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Archive for August, 2006

eBay is coming through stupendously

August 31st, 2006 at 08:20 am

I have these action figures that I originally bought off of eBay years ago. I finally decided to part with them so I put them back up on eBay to see if I could dispose of them easily. Especially since I never opened any of them so they're all New In Box. There wasn't much of a presence on eBay anymore but I had hopes that perhaps I could still get a nibble or two. There are seven action figures all together. My initial asking price is $3 and the shipping is the actual shipping costs so no money to be made there.

In actuality though, if I got 1 bid on each one I still wouldn't make $3 on it. If they pay by credit card, PayPal will take $0.50. Plus there's the $0.35 listing fee (I'm cheap and wouldn't spring for any extras to list it). So that makes the total profit on each, if each got one bid, $2.15. Multiply that by 7 and you get $15.05. Not much but it's something.

Last night, I had one bid on one (I'm putting them up one per night just to spread it out a little and not have all of them end at the same time) with 10 watchers and one watch on another out of the three I'd put up so far. Wake up this morning to find the one with a bid is now up to $41 with 2.5 days left to go! Umm. Ok so even if that was the only one that sold, taking out the fee for credit card on PayPal ($1.23) and the listing fees for all 7 ($2.45), I'd still make $37.32 on just one.

If that's the only one that sells, I'll be happy.

The people I babysat for last night said they'd write me a check later and I told them not to worry about it. They've got enough stuff to sort through right now with the house getting rebuilt and all. They protested saying they had every intention of paying me and I protested saying I had every intention of refusing payment. After all, they gave me dinner, and I had time to write the draft of a letter I want to send out in September. Something I've been meaning to do for a while. So in my mind it all evens out. I'm sure another time I babysit they'll try to make it up to me and I'll let that slide. But for right now, they have bigger fish to fry.

Babysitting and the possible return of the dollar jar.

August 30th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

I'm babysitting tonight, it was a last minute thing. The gal originally slotted to do it couldn't so I got the call. I really don't mind calls like that, I'd prefer not to be someone's primary sitter since my schedule is so crazy sometimes. Though it does mean that the paper monster will have to be dealt with another night.

Whatever I make from tonight, if anything, I will put in my dollar jar for emergencies. I say if anything because the couple I'm babysitting for lost their home to a fire a couple weeks ago, fortunately no one was injured. At any rate, I would gladly babysit for free but if they choose to pay me I'll take that too.

I've also offered to babysit for my church on Monday nights for a couple of months. They've got some classes that they need sitters for and they pay $20/night. Its only for a couple of hours and I can totally do that. Every little bit helps no?

My roomate left me with her bus pass when she went on vacation since she won't be back until the new month starts and therefore has no use for it. I was debating going home and getting my car, or just heading over from work via the bus. It would save on gas but then what about dinner? Well, my friends just called to say they were making extra mac n cheese so I can eat there tonight. So even though I don't really have anything with me to keep me occupied once the kids go down (no book, etc), I think I'm just going to hop the bus and save on gas. Might as well. Especially when the bus I take to their place is the same that goes by my place making the ride home simple.

Here we go again.

August 29th, 2006 at 03:10 pm

I had a feeling it would come up again this month. Simply because my brother's job started almost two weeks after he got informed that he was to be hired. Rent is due on Friday. He got money from doing some presentations at Costco a few weeks ago and got caught up on his phone and electric bill. That leaves him with some money but not enough for rent and definately not enough for rent and food for the three weeks or so between now and payday.

I know I can loan him $200. He needs $275. Once he starts getting paid regularly I know he'll start paying me back. He's pretty annoyed with his own situation (other brother taking his time paying him back for something) and I know how much he hates/dreads having to ask for help. I'm going to check and see if I have enough to give him when I get home. Actually, I know I do. I can pull from my regular savings account any difference. *sigh* I just didn't want to touch that if at all possible.

Everyone counsels me against helping him out. If I didn't have the money, I wouldn't. I do have it, it just means I don't have extra to throw at debt right away.

Ohhh! I finally thought of a good use for Google Spreadsheet! I just created a small spreadsheet of what he owes me so far and emailed him a link so he can view it. That way he doesn't have to ask me how much he owes me or when the last time he gave me money was.

Change in cashback and savings account

August 29th, 2006 at 10:48 am

I got a letter yesterday from Citibank stating that starting sometime in October they're changing the 5% cashback for grocery/gas purchases to 2% and the only 5% cashback will be at participating network stores. Which would be ok if I could buy food and gas at Target but I don't/can't. So starting in October I will go back to using cash for food/gas and leave my Citi Dividend card for playing Balance Transfer games to get things paid off sooner. At least in the mean time I should have enough to get a cashback payout before they switch. I think I'll wait to get the payout until I stop using it for food/gas purchases that way I don't have any potential reward just sitting there not able to be cashed out because it's not at least $50 yet.

