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Action Plan (in the making) and Wuthering Heights

August 12th, 2009 at 08:43 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

Living through other Bloggers :)

February 22nd, 2009 at 01:59 am

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.

Paid Some Bills Today

January 13th, 2009 at 05:39 pm

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.

Looking back at August & Fighting with BF

September 2nd, 2008 at 03:11 pm

Later on today I'm going to tally all my spending and post the August spending report and do a fresh one for September. I just checked my accounts and here goes:

Cap 1: $1621.95 due (9/25/08)
Macy's: $572.28 due (9/18/08)
Big School Loan: $9032.79 due(1/19/2009)
Small School Loan: $3850 due (9/18/08)

Orange Savings: $2002.92

Amx and Discover are still at $0! YAY!

Goals for September:
1. Get Orange Savings to $3000.00
2. Try to pay off Macy's.
3. Double my payment to the Big School Loan ($220).

I expect an extra $50.00 of extra income from research studies this month, so that will be added to paying off Cap 1.
I really want to see my Big School Loan go under $9000 but the daily interest rates suck.

I also expect an $800.00 expense this month.Frown

On a non financial note, my BF and I are fighting. I'm studying for an exam and he works two jobs, so it's hard to see each other. When I make an effort, something always comes up with him. He is a workaholic and if he thinks that I'm going to stand for it, he's wrong. He wants to get married but I can't be with someone who works like he does. I kid you not, I can see myself having dinner alone for 4 of 7 nights in a week if we get married.

I don't think I'll see him in the next two weeks, and I haven't seen him in a week, grand total 3 wks! Why do I even have a BF!? He wants to spend time with me and so he claims he'll come to work and have lunch with me. I won't hold my breath.
He is a hard worker but he can get so consumed he sacrifices his loved ones. How can I make a life with someone like that? Will he be the type of father that never shows up to his childrens' events? Ugh, he frustrates me sometimes but I love him.

I'm Calm Now

August 15th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Ok, so I feel better now because of the advice and encouragement to keep up with the budget from fellow bloggers.

One of my co-workers, who was hardworking and really good at her job, is leaving. That means, I have to pick up her slack because her replacement is inept. At least she's not moving too far away. Silver lining: I got free lunch because we went out to thank her for all the work that she's done and the department head paid. I'll miss herFrown

I paid the electric and cable bills today. The cable was fine but the electric was $20 dollars over budget. I think it's because my mom now refuses to turn off the hallway lights when we go to bed. She really thinks that we will not find our way to the bathroom (of course that's completely unreasonable because we've lived here for 10 year). Then there's the issue of not turning off the TV when leaving the room. I can't stand that, it's a waste of energy. W should all make an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

I also sent the minimum payment for my small school loan today. The company in charge of my loan has really lax communication skills. They do not send the statements in time; so as paranoid as I am, I check every two weeks to make sure it's not due and I'll be charged a late fee.

I also signed up for two research studies. They are both long term. One pays $5000 if I qualify! I hope I can do it. The only downside is I get paid when I complete the study, which is 2 years long. The other study is also 2 years long but I get paid each visit ($50 visit 1 then $25/visit).

I'm really trying to get some extra income because I'm so over budget this month.

Time for a change

August 13th, 2008 at 03:42 pm

Yesterday was a NO SPEND DAY, yay!

I also decided to start going to the gym on a regular basis since I was already paying membership fees. I want to lose a few pounds. In addition to going to the gym, I will watch what I eat. I'm not going to deny myself my favorite foods. I will instead portion them better and try to eat more healthy meals. (More fruits and veggies)

I want to go back to school. I do not have my dream job and the possibility of promotions are slim. So I'll look into different grad schools and the programs out there over the next few weeks.

Interesting week

August 11th, 2008 at 02:58 pm

So work has been a blur of project after project. My list is still long and I have one big one I'm still working on but I need to call some consult some specialists before I can continue.

The weekend went well, although there were scattered thunderstorms. I hadn't seen my BF for a while because he was travelling on business, but we got to spend the weekend togeter. Smile I'm helping him look for a condo to buy and it's time consuming because he's so picky. I'm happy for him though, he's finally going to move out of the house he rents with 4 other guys (can you say party house) and he'll have nice place to live.

He asked me to move in with him when he gets the new place. Can I confess that I was petrified! I'm afraid of commitment and he knows this. I've had a bad relationship in the past that made me shrink away from investing my heart so fully into someone else. I think that there should always be a piece of you that belongs to you. After you've given to your partner, your family, even your kids...there should always be a piece of you that you keep for yourself. In nurturing that piece, you won't feel unappreciated or run down. I mean no one can take of yourself like you can.

I say all of this to justify why I told him no. I'm not ready to leave my mom until I feel like she can fully function on her own. I could still pay for all her bills if I live with him, but then I would not have all the great times I'm having with her now. I also know that I would go back to my old ways if I lived with him. He makes waaayyyy more money than I do and he wants to pay for everything. So I'll eventually think it's okay to go shopping and I'll get into old habits. Plus I want to be on my own for a while. I don't want to have to depend on someone. I love him but I want to wait until I'm ready.

So as I was reading some of your blogs, I noticed people were doing online surveys for extra cash. I 've decided to be part of an ON CALL list to make extra cash. I get paid $2/hr when I am not at work (including weekends) to be avaialbe in case there is an emergency and I have to come in. So I'm getting paid even when I'm not at work! I also finished up a research study. It was about 2 weeks long and I'm expecting $200 for participation. I think I'll save half and put the other half towards bills. I'll look into survey sites and more short term research studies for extra income.

Lower Interest Rates and My Shopping Habits

August 6th, 2008 at 05:24 pm

So yesterday I called my credit card companies and tried to lower my intetest rates.

Good news first:
Cap1 was lowered to 7.9%! YAY!
Disc will remain at 0% until Sept 19th. Then it goes to 15.99% Frown

Not so good news:
Amx will remain at 15.99%.

My plan of action is to not carry a balance on the cards that are paid off (Amx and Disc). If I pay my entire bill, I can avoid fiance charges.
I will try my best to pay off Cap1 as soon as possible.

Then I will call back at the start of October and ask for a lower rate.

So as I have revealed, I am a recovering shopaholic. I've also read some interesting blogs which helped me realize that I'm not alone. The difference is that the people I've read about have a stronger willpower than I do.

I will shop on impulse and it doesn't even matter which store! I could be in Barney's New York or Forever21 or the supermarket...I always end up getting way more than I plan to. At first I feel elated and excited about my new outfit or the ingredients for the 14 new recipies I HAVE to try, then guilty I just spent the money that could have gone into my savings. (PS I've stopped kidding myself about the 14 recipies)

So I've avoided large shopping areas and I always take along a frugal friend (They are on the brink of extinction in these parts)when I go shopping.

Biggest hurdle: FRIENDS!
They are a bad influence on my finances.