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BT payment

January 21st, 2009 at 07:10 am

I made my payment today from my paycheck towards my balance transfer. The balance is down to $2153 and needs to be paid off by 9/1. That means I need to pay off on average, $307/month. Which is down a little bit from last month's average of $321/month.

I have mostly done my taxes, and it looks like I will have about $350 from that to drop on the BT. On top of whatever I can come up with that month, it'll make a huge difference I think in my monthly required payment. But not counting on it til I get it.

Belt getting a little tighter?

January 12th, 2009 at 08:53 pm

My work has been systematically cutting back on perks because they are doing what they can in light of poor sales to keep everyone employed. The majority of the cuts have been met with little grumbling, as they were perks and definitely not something the average office has. They also took a long hard look at a few other areas (travel for example) and have been working on ways to save money in that respect. Even with all that, we still let people go. Just 6, basically one from each department. But still it's one of those things that makes it hit home, makes it more personal.

But we thought it was all behind us. However recently a few more items have been announced as being cut and more push for revenue through as many means as possible.

Today it was announced that they were dropping the employer contribution to our simple ira accounts from 3% to 1%. Apparently that was the straw for some people. At least it's got them grumbling.

Don't get me wrong, I would prefer to not be affected quite so personally by things however...I'm totally willing to loose $60/mo if it means I keep my job. And really, if you do the math, if half the people at my company contribute to their simple ira and the company matching is the same as mine...cutting that 2% means saving one person's job. I have no problem with that.

I did the math over the weekend. Cut out everything I possibly could. Even cut out gas since I can probably borrow my roommate's vehicle if I needed to, or catch rides, or ride my bike, or walk. And the killer is, if I have to go on unemployment and try to pay for cobra, I'm still about $200 short. I cannot afford to go on unemployment. And my friends who have been laid off...can't find jobs to even apply to.

So for me, I'll take whatever the company opts to give me for a matching. I'll reduce my contribution when the time comes to match their matching. And be happy that I still have a job.

0% BT

December 23rd, 2008 at 09:35 pm

I got a new credit card. Probably not the wisest thing I could have done but I think this past month has been eye opening in the 'wow I still can't handle having a credit card' way. Case in point, last month I racked up $1300 and I can only justify maybe $700 of it (plane tickets). The rest...it just 'happened'. So that card is going away for a time...but it's around for emergencies since my EF is struggling a bit.

One of my Citi cards had 0% BT offer until 9/1/09. So I got $2500 because I know I can pay that amount off by the due date...

It will cover the following:
$1100 to my friend's AmEx card for my half of a vacation we are taking in March that she paid for all of (with the knowledge that I would pay her back for my half).
$1300 to the new credit card.
And the last $100 wound up being extra but at the time I didn't know what all had cleared on the new credit card and I wanted to make sure I was covered. When all the dust settles, that will go back onto the card with the BT on it.

The plan...put all extra cash onto the BT card. Do not charge any more on the new credit card. (It's only still in my wallet because I'm going to attempt to fly out to my dad's tomorrow and with traveling I want to have that cushion in case I need it but I don't plan on using it.)

I get paid once a month on the 15th. After each payment that I make on the 15th I'll see if I'm still on track to pay it off by 9/1/09.

Right now, I'll need to come up with $322/mo in order to pay it off on time. On average, I have $240 on the 15th plus $135 on the 1st each month to pay extra on things. Plus I plan on taking half of my tax return and putting it on this card, while saving the other half for food/incidentals on my March vacation. I plan on posting an update after each payment from the check on the 15th. The goal of course is really to pay it off way before 9/1 so I can get back to the rest of the debt reduction.

We'll see.

Gas money...

December 12th, 2008 at 09:46 pm

Ok so here's my tiny dilemma...

My current amount of gas money in my wallet is $35.

I'm not quite ready to fill again but might before the weekend is out. I always fill it at around half which is at most 10 gallons but usually more like 8.

