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Archive for June, 2007

bits and pieces.

June 28th, 2007 at 09:45 pm

I'm a little annoyed with myself. But before I get to that, I've decided to not do the 0% BT. It's not worth it right now as it's too short of time for something to go wrong.

~ The $400 that I had planned on paying off of CC2 before interest started accruing, may not be going anywhere right away and that makes me sad.

~ If I choose to stay in my apartment I will owe my roommate $200-$300 since she paid the deposit but is leaving. I think it was $200 but since I didn't pay it I don't remember exactly. I told her to take it off of July's rent so thats part of why I can't pay off CC2 right away.

~ If I choose to move (I finally heard back from a house I had inquired after beginning of the month) my housing costs will go up slightly. Rent and utilities combined are only $12 more per month and if the house is where I think it is gas usage won't go up that much but I may not be able to walk to work/gym as often. Depending on the new living situation I may still have to have a storage unit but I've spoken with another friend about 'renting' space in her garage for the same price I was paying before.

~ I have to pay $196 for two nights at a motel after the walking relay I'm doing. It's annoying because all hotel/motels in the area require a 2 night stay for that particular weekend and that is literally the cheapest out there. The next cheapest is three times the rate. The money is due before August 1st and is the second reason I won't be paying off the CC before interest accrues. Though I could take money out of savings but I'm trying to not do that I want to build savings not take away from it.

~ If I don't move and I can de-clutter enough to store it all at the apt I currently live in that will save me $60/month.

~ I'm slightly splurging and getting a massage this weekend but it's for medical reasons so I'll take the money out of my medical funds. I think I have/had a pinched nerve. I had tingling sensations in my legs but when I'd shift how I was sitting it would go away. After the first visit to the chiro it went from both legs to just my left leg. After the second visit to the chiro it's lessened even more but now the muscle that feels like it goes from about mid butt to past the knee is irritated by about mid-day which makes sitting in any position un-bearable. My friend is a massage therapist and sometimes gives me discounts because I do computer work for her. I'm planning on paying full price though until she tells me otherwise.

~ I got the explanation of benefits from my last Echo, they remembered to bill my insurance this time. It's $159 that I'll owe and I'm hoping that it'll be on the next billing cycle. If it is, then there's a good chance I can pay it all when I get it. My medical savings is currently at $57.

~ My brother is getting a signing bonus, I just don't know when yet. When he does he'll be paying off the money he owes me (I'm assuming based on how much money he'll be getting). Right now his outstanding balance with me is at about $3,600. But it'll be 10 - 30 days before he gets his bonus and he says knowing his luck it'll be 30 days.

~ I had three no drive days but was hoping for five. Today the weather wasn't right to walk to work though I did get in a 5.8 mile walk before work. But I did drive into work and I now have plans for after that may entail driving straight from work (ie no time to walk home and get the car). But I did bring lunch and dinner to work with me so I won't be tempted to go out for either.

0% Balance Transfer and No Fee take 2

June 25th, 2007 at 07:19 pm

I keep thinking about this balance transfer offer and I think I might actually take it. My Sallie Mae loan (non-federal loan so it doesn't matter for taxes) is my highest interest rate right now at 13.25%. The balance is a little under $2,200. Right now I pay $60/mo on it.

Extra money I could put towards paying it off by Jan 1, 2008:

$118 extra in budget to be used for whatever I'm focusing on paying off.
$100 from step brother, it's an allotment so it's auto deposited every month.
$180 from childcare I provide.
$60 from the payment I was making before.

Over the course of 6 months, all of that equals more than I would be borrowing so I could potentially pay it off on time. My variable rate on the credit card is 14.24% right now so if there was any leftover that's the rate it would be charged at.

Not to mention any extra on call money I might get plus the change in my withholdings will make a difference I just don't know by how much yet. Plus when it gets down to the end, I could probably just pull from savings what needed to be paid off before interest accrued.

I'm seriously thinking about this. I think I might sleep on it first. I have until July 28th to accept the offer.

0% Balance Transfer No Fee!

June 25th, 2007 at 05:48 pm

The catch though is that it must be paid off by January 1st 2008. Not even six months away. I am tempted to take the offer but I don't know how much I can pay back off in such a short amount of time. If it was January 2009 I would do it in a heart beat.

Tax Freedom Day.

June 20th, 2007 at 05:28 pm

I know that the official 'tax freedom day' was in April (http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/) but because of my extra job that doesn't pay much I decided to postpone changing my withholdings by a couple of months hoping it will still balance out. I know it will with student loan interest but still better to get $100 back than to pay $100 right?

Even if I quit this job now I'd still get a W2 as I've officially made over $600. I'm excited to see what the difference is in my check come July 20th (my check on July 5th will have other extras in it so it won't be a good gage).

Doom and Gloom

June 19th, 2007 at 08:04 pm

Ran across this article today http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5964

What's your take on it? On the money or just nonsense?

Finding my way back.

June 14th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

In my head it made perfect sense. I was paying more than the minimum on my 10.9% loan because that was the amount already in the budget from when it was a credit card with a higher minimum. Recent changes in required minimums have forced me to rethink things. And considering I'm training for a walking relay, and walking about 6 miles three times a week, I have LOTS of time to rethink things.