I deposited another $5 check from Pinecone Research today into my local savings account which brings that account to just over $100! Yay! Unfortunately I really need new tires, at least two. I was hoping to get my savings up to $400 before the rainy season hit just in case I go in to buy two and they insist that I need four. *sigh* The downside of having specialty rims means specialty tires. The car came that way, it's not something I added. The last time I was at the tire store to get a flat fixed they said one of my tires really needed to be replaced and that for two it'd be $140. I will shop around once I have the money and try to find a good deal.

Just out of curiosity, since I can't view it, does my bio show up on the right? I was curious to see how it looked but even if I log out it doesn't display it. And I can see everyone else's.


ETA: Figured out the Bio thing. I didn't have anything in the Author Name field and once I put something in there it showed up.

Payment plan set up.

August 28th, 2006 at 02:31 pm

My step brother just called about setting up a payment plan for paying back the money I gave him so he could keep his truck. The absolute minimum he will be paying is $100. Chances are he'll be able to do more at some point but until then he will be setting up the following:

$50 from each check on the 1st and 15th set up as an allotment that way I always know when I'll have the money and don't have to worry about missing a payment (I borrowed the money as a balance transfer on one of my credit cards at 3.99% interest).

For now, since the 15th just passed, he will get me $50 from that check and another $50 from the 1st. Hopefully by October the allotment will automatically go through.

I considered telling him not to worry about it right away since my regular minimum payment is only a couple dollars less than what they increased it to with the balance transfer. But then remembered that Dad and StepMom had offered to also help him out with paying me back so I figured he could figure that part out on his own.

It's hard for me to not continue to 'help' but I need to step back and let him figure it all out on his own. At $100/mo it'll take almost two years to pay back. *sigh* So hopefully he will increase it when he can.

It's in the mail!

August 28th, 2006 at 11:28 am

Just got an email from the gal I'm transfering my timeshare ownership to. She mailed the paperwork today! It'll still be mid-September before I expect to hear from the company verifying that the transfer took place, but it makes me feel a little better that it's officially underway! Yipee!

Thursday summary

August 24th, 2006 at 10:24 pm

I talked to my friend with the car problems. Turns out the idiot who talked to her had turned in his 48 hour notice earlier in the week and that was his last day. They not only appologized profusely, but they offered to do the 60k mile checkup on her car for free, dropped the fee for checking out her car down to $25. She needed an oil change as well so since they needed to keep her car to do that, but she needed a car to get around in, they gave her a loaner car also for free. It's an '04 bright yellow mustang. There's some other things wrong with her car too, not sure if it's accident related or not. At any rate, it sounds like they got really screwed by that guy but are bound and determined to not let customers get away because of him.

I got a $10 check from NFO today. That'll go straight into savings tomorrow. Yay!

I tackled the paper monster sitting in my living room again tonight. I spent probably an hour or so sorting (recycling, shred, file). I have been working off and on on this for a while so it's not just tonight's work that caused this, but I did take out two full brown paper bags to the recycling bins. One full just of recycling and the other full of shreds. The file pile is staying relatively small. That's a good thing.

I talked to my current roomate about the potential move. L says I don't need to move in til November or December, if I'm going to move. So I let my current roomate know what my option was, and what I was thinking about it. The thing that it boils down to is, if my current roomate stays around town then I'm not going to move. Yes, it might save me a little every month but it's not worth it to me to just up and ditch my current roomate. If she happens to find a job that requires her to move (something she's anticipating but she hasn't actually started looking for work yet) then she knows I'm taken care of.

I've got this mildly awkward situation where my youngest brother's ex-fiance has asked me to be a bridesmaid. I haven't said yes, but I haven't said no yet. The wedding is not til Sept '07. But today she sent me a link to the dress. Honestly, I don't really care to be a part of her wedding. I'm not really a part of her life and I don't really see that changing. But I don't know how to let her down easy. *sigh* Part of me is hoping that the wedding will be canceled. But I should probably address this at some point soon so she can find a replacement. I really don't need to be spending $165 on a dress that I definately will not be wearing again. I already have a dress from my brother's wedding (different brother) and it is something that should the occasion arise, I would wear again.

*yawn*

Time for me to head to bed.

Please tell me I'm right...

August 23rd, 2006 at 04:49 pm

Ok senario. Friend (we'll call M) was involved in a car accident. Not her fault. She got her car back finally since it wasn't totaled and they fixed the damage done. Her cruise control was working before the accident, is not working now. Because of the long commute to work this is something she uses every day.

