1. It is a value list. Go to Manage Database>Value list>Status. Click Status, click edit.
2. I don't see a "rate paid', but if you are referring to the hourly rate field, go to Edit Layout. Click on the field, bring up Inspector, Data tab. At the bottom, data formatting, you'll see a box where you can change the "$" to whatever you want.
3. When I click "New Record", it immediately adds a new record.