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Archive for April, 2007

The problem with dropping weight.

April 30th, 2007 at 05:29 am

I have been steadily dropping weight for a while now. Taking it easy, going slow, making sure I'm dropping it for good not loosing it to just gain it back again later.

The downside...

Well I have a job interview tomorrow. The dress code for the company, seeing as how it's a marketing type company, is professional business attire. Or so I'm assuming. I prefer to overdress for interviews.

I had a stash of what I called my Interview Clothes. About 3 pairs of pants (black, black with white pin stripes, and black and white check), three or so shirts (two silk, one cotton that paired well with the pants), and two black blazers.

EVERYTHING IS TOO BIG AND LOOKS AWFUL ON ME!

So this stash that I thought I had, that I thought I could make work should the need arise that I had to wear professional type clothes is gone.

And I have almost nothing to wear to the interview tomorrow.

Fortunately, this random nice shirt that I found on clearance ages ago and bought even though it was a little snug at the time, will do ok for the interview. Since I'm actually interviewing for a tech job, I'm hoping I can get away with wearing what I consider business casual (khakis, cords, knit or cotton shirts) for the actual job should I get offered and accept it. I'm fairly certain my current work wardrobe of TShirt and Jeans will not cut it. But I'm ok with that, I'm sort of getting tired of it anyway.

They asked me for salary requirements. Ugh that's the worst I think, I'd prefer to know what they are expecting to pay before I apply. But anyway, I did some research on how to properly phrase it (I had no clue that a range was acceptable I thought you had to give them a solid number), took my current pay, gave myself a 10% raise, and made that the minimum of my range. And they still want to talk to me. So either I'm at the low end, or right on target. I'm hoping I'm right on target for what they want to pay.

They also have some great perks, so even if I got exactly what I'm making right now I would be making more. Trying not to get too excited about it til it actually happens. And if it does, I have no idea how I'm going to break the news to the powers that be. But one step at a time....

Used the CC this week.

April 27th, 2007 at 03:39 pm

I have made two purchases on my empty credit card this week.

First, tickets for my favorite band went on pre-sale on Wednesday for a venue in Seattle. Granted the show isn't until August but there isn't one scheduled for Portland yet. And I wanted to go. So I bought two tickets (total $121 after fees, darn ticketmaster). I will pay it back from my savings before interest fees occur. I am also going to try and get better seats when they actually go on sale tomorrow. I will have no trouble turning around and selling whatever I don't need as they tend to sell out quickly. Plus whoever I take with me will pay me for their ticket it's just too early for most people to plan so I don't know who that will be yet.

Second, a beach house rental for my women's group. I'm organizing a retreat and it was easier to just charge the two night stay ($310) and have people pay me back then to have everyone come up with the money right away. They have already started giving me money for it and I am certain it will be paid off before interest gets charged. We've done this in the past and it's worked well.

Funny thing, even with this semi-extravagant spending I don't feel the urge to just start charging everything. That's good. I have been very careful with this card and I want to keep it that way.

Planning to spend today

April 21st, 2007 at 04:29 pm

Aside from the grocery shopping I'm going to do today (since yesterday was payday and it's time to restock some things), I am planning on spending about $80 today.

My step brother is leaving to be stationed in Okinawa next week. We're having a going away party for him tonight. It sounds like his wife's family isn't going to be there for various reasons (lame but whatever) so it's just going to be us (myself, youngest brother, middle brother with wife, and step brother with wife and baby and maybe step daughter).

Youngest brother doesn't have any money, well he has enough coming in to cover basic expenses while he goes to school so I already told him I'd cover his dinner.

Middle brother and wife have been going through some trying times. Wife had some swelling in her brain that resulted in her having eye surgery. She's been off of work for a month now which has saved them a lot in gas but still cuts into their budget. Although Middle brother also had a recent raise of $2/hr that kicked in right about the time that wife took sick so they're not totally strapped but close. So I'd like to pick up their bill as well.