She took it back to the shop that originally fixed it from the accident, they couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Said to take it to the dealership and if they determined that it was accident related then it would be covered under insurance.

She got a call today from the dealership where she was very rudely instructed on the way to engage her cruise control, as they found nothing wrong with it and it worked just fine (according to them). To top it all off, they're charging her $150 for two hours of labor.

Ok they're going to be condescending to M about the proper way to use cruise control (something she's been using in that car for four years) yet it took them two hours to figure out it was fine? That does not strike me as ok. I do understand paying for an hour of labor even if it only takes 10 minutes, because that's how the labor gets billed sometimes. But two hours?? I told her to call and complain and she will but she says there's nothing she can do about the payment since her sister will be picking it up for her.

I disagree. Since she can't have it picked up til tomorrow anyway, I think she should call and complain today and have them alter the bill accordingly. Or am I just getting riled up over something that can't be changed?

Just want it to be done!

August 23rd, 2006 at 03:07 pm

I realize that it'll take a couple weeks to process the paperwork. I told them I'd take care of September's payment for the timeshare. But they're waiting to send in the paperwork until the end of the month so they are certain they won't have to pay til October. She says they have the paperwork all notarized and ready to go. All I can do now is wait a week and hope she emails me when she mails it in like I asked her. It just makes me nervous that 'something' could happen in the interim and they decide not to go through with it.

Not much I can do about it between now and then though, except cross my fingers.

Edit: Ok so I've been emailing with the gal I'm going to transfer with all day. She's going to mail the paperwork in early next week since it'll take so long to process and by the time it does my payment will already have been made. We had an interesting exchange where she stated that she was really overly cautious about the process because doing things via mail is sort of scary. I replied that I understood what she meant since I've already paid for the transfer to take place. I think that little exchange helped both of us calm a little. She assured me that they aren't going to back out of it. That actually does make me feel better.

More possible moving news.

August 23rd, 2006 at 01:52 pm

I still haven't talked to my current roomate. I think I'll do that tonight since I plan on being home. Part of me doesn't want to move. I hate moving. But I really wouldn't mind helping out my friend with her mortgage payment.

Friend (I'll call her L) just texted me wondering if I was still interested. Now, I haven't seen the place yet. But I am still interested. I keep saying how I want to consolidate and get down to the point where I can exist in one room. This would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. She also changed her original rent statement. Before it was $200 for the room plus 1/3 of utilities (water/electric/cable/internet) and possibly 1/3 of home owners dues. With the inclusion of the dues I was looking at about what I was paying before. Now she's saying a flat $300/mo including my portion of utilities and other community stuff like dish/laundry soap, tp, etc. Which is fine by me, I'm currently buying all that stuff now usually out of habit.

It would mean a savings in rent/utilities of $50/mo. It would still mean (I think) that I'd use all of my gas budget ($80/mo) as opposed to now when I only use half of it but I still budget it all just in case. I might be able to get away with it being cheaper to take the bus and carpool. Just will have to see. One of the gals I'd be living with gets off work about 30 minutes before I do, and works near me. So it's possible an arrangement could be made where I catch a ride home with her some evenings.

L also says we can shoot for a move in date of November/December which would give me time to continue consolidating stuff. I am going to aim to not only not have my storage unit anymore (including what I'm stashing downstairs at my current apt that is included in my rent). That would mean another $60 saved a month.

I think I can pull this off. The hardest part will be leaving my current living situation. I love being able to walk to work and I have no issues with my current roommate. Plus I'd hate to put her in a bind to have to find another roommate. Guess I'll just broach the subject and see what her thoughts are. Since she was expecting to have to move out of the area at some point to get a job in the field she just got a degree in anyway.

Weekend fun

August 22nd, 2006 at 07:33 pm

The weekend was fun. Was rather annoyed by the rental company, they didn't have ANY cars even though I had a reservation. So I got a minivan instead. It was nice to have the room but the gas mileage sucked! I paid for half of the gas (because of how we figured out who would pay for what leg of the trip and I had one quarter leg all to myself) and my fellow travelers paid for the other half. My friend bought a ticket for the second show from me because she didn't have one yet. I thought she had two and was only using one so that worked out well. My uncle paid for the room. I paid for the minivan (at the car rate I had secured) because I hadn't paid my uncle back yet for the first show ticket. All in all after all the settling up was done I got about $50 cash. And had put $150 on my credit card. *sigh*

No more using the credit card! My time share transfer isn't going through until October so I don't have that money to throw at CC2 yet. It's supposed to be paid off but it now has a balance of over $500. I can account for all of it, me just thinking 'oh I'll pay it off really soon when my time share transfer goes through' for some of it, paying for the transfer for other of it. Argh!

