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Archive for March, 2007

Rock on

March 29th, 2007 at 07:49 pm

I will need to buy new shoes for doing Portland to Coast. I wanted to buy two pairs, one mainly for training and the other for the actual event (that I would break in during training but not use quite as much). That was a trick I learned when training for a marathon, if you find a pair of shoes that really work for you buy two pairs because chances are if you wait til you actually need them that style may be gone.

I used Brooks Addiction 4 Men's running shoes for the marathon. For the walk it was perfect, just enough room in the toe so I wasn't smashing my feet when I walked and I managed to only get one blister out of the whole thing and it was near my callous on the side of my foot so I didn't really notice it anyway.

A year or so later I picked up another pair of the same shoes, apparently it was a popular style so Brooks kept it around.

This year I had resigned myself to having to go to a running shoe store to get fitted and see what brand/style would work this time around. I remember paying about $75 each pair for the shoes I got before.

On a whim, I decided to check online. I rarely buy shoes online because I can't try them on. But I found someone that had the exact style I was looking for on clearance. Total price for two pairs including shipping: $78. Rock on. I think I'll wait til next payday to actually buy them. But that made me happy!

Voting revisited

March 27th, 2007 at 02:00 pm

We are on the main page as far as in the top running for votes. Voting ends on the 28th. As much as I hope we get it, it's hard to say that I hope we beat out some of the other ones that are in need of more than we are.

If you haven't checked it out yet (I don't remember if I posted again once the voting started) check us out here: http://www.robinhoodfund.com/cast-your-votes/wish/id/2310

Basically our wish is money to pay off a shared debt on a credit card that was generated when we didn't raise enough money to go on a serve trip. We could have chosen not to go but the airline tickets had already been purchased for us by a third party and we would have had to pay for it regardless.

Anyway...

Happy Monday! No wait it's Tuesday, I took Monday off so I'm all out of wack.

I spent money today.

March 23rd, 2007 at 08:49 pm

I really really really want to do Portland to Coast which is the walking portion of the Hood to Coast relay. I found a team and was given two options. Pay the entrance fee now (the captain had already paid the fee to lock in the spot) or agree to pay by race day (August 24th). I didn't want to put it off, I do have it in savings although it doesn't exactly qualify as an emergency. So I told him I would mail him a check. Cost is $131.50 but $25 of that is to go for team fleeces.

I didn't really take in all the fees that are associated with this event. If we can't find vans/suv's to borrow we'll have to rent them to the tune of $800 each, or $1600 for the weekend so $200 each teammate. Then there's the hotel stay. After 127 mile relay race chances are no one will be heading back home afterwards. That's another $180 just for one room because none of the hotels in Seaside let you book for just one night on that weekend. But I might be able to share it with a teammate.

The captain is trying to get us sponsored. If that happens then hopefully we can use that money to cover the rental of the vans. Or if we find vans to borrow, perhaps that will cover the cost of our entrance fee.

I am really looking forward to this adventure. I meet my new teammates on April 7th.

Check on hold.

March 21st, 2007 at 05:03 pm

I figured that the balance transfer check I deposited today would be put on hold. I just didn't know for how long. The only other time I've deposited a large check it was from a Wells Fargo Loan to a Wells Fargo Checking account. It did take a couple days but not quite as long as this one will.

Deposited: $11,000.

$100 available now.
$4,900 available 3/28/07
$6,000 available 4/5/07

Ok, so it could have been worse. One of the things I plan on paying with this BT is a loan for over $8,000. So my plan of attack right now is...

Pay $5,000 on loan as soon as it's available (3/28). Once the rest of the money is off hold, call and get a 10 day payoff balance, pay off the rest of the loan and pay the rest of the stuff I had planned on paying with it.

I think that's the best senario right now. I don't know how interest is calculated on said loan but if it's like credit card interest the more I pay on it now the less I'll have to pay later. At least that's my theory.

Payday!

March 20th, 2007 at 11:52 pm

(but first, to whoever posted the recipe for the crockpot pizza.. I overthink when I read recipes, the 12 oz of cooked noodles is that 12 oz before cooking or after??)

Yipee payday is here! I really don't know why my Jan 20th check was one number and my Feb 20th (and March 20th) checks were another. A smidge higher, by a little less than $10. Odd. But I still budget off the lowest check I receive so we'll just forget about it for now.

