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Archive for June, 2006

Just say no to Poker.

June 30th, 2006 at 08:46 pm

The guys at work have a poker night every once in a while. Usually it's at T's house which is about 6 miles away. But he can't host it right now so it'll be at C's which is more like 16.5 miles away. I have walked to work every day this week so I can try stretching the gas left in my car until Wednesday. Add to that I have no money and that makes me MIA for the poker night. A couple of the guys are bummed, I think just because it's nicer to play with four people. Oh well. There's no reason for me to spend money that's allocated for other things on this. It's kinda nice, I actually have no plans tonight. Although I just checked the cheap ($3) movie times and they have MI:3 playing. But I don't need to go to the movies, there's plenty of things I need to do besides spend money.

Anyway. I cashed in my coin jar, expecting $15 from what I counted of the quarters and dimes, wound up with $26. Sweet! I kept the cash instead of depositing it because I know I'll need it again. As I was making lunch this morning I realized how little food I have for next week. Not to mention, I don't know about the 4th yet, what I'm supposed to bring or if I'll have to put any gas in by the time it comes around.

That gives me a grand total of $28 in pocket. I'm thinking about walking home via a fresh produce place that I always forget about and getting some fruits/veggies for next few days. I'm finding it really hard to eat healthy for cheap but I'm doing the best I can.

My mouth isn't as sore today. That's nice but I don't want to try eating on my right side just yet.

I'm worried about my youngest brother. He quit his job (his own fault and he's regretting it now) and rent is due tomorrow. Part of me wants to offer to pay his rent, the other part of me knows I can't afford it even though I could make it work. I'm just waiting to see if he asks me for help or not. Really, my other brother should be 'bailing him out' since he still owes the youngest for paying for his wedding. But that's a touchy subject and I'm trying really hard to not be involved since it doesn't have anything to do directly with me.

Spending for Thursday

June 30th, 2006 at 12:23 am

Alright so breakfast actually wasn't bad. For $4.95 I got toast, home fries, and three eggs. Water to drink and a dollar for tip and that leaves me with $2.

After work I'm walking home and a friend is coming over so we can practice German and possibly watch Harry Potter. I'm excited about that. I called my roomate to let her know, and found out she's actually hanging out with a friend all evening so we have the place to ourselves. That's cool because I hate feeling like I'm intruding in my own house.

No more spending for the day. My friend invited me to go out for a cocktail but by the time I get home, they'll be done. They are meeting near my place which makes her coming over all to practice German that easier for her fuel wise.

I'm thinking about starting a dollar jar next month. We'll see. I know the new month is only two days away. Since I do carry more cash these days (my gas/grocery/eating out budget) then there is the possibility of having ones left over.

I think tomorrow I will cash in my coins and just deposit the balance in my account. It won't make my register positive, I don't think. But it'll give me a little piece of mind.

The 5th (payday) cannot come fast enough!

More unexpected spending

June 29th, 2006 at 06:28 am

Had my first German class tonight. Realized that I am totally unprepared for it. I have paper and pens but not note cards. So I stopped and bought a pack of 300 3x5 and have spent a good chunk of the evening writing words and phrases on them to practice. All told I spent $8.08 at the store, which brings my register to a -$22.05. Granted I could justify everything I bought. Notecards and folders to hold class handouts, and snack food for lunches since I didn't have as much on hand as I thought I did when I went shopping this weekend.

I'm debating about turning in my change on Friday. I have $8 cash in my wallet for breakfast tomorrow. I don't think I'll spend it all, I still need to focus on soft foods and I always drink water so between meal and tip I should be set. I counted my quarters and dimes tonight and I have $13 at least. Not counting nickels, pennies, and the contents of my little coin bank. On the one hand it doesn't seem worth it to bother, on the other I might still have to put gas in this weekend to get me through til Wednesday so it'd be nice to have cash on hand instead of using my debit card. We'll see how I feel Friday morning since I'd have to leave even earlier for work and the bank is in the opposite direction of work so I'd have to budget enough time to walk it all.

I'm still in pain from the root canal, that won't be going away any time soon either. At least I can eat so long as I don't chew on my right side. What's annoying is that sneezing hurts the worst because I bite down when I sneeze.

You have got to be kidding me.

June 28th, 2006 at 11:05 pm

So I called about my timeshare, ie what are my options and found out that originally I had 5 days to back out of the deal but since that's past all I can do is try to sell it. The day after I signed the paperwork I realized I'd made a mistake and I poured over all the paperwork they gave me. Even the fine print. I found Nothing that said I could do that. I should have called anyway but I didn't. Now it's been two years and I'm well out of that period. I should have verified my loan balance while I was on the phone with them but I didn't. She's sending me a reseller package but it's pointless really since no one will buy it for the price that's left on the loan.

Unplanned spending today.

June 28th, 2006 at 06:53 am

Root canal cost less than planned, $200 instead of $260. Afterwards I picked up a milkshake ($2.29) because I was hungry but couldn't really eat anything.

I wound up picking up ice cream tonight for root beer floats. It was bogo on Dryer's, which made it the same price as the cheaper store brand. And then I remembered that I needed cash for breakfast out with a friend on Thursday so I wound up spending $10.99 at the store.

After my meeting tonight (where we had the root beer floats) I was feeling very hungry and while I could have, and probably should have, just gone home I decided to go out with some friends and get a bite to eat. There wasn't much on the menu that I could eat, so stuck with something soft and wound up spending $10 when all was said and done.

