Ok, I'm back. Well, at least for tonight. Hehe. I can't promise anything more than that, because well... look at my track record.
Of course a lot has gone on since the last time I posted back in Feb.
First things first, I didn't get cut from work, I actually got a tiny pay raise. The raise was due to another co-worker leaving, and having to take on more responsibilities. It was small, but I'm not complaining.
I'm still in credit card debt. I actually quite embarrassed about this actually, considering that I work in accounting. But, I am determined to not let it get the best of me. I shuffled a few things around and honestly, I'm getting a break in November.
And what do I mean when I say I'm getting a break. Well, the bills will end for a while. Well, the main ones anyways... rent, electricity, cable. I went back east in August to visit my mom. The day that I got back from VA, my roommate decided to tell me she was moving back in with her parents. She decided to go back home (also from VA) because she wants to go to grad school. So instead of waiting until at least the end of the year to get things settled she decided that she wanted to move back as soon as possible so she can look for a job. To be perfectly honest, I can afford to pay for this apartment by myself on my salary, BUT... about 90% of my salary would be going towards rent. And... well, I'm just not into the idea of that. And yes, I do realize that I could get another roommate, but I am not fond of the idea of living with a stranger. So, temporarily I'm moving back to my Aunt's house in November. And when I mean temporarily, I mean until I move back to VA. Yes, I have also decided to move back to VA, for various reasons. I have mixed feeling about heading back east, but that's for another post. I have a few things to wrap up here in CA before I can head back, so my timeframe is looking to be by this time next year. I won't have to pay rent while I'm living with my Aunt, but I will be helping out with the groceries and other miscellaneous things, but the main thing is that my monthly bills will pretty much be cut in more than half. I can begin to pay my credit card off for real this time.
And I guess the last thing is, my Roth IRA practically doubled, without me putting in a dime this year. Knock on wood. My Roth IRA is an investment account and one of the stocks I invested in was Tesla. I bought 50 shares at $18.64... during IPO. Yesterday the stock closed at $188.64 per share. I have roughly a 900% gain if I were to sell tomorrow when the market opens. With Tesla and a few other stocks that I have invested in, my Roth IRA went from $8,100 at the end of Jan this year to slightly over $17,000 yesterday. I haven't contributed anything this year, because I haven't been able to. But we all know how volatile the stock market is, so I'm hoping that this is here to stay, but I'm not holding my breath. I am going to be doing some shuffling around to make sure I'm covered.
So I was going to say, 2013 was kind of a bust on paying off debt. But, I still have 3 more months to make a small dent. So ONWARD!
Ok, I'm back. Well, at least for tonight. Hehe. I can't promise anything more than that, because well... look at my track record.
I mentioned in a previous entry that I had an addiction to body products. Well, I thought it would be fun to show you my collection. I shouldn't call it collection really, I should really call it a hoarding stash! I'm not exactly sure when I started this thing about buying multiples of items, or new items before finishing the current item I'm using. My roommate makes fun of me, and tells me that I can probably take 2 showers daily for an entire year and still not have to buy anything new. In fact, I should probably be in the shower right now. lol.
Anyways, I have now put myself on a buying ban until I use up all of this, in their respective categories of course. I am planning on updating at the beginning of each month with a new picture so that you all can see my progress. Also so I can hold myself accountable.
****Picture Notes Left to Right****
Conditioners, Shampoos, Body Scrubs, Body Washes, and everything to the right of the body washes in the plastic baggies are my LUSH bar soaps and Bath Bombs/Bubble Bars.
Just when I was just getting back into the groove of things and getting settled, I get some not-so-good news at work. They are doing another layoff. This time the corporate office is affected... and so therefore my job may be on the line. I was some what assured that I was going to be fine, but I can't help but think in the back of my mind... be prepared for the worst. The layoff will probably happen before the end of the month, probably before the next pay period actually. Meaning before 15th. So, if I can get past that point with my job still in tacked I can breathe a little easier. The company has decided to axe half the accounting staff so they can add more sales reps. We are already working on a bare bone accounting staff... so we shall see how this layoff changes up things.
Anyways, so me being a worrier. I have decided that I need to conserve as much cash as possible this month. Meaning, I might not be able to pay extra to my credit card this month. This really stinks, but I figure I need to make sure I have cash, so I can continue to make payments after if I end up in the group that is cut. I was already tightening the belt, but now I have to tighten it up some more.
And then... my landlord called me up tonight asking about my rent check for February. I'm really really good about mailing my rent check every month. I didn't forget, the mailman just failed to deliver it, considering I mailed my February check on the 30th of January. My landlord just lives in the next city over... 2 days max. In fact, 1 day max. So, I told him that I would get a new check to him tomorrow. I had to stop payment on the other check and pay $30.00 for a stop payment fee.
So February has seem to get off on the wrong foot. Going to work through it!
Well, here is to the first month of 2013 down! Overall summary of the month. Decent. I spent less on food, due to not eating out. But, I did have extra spending in the household/personal care area due to having to replenish stock. Nope... I did not buy and shampoo/conditioner or body wash. I had to buy the the necessities like toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. All paid with checking account money, not on the credit card. No new items were charged on my credit card this month so I was able to pay down my credit card some. YAY!
