Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

45 Minutes to Blast-Off

My friend and sometime editorial client La Maya will show up in a little less than an hour with a plan to go for coffee at our favorite uber-Mexican restaurant. So that will be a nice way to start the day.

Normally by 7:30 I’ve been working for half an hour or 45 minutes and will have another hour to go before disconnecting to feed the dogs and then go back to work.

The Copyeditor’s Desk is experiencing an amazing flood of work, one customer after another lined up at the door. Just now I’m working on two major projects, an abstruse study in business management theory by one of the elite Chinese academics and a wild-assed fantasy novel by an author who appears to be a gamer at heart. We just wrapped up (I hope) another issue of Chicana/Latina Studies, and I’m hoping the client whose ethnic studies volume we just finished editing will hire us to index it and its companion volume.

If this much work would come in all the time, I could make a living off the editorial business. Well, no: I could earn enough that combined with Social Security I wouldn’t have to use every red penny from the forced drawdowns from my IRAs. Then I could reinvest the drawdowns in taxable funds and, with any luck at all, not run out of money before I die.

Exactly how to keep the work flowing in escapes me, though. Facebook does nothing for you as an advertising medium. Twitter is a joke. About the only effective marketing device for this kind of work seems to be word of mouth. The Chinese will spread your fame like wildfire. Americans? Not so much.

Meanwhile, some changes need to be made pretty quick.

Intuit has jacked up its rates for Quickbooks Online to far more than I’m willing to pay. It was more than I’m willing to pay from the git-go, but $15 a month for a program that’s been “upgraded” to the point where I can’t even begin to figure out how to use it is not gonna make it. I keep all my records in Excel and my accountant enters stuff in Quickbooks by downloading from the bank accounts and checking against my spreadsheets.

IMHO, that is fuckin ridiculous.

She wants me to keep QB Online for the business but suggests dropping it for the personal accounts. I would like to switch the business to a program such as Wave or Xero, which can download to .csv files that can be uploaded into HER Quickbooks.

So…that discussion is ongoing.

I’m also royally sick and tired of PayPal. The bastards gouged me $12 for the most recent payment from Taiwan. It’s annoying to use, and since the most recent Flap of Fraudulence episode — in which my business partner’s  husband insisted that we both take our bank accounts offline from PP — the only way to transfer funds to my bank is to make them issue a check. They gouge you for that privilege, too.

Not sure how to jump that ship, though. Although there are several alternatives — some apparently both cheaper and better — everyone uses PayPal. Asking clients to use some other tool is problematic. Most people who live overseas do not use checking accounts. In the rest of the world, interestingly enough, checks are a thing of the past. If you ask someone in Asia or Europe to pay with a check, they’re flummoxed.

They end up having to pay with a money order, which is even more expensive than PayPal, and a nuisance to boot.

And speaking of providers, Cox was up and down all day yesterday. Looks like it’s doing the same thing today. I don’t think it’s on my end, and neither did the Cox tech I chatted with yesterday. My son thinks I need to shut everything down and reboot the computers, the modem, and the router. Did that. Didn’t work. So…struggling with large files when your Internet isn’t working is not a joke.

Lovely Uptown Phoenix has precious few internet providers, so this is going to be a problem. I could switch to Qwest’s successor, CenturyLink, but really, I want nothing to do with anything even vaguely connected to Qworst. And as a matter of fact, CenturyLink’s Yelp reviews are in the sub-sub-basement. Roundly hated. Cox: equally so. They both rank one (1) star. The only ISP that’s well rated is Direct Satellite TV, which states firmly, “We are not a stand-alone internet service provider.”

Since I have no time or desire to sit in front of the television — nor do I even own a TV set anymore — I guess that lets them out.

Verizon has lukewarm reviews; they seem to be hated slightly less than CenturyLink and Cox, but not exactly beloved. The only one that gets really good reviews (all 7 of them, no doubt paid for…) bills itself as a “business-class telecom service,” which suggests their prices are significantly higher than Cox’s. I may call them, though, just to get a bid.

I hate doing business with these outfits. But…it might actually be worth paying more to get better service.

Uh oh…here’s La Maya. And so, away!

 

 

 

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Author: funny

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6 Comments

  1. Hmmm…Couple of things….As for your “bidness”, I have noticed in this “neck of the woods” anyway, folks tend to cherish their business relationships. To the point of not sharing them for whatever reason. I am the exception and if a craftsman does a good job for me I share him with others…I want the guy to do well. Others though worry that “the guy” will get too busy for them…Flawed thinking IMHO.
    As for internet and the providers….GOOD LUCK…It’s like living on a pirate ship! Around here Comcast has decide that the little “companion” set top box, the size of a deck of cards, is now worthy of a $5.99 per month rental fee. Bear in mind this used to be free…then 50 cents….then $2.00…now $5.99. There appears the only way around it is to purchase your own device….OR to cancel cable and bid these jokers farewell….AND pay crazy sums for internet only. IMHO this is all to pay for Comcast’s purchase of NBC and affiliates.
    As for Verizon…had the “pleasure of their company” last evening to address Dear Mother’s reception and volume settings on her over priced “smart phone”. These folks (Verizon) have a license to print money as you need to “sign in” when you enter the store to speak/learn/spend with a Rep. IT IS CRAZY!!! Our experience was pleasant, professional, successful and FREE. BUT over $600 for an I – Phone … REALLY????

  2. 1. Why not try Gnucash. It’s a free double-entry accounting system. Works pretty good on the Mac.

    2,. As for Paypal, why not set up a new checking account at your present bank to link to Paypal and use a spare credit card as a backup, since they require one. Just use a card you are no longer using for anything else. Since you won’t be going into a negative balance on Paypal, no worries about the card.

    • Actually, Paypal has my old checking account number. The credit union advised me (and I followed their advice) to close my account after the FBI found all the private information hacked from my honored former employer on the Dark Web. This included not just my SS number, but my full name, the various casual names I use, my entire work history dating back to 1966, my entire educational history through the Ph.D., my bank account number and bank routing number…and on and on.

      This was even before a hacker sent us such a persuasive phishing email that my business associate nearly fell for it. Her husband, an IT dude, was so abhorred that he demanded that she remove her account from Paypal altogether.

      I never told PP that the account they have is…well…nonexistent. When a client pays me or my associate editor, we simply have PayPal send us a check. That means it takes for-freaking-ever to get our money and it also means we have to pay an extra gouge…but there’s no way a hacker can get at our bank accounts through PayPal.

      I’ll look in to Gnucash, thanks!

  3. I just started using a new online product, CountAbout, for tracking the transactions in my accounts. I had been using Mint, but it was really starting to annoy me that they wouldn’t connect with my mortgage lender or one of my credit cards, and their customer service response was pretty much “Too bad, you’re out of luck.” I do have to pay for CountAbout to sync to my accounts, but it’s only an annual fee not a monthly gouge. And the customer service has been outstanding. I mean, I get a response to an email with a question or problem in minutes.

    As for internet, you may want to check into mifi to see how it compares to your wired internet service. Surprisingly the data transfer rates can be pretty good, and depending on the provider and coverage, the rates could be less than you’re paying now.

    • Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention. Will Venmo work for your payments? It’s owned by PayPal, but doesn’t seem to charge anything for transactions. Granted, I’ve only used it for settling up tabs and such, but maybe it can be used for your business charges, too.

    • That sounds interesting. I’ll look into that and Venmo. If one of them will download to a CSV, then that can probably be uploaded to PayPal for the accountant’s purposes.