Monday is when I pull the next $40 out of my account for the next two weeks gas budget.

The last time I checked, regular was at $1.659 so I should really have no trouble filling (when I do) twice on what I already have in my wallet.

I was reading an article about how some people deal with the lower gas prices, knowing that it's going to go back up, by basically pretending it's still $4 a gallon and stowing away the difference for later when it does go back up.

So part of me was thinking perhaps I should do something like that too, pull out the $40 on Monday and stash whatever is currently in my wallet aside for when it goes back up.

But the other part of me is thinking, why not just take that $40 and pay it as extra on something.

Any thoughts?

How a pack of gum saved me $10

November 29th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

I stopped by Fred Meyer's tonight as I wasn't going to have any other time this weekend to do some clothes shopping. I needed to get a couple pairs of workout pants as the ones I currently am using are pretty worn out and really shouldn't be worn outside the home. Smile I have decided to start walking on my lunch breaks since my work clothes are starting to not fit so well anymore. So I need another pair that I can leave at work during the week.

I lucked out in that the ones I found that fit were on sale 30% off ending today. When I went to check out I opted to not do UScan because it's rather annoying to do clothing through it. Of course while waiting in line I saw the gum and remembered that I wanted to get some more.

When it came to be my turn, the total came to just under $50 and the cashier asked if I wanted to get a second pack of gum since if I spent $50 then she had a coupon for $10 off. So I did. Which made me fell better about my purchase since even with 30% off I was a little over budget.

October's electric bill.

October 17th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I think we'll make it through November with a credit balance before I even pay the bill. Here's how we're looking for October:

Previous Balance: -132.55
Current Charges: 33.94
New Account Balance: -98.61

And the comparison between last year this month and the current bill is:

October 08 9.4 avg kWh/day 1.10 avg cost/day
October 07 14.6 avg kWh/day 1.66 avg cost/day.

We did use the heater some and I'm not sure if it wound up on this bill or not. Doesn't matter, one more month down wahoo!

The heater

October 11th, 2008 at 08:28 am

It's been a while since I've blogged here. Not really too much to write about really.

Our electric equal pay rate changed in August. It went down about $12/mo. Pretty excited about that since it means a year of living with a different roommate made a difference.

In June we started trying to lower our electric bill. We bought a power squid for the TV/VCR/DVD/Stereo/Digital Tuner and have been pretty diligent with turning it off when we aren't watching anything. We had to get a power squid because a normal power strip didn't work to have the off switch in reach. We started seeing a difference in usage and $ per day right away. To the tune of $10/12 a month less compared to the same month the year before. Crazy! Of course we started it at the end of what gets factored into our Equal Pay but we'll have all year to do it this time around.

Initially my goal was to have our bill be a credit every month, even through the cold ones. I'm not sure we can reach it so I'll settle for a credit at the end of our year because that would mean a drop in monthly rate again.

We bought a new shower head, I thought it was one that you could turn off the water at the head (so you wouldn't have to fiddle with the temp of the water) but it turns out it just drops the output from 1.5 gal/minute to .5 gal/minute. Even if we don't use the switch it's still an improvement on our old one which I'm assuming like a normal shower head had an output of 2.5 gal/minute. I think this will help as we'll use less hot water (we don't pay for water so it's just the hot I care about) so we'll need to re-heat less water and lower our electric bill some too.

I also tried for a week to lower the temp of the water heater. That didn't go over so well with myself or my roommate. Our water heater does not have temp settings just Hot, Hotter, Hottest. There's actually three options for Hotter so 5 settings in all. It was on Hottest, I dropped it a notch to the highest Hotter but after a week we decided, especially with the cold weather coming, to turn it back up. Maybe in the summer we'll try dropping it again.

I'm not in a place to try my mom's way of dealing with the water heater and that was to turn it off at the breaker when not in use. Which meant that 20 minutes before we wanted hot water we had to remember to turn it back on.