I paid all my bills. Yay! I figured out how to pay my Citi loan online. I have to transfer from external source to Citi checking and then from Citi checking to Citi loan. Pain yes, but it still beats the check getting 'lost' in the mail. Not that that's ever happened to me or anything.

I made my Tuesday deposit of $50 and deposited $12 left over from gas last check into my 'visit friend' fund.

The statement at Citicards hasn't shown up yet so I'm holding off on depositing that check. I won't be waiting til Tuesday next week to take care of my balance transfer check.

I turned down an extra $25 for babysitting this Thursday night. I meet every Tuesday and Thursday with people from church. The every Tuesday is something I can miss and if the right opportunity presents itself I will miss it. But the every Thursday is more of a close knit accountability thing and I need to try and be there as much as possible. Perhaps over the summer when we don't meet as often, I can pick up some extra work.

It's been a while.

March 19th, 2007 at 07:53 pm

Not much been going on in the money realm of my life lately.

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I went on a date, first time in about 6 years, on Saturday. I'm still a novice when it comes to dating so I went fully prepared to pay for my portion. He wouldn't let me though and insisted I take home the leftovers (we split a small pizza). We have tenative plans to get together again soon. However we both are pretty busy with work and life which makes actually nailing down a date/time a little difficult.

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I remembered when I went to get my check for last night that they owed me for two weeks. That was a nice bonus since I'd forgotten about it. My Tuesday deposit is currently $50. It might wind up being $55 if I don't spend any money tonight.

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I got my balance transfer check (at the rate of 3.99%) while I was gone for $11,000. I'm waiting to cash it until I know for certain my balance is $0, but new statements should be coming out tomorrow. I'm debating what to do with that money. Here's the current plan:

$8,250 to pay off loan (14.4% interest)
$1,000 to go into savings account just in case my brother needs to borrow it for school (4.5% interest). If he doesn't need it then it'll go to pay off my loan at 10.9%
$1,000 to take over my portion of a debt on someone else's credit card. (7.99% interest)

With what's left, approx $750, I think I've decided to bump up my EF to $1k and then take what's left over and put on my loan (10.9% interest). My EF just never seems to hit the full mark. Once I hit that then I'll start putting my extra pay towards the higher interest loan. Every little bit helps.

Trip and stuff

March 15th, 2007 at 08:02 pm

I left with a little over $60 in my pocket for food. I came home with about $8 because my friend paid for a couple of meals plus the places we stayed offered decent breakfasts included with the rooms. I also spent $10 on a tshirt for me since I saw it the last day I was there and knew I had the money to spare. Smile I did reserve a room with my card and its obvious the authorization is still out there because it shows in my available credit. However when we checked out my friend put all charges on her card so the authorization should go away soon. My balance still says $0.00.

I had a lot of fun. It was crazy, I played navigator and secretary. We found her an apartment that was a little over her budget but it was something she could find out imediately about as opposed to having to wait 1 or 2 days. They were unloading the trailer when I left for the airport.

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I checked on the status of my balance transfer request, it has been approved so yay! I also happened to look and see what is currently available and the only option now is a 6.99% rate until paid off. I am soooo glad I put in the request when the 3.99% rate was available! Now I just have to wait for the check to arrive and hold onto it until the 20th to make sure the balance is $0.00 before I deposit it.

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Apparently there are a couple of hoops to be jumped through in order to make payments online to my Citi loan. I can't transfer directly from another financial institution to my loan. Instead, I have to do a transfer to my dummy Citi checking account and once it arrives there then I can transfer the payment to my loan. It's still faster than mailing it in, especially if I can submit it before noon my time. They reflect the interest accrual daily in the balance so I've been itching to submit a partial payment. But I had to wait the 14 days to set up my external account. Soon it will be down to a science and I'll be saving on interest.

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I was asked to be in a wedding. I don't really want to do it but it means a lot to the bride if I do. Before I left for Utah it had been called off by the groom over something totally stupid. One of those things where you think 'good thing it got called off now'. I was just informed by my brother that the wedding is back on. *sigh* I'm just too nice sometimes. The only positive thing about this wedding is it's in an area where I have lots of friends and family that I've been meaning to visit so perhaps I'll make a vacation out of the trip.

I am back!

March 14th, 2007 at 08:07 pm

I'll probably write more about my trip later. But just a couple quick things..

