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Archive for July, 2006

End of Sunday.

July 9th, 2006 at 09:47 pm

I walked 5 miles (to church and back) so that was cool.

Donated $5 to a gas card fund for a friend who's moving to Boston for graduate school.

Spent $6 at the movies.

Spent $4 on dinner.

And the best news in the world.... I happened to log into my online banking and noticed my student loan balance looked odd. I thought at first that it had increased, that the interest from this month that I didn't have to pay got added back in. Nope that wasn't it. They'd accidentally overpaid my Sallie Mae loan by $515 and so Sallie Mae sent it back to Wells Fargo who then took it off my balance. Sweet!

So the remaining balances on stuff I spent:

$9.01 personal
$31.00 grocery (because I used cash that was grocery money for personal stuff I now have some grocery money in the bank so nothing goes to the dollar jar)

I'm going to a pampered chef party on Tuesday, I was planning on buying something small anyway. And I already planned on spending some of the extra in my checking account on some personal products from a friend of mine. Plus I have a graduation gift to buy. But I'm going to see if the gal I'm planning on buying the gift from will take payment out of my next check. I see her a lot so I don't think that'll be a problem.

I wish I could go to bed already, but I didn't have time to start laundry til now so I have to wait for that to finish. Well, only if I want dry workout clothes for morning. At least it's only 35c to wash and 25c to dry (normal size washer and dryer).

When it rains it pours.

July 8th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

As I was getting ready to head out for the mystery shop I got a call from the same company about doing Trailer Checks. I've never done a trailer check before but it's pretty simple. You talk to the manager and let them know why you're there (you also have a letter of authorization stating that you're legit), they let you in the theater for free, you write down what trailers are shown (sometimes there's different versions of trailers that you need to look for) and if there's any response form the audience. Then you walk out, get the manager to sign it, and head home without watching the movie. Other checks involve actually watching the movie but that wasn't what this was. Normally it pays $7.50 for the first screen and $2.50 each additional screen. But since it was past due the first screen went up to $10.

Beaverton Theater, 4 screens: $17.50
Portland Theater, 1 screen: $10.00
Mystery shop, small purchase: $19

So for roughly 3 and a half hours of work I got paid $46.50. Of course I spent $9.99 at the mystery shop (had to spend at least $3 but found a pair of shoes I was looking for anyway) and I bought myself some Coldstone when I was waiting for the first showing $3.25 + $0.75 tip = $4. But still think I more than broke even. It'll all go into savings when the checks come. I need to find out if I can mail in my paperwork all in one envelope or if I have to mail it seperately. I've never done more than one job like this before. Well not more than one different types of jobs.

So personal fund -$9.99 leaves $20.01 and grocery fund -$4 for Coldstone and -$1 for dollar jar leaves $35.

I wasn't going to drive anywhere today but...

July 8th, 2006 at 11:34 am

I got an email from certified market research saying they had a past due mystery shop available and were offering double pay for it. So instead of $8 (for doing the shop) + $3 (towards the purchase of something) it's $16 + $3. To me that's worth it to drive a little today. Granted I won't get the check for a couple of weeks but that's ok.

NetWorthIQ for June

July 8th, 2006 at 10:49 am

I found first quarter's retirement savings statement, which had the web site that I could go to and see what my current balance is. So I updated my NetWorthIQ for June with June 30th's figures.

Assets
Cash 403
Retirement 22,173
Cars 2,380
Total Assets 24,956

Debts
Student Loans 37,041
Credit Card 15,631
Other 17,465
Total Debts 70,137
Net Worth $-45,181

The sad thing is, the difference between June 30th's retirement savings amount and right now is negative. Darn stock market. Ah well. Doesn't really change the Total Debts figure but makes me feel a little better about my total net worth. I'm curious to see what July ends up with, and just to track this in general.

No spend day.

July 7th, 2006 at 11:57 pm

I walked to work. Brought lunch from home. Walked home. At dinner at home. Drove to friend's house. Wrote a letter and tried practicing my German with a couple interruptions to check on the sleeping baby. Watched a movie with friends when they got home. And made $20 in the process. Sweet! I'm going to add it to my grocery money as 'just in case' because I think I'm going to need it this time around. So that leaves me with:

$40 in wallet for grocery
$20 in wallet for gas
$30 in bank for personal use
$19 in bank remaining balance
$35 in bank for potential medical expense

And that's it til the 20th.