This is what I have come up with:
Priority 1: Pay off CC2
Priority 2: EF up to goal
Priority 3: 13.25% personal (not federal) student loan
Priority 4: 10.9% loan and back on track with my Three Phase plan

Priority 1... well you see it went something like this. I had CC2 all paid off. A couple months ago I remembered that CC1 was still the billing card for my website (annual automatic charge) so I changed it to be CC2 since CC2 was paid off and it would be more motivation to pay it off before interest accrued. Only I thought the website renewal was in July and it's really in June so it's been charged already and I have yet to pay it off.

Then as I was looking at something at Ticketmaster I saw that Stomp was coming to town. I have this friend, we've known each other a long time (since '94). Her birthday is coming up end of June and I haven't really ever gotten her something that's really special, something that she'd really appreciate. Usually it's just the token 'oh crap her birthday's coming up I need to do something' type gift. Granted, she doesn't expect anything from me and has told me that on numerous occasions. But, she also has come up with some pretty amazingly thoughtful wonderful gifts for me over the years. (like my justification bit here?) She also happens to Really like Stomp. So I decided to see what tickets were available and found some pretty decent seats. I went ahead and bought two tickets, thinking it was in July and she could just take whoever she wanted to. But after I bought them I realized the show is in June, just before her birthday. So I'm going to surprise her and take her to the show. She knows we're getting together that night for her birthday just the two of us but that's all she knows. I'm really excited about surprising her on the one hand and mildly kicking myself for charging it before knowing that I'll have the funds to pay it off before interest is charged.

And of course then there was my dentist visit on Wednesday. It wound up costing $448, a little more than expected but they did two fillings rather than just one so I knew it would be more. I have transferred money out of my Medical Savings to pay that part off.

Priority two... I just recently realized that I'm never going to get my EF to where it needs to be at the rate I'm going. Which right now is I have a small amount in the budget that goes to Savings but then I take all of the extra money and throw it at my 10.9% loan. It wouldn't take me all that long to make my goal if I'd just put the extra into Savings instead.

Priority three... This loan is the bane of my existence. The interest rate increased after I actually started paying on it and instead of being the $50/mo it claimed it would be, it actually wound up being more. I got sick of the fluctuations in how much to pay every month so I just started paying $60/mo. That at least made my budget simple and meant that I was paying a little extra on it. But I just want it to go away! So I've decided to focus on that soon.

Priority four... I really still want to have all of my consumer debt paid off by April 2010. I feel like I'm going to be behind in my goal if I put other things in front of it but my gut feeling is that this is the way it needs to happen. Besides, then I'll have an extra $60/mo to pay on things once I pay off the 13.25% loan.

Writing this all down is more for me than anything else. I seem to think of all this great stuff but never follow through. Perhaps with it written down perhaps I can actually stick to it.

Focus.

June 8th, 2007 at 08:07 pm

As I've been trying to decide where I'm moving to (I have decided to move at the end of July) I've also been thinking about my payoff strategy. Right now I'm focused on my 'consumer debt' which is all things credit card related. I've got about $15,900 at 10.9% and $10,500 at 3.99%. However, I have a small student loan that's actually a higher interest rate. It's got a balance of $2,200 at 13.25%. The reason the interest is so high is it's actually a personal loan not a federal one so I couldn't consolidate it when I did my others.

Not now, but once I get moved/settled and get my EF up to $1k, I want to start throwing all extra money at something. In my efforts to pay off all my 'consumer' debt by April 2010 I've been concentrating on the balance of the 10.9% loan.

What do you guys think? Should I keep whittling away at the 10.9% balance or shift focus to the 13.25% balance?

Laptop envy

June 6th, 2007 at 11:36 pm

Here we go again. I think it was about six months ago when I was talking about how much I wanted a laptop and was considering buying a Mac. A co-worker brought his laptop in today and was playing with Ubuntu. He has almost everything set up on it for it to be functional for work. That was part of what gave me pause with getting a Mac, getting everything I needed for work.

I scoped out Dell's site, since they sell computers with Ubuntu installed instead of Windows. The only laptop they offer, after customizing it like I want to, would run about $917. Granted, I could probably get a cheaper laptop with Windows installed and just create a partition but I just don't want to have to mess with any Windows stuff.

I am not actually going to buy it but I do have a longing to replace my laptop. I don't want to buy used either. I am going to wait until the end of the summer, by then I'll hopefully be settled into whatever new place I'll be living in. Then I'm going to revisit the whole laptop thing. I do wish to get away from Windows and with the little I do just on my own, there's really no need for it.

NetWorthIQ and 2007 Goals Update

June 1st, 2007 at 03:26 pm

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $1,410 ($59) -4.02 %
Retirement $27,957 $519 1.89 %
Cars $2,125 $0 0.00 %
Total Assets $31,492 $460 1.48 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $35,558 ($113) -0.32 %
Credit Card $10,573 ($335) -3.07 %
Other $16,226 ($266) -1.61 %
Total Debts $62,357 ($714) -1.13 %

Net Worth ($30,865) $1,174 3.66 %

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2007 Goals Update:

1] Consumer debt down to $14,000. Currently at $29,799. Monthly amount of decrease needs to be $1,829 in order to meet this. Not happening this year but I can keep trying.

2] EF holding steady at $1,000. Currently at $746.10. Need to increase it by $37 each month to meet this.

3] Medical savings at least $500. Currently at $355.05 but I'll be pulling a good chunk out this month for Dental work so I'll be back to square one next month.

4] (Non monetary goal) Holding steady at my current goal weight. Still have 23 lbs to go. Need to loose 4 lbs a month to meet this.