Here are the end of month stats.
Savings #1 - $310
Savings #2 - $328
Money Market - $4,175 (+$50)
Rollover IRA - $1,098
Roth IRA - $8,148
Line of Credit Balance - $5,000 (7.75% interest) - maxed (did a mid-month borrow of $950 to help pay the credit card)
Credit Card - $6,502 (13.24% interest) - (paid $1,269 ***$950 from line of credit)
Student Loan - $7,992 (3.625% interest) *Original Bal $17,500 (June 2007)
Total Debt at the Beginning of the Month = $19,938
Total Debt at the End of the Month = $19,494
Total Debt Payment for January = $444
For February I have set some goals for myself.
#1 Of course pay more of my credit card off. Striving for at least $500. But we shall see because I just started doing my tax return, and it looks like I am going to owe the State of CA around $150 in income tax. Not sure how it ended up that way, maybe because I had 2 jobs at the beginning of 2012. But, I am sitting on my return for now. Since I will probably end up owing, I am probably going to wait until like March to file.
#2 Save at least $100.
#3 Contribute at least $75-100 to my IRA.
#4 Update more often. I have been really bad about this because lately I have also been focused on going to the gym and living a healthier lifestyle overall, which means less computer time and more going out and doing things.
Now that I have the goals, I can rearrange my budge to make it happen!
See everyone in February!
Still sick, but doing a lot better than the weekend.
My current job has bi-monthly pay periods. So I'm getting paid this week for the 1st-15th. After sitting down and calculating this paycheck and all the money I considered spent, I have a little left over. So, I am going to transfer $50 to my money market at the end of the week.
And, to keep up with my goal to get my credit card paid off... I decided to borrow on the rest of my line of credit $900 and added an additional $50 from my paycheck to pay down my credit card since the LOC has a lower interest. So now my LOC is at $5000 and my Credit card will now be below $7K. I know it's kind of silly to use one liability to pay for another liability. But, I figure the faster I am able to get the balance down the more money I'll save on interest.
Other changes I've been making have been eating at home. To be perfectly honest, once I had moved out on my own I decided that I hated cooking. Also, I work really long hours particularly during month end close, so it's was easier just to pick up dinner on the way home. I was eating out A LOT. Well, now with trying to get back on track, I've been working on eating what I have at home. I have been waking myself up earlier in the morning just so that I have time to eat breakfast, make my coffee and lunch before I head out the door. So far, so good.
I also plan to look at my monthly expenses and seeing where I can cut back.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Well, it's not so much a secret to the people around me. I have addiction to personal care items, like body soaps, shampoos and conditioners. I mean I have stock piles of products, it's actually kind of ridiculous and I probably should seek help. But, I told myself this year, I can't buy any new items UNTIL I FINISH my stock. I should be saving a lot of money right there.
2013 has been a little chaotic with work, family, and friends. So I finally getting around to the post that I said I would do last weekend. I am out of commission with the Flu. Since, I can't go anywhere and do anything, I figure it's a great time to get everything together.
Savings #1 - $310
Savings #2 - $328
Money Market - $4,125
Rollover IRA - $1,098
Roth IRA - $8,148
Line of Credit Balance - $4,100 (7.75% interest)
Credit Card - $7,771 (13.24% interest)
Student Loan - $8,067 (3.625% interest) *Original Bal $17,500 (June 2007)
And then there is my checking account where I keep the funds to pay my monthly bills.
My first area that I am going to focus on is paying off my credit card!
Hmm... I see that I haven't posted anything in the last 3 years. 3 years. What could have possibly happened in the last 3 years? A lot. Life.
I'm no longer 24... as my info once said. I am now 27... and more broke. Getting older is not fun. More responsibilities and more bills. Yikes.
As a New Year's resolution, thought to myself that I have to get back on track! Not just for my wallet, but for my sanity.
It's really late right now and I have to go to work in the morning. So I will attempt to update more regularly and give all the dirty details this weekend when I have the chance to round up everything.
So I had a very nice couple of days off last week. My mom, brother and sister were out visiting from Virginia. Like I said in my earlier post that it was for my dad's 1 year. Actually April 11th will be one year since he passed away. It just reminds me how fast time flies. Because really it only seems like yesterday. All in all I really enjoyed their visit. And now I realize how much I needed it. We spend a couple of days in the city. I was sad to see them go on Sunday.
So now it's back to work for me. Actually yesterday I was back to work. Not so bad now that fiscal year end is done and over with. Not that I'm saying that I like my job again, because I really don't but I don't hate it for now. lol. I'm trying to amp up my savings.
Little savings win...
I showed some restraint and decided not to buy my Clinique product. It's their spring giveaway at Macy's. You get a free gift with purchase. Usually, I only buy during the giveaway times because I get all these things free. The thing is, I usually end up spending like $40+ every time. I was going to go when I was up in the city. But I decided that I would wait and sleep on it if I really needed it. The next morning, I decided that I wouldn't buy extra stock of my lotion just because it's their giveaway. I still have stock that will last me awhile, most likely until their next gift with purchase.