Whoops. I guess I didn't click post this morning. Anyway. We'll see how well I do with the whole no more charging bit. I have $30 now in cashback dividends but I can't request a check til its at $50. I am still putting groceries and gas on it because I pay that off right away plus I'l l have extra to put on it on the 5th. The hope still is that when the dividend balance reaches $50 the card will already be paid off and I can use that check for savings or just something else in general.

Preparing for an expensive weekend.

August 19th, 2006 at 10:26 am

I love a particular band. I have gone to 24 shows (roughly) since the first time I saw them September '03. Usually I go to more than one at a time, making a roadtrip out of it. I've even traveled to the east coast for three shows, and flown down to San Diego to follow them back up to Portland. I finally toned things down. Decided that even though I split some costs with my uncle (who turned me onto the band) it was a little too much to be spending that sort of money on. So I stuck mainly to in the area shows (Oregon and Washington) and then dropped it to only Portland shows where I could work merch and get in for free plus get a free tshirt.

This weekend will be the first time since November I've seen them. They're playing a music festival in Seattle today with Shawn Mullins and the BoDeans. Tickets for reserved seats are $60. I didn't know what the cost was going to be when I originally said I wanted to go, just knew my uncle would pick up the tab and I could pay him back later. Tomorrow they're in Bend, tickets are a bit better there, only $17.50.

I'm renting a car (my uncle is paying me back for it) that'll cost $60 for two days including taxes but not gas. Since I haven't paid him back yet for my Seattle ticket I figure that will probably just balance out. I will be driving up to Seattle, picking up a friend there, driving back to Portland, then onto Bend with my uncle and friend and back to Portland. During various times there will be multiple people in the car. I'm expecting that they'll pick up some of the tab for gas.

I bought three tickets to the Bend show, one for me, one for my aunt, and one for my uncle. Now I'm working the merch table, so I don't need my ticket. My aunt's not coming after all so we don't need her ticket. Though my uncle did say he'd pay me back for both his and his wife's ticket even if she didn't go. The show in Bend is not sold out so the chances of our being able to sell the tickets we don't need are slim. Although, they are front row. We'll try but who knows. I didn't originally sign up to work merch because it's not a show in my immediate area. I try to not be totally gung ho about working merch in other cities because I want to let the local fans have the opportunity. But it got down to the wire and no one had volunteered so I picked it up.

The hope is that we can find a place to camp for the night. Bend is very limited in it's options for hotels so they aren't cheap. Worst case I think we might have to pay $80 for the night. Which my friend and I would split but my uncle would get his own room.

I pulled out $40 cash to have on hand as just in case money. I didn't spend all of my 'personal' money last payperiod so I'm taking from that and from some of my 'personal' money from this payperiod. Everything else will go on a card for now, to be paid back pretty much right away, at least from what my fellow roadtrippers donate.

We are driving back to Portland after the show tonight, my friend and I will crash at my place. So there's no potential hotel charge tonight. I don't really have food on hand for breakfast, at least not that anyone else would want. Plus I was expecting to be staying at my Uncle's tonight so hadn't planned on a guest. We'll probably hit McD's on the way out.

We're heading out early so we can go explore a volcano natural park before the show. I know it'll cost $5 for parking, but past that shouldn't be too bad.

I'm planning on eating out for at least one meal tonight (dinner, probably at the festival unless I stop at Subway or something and bring in my own food which is still eating out technically but it would be cheaper). Tomorrow I plan on eating out all three meals, but everyone's watching their pennies so it should be cheap.

I'm really excited about going. There's something about a road trip that makes me smile and think of all the fond memories of the past three years. The band members and crew recognize me now. They even expect me to 'follow' them when they get in this area and act sad when I tell them I can't (which has happened a couple of times).

They have a new cd coming out September 12th and I haven't even pre-ordered it yet. With this trip and all I just can't justify one more expense. If I come home with enough cash to pick it up then I'll order it. Otherwise, it will just have to wait til my next payday. There's an indie radio station (online) that has 7 songs off the new album though so it's not like I haven't heard any of them yet. Smile

And now I'm rambling. So I'll leave it at that. Smile

Oh and if you're curious...the name of the band is Carbon Leaf and they can be found at http://www.carbonleaf.com

Yet another reason I hate shopping.

August 17th, 2006 at 09:29 pm

I rarely buy new clothes. I wear the same thing over and over and over again until it totally gives out or it doesn't fit right. But even if it doesn't fit right chances are I'll keep it for when it does fit right again.

