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Archive for September, 2007

advice on rollovers...

September 27th, 2007 at 07:31 pm

I have about $25k in my current employer's 401k program. It's all money I've invested, so I'm fully vested as my current employer doesn't do any matching. I was thinking about just leaving the money where it was at until I actually get hired on in 3 months and see what their plans were like. But I'm also contemplating rolling it into it's own account and just leaving it.

Any thoughts on that? Preferred companies to work with?

Tuesday Deposit, Direct Deposit, Quitting one small job...

September 25th, 2007 at 05:37 pm

Tuesday Deposit.

$80 total, $60 from friend paying me back for concert ticket and $20 from my Monday night child care. All went straight into Savings. I also initiated the transfer of $100 from checking to savings today. Makes my total in savings finally well over $1000 which is good but I know it won't stay that way for long.

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Direct Deposit.

My checking account with Wells Fargo is only free on the condition that I have a direct deposit of at least $100/mo. My final paycheck from current job will deposit on October 5th meeting that requirement for October. I also just got the directions on how to sign up for direct deposit at the new job. It takes two pay periods for it to become active so it should be on in November and all will be well as far as my account goes. I also have an allotment that goes in from my brother who's paying me back that happens to be $100. I don't know if that counts as direct deposit or not. Still can't believe this is my last week here. I've been here over 10 years.

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I quit.

For a multitude of reasons, I have decided to quit my Sunday evening childcare job. It brought in $25/wk. I think I'll be ok without it as I never include it in my budget. I did it for about a year, that seems to be my limit on extra stuff. Ah well. I still have my Monday evening childcare job which brings in $20/wk.

Gearing up for change.

September 20th, 2007 at 08:08 pm

Today was payday. It's my second to the last paycheck from my current employer.

I paid all the bills I had to. Set aside money for a trip to Seattle next weekend (I'm carpooling so pitching in a little for gas). Set aside money for next month's bus pass that I'll need for new job (friend works someplace she can get one for half price and she won't need it for October so I'll be buying it from her at a discount). Paid off the small current balance on CC2 that's normally kept empty. And had $102 left over that's earmarked for savings but won't actually transfer until next week.

My roommate and I are throwing a party this weekend. We're going shopping tonight for food and other stuff for it. I have $32 from babysitting and what was left over from food and gas last paycheck. That should be plenty, especially since we're splitting the bill and we won't be buying any alcohol.

I am so paranoid about having enough money to pay for insurance and the other half of the month's worth of pay I'll need to come up with end of January that I've decided to charge some things. Specifically my clothes for work. I will be looking for good deals and such but for the most part I just want to go shopping once and not have to worry about work clothes for a while. I'm ok with paying interest since I know that worst case, I'll pay it all off with my tax return. Which means only a couple of months. If I find that I have more than enough money saved up to cover things then I'll pay it off sooner.

My current 'work clothes' are the same as my everyday clothes. Casual, jeans, tshirts. New job is in an office building with a business casual dress code. Granted, one of the programmers was in my interview wearing cords and a tshirt but I'm not going to be working for him. I have my interview clothes (one pair of slacks, one nicer button down shirt) and possibly one other top that would be acceptable. Past that, nothing. I hate shopping for clothes, with a passion. But I need to do it. This weekend I'll start out at Value Village and Goodwill. Next I'll hit up Ross and Marshall's. After that it just depends on how much time/energy I have to take on the rest of the Maul (Old Navy, Gap, Macy's, Nordstrom's, Sears, etc). Might check in at Avenue as well since that's where I got my slacks and they fit really well, just a little pricey even if I did get them on sale.

I think I can pull this off.

September 18th, 2007 at 03:54 pm

I debated about asking my dad for help with insurance. I still might but its hard to ask him for anything even though he tells me to if I need it.

This morning I got another bt offer for 0% until 4/2008 and a 3% fee with a max of $75. That got me thinking along the lines of, should I request a check just to have as backup funds and not cash it if I don't need it?

Here's how it breaks down...

By the end of this month I will have at least $1,000 in savings. Probably more but I won't know til I get paid. Add to that $200/mo repayments from my brothers guaranteed ($100 is via allotment straight to my bank account and the other I have access to his accounts so he is sure to pay me regularly). Over the course of the next 4 months that makes an additional $800. Plus there's the kicker check I'll be getting in December. They say the median amount is $260 or so, I plugged in numbers at a website and it showed more like $500 for me but I'm not 100% sure since I can't find my state tax forms.

I know I'll have other extra cash I'm just plotting worst case scenario. I'm also making the assumption that I can pay all my regular bills with whatever pay I get.

Ok so I will have to pay for COBRA in November and December. October should be covered by what I've already paid since we pay for the next month. January I'm going to go without and just get meds at Costco. That will satisfy the continuous coverage with less than 63 days of non coverage thing so I don't have to worry about pre-existing condition stuff. That's assuming I get hired on in January as benefits would start in February. Total costs for COBRA will be about $840 for the two months.