But other than that, I'm just trying to find time to do my spring cleaning of paperwork, closets and drawers.
Til Next Time
Have you ever had a co-worker that just shares way too much information that you ever asked for or would ever in think of asking? I have one of those. The things this person tells me is so off the wall and I spend most of the time thinking, why are you telling me these things?
Half the time she spends complaining and talking about how she wants to leave and get another job. Or how she will just quit and it's okay if she doesn't have a job because she has enough savings to last for while. And then the next moment she's talking about how she has to borrow money from friends because her mom refuses to help her out, but is willing to help out her brothers. She claims it's because she's adopted so she gets treated differently. I don't know what to say. Half of the time I try not to say anything because it just eggs her on. I'm starting to think she is one of those that feeds off people telling her that things will be okay and feeds off people agreeing that she's right and the people around her are bringing her down. I just don't get it, here I am at 24 asking her at 43 why does she dwell on these things when she says she doesn't care or it doesn't matter. I had to tell her that obviously it bothers her enough to keep talking about so telling me that she doesn't care, I don't buy it. Well, I didn't say it like that, but that was the point I was making. And then I explained that I had to get back to work.
That's it for work drama.
As far as my finances go, not much is happening there. I am just saving up as much as I can. My student loan is almost under $11,500. Yay! Hopefully I can get it under $11,000 soon!
So here are the stats, and this is as of everything that was posted today.
Savings #1: $10,891 (Milestone #1 $11,000) (99%)
Savings #2: $4,509 (Milestone #1 $4,700) (95.9%)
Savings #3: $1,474 (Milestone #1 $2,300) (64%)
Student Loans - $11,540
Roth IRA 2010 Contr. - $0
Credit Cards - 109 (something just posted, but will be paid off completely next week when I do my bill pay)
If you're wondering how I chose my milestone numbers, I just added $1000 to the ending balance at the end of 2009. I decided that every milestone is every $1000 saved. This way I don't set myself goal way out of reach. And every $1000 saved is a very good thing, lol
Okay, that's it for now. Until next time.
I have a vacation at the end of the month. YAY! My mom and sister will be out here for a visit for my dad's one year. (can't believe it's been a year). It's not like a celebration or anything like that, but it more of the idea of just being together. Now that my brother, sister and I are getting older and starting to go out on our own, we realize after my dad's passing that it is so important for us to stick together.
I am planning on us staying in the city for a couple of nights and play around up there. My brother will be out for the weekend but not the entire week, because he has class during the week. So it will be a fun time.
That's it for now. I plan on doing an update on my accounts this weekend sometime and the progress with my 2010 goals.
... I went to the eye doctor yesterday.
Since I finally have coverage for the first time in a long time. I figured that I would take advantage and get a check up on my vision. Not much change. Thank goodness. I decided to get new frames. Cheaper than what I paid last year for sure. $300. Last year I paid $500. The frames were pricey. But with glasses, I feel like I can splurge a little because they are on my face a majority of my waking day. I am using my state tax return to pay for these new glasses.
I received both Federal and State tax returns last week. Yay! I saved majority of it and put $200 towards my student loan and the $300 towards my glasses and that leaves me $700 for savings.
That's all I have to update on for now. Going to enjoy the rest of my Sunday evening before trying to survive the work week. lol. I wish it were next weekend already. But doesn't everyone?
...my hard drive at work crashed today at 7:30 AM... about an hour before I had to be an on Ops review call going over financial data, etc. Lovely. Have you ever just laughed, even when it's not funny but it's so ridiculous you can't believe it is happening?
Thank you to all that commented on my last blog. Feeling better about it, I don't have to go until the fall. I'm considering the option of taking a few classes instead of the full load, just to test the waters out. As far as my full-time job. I'm a roughing the waters a few more weeks. I'm seeing if I can't apply to another less stressful (if there is such a thing) job.
But back to the hard-drive issue. Luckily I backed up most of my work onto the network. But a majority of my emails are gone. And of course the ones I do have are recent and I lost some of the history on some of the items that I was working on. Oh well... c'est la vie. IT had to express ship my new hard-drive overnight, so I should have it in the morning. But man, I have been having the worst luck the past few weeks. It seems like I can't win for anything. I'm probably exaggerating, but when you're in the middle of it... it seems like everything is going against you.
So that is it for the work drama.
Financial news? I haven't had the chance to really look at my accounts lately. I have everything on autopay or autodeposit or auto transfer so I don't really need to look at it. I just check weekly to make sure my paycheck when in because everything else depends on that. Hoping that my tax return comes in this week as well. That would be a nice surprise.
Til next time.
...thats how I am starting to feel.
