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

April 4th, 2007 at 03:49 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 10:36 am

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.

Check on hold.

March 21st, 2007 at 10:03 am

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 04:52 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 12:53 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.

Tuesday Deposit.

March 6th, 2007 at 08:18 am

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.

Insurance special investigations.

February 27th, 2007 at 02:47 pm

Post #2 today.

Because of the oddity of my case (stolen car, no damage, back within 48 hours, the only bill they got was a tow bill) I got sent to Special Investigations.

I explained it all to him, he was impressed actually that I got it back so fast and with no damage. Apparently he had two ways of running it. Stolen car, there's a $100 deductible and I would be reimbursed $38. Tow, they reimburse me $100. Since there's no damage, he went with the Tow. I'll be getting a check in the mail. Sweet! I'll put it back into my two online accounts that I would have deposited into today.

My first Kiva loan

February 23rd, 2007 at 09:36 am

I got my tax refund today! I wasn't expecting it until next week, but I'm certainly not complaining. I had stated that I wanted to make a Kiva loan (www.kiva.org) with part of my return so that's the first thing I did.

What I like about Kiva is that they are the first non profit that PayPal doesn't charge any fees for processing, even if credit cards are used. So I know that if I donate $75 they are actually getting $75.

My selection process was actually pretty simple. I thought through a bunch of different ways to do it, perhaps keeping the focus on a specific country/region or gender. But in the end I decided on something much simpler. I sorted the open loan requests Oldest to Newest and scanned through the first page of Oldest to find the one who had the most raised so far. That's it. I selected a gentleman who had $125 left to be raised and my $75 pushed him to just $50 left. After I processed everything I went back to sort the list again to see what the new percentage was. And guess what? Someone else had picked up the other $50 while I was fiddling around with checking out and such. He is now fully funded! This particular loan is slotted to be paid back in 14-16 months.

My goal for now is to make a new donation with tax returns. The reason being, since I adjust my witholdings so I don't overpay, what I get back is really bonus since it's based on student loan interest. So once a year I'll make a new donation. Once the loan(s) get paid back I will just recycle the money back and reloan it to someone else. The hope being that when my student loans are paid in full, or at least I stop getting tax refunds, that I'll have enough recirculating that I don't need to add any more donations.

I also made a small donation to the company itself to help them with rent and such. They don't get a cut from the loans.

I am also considering buying Kiva gift certificates for gifts this next year. The receiver then gets to pick someone to fund and then can withdraw the money once its paid back if they so desire. We'll see. I'm just really excited that the person I picked got funded so fast!

Boy am I glad I didn't pay to file State taxes.

February 15th, 2007 at 11:11 am

The cost to file state taxes electronically, $29.95. The amount of my refund, $18. Smile

I waited for the 1098 showing mortgage interest I paid last year...and it didn't matter. I cut way back on charitable contributions last year so itemized deductions weren't really helpful this year.

So apparently I cut it pretty close as far as state goes when I adjusted my withholdings. But I'm ok with that. This year however, I will be more cautious and not change my withholding status until July. My part time job, which wasn't counted for 3006 because I didn't make enough to warrent a W2, I expect will be a factor for 2007 taxes since it's taxed at a considerably lower rate. I just want to make sure I cover my butt, even though I know that student loan interest will probably save me.

Federal return will be $574. I'm going to take the $74, add a dollar to it, and donate $75 to Kiva. The $500 I am not sure how it will be used yet. If my brother's GI Bill kicks in then it will go first to savings and if it exceeds my goal of $1k then I'll put the rest to my highest % loan. If the GI Bill doesn't kick in, I'll probably be using it to fund March living expenses for my brother and hopefully it will kick in in April. He'll have his federal return back as well so he will be kicking in a portion towards his living expenses.

In other news, my brother has a learning disability. We knew that but he had a session today with someone who thinks he might qualify for a program where the school will pay for him to be tested to find out exactly what his issue is. If he gets into the program he'll take special classes geared towards his learning ability and his books will be covered. That would be way cool. Just have to wait and see how things fall out. Fortunately he has teachers who are helping to direct him properly, without them he wouldn't have even known that the program existed.

Paid back today!

February 3rd, 2007 at 09:08 am

Rock on. So back in September I sold a bunch of stuff to a friend of a friend who was going to make payments. I got one from her. I haven't heard a peep from her since. I did contact my friend once and she got in touch with her but I decided that with the holidays approaching and stuff I'd just let it go and revisit it come February. Only I forgot to touch base with my friend about it. Yesterday I got a call from the gal asking if she could stop by and drop off money today. I gave her directions and all but didn't know how much it would be. She just stopped by and handed me some cash then left (she just got off work and wanted to get to bed). I looked at it after she left and it's the rest of it! Actually it's $5 more than she owed but hey I'm not complaining. So that makes me happy. I'll deposit it straight into my Wells Fargo account since back in September that's where I decided it would go.

