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Archive for September, 2006

Net Worth IQ for September

September 30th, 2006 at 04:11 pm

After a little bit of confusion (and entering Septembers data into August, temporarily overwriting it) I now have my Net Worth IQ statement for September. I'm looking forward to October, and even more to November, when I actually start paying more than just interest on my high student loan.

At least the dreaded timeshare is gone, that helps!

Assets $ Diff % Diff
Cash $512 $194 61.01 %
Retirement $23,339 $528 2.31 %
Cars $2,355 ($25) -1.05 %
Total Assets $26,206 $697 2.73 %

Debts $ Diff % Diff
Student Loans $36,428 ($34) -0.09 %
Credit Card $17,910 ($130) -0.72 %
Other $9,178 ($7,792) -45.92 %
Total Debts $63,516 ($7,956) -11.13 %

Net Worth ($37,310) $8,653 18.83 %

There goes that idea.

September 29th, 2006 at 01:33 am

I was going to strive really hard to not have to put any more gas in my car until payday. Then today I got asked to go do some customer training at a local site that's about 70 miles away. I am seriously on E, was going to put my last $6 in tonight and avoid driving as much as possible until payday (Thursday) but I'll be going up to do the training on Tuesday or Wednesday...

So what I think I'm going to do is put the $6 in tonight like planned and take $25 from one of my childcare gigs on Sunday or Monday nights and put that in my car for gas. When I get back I'll submit an expense report and get reimbursed for like $0.40 per mile. When I get the check for mileage, I'll put the $25 into wherever it was going to originally go and do something else with the rest. That should work. And I won't have to pull from other monies to make it happen.

No drive day!

September 27th, 2006 at 08:09 pm

Man I spent so much in gas already. But I sort of knew that would happen. I have $6 left in my gas budget to last another week. I walked to the gym and to work today. I have no plans after work so I won't be driving anywhere today.

Of the days until payday (8) I only need to drive 3 of them. A total of about 50 miles. With the gas prices these days, I think my $6 worth will just barely squeak by.

I am bound and determined to not spend more than my budget amount for gas. Even with going to the coast and driving out to the other side of town a couple of times(not normal occurances). I was tempted to pull the $3 I have in my dollar jar and I might if something comes up and I have to drive more than I'm anticipating.

But for now, I'm enjoying the no drive day.

Three Phase Plan.

September 26th, 2006 at 08:41 pm

The excuses were plentiful. Ranging from 'it's too confusing to figure out a goal time frame with people paying me back for stuff' to 'I don't really know what I want to do with this extra money so why bother'.

But I did it. I sat down and worked out exactly how I wanted things to get paid off. I figured out roughly how long it would take to do it, at least for the first phase. And it actually looks do-able. Nothing like a plan of attack that might actually work. I'm basically trying to get as much taken care of before I make the last payment on my consolidation loan.

My ideas and plans keep shifting but once I put them on 'paper' they seem to solidify a little more.

I put my Three Phase Plan on a Google Spreadsheet, a link can be found under Sites I Frequent. I plan on updating it whenever any of the three phases changes. The hope is that any dates or figures listed are worst case senarios. I know I will have Phase One completed before the end of February but going by what I know I can count on, that's the date that presents itself.

As for the things I know I need, well I will put off getting two new tires until November. I have enough in savings now to pay for them but I want to wait until the last possible moment to pull that money back out. And the Bed. Well, we'll just see where my Emergency Fund is at when September '07 rolls around.

Saver's remorse?

September 26th, 2006 at 01:27 am

I'm waiting for my Emigrant Direct account to be set up. In the meantime, I'm wondering if this sort of saving for a large ticket item is prudent at this juncture. It was one thing when potential childcare opportunities were sporatic but now I've got one set in stone and some of the sporatic are potentially more regular.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't either make it part of my Emergency Fund, the money I'm setting aside in Emigrant. Or if I should just use it to pay off debt. Basically, I'm looking at a guarenteed $100/mo (although don't know about the tax ramifications yet) plus potential for extra. Since it's guarenteed, I have a hard time saying I'm using it for something frivolous, like a bed.

Or perhaps...I should change it from Bed Fund to Necessity Fund. A good bed is a necessity but so are tires. I can stash the excess money away and just use it for whatever Necessity comes up. Like for example, I need two new tires. I was going to pull the money out of my Emergency Fund, but it's not really an Emergency more of a Necessity. At some point too, I imagine my car will give up the ghost. Once it does, I will only have my Emergency Fund to use for a downpayment. But if I have money in a Necessity fund, that could make things a little brighter.

For some reason I just feel with the sudden influx of extra money, that I'm being irresponsible to save for a Bed. But just for a general, all purpose 'larger items that are bound to come up' it seems to make more sense in my HeadSpace.

I think I need to think more on this.

I suppose the stupid mantra that's behind this all is a signature line I saw on the creditboards a while ago that states 'a penny saved is a penny not going towards paying off debt'. I realize the importance of some savings, which is why I'm working on building my EF, but in my head, anything more than that is frivilous.

