5 Things I Hate About My Job

This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a few months. I’ve gone back to it. Added stuff. Deleted stuff. Never really thought about actually posting it. But, as I’m sitting here this afternoon binge-eating chocolate & fuming at my boss it just seemed appropriate. I may regret this in the morning.


I’ve been working for my current employer for nearly 8 years. There are some things that annoyed me at the beginning and have festered since then. There are new issues that have popped up recently. These are the

5 Things I Hate About My Job

1. They Think I’m a Secretary

I am the Controller. I manage the largest department in the company. I have a CPA and MBA. In most circles, I am considered a professional, but not here.

Every year on Administrative Professionals Day I am treated to lunch with all the other ladies in the office. Why does this bother me?

Administrative Professionals Day is observed to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support professionals.

Do you see Controller in that description? No? Me either.

2. I Will Never Get Promoted

I have reached the highest position a woman has ever held in the company. The only level above mine is VP and there never has been and likely never will be a female VP (see #1).

3. My 40 hour week has become 70+ hours

One perk, besides the pay, when I took this job was that I worked 40 hours per week. No late nights. No weekends. Even during tax season, when all my friends were burning out, I was leaving the office at 5.

That ended about 3 years ago when business started booming and we were under a hiring freeze. I now work every day from January 2nd until the end of March. The rest of the year I work a leisurely 50 hours per week.

4. They Never Tell Me Anything

I learn more about what our company is doing from reading the paper than I do from my employer. Normally, if a company creates a new subsidiary, the Controller is one of the first to know. Me? I learn after the new subsidiary has done some business and my staff is getting bills for a company they’ve never heard of.

5. This Email

“We have been discussing things and think it is very important that you spend more time in the office while we go through this period of change. It is important for people to see you. You should be in the office every 2nd week, for the full week.”

First, I received this email at 5:35pm on a Friday. Great start to the weekend!

Second, I work remotely. I am currently required to spend 25% of my time in the office. That is one week per month. I leave Sunday so that I am in the office Monday morning. I leave around 3pm Friday so I can make it home late Friday night.

To meet this new requirement, I will have to leave home Sunday and get back home Saturday. That means for every 14-day period, I will spend 7 days at home.

Thanks for letting me vent. I feel much better now. Do you have a similar list?

How To Make Over $500k And Owe The IRS

How To Make Over $500k And Owe The IRS

Last week I introduced you to a man who took home over $500k and managed to rack up a six-figure IRS debt.  How is that even possible?

It’s quite easy actually. Let’s break it down. We’ll call our indebted fellow Mr. Big.

Mr. Big’s cash came from three sources:
1. Salary
2. Commission
3. Distributions from LLCs


Approximately 25% of Mr. Big’s cash came from his salary. Salaries are paid net of tax. As long as Mr. Big has his withholding set properly he should be paying enough taxes to cover his salary. That means that the cash he receives from his salary can be used for debt repayment, living expenses, saving…all the things in your budget.


Another 25% of Mr. Big’s cash came from commission. The company that pays Mr. Big commission classifies him as an independent contractor and does not withhold taxes. This means that he receives the gross commission payment and is expected to make his own tax payments.

Since Mr. Big is an independent contractor, he should be setting aside a portion of his commission check for taxes. 30% would be a good starting point. Mr. Big should transfer this money into a separate savings account as soon as he receives the commission check. He should also be tracking his business expenses so that he can deduct them from income on this tax return.

Distributions from LLCs

50% of Mr. Big’s cash came as distributions from LLCs that he has an ownership interest in. Mr. Big’s income from these LLCs was actually much higher than $500,000.

The managing partner of the LLCs pays distributions quarterly. The same week that tax installments are due. If the partnership is in a period of growth, where it needs cash to reinvest in the business, the managing partner may only distribute enough to cover partners tax installments. If the partnership is not reinvesting in growing the business, the managing partner may distribute more to the partners.

Mr. Big receives an estimate of his income and taxes from the LLCs accountant before he receives the distributions. He knows how much of the distribution is needed to cover his tax installment. He should be using that money to pay the installment.

So what is Mr. Big doing wrong?

He is treating every check he receives as a salary. He is not putting a portion of his commission aside to cover installments. He is not using his distributions to make tax installments.

In less than a year of not making his estimated payments, Mr. Big has grown a six-figure tax debt that continues to accumulate interest.

The take way

Don’t treat every check as a paycheck. As you develop different income streams, be aware of the tax issue. Income taxes are due on any income you receive. Setting aside money for taxes should be the first thing you do. The interest and penalties on unpaid taxes grows quickly. The IRS has many ways to recover taxes owed. They can garnish your wages, freeze your bank accounts and force the sale of your assets.

Do you really want to be in the same position as Mr. Big?

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What A Week! 2015-10

 What A Week! 2015-10

What a week!

This week on House of Tre we talked about…

…living within your means. I’ve heard the comment But I Don’t Have A House In… many times at work. Usually from people in the 1% who can’t pay their debts.

