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New job, school and apartment... FML

August 26th, 2011 at 11:39 am

Itís been a while since Iíve been here and thatís because I havenít been doing well with my finances. It was easier to ignore it. I need to be honest; sometimes itís just nice to buy whatever you want whenever you want.

So itís been two weeks since Iíve started my new job and thereís a tough learning curve. I donít even have words at the moment to talk about the environment.

My living situation is also a mess. So my roommate and I learned that our landlord had to de-lead our apartment earlier in the summer. The house was built a long time ago and he never completed all the state regulated tasks prior to renting it, which included getting all the lead pain out of the house. Now that heís thinking of selling the place, heís playing catch up. Therein lies the other issues, Iím dealing with, i.e. I had to find a place to live prior to the whole de-leading fiasco. And since my life just has a way of taking the worst possible scenario, I ended up signing the lease for a place that I have to wait until mid-September to move into. The reason being that my new landlord wanted to rewire the entire apartment after the current tenant vacates. So where am I living you ask? Well in the basement of my old apartment until the de-leading is completed (it takes 2 weeks). Then I move back into my old apartment for a week, then I move to my new apartment. The only positive aspect is that I donít have to pay either landlord for the time Iím in the basement.

Iím also starting classes next week, while Iím in the basement so that will be interesting.

AhhhÖ new job, new apartment, new classesÖ I have no idea why I put myself in these situations that are so stressful. Iím also going to list my budget below and hide in a corner while you guys critique the hell out of it.

Yes I know Iím paying too much for the gymÖ yes Iím paying too much rent (actually in the state that I live, that cheap for a 1 bedroom) and my gas is going to be way more expensive than that.

Also I currently have nothing in retirement savings, I plan on getting rid of the music portion, I donít know what cable or electric bills will be in my place. Iím charging as much as I can on my CC because I have a cash rewards program.

Here is my monthly budget:

Total: $2737
Ideal Percentage/Ideal Amount/Actual Amount

1 Rent-Housing 30% $821 $1250
2 Transportation 15% $410 $30
3 Credit Card1 5% $137 $337
4 Student Loans 10% $274 $274
5 Savings 10% $137 $260
6 Retirement 10% $274 $417
7 Gas bill 8% $219 $169

1Following will be charged on CC: gym ($84), music ($15) will change to $0, cable ($ ), cell phone ($52), electric ($ ), food ($100)

Action Plan (in the making) and Wuthering Heights

August 12th, 2009 at 01:43 pm

I have taken a look at my credit card and its $3800.00. My goal is to get it back to $0 by the end of the year. So I will have to put $1000.00 towards it. Then I will tack my student loan which is currently $8400.00. I want to pay that off by May 2010. I will pay the minimum until December after which I will pay $1000.00 per month. Then I will take some of my savings to pay the remaining balance.

Today I paid the electrical bill: $63.94. I am trying to keep the bill around $60.00 or lower but my roommates seem to not care about saving electricity. Frown

Also in my last post I mentioned that I was making a reading list. It is suppose to help me learn to commit to task but it is also helping to enjoy one of my favorite free activities. I use to be passionate about reading and for a few years now I havent been into it. I want to get back into it because it will give me something to do that doesnt involve spending money since I am trying to save and pay my biggest bills.

Well I finished my first book Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte! If you dont know or dont remember the story and youre interested, here is a link to a synopsis: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wuthering/summary.html

Thoughts on the book:

Catherine Earnshaw knowingly set aside her feelings for someone she loved to pursue a more profitable (both in reputation and finances) future. Given that I did not grow up with money at my disposal I can understand why Catherine can make the decision to be with someone who isnt her true love.

Catherine Linton and Ellen Dean (nursemaid/housekeeper) angered me because they seemed so weak and foolish at times. I wished they acted with as much anger as I felt while reading the book. I really get into a good book ...I was yelling at the book when my roomate just shook her head and laughed at me. (haha)

I felt sorry for Hareton Earnshaw because he was a young Healthcliff in the sense that he began life at a disadvantage.