I applied for Art school. Yes, Art school. I was accepted. I have always been artistic in the sense that I'm extremely imaginative and to the point of a day-dreamer. I do have artistic talent beyond that. I am currently work as an accountant contractor. I hate it. I can literally say I hate it. I've just started out in the field and the more experience I get the further I just want to run. It shouldn't be this bad and I'm too young to be so bitter. I stay up really late at night because I don't want to go to sleep because that means morning will come faster. Or I can't even enjoy the weekend because I'm so distracted with work and the thought of Sunday makes me cringe because I will have to go to work the next day. The thing is I don't know how I even came up with the idea about going into the accounting and finance. I mean personally I do enjoy it, but that is just managing my own books. But the dreamer in me wants to do something I'm extremely passionate about. So I casually brought it up that I wanted to go to art school and the first question was "how much is it going to cost." I guess a logical question. The thing is, I'm not asking anyone else to pay for it. If I have to take out another student loan I will. But the thing it is so annoying that my own family would rather have me suffer daily going to a job that I can't stand to save my life rather than working a little bit harder and going after what I really want. So, now I am just going back and forth between what I want to do and what I should do. I'm on the fence.
... that is my credit score! Woo hoo!
It's up from last year, when it was 7 something. (I don't have the score from last year in front).
My report says what is helping my score is..
1. I have no missed payments
2. I have established history
3. I've limited the use of my available credit
4. I've shown recent use of credit (I use and pay off each month, just to keep my accounts active)
That's pretty much all I have to update on for now. Oh yeah, I've also filed my taxes this past Sunday. I will be receiving a decent tax refund. I decided that I will be saving my tax refund most of it and I'll probably throw about $200 at my student loan, but the rest will be saved.
I will have to update more later. I'm in the middle of close week at work, so it's long days the next couple of days. But until then.
It's February already?!
January, I was so busy with work I didn't have any time to anything else really. Good for my wallet because there was no time for me to spend my money on anything.
My exciting news from January is that I now have health insurance coverage! I haven't had coverage since I left my job at the bank in April 2008. Crazy I know. Thank goodness for my strong immune system. Everyone around has gotten the flu or cold, and they had their flu shots. I have yet to get sick this winter (keeping my fingers crossed)... and I didn't get the flu shot. Lucky me I guess.
Any other major things happened in January? hmm... I am about $50 away from bringing my Student loan to under $12,000. Yay. This will happen this week since I am now contributing extra payments to bring this balance down faster. Still no credit card debt. I still use my card, not very much but when I do I pay it off right away. I just want to use it so that I can earn airline miles for future trips back to the east coast.
I have yet to do my tax return. I've been too busy to sit down and do it. Mine should be so simple this year, since I only worked in 1 state this year. And another thing on my list of to-do's is get my free credit report for the year. My mom thinks I'm a little bit obsessive about this. I actually like getting my credit report, mainly the score. It's like getting a doctor's checkup, but for your finances. Sort of.
Alright, I think I'll end this blog here. Hopefully I don't let another whole month go by without updating.
...before I go to bed.
I am still working on getting my health, dental and vision insurance cleared up with the benefits department. I'm pretty sure it was an error on their part considering half of the information on the form I sent them got processed, the main part... the health insurance didn't. Strange. So I sent a couple of emails out and probably going to follow up with a phone call to get this straighten out.
Other finance news for me? My net pay is slightly lower now that half of my benefits that I elected are starting to come out. And hopefully my 401K deduction will kick in soon. Not that I want my net pay to decrease, but I guess I can't wait to not have to think about it anymore and can move on to other things on my agenda.
Plus I really want my vision plan to kick in (pending no issues arise, with the current investigation) because I have to get new glasses soon.
I am planning to get turbo tax this weekend and start getting ready to start my taxes. Most of it is pretty easy and I can usually figure out a lot of the information from my last paystub. And it's nice a lot of my accounts online have a section for Year-to-day interest and so on. So hopefully I get a nice refund that I will save half of and the other half I will most likely use towards my student loan.
And then the last thing. I am not renewing some of my magazine subscriptions. Saving some money there, even if it's only $10 for the year. The thing is that sometimes I don't even get a chance to read the magazine because I am busy doing other things. And plus it just adds to my clutter that I am trying to eliminate. Last year I got People Magazine as a gift for Christmas. It's one of the ones up for renewal this month. I didn't realize that the 1 year cost $116. That's kind of crazy, considering that I get Entertainment Weekly for only $10(52 issues just like People). So People is one of the ones that I am definitely not renewing. I can think of a lot of other ways I could use $116.
Alright, so much for the quick entry. I have to get to bed now or I'll never want to wake up in the morning to go to work. Ugh. Work. Wishing it were Friday Night right now and that tomorrow was Saturday.
I decided to look up the value of my paper savings bonds that my Grandma had bought for me back in 2000, 2001 & 2003.
The one that was bought in 2000 is a $500 I-Bond earning around 6.4%. And then the 2001 is a $1000 I-Bond earning around $6.1% and the last one is a $500 I-Bond earning around 4.3%. So I was thinking of cashing them in at least the that was bought in 2000. But.... now after I see the interest rate, it's a lot higher than most of my savings accounts, I think I'll just keep them in their savings bond form. Not like I'm in dire need of the money. I just was just going to use them to pay towards my student loan. But now the interest rate is higher than the interest rate on my loan.