The last item of clothing I purchased new (not counting the shoes I bought recently as part of a mystery shop) was a pair of jeans from Old Navy last September. I needed a pair of lightweight jeans for a work trip to Kenya (we'd be working on an orphanage so I needed the protection of jeans but light weight enough to be worn in the heat). My brother and I just happened to be killing time before going to see a movie, there was an Old Navy so we wandered in and I found exactly what I wanted for only $20. They finally gave out on me in May. That was ok, summer was coming up and not really jeans weather.

This weekend I'm going on a road trip to see my favorite band. I'll be working the merchandise table for them at one of the shows even. So I decided a new pair of jeans was required since I don't really have any right now. What I've been wearing are convertable kakis (y'know the kind that you can unzip the legs and make them into shorts) and they aren't the most flattering but they work in a pinch.

Old Navy was having a sale, all adult jeans under $25 so I wander into the closest store tonight to find the 'highest' waist jean that they carry is just under at waist, that they only carry stretch jeans, and the boot cut is more like a taper to the knee then straight/slight flare at the bottom. Which looks absolutely horrible on me.

*sigh*

So I went to Ross and Marshalls. No dice. I'd also decided I was overdue for a fun tshirt, so I stopped in at Hot Topic because I knew they had Daria shirts and of course, they were all out. I popped in on Lane Bryant hoping they had stuff on sale. Well yes in a way, jeans were buy one get one half off. But that would mean spending $60 to get the deal ($40 for the first pair and $20 for the second) and I just can't justify that.

By this time I was really hungry and I didn't see any mall fare that looked good so went to a little pizza place nearby and just had a slice ($4) and stopped into Goodwill. Nothing. Not a blessed thing. ARGH!

Back to the mall, since I had to walk by there to get home, and made Sears my final stop. Finally found jeans my size, in my price range, that didn't have an elastic waistband, and they're all SHORT. I'm a tall gal (5'11") so short just doesn't do the trick.

I leave Saturday at noon. I don't know where else to go. I'm kinda depressed about this. Why is it so hard to find something I like that fits when I really need it?

More thoughts to consider with moving.

August 17th, 2006 at 10:48 am

If I did move..my roomates would both have cars. I could sell mine (put the money received towards debt repayment), not have to pay $93/mo for insurance or $80/mo for gas. Would then pick up a bus pas $74/mo which is still a savings of $100/mo. If I went anywhere that needed a car, chances are I could get a ride from one of my roomates. And getting to/from the store for major grocery shopping wouldn't be that difficult with their cars accessible. The new place is right next to MAX (light rail).

I'm not so concerned about the whole gym thing (ie giving it up) because I do have workout videos I can use at home (I mainly joined Curves so I could have someone else measure me and keep track of all that stuff). Plus I still think I'd be walking plenty, if I did go the bus route, the light rail stops about a mile from work so I'd still walk that bit.

Ok more thought is required on this.

Possible new living arrangement.

August 16th, 2006 at 04:57 pm

Right now this is my current living situation:

Rent: $287.50
Utilities: $63
Gas: $80 (usually use only $40 because I can walk to work)

I've lived with my current roomate for 3 years, I love my current roomate and wouldn't really want to ditch her except that I'm working really hard to get out of debt so if something else comes up I'm tempted to change things up a bit.

Another friend of mine had to move for the umpteenth time and finally threw up her hands and put an offer on a condo. Her offer on a new condo was accepted. The condo is 3 bedrooms, she and her current roomate are looking for a third and have offered it to me. So this is the potential new breakdown:

Rent: $200
Utilities: $60 (potential 1/3rd of electric, water, and cable)
Gas: $80 (possibly more because new place is 8 miles away from work so I'll actually use all of my budget)

Now I haven't seen the place yet so I don't know for certain if it's something I'd want to do.

The other potential cost is her $140 monthly condo dues. I don't know if she's going to want us to help her out with that as well. Which would really just make it all even out for me.

Of course there won't be any room for my stuff that I'm pulling out of storage so that $60 I'm trying to save from not having storage I think I'll have to spend $45/mo for the stuff left over for storage.

I'll probably ditch the gym for good because my schedule is going to be changing up so much, so that'll be another $30 savings.

Anyway, lots to think about. I haven't told my current roomate yet because I want to wait and see if I like it etc. The other nice thing about this possibility is that I wouldn't have to move in right away, I could wait a couple of months. Which would mean I could go through my storage stuff more, get rid of more crap, and give my roomate time to either find another place or find another roomate.

Oh yeah and it'll take a while for everything to process for them to be able to get into the house. Which is sad because I think they only have less than 3 weeks to be completely moved from their current residence.

Not as good as I was hoping for.