And now the best for last...Healthcliff, the villain; I felt the expected rollercoaster of emotions for this character. I was sorry for young Healthcliff because of his mistreatment as an adopted child. I hated the adult Healthcliff because he sought revenge for all who wronged him and hurt many people in the process but finally I was curious. I wish Emily Bronte wrote an entire novel about Healthcliff. I am intrigued by history of characters like Healthcliff because I dont believe that people do psychotic things just because. There's always some reason and usually it’s because of an event in their lives. I still have so many questions like where was he born and where did he come from? This information seems more pertinent at the end of his life when Ellen Dean describes his erratic behavior and facial contortions as that of a demon or imp. I will always wonder who is his family and what happened to him to make him react towards people in such harsh and cruel ways. Also how can someone so hateful love a woman with so much passion and devotion?

I really enjoyed the book and can see why it is a classic. Smile

I'm not even gonna make an excuse this time...

August 4th, 2009 at 08:46 am

To state the obvious it's been a while.

I think I have a problem with committing to something and finishing it; perfect example...this blog. At first I started and it was fine...then I neglected it. *SIGH*

Well I used my Capital One credit card to go on TWO...yes TWO vacations. I haven't looked at the balance yet because I'm scared. Maybe it's $5000.00...I donno. *SIGH*

The upside is that it's the only large balance on a credit card. I have less than $50.00 I owe on my Macy's card and then my school loans.

I'm gonna work on my problem of long term commitment phobia by challenging myself to read lots and lots of classic books.
It will probably take years but that's the point. I want to take a large goal and break it up into small doable goals then move on. I will post the list as soon as I can and if there are any suggestions, it will be appreciated.

If I can do this I can apply the same principle to my money matters...large goal broken into small goals.

First goal bring my $9000.00 school loan to under $7000.00 and to bring Capital One to under $200.00.

Lots of Big Expenses

February 23rd, 2009 at 09:50 pm

Well it first started with an email informing me that the cable company was raising their rates by $5.00. I was annoyed because I kid you not, if there is a windy day outside, the satellite signal gets disrupted. We loose service if it snows too much or rains too much. What am I paying for if the service isn't up to par. Oh well, I love HGTV and the Food Network too much to discontinue my service.

I also have three appointments coming up in the next two weeks. I only expect a $20.00 copay to have my yearly eye exam and pick up a new box of contacts. My dentist shouldn't be more than $25.00 and I don't know how much the copay or my doc is. My biggest concern at this point is that my dentist will tell me, I need to fill some cavities or need a crown (I've been have some toothaches lately).

I did finish the application to get a reimbursement from my insurance company for $150.00. Hopefully it will clear and I can put that towards some credit card payments.

I also started classes today and I had to pay $1800 out of pocket. I charged it to my discover card and will put the next couple months pay checks towards paying it off. There was also an additional $300 fees associated with the class. The cost of education is disturbing at times.

Living through other Bloggers :)

February 21st, 2009 at 05:59 pm

So in order to curb my spending habits I've started living vicariously through other blogs not associated with the SA crew. Smile These beauty and style blogs help me stay abreast with all the fashion happenings, so I don't have an excuse to go to the stores and spend money. I've also learned a few things that have helped me be frugal. For example I traded in my $65.00 body scrub for a much cheaper organic home made version. Yes people in my foolish and naive days I did spend $65 on a body scrub!

On to money matters.... I paid some bills over the weekend and did my taxes online. I put $500.00 towards my Capital One and hopefully I will put my tax return money towards paying off that card. I want to get someone else (a pro) to take another look at my taxes. I'm not getting back much Frown. Maybe I can look at my credit card purchases over the year to determine what was purchased because of work.

Service Areas I can Cut Back

February 11th, 2009 at 09:51 am

I've been thinking of services I pay for that I could do on my own and save some money.