All told, even with not getting paid for holidays since I'll be contract, and with my first month once I get hired on, having to live on a smaller paycheck as I transition from every other week to once a month, I think I'll be ok.

My student loan that I've been working like crazy to pay off tells me I don't have to make a payment til January. So I think I'm going to take them up on it. I will make monthly payments of $20 + whatever interest has accrued but not my usual $60 plus whatever extra I can scrounge up. That will help. Hopefully I won't have to resort to using my cc to pay bills. But at least I have that option.

All told, I think I'm going to hold off on the bt offer. If I can make it through this and still have $500 in my EF, I will be a happy camper. If I can make it through this without having to charge anything, even if it means draining my EF completely, I will be fine with that too.

Job offer received!

September 17th, 2007 at 08:13 pm

I got a call this morning shortly after I got into work offering me the position if I was still interested. The gross amount is less than I'm making now, but the net will be comparable.

What it boils down to is, in the long run this will be the better position for me. I will actually be able to start using the degree I earned a few years ago and the potential for advancement is far greater.

Its going to cost me in the beginning. The contract place pays every two weeks and then once it rolls over to the new place then it will be once a month. But once I get on an even keel with them, all should be good.

I'm going to avoid using the credit card as much as possible, though I may charge my bus pass initially since there's no room for it in the budget just yet since I don't know what/when I'll actually be getting paid and I'll need the pass pretty much right away.

My first day of work will be October 1! I am so excited!

New jobs are spendy.

September 17th, 2007 at 03:43 pm

Not counting the need to buy more professional clothes even.

I talked with former co-worker about unused vacation time, then checked out the internet for laws. Apparently employers are not required to pay out vacation time unless it's specified in the employer policy (or whatever it's called). Yeah so it's not in our policy and I'm not sure I want to play hardball to force them to give it to me. Unfortunately I was sort of counting on having that money to pay for stuff like COBRA.

Contract work is usually paid weekly, or every other week. New job pays once a month on the 15th. I'd be contract for three months then switch to the other. Depending on how the COBRA thing works out I might be ok. But it means I'm going to not work so hard at paying stuff off and just save save save save. But budgeting for once a month pay will be interesting.

I'm going to talk to my dad and step mom and see if their offer still stands to help me out with medical stuff. Even if they could just cover one month of COBRA it would be a huge help.

Depending on when insurance would start at new place (sounded like pretty quick from what I've read) I might be able to get away with only one month of COBRA.

Of course, this is all hypothetical since I don't have the offer yet. When I spoke with former co-worker he said that one of the guys from my interview was in meetings all day on Friday. Hopefully that means they've decided to hire me. *cross fingers*

Short term insurance options?

September 14th, 2007 at 12:35 am

I'm jumping the gun here but I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with getting short term health insurance to bridge the gap between jobs? I'm anticipating a job offer soon and since I take medications regularly I'll want something to defray the costs and ensure that I don't have a lapse of more than 63 days of insurance coverage.

I looked at www.ehealthinsurance.com and scoped out a few plans. But all of them seem to have pre-existing condition clauses. I found this on another web site about Oregon specific health insurance: All health plans in Oregon must limit exclusion of pre-existing conditions. There are rules about what counts as a pre-existing condition and how long you must wait before a new health plan will begin to pay for care for that condition. Generally, if you join a new plan, your old coverage will be credited toward the pre-existing condition exclusion period, provided you did not have a long break in coverage.

I suppose the best thing to do would be to call. The plans I was looking at considered anything diagnosed in the past 5 years to be pre-existing but I've had health insurance/coverage for the past 9 so does that mean it doesn't count as pre-existing? Yeah, lots of questions.

I did find out that I can get COBRA to the tune of $420/mo. It's spendy but if it would be less hassle I'm almost tempted to do it. However the short-term Regency policy I was looking at was only $220 for 3 months if I paid all at once. Of course then there's a $250 deductible and then after that I pay 20% of all costs.

Ugh. I hate trying to figure this stuff out.

Edited to add: Well its not an option for me. I just called their info line and was told that if a short term insurance plan were to accept me, then yes I would be covered and the pre-existing condition thing wouldn't be an issue. However, because of my pre-existing condition they will not accept me. So that means COBRA for at least one month.

Job changes?

September 12th, 2007 at 05:50 pm

I had an interview today. It seemed to go well. Yesterday there was a panic moment when I saw the job posted at Craigslist that day. But when I was talking to them I found out they are looking to fill more than one position so that made me feel better.

Pros:

~ Growth potential. New company (NC) has 85 employees and has been growing at a rate of about 15% a year. Old company (OC) has 6 employees and hasn't had more than 9 in the past 9 years. There's no where else for me to go at OC and there's no real use of my second degree.