I saw my pending deposit for my paycheck and figured out bills. Looking good right now! I already got back a check from insurance for my glasses. That was fast! It was only $106 but I'll take it. I've also decided to efile federal for free and mail in state so I won't have to set aside money for tax filing this time around. Which also means I should be able to stash some extra into savings. We'll see.

My brother got his last W2 yesterday so we'll be doing his taxes today. Can't wait to see what that turns out to be.

Now if my voice will just return so I can carry on conversations...darn cold!

Networth update, 2007 goals update (longish post)

February 1st, 2007 at 08:09 am

I haven't cashed the loan check yet, I plan on depositing it today. I expect there'll be a hold on it for a few days and then I'll pay off my credit card. That's exciting. My 401k has not transferred to the new company yet, but it's increasing so I'm not complaining too much.

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $606 ($190) -23.87 %
Retirement $25,645 $327 1.29 %
Cars $2,305 $0 0.00 %
Total Assets $28,556 $137 0.48 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $36,006 ($102) -0.28 %
Credit Card $18,012 ($142) -0.78 %
Other $8,512 ($168) -1.94 %
Total Debts $62,530 ($412) -0.65 %

Net Worth ($33,974) $549 1.59 %



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2007 goal update:

1] Consumer debt down to 14,000. Currently at $26,524. Monthly amount of decrease needs to be $1,138 each month to meet this. Not looking so hot right now. Frown But it is going down.

2] EF holding steady at $1,000. Currently at $499.13. Need to increase it by $46 each month to meet this. Not a problem so long as I don't have any emergencies come up.

3] Medical savings at least $500. Currently a little over $100. Need to increase it by $37 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 30 lbs to go. Need to loose 3 lbs a month to meet this. Shouldn't be a problem.

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Brother officially turned in the paperwork for his GI Bill. The good news, he'll get backpay for every month he was in school from the time he started til it actually kicks in. That means he'll be able to pay me back in one lump sum. Of course, we need to actually get to that point but the office where he turned in his applicatino said the process has been streamlined and some people have been known to get theirs in 4-6 weeks. Worst case will be 2 months. That's better than 3 months like it used to be. Til then though we're going to be scrambling to make it. He has enough in his account to pay the second part of school this month. Im really hoping that his tax return will be large enough to get him through another month. And if we efile it should be here fast enough to cover for March. He's just waiting on one W2.

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Got $20 for babysitting last night. Will get $28 today paid back for buying concert tickets for people. $14 will go back to gas/food money the other $14 will go back in the bank. Plus $25 on Sunday for childcare. That's $59 to go back into the bank to help recover from what I spent on my glasses. My regular budget amount for medical, minus what I'll need for prescriptions, will pick up the rest of the slack so nothing else will be affected.

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I've done pretty well not spending too much cash or gas while parents are in town. Of course that is in part due to the fact that they insist on paying for things. Smile But I do offer to pay my own share and I don't go crazy wth what I order.

Catch up.

January 29th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

In the past week or so since I've posted things have been ok. I've worked out a way to soften the blow of the eyeglasses expense. My next two weeks of Tuesday Deposits will just stay in my bank account instead of being transferred to Emigrant. That coupled with my regular budget amount for Medical should balance out my account and I think in April I'll be back on track with saving in my Medical account.

This week could have been bumper in regards to extra cash. I might be babysitting tonight (hopefully not as I have a class* to attend), I got an offer to babysit tomorrow night (I had to decline), and I am babysitting on Wednesday night. Every little bit helps but I need to not kill myself just because the opportunity arises.

I really need to step up my decluttering efforts. I found out this weekend that the friend that I rent a garage from is interviewing at places out of state which means I won't be able to rent the garage for too much longer should he actually accept a position that requires a move. I have shifted a lot over to my apartment, but it needs sorting because a lot of it can be dumped I think. And I've sort of run out of room to store anything at my apartment. It would save me $60/mo to not have the garage and that's something I was working really hard on clearing out over the summer.

I gave away $200 today. It was an emergency in my eyes. One of my good friends is underemployed and does not have medical insurance. She broke a tooth on the way to Croatia last May and hasn't been able to get it fixed. She finally went in to see a dentist hoping that it was someone who would work with her payment wise. The outcome was she needed to come up with $200 by Tuesday (tomorrow) and another $200 at the next visit. After that they'll set her up with a payment plan. A few of us heard about her predicament through an email her roomate sent out basically just asking us to keep her in prayer. We did, we also collected $400 for her. That way she's taken care of until the payments start up. Although none of us discussed how much we were donating so it was definately a surprise. I did not loan the money out. My EF will take a slight hit this month as a result but I'm ok with that. I know it'll bounce back and I'm just glad I had the money to be able to do it.