But my first achievement on saving in 2010 is the fact that I have yet to buy Christmas paper or Christmas cards. I usually buy wrapping paper and cards on deep discount after the holidays. I think mainly just because it's ON CLEARANCE. But I have 4 boxes of cards unopened and I have about 4-5 rolls of wrapping paper. So I'm planning on being good just use up what I have instead of being a hoarder and accumulating in excess of things that I have more than enough of.
Yep, 2010 is going well so far. Only 2 days so far, but those 2 days are doing pretty well. Thinking positively, . The only thing I have to do is on Monday I need to call the benefits department for my job. I got a letter in the mail today stating that I had declined medical, dental and vision coverage. WHICH IS NOT TRUE AT ALL! I'm a little annoyed at the letter because I sent in my paperwork the same time I sent in the paperwork for the voluntary life insurance and personal accident insurance paperwork that was processed according to the letter. In fact what doesn't make sense is that everything was on the same form and it was all filled out when I sent it in. So, I don't know what's up. Going to find out on Monday.
But yet until next time.
Tomorrow my last paycheck for the year is deposited into my account. And since I'm able to check the amount that is deposited before hand, I can run the numbers for my accounts and see where I landed on my goals for the year.
Savings #1: $9959
Savings #2: $3668
Savings #3: $1300
Roth IRA 2009 Contributions: $1800 (still contributing for 2009 until April)
Credit Card = ZERO
Student Loan = $12,245
2009 Savings 1-3 TOTAL = 14,927
2009 Savings 1-3 GOAL = 16,500
90.46% to goal. Shoot so close yet so far. Oh well. I still think I did pretty well considering that I took 3 months off in the year April-June to go back to Virginia.
I don't think I'm going to do specific goals for just 2010. I am just going to do milestones I think. Try to get my accounts to certain levels. I'm thinking +$1000 for each milestone
So for that,
Savings #1: 11,000
Savings #2: 4,700
Savings #3: 2,300
Not going to even set a goal for paying down my student loan because whatever extra money I have left over mostly goes to extra payments. The overall goal is to pay it back in less than 8 years (since 2 year already elapsed.
Alright time to call it a night.
I probably won't blog again until the New Year.
So HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! May 2010 be filled with much joy and happiness!
And signed up for my 401K at work after 3 months. At first I wasn't planning on signing up. Yup... even after all the lessons and constantly hearing about how important funding a 401K is. I wasn't planning on signing up because it was such a hassle trying to transfer over to a rollover IRA the last time I had to do that for my old job. And plus if I ever plan on leaving it's not 100% vested until like 5+ years or something like that. Plus I still don't even know if my company matches. And then the final straw was when I first got hired on I wanted to sign up. I went as far as filling and submitting the paperwork. The paperwork came back, because I forgot to fill in some information. I resubmitted and then a couple weeks later the paperwork came back in the mail saying that I had filled out the wrong form, I didn't have the most current form filled out. The first time okay. The second time I was done because I didn't understand why they didn't tell me I had the wrong form when they sent it back to me the first time. I have little patience when it comes to filling out paperwork.
So I decided that I wasn't going to sign up for it just on principle alone. And then finally I caved in. I figure if anything I can lower my taxable income. And at least I can be certain that I save 5% of my income every paycheck for retirement even if something happens that week and I can't save any for my cash accounts.
So I figure I should just stop being silly and just contribute.
In the new year, I want to be able to up my savings even more so I'm looking for ways to cut back on spending, lowering bills and minimizing my materialistic tendencies. So maybe I might commit myself to a week blog on how well I'm doing. This way I'm keeping track the entire time instead of checking in occasionally and realizing that I went way off track.
You know, I hardly ever really blog on here. The thing is I check here pretty much everyday. And everyday I click Add Entry. And then I start typing... and then I start deleting and then I just give up. I don't know what to write about sometimes. Frustrating because I want to blog more often. But to me I find I don't have anything that's worth talking about.
But I am going to try to complete this without hitting the backspace button until the entire thing is gone.
I've been so busy with work that I haven't really even thought about Christmas. Christmas is one week again and I'm not really ready. Well, not that there is anything to be ready for since the best part about the day is just spending time with the family. But I guess I'm not ready to go there yet. I'm not ready to relax because of all the work at work I still have left to do. It's stressing me out. I finally finished my Christmas shopping and since I have to mail most of my gifts back to VA. I had to make sure they were done so that they would get there on time.
I stuck to my rule of a plastic-less gift-buying. And everything I bought I had paid cash for or it came out of my checking account. Nothing on credit. I am very proud of myself for this considering last year I barely had a job and when over my budget by a lot. This year I probably spent a little more than I initially planned, but that was because I didn't really have a plan besides no credit cards. So I've decided that maybe next year I can have a more thought out Christmas shopping plan that way I'm not running around all over the place and having to pick up something at the last minute.
So what else?
2010 goals? I am still waiting on one last pay period to see where I am as far as year end goes. Technically, I could just figure it out now, but next week is close week at work and I'll be definitely working some OT.
Okay, I guess that's it for now. Maybe I can blog more when my mind is not so filled with work clutter. Plus, I'm sleepy. So... till next time.