Step brother is leaving. I want to do something nice for him but because he's heading overseas there's really nothing I could give him that would be appropriate. So I'll treat them to dinner and give them a little more wiggle room as they sort stuff out. Step brother's wife and baby will be staying in the states an extra two months before following him.

We're going to Red Robin where it's next to impossible to spend less than $10/person unless people share. There's six of us (plus possibly a 5 yo) so that's at least $60 plus tip. I have $60 set aside to pay for eHarmony but I talked to J, the guy I've been dating briefly, last night and I think I'm just going to give it a little more time before I throw in the towel just yet. So instead of spending it there I'll just spend it on dinner tonight. If I do decide to join eHarmony I'll just use money from my babysitting jobs that have become more plentiful as of late.

Granted, if more people show up (ie close friends) it'll be trickier to pull off. But it's something I really want to do AND I can do it without charging it. It makes me really happy to be able to do these things and I don't make a habit of it (though I'd like to but I realize that's part of what got me in trouble before with credit cards).

Tricky Credit Card...

April 20th, 2007 at 02:03 pm

I called today to cancel Credit Protector and the dude was all telling me how he could lower my interest rate to 6.99%.....It wasn't until our conversation was over that he mentioned 'ok I'll send a balance transfer check out to you'. Umm since I recently did a balance transfer don't you think I would know to do that myself if I really wanted it. Such a let down, I seriously thought he was going to lower my APR. He's sending the check but I'm shredding it as soon as it arrives. Bah.

I'm feeling sick and since this is like the 5th cold I've had this season, and I just got over one a couple weeks ago, I think I'm going in to see the dr about it. Another friend that I saw on Sunday came down with the nasty cold that's flying around and I'm starting to have the same symptoms. I probably will not go into work today but instead just rest. Which sucks because I had plans for this weekend, plans to declutter and take control of my bedroom. *sigh* My first down weekend....

Anyway. Happy Friday everyone!

Catching up.

April 17th, 2007 at 05:36 pm

Seems like forever since I've blogged. Probably because I had a four day weekend (burned up my last two vacation days) and haven't really been around the computer much.

I found out that I'll be reimbursed for most of what I spent on food for the baby shower I helped co-ordinate last Saturday. I knew that the soon-to-be grandmother had sent a check to the gal organizing everything but didn't know how much. I spent about $48 total and the organizer bought stuff too. Turns out between the two of us we only spent $16 more than what the grandmother sent us so we split the difference. I was planning on donating $20 to the cause so that works fine for me. She'll give me the check on Thursday.

I also still had money from the cash I got paid last week Monday so I included that in my Tuesday Deposit. Total to be deposited is $75, would have been $100 but the guy who pays me on Sunday didn't have a check with him so I'll get it on Wednesday.

I have decided to join eHarmony. The guy I have dated a couple of times from the free communication weekend isn't working out and they're having a special (that they run often apparently) where you can get three months for the price of one. I'm not actually committing to it until I finish sorting out the guy but I took the $60 out of my Tuesday Deposit so I'm still putting $15 into savings today.

I just got an email from the gal in charge of the Monday childcare that I've been doing and it might actually turn into a regular thing. As much as I'd love to pick up every possible extra dime, I can't commit to every week and keep my sanity. Especially since I'll most likely be doing Wednesdays as well, the first three of every month. So I think we've decided on every other week, with a second person helping which actually drops the pay from $25 to $20 because she only has $40 in the budget for child care. But I'm ok with that. I also told her I could be a backup on the off weeks in case something happens at the last minute with the regular sitters.

One of my drugs is coming out with a controlled release version (meaning I would just have to take one a day instead of two a day). Apparently not all insurance companies are covering it so I called mine today to see if it was. It is but on the most expensive tier, I pay $35 for it now and it would be $50. Since I take other things twice a day it's not that big of a deal for me to continue taking it twice a day. But I will have my dr write me out a prescription for it because I'll be getting a coupon for a free 30 day supply from the manufacturer. The other good news with that particular drug is it'll be coming out in generic soon too which means it should drop in price from $35 to $10.