But on the other hand, I like to have backups for my backups. For example, I know that I spend a little bit of money so I created a 'Personal' category in my budget and if I don't spend it all it goes into my savings when the next check arrives. But on top of that, I also try to give myself a cushion in my checking account of another $20. No reason, just mainly so it doesn't turn out that I get down to a whole $0.10 in my bank before the next check arrives.

I like the idea of an EF but I'm worried about potentially spending it for non-emergencies that seem like emergencies at the time.


I'm back!

September 25th, 2006 at 04:38 pm

The weekend was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I should help out a little more (do dishes, alternate holding kids during meal prep so the moms could actually cook, keep an eye on some while the others were being tended to, there were 4 kids total the oldest is 3) so I did and then got gently scolded for doing so because apparently I was on vacation too. Smile

They went crabbing on Saturday and I went off for a hike nearby. It was more difficult than I expected, not bad, but I was lazy and didn't change my shoes but I probably should have. It was nice though to hike down to a secluded beach and just watch the waves and walk along it for a bit.

All the kids wound up going down before the parents left for dinner. That wasn't the original plan but they were so wiped out that it just happened that way. So I watched a movie and knitted for a while.

Spent a little on breakfast and lunch on Sunday, we all went out together for breakfast and then I got lunch on the way home. I had to leave earlier than I'd originally planned because my part time job started that afternoon.

The job itself, went great. I wound up being with the toddlers because there weren't any infants. It's apparently pretty hit and miss sometimes. But the kids I did get to work with were great. And a couple of the moms were really happy as it appeared some of them really took to me. Score! They're going to pay me weekly but don't know yet if I'm going to be cash (ie no taxes involved), Independant Contractor (I take care of all the taxes involved), or a regular W2 type paid employee. It's so little money, I'm good with whatever. Obviously, I'd prefer cash but whatever works for them. Shoot at this rate even as an Independant Contractor I wouldn't have to file as it won't be $600 this year.

My brother also paid me $60 towards his debt, so that means $143 has been sent off to CC2 this morning via their website. He's planning on another $60 at least next paycheck.

I was going to make a deposit today but then realized I really should wait until tomorrow. I'm working tonight as well, childcare for some night classes, and will just have to go to the bank again tomorrow. Might as well just make it one trip.

Picked up parttime job!

September 23rd, 2006 at 12:46 am

Just got off the phone with the gal I interviewed for about a week and a half ago. It's a pretty simple job, infant childcare for a church, two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Pays $100/mo. I don't even have to change diapers, just make sure everything's bleached before the kids get there, keep the kids occupied during the service, and make sure the right kid goes home with the right parent. I think I can handle that.

The only question I have is where to put that money. I'd said any extra babysitting money would go to the bed fund, but this is regular work even though it's extra work. I think what I'm going to do is this... put all extra income money into my Bed Fund account up to $100/mo. Once I've deposited $100 whatever else comes in will go to emergency fund savings. After all, if I start saving now, and put in $100/mo, I'll have $1100 just in deposits by the time Sept '07 rolls around. And I'd decided I only was going to save $1000 max for my new bed related purchases.

I don't know how they are going to pay me, if it'll be once a week or once a month. I'm also starting an 8 week, $20/night, 1 night a week child care job on Monday. That one I know is paid weekly, and I might not be needed all 8 weeks.

It's kinda nice trying to figure out what to do with the extra money. I know if I don't plan specifically what to do with it, it'll just get spent and I need to avoid that.

Once EF and Bed Fund are at their goal levels, any and all extra will go towards debt.


September 22nd, 2006 at 03:44 pm

I have done only one project so far and I wanted to do another. With my trip to the coast this weekend (I'm actually leaving tonight after work since book club is next weekend instead) I thought it'd be nice to have a knitting project to work on.

I made my first ever anything on my trip to Croatia. You can see me here starting it (well you can't really see but this is a picture from the night we stayed in the lobby of SeaTac and that's when I started it)

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There are other knitters on the trip, I'm the one on the far right.

And then here I am at one of the airports on the way back almost done:

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I wanted something to go with it. Everyone knits scarves. I don't want another scarf. I have a beautiful one that my aunt knitted for me. So I'm making wristwarmers instead. You can see the ones I'm going to make here:

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The trip to the yarn store cost me a pretty penny, only because I dont' have the right needles yet. So I know if I continue it won't be so costly. It was $19.95 (out of my $30 set aside for 'personal') for double pointed needles, tapestry needle, cable needle, and yarn. We'll see how it turns out! I know I'll have trouble when it comes to the thumbs but that's ok. I have two great friends who knit beautifully that can help me out once I get there.

Of course, I realized last night that I'd messed up somewhere. I was using the tail from the start as a guide for counting rounds. Since I'm using four needles instead of three it actually works out ok because the last needle is the only one that I complete a set of stiches on. But, I got halfway through my third round and there was the little tail. Umm. So I think I'm going to take it out an redo it.