~ Perks. NC offers things like snacks and beverages free of charge plus breakfast on Friday mornings. Fridays they stop any real work early (though any emergencies are taken care of if they arise) and chill around the office playing poker etc. There's also a game room complete with foosball.

~ Opportunity to actually use both degrees (Accounting and Computer Science)

~ Benefits are fully paid by the employer

~ Start out with being able to earn 15 days of PTO right off the bat (only a loss of 5 vacation days from OC)

~ Ability to pay for mass transit passes with pre tax dollars.

~ Can cash out my vacation time from OC which will possibly offset any budget irregularities.

Cons:

~ Starting out will be contract to hire which means no benefits until actually hired. COBRA is $420/mo. Might have to research a short term insurance option.

~ OC is salary, contract will be hourly. Not sure what that will do to the budget.

~ Would need to update wardrobe since OC is an extremely casual environment and NC is at the least business casual.

Pay would roughly be the same. I figured out what my 'hourly' rate is and it was at the high end of their range that they were offering. With not having to pay for health benefits once I get hired (ie out of the contract which is only three months) it could actually mean more take home. Just a little bit interesting in the beginning switching from twice a month to whatever the contract pays (once a week? every other week?). Plus right now I technically get paid for something like 86.7 hours each check so yeah just will be interesting.

It is a really great opportunity, one I would jump at if offered. But the pay has to be a certain level or I can't even consider it. Though I do have a little bit of wiggle room now which is good so if need be I could go a little lower than I'm making right now just to get my foot in the door.

Slept on it.

September 5th, 2007 at 03:16 pm

Ok so I think I've got a plan now for my car situation. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who knows a thing or two about cars. He said it's really not that big of a deal, so long as I keep on top of the oil. So here's what I'm going to do...

First, pay off my small loan. It's under $600 and I think I can make quick work of it and free up the $60/mo payment.

Second, get my EF up to 1000. It's almost there, just needs a little nudge.

Third, start saving every extra bit in a Savings account earmarked Car Fund. Once it hits 5000 then stop and continue on with my mad crazy paying off debt. That way, when the time comes that I absolutely positively need to replace my car, I've got a nice chunk to work with.

I just got paid today. After paying all my bills, and allocating money off to various categories, I still have $200 left over. Wow that's a good chunk of change. I am going out of town this weekend, and splitting the gas with a friend of mine. We are staying at someone's house so no hotel charges. Then later this month I'm going to Seattle and again, staying at a friends place. Those trips combined should not total $200 in gas but I'm leaving it in my bank account to cover whatever expenses come up on those ventures. Whatever is left come next payday will get applied to my small loan.

Post #2 today. Going carless?

September 4th, 2007 at 11:19 pm

More on the car. First post over here.

The options for rebuilding/replacing the engine are $2200 to rebuild or $1900 to replace with a good used engine.

So I'm not going to do either, the car's barely worth $2000.

I could start saving like a crazy person and buy another car in a few months when I have a good chunk of change. Or...I could go car-less and buy a bike. I'm really not sure which way I'm leaning towards. Right now I'm doing more of the not taking my car on long distances (meaning this weekend's roadtrip will be in my friends car instead of mine) and making sure there's plenty of oil on hand.

I only live a mile from work right now. This other job is a little further but I'd take mass transit anyway, or carpool with my roommate.

Hmm.

My recent car woes.

September 4th, 2007 at 08:53 pm

I have a 1993 Honda Accord with about 221k miles on it. I have really grown to love this car. It had been burning oil more than normal but not so much that I was replacing it every week, more like maybe every 6 weeks.

End of July I took it in for an oil change and after that I suddenly was putting in oil to the tune of a quart a week. I thought perhaps they just didn't put something back right when they changed it so I took it back to the shop last week.

They looked it over and said that there was oil pooled inside the engine but they couldn't figure out where it was leaking from. They steam cleaned the engine, replaced the pcv valve, and put dye in the oil to hopefully track down the leak.

I took it back in today, after a week of normal driving, and they can't find the leak at all just said it looked like it was burning oil a lot faster now. They gave me three options:

1 - Continue driving it as it is right now. The rest of the engine is fine just keep up with replacing the oil when it needs it. Probably to the tune of a quart a week.

2 - Have the engine rebuilt.

3 - Have the engine replaced.

I've grown accustomed to Not having a car payment. I like it that way. So I think this is what I've decided... Unless the quote for options 2 or 3 above come in under $1k I'm going to go with option 1. Start investing in oil by the case, check it twice a week, etc. They say the engine is fine so long as I can keep the oil in it. In the meantime, put aside all my extra debt repayments and start socking away every spare bit o' cash into a high interest savings account until two things happen. 1 - I get my taxes back and 2 - brother gets his taxes back and pays me back the balance of what he owes me. That should net me a decent chunk of change to either flat out buy a new (to me) car or at least not have to finance too much.

At least thats what I'm thinking right now. We'll see what comes of the conversation with the mechanic whenever he gets a chance to call me back with some numbers.