We've got a little bit of a cold weather right now. It's currently about 40 out and I used my electric blanket last night for the first time in a while. I've got the kind that turns off after 3 hours, I don't like the ones that stay on for 10.

And this morning, I actually turned on the heater. We have baseboards and in the winter I try to keep it always at 50 and only jump it up by small increments when we actually want it on. I was hoping for one more month of not using the heater to build up a nice credit for when we will be using it a lot more. Ah well.

Oh and what I mean by a credit bill is.. when I looked at my actual bill for September I saw the following:

Prior Balance: -99.64
Current Charges: 35.98
Current Balance: -63.66

So before I even make my equal pay payment I have a credit balance. I think we'll still have that for at least one more month.

Offer Letter Recieved

June 30th, 2008 at 08:41 pm

Tomorrow I start my first day in my new position. Today I finally got my offer letter. It's been a yo-yo thing. First my former boss asked if I had received the letter last week, I hadn't, so she emailed the head of the dept I'll be working for asking him to get it for me.

Then by the end of the week she told me she was just going to write it for me and that I'd be very happy about the result.

Today I almost went to ask her about it since I still hadn't gotten it yet but she was never in her office when I went to ask.

Just before lunch the head of the dept came by my desk telling me that he needed to get a hold of the CFO to a sign off on my salary so he couldn't tell me the amount but that I would be getting a raise.

Finally at the end of the day it came finally. I got almost a $4k a year raise and after comparing it to my last paycheck at my last job it works out to $600 more a year than I was making before.

However, the net amount that I was making at the cut I took to work my first position was enough to pay bills and have $100 left over to pay on extra things. So I'm super stoked about this first paycheck even though only half of it will be at my new pay rate.

This is why I have a 100 cushion

June 21st, 2008 at 11:50 pm

I am just off this month. I marked two bills as paid, one for $81.97 and another for $58.47 but I neglected to actually mark them in Quicken. I caught the first one before my CC payment actually went through so I was able to cancel and resend minus the $81.97 but I didn't catch the second til this morning. It's ok though, it's why I have a cushion for that random 'just in case whoops' moment.

Spending Spree.

June 19th, 2008 at 09:16 pm

This is why I can't have a credit card. I do great with having an empty one for emergencies if need be but then once that emergency comes up it is easy to spend more.

I got the work done on my car, paid off about half of it with what was in my savings and had every intention of paying the rest of it off and rebuild my savings by December.

It was a good plan.

Then I got my new position. And realized that to be ahead of the game I need to learn a few things before I actually start. Which required a better computer than what I had acquired years ago from a former workplace in order to run the software that I need to master by July 1.

So I looked around and got what I felt was a decent deal on a laptop, also on my credit card.

Then I got a little frivolous. I found more computer equipment to make my wireless network even better and decided to splurge. Again, on the card.

Which all told brings my current total on this once was empty credit card back to $2,000.

If I'm lucky, I'll have it all paid off by end of this year.

I also found out that I should be receiving an offer letter for my new position so there's a chance of a raise. Plus I will no longer be having a transportation allowance taken out so a little more coming in there.

6 months.

June 8th, 2008 at 04:41 pm

I am planning on everything being 'back to normal' in 6 months. By back to normal I mean, CC paid off again AND EF back to $1500. Not bad really all around but still longer than I'd like to take off of my regular debt reduction.

What to do...

June 3rd, 2008 at 10:00 pm

I did think long and hard before I made the decision to authorize roughly $2k worth of work to be done on my car. I waited to take it into the shop, knowing some of the work needed to be done, until my one credit card was paid off. Since my money is scattered in different banks I figured it would be easiest to charge it and then by the time the money came in from my banks I could pay it off.

However if you look to the left you'll see that I do not have enough in my EF to pay the entire thing off, even with draining it.

So I am left with the 'what to do' dilemma.

I have three savings accounts with roughly $500 each in them. I do not want to leave less than $100 as a balance. With what I have in savings (leaving $100 in each account) and what I have in checking I could pay off $1341 immediately. And about $200 more of the balance on the 1st.