Well I didn't exactly drop the gym

July 7th, 2006 at 08:11 am

When I went in today I told them I needed to cancel my membership. I explained why. They looked at my history and saw that I actually used it regularly and asked what they could do to help. So for August and September they're dropping my fees in half. I'll only be paying $15/mo instead of $29/mo. I told them I could do that only if I also was able to clear out my storage unit as well. So I'm supposed to talk to the owners again at the end of September and go from there.

Which means I really need to get on the ball (I was already planning to anyway) and finish clearing out my storage unit so I don't have to pay that extra $60/mo either. I also need to call CC1 and see if they'll lower interest. Every little bit helps.

Spending for the day.

July 6th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Trader Joe's: $45.90 A tad higher than I had expected. However that did include vitamens ($11.99), shampoo ($1.99), and conditioner ($1.99). I still took it out of my grocery budget though.

Fred Meyer's: $20.66 (plus $10 for Rx but that's already accounted for elsewhere). Granted I did also buy three quarts of oil for the car ($5.07) and snack bags ($3.79)

That means I have $23 left over for groceries til the 20th. With $3 going into the dollar jar that makes $20. I might just hang onto the babysitting money I earn tomorrow night and use that for groceries if need be since I'll be picking up more fresh produce at least once, possibly twice before the 20th. And after all, I did spend $24.83 on non food items.

$0.46 going into the change bank.

I still have a $20 in my wallet for gas. I've been driving a lot more this week than I did last week. And with the current plan being to go out to my brother's on the 15th, I'm fairly certain I'm going to spend it. Ah well, perhaps next pay period will be the one I only spend part of my gas budget.

Trying not to get too excited.

July 6th, 2006 at 04:35 pm

Today I got an email asking me to babysit tomorrow night. I love babysitting for my friends because it usually involves me showing up after the kids are in bed and just being an adult in the house while they're gone. I love their kids anyway and would watch them during the day too but it just never works out that way. So yay for more money towards the dollar jar, should it in fact happen. Plus I don't necessarily charge them, they just pay me whatever.

I've gotten more nibbles for selling my timeshare than I have the previous times I've posted it. I'm trying really hard not to put the cart before the horse and dream about how much simpler life will be with that money directed elsewhere. But it's hard. And usually means I check my 'junk' email every time the little notifier tells me I have mail on the days I get those nibbles.

Busy morning

July 6th, 2006 at 09:13 am

Paid off CC2 though I expect there'll still be a balance when the statement comes out with the whole daily average acrual of interest. Fortunately I get the statments online (ie almost imediately) and if there is anything I can pay it off right away.

Called Curves to cancel my membership. Had to leave a message. I'm sure I'll talk to them tomorrow morning when I go in. This month will be my last.

Called the clinic to verify my balance since I can't find my most recent statement. Actually, I don't think I got it because I'm pretty good about keeping it safe for when I need to pay the bill. I was right about the balance, $271. I sent in $200 instead of $100. I'm not sure if the balance she quoted included the copay from May's appointment or not, she said they were still waiting for my insurance to process it.

Called in the refill for my Rx. I really don't need to do that til tomorrow but I'm going grocery shopping tonight and it's on the way so figured I'd combine trips.

I'm driving in again this morning. *sigh* I have errands to run after work and need the car. Plus I really want to be back home by 8 pm. Yes, my one guilty pleasure during the summer is Big Brother and it starts tonight.

Unexpected spending, unexpected cash.

July 5th, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Tonight was our second German class. My friend that I'm taking it with remembered to give me money for the book. I decided to just add it back into my cash on hand so +$12 to grocery fund and then -$5 for eating out after class and -$2 for dollar jar. Leaves me with a grocery budget of $90. I go shopping tomorrow for fresh foods and staples. I need to make a list so I don't buy too much extra stuff. I also need to call in my prescription so I can pick it up tomorrow after work.

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. I thought I had done well with practicing German but when I got to class it all dribbled out my ear. I picked up (at the library) the cds that go with my book so if I can just find the time to listen to them, perhaps that will help.

I have much to do still to de-clutter my room and my storage area. My goal was originally by September to be completely de-cluttered. Now it's by the end of July to have everything out of my storage unit so I don't have to pay $60/mo for it anymore. I don't know if that will happen or not but I am feeling the need to try. Hopefully I can come up with things to try and sell.