1 - Safeway has these salad things on sale, I think it's called Essential Salads, they're something new near the lunch meat. Anyway, they're on sale right now 10/$10 and there's a coupon dispensor right next to them with a $1 off coupon for it as well. So it's free. I picked one up today...

2 - I found this website, http://www.robinhoodfund.com and posted a wish request. Registration is free and voting begins March 28th so please register before then and vote for us once voting begins! Smile Check it out at: http://www.robinhoodfund.com/cast-your-votes/wish/id/2310

Balance Transfer initiated

March 6th, 2007 at 11:37 pm

Post #2 today.

Part of the point of getting the loan for the balance of my credit card was to lower the interest rate and to free up balance transfer space. The card that I cleared has had a pretty steady offer of 3.99% until paid in full. The plan was to request a check for $11,000 on the 15th figuring that by the time the check arrived then the statement showing a $0 balance would have already arrived so I could safely cash it.

Today on a whim I went and checked to see what balance transfers were an option. There were two, one for 3.99% and one for 6.99%. The rest of the terms were the same. That got me to wondering if there was a chance that the 3.99% one might be going away before I wanted to request it. So I took the plunge today and requested the check. It'll break down something like this:

$8,500 to pay off loan at Wells Fargo that's currently at 14.45%
$1,000 to transfer partial responsibility for Croatia credit card to myself. Currently it's on a card at 6.99%
$1,000 to stick in ING account just in case brother needs it for school. His GI Bill has been sorted out and it's still not quite right. But he has money coming in so he shouldn't need it. I just like cushions. If it turns out he doesn't need it I will pay it on my higher interest loan.
$500 to pay on my higher interest loan.

I picked $11,000 because near as I could figure, that was the most I could request and have the minimum payment be about the same as my current Wells Fargo loan payment.

When the check arrives I will hold onto it until after the statement shows up online. Once that happens I'll deposit the check and request a 10 day payoff balance. Chances are it'll be less than $8,500 and any extra left over will just go towards the higher interest loan.

Tuesday Deposit.

March 6th, 2007 at 04:18 pm

This Tuesday is a little off. I didn't get paid on Sunday, the guy had run out of checks, so I'll get double the next time I work which isn't this week but next week. I did get $5 from Creation Rewards and I got my $100 tow reimbursement check from insurance. Plus since it's near the first, I have my roomate's rent check.

$5 went to Emigrant. $100 will go to Wells Fargo. And rent of course goes into checking.

I will probably be getting gas tomorrow and since they wiped out my change in the ash tray I have to start over again. So from my change bank I pulled 3 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel, and 4 pennies to seed my ash tray again. In Oregon you can't pump your own gas and usually the stations I go to you just pay the attendant not a cashier with a drawer. So I try to make sure I have enough for exact change and try to remember to tell them to not top off.

Pay day

March 5th, 2007 at 08:24 pm

Boy what a confusing time I had this morning. My method got messed up, I double added a couple of deposits so I thought I had more money than I really did, etc. But I sorted it all out and wound up with the following:

- All regular budget items taken care of.
- Another $20 paid towards a retreat I'm going on. It's $70 total but I'm hoping to be able to pay in installments each month. This payment makes $40 that I've paid so far.
- $25 on a Kiva gc for my dad for his birthday on Saturday.
- $40 pulled out for my vacation
- $40 held onto for the next paycheck, just to be sure all bases are covered.

I pulled out my gas and food budget too. I'll leave half of the food budget at home and most of the other half will be added to the $40 I pulled already. The only food I NEED to buy before I head away is I'm signed up to bring a main dish for a potluck on Tuesday. Otherwise I can skate by on whatever's in the house. I don't have to worry about hotels during my trip, my friend said she would cover that as a thank you for coming along and helping her move. So I think $80-$85 should be plenty for food over about 5 days of travelling. Hopefully we can stop at the store and buy things to eat in the car for our driving days instead of eating out every meal. I am planning on NOT spending every dime I take with me Smile

I haven't decided if I'm going to fill my tank before I leave for vacation or not. If my friend who works in the woods at a special school is home while I'm gone and needs the car then I'll fill it for him, otherwise if it's just going to sit at another friend's house I'll leave it at about half tank. My roomate will also be gone while I'm gone so I'm making arrangements for it to be somewhere that can be checked easily.