August 15th, 2006 at 03:00 pm

Well they didn't let me pull my little stunt of basically using the $50 rebate for the phone to pay for the accessories. That's ok, I do still need the accessories (I don't have a handsfree, I always loose them after about a year but they're handy when I have them, and I do get use out of the car charger because I like to let my phone completely die before recharging) but not so much the leather case. I'm going to try reselling that, we'll see how that goes. The nice thing about getting this stuff from the store is it comes in the individual packages so I can resell it easily.

Ok so here's what I got. Motorola v325, Free with my New Every Two deal (well they charged me $50 for it because I'll be sending in the rebate so that's encouragement to send in the rebate). Accessory pack (handsfree, car charger, leather case) for $35 [it was $50 in store but I mentioned that it was $35 online and she said they'd honor the online price], Car mount $15 (was $20 but I got a 25% discount on it). I need the car mount because I plan on making use of the VZ Navigator option on the phone and having it be mounted somewhere in the car will be handy for that. Plus it'd be nice to have a place to just put my cell phone and not wonder where in the car it fell.

All told, $99.96 will go on my next statement. I'll send in the $50 rebate after I'm past the 15 day trial period to make sure I like the phone. Which makes my total $49.96. More than I was hoping for but all things considered not a bad deal. I'm going to hold off on buying/downloading any new ringers for my phone til I'm sure I like it and it's paid off.

New Cell Phone

August 15th, 2006 at 07:50 am

My phone is definately on its last legs. Today is the day I can upgrade under Verizon's 'New Every 2' program which gives me $100 towards a new phone. The plan, at present, is to get a Motorola v325 $119.99, an accessory pack $35, and a car holder $19.99. All told that's $174.98. Minus the $100 for the phone that's $74.98. Will request that it go on my account, so the bill won't actually be due until 9/20. And there's a $50 rebate on the phone, if I mail it off right away I should have it before the bill is due. Making my total purchase price $24.98. Now I'm assuming that the accessory pack is the same price in the store as it is online. The only reason I'd get it is because I need a car charger and a handsfree, and seperately that's like $45. Plus the accessory pack comes with a leather case. If the store doesn't have it at that price, then I'll just wait til I get back to work to order it online. Smile

I'm so excited about it that I'm going into work an hour early just so I have time to go to the Verizon store and get everything during a lunch break (we are at work for 8 hours, just eat at our desk so don't really have a scheduled lunch break which I really like especially since if we want a break we can come in early or stay late to make up the time).

Pay it forward and other money expenditures.

August 13th, 2006 at 09:55 pm

Today at church some friends of mine and I were talking. A mentioned that the reason she didn't pack a lunch yesterday (we did work projects all over the city, 400 volunteers and about 40 projects total) was she didn't have any food to pack. She just started a new job after her internship had been over for two weeks, plus she had to move because her lease was up, and the money was tagged for other bills that she couldn't let go any further. I said 'let me take you out shopping to just get essentials for the week'. At first she thought I was joking, then she realized I wasn't and said she was really tempted. In the end, she let me take her shopping. She just got the basics, plus a couple other things that I encouraged her to buy. Grand total, $25. Total I had left in my grocery budget before today, $37. So I didn't spend any more than I had available, and I'm pretty well stocked for this week. Plus I get paid on Friday. So shouldn't be a problem to keep any spending to $12. As we were leaving the store she commented that when she's able perhaps she can return the favor. I didn't want her to feel beholden to me, this was my gift to her not something she asked for, so I told her instead to perhaps return the favor to someone else if ever she was able and the need arose. She said 'oh like pay it forward?' and I said 'exactly!' Smile I knew the concept just forgot the exact title.

I broke down and put gas in my car today, the second $20 that I usually end up not having to spend. But with going out to my brother's house last weekend I knew it would happen. Plus today I decided to make a couple trips to my storage until to attempt to clear it out. 86 miles later... Ugh. That's another reason to get it cleared out, then it won't be so far away! I was looking in the clear plastic bins as I was putting them in my car and thought 'why am I keeping this?' about some of them. When we first bought the bins years ago, we only put stuff in it we really wanted to keep and gave away or tossed a bunch of stuff in the process. I think it's time to do that again. However I have sooo much stuff to go through that the thought of going through the plastic bins just doesn't sit well with me. So I will wait until I've gone through all the papers I've pulled out of storage. This project is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. I look at whats left and really don't see how I'm going to find room for all that stuff. Even with selling some of it and recycling/shredding a good chunk of it. But it will get done.

I really don't mind the storage project taking longer so long as my timeshare transfer goes through! I heard back from my buyer. I had told her that they listed the dues as being due 9/1 instead of 12/1 like I'd originally mentioned, however my check to them for the dues cleared my bank two days prior to the transfer contract being drawn up. She would prefer (and I don't blame her) to have it in writing that the dues are not due until 12/1. So I'll be calling them on Monday and hopefully they can fax something to me instead of having to wait another week for paperwork. Ok I just checked the postmark, it actually only took two days to get through the mail the rest of the time was probably spent waiting for the contract to be drawn up. Anyway. If they can fax it that would be wonderful. And then I can get this party started!