So glad I called! But now what?

July 5th, 2006 at 09:02 am

Ok so when I signed up for automatic payments for my newly consolidated student loan it said that the next payment to be taken out automatically would be August 5th. In my mind that meant I would manually make the payment transfer via my online banking (since my loan and checking accounts are linked online). However, when I called today to verify that I would be ok making the payment online, I found out that because of when I put through the automatic withdrawl request, my next payment isn't due until August 5th. Which means...I have $259 that I wasn't planning on having available.

I keep thinking of all the ways I should utilize it. Any suggestions?

a] Make the payment on the student loan anyway. Interest will be added back to the loan because I'm essentially skipping a payment. Total owed $34,448. Interest 6.625%

b] Toss an extra payment towards CC1. Total owed $15,349. Interest 18.99%

c] Pay off CC2 since I wasn't supposed to charge anything to it anyway. Total owed $141. Interst 16.99% Put the remainder on something else.

d] Pay off clinic bill. Total owed $271 and I already have $100 budgeted to pay on it. Currently 0% interest but would free up $100/mo in the budget. Put the remainder on something else.

e] Any combination of the above.

Someone asked about the clinic bill and whether or not I can lower the payment and extend it out since there isn't any interest. There isn't any interest now, but when I called to originally arrange payments they indicated that there could be. So far there hasn't been. The reason I accepted their original payment arrangements of $100/mo was because I was going in at least once a month, and adding to my bill by $20 for every visit. Plus I was concerned about the potential interest. When I went in in May they said I could skip the appointment in June and make one for July instead. But in July I'm having another test run, which will translate into another larger bill once insurance processes it.

I was actually thinking about mentioning to the gal at Curves this morning that this was my last month. My only hesitation was I wanted to wait until after my dr's apt to see if it has helped my heart any. But I do have other aerobic things I can do at home so I will call them later when I have a chance.

First deposit in dollar jar.

July 4th, 2006 at 11:13 pm

I went ahead and pulled food/gas cash today since my roomate's check cleared at the bank already. Figured it'd be handy since the area I was driving out to for the BBQ usually has cheaper gas. Not cheap enough to warrent the drive but since I was already out there...

I realized too that I probably won't be able to save any gas money this pay period, even if I walk to work every day. I'm supposed to finally go out to my brother's house on the 15th and that's 100 miles round trip. We'll see though. It might still work out.

I treated myself to lunch out, $3.99 at BK. Not the healthiest lunch but *shrug*. Then stopped at the store and spent $8.96 on stuff for the BBQ, some produce, and some index cards for class. That left me with $85 for groceries, $2 to go into my dollar jar (ok so it's an old checks box not really a jar but it seems cooler to call it a jar) and 5 pennies to put in my sunny day coin bank. (In Oregon we get so few sunny days that we save for that instead of a rainy day). I also put in $20 in gas, at $2.799 gal.

I'm walking to work tomorrow, but I'll probably be driving to class. And the gym as well, unless I actually wake up when my first alarm goes off which would give me enough time to walk to the gym. I know I'll be driving on Thursday, too many errands to run after work including some grocery shopping. We'll just see how it goes. Chances are I'll end up putting in my second $20 just before my next payday which will make the next check's gas budget stretch more than this one's. Ah well.

I'm definately not paying brother's rent!

July 4th, 2006 at 11:49 am

My brother quit his job last month. He realized about two days after he did that how stupid that was. Especially with not having another job lined up. Rent is due tomorrow, he has a roomate now so at least he doesn't have to come up with all of it. But he has close to nothing in his bank account.

I'd been anticipating the reluctant call from him asking for help. He doesn't like to ask for it (neither do I) but when push comes to shove he does.

Today I was talking to him, asking after his plans for the day, and he mentions that he went and picked up a money order for rent. ?? I asked how he paid rent this month and he explained that some friends of his are over all the time, practically live there, so he told them he couldn't afford rent this month and since they spend so much time there could they cough up some dough to cover it. And they did. Which takes care of this month at least.

There's still his cell bill, which is 2 months past due. I am NOT going to pay for it even though I could just swipe my card.... He didn't ask me to. He's been through this before with them so hopefully they can come to some sort of arrangement.