That would still leave about $700 on the card and drain my EF to $300.

The one savings account has an auto transfer of $75 a month so that would start building back up immediately. Once I paid off the CC I would put all extra money into my EF accounts until they got back to $500 each and then start putting that extra cash to my bills.

Originally I was just going to pull out all but $100 out of my brick and mortar savings account and leave the online ones alone. But that was back when I was anticipating only a $800 charge.

I'm afraid if I pull so much out of my EF that I won't be able to recover. But the thought of paying interest doesn't appeal to me either.

Car repairs and taking the bus

May 30th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

I have an apt to take my car into the shop on Monday. The clutch is randomly slipping and I would hate for it to cause serious problems while I'm driving it and since I've made some headway on paying off my should be empty CC I am going to bite the bullet and see what the damage will be (to the pocketbook that is). I made the last payment to the CC today that paid it off (except for any residual interest) and the plan is to just use the CC to pay for car repairs, then pull out of the various accounts to pay off the CC soon as the charge hits. There'll be a little delay in the transfer of money between accounts and if I'm paying it off that quick there won't be a finance charge. Or at least not much of one.

I have decided I'm going to drive more to work. I already have enough bus tickets to get me through the summer on the days I want to walk all the way home (so I would bus in). The other days I will drive in. The reason I don't walk in is 3 miles is too risky in my opinion to guarantee that I get to work on time. Not to mention the whole 'hot sweaty red faced' look isn't really attractive in an office environment. I have to let the transportation withholding get pulled from my June 15th pay check but after that I can change it back to 0 and just go from there.

I gave my bus buddy fair warning that I was going to do that. At least during the summer I'll still ride in with her 3 times a week.

It's actually cheaper to drive...

May 29th, 2008 at 06:58 am

On days when I have appointments I have been driving to work. It just makes things easier and I have a place I can park for free on the east side of the river. The downside of course is that it takes me 15 minutes to still walk to work but the plus side is I'm at my car earlier after work if there's someplace I need to get right over to.

I just went and bought a new set of tickets for the bus. I have not been using as many as I thought I would need but I still buy the same amount figuring that come September I'll need them since I probably won't be walking home.

However on leaving the ticket office I realized the following. To drive to where I park and back is 4 miles round trip. That's maybe at most a fifth of a tank of gas. Or less than a dollar at today's gas prices. To take the bus to work, is $1.75 each way. And with the way I've been driving lately I've always had gas money left over each month.

With all the walking I do though, it's easier to just take the bus one way then walk home. But I think on the days I'm not walking home (Tues, Fri) I'm just going to start driving.

I haven't decided what to do about my transportation amount that gets pulled pre tax every month. I was thinking I would drop it down to $17.50, or just one book of tickets. I have four books right now and a month with just taking the bus when I walk home will use about 12 on average.

Of course there's other things too like potential rides from my roommate in to work which would save a ticket on days that I walk home.

I'm still mulling it over. We'll see.

I also applied for another position at my work that might potentially lead to a raise.

Didn't buy the Tshirt, did buy the gloves

April 18th, 2008 at 06:58 am

I went to a concert last night and debated about buying a band tshirt. In the end, decided it wasn't necessary and $25 stayed in my pocket.

This morning at Curves I noticed that I was building up callouses again. Last time it had to do with my work environment (freight dock) this time it's due to Curves. They have gloves there to avoid just that issue, they are nice, padded, fingerless, and only $8.95. So I went ahead and bought them since I had cash on me. Of course I decided on them after my workout so will have to wait til Monday to see how I like them.

CC, Car repair, Cell Phone, and Bus Tickets

April 11th, 2008 at 07:04 am

I have $837 left on my CC that is supposed to be empty. I have been able to drop it hugely these past couple of months but that is going to be slowing down here soon. Still though, with the money I know I have coming in it will be paid off by the end of May.