Ok I think this entry has gotten too long. I could break it up but I'm lazy.

The paperwork arrived!

August 13th, 2006 at 07:10 am

Ok now this is sort of bugging me. The gal who wanted to buy my timeshare was all over emailing me every couple of hours (it seemed like) asking questions, verifying things, etc last weekend. I got the paperwork yesterday, emailed her that I'd received it and asked for her mailing address so I could send her what she needed to fill out. And I've heard nothing back. I know I keep telling people that sometimes people go out of town, etc, and can't check their email so to be patient. But it just seems odd. So I'm waiting til Monday, since that's when I can mail it out anyway (I have to have something signed and notarized first) and worst case I have her phone number to call her. *crosses fingers* I'm really hoping she's not backing out of this.

Since I don't know if people go back and read comments I'll address the question that was asked there. The reason I would consider a less paying job (esp when I'm trying to get out of debt) is that I got a second degree a couple of years ago but I have no practical experience in it. I really want to get that experience but I know starting out with no experience I have to take a pay cut. However, if the right job comes along, that still pays all my bills, but that has more room for advancement, I would take it. Where I'm at right now, there's no room for advancement and the company's been struggling off and on so I get a cost of living raise (3%) if anything annually. But where I'm at pays my bills.

I'd love to find a part time job where I could just get experience, and I look for those too. Something where the money doesn't matter because I've got my bases already covered, that works around my current work schedule. I still haven't found it yet.

Oh my second degree is in Accounting. I am just looking for general bookkeeping, ar, ap, staff accountant type of work.

And I'm not actually actively looking for another job. Just now and again I check craiglist to see if anything catches my eye.

Just because they say you don't have to make a payment...

August 10th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

..doesn't mean you shouldn't. I know this. Really I do. But I got so excited when they told me in July that I wasn't required to make a payment til August that I used the money to pay off other things. And now I'm paying for it, in another respect. My payment to my consolidated student loan this month, went completely to interest. Next month will too. Finally in October, I'll actually pay off approx $30 towards principle. In November I should be back on track. Ugh.

Ok now if my transfer papers will just show up so I can get them filled out and sent off and be done with my timeshare then I'll have that money to use elsewhere! I'm getting anxious about it now but I know things take a while to get mailed so I shouldn't be.

Sold?

August 7th, 2006 at 02:19 pm

I've been emailing a gal all weekend about her taking over my timeshare. I finally spoke with her today after verifying a couple of things she'd asked questions about but I didn't have an answer for. After explaining that I had to request the transfer paperwork from the company, she said to go ahead and do that. So I called the company and found their rules have changed slightly. Instead of them just sending out the paperwork and us returning it with a check for the transfer fees, I have to pay the transfer fees up front and then they'll send the paperwork. I went ahead and did so, charging it because when this goes through I can pay it off right quick. I figure the sooner I can get the paperwork and complete the transaction, the less of a chance she'll have of changing her mind. So...fingers crossed.

Lil bro got a job!!

August 5th, 2006 at 12:08 am

I'm so excited! He got a three day gig at Costco handing out samples (it pays $120/day and for that he'll do almost anything). Today was his first day and when he got home his friend T called and said congrats on the job! He replied that it was only a 3 day gig and she said no...congrats on the real job. You start Tuesday.

He is very excited. I am to. It's data entry for the cable company. It makes me happy. It makes him happy.

I'm doing what I can to help instill financial sense. Like for example our conversation tonight:

Him: So I've decided what I'm going to do with my Costco money now that I have a real job.
Me: What's that?
Him: Get my driver's license!!
Me: Good idea.
Him: Oh and once I get caught up on all my bills, I've decided that before I get all those piercings I want I'm going to invest in some nicer clothes and not wear them as often.
Me: Not a bad plan. Don't forget to start saving, for a car, for emergencies.
Him: Oh yeah, that too.

Yipeee!!! I'm not going to bug him about paying me back, I know he will once he gets everything squared away. Right now Verizon is being nice, even though he's over 2 months past due on his cell, because he's looking for work (so he can pay his bills) they let him have incoming calls only. So that takes precedence over me.

