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

April 4th, 2007 at 03:49 pm

I'm trying hard to find that balance. I'm not good at taking care of myself, I am good at running myself ragged especially with odd jobs here and there.

I just turned down another night of child care work this week. I had the opportunity to work tonight (but I couldn't because I'm attending a surprise party that I'm planning) and I just got a call to see if I could work on Friday night (I can't because I've made plans with my roommate already).

I did however work earlier in the week on Monday, that was unexpected. And I will be working the next two Mondays and the next two Wednesdays. So it's not like I'm always turning down extra work.

Part of me wants to do as much as I can to be rid of my debt. I realize that $25 here and $25 there isn't much but this week it would have been $100 total instead of $50 and normally it's $25.

Perspective. It's all about perspective.

I need to spend time with my friends, even if it involves a little money here and there. Because life is too short not to spend it with those that mean a lot to you. Plus I have a spot in my budget for just such an occasion. I need to focus on paying off debt. And I do that as well as much as possible. But I can't let it totally consume my life. It's bad enough it consumes my thoughts as much as it does. I don't mind it, it keeps me focused.

I can't wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a double pay day. I get paid, and get to pay my regular bills. Plus the rest of the money that's been on hold gets officially deposited into my account so I can actually pay some things off/down. That makes me happy and excited so I want it to be Thursday already. Smile

Tuesday deposit.

April 3rd, 2007 at 10:36 am

My Tuesday Deposit doubled this week. I got a call yesterday while I was at work asking if I could babysit last night for a meeting. Two and a half hours and the pay would be $25. Rock on. Added that to my Tuesday Deposit and I put $50 into my Emigrant account.

I had a nice little panic moment this morning when I realized that my loan payment was due yesterday and I wasn't sure that I'd made enough payments. See, I get the money that makes up the loan payment at different times and since I now I can make payments online I make smaller payments as soon as the money comes in. Fortunately I did in fact make over and above the required payment last month. Phew. I figured I did but since it was on automatic (after a fashion) I just wasn't sure.

Speaking of automatic, I read The Automatic Millionaire. Eh. Some of his ideas I already use/do. But I have to laugh at the house idea. I totally agree, if you're paying $1500/mo in rent you might as well own a house. But I rent a cheap apartment and I share the rent with a roommate. I pay less than $300/mo just for 'rent' alone. Not counting my cell phone, my total 'house costs' are $350. I am NOT going to find a mortgage payment that low. I do want to own a house someday. But after all my other stuff gets taken care of.

I'm slotted to babysit again for the next two Mondays plus the next two Wednesdays. Yipee for extra cash! I am not complaining in the slightest.

Check on hold.

March 21st, 2007 at 10:03 am

I figured that the balance transfer check I deposited today would be put on hold. I just didn't know for how long. The only other time I've deposited a large check it was from a Wells Fargo Loan to a Wells Fargo Checking account. It did take a couple days but not quite as long as this one will.

Deposited: $11,000.

$100 available now.
$4,900 available 3/28/07
$6,000 available 4/5/07

Ok, so it could have been worse. One of the things I plan on paying with this BT is a loan for over $8,000. So my plan of attack right now is...

Pay $5,000 on loan as soon as it's available (3/28). Once the rest of the money is off hold, call and get a 10 day payoff balance, pay off the rest of the loan and pay the rest of the stuff I had planned on paying with it.

I think that's the best senario right now. I don't know how interest is calculated on said loan but if it's like credit card interest the more I pay on it now the less I'll have to pay later. At least that's my theory.

Payday!

March 20th, 2007 at 04:52 pm

(but first, to whoever posted the recipe for the crockpot pizza.. I overthink when I read recipes, the 12 oz of cooked noodles is that 12 oz before cooking or after??)

Yipee payday is here! I really don't know why my Jan 20th check was one number and my Feb 20th (and March 20th) checks were another. A smidge higher, by a little less than $10. Odd. But I still budget off the lowest check I receive so we'll just forget about it for now.

I paid all my bills. Yay! I figured out how to pay my Citi loan online. I have to transfer from external source to Citi checking and then from Citi checking to Citi loan. Pain yes, but it still beats the check getting 'lost' in the mail. Not that that's ever happened to me or anything.

I made my Tuesday deposit of $50 and deposited $12 left over from gas last check into my 'visit friend' fund.

The statement at Citicards hasn't shown up yet so I'm holding off on depositing that check. I won't be waiting til Tuesday next week to take care of my balance transfer check.

I turned down an extra $25 for babysitting this Thursday night. I meet every Tuesday and Thursday with people from church. The every Tuesday is something I can miss and if the right opportunity presents itself I will miss it. But the every Thursday is more of a close knit accountability thing and I need to try and be there as much as possible. Perhaps over the summer when we don't meet as often, I can pick up some extra work.

It's been a while.

March 19th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Not much been going on in the money realm of my life lately.

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I went on a date, first time in about 6 years, on Saturday. I'm still a novice when it comes to dating so I went fully prepared to pay for my portion. He wouldn't let me though and insisted I take home the leftovers (we split a small pizza). We have tenative plans to get together again soon. However we both are pretty busy with work and life which makes actually nailing down a date/time a little difficult.

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I remembered when I went to get my check for last night that they owed me for two weeks. That was a nice bonus since I'd forgotten about it. My Tuesday deposit is currently $50. It might wind up being $55 if I don't spend any money tonight.

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I got my balance transfer check (at the rate of 3.99%) while I was gone for $11,000. I'm waiting to cash it until I know for certain my balance is $0, but new statements should be coming out tomorrow. I'm debating what to do with that money. Here's the current plan:

$8,250 to pay off loan (14.4% interest)
$1,000 to go into savings account just in case my brother needs to borrow it for school (4.5% interest). If he doesn't need it then it'll go to pay off my loan at 10.9%
$1,000 to take over my portion of a debt on someone else's credit card. (7.99% interest)

With what's left, approx $750, I think I've decided to bump up my EF to $1k and then take what's left over and put on my loan (10.9% interest). My EF just never seems to hit the full mark. Once I hit that then I'll start putting my extra pay towards the higher interest loan. Every little bit helps.

Tuesday Deposit.

March 6th, 2007 at 08:18 am

This Tuesday is a little off. I didn't get paid on Sunday, the guy had run out of checks, so I'll get double the next time I work which isn't this week but next week. I did get $5 from Creation Rewards and I got my $100 tow reimbursement check from insurance. Plus since it's near the first, I have my roomate's rent check.

$5 went to Emigrant. $100 will go to Wells Fargo. And rent of course goes into checking.

I will probably be getting gas tomorrow and since they wiped out my change in the ash tray I have to start over again. So from my change bank I pulled 3 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel, and 4 pennies to seed my ash tray again. In Oregon you can't pump your own gas and usually the stations I go to you just pay the attendant not a cashier with a drawer. So I try to make sure I have enough for exact change and try to remember to tell them to not top off.

Insurance special investigations.

February 27th, 2007 at 02:47 pm

Post #2 today.

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

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

My first Kiva loan

February 23rd, 2007 at 09:36 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 15th, 2007 at 11:11 am

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

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

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

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

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

Paid back today!

February 3rd, 2007 at 09:08 am

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

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

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

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