Once it's paid off I'm going to charge my car shop visit to it. I don't drive my car much but the last time I had it in the shop they said my clutch was slipping and they would need a day to figure out where the issue was and what the cost would be. On the one hand, I don't drive it often. On the other, I don't want it to totally die when I really need it. Plus lately the few times I have driven it, there's been random times that whitish smoke has come out of the back and I think that needs attention too. Whatever the charge ends up being, I plan on pulling $400 out of my EF to pay on my CC and the rest will just get paid off with whatever I have extra each month like before.

Plus I have it built into my budget to transfer $75/mo automatically to the savings account I would be pulling the money out of. So building it back up is already part of my plan. We'll see when the time comes what the damage really is.


And in other news...my brother called me the other day because he and his wife are switching back to Verizon Wireless. They had to go to Cingular when they moved because it was the only company that serviced the area they bought their house. But now, two years later, Verizon signal can be gotten out there and they haven't been too happy with Cingular.

At any rate, through the company he works for he gets a discount on his Verizon bill. At the bottom of the paperwork it had a place to add family members phone numbers to get the discount as well. Since my other brother and I are also on Verizon, he put our numbers down. Who knows if it will actually process but it's nice to know it's a possibility.


My bus ticket thing seems to be working just fine. I currently have 21 tickets left for the month and 20 rides that I know I'll need tickets for providing I keep up with my walking home 3 days a week.

Bus Pass vs Bus Tickets.

April 3rd, 2008 at 06:49 am

For the month of April I am experimenting. My friend opted to not continue in her work's bus pass program (they renew for free every year if they want to) so while that was the cheapest option it is no longer available.

A monthly pass for 2 zones costs $65. A bus ride one way is $1.75.

In April there are 22 work days, so 44 bus rides, totaling $77.

However, I am training to walk a half marathon in June and a walk relay in August. In doing so I am walking home three nights a week (Mon, Wed, Thurs). There are 13 nights I will be walking home in April. That leaves 31 bus rides, totaling $54.25.

They sell bus tickets in packs of 10. For April, I bought 3 10 packs at $52.50. My theory is that chances are I'll get at least one ride in from my roommate over the course of the month to negate needing 31 tickets.

Of course all this hinges on my Actually walking home three nights a week. But I'm anticipating that only having X amount of bus passes will encourage that.

Plus I can think of other ways to 'save' bus tickets. I have a chiro apt on Friday and my chiro is maybe 1.5 miles from work at most. I usually park near my chiro office and catch the bus (when I have a pass) because there's no bus service between my chiro office and home and sometimes I need to go places right after my apt. So I'm thinking I can park at the chiro office like usual. If it's early enough, walk to work. After work, jet out right at 5 and walk to the chiro. Possibly saving one or two tickets. But at the same time, if I'm cutting short time wise, I do have the tickets to use.

We'll see how this works out. I'm hoping to wind up with a couple extra tickets each month so by the time I need to go back to buying a pass, I can prolong it a little.

Still here but barely.

April 1st, 2008 at 04:25 pm

I don't have time for much by way of 'that internet stuff' I used to do when I had lots of free time at my old job. So posting here has mostly slacked by the wayside. I do keep up my sidebar, even if I don't post my full networthiq results every month. It's tough to balance it all out and I feel ultra behind. But I'm still chipping away at my debt!

It's official!

March 16th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

My small student loan through Sallie Mae is paid off!! I mean, I sent them the final payment ages ago (it seems). I made it online after first looking to see what the 10 day payoff amount would be, but when I entered that amount it told me I couldn't enter more than the 5 day payoff amount so I changed it. Must have had something to do with paying it off online instead of mailing it in. At any rate, it seemed for a few weeks my account stayed at a -$0.06 from the difference between payoff amount and amount showing as current balance. But as of yesterday that is all behind me. Yipee!

Of course now I still have my $30k one at Wells Fargo but one step at a time.

In savings related news, I've decided that once each of my online savings accounts reaches $500 I am going to stop contributing to them and instead take that money I was socking away and use it to pay stuff down. I have to have the $75 auto transfer for my brick and mortar bank but I'll just transfer the money back later.