My brother finally got all the paperwork he needs to request the GI Bill. Hopefully he will submit that request today. Then we just have 3 months to wait for it to kick in...

*My church offers free classes on a variety of subjects so it's not something I have to attend, just something I want to as the subject is of interest to me. But I'm not wasting money if I don't go.

I couldn't even though I was willing to.

December 9th, 2006 at 11:43 pm

They wouldn't allow me to co-sign the loan since I have too much unsecured debt. The good news though is that we did obtain a starter unsecured credit card for my brother with a limit of $250 and an interest rate of 20%. Considering he has no credit history that's not bad. The bad news (well depending on your perspective) I went ahead and pulled out another balance transfer from CC1 for $2k for him. Well, the check's been requested I haven't deposited it yet.

I'll hold onto all of the money until it either runs out or his GI bill kicks in. It'll be used for the basics, school (only as much as needed they want half in Jan not sure about the other half), rent, bus pass, electric, and food. He'll hopefully still be working at the bar when he can so that should get him some extra cash. Once the GI Bill kicks in he'll start paying me back. Probably just a little at a time (ie $100/mo) but he knows that interest will be acruing. Fortunately it's only 3.99% for the life of the transfer.

I got paid tonight for both babysitting tonight and dogsitting a few weeks ago. One check for $86. Wow that was more than I expected. I'll take that. With all the extra that I'm anticipating needing for the holiday (ie dinner and stuff) I think when I make my Tuesday Deposit that I'm only going to put $100 into savings and leave whatever is left in my checking account just in case. It can always go to savings later if I need it. And $100 is way more than the expected $25. Right now I'm looking at a deposit of $141.

Looking to the future and slightly starting to panic.

November 21st, 2006 at 01:47 pm

Looking at my budget last night I realized that I am on paper always at -$80 every month. This doesn't really show up because my on paper budget is based on the amount I was getting before I dropped my 401k down from 8% to 3% and before I changed my withholdings from 1 to 2. I actually balance out right now. Come January I will be moving my withholdings back to 1 because this was the first year of testing my theory on how to basically not get a refund but also not owe on taxes. On the one hand, I know I'll be ok because of how my pay/budget plays out (on the 5th there's always extra money from being on call, and on the 20th I always hold out money for things that I can't pay for all of out of the 5th) but on the other I don't know what my new 'pay' will be until January 20. I don't like those kinds of unknowns.

Of course the other potential bright side to this is we get yearly evaluations and raises in January so there's the possibility that my raise will have kicked in by then. But still. It makes for a long hard look at my budget. Fortunately I really do have some wiggle room as what I pay on some things is more than required so for a couple months I could get by. Plus I do have extra money coming in, at least $25/wk from one job and an as yet unknown other weekly amount. But I don't want to stop the momentum.

I splurged on some tea yesterday. I love rooibus (sp?) tea. It's not caffinated (I'm supposed to avoid caffiene) and has a very nice flavor. A friend of mine gave me a $5 off gift cert for an online tea company and I bought their sampler pack. I have a loose leaf teapot waiting to be purchased at Amazon for when I get my next $20 Amazon gc. But in the meantime, the tea's on it's way. It came to $9.75 and came out of my 'Personal' money.

I met a friend for breakfast today. I went low key (and healthy) and got oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, soy milk all mixed together and a couple slices of apple and banana on top. It was only $4. I had water to drink and left a dollar tip. After grocery shopping yesterday and eating out a couple of times already I have $57 left to last til the 5th. Next shopping trip list has already been started but nothing is necessary yet so I'm going to go on Saturday. Although, I am picking up Papa Murphy's pizza for potluck tonight, that'll be $7 and will come out of my grocery budget.

I'm not preparing Thanksgiving Dinner. I am bringing a dish though, the ingredients that I needed were picked up last night. I'm hoping there'll be some leftovers I can come back home with (of my own dish that is). If not, that's ok too. Small price to pay for Thanksgiving Dinner.

I filled up on gas and have $17 left over as well. We'll see how long the tank lasts. I am going to just wait til it gets to half (really 3/4ths the way my tank works) and put the rest in at that point. The way gas is going up it'll probably take it all. But I don't have much by way of long distance driving to do for a while at least.

I picked up the yummiest bread. I'm working really hard at exercising and eating healthy with the overall intent to loose weight but that's not the direct motivation. Someone mentioned that sprouted wheat bread is better so when I was at Trader Joe's I picked some up. It's only 90 calories, .5 gram of fat, and 2 grams of fiber per slice. It is heavy but it doesn't taste nasty like I've experienced before. And it costs about the same as the other Sara Lee Delightfuls bread I was getting before. It's twice as many calories but the rest of the numbers are the same. And according to http://www.traineo.com I'm not eating all the calories I should be anyway.

