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Kicker check came!

December 8th, 2007 at 01:12 pm

My kicker check showed up in the mail today! And it was for $541. Sweet! it will make a nice addition to my saving account.

Every two years Oregon State kicks back to the taxpayers any budget overages more than 2% that were collected. The amount they kick back varies but in the past I don't think I've gotten more than $80.

They say this may be the last kicker for a while, I'm just going to enjoy the fact that I got one this year!

I read somewhere that 1200 checks were accidentally mailed early. The date on the check was effectively post dated. The date on my check is 12/6 so I know mine wasn't one of the early ones.

Yay for money! Smile

Glad I had that cushion.

November 26th, 2007 at 06:39 am

Somehow I forgot about my car registration. I happened to remember when I glanced at my license plate and noticed the 11/07. So Saturday I went to DEQ to have my car tested. It passed the first time! It hasn't done that the last two times so I'm definitely not complaining. Total cost, $75. For two years. So again, not complaining. Just I had forgotten to allow for it in my budget. I did have a $100 cushion in my account and I had some money in an 'envelope' for January's bus pass. Since I haven't even bought December's yet I figured I could pull from that and re-fund it later.

All told, my cushion is now down to about $54. Roommate will pay rent and her part of utilities which will bring my cushion back over $100 next week. So I am still good to go.

I do not know how I would have survived this job transition without all the work I've been doing the past year to try and build an EF and be more conscious of spending/saving.

I'm more than ready for next month's COBRA payment, a bit less than originally anticipated since Dental isn't included so I accidentally overpaid last month. I'm not entirely certain I'll be ready for the stretch between January 15 and February 15 when I'll have only two weeks worth of pay but we'll see. There's still the kicker refund to come in which will definitely help matters.

I'm still here!

November 3rd, 2007 at 10:57 am

I just updated my October totals. My EF looks like it went down $100 but considering I had to pull a COBRA payment of $420 out of it, it's not really that bad. I'm still over $1000 and my dad is going to try helping me out with December's COBRA payment.

My debt did increase by a good chunk. Mainly due to buying new clothes for work, buying some furniture for the apartment, and buying plane tickets for my brother and I to go to Dad's for Christmas. I have stopped carrying my credit card in my wallet because it was too easy to just put random other little stuff on it as well. I will have that one paid back off by the time I get my tax return and my brother finishes paying off what he owes me with his tax return.

The new job is going well. As far as my budget concerns go I'm still ahead of the game. I currently have bills paid up through Nov 20th and I get another paycheck Nov 9th.

Once I get a full paycheck from work (right now I'm anticipating that being February 15th) I'll have a better idea of how I can start back into intentionally paying stuff down. Until then, I'm just saving what I already had set up in my budget to save and putting everything else to paying stuff ahead, or at least marking it as paid in my register. Plus I still have a $100 cushion that I haven't had to tap into yet.

I won't be getting paid for Thanksgiving holidays (2 days) nor Christmas (1 day) plus I'm taking Christmas Eve off so I'll have about 4 days that I won't get paid for total. Which is about $200 on each check. Fortunately it's spread out a little. So we'll see when those checks arrive how that affects things.

I found out that COBRA doesn't include dental like they thought so my actual payment is less. Which means I need to call the dentist and find out how much it is out of pocket to pay for a cleaning and possibly postpone my appointment until I have insurance again.

First paycheck

October 16th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Got my first paycheck yesterday from the new job. It was only for 1 week though. They say it takes two pay periods for direct deposit to process. So it'll take me a couple more days to get it then deposit it.

I've paid most of the bills through the 11th of next month. I say pay and most but that's really not quite what I mean. I use Quicken and plug money in as future payments then only look at the ending balance to tell myself what I really have in the bank. That way the money is allocated. I check it every day to make sure if there's a payment I need to initiate that I do so. There's a couple of bills that I haven't paid yet, rather big ones. But I will have a full 2 week check before they're due so I'm not concerned. And I've left myself a $100 cushion instead of my usual $20 cushion as a 'just in case' buffer.

Since I don't have time to go out to the chiropractor I haven't been maxing out my medical budget. Normally I'd send that money off to the medical savings account I set up but since I'm going to be paying for COBRA I figure I'll just use that for part of it that way I don't have to drain so much out of savings.

I am still certain I'll be a'ok when all is said and done but my EF will definitely be drained. Although there's still the state kicker check, and possibly money from my dad to help out with things. Too many unknowns.

I'm still liking my job. I'm thinking about maybe asking, once I get permanently hired on, to change my schedule to come in an hour earlier. With all the food available at work I don't have to worry about packing a lunch or eating breakfast first and I shower at night now anyway because there just isn't time in the mornings. There's no reason I couldn't just get up at around the same time and catch an earlier bus. But it would make a world of difference in the evenings as I'd actually be able to exercise and stuff. We'll see when we get there though.

Just going to keep plugging along and hope I stay ahead of things. I'm really glad I have a little bit of an EF to support me through this.

Auto Insurance Annoyance

October 12th, 2007 at 06:48 am

I have my auto insurance set up on auto pay. It's one of those set it and forget it sort of things. Every once in a while, their system hiccups. They say I must have logged into the web site and changed my bank account information. I say, no I didn't because it just works so I don't bother even logging into their website. I'm sure they have logs that could verify that. Ugh.

I noticed it last night when balancing my bank account. Usually I'm more on top of it, and would notice it when it didn't clear after a couple days past the due date. But with the new job I've been distracted.

I called my agent, last time I got a letter from her asking why I didn't tell her I'd canceled my policy (non-payment is an automatic cancellation) and she got it all straightened out for me. This time it looks like I noticed it first. That or she figured it was the same as last time and has been trying to straighten it out before telling me it was broke. Either way....I'm annoyed at the actual company. My agent is independent, meaning she represents many companies. Unfortunately she isn't close so if I were to change companies I wouldn't have time to go over and sign new paperwork.

Hopefully she'll call back today with good news (ie that it's been fixed).

Surviving

October 10th, 2007 at 08:48 pm

I've been at my new job for a week and a half now. Things are going pretty good. Got my last paycheck from old job on the 5th, used it to pay for all the rest of the bills for October (but only paid for food and gas for the next two weeks since I will be getting other checks in this month). I still think I'll be ok as far as money stuff goes, I won't know though til I get my first check and see what actually starts coming in.

I really don't need to grocery shop as new job offers plenty by way of food for breakfast and lunch during the week. However, I'm also trying to watch my waistline so I'm mostly bringing in my own food and just supplementing it here and there as needed. For example, I don't buy fruit anymore for my lunches because there's always a plethora of bananas and apples in the kitchen.

I should be seeing my first check, which will only be for 40 hours, next week sometime.

I did it!

October 1st, 2007 at 09:17 pm

I reached my EF savings goal. However, until I get hired on directly I'm going to keep mad saving. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

First day of work went well. Smile

advice on rollovers...

September 27th, 2007 at 12:31 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 10:37 am

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 01:08 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 08:54 am

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.