Benefits Committee

March 15th, 2008 at 09:15 am

Have I mentioned, I love the place I work for? They have decided to take a look at what the employees actually want/need as far as benefits go, for health insurance and other potential perks, and look into ways to changing things.

As a result they have formed a Benefits Committee made up of a representative from each department. That representative is responsible for collecting ideas from their department and relaying to the department what went on in the meeting.

The representative for my department is ME! Smile I asked for it and no one else wanted it so I got nominated. Smile I'm excited. There were things brought up at the meeting that I'd thought about but forgot at spur of the moment when asked on the spot for ideas.

Whether or not thing actually change, I appreciate the time/effort my company is making into having things that are not only beneficial to the employee but also wanted/used by the employee.

I really hope we change from FSA to HSA.

Paycheck has been fixed! and other ramblings

February 24th, 2008 at 08:56 am

I received a check on Wednesday for the difference that was missing in my check. Of course, not much by way of taxes was taken out of it but at least now I know that I am at the same rate I was getting before, which I should have been. So I went ahead and started my clothing allotment, and wound up paying a total of $400 on my credit card. Not all of that came from this extra check just I was able to add to what I had set aside previously.

In the end, I will always have something extra to pay on my debt I just won't have a clear idea of how much because....

~ I changed my transportation withholding amount last month -but I sent it off straight to the company that takes care of it instead of giving it to HR. Since HR didn't know they were to decrease my transportation amount they pulled out the full amount instead of half. My next check they won't pull out anything to compensate.

~ I want to sign up for AFLAC insurance but the information they give us isn't very clear as far as cost and such so I was waiting til the rep came to discuss options. He will be in sometime next week. That will affect my check slightly.

~ I can contribute to my 401k starting with April's check. That will affect my check starting then.

~ I get a review in March. There's a chance a raise might be involved there.

I think I'm not going to play with my withholdings this year. It's just been too confusing with my pay in general and I would rather just not have to pay again. Though I might check and see if I can just change my Fed to 2 and leave my State at 1. But it will be July before I even consider anything.

Another thing I held out from the extra check I got last week was the entry fee for a half marathon in June. There's a group at my Curves that are going to train together for it. Apparently only the first 3,000 entrants get t-shirts so the gal in charge was encouraging everyone to register online. I get her enthusiasm, this is her first event. But I could take or leave the t-shirt. Still, online is easy so I went through the motions this morning to register only to find at the end that there would be an extra fee of almost $4 for registering online. I decided to leave the fate of my t-shirt getting to the post office and will be mailing in my registration tomorrow.

Tonight is the Oscars and while I really could care less in the general scope of things, the theatre I volunteer at is the only sanctioned Oscar Night Event in the state of Oregon. I think only one non profit in each state is awarded that privilege and this is their third year in a row doing it. It's their biggest fundraiser and rather appropriate since it's the Hollywood Theatre. I will be working there tonight and it will be a lot of fun. They'll have red carpet, paparazzi, drag queens dressed up as famous people doing catty commentary as people arrive, there'll be food, drinks, raffle and silent auction prizes, and I think the coolest of all, the actual programs from the real event will be handed out to the guests. Those were delivered yesterday during our volunteer meeting. But I didn't actually see any of them. We are encouraged to dress up if we want, but we don't have to. We just can't wear jeans.

clothing allowance on hold, at least this month.

February 16th, 2008 at 08:25 am

There was something odd about my paycheck this month. I could tell right away in my direct deposit amount. I did expect that taxes would be more, considering I support the payroll software my company uses and I know how it calculates taxes. But the net amount was far less than even I expected, even with an hour of overtime.