I've already stopped getting manicures on a regular basis and I do them on my own at home. I've actually learned alot just be reading other blogs and websites. I can now do a full manicure that looks great! I just have to conquer the french manicure next. Smile

I'll try to wax my own eybrows soon. I only have to maintain the shape, so that will be easy.

I'm also want to learn how to hem a pants properly. I've done a few sewing jobs on my clothing here and there but nothing major. I want to learn how to do a simple hem so I can save a some money. I'll still go to the tailor but for more complicated alterations.

I'll read some other blogs for ideas.

Keeping a close eye on those store cards

February 11th, 2009 at 09:37 am

So I recently got two store cards becuase I frequently shopped at these stores. Some friends told me it was a bad idea, but I disagree. If I'm going to get a 20% discount why not? I always pay my cards on time and check my online account frequently.

So for one particular store, there was a promotion with activating the new card. If you used this particular card at non-affiliated store (it could be a grocery store, gas station etc ) you would get a $10 certificate to use at the store. You had to use the card within 30 days of activation and there was no minimum purchase.

So I activated the card and purchased a few staples that I needed at my local grocery store that totaled to $7.00! When I checked my account online there was no credit. So I called customer service and spoke to this woman for 20 minutes explaing the promotion. I was so exasperated that I finally blurted out if you want me to fax the insert explaining the promotion from your company I will!

She said no and instead of sending me a $10 certificate to use in the store she credited my account with $10.00! I was actually happier about that outcome because I basically got my groceries for free and I have a $3.00 credit remaing on the card.

Had I not taken the time to check my account online. I would have been suckered into using my card unwittingly. I shake my fists to the store card companies. I still want the card because I always find well made work pants that fit perfectly there. I never take pants to the tailor when I purchase them from this store.

On another note I paid a few bills today:

Credit Card 1: $113.90 (the finance charges have kicked in so as soon as I get my refung I'll pay it in full)

TV: $60.97

Electric: $62.20

Gas: $170.78 (total before payment: $870.78)

I applied for two store cards....

January 30th, 2009 at 01:36 pm

So I've been putting long hours at work...I've definately done more than my 40 hours a week but I'm not getting paid any more because I'm on salary. Frown Seeing how the economy is failing I do not expect any monetary rewards from my managers even through they know how hard I've been working.

So what do I do? I go shopping! I haven't been shopping in the past 4 months and that's hard for a shopping aficionado like me. I want to reward myself of course, I mean if no one else is going to do it then I might as well. So I'm in one of my favorite stores and I purchase $151.00 worth of items. The saleslady was kind enough to point out that I almost always shop here and I always pay in cash. Why don't I get a store card and pay it off with cash? Well that's a great idea, I thought at the time. I get reward points, coupons and discounts...so I take the plunge. I then realize that I intended to use my debit card that day because I do not carry $150 around when I didn't expect to be shopping.

Then I go to another store and after picking up much needed items for work...I mean I might as well be walking around in rags. I had about $200 worth of items (which were all on sale and were 4 outfits that worked well with other items in my closet). A nice clerk told me I could open a store card and save 20%. So I did and it was about $160.00 after.

After reflecting upon my purchases I know I tried to justify shopping to make myself feel better about being overworked and underpaid. I really wanted someone to show appreciation for all I did and still do at work, so I did it. Well, I love all the items I bought and I plan to pay the balance on the cards today.

I also got myself a manicure that day and it was totally worth it. I was doing my nails at home for the past three months to save a little extra but I need a pro every once in a while. Smile

Paid Some Bills Today

January 13th, 2009 at 09:39 am

Total in Bank Account: $1898.91

Bills Paid Today:
cell: $69.81
tv: $67.50
electric: $67.50
credit card: $1003.42 (balance was 3003.42)
small loan: $50.00 (automatic payment)
large loan: $111.00

total spent: $1363.20
remaining in bank account $535.71

I want to add $1988.87 to savings so I'll waiting until I get my next pay check and see how much I can add.

Things are getting harder and I'm just trying to stay above water right now. I think I need to look for another job but who's hiring? I want to get a better salary or a second job. I'll see if I can do either anytime soon.

