This Is Not A Personal Finance Advice Column, Part 2

I once again bare my soul to you in an attempt to get my shit together, financially.

Maya Kosoff

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The last time I wrote about personal finance, it was mostly a cautionary tale. I told you exactly how bad with money I’ve been, and in an attempt to rectify that, I went on my own personal cancel culture crusade. That’s right: I cancelled a bunch of automatically renewing subscriptions I had no business continuing to pay for. Gone were my Wall Street Journal and Hulu subscriptions. I went in person to the Union Square Planet Fitness to cancel a lingering gym membership from 2015. I have taken the Q train during my lunch break in a pandemic in pursuit of bettering my personal finances.

Now I have taken the next step to attempt to get smarter about money. With the help of Jared at PNC Bank, I have started an IRA. You may be wondering how I ended up here, with an IRA, and I am happy to explain it to you. I am not quite sure I could explain to you what an IRA is or what it does, but I’m going to try.

Accurate picture of my life’s savings. Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

This whole thing started with me looking for a new accountant to help me with my taxes this year. Most years I just use TurboTax to file my taxes myself, but most years I just have one thing to file, a W2, and it’s easy to do my taxes. But I’ve grown to be pretty horrified by how TurboTax wrings money out of people who just want to file their taxes for free, and I also have accumulated a bunch of 1099s because of freelancing. Kelvin, the tax guy who came recommended to me for my 2019 taxes fucked over me and a bunch of his other clients; basically instead of filing our taxes, he ghosted us. What happened was — well, what happened was ghosting. Over the summer I was like “huh, I wonder why it’s taking so long for my taxes to get filed.” The tax firm he worked at wouldn’t tell me what HAPPENED to him or why he just like, decided to fuck off and not do our taxes for us even though that’s what we paid him to do, and when I asked their customer service person for a partial refund because I had to pay an IRS penalty for late filing she said “Aw! No. Sorry.” In retrospect, I feel like I probably could have caused more of a scene about an accountant ghosting a bunch of people and not doing their taxes, but I was tired, and it seemed like not the best use of my…

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Maya Kosoff

i’m a freelance writer and editor. you can also read me in places like the new york times and vanity fair.