostly pretty fun and intuitive for me, coming from Quicken.

Here are the tags we’ve agreed upon so far:

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I investigated this question as part of my Family Violence class last spring. It was one of a very long list of questions that clinicians should know about the area they work in. There are three organizations that offer some financial support in Lane County:

“Not much,” according to the woman who answered the phone at the Oregon Department of Justice, at 541-682-4523. But if the crime is a person crime, victims can get financial assistance for counseling, medical bills, rehabilitation, funeral benefits, grief counseling, and dental through the Oregon Department of Justice, after conviction.

Victim Services Program of Lane County, part of the Department of District of Attorney, does not have financial resources for crime victims but they do provide advocacy that can result in restitution in court.

Department of Human Services

[This copied directly from the DHS website.] Financial assistance to persons fleeing domestic violence or a person trying to stay safe from domestic violence whose safety is at risk because of domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence. The person must also fit the following criteria:

  • Be a parent or relative caring for a minor child or a pregnant woman
  • Meet the income criteria for the program. (This program looks only at income on hand that is available to meet any emergency needs.)
  • Be a resident of Oregon.

The program provides temporary financial help to support families whose safety is at risk due to domestic violence. Most often this is when the domestic violence survivor and the children are fleeing domestic violence or at risk of returning to an abusive situation.

The program can help with up to $1200.00 over a 90 day eligibility period. Payments are given directly to the landlord or other service provider.

  • The program can help with housing related payments when there is or has been a domestic violence situation. (including deposits, rents and utilities)
  • Relocation costs. (including moving costs and other travel costs)
  • Replacement of personal or household items left behind when the victim and children have fled if items are not available from another source. (clothing, hygiene items, essential furniture items)
  • Purchase of items that help address safety. (including new locks, motion detectors, P.O. Boxes)

I thought this was an interesting presentation of data, from a column by Paul Krugman. Usually, when you see displays of percentage of taxes paid by income group, they show only shares of federal income tax, the only really progressive tax in the US. This display shows the percentage of all US taxes paid by income group, including payroll, local, state, etc. That’s the blue bars. The grey bars are also interesting–instead of just showing share of taxes by income group, this display compares share of taxes to share of income by income group. By this measure, it looks as if at the widest spread, total tax burden is only progressive by less than 5%. That is, even the top 1% of earners pay less than 5% more of total US taxes than the lowest 20% when their total share of income is taken into account.

When my auto insurance company found out that I now have a masters degree, they said they are now taking level of education into account when calculating risk. The result: a three-dollar discount. Thanks, Progressive!

Now if only everyone would start calling me “Master Nathen.” That would be the icing on the cake.