That was fast. Figuring out Citi

September 21st, 2006 at 04:43 pm

Ok so I just got the email stating that the transfer had been completed! Seriously, I got out of the shower, had been contemplating the Citi portion of this entry, so sat down at the computer, had no new email, clicked New Entry and an email came through. Sweet!!! Now it says that there is a 48 to 72 hour delay in updating their database with the information. But that still gets me out of there before October 1!! Yipee! I'm going to wait til next week though before spending the money. Just to make sure everything clears. Oh man what a load off.

Ok onto Citi. I was looking at the new statement I got today and trying to figure out why the daily average balance for the balance transfer didn't get affected that much. And I think I figured it out. For some reason, I was under the impression that the interest you acrue on the higher balance would just get added back into the higher balance and keep acruing until you paid the balance transfer off. I really wish I knew where I come up with this stuff. Anyway, I think it's more along the lines of, they take out all interest payments, they apply it to purchases that are in grace period, and then whatever is left goes to principle of the balance transfer. Since this is the first statement with the balance transfer it looks sorta odd. But I also forgot to add in the fee associated with the balance transfer so it makes sense now. Plus it doesn't help that I'm still paying bills with that card. I figure it'll be November's statement before I can get a real idea of how this will work without me incurring more debt.

Until then, I'm keeping track of when my stepbrother pays me back. I am using my own figures to calculate interest since my regular payment is also being used to pay off his balance until the balance transfer is paid off. My goal is to have the bt paid off before my stepbrother is done paying me back, that way whatever he is still paying me I'll just use as extra payment to make up for the months when I wasn't making a dent in my own balance.

I'm going to use their Balance Subject to Finance Charge as a comparison for how much is left to pay on the balance transfer. According to the statement, the balance subject to finance charge is: 1,901.67. The amount my spreadsheet says my stepbrother currently owes me is: 1,970.60. So I'm definately on track.

Current budget for this payperiod

September 21st, 2006 at 04:05 pm

1204.69 Salary
-6.55 left over from last check *

100.00 Rent (save for October)
93.17 Insurance
250.00 CC1**
60.00 Student Loan
35.00 Savings
121.00 Personal Loan (save for October)
100.00 Food
60.00 Storage
170.47 Timeshare (hopefully not)
65.01 Electric (equal pay plan)
40.00 Gas (car)
30.00 Personal play money
50.00 Croatia Trip***

Leaves: 23.49 when all is said and done

* I sent in a check for $20 for an application fee in March. Turns out I didn't need to pay it, but they've not returned my check nor cashed it. So I pretend it's still there but allow myself a $20 cushion before pulling extra cash from savings. I was not overdrawn.

** Part of that payment is made up of my Cell bill and Cable bill money. If the timeshare does go away I will pay cash for my cable bill this time around (not due til Oct 9 so it can wait) and next month pay cash for both. The goal is in October to still be able to pay $250 towards CC1 while paying cash for the other two bills.

*** Went to Croatia in June for a mission trip. The plane tickets were more than anticipated so teammember wound up charging the difference. We are trying to figure out ways to raise the last of the money due ($5500) but until then we each pitch in monthly towards the minimum payment. Teammember says I don't need to contribute for a couple months because I keep giving her double what she asked for initially from each of us. I tell her to take all she can get to throw at it. I'm working on her though, she did call and get the interest rate lowered by 3% and as soon as the new house she bought craziness settles down we're going to start looking at other options to perhaps transfer the balance to a lower interest rate card.

Soon as I hear that the transfer has processed for my timeshare I plan on taking that $170, putting $61 towards the cable bill, $30 to pay back a friend for ticket she bought me, and $80 towards CC2. Plus my brother gets paid tomorrow so any money he starts paying me back will also go towards CC2.

New tires now or later?

September 20th, 2006 at 09:05 pm

I need one new tire. Which really translates into two new tires. I know I really should replace all four but I just can't do that. Two will just about break the bank. The rims that my car came with are specialty. Which means the tire is not standard and costs a little bit more. Considering that I've had the car for three years and haven't had any tire trouble that couldn't be easily fixed, I consider myself lucky.

When I got a flat fixed at Les Schwab they showed me how one of the tires really needed to be replaced. I had him look it up to see how much it would cost. For two tires it'll be $140. I checked around and it seems to be an average price.

I really should get the new tires before the rainy season hits full on. It's been raining the past couple of days but then it'll be nice for another week (if the forecast is anything to be believed). So it's not a necessity yet. But by the end of October I definately need to get them.

I have $162 in my local savings account (the rest is in ING). So I have enough to cover the cost of the tires, but it will definately drain my local savings. Something I really would prefer to avoid. If I wait til end of October, I should have $222 in my local savings which would mean pulling money out for the tires wouldn't totally spend every dime I have.

I wish I got the paper so I could see if/when my size goes on sale. But for now, I think I'm going to wait.