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Archive for August, 2007

Suckered into it? Job change?

August 31st, 2007 at 05:07 pm

I pre-ordered Harry Potter 7 not knowing it would result in a $5 gc from Amazon. But it had a catch, it had to be used by the end of August and it had to be used on a purchase of $20 or more.

I had plans to buy a new dvd player and had scoped one out on Amazon for $55. I had one $20 gc from July and was anticipating another from August that never showed up. Since today's the last day I can use the $5 I went ahead and purchased the dvd player, $49.99 - $25.00 in gc plus free shipping making the cost to me $24.99. Not a bad price for an anticipated purchase. I did receive $20 for September via PayPal (the place I was getting the gc's from monthly always had issues actually getting the gc's to me hence the reason I still don't have August's yet so starting for September we switched to PayPal payments) so I did transfer that to my bank account making my total purchase really only $4.99. I'm just annoyed because when the gc for August does finally arrive I'm going to have to find something to put it towards. (what they do is send me a code to log into 800giftcertificates and order a gift card, I just always chose Amazon because I figure there's always something smallish I'd like but can't justify.)

Now that I've made the purchase though I'm wondering if I wasn't suckered into using that $5 off since I could have waited til my gc came through and just let the $5 off expire. But I've been waiting all month to order this and I'm done waiting. It could be another month before the gc for August get straightened out.

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In other news...I may be changing jobs. I had a very promising screening interview yesterday and I should find out more next week. Their high end of the starting pay is about what I'm making now. Their benefits are just about fully funded, which is a big plus. They are in downtown and offer mass transit pass purchase with pre-tax dollars. (my roommate works about 5 blocks away and has free parking through work so carpool options abound) They have breakfast for the whole crew of 85 every Friday morning. Drinks and snacks are provided in the break room. And it would actually be using the second degree I acquired a few years ago along with my current skill set.

Downside...

Because of how I applied, through a middle company, I would be a contract employee for 3 months (unless they bought my contract out early) and that would mean no health insurance in the interim. I've looked into a couple of things, COBRA is $420/mo and I found a short term plan on eHealthInsurance for just $220/92 days with a $250 deductible and after that I'd only have to pay 20% of my prescriptions. It would probably cost me more than if I just like went to Costco for prescriptions but I don't know what the new company's 'pre existing condition' policy is so I'd prefer to stay insured as long as possible. I know my current one would still be active for a bit after I quit just not sure how far ahead we actually pay.

So lots of potential changes. I'm not sure how this would affect my budget. I'd be back to hourly for a time. At least that would mean I would get overtime if it happened. And no more on call/weekend work. More potential for advancement. Etc. Lots of plusses but the minuses must be weighed in as well.

A time ago, when I was researching job changes, my step-mom said they would help me out with my medical stuff should I run into any trouble with pre-existing condition clauses. Especially if that was the only thing keeping me from accepting a new position. I might actually bring it up with them again. It's not that I don't think I could cover it, I do have emergency savings, just I don't want to spend a lot right away since I don't know really how long between paychecks once I change jobs. If I get the offer that is.

weekend highlights

August 27th, 2007 at 11:50 am

I participated in Portland to Coast this weekend, which is a 127 mile walk relay. Here are some highlights from the weekend with some (ugh) financial stuff at the end.

- Hearing later that David forgot about my 'long leg factor'. They passed me, pulled off to wait at the next available spot, David said 'she should be here in about 15 minutes' and about 3 minutes later Lin points and says 'hey isn't that her coming now?'

- Having a heightened sense of whatever due to sleep deprivation and adrenaline all assisted in the lightning fast reflexes I engaged to avoid being hit by an idiot in St Helens who pulled out of the Safeway parking lot without even looking. Good thing too since I was driving the borrowed minivan from a teammate's employer's car lot.

- Totally biting it halfway through my first leg (stepped on something with my left foot that flipped up and tripped my right foot since my left still had it anchored) yet still finishing that leg under 15 minute miles.

- Laughing hysterically at the one and only meanish person who passed me, as she went by I said 'evening' and she turned, shook her finger in my face, and said 'I'VE BEEN TRYING TO CATCH UP TO YOU THIS WHOLE LOOP' I just gave her a thumbs up and said 'well you've done it congrats'.

- Not having any music for my Hard leg, which also happened to be my longest leg, because the battery in my mp3 player had died and my spares had fallen out of my pocket while I was driving. (didn't know they'd been found til after I finished that leg, thought they were gone for good)

- Actually managing to get some sleep (though how much is still unknown) at Exchange 28 even with all the headlights shining in my face periodically.