I went to Seattle this weekend. I caught a ride from some friends already going up so I saved $40 in gas. But then I spent more than I had intended on some things. Fortunately, not more than the $40 I saved in gas. It was worth it to surprise my friend that's moving away though.

The kill switch was installed this morning. Unfortunately it wound up being in a slightly more visible place than I expected but still not where I would look first if I was trying to quickly steal a car. So I think I'm going to continue using the club, give them something to focus on and perhaps draw attention away from the switch. I do feel better knowing it's there even though I do think it's painfully obvious. *sigh*

When I get my check from insurance for the tow I think it'll go into my brick and mortar savings account. That one's taken the biggest hit out of all of this. I try to keep all three accounts someone even but especially the local one since that's the one I can get to immediately if necessary.

Kill switch.

March 2nd, 2007 at 09:56 pm

In talking with someone at the gym this morning I decided to look into having a kill switch installed. Basically it means you have to do something special or the car won't start. The gal I talked to said she got it installed for $60 on her car.

I called my mechanic and he said to just get a car alarm with a kill switch. I called around about that and nothing was less than $200 installed. Umm not really what I was looking for.

I did however find a place that installs just the kill switch for $65. Now that's what I'm talking about! Appointment is set for Monday morning 9 am. I am leaving this weekend to go to Seattle so my car will be left unattended at my friend's house, armed only with The Club. Hopefully it will be ok. I know it will be but I'm a little paranoid now.

I dropped my car off at the shop to see if the random weirdness going on with my power locks was in any way related to the theft. Unfortunately it's not. And it's $212 to fix. Umm it can wait. So in the end it'll be $42.50 for the diagnosis plus $65 for the kill switch. Still cheaper all told than the alarm.

Thank God for an EF!

Medical billing error, in my favor.

March 1st, 2007 at 08:27 pm

Post #2 today.

I got my Explaination of Benefits yesterday for my last doctor visit that showed that I owed money over my co-pay. I couldn't remember anything different than my usual doctor visit so I was going to call my insurance company about it but instead decided to call the clinic itself.

The office I needed to talk to were all in a meeting but I left a message and someone just called me back. I forgot that I'd had an EKG done, something I'd not had done at the clinic before. That's what the extra charge was for. It's not much, $10 and change, but still. I have memories of my 60 year old grandmother getting charged for labor and delivery stuff when she was in for her gal bladder. So I call on that stuff.

Since I had her on the phone, and I have enough saved up that I could cover it, I asked about the Echo I had done in July. Part of my reasons for starting my medical savings account was to be able to cover tests that I have to have now and again instead of making payments. But I never got anything from insurance regarding it. I did think it odd, but never remembered to call and ask. She looked up the test in question and said that they only billed for the doctor visit. She said that sometimes things get missed and basically left it at my gain.

From what I remember of the first one, my portion would have been $145 at least. I am so not complaining!

Network IQ and 2007 Goals Update

March 1st, 2007 at 04:18 pm

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $1,134 $528 87.13 %
Retirement $25,397 ($248) -0.97 %
Cars $2,305 $0 0.00 %
Total Assets $28,836 $280 0.98 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $35,900 ($106) -0.29 %
Credit Card $0 ($18,012) -
Other $26,056 $17,544 206.11 %
Total Debts $61,956 ($574) -0.92 %

Net Worth ($33,120) $854 2.51 %

Next month I'll be transferring some of the Other to a Credit Card at a lower interest rate but I'm waiting for that credit card to show a $0 balance before I do any balance transfer.



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2007 Goals Update:

1] Consumer debt down to 14,000. Currently at $26,056. Monthly amount of decrease needs to be $1,206 each month to meet this. Not looking so hot right now. Hopefully once the balance transfer goes through and goal #2 is met then that will help.

2] EF holding steady at $1,000. Currently at $723.60. Need to increase it by $28 each month to meet this. Not a problem so long as I don't have any emergencies come up. And for the record, I did this past month but my EF still increased, so rock on.

3] Medical savings at least $500. Currently $144.55. Need to increase it by $36 each month to meet this. Shouldn't be a problem, at least until I need to get my crown.

4] (non monetary goal) Holding steady at my current goal weight. Currently have 26 lbs to go. Need to loose 3 lbs a month to meet this. Shouldn't be a problem.