I'm really curious to see what my numbers look like at the end of the month. So I'm waiting with baited breathe to be able to post new numbers. It's all a waiting game for me. I wait for the next paycheck. I wait for the next Tuesday Deposit. I wait for the end of the month. So I guess technically next I'm waiting for another Tuesday Deposit.

I dropped $161 into my bank account today. $10 for something I'll be paying for for the beachhouse trip and $151 for CC2. I actually made the payment for $153 because when all was said and done there was $22 and change left in my bank account and I like to just leave a $20 and change cushion. I requested the dividend check from CC2 today so I should see it potentially by the end of next week, definately the first week in December. I'm going to laugh if CC2 is completely paid off by the time I get my hands on that check.

Jumping on this bandwagon too.

November 20th, 2006 at 04:11 pm

Today's been a different sort of day. I slept at the house I was dogsitting at so I couldnt' pay my bills this morning. Fortunately, the only things that absolutely must be paid today are on automatic payments. I saw the pending deposit in my account over the weekend so I knew how much wouuld be there and already filled in my budget spreadsheet just to see where things stood. I felt ok with pulling out my food and gas money this morning.

I'm planning on doing a little grocery shopping after work and filling up with gas. Hopefully I won't be so hungry that I can wait til after I get home to eat dinner.

The family I dog sat for this weekend told me today they will pay me the next time they see me. So I've got that to add to next week's deposit since I won't see them til Thursday.

And finally, a picture of me. Not really that exciting. I was trying to take a self portrait with a camera phone and show off my red streaks at the same time (to show a friend a couple weeks ago). It sort of worked.

The tides shift, both good and bad.

November 19th, 2006 at 07:49 pm

Ok so I didn't have enough gas to make it til tomorrow. So I relented and broke into the cash waiting to be deposited on Tuesday for CC2 and put $10 in. I haven't decided if I'm going to take $10 out of the gas budget and put it back in the Tuesday Deposit box or not.

I talked to a gal tonight who's kids I watched (in part) during the short Monday night stint. She is continuing on with the Monday night meetings and will be needing a sitter. We haven't worked out pay yet, I honestly have no idea how much to charge. For two kids, 3 and under, I get $30 regardless of time if I have to put them to bed. If they're already in bed I get $20. I don't really care, I figure I'm doing my friends a service and just let them pay me whatever.

However this situation is a little different. It's three kids between the ages of 5 and 10. I'll be putting them to bed at some point, don't know about dinner. Probably will be there for about 3.5 hours. I told the mom that whatever they decided would be fine. She laughed and said she said the same thing when she was in my position and now the tables are turned. They only paid $10 for the sitting when I was doing it, because it was organized through church and their scale was $5/kid or $10/family. But I actually got $25 for the night. And the distance wasn't that great that I had to travel. They are set for this week but will need me for sure next week. We'll just play by ear. I'm just happy to have a new source of income, however slight it might be.

My brother paid me $50 so once I can pull that out of his account (I'm a co-owner of his savings account) I think my weekly deposit total is: $151. I'm quite pleased with that bite taken out of CC2.

Mo' money.

November 16th, 2006 at 11:50 am

I am seriously almost giddy with anticipation that I'll have CC2 paid off before the December statement comes out. Of course, it will have a small amount on it from the interest that acrues until I pay it off but it won't be much.

Yesterday I came home to find a check from Certified for $26. Sweet! I knew it was coming just didn't know exactly when. So that means I should be expecting the next one next week, since the first two of the three jobs I'm expecting pay from them for happened a week apart. That makes my anticipated payment on CC2 on Tuesday to be $101.

Then this morning I got a call from the gal I'm babysitting for tomorrow, asking if I can house/dog sit this weekend. I've never done this for them before, so I honestly don't know if I'll be paid for it or if it'll just be a 'eat whatever you want while you're here' type deal. I don't mind not getting paid but I'm curious too. Though they may not need me, their regular dog sitters haven't gotten back to them yet so I'm a backup plan. I'm ok with that.

Tomorrow is Brother's payday, I'm hoping to get a few bucks from him as well but I'm not counting it til I talk to him about it. Monday is my payday, I don't know yet how much I can expect to pull out of it to pay towards CC2. Last time it was just $30 but I think it'll be less this time.

And now for just a few of the 'facts you probably don't know about me' Nothing too personal really.

* We moved every summer when I was a kid because of my dad's job. Because of this I was very shy as a child, what was the point of making friends if I was going to be leaving them.

* I have technically five blogs that I keep up. This one for finances, one that I've had since 2001 for 'everything', one at myspace for randomness, one that no one knows about so I can talk about things that I don't want people reading my 'everything' blog to read about, and a new one for knitting.

* I have an overactive imagination. This is a bad thing when it comes to my heart condition. Especially when I insist on watching shows like Grey's Anatomy that seems to have more than it's fair share of heart-paitents-that-have-things-go-terribly-wrong.
But it's a good thing when it comes to my heart condition when the dr tells me I need to exercise more to help ensure that I don't need a transplant in 20 years. I am now up to exercising intentionally 6 days a week, 3 days at the gym, 3 days with videos at home.

