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Archive for September, 2009

1 year anniversary

September 27th, 2009 at 05:18 pm

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.

Categories
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!

Maybe I should have gone dutch...

September 3rd, 2009 at 04:55 am

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.