We didn't finish dead last like we tried, although we did wind up in the bottom 5. There were a couple arguments we got into with some other teams 'We are going to be dead last!" "NO We Are!" Smile

And best of all, while I was a bit sore yesterday I'm very much Not today. A little yes but nothing like yesterday. Wheee.

Of course, now I'm back in the real world where my car's sprung an oil leak pretty badly. The whole engine is soaked, the spark plugs are covered in it, etc which is why I didn't see it pooling on the ground, it was collecting in the engine instead. They're going to replace the pcv valve, steam clean the engine, put some die in and have me run with that for a week or two to try and figure out where it's coming from. Great.....hopefully that won't cost me too much. So far we're looking at $120.

Money wise I didn't overspend too badly. Actually came back with almost as much cash as I left with due to the gal I gave a ride home to giving me gas money. I did buy a tshirt though at the finish line, it was a long sleeved one that I felt was reasonably priced and I just liked the look of it. Smile

Change of focus

August 21st, 2007 at 04:36 pm

I'm not totally loosing sight of my original goals just recent events made it readily apparent that I should have more than just $1k stashed away for emergencies. So my new focus looks something like this:

1-pay off personal loan that's now just under $600. Should be able to do so in a relatively short amount of time. By December actually I reckon if not sooner.

2-bulk up each savings account with $2k each (so $6k total). That's roughly 3 months of take home pay, well not quite but I like round numbers and it's close enough.

Then when either a] I find out the cushion isn't necessary or I hit b] goal of $6k in savings then I'll start paying down debt again.

Thing is, most of my debt is fixed as far as payments go. So bombarding it all now with extra money won't really help if say, I become unemployed suddenly because it's not going to be paid off any time soon even with extra. I think I'd rather have money in savings to supplement whatever does come in vs a lower balance but the same payment. Well I do have a balance transfer at 3.99% for life of balance who's minimum payment does change monthly however there's still like $10.5k on it.

Make that $77 back...

August 20th, 2007 at 01:48 pm

So apparently the person who'd originally agreed to pay for the rental of one of the vans for the relay race this weekend (he didn't need to since we got them donated) decided instead to pay for all the gas! Sweet! Some last minute additions (we're pitching in to get the vehicles washed and to replenish some stores that everyone uses) got added in so instead of saving $110 I'm saving $77.75. But I'm ok with that, it's still less than I was anticipating! Rock on! It'll cover the gas for my friend to come out and pick me up on Saturday and then some.

Saved $50!

August 14th, 2007 at 02:11 pm

Just found out that one of my team-mates employers is letting us use 2 vans off his lot for our relay race that's about 10 days away! That's awesome! Of course, I've already sent my team captain a check for the van rental, and gas, and water. He'll reimburse me day of race. Which sucks in a way because I could use that money this weekend to go out of town but is good in another way since it'll give me money to have during the race (providing he gives me cash). Either way it's nice to know I'll be getting it back!

It was great while it lasted.

August 13th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

I just found out yesterday that the church I work for on Sunday Nights is disbanding. I see it as a mixed blessing. I wasn't sure how much longer I could keep it up. But I'll miss the regular paycheck. Of course, it's sad to see it go but from what I gathered, it was time.

I'll work next Sunday, the following week is their all church camp-out so they aren't meeting anyway, and then the holiday weekend. After the holiday there's a chance they might start up small groups and may request my services again. But it will depend on what night they do it on and how many kids/what ages/etc.

I do still have Monday night childcare that will be regular at least through November.

eBay

August 10th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

I'm trying eBay again to get rid of some action figures I have. I popped on there a couple of weeks ago to see how other sales for that particular tv show action figures were doing. I watched an auction for the same number of figures as I planned on selling at once end out at $82. Dang! It took me a couple of weeks but I finally got my act together and posted it with a slightly higher starting price and guess what? Auction ends in a day and I have.... 7 watches and 0 bids. *sigh* This is why I don't eBay stuff. I get all excited over potential selling and then watch people watch my auction but not actually bid.

There's another auction, posted after mine, for the same number of figures but with one different and a lower starting price. It has one bid. I'm hoping, against hope, that the final 24 hours will see a flurry of activity. Just one bid really, that's all I want. Ah well. If it doesn't sell I'll repost at a slightly lower price. But there's still time! It could happen! And it ends around noon pacific time tomorrow. I think that's a good thing, plenty of time for last minute bidders to duke it out....

Speaking of eBaying things...I still have the Smashing Pumpkins tickets. The gal I spoke to from my craigslist ad never called me on Saturday like she said she would. I called her and left a message. I emailed her Tuesday and basically said if she wasn't interested that was fine just to let me know. Now I've pretty much decided she's not interested and I'm moving on with life. There were two other people who had expressed interest in buying them but because I'd already spoken with the gal and anticipated her taking them, I told them they were gone already.