* The internet and chatting online has made me a better/bolder person offline. Not completely but definately an improvement.

* I love to read, but never have the time.

* I am addicted to TV. I realize this so I solve it by not turning it on. Once it's on it's hard to turn off. Even at midnight when there's nothing on but infomercials.

* I love to learn. I have two BS degrees. I'm only using one of them and as of late have decided perhaps it's not that big of a deal if I don't use the second one. (Computer Science with Business Emphasis is the degree I'm technically using right now, Accounting is lying dormant except within the sphere of personal finance)

* I have worked at my job for 9.5 years. I drag my feet finding another because either the pay won't support my debt, or I've been too long in one place and I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be in the tech industry.

* Our family's first computer was a TI keyboard that you connected to the TV. It had BASIC on it and I copied/tweaked a program from the manual when I was 9. Even though I studied Computer Science and was good in it, I didn't have a real computer until my Jr year of College.

And that's enough of that. I'd say if you want to know more you could check out my 'everything' blog but that's not going to happen because I don't want the two worlds to collide.

Little bit extra.

November 15th, 2006 at 05:51 pm

Post #2 today.

I am salary. There isn't much change in my pay month to month...except my on call nights. During 'normal' business function, I have the same number of nights each month. However, business rarely is normal. It always seems like someone's on vacation or there's a holiday or whatever and that makes it so I have more than the usual number of on call nights. Today, one of my co-workers wasn't feeling well and went to the ER. He was scheduled for cell phone tonight. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have plans tonight to go to dinner and a movie with a friend. That's not something I do when I'm on call. But the plans were already made and by the time it was realized that the guy in the ER was on for tonight, there was no one else but me left to pick up the slack.

I told one of the owners about my plans and he gave me permission to 'ignore' the phone during the movie since these are special circumstances. I try very hard to not plan anything like that when I'm on call and will not take this as a sign that it's ok. This is a special circumstance.

All that to say, wheee! I get a little more in my December 5th check because I'm on call tonight! Not too much more, we get $35/night flat rate and it seems to work out to be about $17.50/night after taxes and 401k are accounted for. But I'm not complaining. And it sounds like that customer training thing I was supposed to do ages ago might actually be happening. Providing that the customer still needs training. It's been so long and she's been calling in when she needs help that it's possible she's good to go. It'd be interesting to get out of the office for a day, and make a few extra bucks on mileage. But if it doesn't happen, I'm not totally bummed about it.

Payout!

November 8th, 2006 at 03:45 pm

I signed up a while ago (saw the link on another pfblog) for this mail survey thing where they send you international mail and you enter in the date you received it so they can track transit time. The first month I got an email saying to look for an email with payout info but I never saw it. I also thought that since it was my first month, perhaps I didn't do enough to qualify for payout.

Fast forward to this month when I got another email stating to watch for a payout email and I still didn't see it. I gave it about 5 days then I emailed them and inquired about it.

Today I got my payout from both months, so $40 total. Only instead of paypal like I was hoping for, they use 800giftcertificate.com I debated about getting dining certificates, then realized that a] I'm trying to eat healthy and that's hard to do eating out and b] I don't eat out that often at least not at the restaurants available to me.

I had decided to just go with Macy's because I could use some new clothes and figured $40 would at least get me something there but I checked the list of places one more time in case I missed something.

And there it was...Amazon.com The clouds opened, the sun was shining, and I now have $40 to spend at Amazon. The reason I'm so happy about that is there's a couple things I've really wanted to get, specifically dvds of the workout I currently do at home to replace the video tapes that I'm sure aren't going to last much longer. However, from the cover it looks a little different than the workout I have and I didn't want to spend the money and find out it's the wrong one. I've tried some of her newer workouts and I don't like them as much. (Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone).

If they're not the ones I wanted, and not ones that I like, then it's not as much of a big deal if it wasn't really my own money that I spent it on. I'm waiting til Friday to actually buy anything since I'm curious to check out their Friday Sale. I never check it out because I rarely have money to spend. But now I do!

Perhaps in the future I'll still get the Amazon.com gc's but spend it on food instead. Hmmm.

Didn't buy it.

November 7th, 2006 at 01:40 pm

I got an email today about the next book club meeting. We'll be reading Life After God. It sounded really interesting but then I noted the date of the bookclub meeting. It's when I'll be at the beachhouse. I still tried to get it from the library because I like reading but they didn't have it. So I thought, why not just buy it anyway? I found it on Amazon, used for under $2. But then add in shipping and it's closer to $6. Eh. I decided against it. It'd be different if I was actually going to make it to the meeting...but I'm not.

