I suppose I should share my personal tax situation report. As last year, I ended up owing money, although this time both to the federal government and the state. I would've come near breaking even if I hadn't picked up some money in that web site thingy and finally got a royalty check; while I won't get rich on that, it wasn't accounted for in my withholdings.
It did, though, prompt me to finally open an individual retirement account. I should have done this years ago, yes, but trying to figure out my bank's scheme for setting one up online left me feeling like I didn't really need to deal with this right now, and trying to find a money guy to talk this over with in person was right out for obvious reasons. Fortunately, TurboTax provided online guides that let me set up something in pretty short order and within my comfort range.
And then the next day, they called, leaving a message on my parents' answering machine, offering to give me any investment guidance I might need, if I need any. They also sent me an e-mail saying they'd called to say they were ready to give etc etc. So when I got home besides the message I also got reported from my father that they'd called and left a message saying they called, et etc, and then I got it again from my mother, just in case. I'm the skitterish sort of consumer, prone to shying away from the clerk at Best Buy even when I do want help; if they're going to be this solicitous of me I'm going to take my money somewhere I can be let alone, thank you.
Oh, except, the day after that my bank e-mailed me to ask that I call their fraud-detection division. They even called me at work and I don't know how they got that number, but in the time between being told I had the message (at lunch) and going to my office to pick it up they hung up because, I guess, they aren't that excited about fraud after all. They were just concerned that I really and truly wanted this larger-than-normal check sent out. I did, and that was that, apart from actually doing any investment stuff.
Trivia: To remedy the government's fiscal catastrophes following the Seven Years War the Prussian government adopted the French system of tax management known as the régie (in which tax farmers received only a percentage of the revenue above a prior stipulated sum), and which brought the state back to fiscal health. Source: Citizens: A Chronicle Of The French Revolution Simon Schama.
Currently Reading: Bottom Of The Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, And The Daring Scheme To Save Baseball From Itself, Michael Shapiro.