… my Siberian Husky George took over the blog on Thursday and shared a day in his life.

…I updated my blogroll <<sorry Kay, I thought you were on it :-( >>. Let me know if I missed your blog!

Around the web….

…my Spring Break post was picked up by #SpringBreak #FLA @SocialNewsCorp

But I Don’t Have A House In…  was in Financially Savvy Saturdays #90

Blogs I loved….

…@indebtedmom posted How Not To Pay Student Loans and Get Yourself Back On Track This is part of a series Kirsten has on student loans. Lots of great advice!

…@saverspender posted Working Woman Chic. I don’t know where she works, but it’s much more interesting than my office full of old men in suits :-)

…I don’t know about you, but when I heard that some former students were fighting to have their loans forgiven by the government my first thought was “Too Bad. You took out the loans. Suck it up & find a way to pay like the rest of us.” Then I learned a little more about the story. It wasn’t that simple. Is it ever?

How I Ended Up With $30k In Debt & A Worthless Degree is the story of one of those students. Read it. It might give you a new perspective on student loan debt.

Have a great week!


A Day In My Life

A Day In My Life

Today George, my Siberian Husky, is taking over the blog. He’s usually quiet unless he has something important to say like “no” or “go to bed”, but George is feeling quite chatty today….


Hi, I’m a 5 year-old Siberian Husky. When I was young I spent most of my time digging holes and chewing cables (the one connected to the a/c unit is really tasty). Now I’m older and have responsibilities. This is how I spend most days…

I usually wake up about 6am every day. I hear Tre in the kitchen making breakfast and lunches for the boys, but she ignores me until Tiny Tre lets me in at 7am.

At 7:10 I drag Tiny Tre to the car so he gets to school on time. I usually take a nap in the car until we get to Little Tre’s school. He never says goodbye to me so I pretend I’m sleeping when he gets out, but I make sure he gets into the school. When we get to Tiny Tre’s school I always check that it’s safe before I let him get out of the car. Sometimes there are strange dogs around and I have to growl at them. Tiny Tre always hugs me goodbye.

Next it’s time to walk Tre.  I like to walk on trails because there are always squirrels to chase, but Tre doesn’t always take me to the trails. She gets mad when I run after the squirrels. I don’t know why she gets so upset. She could find her way home without me.

I sit guard duty under Tre’s desk while she works. It’s a pretty easy job so I nap most of the day and follow her to the kitchen to see if she needs any help picking up food that falls on the floor.

In the afternoon we pick up the boys from school and I play tag with Tiny Tre. Sometimes I chase him while he rides his bike. He’s getting pretty fast!

I sit next to Tiny Tre’s chair for dinner. He always shares with me and it’s much better than the food they put in my bowl. We have to be careful because if he shares too much I get sent outside.

After dinner I’m supposed to walk Little Tre to the dog park, but he doesn’t always make it there. Sometimes he forgets the way and won’t follow when I try to lead him. I think he needs more exercise, but he won’t let me chase him. He just wants to sit in his bedroom with his phone. He was more fun when he was younger.

At 8pm I make sure Tiny Tre goes to bed. He tries to stay up late so I have to howl at him and show him the way to his room. I lie on the floor by his bed so he can read me a story before he goes to sleep. Tre’s there too, but he’s really reading to me.

I go to bed at 10pm. Every night. I don’t like to stay up late. I let Tre know it is bedtime by putting my head on her lap. Usually she gets the hint, but every so often she ignores me and I have to tell her it’s bed time.

Most of my day  is spent taking care of my humans. What do you do every day?

But I Don’t Have A House In….

But I Don't Have A House In...

Last week I was catching up with one of my friends. She was having problems with one of her clients and didn’t know how to handle the situation.

Her client has a six figure debt to the IRS. She has been trying to get him to send installment payments for the last year. Every quarter she prepares the document and envelope so can just drop his check in and mail it. The checks were not getting sent so she offered to pick up the check at his office and mail the payment for him. But when the installment is due he always tells her that he doesn’t have any extra cash and the IRS can wait.

Frustrated, my friend decided to itemize all his sources of income on a single piece of paper. She listed his after-tax salary, distributions and dividends. At the bottom she totaled the cash he received. How much was it?

His cash receipts for the year  were over half a million dollars!

What did he say?

I get it. But I don’t live an extravagant life.
I get it. But I don’t have a house in NYC.

I get it. But I’m not keeping up with the Jones.

He’s right. He’s not keeping up with the Jones. He is the Jones.

This is not the first time that I have heard of high income individuals living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve worked with a few individuals in the same position. I know other friends with similar clients. For those of us earning well below the $100k mark, it’s hard to imagine. How could they not have enough money?

When you are struggling to make ends meet it’s hard to imagine being in the same position if you made 10x what you make now. It is easier to pay down debt when you earn more, but making more money doesn’t always solve the problem. You still have to track your spending. You still have to live within a budget.

Making more money won’t solve your problems if you haven’t learned how to manage your money.




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