1 month left of 2009.
Just a recap of what I have left...
Savings #1: 9573 (2009 goal: 12,000)
Savings #2: 3504 (2009 goal: 3,000 - COMPLETED)
Savings #3: 992 (2009 goal: 1,500)
Roth IRA 2009 Contribution: 1275.00
Credit Card Debt: ZERO
Student Loan: 12,356 (2009 goal: 11,500)
I have 4 more paychecks in Dec. So... we'll see.
I'm going to wait until after December to set my 2010 goals so that I can see where I am at the end of the month.
Just when I almost gave up on my 2009 goals, I looked them over and realize that I may have a fighting chance to complete at least half of them.
1. Land a permanent full-time job - COMPLETED
2. To have my own place by the end of the year - not so much... this is moved to next year.
3. To build my savings back up: $3000 for Savings #2 (COMPLETED... I'm at $3198) $1500 for Savings #3 (half way there... I still have 2 months left if I redirect what I was throwing at savings #1)
4. To have $12000 in Savings #1. (Most likely will not meet this, have about $9200) - the plan is to get this as high as I can for this year and then next year have a slightly higher goal that I should be able to reach if Goal #1 stays the same.
5. To have student loan down to $11,500. (Only $900 more to go) - Most likey won't complete, but so close... new adjusted goal... $12000 by the end of the year.
6. To have no credit card debt (COMPLETED - will be using cash for Christmas this year)
7. To finish my accounting class (completed)
After my trip back home to Virginia back in April-June I pretty much gave up on any attempts to accomplish my goals set for this year. I think to be honest I didn't care at the time, especially after my dad passing. Sometimes I think he gives me a little push to keep going and not just give up.
Here I come November and December.
So ready for 2010.
I've noticed that in the past few weeks I've switched to completely cash only. Even no debit card. And by doing this my savings/checking accounts have been fed and are somewhat full.
Now that I have completely paid off my credit cards and keeping them unused for some time now, I cringe at the thought of swiping them and charging them back up. And even if I did just pay they off right away that's still money down the drain on something that I probably didn't need in the first place. As I was looking through some old statements I came across the fact that about a year ago I was spending close to $800 a month on my credit card. It never dawned on me that I was doing that because I make payments every week. Yup, every week just to keep the balance down. That was a year ago. Fortunately, now that I have a steady job and steady source of income... keeping fingers crossed that it stays that way... I'm finding that my time and money is more valuable to me. That $800 plus whatever other bills I had, student loans, insurance... etc... was eating up all my income. Well not all because i was still saving too. More like saving to spend. I don't know why it just hit me like a wall laying in bed last night looking at my last pay stub that hey... I made... $xx,xxx. amount of money so far this year as a gross salary... and $xx,xxx amount net pay... where is all that money now? Not that I completely spend it all, but still... I should be at least $x,xxx... richer that I was last year.
Then I tried to give myself all these excuses like, well I did pay extra to my student loan. Well.. that was only like $5000 in a year... started with $17,000... when to $12500. I didn't even contribute that much to my Roth last year... that was only $2,000. So where is the rest of it? I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't gone into some of my savings and my savings would have stayed stagnant.
So, I guess I've had my ah-ha moment. I always thought that I was good saver. Handling money was my thing, excel spreadsheet and all. And I could just make a budget. But I can barely stick to my day planner let alone a budget. But I think now that I'm fully aware of the situation, I'm more apt to being good in the store.
My question to myself is... "am I going to use this today?" If I can't say yes then I guess the purchase can be put to another day. And who knows I may just forget about it and save myself some more money. Of if it comes to clothes, my biggest weakness, "will I wear this to work tomorrow?". Because chances are I will not wear it the next day... and maybe if I'm lucky I'll wear it within the week. Like those two new pairs of shoes sitting on my bedroom floor... I bought a month ago... still sitting in the box. I needed to replace my work shoes because the sole is starting to come off and I happened to find the same shoe online... on sale and bought them. But I don't know why I have to keep wearing my beat up ones.
I'm going to start now and maybe I will start seeing some real progress with savings and net worth!
Last night I was sitting in my room and just typing away on my laptop when I heard this high pitched beep. At first I thought it was just my imagination. And then the beep happened again. The smoke detector in my room was beeping because the battery was low. So I was looking for a 9-volt battery to replace it with. As I was rummaging through the drawer where my grandma usually keeps the batteries. I came across a little plastic case of dimes. And I looked at them closer and I was like, "Hey these are silver dimes". I wouldn't never know this if I hadn't worked as a teller and developed a fascination with currency. And then wrapped in paper were 10 mercury dimes (even older than the silver dimes). I showed my grandma the case of dimes. And she said that my grandpa use to save them. And then she said that I could have them as long as I promised not to be careless with them. I promised, not that I would ever do something careless with them because again I'm so fascinated with currency. It will go with other collection of coins and bills. But that made my day. I looked them up on online, they are worth about $1 a piece since they aren't in mint/uncirculated condition. That's pretty good for a 10 cent piece.