It's Been a While

December 15th, 2008 at 10:18 am

A lot has been taking place in my personal life, so I took a long break from the blog. Actually I completely neglected it...and yes I neglected my fiances. But considering what I was and still am going through, It's not so bad.

I was musing today on how to reduce my monthly bills and I think I have a plan. I got the internet on my phone to check my work email but It's not woth it. It was an additional $20.00! Well I shouldn't be so available...the people I work with tend to take advantage of people like me.
I also got a credit watchdog service at $5.99 a month but I don't need it. I'm really good with looking at my statements and they don't update my info as regularly as I would like anyway.

I think I'll look for more focus group. I've already made $75.00 this month from a focus group. Yay!

I love extra cash!

September 17th, 2008 at 02:33 pm

So I deposited $200.00 in my checkings today, which feels good since I just paid most of my bills for the month.

I also got $50.00 from the research study I did last month. YAY! I'll deposit that tomorrow. I had a phone interview with another recruiter for a study that could possibly pay $350. I really want to do it because that would be a much needed loan payment.

It's finacially scary right now for alot of people. I'm making an extra effort to put all my extra cash towards paying off my loans and increasing my savings.

She's actually paying me back!

September 16th, 2008 at 01:52 pm

So yesterday I was so sure that my friend would not pay me back for charging some items for her wedding on my credit card. Now I have to take that back. My mouth dropped as she handed me $186.00! I know it's not alot considering how much she owes me but if you knew her, you would have fainted. lol.

She said that she doesn't want me to feel like I'm being used and that she feels bad even asking her friends to pay for any part of her wedding. As soon as she gets more cash she will give me all that is owed to me. Smile It's not even about getting the money back it's more about seeing her finally acting like a responsible adult.

Yesterday I completed all my financial goals (i.e. paying most of my bills for the month), so I'm just going to wait until all the checks clear.

I signed up for a finacial conference geared towards all women. I was suprised to see the ad as I walked to work, so I went to their website. They have speakers and workshops that address all types of women and all financial situations. This is great, I plan to attend the retirement planning workshop and the homebuying workshop. I'm so excited about it, they have workshops for married women, single women, women in relationships... best part is that it's free! Smile

Hectic Past few weeks...

September 15th, 2008 at 10:13 am

So I've been bogged down with exams so I haven't been paying attention to my finances but I kept all my recipts. I know I'm way off my food budget and my bills are due really soon.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep going and I am going to try to keep track of all my money. Right now I'm paying some bills and it seems like I'm going to have little wiggle room by the end of this month.

So for the past few weeks apart from studing for exams I helped one of my friends with her wedding. The bad part of having friends getting married is that I had to charge some things on my credit card because she and he fiance maxed out their cards. So now my balance is $1889.52. She has agreed to pay me everything I charged and the finance fees becuase I won't be able to pay off my full balance. Honestly, I don't know when and if she will pay me back. She is a sweet person she just has ideas of grandeur that her wallet cannot keep up with.

I'll just assume the worst (she will not pay me back) and pay off the balance. I'll consider it a really expensive wedding gift.

Today's goals:
I have to order my medication ($50.00)
Pay Macy's (in full:$572.28)
Pay Cell ($49.35)
Pay large school bill($220)
Pay small school bill ($50.00)
Pay credit card ($100.82)

Total: $1042.45

Can't stick to it...

September 5th, 2008 at 08:43 am

So I took Fern's advice and talked to BF. He knows his working habits are ridiculous but he is trying to build his career. He feels like it will not always be like this but I disagree. Moving up the corporate ladder demands more time at work. But we'll see...

Went out and spent money like no tomorrow. Bought drinks for friends and went to dinner for her birthday.

breakfast at work 3.75
dinner 31.25
drinks 20.00
cab 20.00

Food $62.34/60.00 (and it's only 5 days into september!)

Contact solution $3.66/$10

miscellaneous $20/$100