Made a nice hefty payment on CC2 yesterday, $347. Of that $218 was new charges that I'd added recently. No more of that though. Soon as the next statement comes out I'll be having them send me the cash back check and will apply it to the balance once I get it. If I play my cards right, I'll have the balance under $300 before the statement runs. That is exciting to me.

I only have one more week of my temporary childcare gig. I don't know if they'll need sitters again for the next run of classes but I imagine with the holidays those won't even start til beginning of the year. I still have my every Sunday gig and potential extra from Pinecone, babysitting for friends, and Certified Reports. But that's more sporatic. Ah well it was helpful while it lasted.

I really like the way I've been handling all this extra money. It comes in and goes right back out without me actually planning on having it. That way my savings account goes up and my credit cards go down without really any effort (except to do the deposits and transfers).

I'm now expecting one Pinecone check and three Certified Reports checks in the future. Just don't know when exactly to expect them. Plus $60 still from friends who haven't paid their portion of the beach house yet (will get $30 tonight). Plus $520 that my brother owes me but he's been seriously strapped for cash so I haven't bothered him about it. I figure it's better for him to not pay me back and make ends meet than to pay me back and have to borrow it again.

I am anxious to move onto Phase Two of my plan. We'll see how fast I can get there.

Very confusing...

November 3rd, 2006 at 08:09 am

Because some friends and I are going to a beachhouse, and I sent in a check for the whole thing while they are slowly paying me back, my paycheck today is very confusing. Even for me. So here's a rough summary.

All bills have been paid.
$100 is being held out for 'Medical' because I'm anticipating a bill from the clinic and it hasn't arrived yet. Plus I have a dentist apt next week and I don't know if I'll have to pay anything.
$134 was left over to pay on CC2 but that payment is on hold pending transfers from online savings accounts.
My step brothers allotment has finally showed up so was able to pay an extra $100 on CC1.
$20.24 has been left in the bank account as a cushion.

My tires cost more than anticipated, $197 instead of $140. I did put them on my card and pulled the money out of all three savings accounts to cover it. I think I pulled evenly so as to not completely drain any one account. It'll be interesting to see how much I can build back up by the end of the month. I paid this with CC2 and will make the combined payment of $344 (paycheck extra, tires and Target) as soon as the money transfers from my savings accounts.

My hair cut and color ran $55 and I left him a $20 tip. I am so in love with the color. It looks awesome. And it should blend well so that I can wait another year to get it done again. But I had to pay with a check (fortunately a friend mentioned she'd written a check when she went to see him but couldn't remember why) because he's had trouble with the credit card machine so he doesn't use it.

I also spent another $12 at Target and silly me grabbed CC2 instead of my debit card. I needed more shampoo/conditioner since I was completely out of conditioner for color treated hair, and my shampoo for color treated hair was almost gone. Plus I got some other product that hopefully will tame the flyaway always sticking up hair. And...and...I splurged a little because their dollar spot had some of their asian line on clearance for 75% off. So I got a sake set (little container and cups), two sets of two tea cups, and a vase for $0.62 each. I rarely spend like that but thought perhaps I can keep them to give as gifts when the occasion arises.

Since today is payday I'm going grocery shopping. I have a growing list that I've been building all week in anticipation of needing it by the time payday rolled around. We don't get the paper but we do get the food day which has the ads. I was thumbing through Safeway since I shop there and Trader Joes most often, and found their 'buy 10 items mix/match and get $10 off instantly'. Now if their placement of that announcement and the items below it are correct (ie that the items below are the qualifying items) then I think I'm going to make out like a bandit. They have cake mixes, $1.98 each, buy one get one free. And cookie mixes 2 for $3. I could get 6 cake mixes and 4 cookie mixes for under $2. But I'm going to verify when I got to the store what items fall under that category. Since it isn't something I normally buy I don't want to stock up on a 'good deal' and not have cash at the end of the payperiod for things I really need.

Tuesday's deposit and spending.

October 31st, 2006 at 11:31 am

I deposited $128.38 into my bank account today. $30 was my friend's portion of the beach house we're renting, I'm mailing off the check tomorrow as I technically have enough in my account for it to clear but am hoping that I'll have everyone else's portion before it clears. Total cost for the rental is $185 to be split between 6 people. The $98 has been applied to CC2 and the $0.38 will stay in the bank just because.

Now, my deposit for CC2 was short by $25. I got cash last night for my childcare work (that's normal) but I decided to give it to my brother. He gets paid on Friday, which is good, but I'm not certain he has enough in his bank account to last him til then. He got hit with three overdrafts last pay period and that really cut into him. I'd hate to see it happen again. He didn't ask for the money and I'm trying to avoid him having to ask for rent by pre-empting the possible overdrafts. He's also expecting a check from our other brother for $100 (payback from a loan) it just hasn't arrived yet.