Geez, what does it take to cancel a credit protection on a credit card that I didn't even want in the first place but ended up giving in because the person on the phone wouldn't stop and all I wanted to do was activate the new card they sent me. So the first month was free, and then after 30 days they start charging $8.95 for the credit card protection service. I forgot to cancel before the end of the 30 days and luckily I looked at my online statement and saw that they had charged that since I don't even use that credit card and just keep it for credit history. Ugh. So I called up and canceled the service and the guy kept going on and on and on about how I should keep it and that he would give me $60 cash back... which isn't really cash back it's 4 $15 gift cards for gas. I said... I don't use this card and so I don't want to keep paying the $8.95 each month when I don't even use the card. But in case it get lost or stolen... it's not going to get lost because I don't carry it in my wallet it's locked in my safe I doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon!
So finally after 20 mins going back and forth he finally let me cancel the service. Usually by this time I would just get fed up and hang up but I needed to make sure that the service gets canceled so that I don't get billed next month for it.
I saved about $108 a year by canceling!
Well, my 1 year and 1 week anniversary since I've moved to California!
Wow time does fly.
What have I accomplished in that one year span? Plenty.
I landed myself a full-time permanent position. I am no longer a temp, yay! My savings really took a hit over the year for not having work from Oct 08-Nov-08 and then have to take a leave of absent in April-June after my dad past away to go back to Virginia to help my family out. I've been back in the full swing of thing work wise since the beginning of July and has able to slowly but surely build my savings back up again.
I consolidated my student loan of $12800 from a variable rate to a fixed rate of around 3% and having a monthly payment of $97 from my previous $160. I could afford the $160 from before, and so with that I am still throwing $160 at my loan to pay it down faster. And as far as the rest of my debt, I have none. Yup, that is right I have none. The little credit card debt that I did accumulate from not working in April-June I was able to pay off when I started working again.
Also since last year I have created 4 new savings categories. Well more like the envelope system. It's really working out for me and I'm able to see exactly where all my money is going.
Dad Fund - I am setting aside $20-25 each paycheck (I get paid once a week) to donate a charity/organization in memory of my dad. I will be actually cutting the check on the anniversary of his death in April. So far, I have set aside $160.
B-day/Gift Fund - where I can set aside maybe $10-15 each week so that I'm not using my Credit card to pay for Christmas or Birthday gifts. $50 so far
Travel Fund - where I can set aside money for my airfares and just basically saving up future vacations about $100 so far.
Cell Phone Fund - this is not really a savings more like the balance should equal zero each month. I calculate how my paychecks I have before my cell phone bill is due (it's the same each month for the most part) and just divide it by the amount. This way I don't have to worry about having to come up with the money on my last paycheck before the bill is due.
But a quick overview of the financials. (rough estimates because I don't have my spreadsheet on this desktop)
Savings #1 - $9000 (definitely took a hit)
Savings #2 - $2900 (this one doubled since last year since it's the savings account attached to my checking account)
Savings #3 - $500 (ouch too)
Roth IRA - this year I've only contributed $500 so far for 2009. Trying to get this up as much as I can before its time to start contributing for 2010.
Student loan $12,700.
Credit Card - $0.00
So yeah that's pretty much sums up my 1 year in California. I'm excited to finally be back into the full swing of savings, budgeting and of course dreaming.
I'm going to try to update and blog more often. So until next time!
So me and my cousin are just 1 year apart. He's 25 and I'm 24, not that makes much of a point in the scenario or maybe it does just to make a point, but needless to say we are pretty much the same age.
I never really grew up around him living on the east coast and all and he being here in the west so really we grew up in entirely different situations. Well just a few months ago we were both struggling to find steady work. He's excuse... no one is hiring college grads. My excuse... I don't have enough experience. So we both eventually got a steady job and earning a steady paycheck. He invited me out for drinks with some friends of his just so I could hang out with people my own age. He decided that since he was earning a paycheck that he would pick up the tab. I had like one drink. So I just said thank you and that I would get him back the next time. I come home and was just chit-chatting with my aunt and uncle were making a case that they would be shocked to see my cousin offer to pay for anything. And then I just casually mentioned "oh he paid for drinks". And then they proceeded to lecture me about his spending and that he should be saving up his money so that he can move out of his mom's house (my cousin lives with his mom, my aunt is his step-mom, in case it gets a little confusing there). And I was like don't look at me. So then I felt bad, maybe I should have just paid for my drink. And this is were the differences between me and cousin are like night and day. My cousin was never taught the value of money and so he spends it freely because $100 to him is just that $100 of pure spending money. I look at $100 and I'm like okay... $10 - to savings, $20 to credit card, $30 for gas, $30 to student loan and then $10 for spending.
I just think it's rather strange that my aunt and uncle are lecturing me about my cousin's spending, I mean they are clearly talking to the wrong person. I can pull out an excel spreadsheet of my finances.
They are the same people that told me if I were to ever win the lottery that I was too young to retire and that I better still work.
But the point of the story is that I should have paid for my half just so that they could get off his back. But then would they be lecturing the both us if we had split that we should be saving money and moving out?
