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
Viewing the 'My Old Life' Category
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.
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.
So I have an interview for an assignment. Since the company I work for assigns people to certain projects, it's up to the client company to interview possible candidates to carry out their projects. So, I have to go interview with them today before I can be put on their project. Apparently I'm the 6th person that my company has put into interview. None of them made it so now they are putting me it. Ugh... now that makes me really nervous. I've been on a couple of interviews for assignments so I can actually start working... but nothing. So I'm getting a little discouraged even though my manager said it had nothing to do with me per say more that I didn't have the right kind of experience they were looking for for their project.
So today I have to go through 3 rounds of interviews. One with the supervisor, then I have to interview with the possible co-worker that I could be working with on the project, and last... ah... the assistant controller.
The interview is in 3 hours. I'm trying to relax a bit before I go because when I get nervous I get all antsy and tend to talk fast. So... drinking some tea and just chilling out until then.
I just need to start working again. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get this assignment so that I can go back to work.
Keeping my fingers crossed.
my money news today is that I haven't spent anything today... yet that is. Well I don't plan on spending any money today, the only thing maybe gas for my car. But I have some to last me until the weekend, so I may just come straight home after the interview and wind down by hanging out and tend to my garden.
So I got a full time permanent job!!! Yay! It's still doing contracting jobs/projects for other companies, but basically I'm representing this one consulting firm and they assignment to work at different clients for various projects and so on. So yay!!!
I'm most excited because I get medical. Which by the way I haven't had medical coverage in over a year, since I left my full-time job at the bank a little over a year ago. Yikes, I know not a very smart thing. But I figured, keeping my fingers crossed that I hardly ever get sick so I never bought an individual plan because of the cost and luckily enough I never got sick, I mean the common cold here and there but not sick enough to warrant a doctors visit. Thank goodness. Now I will have coverage and I get all caught up and get back into the routine visits and so on. So I won't have my first assignment for at least a week, so I have the rest of this week to just hang out I guess.
So anyways my aunt got this blockbuster summer deal, where you pay an extra $10 (one time) and you get two movies out at a time. And if you watch them and bring them back the next day you can get another 2 movies out for free and you can keep doing this for an entire week. So yeah, we paid $20 total for a week worth of rented movies. So far it's the 3rd day and we already rented 6 movies. Yesterday we made this list of movies that we want to see while we are on this promotion. It's been great because we don't feel so bad renting something that is not a good movie at all because we can rent another movie for free essentially. So I have to return the 2 that we currently have today and get 2 more out. Man, talk about a bargain. I calculated that if we watched 2 new movies everyday on this promotion we would only pay $0.70 per movie. So hopefully they will have this same promotion at the end of the summer because once this ends we won't continue it because we probably won't have anymore movies to rent and we'll have to let the movies we want to see stack up again. I mean we could just do netflix or the blockbuster version of netflix, but we usually don't rent movies that often so this other promotions works out really great since we can see all the movies we want to see and pay only 1 time instead of every month, especially if there is no good movies out that month.
And oh yeah, so this weekend I went to B,B & B. And I bought this 3-pack of sponge cleaning things for the grill for my aunt and when I got home I realized that there were only 2 sponges in the package, someone stole a sponge. This makes me so mad, because now I have to go back to the store to get a full 3 pack. Ugh, the nerve of some people. This is not the first time this has happened either because I was at costco and bought a brita water filter 10-pack and it was missing 1 filter, and those things aren't cheap enough to just let it go so I had to go back and I just returned it because I was just annoyed. It's a shame that I now have to 100% check everything I buy.
Okay that's pretty much it.
I just wanted to say thank you everyone for your kind words. Sometimes, I think it's better to talk about it with people that don't know me personally, only because the people that do just want to hover. And I know they have my interest at heart, but sometimes the best way to get through something tough is to be treated like normal. Well at least I think so. (*btw, if you have no idea what I'm referring to, see my previous 6.8.09 post)
And hopefully I will be blogging more often than even before everything.
But in the mean time, since I'm not currently working (I had an interview this morning, I moved on to the next set of interviews, so I will see how that goes). But yeah since I'm not currently working I have a huge and I mean huge stack of magazines like 2 years worth of "Family Circle", "First", "Good Housekeeping", etc that I am going to go through for saving advice/tips. They are my grandma's (she is a pack rat), but since I have nothing else better to do, I figure I'll just sit around and go through magazines looking for different ideas on savings, instead of going out and spending money on entertainment. Plus, I get to do all the crossword puzzles that some of them have. lol.
But yeah that's pretty much it. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone.