And in non-financial news, I'm doing the Photo 365 thing too. I included the link in my links section but here it is: http://picasaweb.google.com/ldyfaile/Photo365 I plan on updating it as often as I can. I will take a photo a day just might not upload it that day. It looks like you can subscribe to a RSS feed as well for it. I love Google.

Live Earth or Things I'm Not Buying.

April 10th, 2007 at 07:20 pm

This morning I was running late for work. Normally my habit is to change the radio station if it's not playing music but sometimes the dj's aren't too annoying so I'll listen to what they have to say. They mentioned the line-up for the US Live Earth concert that's coming up in July. On the list are The Police (I wouldn't mind seeing them live even though I'm not a die hard fan) and the re-united Smashing Pumpkins (around the time of Mom's death my youngest brother went through a huge SP phase but he's never seen them live). Tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10 am.

I had this brief fleeting thought 'wouldn't that be cool if I could surprise my brother, buy a couple tickets to the concert, and maybe score a cheap flight, etc etc'. That thought was very brief. Chances are the ticket prices for the event are going to be over $100 each. The cheapest flight I found was for $350 each. Then there's hotel and food and transportation, all of which would be on me since it would be me surprising my brother who's going to school right now.

As much as I'd love to do it, I just can't justify it. And I'm not about to just pay for him to go by himself, it's not that he's not old enough to travel on his own just....

So for a brief moment I considered it but after weighing all the facts, nope it's not going to happen.

I wonder if that would be a good investment though, pick up a couple of tickets for the event and then sell them on eBay with no reserve and starting price at the price I paid for them. Hmmm.

Weekend Spending.

April 9th, 2007 at 05:45 pm

I didn't intend to splurge. But I had an opportunity to go to Costco over the weekend. While I didn't buy much really, and what I did buy I got a good deal on, it still made this payperiod's grocery budget tight. The flip side being that the next few payperiods grocery budget will be a little roomier since I won't need to buy some things for a while that I use almost every day.

Then I took my friend out to breakfast at McDonalds (an old family tradition) and spent about $7 total. Which zapped the rest of my cash. So I pulled $40 out of savings and then wound up at Saturday Market. Spent $5 on lunch and found the perfect bag for $8. I hate carrying a purse but with summer coming up and my desire to carry my digital camera with me a lot more it's something I was planning on getting anyway.

So now I have $25 to last until the 20th. Shouldn't be a problem, there's only a couple things that I'll need to restock.

I'll be getting paid cash for work tonight so I'm thinking about just hanging onto it instead of depositing it, giving me $50 on hand. Reason being, I'll be buying a bunch of food for a baby shower on Friday and I'd rather spend cash. I will be reimbursed for whatever I purchase but cash just seems to be easier for me to limit what I spend. To easy to overspend with a card.

I also have $30 that I'd pulled out for a baby shower gift. I'm not really planning on spending that much and I have a coupon for one of the places she is registered at plus I might be going in on a gift with another friend. All told I'll probably be putting a lot of money back into the bank after this next weekend is over.

Just right now I feel like I'm bleeding cash left and right. But I know I'm not really spending all that much all told.

Transfer complete!

April 6th, 2007 at 03:09 pm

My funds got released off of hold yesterday so I paid off the balance on my loan, completing the transfer from 14.42% to 3.99%. According to my online banking that loan is paid off so I took the payment that I'd been holding in reserve, just in case something didn't come through in time, and paid it on the CC I did the balance transfer on. That way I've started the ball rolling over there as well, even though I won't get the first statement until the 20th.

I'm very excited! I'm ready to hit the ground running. I bumped up my EF a little too so by the end of this month it should be fully funded and I can start taking my extra cash and putting it towards my debt. Yipee!

Still not all together certain I'll be able to make my first 2007 goal but by golly I'm going to work as hard as possible to get it as close as possible!

