1. Inflation in the last year was 4.2%. If you get (or got) a raise less than that, then you got a pay cut
Reminder that usually a “cost of living” raise is to match inflation, usually 2%. So getting a 3% raise is usually just a little more than cost of living.
The report came out today that in the last year, inflation was 4.2%. That means if you got a 3% raise, your purchasing power is less than this time last year.
I know that a lot of people are unemployed, but a lot also took pay cuts or pay freezes or crappy raises last year (and probably more work to offset layoffs, but that’s for a different discussion). Now that the job market is picking up, inflation is definitely something to consider.
2. How to get an actual human being on the phone at the IRS (for 2021)
Press 1 for English.
Now you’ll be prompted to enter your SSN or EIN. Enter it. Press 1 to confirm, then press 1 to confirm again.
At this point a computer will begin talking, prompting you to press buttons for certain options. Don’t do anything – eventually the computer will stop talking and you will be queued in line to speak with an actual human being!
However, if there are too many people queued in line, the computer will tell you they are too busy and will hang up. I personally called once a day 4 days in a row, it wasn’t until the 4th attempt that I actually got through and was placed in the queue.
Also the phone number is only available 7am–7pm local time, Monday–Friday.
Edit: People are advising caution in the comments not to call a phone number posted on Reddit and provide your SSN, and rightfully so. In my initial post, I should’ve included a link to the official webpage on IRS.gov so users can verify themselves the phone number is correct.
Also fun fact about the IRS phone number! The numbers 829 spell “tax” on the keypad. And the number 1040 is the personal income tax form people are required to fill out. Even the spawns of Satan at the IRS have a fun sense of humor sometimes.
3. When you don’t have all the facts, try to give people the most generous reason you can for their behaviour.
Also called the “Most Respectful Interpretation” rule. What’s the most kind reason we can come up with for why said person is being such a dumbass?
Annoyingly slow driver? Maybe it’s a mom with a birthday cake in the back. This mindset will gradually make you less reactive, more compassionate and more forgiving of your own bad days.
As an additional benefit, coming up with these explanations is usually a nice distraction from whatever was annoying.
4. Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, “I’ll get back on track tomorrow,” try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening.
If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.
Did you actually have a bad day, or did you have a bad 20 minutes that you’ve been milking all day?
5. Don’t answer those social media posts like, “Your first car, first street you lived on and first dog is your rock star name”
Countless people are sharing these and answering them without realizing it is security questions 101 for all of your online banking and many other security measures.
That data is also ran against unknown data points to find matches so even if you are anon here, vpn there, and whatnot they can align the matches over time.
They all buy and sell your data and anything you say anywhere can be matched somewhere else revealing ALL the accounts you thought were anon.
6. Make your children more comfortable with failures and mistakes by telling them of your own ones when you were a kid.
And for the love of god, let them make mistakes without sharing them with your entire goddamn extended family. That’s nobody’s business but theirs.
7. If you have children, or even just someone who really loves you, you shouldn’t avoid being in pictures
My mom was the type of person who HATED pictures. She thought she was ugly so she avoided them like the plague. Most memories I have involve her behind the camera, not in front of it.
She passed away unexpectedly 5 years ago, yesterday was the anniversary, and when she died my siblings and I combed through family photos, online pictures, anything we could think of to find some way to see our mom again. There are only 3, two of which are a side view and the other is blurry.
I keep her driver’s license because it’s the only head-on, smiling picture I have to remember her by.
Please don’t avoid taking pictures if you have children. Because I promise you we do not see ugly, we do not see fat, we do not see flaws…we see our parents, our mommy, the person we love so much and will miss so much when you pass. Let us have a way to look at you again even after you’re gone.
8. Apologizing to your children and admitting when you’re wrong is what teaches them to have Integrity
There are a lot of parents with this philosophy of “What I say goes, I’m the boss , everyone bow down to me, I can do no wrong”.
This approach is detrimental to raising children who take accountability for their own actions. They need to see you admit to your faults, and you do owe them an apology when you mess up, even if you happen to think that “seems stupid because they’re just a kid”.
Children learn by example, and they pick up on so many nuances, minutiae, and unspoken truths.