So, I haven't written in awhile, since before my family was suppose to come visit me the first week in April. They did and I'm glad they did. And here is something very personal but my dad died of a massive heart attack the day before they were suppose to fly back home. They originally weren't going to fly out here to California to visit because of airfare prices, but they eventually dropped low enough that they could come visit and I was unknowingly able to see my dad for the very last time. We had a nice ceremony over here for him, since he is a California native and most of his family is from here. I ended up going back with my Mom, brother and sister to Virginia up until last week to help them out a little and to make sure they were going to be okay. So with that, I had to leave the job that I was currently at so that I could make the trip home. It was worth it, because I truly believe family is the most important thing (to me anyways), and nothing should come before them. So now, I'm back in CA and hopefully can find a job again so that I can get back on my feet. Thank goodness for my emergency fund I was able to stay in Virginia for a over a month and still be okay as far as bill wise and I still have enough to cover me hopefully until I find another job. And lucky for me... I paid off my credit cards before I went my family came... so... I have no credit card debt which definitely helped the financial situations so I could focus on other more important things.
When I was back in Virginia, my old retail job was willing to take me back for a short while and was going to pay me what I was making before I left (which is a lot more than they are paying the majority of the staff.) I'd thought about going back since I was going to be in town for a little bit, but I decided against going back for the simple reason that I came back to help my family and if I'm at work all the time, I'm not really spending time with them. And secondly which was part of the main reason was that I would have to buy new clothes and new shoes to come back to work. I didn't bring any work clothes with me and I didn't have proper shoes to go to work in. That retail job doesn't let you wear tennis shoes or sneakers and you have to dress sorta business casual. And all I had with me was tennis shoes, flip flops and denim jeans. So I figured by the time I bought new shoes and new clothes... I basically spent my entire paycheck already. Not worth it.
But yeah that's pretty much it.I think I'm going to change up my blog a little bit and focus more on saving and ways to save rather than the totals in my accounts because it's so depressing seeing it go up just to go back down again. So we shall see how that goes.
I know two blog entries in one day. But I couldn't resist.
I landed another contract job this afternoon. So my two interviews tomorrow went down to just 1. And the one is more like a info session on a permanent position with my temp company. The contract job is a temp-to-hire, which is very very good. My staffing manager... she did good. I guess she bragged enough that I got the position and I didn't even need to interview like she originally told me that I would have to. So YAY because I dont like interviews I always freeze up because I'm so nervous. I start on April 9th. So I still get a chance to spend time with my family. Hopefully soon I'll be permanently employed with benefits!
I'm even more excited this go around because I have my credit cards paid off! So... now I have even more money to save, since that is one less payment i have to make. Man, it's so freeing. I'm thinking I'm going to put that extra money to my IRA and student loan... after I cover the $500 for my glasses! Yay! So now savings #3 doesn't have to really take a hit.
Woo hoo my day has gotten so much better.
So tomorrow I have 2 job interviews. Keeping my fingers crossed that I land one of them. One is temp to hire and the other is a direct hire. I mainly need something because I need the benefits. The medical I have right now is really buggy. I don't know if it's even kicked in yet because I didn't see the deductions on my last couple of paychecks. Ugh.
My staffing managers was like if I get both offers then I'll have to choose because I can't do both. Hello? No duh. (I just rolling my eyes when she tells me that over the phone). And if I have to hear one more time that the economy is not doing so well and the job market is tough I'm going to go... it's annoying. I know I keep up with the news.
This week should be a good week because my family is coming to visit from Virginia. The first time I've seen them since I moved in September of last year. Mom, dad and sister. My brother can't come out right now, but he'll be out for two weeks in July. I can't wait. It should be fun. Now since I know my way around the Bay Area a little bit I can take them to all sorts of places. One day we'll probably go up to Sonoma to visit other relatives. And then I know they want to go to Monterrey Bay. So we'll see. Somedays I miss Virginia. So it's sorta like Virginia is coming to me, by my family coming out here. So Yay!
So I've decided that the $500 from my glasses is going to come from Savings #3. Only because it has the lower interest rate. And it's the money that I don't really have a plan for.
But yeah that's pretty much it.
So, I bought new glasses today. $500 total for exam (contacts and glasses), new frames and lenses. But the lenses were 50% off since I bought frames. It would have been cheaper but I had no insurance because lack of constant job. Oh well I need to see better. So my headaches will stop. I can't tell if it's from eye strain or from caffeine withdraw, which it could possibly be from.
Yup. That was my big purchase for the next few months. Luckily my contact prescription didn't need to be changed, and I still have some supply left so I didn't need to reorder yet. I haven't decided where the $500 is coming from yet. Most likely savings #1. Not too concerned yet. Big purchases I like to pay off right away. I usually put it on my credit card and then do a bill pay the next day. That way I get points on my credit card, but save on the interest by paying it right away. I should have my cc paid off though by next week so that will free up one bill for me since I'm not working this week.
I'm still struggling with my staffing manager at the temp agency. She's kinda buggy. Hopefully... something will come up.
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