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Archive for October, 2006

time to rebalance?

October 31st, 2006 at 10:25 pm

I was looking at my 401k quarterly statement and wondering if I needed to rebalance it. I basically just set everything when I opened it 8 years ago and haven't looked bad. I've had my good quarters and bad quarters. But overall I'm still quite pleased that even though I lowered my percentage of contribution (work doesn't match anything), I still had an investment gain of 3 times what my contribution was for the last quarter.

So here's where I stand right now:
Balanced fund. Originally set at 50% currently at 49.73%
Cash Reserves. Originally set at 5% currently at 4.41%
Common Stock Fund Z. Originally set at 20% currently at 20.49%
Large Cap Growth. Originally set at 20% currently at 18.64%
Technology. Originally set at 5% currently at 6.65%

When I make my contributions, the original percentage is how it gets applied to the various funds. But when you look at the grand totaly, the actual percentage each fund contributes to the total is the current percentage.

The categories break down as follows:
Cash Reserves Fund is a Money Market
Balanced Fund is Moderate Allocation
Common Stock Fund Z is Large Blend
Large Cap Growth Fund is Large Growth
Technology Fund is Specialty-Technology

I have no real idea what any of that means. It sounds like it's mostly stocks with perhaps a few bonds. I'm honestly not sure. We changed companies in the mix, they just transfered our stuff over to their comperable funds. Then that company changed hands and merged with someone else. It's really confusing. Half the time I don't know that it's my quarterly statement in the mail til I open it. Though the size of the envelope usually gives it away.

I have a list of all the possible funds, their current quarter returns, and their predicted, or maybe past, returns. I just wish I knew more about this stuff to figure out if I should change things up or not. It seems to be doing ok on it's own...

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.

A little confusing but I made it work!

October 26th, 2006 at 10:29 am

Post #2 today.

Dropped off prescription they said it'd be 20 - 25 minutes. Glanced at my cell phone to see what time that would be. Picked up a hand basket and wandered over to the wine aisles.

Found the exact brand/type that my friend said was her husband's favorite. I know absolutely nothing about alcohol, I don't drink it often, and I know even less about wine. So I'm very nervous about buying it. Which is why I asked specifics. Best part? It was on sale, regularly $12.19 on sale for $7.99. I glanced at the gift bags they have hanging in that area, didn't see any I liked, looked at the price and decided he could live without the excess wrapping.

Walked through the store and found the cleaning supplies. In the past I've used Tilex brand mold/mildew but it was almost $5 and the Lysol brand was on sale for $2.99.

Found my way to the cold remedies aisle and Zicam was on sale for $8.49.

Did quick math in my head. I have $9.45 left in personal fund (in the bank) and had planned $10 (in the bank) for prescription. The total in my basket comes to nearly $20 so I could pay with debit card and pull $10 out of my grocery cash to pay for the prescription. So that's what I did.

The actual total that I put on debit was $19.47 so I did dip into the cushion by $0.02. When I get home and record it I'll just mark the personal fund as empty.

Picked up the prescription and got a little tap on the wrist from insurance because I was getting more of the same before my 30 day supply was up but the pharmacy noticed the change in dosage so pushed it through anyway. The best part is, the prescription I filled was enough for 1 pill twice daily but for another two weeks I'll still be on half a pill in the morning one full pill at night. So that'll make it stretch more than 30 days.

I'm fairly certain I can make it the rest of the week with just $21. Providing I don't go out to eat on Sunday, which does happen usually. But...I have a coupon for a free burger at Red Robin so if I can convince people to eat there instead....

Eyeballing my rapidly emptying wallet.

October 26th, 2006 at 07:50 am

I have $31 left for groceries and $21 left for gas. The tank will not need any more before the 3rd (my next payday since the 5th is a Sunday). But I'm trying to pretend it's not there.

I'm taking in a Rx to get filled today (they up'd one of my meds so I need to get it filled early). Hopefully they'll do it without saying that it's too soon to get it. Although it is a new dosage so it'll probably be ok. But that's why I'm taking it in today. I don't need it til early next week but if there's any complications then I have two days to have my dr work it out. I already counted it as paid in my budget so the money's in the bank waiting to be actually applied.