You aren’t fooling them into thinking you’re perfect by refusing to admit mistakes – you’re teaching them that to apologize is shameful and should be avoided at all costs. You cannot treat a child one way and then expect them to comport themselves in the opposite manner.
9. The easiest way to make sure your kid fights you on every chore is to avoid saying “thank you.”
I’m a teacher. Every year, I get at least one parent who tells me that they just expect their kids to do their chores, and they won’t ever say “thank you” for doing them. Then these parents wonder why their kids fight them on chores.
These same parents often tell me they don’t understand why their kids put so much effort into my class.
It’s really very easy. I thank them for their answers in class. I thank them for helping their classmates. I thank them for picking up after a lab. I thank them when they give their presentations.
Every opportunity I have to do it, I say “thank you.”
My mom always gave me an enthusiastic “thank you!” when my sister and I did chores. As a result, we always did them, often without being asked. We said “thank you” when she made dinner.
A home culture of saying “thank you” is a very easy and effective way to improve adult/teen relationships, and you’ll have happier teens too.
10. People dealing with depression can find it incredibly hard to maintain contact with friends and family. If someone hasn’t been in touch for months don’t assume they’re a bad friend.
Over the years I’ve known friends and family withdraw from the world for months on end because of depression or other illnesses. They often carry a lot of guilt about this and it becomes a self perpetuating issue because they’re afraid of the response they’ll get when they eventually do make contact again. You often won’t know what’s going on with them, they’ll just drop off the radar. But these people will need your friendship and support more than ever when they begin to engage with the world again. So if someone goes quiet don’t write them off as a ‘shitty friend’. Be open minded about their reasons, give them space, time and understanding, and be ready to pick up the threads again when they’re ready.
11. If you are a homeowner or renter, your home has a main water shut-off. The time to learn where it is, is right now.
When I bought my home 8 years ago, the prior owner made a big deal of showing me the water cut-off. It is in a closet. Today a pipe burst under my sink, and tons of water starting pouring everywhere. Luckily, I remembered where the cutoff was, and I killed the water to the whole house. Zero damage. Just a big mess to cleanup. If I didn’t know where that cutoff dial was, it would have been thousands of dollars of damage.
12. NO ONE is thinking about you as much as you think they are
A lot of people tend to live life worrying too much about what others think of them. While it might be a scary thought, a lot of people need to realize that people just aren’t thinking about them. And that’s fine!
Research has shown the human brain has been wired to be selfish and care more about itself.
So live life to the fullest and stop worrying about what others think about you!
13. In the US, your income is taxed based on Tax Brackets – meaning not all of your income is taxed at the same rate.
These brackets are for all income, not just higher income. For example, the first bracket currently is from $0 – $9,875 and is at 10%. They increase from there. So all income is taxed using brackets. And EVERY person is taxed the same 10% on their first up to $9,875 of income. This also applies to your, so after deductions. There are many who, after deductions, fall below or at $0 which would make them tax free. It’s not a flat rate of income though because there are so many deductions that many different taxable incomes can qualify
Another example: if you make $410,000 a year and you hear that taxes will be more for those making $400,000 it really means that taxes will be more on income over $400,000. The only portion you pay that higher tax rate on would be the last $10,000 – not all $410,000. This is how it works for all brackets.
14. If you’re too lazy to read the Terms & Conditions for a popular website there is a site that gives you a TL;DR and grades them on their shadiness
Source, I still want to reiterate it’s always best to actually read and comprehend what you’re accepting, but this website can be a valuable resource to help you understand.
15. No matter how close you are with your children, you should not share the details of your marital problems with them.
They may seem very intelligent, mature and understanding and they may be so too but you can do your children a very great favor by not blurring this line, or else, without you even realizing it can become an immense and distressing burden for your children.
I’m in no way suggesting that you should lie to your children and pretend like everything is okay when it is not.
There is a middle ground between lying to your children, pretending there is no problem, and evading any questions they may have and sharing way too much and even unintentionally putting all the baggage on them and feeling like it’s their responsibility to fix it.
No matter the maturity intelligence level of your children, you should NOT put the burden of your marital/divorce-related problems to the children, do not mistake them for your marriage counselor, or your best friend, or your confidante.
Not dumping every single emotional baggage on your children IS different than having a conversation with them and talking with them about the issues that may affect them on a need-to-know bases