The main reason I was selling the tickets is I needed the cash. I'd spread a little thin with helping my brother out and it was more important to have cash than go to the concert. My brother paid me back about half of what he owes me so money really isn't an issue anymore. Plus I have a friend who wants to go with me if I do keep them and she'll pay me the $60 for the ticket.

I thought about posting them for sale on eBay but almost all the tickets for that specific concert are sold by people who don't even live in the area. Which means they bought the tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them. For some reason that just bothers me. It's one thing to go to garage sales, or scour the internet for good deals on things you can potentially fetch a nice return for on eBay. But to buy concert tickets for concerts not in your area just so you can resell them....seems wrong somehow. And if I posted mine for sale on eBay it just wouldn't be right. Though there was a part of me hoping I could fetch a higher price than I paid.

25 100s

August 8th, 2007 at 09:16 am

My first attempt got lost in the ether...

My brother made his first installment to me of 2500 in cash. Its going in the bank today and as soon as it's registered as being deposited (it's cash so that should be almost immediately) here's how it's going to be dispersed:

220 - Wells Fargo Savings to pay back what I'd drawn specifically for him over the course of the year.
709 - Pay off credit card that's supposed to be cleared off completely.
1500 - Put on student loan that's at 13% (current total about $2131)

And the rest (about $70) will be used to buy gifts for my ex-roommate's bridal shower and wedding that's coming up fast.

It'll put my EF really close to my goal of $1000. It'll put a huge dent in my highest interest debt. It'll make it so I have a limit on what to spend on gifts. I will probably still charge the hotel room but I'm sharing it so it'll get paid off right quick.

I am SUPER excited right now!!

My brother and I made arrangements for the rest of his debt. He will repay me $100/mo starting in September and continue in that fashion until he gets his tax return. Then he'll pay the rest of the balance, or at least another large portion of it.

*happy dance*

August 4th, 2007 at 10:23 am

My brother's bonus posted to his account today which means it'll probably officially post on Monday (its actually more showing as pending right now). That makes me happy!!

We are going to get together soon to discuss how he wants to spend it. He promised at minimum he'd give me $2k if not all of what he owes me (closer to $4.5k now)

I was sorely tempted to buy a laptop yesterday, Office Depot had a really good deal until I called to ask if they had any in stock and found that it has to be ordered at the store and shipping was $100. No thanks. I really don't need it right now just want it.

Nice start to the weekend. Smile

Here we go again.

August 3rd, 2007 at 11:22 am

Vacation was good and bad for me. I spent a little more than I should have but not terrible. But I did get in the habit of using the credit card again. *sigh*

Brother is having a heck of a time holding down jobs in the summer. He got hired on one place that trained him for a day and a half, worked him for a day and a half, then realized they'd overstaffed and let him go. Only good thing that came of it was he got to buy a bus pass for half price.

In anticipation of possibly not having a roommate (I do, she paid rent early even) or possibly having to foot brother's rent I just started saving every extra bit that came in after my check on 6/5. Good thing I did too because he has not received his signing bonus yet and they didn't have him on the roster for the weekend he worked last month plus he spent about half of what his roommates gave him for rent. I wound up putting $470 in his account this morning for what he needs towards rent. *sigh* That would have almost completely paid off the extra spending I've been doing on the credit card.

However that wasn't all the money I had set aside. There's still $63 sitting in my account, plus $100 I'll be getting from selling my Smashing Pumpkins tickets, plus I'm babysitting tonight, plus I'll get $50 for child care on Sunday since the last time I worked the guy who pays me wasn't there, plus I'll get $20 for child care on Monday. All in all, I'll still have extra to throw at the credit card even after I pay my team captain $113 for the last bit of stuff that I owe him money on. And I have a bunch of computer gear to donate to a local computer recycling place. I've been putting it off because they ask for $10/monitor to dispose of it properly and I've got five of them. But I need to get them out of my place.

A week to 10 days is when they say his bonus will arrive. Unfortunately I have a feeling he's only going to pay me back about $2k and then make payments on the rest. Interest will still accrue until he pays off the part of the balance that was gained via a balance transfer on a credit card. I'm thinking $100/mo is what I'm going to require for repayment.

He's asked me to help him figure out what to do with his money because he doesn't want to completely blow through it. That makes me happy, that he asked for my help otherwise it'd be gone in no time. He wants to buy a car, realizes he needs to save for next summer when he'll be out of school, and wants to have a little bit of fun with it too.