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Kicker check came!

December 8th, 2007 at 09:12 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 02:39 pm

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 05:57 pm

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 17th, 2007 at 05:24 am

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 01:48 pm

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 11th, 2007 at 03:48 am

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 2nd, 2007 at 04:17 am

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 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.

-----

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.

-----

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.

Suckered into it? Job change?

September 1st, 2007 at 12:07 am

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.

-----

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 06:50 pm

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 11:36 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 08:48 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 09:11 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 07:45 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 07:46 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 04:16 pm

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 05:23 pm

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 06:22 pm

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.

few things

July 24th, 2007 at 05:20 pm

I am on vacation this week. I'm pretty much just hanging out at home and visiting people that I don't see regularly that are also at home during the week and finding places for the items I'm pulling out of my storage unit that will close on the 31st. I'm trying hard to make that not mean more spending since I have the opportunity to go out more. We'll see.

I called my dr's office and asked if I could pay half of my bill this month and the other half next month. They looked at my account and didn't have a problem with it. While I technically have the money to pay it all right now I'm trying to stick with only using money set aside for medical to pay medical. And I know I can pay the rest of it next month.

I will be co-leading a 2 hour class on Basic Finance Skills in Oct/Nov. I met last night with the gal I'll be leading with and need to come up with a good outline soon. I'm really excited and super nervous. I talk about this stuff all the time but not in this sort of setting. So I'll be rummaging around the 'net so I can have stuff down on paper that way I don't forget my speaking points. Smile

I'm babysitting tonight, probably for about 3 hours so that should mean about $30. I haven't bought a gift for the wedding I'm going to this weekend so I think I'll set whatever I get from babysitting as my limit since I wasn't sure where I was going to pull the money from and the credit card had been calling my name but I've been working hard to silence it. Smile

Where did it all go?

July 18th, 2007 at 08:49 pm

I really wish I knew where my money went this last pay period. I have no good answers for it. I took some from my gas money to pay for groceries and a small meal out. But then I got $15 from winning a pool as to when my friend's baby would be born. Sorta evens out.

Ok so here's where the confusing stuff comes in.

- I do have a roommate moving in sometime after the 21st. She will be giving me money for August rent so I don't have to hold onto money to cover it but I'm doing so anyway because I just want to have all my bases covered. Right now I have $50 in an 'Unknown' category. I'll be adding $60 from my check on the 20th plus $45 from childcare (maybe more if i do any other babysitting, a friend just called to see if i could sit but we haven't finalized that I actually will be doing it). So that's at least $155 not counting any extra in my check on the 5th or the $100 that's auto deposited on the 1st from my step-brother. I need $287.50 for her half of rent.

- I have two medical bills due on the 31st. One from my clinic for $160 and one from my dentist for $28. There's $93 in my medical savings account and there'll be $15 left from my medical savings budget on the 20th. Still a tad short of the total due but I may just pay the dentist and call the clinic to see if I can pay half now and half next month.

- I owe my team captain $114 for my part of the van rental, my part of gas, and my part of water for the relay. It's not due really until August 24th but it's something I need to remember I have to pay. He figured high on the gas money so I might even get some back but it won't really be much.

- My brother has not been fully processed yet so his signing bonus won't arrive until at least 10 days after he is fully processed. I have a feeling that may not actually show up in his bank account until after rent is due. Which means he may need my help to pay for rent ($250+). Though he did just call and said that his recruiter told him today that his packet had left his hands and is at the state office. Once he's in the computer his signing bonus should come pretty quick.

- I need to get my oil changed. I actually have enough in the budget to cover it but it's an added thing that I need to keep reminding myself to do before my trip to Seattle.

- I have almost $70 for my trip to Seattle. That should be enough to cover gas and ferry fare but probably not eating out depending on how much I do and where. Friend that I'm visiting knows how budget conscious I am but she's planning something special for Friday night.

- I have another trip to Seattle planned for in August and I'm hoping I can just tell my friend that's going with me that she doesn't have to pay for the concert ticket in exchange for her paying for gas and taking care of our lodging on Saturday night. We'll see how that goes.

- I bought concert tickets for my brother for his birthday only to find out his friend bought him a ticket and got slightly better seats. I'm debating about using the tickets (I wouldn't mind going but I wouldn't have bought them for me) or selling them since the concert is sure to sell out (Smashing Pumpkins, my brother's favorite band that he never saw live). I could make a tidy profit off them.

- I have two extra tickets for the concert in Seattle, I may be selling them to other friends in the area or just selling them period. I'm waiting til it gets closer and the show sells out.

- I need to have an extra $60 to pay the gas for someone to pick me up from the relay so I don't have to pay $196 to stay one night in a hotel at the finish line. Again, don't need it until August 24th but still need to keep it in mind.

I think that September will be a better month for me. Just because once September hits all the big stuff I have going on should be over and I can be back on a more even keel. Except for the whole going to my current roommate's wedding which is 4 hours away but I'm already planning on car-pooling with at least one other person and sharing a hotel room.


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