When I got to work and got my check stub I saw why. My first check in Jan showed hours worked as 86.67 (which is correct for salary hours at half a month) and an amount of 1700. My second check in Feb showed hours worked of 173.33 (which is correct for salary hours at a full month) and an amount of 3000. Now if I were to go by my first check, my second amount should have been 3400. To make matters even more confusing, at the rate I was getting from the contract place (before I went permanent) my amount for one month should have been 3200.

I emailed my boss about it and she is checking into it. I just want to know what my actual rate of pay is supposed to be. I don't see why I shouldn't expect at minimum the amount the contract place was paying me. Either way, I need to know what to expect so I can budget accordingly. By taking my clothing allowance amount out this month, I had enough to cover all bills plus have a little bit of breathing room and pay a tiny bit extra on a credit card. I guess we'll just have to see what next month holds.

Oh and my boss said I'd be getting a review in March, my official '3 months' with the company since I went permanent in January. And salary would be discussed then as well.

Small student loan paid off and new clothing allowance

February 12th, 2008 at 09:53 pm

Over the weekend I paid off my small student loan! That makes me happy!! It also frees up a $50 payment I was making to it to be used elsewhere.


This Friday I will receive my first full month check. It will be nice to see how much I'm actually receiving. Although it will change in a month or so once they actually start taking money out for my retirement. Still though I think I'm left with at least $100 extra to pay off stuff.


I think I need to give myself a clothing allowance. I've been in my new job for 4 months now, and some of my clothes are showing signs of wear. Since I need to dress a little nicer I want to be prepared for spending a little more when it comes down to it. I'm considering taking that $50 that I was paying on the student loan and just setting it aside every month so that when I do need to buy clothes I have the cash for it. I rarely pay full price on anything, usually it's on sale, more often on clearance. But still things add up and with my height that adds at least $10 to the price of things no matter how much it's reduced by. Especially where pants are concerned. I don't need to buy anything now which is why I think I should start setting aside money now so I have it when I need it and don't raid savings or pull out the cc.

I'm pretty excited for Friday though, let me tell you. Smile

Taxes done.

January 31st, 2008 at 07:01 am

I just finished my taxes and I'm not happy with the results.

For federal I am only getting back about $100 more than last year. I'm disappointed only because I left my withholdings at 1 for longer than I did the year before so I expected a little more of a refund. However at the same time I worked a side job that barely taxed me so it makes sense.

For state, ugh I owe! This is the first time (aside from when I was an independent contractor) that I've had to pay! Last year my return was only $18 so I was anticipating cutting it close once again. I did not expect to have to pay $172!

I'm going to go over it again later but if I do have to pay you can bet I won't be turning it in until I get my federal back.

New EF goal and playing with savings accounts

January 25th, 2008 at 07:03 am

Now that I'm on the tail end of this saving every extra penny because I'll need it when I transition to my new paycheck kick I have decided to change my EF.

I have three accounts that make up my EF. Two are over $400 and one is over $500. Once I get my first real full month paycheck on Feb 15 I will have a better grasp on what my real income will be and I can start putting money towards paying stuff off again.

The plan is simple...

Until each account reaches $500, at the end of the month I will pull everything over $500 out of my WF account and use it to pay down debt.

Each account (ING, Emigrant, WF) will basically maintain roughly $500 balance so after it reaches that goal, once the total between the three is more than $1600 I will pull out everything over $500 and apply it to debt at the end of every month.

ING gets $20 put in automatically every month.

Emigrant gets at least $20, sometimes more if I babysit or do a Pinecone survey, every month.

WF gets $75 auto transferred every month but that's just because it's one of the conditions for having the type of account I have.

I may suspend the transfers to the first two accounts once they reach $500 and just keep the third one going that way I'm not transferring in and back out every month. That part I have not decided yet. I like to have the habit of socking away into savings but I will still have the auto transfer set up for the third.

Finding more ways to save.

January 23rd, 2008 at 06:05 pm

I happened to mention to my chiropractor that I am no longer covered under insurance and that now I am paying out of pocket. Her response was that once I get on a maintenance plan (right now I'm on a plan to fix something specific) that they will give me a discounted rate so long as I commit to coming in once a month. I was planning on doing so anyway so that's good. Plus they have like a punch card, come in for 12 months consecutively and get a free massage or something like that. I won't complain!