The root canal was the only thing I charged. Everything else was paid for by cash or debit card. I have two things I hold out money for from my last check so my checking account balance is ok but my Quicken balance shows -$13.98

I might need to get gas on Saturday. I'm hoping not. As it stands right now, I should be able to walk to work the rest of the week. I have class Wednesday night that I might have a ride for, otherwise I'll need to drive. The intention is that what's in the tank will last til the 5th. We'll see.

I'm exhausted and decided to sleep in tomorrow too, no gym but if I walk to work every day that'll make up for skipping one gym day.

Where I currently stand.

June 27th, 2006 at 05:42 am

Citibank1: 15,281.23
Citibank2: 60.19
Timeshare: 7,877.85
Sallie Mae: 2,583.77
WellsFargo Personal: 9,654.93
WellsFargo Student Loan: 34,448.01

All told I owe: almost $70,000. Granted the Citibank2 will be paid off when I get paid on the 5th. But still. It's rather overwhelming. I know that the personal loan will be done in 4 years. I know that the timeshare (stupid stupid stupid decision on my part) will be done in 5 years. That gives me some light at the end of the tunnel. It's still a long long long ways away.

A friend once offered me a place to stay, rent free, to help me get a handle on things. I didn't take them up on it, and now it's not available. The reason I didn't was I felt bad ditching my roomate, especially since I didn't know what her plans were for after graduation. I think if the offer becomes available again (someone else is living there now for the summer) I might take them up on it. It would give me an extra %350-$550 a month. But their situation has changed as well so it might not come up again.

I need to get a better job. Or at least somehow increase my income.

June 26th, 2006 at 09:41 pm

The scariest thing I have ever seen is looking at my online banking and noticing the total amount under loans: $44k. *shock* I recently consolidated my student loans, one from an outside company and the other from my bank. That made up a good chunk of the total. The rest was from a small loan ($10k) I took out to start paying off my credit cards. Yes, I know you cannot borrow to pay off debt. But I had to do something. The interest rate on the loan is at least 2% less than the interest rate on the things I paid off. The amount of money required for payment on the loan is exactly the amount I had been previously spending on monthly payments. With the added bonus that I will have it paid off in four years, something I couldn't guarentee with just paying off cards.

Of the four cards I paid off completely, I have canceled one of them, one the account was already closed. The third I want to close I haven't been able to find (it's in a purse that I don't use anymore so I know where it is, I just don't know where exactly it is), but once I either find the card or find an old statement I will be canceling that as well. The fourth I am keeping open. Why? Because of the cards I paid off it has the lowest interest rate and I intended to keep the card open to begin with.

I will admit it has been a little hard to not use my paid off credit card. And I will admit I have used it once or twice, but only because I needed (and yes, I mean need not want) things that couldn't wait til my next paycheck and as soon as my paycheck arrived a week later I paid off the balance.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of using it again. I am doing my best not to fall into it. I did buy some concert tickets with it and I don't know that I'll be able to cover the expense with my next paycheck. That should have been a warning sign not to use the card but it wasn't. I know this road will be tough but I have confidence that I can do it. I also know I won't be perfect.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow for a root canal. They will be wanting $260. Between my savings (currently at $115) and my next paycheck I should have the bulk of it. I will be charging it though because it needs to be taken care of before my paycheck arrives. And I'm anticipating having to pay some interest on it but only for one month.

I am a salaried employee but once check a month has extra money on it for extra work that varies month to month so I never budget for it. Usually it just bails me out of whatever situation I've gotten myself into.

My consolidation of my student loans allowed me to re-allocate money to actually budget for the payment of a medical bill that I've been pulling out of my extra money for the past three months. Hopefully this will make things easier.

The plan as it stands right now. Any extra money goes to my larger credit card balance (currently sitting pretty at $15,281.23). We'll see how that goes. At least my budgeted payment for that card is more than the minimum.

Every time I think I have a handle on things something comes up to throw a monkey wrench into the mix. Six months ago I was diagnosed with a health issue and the tests they ran to try and figure out what is the cause are what I'm currently paying off. I have another test scheduled in July, I expect to see the bill for that in September at least. Now that it's actually part of my budget, I'm hoping that I can just stash the money I don't spend after I pay off the current bill in my savings so when the next big bill comes I can pay it off directly instead of waiting. I also now have prescriptions to fill and while I realize that Costco might be cheaper, it's not exactly nearby. I don't know that they take my insurance and to just save $5 and to drive 30-40 minutes round trip twice a month just doesn't seem worth while to me.

Everyone tells me I just need to find a better paying job. I'm looking, sort of. It's a hard call for me to make now that I've got a health issue that requires me to find a job where the health coverage starts relatively imediately and has no pre-existing condition clause. We'll see.

I have done things though to create more take home pay. I get the same amount back in taxes every year so I changed my withholdings from 1 to 2, figured out what the increase was, and found that the amount of money I get extra in 8 months is roughly what I get back standard every year. There's a little more actually because of student loans, but student loans aside, going off of known figures, that's what it works out to. Fortunately I started that in April so for the rest of the year I have a little extra. When January rolls around I'll change it back to 1 and then after I do my taxes I'll see what the damage really is. I also changed my 401k to only take out 3% instead of 8%. My company does absolutely no matching so it's not like I'm loosing out but I just can't justify not putting anything away. Even though I've got money already in the account that will continue to work for me even if I don't put anything more in.

I also did one really stupid stupid stupid thing a couple years ago. I bought into a timeshare. I'm making payments on it every month, and maintenance fees every quarter. I have never used it. And I can't get rid of it because no one wants to take it over at 'full price'. *sigh* But every year I post on craigslist to see if someone will take it off my hands.

I really want to do some volunteer work overseas. I can't do that with this load of debt hanging over my head. That is my biggest motivation to become debt free. We'll see how things go.