But the way I look at it, I still had $98 to throw at CC2. Since I was only really expecting $50 from my usual childcare gigs I felt that was still a good chunk.

I picked up my brother so we could say 'until we meet again' to our great aunt this morning (she hates saying goodbye but she's moving to southern california today) and my car started acting up. That does not make me happy. We were at an onramp to the freeway that had an up incline. Every time the car ahead of me would move forward one car length I would follow. But since we weren't moving that fast I wouldn't let off the clutch completely. Not every time, but some of the time it would sound/feel like metal scraping metal and nothing would happen right away. I liken it to when your brakes get bad, like really bad, and you can feel it engage and try to stop but it doesn't right away. Except this was with the clutch not the brake. *sigh* I'm debating about calling my shop to see if they have any ideas but I hate not having enough information. And I really can't handle any work to be done on my car right now. I can barely handle the tires I'm putting on this week.

Yay mail and the store

October 27th, 2006 at 08:14 am

I finally got a payout from one of the PTR sites. I don't think I'll be doing that one anymore. Took me almost a year to get enough for a payout because I didn't really try to refer people. And once they changed their website format I started getting less offers to click on. Plus that payout included the $10 they give you to start. Not worth it for me. I was waiting til I got my check, I got it, now I'm going to delete my account. They also take out a 'processing fee' so instead of getting the $25ish I earned I got $23.35 or something. Feh. But it's money I wasn't planning on so it'll go in with this weeks deposit/payment on CC2.

I went to the store today on my walk home from the gym. Picked up the things on my list to restock plus found some thin cut pork chops with a 75 cent off sticker on it making it under $2 for the package. They went straight into the freezer since I have more than enough food already waiting to be eaten for dinner.

I found I was incorrect in my grocery figure. I actually had $23 in my wallet. Sweet! My grocery money all goes in the same place so I know exactly where it is but I hadn't actually pulled it all out to count it. My total came to $11.01 after they took off the 'club card' savings. Saved a total of $6.69. I'll take it. I was going to have to wrestle with $0.99 but there was a penny on the counter so I still have $12 left. Next week all I'm planning on needing to buy are bananas. I buy them in small bunches, 4 or 5 at a time. I only eat one a day and if I buy any more then they go bad too fast. I don't really care about freezing them to make banana bread or banana milk shakes.

I don't know if I'll go out to eat on Sunday or not. If I do I'll limit myself to spending $5.

I am stoked for the boost in my CC2 payment next week. My childcare job on Mondays will be ending Nov 13th so I won't have that coming in anymore. Not that something else won't potentially replace it but for now it's going away. So I want to pump as much onto paying off the card as possible. My potential payment right now is looking like $113. I have two babysitting jobs this weekend plus the two childcare jobs plus the check I got yesterday. Awesome. And then I get paid in a week and it's my check with extra money on it.

I'm going to be a regular W2 employee

October 22nd, 2006 at 09:33 pm

The church that I do childcare for has decided to make me a regular W2 employee. I only make $25/week and they're going to work out the taxes so I get $25/week. I have a W4 to take into them next week along with my passport.

I'm wondering if I should change my regular job W4 from 2 back to 1. I don't know what effect this little bit of extra will have on my taxes.

Now I'm only going to make about $400 this year from them. It's not enough to push me into another tax bracket. And I still have student loan interest that will help balance things out. I just wish I knew for sure. I'm fairly certain I won't have to owe anything still though.

My Tuesday deposit right now looks like:
5.00 Pinecone
30.00 Paycheck
25.00 Babysitting
50.00 Childcare on Sunday
------
110.00 Confirmed

Potential:
30.00 Childcare on Monday

I'm ready for it to be Tuesday so I can make a payment on CC2 already!

Another movie check.

October 22nd, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I got a call on Friday to do a blind check (head count) at the same theater I went to last week for Saturday. I called back, left a message, and they never called me back nor assigned the paperwork to me so I figured they found someone to do it. Apparently that person didn't work out as they called me today again about doing it for today's show. Because it's last minute, they're making it $15 instead of the regular $10. And I only have to stick around for the first 20 minutes or so to do the count. And I get reimbursed my admission fee. This one's going to be tougher because it's a matinee show which means kids are allowed at the theater. Kids are harder to see so the count will be...interesting. But I'm confident I can pull it off. We'll see. I know I'll appreciate the $18 check when it comes in 6 weeks.

Three Phase Plan update.

October 21st, 2006 at 09:22 am

Phase One (pay off CC2)

Statement balance difference: -$292.93
Total Payments: $488
Total charges and fees: $195.77

Most of those charges were from before I decided to stop using the card all together. The next statement should look better.

Previous potential payoff date: 4/20/2007
New potential payoff date: 3/20/2007

Phase two (build up EF to $1,000)

Between the three accounts my savings has grown by $130.01 since the end of September.