My chart got updated at NCN Network. That's pretty cool. Right now it's at the top of the list though that will change when he does more updates.

How to take care of me and get out of debt too.

April 4th, 2007 at 10:49 pm

I'm trying hard to find that balance. I'm not good at taking care of myself, I am good at running myself ragged especially with odd jobs here and there.

I just turned down another night of child care work this week. I had the opportunity to work tonight (but I couldn't because I'm attending a surprise party that I'm planning) and I just got a call to see if I could work on Friday night (I can't because I've made plans with my roommate already).

I did however work earlier in the week on Monday, that was unexpected. And I will be working the next two Mondays and the next two Wednesdays. So it's not like I'm always turning down extra work.

Part of me wants to do as much as I can to be rid of my debt. I realize that $25 here and $25 there isn't much but this week it would have been $100 total instead of $50 and normally it's $25.

Perspective. It's all about perspective.

I need to spend time with my friends, even if it involves a little money here and there. Because life is too short not to spend it with those that mean a lot to you. Plus I have a spot in my budget for just such an occasion. I need to focus on paying off debt. And I do that as well as much as possible. But I can't let it totally consume my life. It's bad enough it consumes my thoughts as much as it does. I don't mind it, it keeps me focused.

I can't wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a double pay day. I get paid, and get to pay my regular bills. Plus the rest of the money that's been on hold gets officially deposited into my account so I can actually pay some things off/down. That makes me happy and excited so I want it to be Thursday already. Smile

Tuesday deposit.

April 3rd, 2007 at 05:36 pm

My Tuesday Deposit doubled this week. I got a call yesterday while I was at work asking if I could babysit last night for a meeting. Two and a half hours and the pay would be $25. Rock on. Added that to my Tuesday Deposit and I put $50 into my Emigrant account.

I had a nice little panic moment this morning when I realized that my loan payment was due yesterday and I wasn't sure that I'd made enough payments. See, I get the money that makes up the loan payment at different times and since I now I can make payments online I make smaller payments as soon as the money comes in. Fortunately I did in fact make over and above the required payment last month. Phew. I figured I did but since it was on automatic (after a fashion) I just wasn't sure.

Speaking of automatic, I read The Automatic Millionaire. Eh. Some of his ideas I already use/do. But I have to laugh at the house idea. I totally agree, if you're paying $1500/mo in rent you might as well own a house. But I rent a cheap apartment and I share the rent with a roommate. I pay less than $300/mo just for 'rent' alone. Not counting my cell phone, my total 'house costs' are $350. I am NOT going to find a mortgage payment that low. I do want to own a house someday. But after all my other stuff gets taken care of.

I'm slotted to babysit again for the next two Mondays plus the next two Wednesdays. Yipee for extra cash! I am not complaining in the slightest.

Net Worth and 2007 Goals update.

April 2nd, 2007 at 03:16 pm

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $1,281 $147 12.96 %
Retirement $26,340 $943 3.71 %
Cars $2,305 $0 0.00 %
Total Assets $29,926 $1,090 3.78 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $35,778 ($122) -0.34 %
Other $31,531 $5,475 21.01 %
Total Debts $67,309 $5,353 8.64 %

Net Worth ($37,383) ($4,263) -12.87 %

Things are a little bit in limbo right now. I did increase my debt by a little when I did the balance transfer but some of the funds are on hold still so it looks like more than it actually is. Next month will be a better snapshot.

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2007 Goals Update:

1] Consumer debt down to $14,000. Currently at $31,531. Going the wrong way right now. Monthly amount of decrease needs to be $1,948 to meet this. I am going to keep plugging away at this but I don't see it actually happening. *sigh*

2] EF holding steady at $1,000. Currently at $681.62. Need to increase it by $36 each month to meet this.

3] Medical savings at least $500. Currently at $267.54. Need to increase it by $26 each month to met this.

4] (non monetary goal) Holding steady at my current goal weight. Currently I have 24 lbs to go. Need to loose 3 lbs a month to meet this.