Oh and as an aside...I haven't relisted my timeshare but when I was on craigslist I did a search for the name of the company just to see what other people were trying to sell theirs for. I found an add for someone looking to buy, though she wanted more credits than I have annually. I emailed her anyway and she's tempted. So we'll see if anything comes of that. I've learned not to get my hopes up too much until the papers have been notorized. I'm even willing to pay the $150 transfer fee if someone will just take it off my hands!!! Smile

Screening interview

August 4th, 2006 at 01:50 pm

I had a screening interview and tests this morning at a staffing company. They have an entry level ish staff accountant position that one of their clients is trying to fill. The benefits cost way less than I'm currently paying, there's no pre-existing condition clause, but their max pay is about $5k less per year than I'm making right now. I did forget to ask if benefits start immediately. If they don't then I'll be going to Costco for my meds and putting off my next checkup as much as possible.

I checked a paycheck calculator and figured out that the monthly net (based on federal and state withholdings) is about $172 less than I'm making right now. Uhh. I know that has to do with benefits that I have to pay for ($125/mo pre tax) and the 3% I have going into a 401k account.

So I could concievably take the job and make ends meet somehow, providing they opt to interview me and like what they see. Plus I'm putting up my timeshare for sale again in September (decided to start doing that quarterly) and if I can get rid of that it will knock $170 off my required monthly outflow. Which would put me at breaking even. Give or take. Not to mention I'm trying to knock off a couple of things anyway.

I'm really excited about the potential to actually use my second degree. Just hoping that it all pans out. Sounds like a good company and it's a bit larger than my current one (currently there's 9 employees in my company, new company there's 100 on the payroll). So more potential for movement or at least raises possibly. Guess just will have to cross my fingers and hope.

30 day notice.

August 3rd, 2006 at 08:53 am

It makes sense. Apparently the apartment complex where I rent a garage from (my friends live there so I pay them the extra charge for the garage and they include it in their rent) requires 30 day notice if you're going to not have it anymore. Originally my friend had told me just to let her know when I didn't need it anymore.

This adds a whole new twist to things. I don't know that I'll be able to clear it out this month. I want to, but my weekends are crazy busy. If I give a 30 day notice right now, can I move everything out in time? If I wait until I know I'll have it all cleared out though that means shelling out extra $$ for the rest of the time. Argh! I wish it wasn't so far away. Round trip will cost at least 2 gallons of gas, and since I've been surviving on only 7 gallons over a two week period, that's a lot. I may stop by and make an assessment of things on my way to my brother's on Sunday, since I'll be passing right by.

I'm assuming that if there's any overlap, ie the 30 days isn't given at the start of a month, then the excess will be pro-rated. I can deal with that. Just need to get off my butt and finish clearing out the space where I'm intending to store it.

Food and Gas budget.

August 3rd, 2006 at 07:24 am

I thought I'd try something new this past pay period. Since my cashback cc was paid off, and it gives me 5% back on grocery and gas purchases, I decided to charge (within my budget) all my food and gas purchases and then pay it off right before my next payday.

Well tomorrow is my next payday. I didn't use all of my budget, there was 22.89 left over all together. However, I did have to charge my recent auto repair as well to the card so I do still have a debt outstanding. So when I made a payment just now, I put the entire amount I had budgeted to try and eat away at the auto repair.

I'm not sure what I should do about this next pay period, seeing as how I'll have a blanace that will carry over. At least this first statement it won't have any interest applied. Normally I could possibly scare up the difference with my extra check that I get on the 5th but since I lent (gave) my brother $200 for rent I have to make that up too.

So I might just pull the cash out and carry that around so there's no additional charges to potentially incur interest since I can't pay the balance in full just yet. Or I may continue what I did before: use the card for food and gas and pay my entire budget towards the card even if I don't use it all to try and eat away at the auto repair charge and hope that Sept 5th I can pay the difference. Fortunately I did call them and lower my interest rate by 3% so that's a good thing at least.

And I thought I was almost done with the medical bills.

August 2nd, 2006 at 08:29 am

I got an Explanation of Benefits from my insurance company regarding my last dental visit. If I'm reading it correctly, I still owe the dentist money because the insurance company didn't pay for as much as they anticipated. Usually it's the other way around, the insurance company pays for more and I wind up with a small credit. Of course, I don't know for certain. I will wait until I get the bill from my dentist. It just frustrates me to no end that there seems to be no end in sight of medical things that need to be paid RIGHT NOW.

Net Worth IQ for July

August 1st, 2006 at 08:28 am

Not really sure how to make this pretty but you get the idea. I'm just excited it improved a bit, even if my retirement fund went down. Darn stock market.

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $332 ($71) -17.62 %
Retirement $21,947 ($226) -1.02 %
Cars $2,455 $75 3.15 %
Total Assets $24,734 ($222) -0.89 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $36,493 ($548) -1.48 %
Credit Card $15,520 ($111) -0.71 %
Other $17,237 ($228) -1.31 %
Total Debts $69,250 ($887) -1.26 %

Net Worth ($44,516) $665 1.47 %