While I'm at Fred Meyer's I'm going to pick up a bottle of wine for my friend's birthday. I have $9.45 left in my personal money fund and I think I can get away with spending a little over that on the gift. I also am going to get some more Zicam and some mold/mildew cleaner since bleach isn't doing the trick. Frown Depending on how much it all costs, I may just put it all on the debit card and dip into the $20 cushion.

The $31 has to last me through restocking fruit, picking up ingredients for potluck dish, restocking staples for lunch, and going out for coffee once next week. I was going to say going out to lunch as well but I forgot that day got switched to Friday which is payday. I'm sure it's enough money but I always worry about it. I am totally set though on breakfast and dinner for a while so that's nice.

I was more concerned about the $31 when I was going to buy Zicam ($8-9) and vitamins ($12) out of it as well. But I can't find the vitamins in stock so I'm just going to wait til next payday. And I'll use money in the bank for the Zicam.

Gas.

October 25th, 2006 at 08:09 am

I was going to wait til Thursday to get gas. But I was in the neighborhood of the cheap gas station I usually fill at unexpectedly yesterday so I just filled then. [Shell station at $2.359 for regular] I don't like seeing my tank get below half but sometimes it has to be done. However, this time isn't one of them! So only spent $19.57 to fill the tank that should get me through til next week payday (Friday). I had the exact change so stopped her from topping it off. I haven't decided if I'm walking to work today or not. I have plans afterwards that make it a little silly to walk to work, walk home, then turn around and drive. But on the other hand, I have plenty of time to do just that and otherwise I'd probably just come home anyway before leaving again. Hmm. We'll see.

I was running errands to kill time yesterday and stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up things I forgot on Satuday. It was on my way so it wasn't that big of a deal to stop. Chicken Burritos? Out. Vitamins? Out. Lemon Sorbet? Out. Ok so the last was just a semi impulse thing so that's ok that they were out. I have enough Vitamins to last til next week but I'd rather pick them up before I run out. And the Chicken Burritos are nice to have on hand for that quick dinner. Fortunately I still have some roast/potatoes/carrots left over (4 servings) and I think some Chili in the fridge so it's not a necessity just one of my staples. Sorta seemed like a waste of gas. Oh well. If I do drive into work today I might travel to one of the other bigger stores in the area in hopes of finding what I'm looking for.

I have $41 or so left over for food stuffs. Vitamins is part of my food budget and that's $12 for 2 months supply. I also need more Zicam. I really do think that's the only thing keeping me from getting a cold when I feel like one's coming on. I have one more tablet left after today. Frown That's another $9 but it's for 25 doses and usually I only have one per day that I'm feeling crappy when I wake up. Or one before I go do childcare at church just in case. I can't take anything else for colds with my heart condition so I'd rather fight if off before it starts.

Todays CC2 payment.

October 24th, 2006 at 07:26 am

I got all the money I was expecting ($140) but my payment today will only be $120. I got a call from one of the gals I've been babysitting semi-regularly for yesterday. She asked me to babysit on Sunday, no problem although there was a party I was going to go to but I'd rather make a couple extra bucks. Then she asked if I wanted to buy a Chinook Book. Her daughter's preschool is selling them as a fundraiser. It's $20 and is sort of like the Entertainment Book except it's only for this area and has mostly local businesses in it. Well, ok I think they've got one for Eugene as well but still it's way more local than the Entertainment Book.

Anyway, I told her I'd buy one. She's been supporting me by calling me to babysit, so I can support her daughter's school. Plus it's a great way to try new places that I don't even know exist. Smile She'll be stopping by this morning to pick up the money since she needs to turn it in by the 26th. I am hoping I can get the book itself before the 1st but I think that's pushing it. Ah well that's ok.

So, today I'm still making a hefty non-paycheck payment on CC2. Smile

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.

Made the appointment

October 20th, 2006 at 05:51 pm

Post #2 today.

I called the place that my friends recommended to get my hair cut and just asked their prices. I figured it'd be out of my range and from what I remember from last year, I spent about $140 and I didn't want to do that again.

The gal on the phone said it would be $55-60 depending on the stylist. I thought that was just the highlights. Nope, that included the cut. Shoot, I can do that. It's a little more than I'd pay elsewhere but I only do it once a year. And it's less than if I went back to the other place I went to last year.

Now I just need to touch base with my friends that live out that way to see if they can get together afterwards so I make more of my trip out there.

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.