But on a side note... my credit card increased my credit limit. They didn't send me any notice, I just sort stumbled upon it when I logged in to my online account and saw that the limit increased. I'm never even close to reaching the the first limit they had for me but whatever... if anything is makes my debt ratio even lower because of higher total available credit. I just thought it was strange because I didn't think the credit card companies were uping limits, I thought most of them were decreasing limits without notice. lol. Oh well.
Okay so I'm back to blogging again.
I get so caught up with other things I just forget to log-on once in awhile and update. Man, the summer has gone by super fast.
So since the last time I blogged, I turned 24. Hmm, I got a new assignment/contract. Not any better than the previous one. My previous assignment may want to take me back and hire me on permanent. I'm working on that as we speak.
Hmm... back to saving again still not quite back to where I want to be but at least I'm saving even if it's only $50 a week.
Also, I consolidated my student loans. I now have a fixed rate of 3.... something. It's in grace period until 9/21. So I'm trying to throw some money at it right now because everything I pay towards it goes straight to principal. And then once it's off grace again it will start accruing interest. So the entire loan is like $12890.
And I know previously I said that I was going to do a charity of some sort and I had originally picked the animal shelter, but I had a change of heart. Not that I don't care about the animals, because I do but I've decided to go with one in honor of my dad. The National Aphasia Association. My dad had a stroke back in 2001 and as a result of his stroke he had aphasia. So I've decided to set aside $20 each paycheck (I'm currently getting paid every week, so roughly $80/month) and on the 1 year anniversary of my dad's death (April 2010) I'm going to make a donation of what I had set aside. So far I have $105 set aside. I thought about doing it around Christmas time but I figure if I do it on his anniversary I can save up more money to donate.
But that's pretty much it, work and the small little projects that I'm working on on the side to keep myself busy.
I should update my stats soon. Maybe if I get a chance this weekend. But until then.
So just a quick blurb about my student loan.
The interest rate dropped again on it. It's around 2% now. The balance is $13,129. Will most like be under $13000 after tomorrow when the July payment gets taken from my account tomorrow. I have yet to consolidate my loans. I should look into that to see if I can lock in the low low rate at a fixed. Because right now it's variable and it's been fine not consolidating because the rate has been on a steady decline since I've started paying my loan off. I think my payment amount has also dropped. I'm not so sure about it yet but I think so according to the front page of my account when I log in. But, I'll have to wait to see how much they take out tomorrow to be sure. My required payment per month has also dropped steadily since I've started paying back November 2007. It started out at $198/mo, now if the new rate is right it's about $158/mo.
But I'm thinking, since the rate is so low that I should just throw more money at my loan to bring down the balance faster so that if the rate does go back up my balance will be a lot lower and save money on interest.
So, I have my first assignment. I started working on Tuesday. It's an interesting position. I'm an "accounting assistant" but really... I'm working along side the controller and doing some clerical stuff in the down time. I'm getting some really good experience I think.
But let me just say. So, I have to take care of the petty cash. And of course I get the cash from the bank today and I open up the straps of $20s. The bills were every which way. Ugh! You've got to be kidding me. Shame on that bank. As a former teller, I was taught to have all the bills facing the same direction. It took me twice as long to count the money because I had to sit there and fix the bills, because I'm so use to handling large sums of cash, but facing the same way. I fixed it all, because it was just buggy (even my wallet has all the bills facing the same directions with $1 in the front and larger bills in the back). So now this company has a petty cash drawer that is in organized.
But enough with work.
I'm starting a new project. Last night laying in bed trying to go to sleep, but secretly wishing it was the weekend so I didn't have to go to work in the morning, I started thinking about starting a project. A project purely not based on profit or obligation. I was just thinking that some thing really positive just needs to come out of this year. After having a horrible April with losing my dad and nothing being the same since I just need something good. Because even after everything I still feel incredible lucky. So I've thought about it and I want to take a part of my paycheck each week maybe like $20-30 and buy pet supplies and donate them to the local animal shelter (a no kill one, of course). And hopefully with my new ventures in coupon clipping I can double my donation. And hopefully by the end of the year I can drive up with a car full of goodies. Well I haven't decided how often I plan on making the drop-off yet. Some of the things I don't even have to buy, like newspaper, old towels/blankets so that's something. Actually what I really wanted to do is donate to an animal food bank. I know sounds crazy, food bank are for people not animals. Well, I found one back in my hometown. They just opened a Pet Food Bank to help people feed their animals. Because during hard times like people are more incline to do without to feed their pet instead. And the Pet Food Bank sorta helps both by providing pet food to those who need it so they can use their money to buy food for themselves. I haven't found one around where I live now yet. I haven't really had a chance to look into it. I actually wanted to donate to the American Heart Association, just because of my dad but... I wanted to make sure my donation was actually going to be used for the cause and not to pay some CEO's salary. So since I can't control that I figure I rather do something where I know that my donation is getting to the cause. And I love animals so I'm helping the animals, lol.
Okay, that's pretty much it for now. I can't wait for the weekend. Too bad tomorrow's Friday and not Saturday. lol.
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