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Archive for October, 2009

Cash Only?

October 24th, 2009 at 05:40 pm

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! Smile

Mercury Dimes

October 5th, 2009 at 10:04 pm

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.

I said I don't use this credit card

October 1st, 2009 at 10:34 pm

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!