He has an interview tomorrow with a temp company. Hopefully something will pan out from that. Plus multiple leads that haven't gotten back to him yet.

I'm just glad he didn't ask me for it. And I'm trying really hard to stay out of the deal between him and our other brother. He paid for our middle brothers' wedding and middle brother doesn't bother paying him back with any sort of regularity. Yet middle brother bought a house, has bought new furniture, new appliances, etc. It's not my business so I try to stay out but it annoys the heck out of me.

July 5th paycheck.

July 4th, 2006 at 08:36 am

The check shows as a pending deposit and since I have a little more time today than I will tomorrow, I'm entering everything in my register now, to be actually paid tomorrow.

Incoming:
1266.78 Salary plus extra
350.00 Roomate's portion of stuff
198.95 Held over from last check
100.00 Pulled from savings to pay CC
--------
1915.73 Total to work with

Outgoing:
575.00 Rent
30.00 Offerings
275.52 Consol Loan (45 pymnts left)
173.00 CC #1 (167 is currently due)
100.00 Grocery and eating out
10.00 Savings
10.00 ING
259.38 Student Loan (240 pymnts left)
29.00 Curves
145.00 Medical bills
40.00 Gas
30.00 Personal
89.00 PCC (German Class)
149.00 CC #2 (remaining balance $141)
--------
1914.90 Total paid

Remaining: 0.83

I'm waiting til my next dr appt to see about dropping Curves. Part of me wants to keep it, the rest of me knows I should probably just drop it for now. Ok well there's a part of me that hopes I'll get a medical reason to not do it temporarily which would mean I keep my membership but don't have to pay for a while.

I started budgeting Misc things under Personal. That way if I need to buy stamps (which I do every few months) or decide to catch a movie, or need to buy clothes, I have money to and I'm not breaking my budget. But once that money is gone it's gone. If there's any left over at the next pay period, it goes into my ING account.

My medical bills allowance I can actually budget correctly starting this check since my student loan consolidation went through. It breaks down to $100 for clinic bill, $10 for 1st prescription, $35 in case I need to pick up 2nd prescription before the next paycheck. Any left over will go into regular savings at the next check. Well in all actuality it'll probably be put towards paying off CC #2 but in theory it will go into regular savings.

Now that I have that all sorted out, I can't wait til tomorrow to actually pay it.

First $5 from Pinecone

July 3rd, 2006 at 09:21 pm

Wow that really does come fast. Last week I found a link to sign up at Pinecone Research, got accepted, filled out the first survey, and today recieved my first $5 check! Plus I got an email about another survey I did today while I was at work.

Soon as I can make it to the bank it's going into Savings, which of course will be practically drained to pay off a credit card but still it's an extra $5!!

Up'd again.

July 3rd, 2006 at 06:58 pm

I logged onto my Citi account just to pass the time while waiting for something to process (I'm already at an hour past the time I should have left work) and noticed that they raised my limit again on my huge card. It went from $16k something to $18k something.

The mind boggles. I probably should call them and ask them to please stop doing that. I just haven't yet.

At least I no longer look at it like 'hey I can spend another $2k!'

Closed accounts today.

July 3rd, 2006 at 11:47 am

Finally got around to closing my other store card account. When I was looking at buying a house a couple years ago, my friend (who is a mortgage broker) looked at my credit report and told me I'd be safe to close the store accounts. Since I paid them off, and they definately have a $0 balance, I went ahead and closed them. Makes me feel a little better knowing they can't be charged against.

I wasn't going to spend any money today but a friend, whom I used to meet every week for dinner but don't anymore since she changed jobs, is off today and wants to meet for dinner. We're going to a yummy pizza by the slice place, that has great salads too. Don't anticipate spending much more than $6. Plus it will give me a chance to ask about fundraising opportunities at the restaurant. (I just got back from a mission trip that we weren't able to completely pay for before we left and the balance got put on someone else's credit card so now that we're back we're still trying to raise money. Only about $5k more to go, better than the $8k that was originally there.)

Pretending I don't have money

July 3rd, 2006 at 08:56 am

Roomate paid me rent and bills last night. I'll be depositing the check today which means that technically I'll have money in the bank again. But technically I have $200 in the bank that's being held onto for bills to be paid out of this check. So still trying to pretend that I don't have money til Wednesday. We'll see how that goes.