Phase three (pay as much off CC1 as possible by 4/15/2010)

Statement balance difference: -$90.70
Total payments: $473
Total charges and fees: $382.30

That was the last month that I'll have charges on this card. It used to be used to pay bills. It no longer serves that function.

Previous potential balance by 4/15/2010: $6,739.99
New potential balance by 4/15/2010: $6,665.47

Only $1,582.95 to go before things get back to normal on this card.

---

Back to CC2 news. I got $25 last night for babysitting instead of the expected $20. So now my Tuesday payment looks like this:

5.00 Pinecone check
30.00 Paycheck
25.00 Babysitting
-----
60.00 Confirmed payment

50.00 Childcare on Sunday
30.00 Childcare on Monday
-----
80.00 Potential

140.00 Possible payment. That makes me Very happy.

Because CC2 is a cashback card and you can only make withdrawls when it's at or past $50 I'm going to wait until after the November statement to request a cashback check. The reason for that is I'm planning on putting my tire purchase and my birthday hair cut/color on the card to get a little more cashback. After I make the charges I'll pull the money out of my savings to cover it and make that much extra of a payment the following Tuesday. That's the last charge I intend to make. Then when I get the cashback check, I'll just incorporate it with a payment on CC2. My current cashback amount is about $55.

Pay day!

October 20th, 2006 at 08:21 am

It's payday today. It actually went surprisingly well. This is the first paycheck where I'm actually paying two of my bills instead of using them as part of the payment of my CC1. I had earmarked more money than necessary for some of them. Others had credits I wasn't expecting. So it all rounded out to not bad.

All bills got paid and leaves 20.03 cushion

I'm anticipating a nice deposit for Tuesday to pay towards CC2. I have the following in hand to pay:
30.00 From paycheck
5.00 Pinecone check

And the following potential:
20.00 Babysitting Friday night (guess)
50.00 Childcare on Sunday (they didn't pay me last week so I'll get double this week)
30.00 Childcare on Monday (extra $5 for what I gave a parent for change last week)

Grand total of $135 potentially to pay on CC2. I checked the calendar and there are exactly 4 Tuesdays between now and 11/20 so I'm ok to make a payment every week. That's exciting too. I can only make 4 online payments per statement period.

Once my statements are available online I'll be updating my Three Phase Plan.

Tomorrow is payday, but I'm getting gas today.

October 19th, 2006 at 02:12 pm

My tank is at about 1/2. Probably a little under since it actually shows it at half but when you fill it it goes way up past full. I get paid tomorrow but I have a $10 gas card from Shell and the cheap Shell station is on my way to my meeting tonight. So I'm going to see if I can put in that $10 and make it plus what's left in the tank last the whole next pay period. If it does, I'll save $40.

My brother is once again learning the hard way about the way banks work. He's up to a -$127 in his account because he doesn't keep track of his spending. Fortunately he gets paid tomorrow. He's going to start using cash instead, we'll see how that goes. Though I don't think I'm going to push for him to make a payment on what he owes me this month unless it looks like he'll have enough to cover everything.

My step brother is looking into why the allotment hasn't deposited yet into my account. It's really annoying to be honest. Fortunately, I already had enough in my regularly budgeted amount to cover more than the minimum required payment so it's not that big of a deal but it does need to be taken care of.

The day is only half over. I need to find some project to work on to keep me busy.

It just looks better.

October 17th, 2006 at 07:59 am

I have a couple of loans through my bank (Wells Fargo) and when I log in I see the grand total of those loans on the main page. It's a rather discouraging amount, $43k. But today, after one of my loan payments got applied, it's down to $42k. That seems like a really big deal to me. I can't wait for next month when I actually start making a dent in the student loan.

I only got $20 last night. Well, I got $25 but one of the parents needed change and so I gave him my $5 and I'll get it back next week. I was debating about whether I should even bother making a trip to the bank to deposit just $20 but then I realized, it's cash. If I have it, I'll spend it. So I went ahead and made a payment on my CC2 for $20 which means that I HAVE to go to the bank to deposit it before work.

Still no sign of the allotment. I'll contact step bro later in the morning if it's still not there. I can never figure banks out. How they process things I mean. Sometimes they show the pending deposit/withdrawl, sometimes they don't but when it does show up it shows that it was credited the day before. I don't get it. Ah well, so long as I know it's coming out it's all good.

Random ways to earn extra cash

October 16th, 2006 at 09:42 am

So the company that I do mystery shops and theater checks for has revamped their website and there's a registration button once again available. If anyone's interested, more information can be found here: http://www.certifiedfieldassociate.com/fieldworkeroverview.asp

I don't get any credit for referrals, just wanted to pass it along since I know people have asked me they can sign up too for their area. It doesn't cost anything to sign up except postage to mail in your application. I've never earned enough to have to claim it ($600/year) but I've also been pretty busy and just plain unable to complete a lot of the tasks when they're available.


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