I also got an email from a friend who can get half price bus passes from her work. She doesn't need hers for Feb so she offered to buy it for me instead. I think it will work since right now I tell work how much to take out for my transportation costs and then just turn in a receipt showing I paid that amount. I sent in the slip today to lower the amount I'm having them take out and since she buys the pass at a store there will be an accompanying receipt that I can turn in. Even if for some reason they don't accept it, it's still a worthy savings. I don't know how many months I will be able to do that but I can change how much they take out from my pay as often as I want. It's way more flexible than my flexible spending account. Smile

So Excited!

January 15th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I got my first paycheck today...my first paycheck after becoming a permanent employee that is. When I first looked at my bank records I thought at first that perhaps they hadn't taken out my pre tax stuff (FSA and transportation) and the second thought was perhaps I got a raise. And the answer is....

I GOT A RAISE. Though since they were paying me through a contract company before it may still be less to them. No matter. I double checked one of my old pay stubs from my old job. I am now, after 3 months in a lower position, making $50 (gross) less per month than I was making after 10 years in a higher position. Daymn!

Net it works out even better. On my check, I'm taking home about the same as before however...I'm also having them take out $165 pre-tax for FSA and transportation allowance so technically I'm so making more than I was before.

Of course, after a couple of months my 401k will start coming out so that will make a difference but I don't care!! I'm so excited! They will match up to 3% so I just did 3%. And in June or so I'm going to change my withholdings to 2 so I don't pay as much in taxes straight up.

I so can't wait to do my taxes this year. With all the changing jobs and stuff I didn't do the change withholdings thing as much so I should actually get something back.

No more chiropractor coverage.

January 5th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

I found out yesterday while looking over all my paperwork to become a permanent employee that chiropractic care is not covered under my new insurance. This is sad because I am under treatment right now once a week. Because it is needed, not just wanted, I will continue it to the tune of $60/visit and save my receipts for 2008 taxes. My new work has an FSA that I could load up with money to cover the expenses but I'm a little leary of doing so with the whole spend it or loose it philosophy. I will send $50/mo into the FSA to cover my prescriptions at least. Who knows, I may wind up spending it all after all.

This month I don't need to buy any meds so I will use the $180 I budget for medical on the chiro that way I avoid charging it. I'm still doing well in the savings arena too so I may make it out unscathed when all is said and done. We'll see.

Saving on groceries...

December 20th, 2007 at 09:48 pm

At least for the next month or two.

My work provides us with plenty of food for lunch (bread, meat, cheese, soup, fruit, crackers, chips, cookies, string cheese, etc) that I can eat at work without having to bring my own lunch. And it's all free. Of course while doing this, I potentially sacrifice calories.

But I'm heading into a lean pocketbook time while I transfer out of being contract and into being regular employee. Out of getting paid every other week and into getting paid once a month.

I think it will really help me out when it comes to budgeting money for food. The past couple times I have had money left over from the food budget. I think it could be even more if I start intentionally eating at work more often.

I'm flying to my dad's tomorrow. There's going to be soo much food. I'm a little concerned to be honest. But if I can just keep a large glass of water near me and refill it often, perhaps I won't eat as much. We'll see.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Kicker check came!

December 8th, 2007 at 01:12 pm

My kicker check showed up in the mail today! And it was for $541. Sweet! it will make a nice addition to my saving account.

Every two years Oregon State kicks back to the taxpayers any budget overages more than 2% that were collected. The amount they kick back varies but in the past I don't think I've gotten more than $80.

They say this may be the last kicker for a while, I'm just going to enjoy the fact that I got one this year!

I read somewhere that 1200 checks were accidentally mailed early. The date on the check was effectively post dated. The date on my check is 12/6 so I know mine wasn't one of the early ones.

Yay for money! Smile

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