Actually, I will have to spend some of it, I'm supposed to bring 'something to share' for the bbq on the 4th so I will spend a little of it. Just not sure on what yet. The people's house I'm going to, they always have tons of pop around, not just when they throw bbq's. So I'm guessing it's pointless to bring 2 litres but I will email and ask.

I can't wait for Wednesday!

I never paid attention before.

July 2nd, 2006 at 08:44 pm

When Citibank sends out those balance transfer checks, I put them in the 'pile of things to be shredded' because I don't have any room on the card anyway.

Today I was making an attempt at cleaning my room (I'm trying to declutter as much as possible) and went through the pile of 'things to be shredded', seperating out things that don't really need to be (envelopes and filler with no mention of my name or address) from things that definately were going to be shredded. I glance at everything when I do that, which is why it takes me so long sometimes to do anything. And noticed 2.99% APR until transferred balances are paid in full. Now I know that payments I make (were I to use the checks) would apply to the lower interest amounts before any higher interest amounts. Anyway...

I had this 'brilliant' idea. Now the checks I found have already expired, they seem to send them out rather frequently so I expect I either have some floating around that aren't expired yet or will be getting more soon. If I do, this is my idea.

My paid off Citibank card has a credit limit of $4600. Well ok, it's not completely paid off I have about $300 on it but that'll be gone soon enough. In about 3 months I'll have finished paying off my current medical bills, leaving me with an extra $100/mo to do whatever with. My stupid timeshare is currently at $7800 with no prepay penalty and I think about 14.9% interest.

I could write a balance transfer check for $4000, lowering my timeshare loan balance and potentially making it more appealing for a buyer (ie just have them pay the balance left on the timeshare loan or take over the payments). Before, when that card was max'd, the monthly payment was $100 give or take. It is more likely that it wouldn't sell right away and I'd have be able to cover both payments. I know I'm going to loose money on the timshare and I just want out as soon as possible. If it sold, then I'd have another $171 to throw at the credit card and get it paid off even faster. Even if it didn't sell and I was paying on both until the timeshare loan was paid off, I'd still be saving because a good chunk of it would be at a lower rate.

Of course all this depends on me actually having the balance transfer checks for that particular Citibank card when I get my medical bill paid off in a couple of months and that it's still at a much lower APR. But it's worth actually doing the math if it ever comes up.

I'm starting a dollar jar

July 2nd, 2006 at 02:24 pm

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days and here's what I've come up with to challenge myself.

Every night, whatever dollar bills are in my wallet get stashed away.

On the rare occasion that I babysit, whatever I earn will get stashed away.

At the next payday when I pull out the cash for Food and Gas, anything still in my wallet from the previous pay periods Food and Gas allocation will get stashed away.

At the end of the month if the amount stashed away is $100 or more, put it into savings towards building up emergency fund of $1000.

Any checks that come in from silly things like surveys, etc, go straight into emergency fund savings.

Change will still be saved and sorted in the usual manner, not to be touched until absolutely necessary.

We'll see how that goes. Especially since I'll be draining my savings account on the 5th to try and pay off recent charges I made on my newly paid off credit card. So I want to try building it back up as quickly as possible.

Back down to $0

July 1st, 2006 at 05:26 pm

I really hope that I don't have to bring much to the bbq on the 4th. I can provide soda, I still have three coupons for 5 free 2 litres of Coke and I do have a quarter I could spend on it. I think the gas situation is also ok, I'll have just enough to get there and back, providing I continue to walk everywhere I can.

Yesterday I figured up all the walking I did last week. 15.2 miles! Wow. Didn't realize it would be that much. I plan on attempting to walk to church tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Between stocking up on fresh food and picking up a couple of things for dinner, I spent the last of the money in my wallet (most of that was from turning my coins in). Tonight I'm going to see a Shakespeare in the Park play (free), will walk to the MAX station (no gas used), and ride MAX to the nearest stop in fareless square (also free). I'm not hungry right now, the play doesn't start til 8, and we're meeting at MAX at 7 so I'm going to attempt to pack a dinner to eat while we're there. I hate eating in front of people but I imagine they'll pick up something while we're out since we'll be there so early.

I'm pretty happy about things right now. I can't wait to see what the next paycheck holds since I've re-adjusted my budget to allow for different payment on my newly consolidated student loans.


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